NAD vs Control4 in whole house audio?

I am designing a whole house audio system and was leaning towards NAD, either a set of NAD 720’s or combo of 580/980s. My dealer is pushing me towards a Control4 system. We will have a lighting system, alarm, and thermostat, so there are some home automation reasons for the C4.

But strictly from a music and Roon standpoint, how would people compare the audio in NAD vs C4 with Roon.

Thanks!
Rob.

Hi RobOK,

I’m not quite sure I get your question. It’s a bit apples and oranges.

I’m also looking into Control4 as I have a friend who is a home automation integrator.

It’s true that you can use Control4 as the software interface to control BluOS devices, or Roon Nucleus, but that’s what it is… a control interface. They do sell some hardware and amps of their own, but I’m not really sure the purpose of buying their rebranded stuff when you could buy true audio hardware (NAD, BluOS, Sonos, etc) and then have Control4 control it if you want.

The audio quality would almost certainly be better on any of the above. And you would have redundancy in how you control the audio… you could use for example, the BluOS app, the Control4 app, or Roon.

That’s the way I’m leaning… get Control4 to control the home… set inputs on the stereo etc… but once the stereo is on and set the way I want (using Control4’s home integration), then I’d likely switch apps and control the music with Roon.

Thanks Adam, I was thinking C4 sold amps when I wrote this post. I think they have given that over to Triad (which they own). So what I was trying to get at is how good are the Triad amps vs. NAD gear?

I am leaning against C4 still. I don’t have that many things to control and using the Lutron app and security app is not that big a deal for me. C4 owners can chime in!

I hear you Rob.

I can’t objectively answer Triad vs NAD, but one is a well known (arguably) audiophile grade consumer electronics company and the other is a relatively unknown spin-out hardware company from a home integration company.

I know which way I would bet!

Regarding the C4 integration… I’m still on the fence myself and I already have 40+ devices that could use some control. At the moment I’m using Roon (when I’m going to sit and listen), BluOS (when I’m in a hurry, since Roon-Bluesound devices don’t always play nice on my network), and then Homekit for pretty much everything else. I have Harmony remotes, but don’t find myself needing to use them that often since my Home Theater is basically AppleTV vs Playstation and I can easily switch an input when I pick up the remote/gamepad.

My plan is to try Hoobs/Homekit integration before dropping the coin on Control4.

I have a slight bias against these old-skool integrators, since they have been so “closed” (expecting you to buy Triad stuff for example), but I do understand in the old days that was out of necessity and Control4 have been the most “open” of the bunch… ultimately they have a product to sell too, so I get that.

but my bias comes in the form that: if 90% of my house can already be controlled by one app or another, how much value is there really in a better, more integrated, single app GUI? Shouldn’t that just be a $5 purchase on the App Store for the slick software to bring it together and play nice?

I know I’m oversimplifying… and will let you know if my HOOBS experiment comes out positively.

Adam and others,

You might be interested in Josh.ai. While it comes off as voice activated I think it has a strong scripting tool.

Thanks RobOK…

I have a buddy who is a home integrator and he’s been trying to convince me to go the Josh+Control4 route, but I haven’t been able to get over the cost.

For the moment I’m experimenting with Harmony Bridge since I already have Harmony Hubs and by using my hubs I can get my Home Theater to be integrated into Homekit/Siri. Since Harmony can do anything that is IR or Wifi triggered, it essentially allows me to integrate everything that isn’t Homekit into my automations and scenes.

I do like the Josh privacy attitudes, but… and I may be entirely naive, I feel like Apple is already a decent step up and away from Alexa.

I also didn’t get the sense that Josh was going to be able to integrate “dumb” devices like the IR-triggered devices in my relatively modern home theater (eg screen, Anthem amp, etc). So I’d still be stuck paying for Control4 hardware too.

A $5 app to “homekit-ify” my Harmony Hubs (and everything they control) seemed a no-brainer starting point. Will report back when I have it all working smoothly (including some BluOS playlists integrated into my scenes).

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Similar experience here. For me the conclusion is that instead of expensive home automation compatible hardware, I’m better of with Roon and/or Bluesound app plus several BluOS endpoints to just control the audio than to insist on the full integration. Nowadays to switch between app’s in Android is a matter of a simple swipe anyway.

What BluOS endpoints are you going with? NAD plus ceiling speakers?

Using a mix of BlueSound devices. Vault , Pulse and several Powernodes. Had a look at the NAD CI720 v2 as well but I don’t like cooling fans inside amplifiers and am instead sticking to the powernode 2’s which have more than enough punch for smaller and medium sized rooms. Just finished a little microcontroller project where I script BluOS API commands in response to switch state changes. This way the home automation integrator can just use a KNX relay to trigger audio events. This also includes multiple volume commands to emulate fade-in / fade-out, playlist selection etc…
I might work on something similar for the Roon API f.e. in combination with Ropiee + HifiBerry Amp2. In any case I’m planning to try that combination soon to see if a simple low cost solution is comparable to the BlueSound performance.