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Choosing Auxiliary Speakers

In most whole-house systems, the biggest expense is the speakers for each of the auxiliary listening rooms. Depending on the type of listening you do, you can spend anywhere from a hundred dollars to a thousand dollars per room, just on the speakers!

Many people like the aesthetics of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers that mount flush to the wall or ceiling, effectively becoming invisible to the casual observer. Most flush-mounted speakers let you paint over the surface of the speaker grill, to better blend in the speaker with its surroundings.

A wide variety of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are available. You can find low-priced models best suited for background listening, or expensive models with the full frequency response you need for critical listening. Decide what type of listening you intend to do in each room, and budget accordingly.

Another option for relatively unobtrusive speakers is an on-wall (bracket-mounted) system. The most popular are the small cube-type speakers, popularized by Bose, that tuck away into a corner or against a wall. These speakers can deliver surprisingly good sound, although they may not be the best choice for critical listening.

For critical listening, invest in the same type of speakers you use in your main listening room. Whether you choose floorstanding or bookshelf speakers is entirely up to you; the goal is to use speakers that deliver the full range of frequency response. You may even want to supplement these speakers with a separate subwoofer, although that option requires running a separate subwoofer cable from your main room to the auxiliary room.

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