Sonos Wireless Audio – Is It For You?

People often call us looking for a Sonos system, and it’s easy to see why. Sonos is affordable and very simple to install, making it a great choice for a lot of homeowners. ACT is a Sonos dealer and we have installed many Sonos systems.

If you are only looking for an audio system and you mainly listen to digital music, Sonos is an excellent option. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be installed quickly because minimal wiring is required. Sonos lets users listen to Internet radio (like Spotify, Pandora, etc.) and their own digital music collections (iTunes library, Amazon Cloud Player, etc.). The system is controlled by an easy-to-use app that can be installed on smartphones, mobile devices and computers.

Sonos does have the capability to add one outside source, for example, a cable box, but you won’t be able to control that source with the Sonos app.

There are several situations where Sonos may not be the best choice for you. If you want to control anything besides music in your home (such as lighting, climate, surveillance, etc.), either now or in the future, it’s worth at least looking into other options.

If you want easy control of sources beyond Internet radio and your own digital music, Sonos probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Finally, if you want a large-scale audio system with a lot of zones throughout your property, you’ll want to investigate other systems along with Sonos. As Sonos systems get bigger, prices get comparable with other, more robust options.

Sonos has dominated the wireless audio market, but ACT is excited about some of the newer offerings on the market too. One such option is Fusion Research’s Ovation Wireless Player, which is a whole-home solution (up to 16 zones) that can be controlled with an app. Fusion Research differs from Sonos in that Fusion worked with outside vendors to make sure the Ovation Wireless Player would work with control systems, including AMX, Savant, Control4, Crestron and others.

If you’re interested in an audio system for your home, please call us at 781-741-5959 for more information or to discuss your project. Consultations are always free of charge.

What Is Home Theater, Anyway?

When you think about technology in the home, does the term home theater come to mind? Home theater is a phrase that’s used a lot when it comes to residential custom electronics. But what does it really mean? Some people use it as a broad term to describe TV and movie viewing at home, while other people envision a private movie theater. The short answer is that home theater is both of those things.

At ACT, we usually use the terms dedicated home theater and media room. A dedicated home theater is just what it sounds like – a room with the sole purpose of providing an outstanding viewing and listening experience. A dedicated home theater is a room with a large screen, a great audio system, comfortable seating and often other fun features like theater lighting, a popcorn maker or a wet bar.

Most families today prefer a media room to a home theater. A multipurpose media room provides the best of both worlds – the stunning visuals, exciting audio and comfy seating of a theater in your family room or living area.

A lot of families like the idea of a media room, but balk at the thought of unsightly equipment in their living spaces. The technology for a media room can actually be hidden fairly easily. For example, if you’d prefer a large flat screen display to be hidden when you’re not using it, media mirrors, special artwork or custom cabinetry can be used. Speakers and sub-woofers can be placed discreetly, and components can be hidden in cabinetry or housed in an out-of-sight equipment rack. Take a look at the portfolio pages on our web site for examples of hidden technology.

When deciding what you want in the way of home theater, there are a few things to think about first. At ACT, we work with homeowners to choose the best solutions based on things like what they like to watch, who will be watching, how they think they’ll use the space, the size, shape and ceiling height of the space and of course, their budget. The size and shape of a room and your own preferences will lead to the right decisions about screen size and type, audio options and the components that will (or won’t) make up your system.

If you’d like to learn more about what would work in your home and what can be done within your budget, we’d love to come take a look and discuss options with you. Consultations are always free of charge.