Music and parties are the peanut butter and jelly of home electronics. They just go great together. So what type of music system do you need to host or rockin’ party for your friends?
Something that’s loud, can play throughout the entire house, is easy to control, and most importantly, lets everyone in one the action. If you’re in the market for a whole-house music system, here are a few key features to consider:
1. External amps. Between 100 and 200 watts per channel will let you keep the tunes cranked without blowing out your system.
2. High-performance speakers. Forget about measly little speakers that barely squeak out a song. Go for the big boys that can handle all the bass and volume you throw at them. Floorstanding or bookshelf models will outperform in-wall or in-ceiling units.
3. Subwoofers. Usually thought of as a component of a home theater system, subwoofers can enhance the playback of music as well.
4. Media server. You’ll want a device that can play all night long, and a media server can do just that. After burning your CD collection to the server’s hard drive, you’ll be able to keep the music going well into the night without ever having to reload a CD like you used to with your old CD changer.
5. Internet connection. A media server that can access content from the Internet is a huge party-pleaser. You’ll be able to pull songs from sites like Napster, Rhapsody and Pandora. “A great party game is ‘Stump the Napster,’” says custom electronics professional Rick Ho of London Audio in London Ontario. The rules are easy: Come up with the most obscure song or band you can think of and see if Napster can find it.
6. A friendly interface. Locating songs on your server and playing with music websites is fun and easy with the right kind of interface. A touchpanel is ideal. You’ll be able to see album covers and view information about the songs you choose—a great topic of conversation for any party. Plus, because the touchpanel simplifies the operation of your music system, your guest can play D.J. along with you.
7. Docking stations. It’s likely that a handful of guest will bring their iPods to your party. By having an iPod docking station nearby, they’ll be able to plug their songs right into your system.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.