Audio Multirooming (on a budget!)


geordie boy


I've just about finished building our new house and have wired the ceiling of every room for speakers and also each room has cabling to the light switch area for potential control pads all going back to one 'control area'.

I've not really given the project much further thought than this - but I know I wanted the cabling to go in while the house was being built!

So now I'm after help - on a budget!

Multiroom systems can be many many thousands of pounds and I simply don't have that sort of money. I only want to be able to play music/radio through the system and perhaps be able to do some sort of zoning (say upstairs and downstairs separate or even a couple more combinations).

At this stage I am happy for the whole set up to be controlled from the main centre where all the cabling runs back to.

So - has anybody got any ideas how to do this effectively but cheaply (the speakers themselves are expensive enough!)

Which speakers are you going to be using ?
Flimber - no idea yet as they all seem pretty expensive so i will be adding rooms as I go/can afford - think I need circa 34 to do the whole house(!)
Hyper-Fi (spit) claim to be selling Kef's at a quarter to a sixth of rrp (note, not "off", "of"). Various models inc. the remote-controllable moveable ones. Stock availability unknown. That's why I asked, just in case you weren't aware. All that you'll need is some power amps and a remote-controlled PC equipped with a soundcard that has multiple outputs and you're on your way. For a simple two zone system there are various AV recievers which have multi-room (2, 3, or even four) capability. Have you thought of one of those to drive the whole shebang ?

Geordie Boy

Your having a laugh :)

A budget 'system' to zone 34 loudspeakers!!!

A Russound CA4.4I Four Zone, Four Source controller/amplifier may fit the bill as a Central 'Hub' and with a UK SRP of £1,880.00 (inc Four In Room wall plates - with IR pickups) may be worth stretching too.


I'd need more info on how the speakers are distributed amongst zones, rooms and sub zones to say for sure how you could 'manage' a complete system and keep the budget reasonable.

Best regards

I read this as (up to) 34 speakers in 17 stereo pairs over two or three zones not ever having to drive all simultaneously (say, max. six pairs) and fed from from two or three sources (MP3/Tuner/CD). Would that be the sort of thing ? 34 speakers is rather alot though :)

Mike - cheers - thats what I was thinking initially - pc driven would make it very simple (if I knew anything about PCs!!) how would the pc be 'remote controllable and how would it power the receiver?- one receiver that could do a few zones or combinations would be good - what would you recommend?

Sorry for all the questions - total novice here!

Joe - not looking to do all 34 at once (might take me 5 years) just the main rooms to start with - got a feeling multiroom 'systems' will be out of my league but will have a look at the site you mentioned - seems more 'reasonable'.

The speakers are individually wired from the speaker point back to the central hub area (each one individually) so I can set up and zone however I wish (that was the theory anyway?)

Keep the suggestions coming - I need all the help I can get!!

Mike - spot on, 17 pairs in various zones - not all 34 driven at once.

Does that make it any easier to assist?
hornydaragon - why? I've got 6 sets of speakers downstairs with cabling all running back to one spot - can't be that difficult to run music/radio to all 6 sets at the same time can it? Upstairs I'll work on later in the year anyway?

I just want to be able to run a fairly basic system to the speakers (that will also be reasonably basic) until I have the funds to 'upgrade' as time goes on.

can't be that hard can it...???

If it is I've wasted enormous amounts of money on cabling and wiring!
if you want to run all 6 pairs as one zone then no.................. can be done very cheaply with QED roomlink a stereo AMP and some kameleon remotes (whatever sources you want) stick electronics in cupboard and speakers in ceiling (buy cheap speakers get a crap sound.)..... its the level of control makes the system expensive....
Cheers horny - have you got alink to QED Roomlink - can't find it on their site? How much is it?

Are kameleon remotes just a single multi source remote?

Appereciate the help mate.

(I think I'm going to have to keep control level down initially to keep the cost down - as you say I'd rather pay a bit more for the speakers and have less control to 'start' with)
Can I just congratulate you on this bit, GB: "I've just about finished building our new house..."

Well done, living the dream and all that :)

hornydragon said:
Your wish (and all that)
this will give you single source across the whole house. Good starting point.......also look at Imerge kit..... is what you really need..............

Worth speaking MAW as he use roomlink for basic Multiroom systems.....

Cheers Horny - roomlink would probably do the trick as far as remote pads are concerned.

What about amplifier to 6 sets of speakers? Any suggestions?

You recommended me systemline about a year ago when I was starting this project but its probably a bit on the costly side at the mo :(

Who is MAW :confused:
geordie boy

The trick here is outlining what your ultimately wanting.

PC's and 'Simple' should never be used in the same sentence - especially so when your not PC literate :)

'Home' Running loads of speaker cables to a central hub is a start - its how you want to control volume, source and radio station selection that gets 'tricky'. More so if you want to be able to 'control' your sources - stop, start, pause.

You also have to work out who will be using the system and will everyone want to listen to the same source or individual sources/radio stations/track selections - and who's got the 'master' controller.

Best to write out a specification first then work out how you can arrive at it within a given budget.

Powering, Volume Controlling and Level matching six pairs of loudspeakers from one source can be fun in itself if your trying to do everything on a shoe string budget.

Best regards

well any HiFi stereo AMP that has IR will work ideally go for one with Pre outs so you can add power amps for other sets of speakers, this will give you basic source control (using IR handsets), and volume etc but all speaker will reun on same volume etc a QED MusiQ IS can be cleverly integrated to give you to sources and control on 2 zones.......(up stairs and downstairs) £650 for basics and has those fancy Key pad jobs (one will do most of a basic system)
Sorry to hijack this thread but I might be looking to do something like this later this year (Read that as the week before christmas !) also on 'The Cheap'.

If I had a dedicated PC as a music centre and I wanted 4 zones in the house (Lounge, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Master Bedroom and Bathroom), I would put the speakers in place and wire them to 4 separate amps for the zones....that's the easy part !

I would then need keypads like the QED keypads that would be able to search through the MP3s on the Music centre and also help in volume control. I suppose you would link the keypads to the Music Centre via network to obtain the music lists. Is there anything like this where I can just buy the keypad ? I know that Opus do mutliroom like this but this would be on a budget ! Actually, are there any handheld keypads that can do this ? A PDS would be able to link to the Music centre via bluetooth couldn't it ?

Are there Music player applications that are capable of running multiple instances playing different music ?

Because it would play over a network a sound card wouldn't be needed, correct ?

Are there any huge wholes that I haven't thought about ?


A multichannel soundcard and a few cardamps in a single PC (equipped with IRMAN or similar and controlled via IR senders) would provide a very simple one-box multiroom solution (with per-room volume and source-switching) but I dunno if cardamps are even still available so I guess that unless I look and find someone selling them I'm not that much help :)

PC based multiroom is nightmare........ for wall plates look for some cheap touch screens, 6 in mono or colour some have pronto type front ends for PC apps but this is a whole world of possible problems....MUlti-room is an expensive and complex luxury market4 zones will come in at £6k+..........can be done cheaper....but not On the cheap, look at imerge network player NP200

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