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Smart home audio systems explained.

Whole house audio has become easy. The cornerstone of modern audio system is the DAC (digital analogue converter). The DAC will convert an audio stream from a computer (such as a Spotify account) into an audio output. As well as the DAC an audio system needs speakers and an amplifier. These three components may be packaged together into one unit (such as a Sonos Play) or split into 3 separate units. Normally, for building installation the DAC and the amplifier are located in a central accessible location and the speakers are in the walls or ceiling of the room.

Which smart home audio system should I use?

From here it is your choice depending on budget and required user experience. Generally the older units work with the audio stream coming into device (normally the DAC) and the user also logging onto the device to control the audio stream. This is how Sonos and the open source Squeezebox server work. The disadvantage to this system is that if you are limited to listing to audio sources that your chosen device accepts.

The alternative is the approach taken by Google Chromecast. This works by playing ('casting') anything you are listening on your mobile onto the local DAC. This means you can listen to any content you can get on your phone and benefit from the phones app which is designed for the audio source such as Spotify or the BBC iplayer.

The simplicity of smart home audio

It also means that as you take the audio source (phone) with you, there is no need to find your current location on the track as you move device. Say you are listing to a story while in the car, go for a run with headphones and then walk into the kitchen. You can have play continuing from one device to another.

Atamate does not try to reinvent audio. Our approach is to only add value where we can and in the case of Audio the use of the Haze is very popular as it gives immediate local control without having to resort to a phone or a tablet. It is also possible to add audio to both presets and the calendar.




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