Audio Setup Tips

So your business sounds as great as it looks

Audio Step Tips

So your business sounds as great as it looks

Your music system engages your customers’ senses

So it’s important to get it right!
The moment a customer walks into your place of business, their senses of sight, smell, touch and sound are engaged. You spend a lot of thought, time and money to create a comfortable environment for your guests with decor, furnishings, lighting, and more. But what about the sound that goes into your customer’s ears?
You don’t need a high-end “audiophile” system, but a little attention to detail and some pro tips can help you achieve great sound — balanced and comfortable — for your customers and employees to enjoy.
In many cases, a basic audio system can sourced and installed by your general contractor, low-voltage systems installer, or even on your own if you are handy with electronics. For larger, more complex systems, we recommend consulting with a commercial audio/video integrator such as Promotion Technology Group (PTG).

Your music system engages your customers’ senses

So it’s important to get it right!
The moment a customer walks into your place of business, their senses of sight, smell, touch and sound are engaged. You spend a lot of thought, time and money to create a comfortable environment for your guests with decor, furnishings, lighting, and more. But what about the sound that goes into your customer’s ears?
You don’t need a high-end “audiophile” system, but a little attention to detail and some pro tips can help you achieve great sound — balanced and comfortable — for your customers and employees to enjoy.
In many cases, a basic audio system can sourced and installed by your general contractor, low-voltage systems installer, or even on your own if you are handy with electronics. For larger, more complex systems, we recommend consulting with a commercial audio/video integrator such as Promotion Technology Group (PTG).

The Basics: What Do I Need?

While businesses often use consumer-type, home stereo equipment, Custom Channels usually recommends commercial-grade equipment designed to be reliable and withstand continuous use. A basic audio system consists of:

Speakers

These are critical pieces of hardware, as they are actually producing the sound waves that your customers hear. It’s worth it to spend a bit more on speaker quality and quantity — and ensure good placement in your store or office.

Amplifier / Receiver

This receives the music signal, controls the volume and tone, and powers the speakers. It’s the device most likely to fail in challenging environments, so investing in a reliable, commercial-grade amp can prevent headaches down the road.

Music PLayer

This is the first device in your audio flow and supplies your music. With Custom Channels, you’ll get a professional-grade streaming music player that plugs directly into your amp’s input to broadcast music to your speakers.

How many speakers, and where do they go?

Just as important as the quality of speakers is the quantity of speakers you have and where they are placed. In general, the more speakers you have, the more “even” the sound can be without having to play the music too loud from any one speaker. As a rule of thumb, plan on at least two speakers per 500 sq. ft of space. Also be sure to cover additional spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, and patios to keep the audio immersive. If music is part of your vibe, be sure to place a speaker near the front door so that customers can hear your sound the moment they enter.

Dialing in a good volume and comfort level

At Custom Channels, we “volume normalize” all of our music, so you won’t get wild swings in loudness from song-to-song. But it can still be a challenge to get the right overall music volume at all times of the day in your business. When it’s busy in your store the music needs to be louder. When the restaurant only has a few guests, the music should be lower. Consider having an audio professional install a remote volume control so your staff can easily adjust volume to suit real-time noise levels.

A Few Things to Avoid

Wireless or bluetooth speakers — These can be susceptible to interference and poor audio quality. If you need to go wireless, Custom Channels only recommends Sonos wireless speakers in a reliable Wi-Fi environment.
Home theatre audio amplifiers — These are usually unnecessarily complex with many features, buttons, knobs, and connections your business doesn’t need. And they’re difficult to troubleshoot when things go wrong.
Phones, tablets, or computers as a music source These devices produce all kinds of sounds that you don’t want customers to hear, and they’re simply not designed for business use. Not to mention the music they offer is most likely NOT licensed for play in your business.

How many speakers, and where do they go?

Just as important as the quality of speakers is the quantity of speakers you have and where they are placed. In general, the more speakers you have, the more “even” the sound can be without having to play the music too loud from any one speaker. As a rule of thumb, plan on at least two speakers per 500 sq. ft of space. Also be sure to cover additional spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, and patios to keep the audio immersive. If music is part of your vibe, be sure to place a speaker near the front door so that customers can hear your sound the moment they enter.

Dialing in a good volume and comfort level

At Custom Channels, we “volume normalize” all of our music, so you won’t get wild swings in loudness from song-to-song. But it can still be a challenge to get the right overall music volume at all times of the day in your business. When it’s busy in your store the music needs to be louder. When the restaurant only has a few guests, the music should be lower. Consider having an audio professional install a remote volume control so your staff can easily adjust volume to suit real-time noise levels.

A Few Things to Avoid

Wireless or bluetooth speakers
These can be susceptible to interference and poor audio quality. If you need to go wireless, Custom Channels only recommends Sonos wireless speakers in a reliable Wi-Fi environment.
Home theatre audio amplifiers
These are usually unnecessarily complex with many features, buttons, knobs, and connections your business doesn’t need. And they’re difficult to troubleshoot when things go wrong.
Phones, tablets, or computers as a music source
These devices produce all kinds of sounds that you don’t want customers to hear, and they’re simply not designed for business use. Not to mention the music they offer is most likely NOT licensed for play in your business.

Key Takeaways

Speakers Are Key

Invest in optimizing the quality, quantity, and location of speakers to achieve a balanced and comfortable sound throughout your business.

Monitor Your Volume

Test and note optimal volume levels for various times. Make it someone’s responsibility to adjust volume as needed to match hours and traffic.

Go Pro

Beware of consumer-grade amplifiers and wireless speakers. They can be more complicated and less reliable than commercial gear.

Keep It Secure

Place equipment in a secure area so that unauthorized personnel can’t tamper with or change the music source or audio settings.

The First Step to Great Sound is Your Music Service

Custom Channels offers solutions for whatever your business may need

ALL ACCESS

Just select and go.

60+ professionally programmed, continuously
updated, ready-to-go business channels. Styles
to fit every customer experience.

ALL ACCESS

Just select and go.

60+ professionally programmed, continuously
updated, ready-to-go business channels. Styles
to fit every customer experience.

REMIX

You can be DJ.

Our powerful, DIY platform gives your team the
tools to create your own playlists from our
expertly curated styles.

REMIX

You can be DJ.

Our powerful, DIY platform gives your team the tools to create your own playlists from our expertly curated styles.

ETHOS

Custom-built for you.

Hand-crafted channels curated exclusively for
you by our music pros to fit your aesthetic and
tone. Our most popular option!

ETHOS

Custom-built for you.

Hand-crafted channels curated exclusively for you by our music pros to fit your aesthetic and tone. Our most popular option!