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High-End Audio: 5 Characteristics to Look For in a Premium Speaker

There can be a discernible divide in the audiophile world between those enthralled by the art of high-end audio and those that immerse themselves in the science of it. Some people want to know all about the process that goes into a speaker. What materials were chosen? How were the drivers placed within the enclosure? Others focus on listening to various models to see which sounds best. Ultimately the goal is the same: powerful, clean sound. In this blog, we explore the details that go into a high-performance speaker. If you’d rather hear it to believe it, contact us to schedule a test drive of our top loudspeakers.

SEE MORE: Create the Perfect Atmosphere for High-End Audio

Using the Right Material

One of the biggest variations between speakers has to do with the materials being used to reduce the amount of flexing allowed by cones within the drivers. The more flexing, the more distortion, so manufacturers look to use lightweight, but rigid materials. This same kind of mentality goes into designing speaker tweeters. Some manufacturers use glass or clay while high-end ones have even gone as far as using Kevlar, diamond, or beryllium in their speakers.

Designing the Right Enclosure
Another thing that can directly affect sound quality is the amount of reverberations within a speaker cabinet, which can result in external noise that colors the sound. Two things go into designing your enclosure, giving it the right shape and having the right layout within it. The enclosure needs to be tight enough to brace the driver without being too tight for sound waves to make it through. Drivers need to be expertly placed to allow for clear, unobstructed communication.

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Why You Should Use Control4 in Your New Construction

Real estate trends are shifting in favor of tech-savvy solutions that give homeowners unprecedented control over their property. A recent study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC found that 44 percent of homeowners want a move-in ready smart home. What’s the best way for builders in the Wilmette, IL area to keep up with this growing demand for smart technology? They can partner with their local Control4 dealer who will work with them during the construction process to lay the framework for a custom smart home solution.

SEE MORE: Why You Should Hire a Professional to Install Your Smart Technology

Clients Are Expecting Homes With Custom Solutions

When it comes to smart technology, expectations may vary widely from project to project. Some clients may simply want surveillance cameras they can monitor remotely. Others want a fully integrated solution that gives them intuitive control of lights, entertainment, climate, security and more. Our Control4 systems range from 1-room to whole house options so homeowners can choose whichever fits their distinct needs. With our initial wiring installation, it's easy for them to expand in the future if they want to add new technology to their smart home system.

Help Create a Foundation for the Future 

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How to Boost the Holiday Season with Whole House Audio

The holiday season has finally arrived! Everyone’s ready to come to your Highland, Park IL home to celebrate, so what are you doing to prepare? Start off with some late spring cleaning and much-needed decorations. Then why not add some music to set the right ambiance? Through your whole house audio system, it's easy to get the party going with the right music selection. Keep reading to see how your home audio can get you through the holiday season.

SEE MORE: 5 Great Speaker Options for Your Whole House Audio

Get the Holiday Spirit Going

From a tap on your dedicated touchpad or smartphone, you can get your favorite Christmas carols playing throughout your home in a matter of seconds. Your whole house audio system gives you centralized control of all your favorite music. What does this mean when it comes to getting the ultimate holiday playlist going?

For one, it’s easy to choose from different audio sources. Start off with some of your favorite Christmas albums playing on the turntable then switch over to your “White Christmas” Pandora station. Once you know the music you want to play, it’s time to choose where you want it to go. You can have it play in just your dedicated game room or throughout your home.

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How to Resolve Common Home Theater Design Mistakes

Home theater design is all about creating the perfect environment for the images and sounds from your favorite movies to flourish. Every little corner of the room is taken into account to make sure your speakers, screens, and projector are given the necessary space to shine. When we're brought in on retrofit jobs to fix old DIY home theaters, we often come upon the same design mistakes that can result in blurred images, muffled sound and an uncomfortable viewing experience. Below we go over some of these common challenges and how we can help you overcome them.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

1. Uncomfortable Seating Arrangements

As you begin work on your home theater system, you need to figure out how you want to use it. Will it be primarily used by the family? Then a communal couch where everyone can huddle together under a blanket may be the best option. If you’re going to use it with friends, it may be more comfortable if everyone has their own leather recliner. If you don’t consider this from the start, you may end up with an awkward arrangement that ruins the viewing experience.

2. Fitting All the Necessary Speakers

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How Home Automation Makes Winter More Manageable

Making the winter bearable in Lake Forest, IL is all about being well prepared. Everyone knows to don a few more layers of clothes when they leave the house and makes sure their cars have the necessary snow tires. Now you can also use your home automation system to prepare your household for any weather. Through intuitive control of your technology, it’s easier to keep your family safe, comfortable and entertained this winter. A smart home helps you get through the dipping temperatures and darkening days with the following features:

SEE MORE: Host the Perfect Holiday Party With Smart Control

Stay Safe with Smart Lighting Solutions

Now that the days are getting darker, it's important to make sure your home is well-lit at all times. Schedule your lights to turn on as soon as the sun sets and turn off once the sun rises. You can also have lights linked to photo sensors to make sure landscape lighting is on as needed during inclement weather; photo sensors ensure artificial lights only go down when there's sufficient natural light available.

Snow, sleet, and ice can cause even the most experienced of Chicagoland residents to have nasty falls. Diminish the risks by having pathway lights on all the main walkways. Install motion sensors at the start of walkways so they light up as you walk past, making it easier for you to see if there are any wet patches up ahead.

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3 Best Features of the New Control4 Software Update

You can experience further integration, control, and customization with the latest Control4 O.S. 2.9 software. Whether you want to personalize your user interface, add your preferred smart devices or literally tell your system what to do, it’s all possible with the home automation company’s latest upgrade. As your local Control4 dealers in Barrington, IL, we’d like to show you some of the coolest features revealed earlier this year at CEDIA 2016.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Integration with Alexa Voice Control

Since it hit the mainstream market with a pair of Super Bowl commercials earlier this year, Amazon’s Alexa has become one of the most popular systems in the smart home market. Through voice commands, you can turn devices on and off or ask questions just like you would Siri on your iPhone. Now you can use those same voice commands in your home automation system.

Clients can access individual devices that are compatible with Amazon. Tell the lights to dim down or the thermostat to lower a few degrees. The coolest thing about the latest integration, though, is the ability to activate your Control4 smart scenes to manage multiple components at once. Say “Party On” and the lights change color and your pre-planned playlist begins playing.

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Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Home Audio?

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Home Audio?

As technology continues to evolve from the radio to today’s streaming devices, one thing has remained constant: no form of entertainment is more beneficial to your family than music. A combined study done by Sonos and Apple earlier this year found that families that listen to music are happier and spend more time together. Maybe that's why whole house audio solutions are some of the most popular in the smart technology market, even above security and custom theaters. Which is why it’s so important you have a system in place in your Winnetka, IL home that offers high-quality audio and convenient control.  

SEE MORE: 5 Great Speaker Options for Your Whole House Audio

Easy Control of Entertainment

The digital music era has made it easier than ever to find the music you want within a matter of seconds. Through media libraries or streaming services, you can have thousands of songs at your disposal on your desktop, laptop or tablet. Where many families are still falling behind is getting that music to play in high quality throughout their homes. Without an easy way to send those songs to their speakers, they’re stuck playing music on their mobile devices.

Whole house audio offers a comprehensive solution to this problem. We place all your speakers and source components under the same intuitive user interface. Using the control device of your choice—a touchpad, smartphone or tablet—you can choose the song you want and play it anywhere even if you're not in the same room. You can even select all your home's speakers at once, immediately filling your entire space with music. 

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What is the Best Location for Your Home Theater?

What is the Best Location for Your Home Theater?

When it comes to home theater design, like in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. All of your high-end equipment needs the right environment to thrive in your Barrington, IL home. From the type of flooring to the room dimensions, the space you choose will all affect the quality of the sound and images as well as the kind of equipment you’ll need. Read on to see the room characteristics that could affect your theater’s performance: 

SEE MORE: What is the Best Surround Sound Setup for Your Home Theater?

Size:  There's no rule as to how big a room has to be. As with most entertainment spaces, you want to strike a delicate balance: if a room is too big it may be hard to hear well and see images clearly while a small one will be cluttered and likely lead to muffled sound.

Room Dimensions: Your room’s dimensions are much more important than its size. You want to make sure you’re not placing your theater in a square room as that will lead to distorted sound and an awkward home theater design. For one, choosing the size of your screen will not only come down to whether it fits in the room. You also have to be able to sit far enough from it to view the screen comfortably while leaving space for all the rows of seats that you want.

Windows: Ideally, you want your theater in a room that has no windows to eliminate ambient lighting. If you have no choice, we can install blackout shades that can reduce the amount of light entering the room. We can also give you smart control of those shades, so you can use your universal remote to open and close them instead of having to get up from your seat.

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3 Ways Smart Home Technology Gives You Hands-Off Control

3 Ways Smart Home Technology Gives You Hands-Off Control

Do you want to add a touch of luxury to your technology? Switching from remotes to elegant touchpads is the first step, but what if your home automation system went even further? Allow yourself more freedom and efficiency with hands-off control. We can create a custom solution that takes advantage of sensors, scheduled scenes and voice control to make life easier in your Wilmette, Illinois home. Read on to find out how each of these features contributes to your smart home. 

SEE MORE: 7 Ways to Go Green With Smart Home Technology

Sensors

How many times have you found yourself having to walk back to a room after realizing you left the light on? Eliminate the problem entirely by installing occupancy sensors in every room. Lights will turn on when you walk in then turn off after the room has been unoccupied for some time. You can also have certain appliances or electronics automatically turn off in unused rooms. In your outdoor spaces, get better surveillance footage by having lights turn on as soon as unwanted activity is detected. Have walkways light up as you walk past to eliminate tripping hazards.

The other type of sensors you should include in your home automation system are photo sensors. These sensors are placed on windows and react to the amount of natural light available. Help your thermostat cool down by having shades automatically close when hit by direct sunlight. You can also save energy by having artificial lights turn off when natural light is available.

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How Control4 Lets You Stick With the Brands You Love

One of the perks of using a Control4 dealer for your smart home needs is that your system can be custom-designed to include what matters most to you. You can choose to include lighting, security, AV, climate control, and more depending on your family’s needs. You can also decide how you want to incorporate that technology into your Lake Forest, IL home. While Control4 offers most of the software and hardware (from speakers to thermostats) needed for your smart home, it also gives you the opportunity to work with the brands you’ve come to love.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at the Control4 EA Series

What Companies Are Compatible With Control4?

Since the company was founded in 2003, Control4 has expanded its list of industry partners every year. They now work with the top brands in the HVAC, audio, video, and security industries to offer smart home solutions that include the best technology in the world. Among the official Control4 partners are Sony, Amazon, Lutron, Apple, McIntosh, and Nest. Anyone that wants to become a certified partner, can inquire on the company’s website.

How Does Control4 Make Partners Compatible?

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Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200

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Stay up to date on the latest smart technology ideas and innovations.

Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200