Design pros spend so much time planning how a home will look and function that they can be forgiven for overlooking how it will sound. Thankfully, advancements in technology make it easy to integrate audio equipment seamlessly throughout a home — it just takes a little planning ahead.

Architects who account for speaker placement and wiring during the design and construction phases can raise the value of their projects by creating immersive audio experiences for buyers desiring the latest smart-home features. Done correctly, a whole-home audio system can be another wow factor to help builders differentiate their products from the competition.

Research has shown that people who listen to music share more quality time together, show more affection towards one another, and are more productive. Having audio throughout a home is not only appealing to an owner, it can be a huge benefit when a new home is for sale. Creating a warm and positive environment during the showing process can increase desirability with potential buyers, helping them create an immediate emotional connection to the space.

Here’s how to make showcase audio in your homes:

1. Sound it out: Just as you’d plan a series of recessed lights for optimal illumination, thinking about speaker placement in walls and ceilings can enhance audio quality. During the design phase, you should consider a room’s size, shape, and acoustics to ensure equal sound distribution. “Waiting until the home is move-in ready dramatically decreases your options for audio/video placement,” says Matthew Nelson, senior product manager at Sonos. “It’s much simpler and cost effective to run wiring for audio, data, and power before drywall or other permanent fixtures are installed, whether that’s for architectural speakers or even mounting TVs.” This is especially true if the space has a ceiling complicated by architectural elements or a home without an attic or crawlspace.

2. Disguise your decibels: The old home entertainment centers that housed all that unsightly audio and video equipment have, thankfully, gone the way of the VHS. These days, minimalism is in. Just as TVs have slimmed down, speakers and amps have assumed lower profiles, too. Architectural speakers with grilles painted to match the wall or ceiling can be mounted flush, so they’re heard and not seen. Likewise, amps and other controls can be tucked away. The benefit of planning ahead is that you can create nooks and crannies where equipment can be discreetly stashed.

3. Get in the zone: With the help of a professional audio integrator (that’s a specialist who specs and installs audio equipment), designers can identify spaces or zones served by the same audio source. Take the primary bedroom, for example, with a large walk-in closet and bathroom. You can specify the types of speakers and placement to ensure each adjoining room has optimal sound. It could also be configured so that each room has a designated volume control. Zoning is especially important in a large house where audio equipment might span from end to end. “This way, wiring can be organized and routed most efficiently to the planned location where the A/V equipment is placed,” Nelson advises.

4. Future-proof for add-ons: If budget constraints don’t allow for speakers today, you can still wire for speakers tomorrow. Just as you would pre-wire with CAT cables, equipping homebuyers with a wired network for all their devices, you can pre-wire audio equipment. Then it’s just a matter of cutting a few holes to connect the wires to the speakers and amps. “This small extra step saves a lot of headaches and costs down the road, especially when dealing with a structure where the décor is already finished,” Nelson says. It’s also important to consider what types of products are being considered for installation. Technology advances quickly, and what’s new today can be outdated tomorrow. Selecting audio hardware that also has a software component (like an app) means that the manufacturer can send regular updates and features to ensure that your investment is performing its best.

5. Overcome audio obstacles: Ceiling height, room shape and layout, window size and placement, furniture, and even the type of flooring all affect acoustics. But that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice design for better sound. On the contrary: Sonos speakers featuring Trueplay tuning technology, which measures how sound interacts with walls, furnishings, and other surfaces and uses this information to deliver a better audio experience. “Of course, optimal speaker placement is always recommended, but Trueplay further fine-tunes the system to the space,” Nelson says.

Imagine giving potential buyers a tour of a home with music following them throughout. They’d never miss a beat, thanks to thoughtful sound design. Sonos speakers can be controlled via mobile devices and also integrate with other smart-home solutions, ensuring everything works together.

Sonos invented multi-room wireless home audio and is globally recognized for delivering an unparalleled sound experience, smart design, and simplicity of use. Builders can learn more here.