Monday, November 7, 2011

Custom Integrator Creates A Stealth Whole-House Audio System Using Niles In-Wall And Rock Speakers

When designing a whole-house audio system for a 14,000 square foot residence, many integrators use a mishmash of different speakers from several manufacturers, each with different characteristics, abilities and styling, resulting in an inconsistent listening experience and design aesthetic from room to room. Mike Flanagan of Overland Park, Kansas-based Home Systems by Design believes in giving his clients a consistent high fidelity audio experience with components that can be hidden from view, which is why he chose to outfit this 14,000 square foot, 16-audio zone home with 72 Niles® in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor rock speakers.

Most of the home’s speakers are from the Niles ceiling-mount DS series, which was introduced in 2001 and features Niles’ patented Directed Soundfield technology. This unique technology resolves architectural issues such as cathedral or vaulted ceilings, alignment with in–ceiling lighting, or a plasma display over a fireplace that leaves no space for a center channel speaker. They are perfect for home theater environments and surround sound systems, and they also perform very well in whole-house distributed music applications. Their flexibility enables installers to direct the sound where it needs to go to achieve optimal acoustic performance.

“I have been selling and installing Niles speakers since they entered the residential market more than 30 years ago, and I have never received a single complaint,” said Flanagan. “The superb sound quality keeps the men happy, and the fact that Niles in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are nearly invisible makes the women even happier! And the DS series speakers give the homeowners the best surround sound experience possible with ceiling-mount speakers, which no other manufacturer can match.”

The gem of this system is the media room, which features a 180” 2.35:1 Stewart Filmscreen, a Sim2 LED projector, nine Niles Stagefront speakers and two 15-inch subwoofers, with all the speakers hidden behind paneling—a completely invisible 11-speaker surround sound system! The media room has 12 motorized leather recliners and a full bar in the rear with additional seating for four. It is the ultimate room for hosting parties or fundraisers, which the homeowners plan to do. Home Systems by Design even set up the video system so what is playing in the theater can be rebroadcast throughout the whole house, making it perfect for showing house-wide messaging during the fundraisers.

According to the homeowner, “Home Systems by Design really came through for us and gave us exactly what we wanted. The audio system sounds great throughout the whole house, especially in the theater, and you’d be hard pressed to point out every speaker because they blend into the walls and ceilings so well. When we watch a movie in the media room it really feels like we are at the movies, which is amazing.”

There are 13 flat screen TVs throughout the home, four with surround sound systems, and they can all play content from six DSS receivers, three Apple Mac Minis, two cable boxes and a 400-disc Blu-ray changer. There are also three local Blu-ray players.

The ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System is also integrated with the home’s LiteTouch lighting system, security system and 10-camera surveillance system are also integrated with the ELAN g! system, giving the family total control over their living environment. The homeowners can be access and control the system through seven ELAN TS7 7” touch screens, seven ELAN HR2 remotes, four iPads and two iPhones.

Home Systems By Design builds custom home audio/video and home control systems to meet their customer’s exact needs and budgets. Since opening in 1992, they have worked with a large network of builders in the Kansas City, Kansas Metro Area and come so highly recommended that they get nearly 85 percent of their business from customer referrals. For more information, please visit

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