What Is a Multi-Room Amplifier?

G. Wiesen

A multi-room amplifier is an electronic device that typically functions as both an audio amplifier or amp and a splitter that allows someone to connect multiple setups to a single system. One of the most important functions of this device is the amplification of an audio signal from a receiver or other source, which is boosted as it is sent to the speakers in multiple rooms. A multi-room amplifier can also be used as a signal splitter or switch, allowing a listener to connect different speaker setups in separate rooms to a single hub, the amp, and then choose the speakers to which the signal is sent.

A multi-room amplifier allows for the connection of multiple speaker setups to one system.
A multi-room amplifier allows for the connection of multiple speaker setups to one system.

The basic function and purpose of a multi-room amplifier is two-fold: it boosts the audio signal passing through it, and it allows someone to connect multiple speaker setups to one system. Signal boosting is important since audio may be fairly weak coming out of some types of devices. A radio receiver, for example, may not have an amplifier built into it, which means that audio signals passing from it to connected speakers can be rather weak. Other devices, such as media players and televisions, can also have a weak audio signal, which needs to be boosted by an amp.

Musicians may benefit from multi-room amplifiers.
Musicians may benefit from multi-room amplifiers.

By using a multi-room amplifier, a listener is able to increase the strength of a signal being sent to speakers in multiple rooms. This allows those speakers to play the audio at a higher volume and ensures that the sound quality from them is high. Different models of amps can provide listeners with a fairly wide range of audio signal levels, depending on the specifications of each one. A listener may even be able to choose from different settings on a multi-room amplifier to adjust the power of the signal sent to the speakers.

The other primary purpose of a multi-room amplifier is the role it can play as a splitter or switch for audio signals sent to multiple speakers. A listener can set up a single system, with one audio receiver or media player, which is connected to the amp. There are different models of multi-zone or multi-room amplifier that a person can choose from, which each one have a certain number of connections for speakers.

Different speaker setups can then be attached to each connection on the amp. A listener is typically able to choose which setup the audio signal is sent to from the multi-room amplifier. This allows a listener to have a receiver in one room that connects to speakers in multiple rooms throughout a house. Someone can start listening to a song in a living room, continue listening to it in a bedroom, and then ultimately move outside as the signal is sent to outdoor speakers connected to the amp.

Televisions may be hooked up to multi-room amplifiers for greater sound.
Televisions may be hooked up to multi-room amplifiers for greater sound.

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Discussion Comments


The problem might also be with your power supply. You need to check if the current is steady. If the current fluctuates then your problem is with your voltage supply. The power companies usually don't deal with this issue but you can buy a power conditioner which will regulate the voltage coming into the amp. They can range from around $100 to $10000 depending on how much you want to spend.

@Warhawk, as with anything the solution depends on the problem. You'll have to figure out if its the amp itself, the outlet, or the connections that are causing your hiss.

First plug the amp into an outlet without any microphones,instruments or any other attachments. It might also help to unplug all electronics from other outlets to help isolate the problem. If the hissing stops then its your connections. If it doesn't then the problem is probably with your outlet.

If the problem continues, try the amp in an outlet at a friends house in a different neighborhood. If it stops then the problem is with your outlet itself. It could by worn out or wired backwards


My amplifier has had a continual high pitched hiss for about a month now. Is it just worn out and needs replacing or can I fix it myself?

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