With these whole-house audio setups to choose from, how can you not make beautiful music? We look at different system features.
Background Music for an Open Floorplan
The Affordable Solution
Big Family, Big House
The Party Pad
The Internet Junkie
Let the Kids Play
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Slide 4 of 6
The Party Pad

Music and parties are the peanut butter and jelly of home electronics; they go great together. There’s no better crowd-pleaser than a system that’s easy to hear over the hoopla and lets your guests play DJ. Even if you don’t entertain often, it’s good to be prepared when you do, says Rick Ho of London Audio in London, Ontario. “The volume of a big-bash system can always be turned down, but with a less powerful system you can only crank the dial to the right so far before something bad happens.” For this reason, he recommends beefing up a 6-zone audio distribution system with external amplifiers (100 to 200 watts per channel) and high-performance speakers that can handle heavy bass. Be sure to position the speakers so that there are no dead spots.
To get everyone involved in the music, choose a media server that not only holds your CDs and MP3s on its hard drive, but that connects to Internet music services like Napster, Rhapsody and Pandora. “A great party game is ‘Stump the Napster,’” says Ho. The rules are easy: Come up with the most obscure song or band you can think of, and see if Napster can find it.
Complement the server with a large wireless touchpanel that will let your friends and family view all the data Napster dug up.

Approximate cost (including equipment and labor): $13,000

Media server: Sonos ZP120 amplified zone players (six total, one for each zone)
Speakers: Tannoy CVS6 (one pair in each listening zone)
Portable touchpanel-style interface: Sonos CR100 (one for each listening zone)

Read more: Get Into the Groove: 6 Multiroom Audio Systems