A few years ago I was tasked with with implementing a solution for a home audio system that was easy to install, easy to use, and fairly hassle free.
I ended up going with a solution by Sonos (www.sonos.com). I was amazed at the simplicity and great features this provided.
You have the ability to implement different “Zones”. These zones can be based on room (e.g. living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom). Each zoneplayer when purchased could be either an amplifier (i.e. it can power its own speakers) or non amplified such that you connect it to an existing stereo.
From the great remote control provided or even using an app for iPods, you can control what is playing in each zone (they can all be different), group zones together, and adjust the volumes for each.
There is a massive amount of free Internet radio stadios on just about any genre you could want available along with pointing to your own music collection. You could even source a stereo in one of your zones to be the audio feed for your home audio system.
The system is so easy to work with that you can just pack it up, bring it somewhere else, and within minutes you are back up and running.
I was reading a magazine recently and discovered another potential solution. The AudioBulb (www.giinii.com). This solution is a lot more affordable than Sonos and probably even easier to install. All you have to do is screw in these light bulbs which have built in speakers, place your iPod in the supplied dock, and away you go. You can have up to 8 of these audio bulbs in your system. I haven’t had the chance to try out this solution but it would definitely be a strong contender if I had to implement another solution.
The purposes of implementing these audio solutions was to have light background music in many different rooms. It is not a replacement for your main stereo. Something great to consider especially if you like to entertain.
What is your favorite sound system?