With today’s smart homes, you have the power to raise and lower your blinds, set the temperature for your home, adjust the lighting, lock your doors, and even play high-fidelity music from room-to-room, all from one remote control.

Pretty sweet, right?

If you enjoy listening to music, fully integrating your sound system with your smart home can truly amplify your whole listening experience.

Why Choose High Resolution Sound

Since 1975, we’ve had a passion for audio. We’ve been exposed to a variety of music formats and performance audio systems. As a result, we’ve experienced everything from mediocre systems to well-balanced performance systems at a variety of price points. But you don’t have to be an audiophile (or work at Definitive) to experience the difference yourself.

In fact, one of our favorite things to witness is a customer’s first experience listening to high-quality music on a high-quality sound system. It’s a game changer for anyone who loves music.

Why?

High-resolution music is closest to the original recording — and the way that the artist intended for you to hear it. Low-resolution music carries less information on it and isn’t as smooth. However, low-resolution music files are easier to store on your computer and have greater portability (since you can store an MP3 file on your iPhone, but you’re probably not going to carry around your entire collection of vinyl records).

For anyone who enjoys listening to music, we’d recommend coming in to experience what high-resolution sounds like, as it’s the difference between seeing a picture of the Great Barrier Reef and snorkeling right there in the Coral Sea.

How High-Quality Sound is Engineered

There are a variety of factors that influence quality of sound, but none more so than the music source (digital or analog) and the equipment you play it on.

What’s the difference between an analog and a digital recording?

A vinyl record is an analog recording, whereas CDs and DVDs are digital. Both formats are created by a microphone turning air pressure (sound) into an electrical analog signal. From there, analog recordings are created by imprinting that signal onto a tape through magnetization or a record via grooves. The resulting product is a copy of the record you played in the 60s (or last Wednesday) or the Soundgarden mixed tape you bought in the early 90s.

A digital recording has a set bandwidth whereas an analog recording is considered unlimited. As a result, you can increase the resolution of an analog recording without losing its quality, but the same is not true for a digital recording.

Digital recordings also have a higher signal-to-noise ratio, which means that the sound is less smooth than an analog recording.

The Essentials

For the best listening experience in your smart home, equipment is the second consideration after source.

To maximize sound quality, make sure you have the essentials, including the right equipment.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Content —Choose the content you want to play, such as streaming music, CDs, or vinyl records (which are listed in order of least to greatest sound quality, depending on the streaming music service). Some streaming music services offer high-fidelity music (such as Qobuz), whereas others play compressed digital files (like the free version of Pandora). Definitive can distribute this content into any room or space through your smart home sound system.
  • Source —How will you play your music? For digital music, you might want a dedicated music server. If you’re playing CDs, you’ll need a CD player. Or, if you want to listen to vinyl records, a turntable.
  • Multi-room amplifier — Make sure you have a multi-room amplifier, which connects speakers throughout the home. It also allows you to listen to the same or different music in each room. Don’t want the equipment to be seen by guests? You can hide it in a central location, like the closet.
  • Speakers — Your speaker selection will have a big impact on the resulting sound. To decide which speakers are best, consider the design aesthetics of your home, size of the room, size of the speakers, your budget, and sound preferences. The “best” speaker is really a matter of preference — and you can test drive the options at any of our showrooms.
  • User Control — For the ultimate music listening experience,  tie into your smart automation system, such as Control4. Start your day with “Viva La Vida,” (science says this the best one to wake you up!) as you relax in bed and your shades draw back to let the sun in and your thermostat adjusts to the perfect temperature — without you having to lift a finger.

Location, Location, Location

Your music should fit seamlessly into your daily life — not the other way around. To determine where you want to play music, think about the spaces in your home and how you currently use them to listen to music. Do you like listening to your favorite playlist in your room while you get dressed for work? Or maybe you like dancing around the kitchen island while you drink your espresso in the morning. (Wouldn’t it be great if we all started our mornings like that?) At the end of the day, maybe you like to unwind in a dedicated listening room, with the lights dim and a nice glass of full-bodied cabernet in your hand. However you listen to music now, a smart home can enhance it.

Your daily activities should also guide your purchasing decisions, as it can help you determine whether you need whole house music, which lets you play different music in different rooms, or just a single system that resides in a dedicated listening room.

Recently, the trend has shifted toward whole house audio, but it all depends on how (and where) you like to listen to music, which is different for everyone.

Putting it All Together

We love reading about sound systems as much as the next music lover. But there’s nothing quite like hearing it in-person. To determine which  sound system is best and how you might enhance your whole listening experience with the addition of a smart home, stop by our Seattle, Bellevue, or Tacoma showrooms and experience it for yourself.

Our team, who is comprised entirely of music enthusiasts, has always been passionate about performance sound. And what we appreciate about smart home control most is its ability to amplify your whole listening experience.