THE PROBLEM WITH DISTRIBUTED AUDIO systems up until now is that most of them worked from a central media server. The systems could send audio throughout the house, but the homeowner couldn't initiate audio from every room.

Now, Oxmoor Corp. has Zon (pronounced Zone) Whole House Audio products, which let homeowners source audio content from anywhere and distribute it to any room in the house.

“What we like to say is that it inputs where you want them and outputs where you need them,” says Lynn McCroskey, Oxmoor's president and CEO.

Oxmoor features the team that developed sound for Imax Corp. Zon was conceptualized in 2002 to bring Imax-level audio quality to a broader set of consumers. Products started shipping in 2003. The core product consists of a 60-watt controller, an input module, and a router. The controllers and input modules get dispersed throughout the house, and the router gets placed in a basement wiring closet. The 60-watt product also features a whole-house paging system and baby monitor.

ZON IN: The Zon audio system lets homeowners initiate audio from any room in the house.
ZON IN: The Zon audio system lets homeowners initiate audio from any room in the house.

McCroskey highlights four important points for builders:

  • It is simple to install. The Zon system can be installed by an electrician. All the installer needs to know is how to terminate an Internet cable and connect loudspeakers.
  • It runs like a computer network. Because the system is all digital, it runs like a computer network without the configuration complexities.
  • It is an affordable price. Builders should figure on spending roughly $1,000 per room. The price to install in the system in four rooms with wires and labor would run about $4,500. With Oxmoor's new 30-watt controller, home buyers can opt to save money and buy systems that can distribute audio in every room but don't have the whole-house paging system.
  • It has marketing support. Builder training and model home programs are available.