The Custom Channels Blog

Audio Equipment: An Important Part Of The Sound Inside Business

Posted by Dave on February 27th, 2012

We write a lot about the importance of the right music to the vibe of stores, restaurants, and retailers – that’s our business and our passion. But another important aspect is the audio equipment on which that music is played. It’s tempting to cheap out on audio gear or installation, but doing so would be a mistake; the benefits of professional sound system design and installation will far outweigh the costs in the long run.

To make your music service sound it’s best, here are four key components of your sound system on which it’s recommended to get a pro’s advice:


Speakers are the most critical component that affects sounds quality. Not only is the type and quality of the speaker important, but so is each speaker’s placement in the restaurant or store. Regardless of how loud or soft you play your music, speakers will determine how full, rich and pleasing your audio is. Cheap speakers can sound cheap, tinny and irritating to the ear. Misplaced speakers can result in the music being too loud in some areas, and too soft or inaudible in other areas.

Speaker Placement

Take a walk through your store or restaurant at different times of the day. Is the music audible and pleasant and full, or does the music get lost in the ambient sounds of your business? Step outside and come in through the front door. Do you have a speaker at or near the front door, with clearly audible sound to set the tone the moment a customer arrives? The sound characteristics of your store or restaurant (the “acoustics”) must be taken into consideration when choosing and placing speakers.

Audio Amplifier

The amplifier pushes the sound of the music to the speakers. Our advice here is to invest in an amplifier that:

  • Has enough power to drive the speakers in your business
  • Has some basic tone controls (treble, bass)
  • Is fairly basic and easy to use and control by the staff.

Another useful feature is a volume control near the main floor or dining area (rather than just in the back of the business) so that the staff can adjust the volume of the music as necessary during the day. Too often, the volume is set when the store is quiet with few customers. Volume should be adjusted throughout the day so the music is at an appropriate level given all of the other ambient sounds.


Cabling is the wiring that connects the amplifier to the speakers through your walls and ceiling. Believe it or not, proper cabling is probably more important than the amplifier is to the overall sound of your system. A poor cabling job can result in hum and interference from other electronics (like florescent lighting), static, diminished fidelity and other audio ugliness.



A note for chains and franchises

Chains and franchise operations would be well advised to include a sound system specification into your design documents. That way, you’ll know that every location has the same type and quality of gear – and you’ll know your brand will always sound great.

Who to trust with your sound?

We can recommend audio system professionals to help your store, restaurant or business sound as good as it can! If you’re ready for a music makeover, contact Custom Channels. We specialize in custom music services for music-conscious brands. We’re employing new methods and technologies that offer larger playlists, more frequent updates, and better sound quality than many of our larger competitors.

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