Multi-room/Multi-source: the differences

When you want to listen to different audio sources (tuner, CD, MP3, …) in different rooms at the same time, you will need a power amplifier for every room (or better: 'audio zone'). This is called a 'multi source – multi room' system. If you always have the same source in the different rooms at the same time, this is called a 'multi room' system. The difference between these two kinds of audio installations is shown in figure below.
Today there are several power amplifiers with built-in audio sources. In small tower systems you have all common sources built-in, but even some higher range power amplifiers may have a built in radio tuner or hard disk. The most important and typical feature of such systems, is that the built-in sources are not to be shared with other power amplifiers. You can find a comparing illustration in figure 5.
Depending on the requirements of the user and the available budget, there is to be chosen for internal, external or a mix of internal/external audio sources.

Remark: The tuner is a typical source where different persons listen to different broadcasting stations at the same time. That is why it is particularly interesting to have several tuner sources available at the same time. A good combination is to have every power Amplifier (for every audio zone or room) equipped with a built-in tuner. This kind of amplifier/tuner combination is easy to find and available at most of the brands.

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