How To Work with a Custom A/V Automation Installer


How To Work with a Custom A/V Automation Installer

When it comes to home audio, you’ll always have those who settle for a simple stereo, but those aren’t the kind of customers we reach. We deliver best in class tech, and the very best service, to all of Chicagoland. But there are some good things to keep in mind, regardless of your installer.

Custom Doesn’t Mean “Expensive”

While some people are installing fantastic entertainment systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, theres plenty of middle ground below that, with amazing quality. These days, you can get a an a/v system custom built for your house and your needs, for considerably less. Especially since flat panel pricing has plummeted so drastically, audio products themselves have become cheaper with increased production and competition, especially with new wireless technologies like Sonos, Alexa, PlayFi, Bluesound, and HEOS, being introduced seemingly daily.

Do Your Homework and Know the Limit

If you’re building or remodeling, get an installer involved as early as possible, but definitely before the drywalling. Bring your blueprints, your electrical plans, and any relevant cabinetry / furniture schematics. Know what you want this system to be capable of, and know your overall project budget. Have a realistic expectation of the system you can afford for your budget. You also need to factor in additional costs like labor, cabling, mounts, and a control system. By telling the installer your wants — Alexa integration, audio in four rooms, home theater in the den, robust Wi-Fi network, surround sound with a 55-inch TV, etc. — along with your budget, they will be able to design the best-performing system to meet your goals.

Be open

The installer will likely offer some ideas you hadn’t considered. Partly because they’re aware of possibilities you aren’t and also because they continually interact with people both design and live with tech. Take their input as more than just another sales pitch, we want you to have the best experience, and when we have a good idea for you, we are going to tell you about it.

Relationships and Trust.

Choosing a custom installer is about creating a relationship, often a very long one. We have many clients we’ve worked with for well over 15 years. So make sure you’re comfortable with the installer you select. Things like how long they’ve been in business, references from past clients, and how quickly they respond to phone calls can foreshadow your experience with them. If you don’t feel like you can trust them completely, Toss him back, that is not the installer for you.

What the Custom Installer Offers You

You COULD do it yourself, but it would likely lead to several weekends of lost time, a rats nest of wires, poor performance, ugly layout, bad fittings, and probably way too many holes in the wall. A true custom installer like EOC can deliver a well-designed, -installed, and -integrated system that’s easy to use and enjoy. Gone are the pile of remotes, you’ll never have to wonder if your system is set up correctly and operating like it should. Or if its going to start the house on fire. Furthermore, a good installer stands by his work. If should you run into any issues, you’ll have someone to reach out to for a quick fix. EOC Audio is there for you, whenever you need us.


Turn Your Old Home into a Smart Home


Turn Your Old Home into a Smart Home

Converting Your Old Home into a Smart Home

Old Victorian, framed two flats, and classic brownstones and  homes and other older houses are popular in Chicago, but they often don’t include the wiring and technology you find in a new home. But it’s easier than ever to outfit your older house with smart home technology. Home automation can increase efficiency and make managing your household much easier.

There are huge benefits to having a smart home in Chicago. Control almost every aspect of your home experience, including utilities, safety, and entertainment through an integrated interface. Instead of going from room to room making sure everything is perfect, give it a look using your tablet, smartphone, PC, or us a home assistant.

Home Assistants

There are three current leaders that get the most use in smart home setups.

  1. Amazon’s Alexa probably the most developed assistant, works with the Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, All of Amazons other echo products. Not to mention an early jump with third party IOT producers and developers.

  2. Google’s Home assistant works with Google Home and Android smart products, also growing rapidly, with all of the power of Google behind it.

  3. Apple’s Siri works with iPhones, iPads, Apple TV and the Apple watch. Along with Apples new standalone speaker, the Homepod

The three assistants have their strengths and weaknesses, and it ultimately comes down to which one best fits your budget, the number of units necessary, and your specific needs. Make sure whichever one you choose is compatible with the technology products you already have. Contact EOC Audio  if you need help deciding.

Smart Lighting

You can turn lights off or on (or even dim them) to a certain level using your smart home technology. Some lights require a special connecting device to integrate them with your home assistant, but others come with WiFi technology built right in. It’s a fun feature and makes for a more efficient home.

Other Smart Appliances

Just like you can control your lighting, you can control almost any appliance you would possibly need. There are smart heating and cooling systems so you can adjust your temperature from afar at any time. If you are worried you forgot to lock your door before vacation, you can check your smart lock and smart security system. Sleep monitors, smart vacuums, dishwashers, and even your refrigerator can be connected to your smart home assistant.

Audio and Visual Media Entertainment

One of the best parts about setting up a smart home is integrating it with your entertainment. There are all kinds of great products available that make it easy to listen to music throughout your entire home. Connect your system to your favorite source for music, and you’ll have access everywhere. Choose a multi-room system so you can control exactly where you want the music to play for a continuous experience. You can even exclude certain rooms to conserve energy and provide peace where you need it.

The same goes for your home theater needs. Tearing the couch cushions off to find a missing remote is a frustrating experience for everyone involved, and now it’s a thing of the past. Simply use your smart home assistant to turn on the TV or projector, queue up your desired media, and even dim the lights. This is perfect for people who are constantly trying several different remotes to get all their different theater components up and running for movie night.

There are two key things to keep in mind when you start looking for audio and video components to add to your smart home:

  1. Buy a high-quality product. The connectivity between different components is what makes smart home technology so efficient and fun to use. It also means that a low-quality product could have a negative effect on your entire system. It’s easier to operate your smart home when you have faith in all the different pieces of your setup. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, you’ll save a lot of time, money, and effort if all your different entertainment components are from reliable brands. This makes everything easier to troubleshoot, and gets you up and running again quickly.

  2. Get a professional installation. This is important for a lot of the same reasons it’s critical to buy a reliable product. When you have a professional complete your installation, you can rest assured that everything will work the way it’s supposed to. Save yourself the stress of wondering if you’ve successfully linked all your different systems. The best professional installations include some explanations and training about how to use everything effectively. Take all guesswork out of the equation, and enjoy your new smart home with confidence.

Contact Eoc Audio to learn more about our custom home theater and audio solutions. We’ve been serving the Chicago Area for more than three decades.

Our trained technicians can help you integrate the cutting edge products we sell with your new or existing smart home system. You’ll receive the highest quality of professional installation and customer service, so you can be sure everything will work perfectly and be fully integrated to the system as a whole.


Novice Info: 3 Things About Turntables.


Novice Info: 3 Things About Turntables.

There has certainly been a shift with infatuation with records and turntables these days among audiophiles. Playing a record is an actual physical act and is a nice contrast to our cellphones streaming at a low bitrate down audio.  Vinyl is truly a medium that was created for audio to be experienced. 

So for those new to the world of LP's, lets break down the basics of what is involved in owning a record player and playing records. (We are assuming that everyone understands that a record spins at a specific speed, and that a needle is required to play it)

1. "Phono Preamps"

A turntable will need to be preamplified.  "Preamplification" confuses people, basically phono cartridges output at different levels and the phono preamplifier is a necessity to produce enough volume (energy) to output for your amplifier. Here comes the confusing part. In some cases preamplifiers are built into the record player, this tends to be for cheaper turntables, For more expensive turntables ($600.00 and up), phono preamps become an opportunity to actually get a fuller sound, so it is most commonly accepted they will be external devices with the ability to handle different types of cartridge outputs.

2. A Record Player’s Cartridge needs to be Calibrated

More accurately, a record player’s cartridge must be adjusted so that it is properly aligned to the grooves in your records. Many record players come with the cartridge installed and already calibrated. However on occasion they loose calibration during shipping or if you ever want to buy a new cartridge or have to replace your existing cartridge, calibration is required. At our store, Bright Audio, we will do this for our customers. So it’s important to realize that if you aren’t getting the sound you believe you should be getting from your record player, it may be that the cartridge’s stylus is not properly aligned to the record’s groove.

3. Record players are sensitive

  • They are mechanical devices and the technology goes back 100 years. Machines with moving parts are less reliable than solid state electronics, super-old moving parts.

  • Besides needing to calibrate your cartridge the record player’s tone arm needs to be level and weight adjusted so that it has the appropriate amount of downward force.

  • Records get dirty and need to be cleaned and of course when they are dirty, they leave dust and residue on the record players stylus which also needs to be cleaned regularly.

  • Almost all turntables need to be grounded or you will get a terrible humming noise from the rest of the record players electronics.

While record players offer a unique sound, and are just fun in general, it’s important to realize before you dive in, that they involve space, maintenance, and probably some youtube videos. EOC Audio knows vinyl, and knows how to integrate a machine from 1970 into the the smart home of 2020. 

Our team at EOC Audio is assist you in your integration of your classic record collection into your home – no matter where you live in the Chicago area. Contact us now by either calling us at 630-386-6266 or by filling out the form below.


Summertime Means Outdoor Audio & Video! Three Things to Keep in Mind.


Summertime Means Outdoor Audio & Video! Three Things to Keep in Mind.

With summer approaching here in Chicagoland, you might be thinking about upgrading your home’s outdoor living spaces. But how can you ensure you will receive the best-quality sound, and the best screen image in your backyard? The answer is simple, call up our team of outdoor entertainment experts at EOC Audio for a custom outdoor audio/video plan and installation.


EOC Audio are believers in the educated consumer, we want you to be up-to-date on the best outdoor entertainment products and tips available to you. Lets explore three simple outdoor audio video facts you should know as you plan your outdoor entertainment setup at your Chicagoland home.

1) TVS DESIGNED FOR FULL-SUNLIGHT                        

It’s essential that you feature technology designed specifically for the outdoors. We've seen plenty of people use indoor televisions to disastrous effects, and we want to ensure all your devices are safe and fully functional. Usually sunlight (or even powerful indoor lighting) overpowers the screens output, making your image washy, making it difficult to really enjoy what you are watching. Sunlight is always a consideration when we layout an outdoor audio/video plan, but you might not know, that you can feature a TV in direct sunlight without worry of it negatively affecting image quality.

Outdoor TVs from EOC Audio feature air tight seals, protecting the screen from the elements (ALL elements, including rain, insects, hail and more), but they also are designed to withstand extremely hot temperatures (high temps that haven't been seen in Illinois, not by a long shot).

This makes them the perfect addition to your open deck or patio, or even near your pool. Anti-reflective and anti-glare technology, combined with adaptive picture technology that automatically adjusts brightness and contrast to shifting outdoor lighting conditions, ensure that you always will clearly be able to watch the action, with no adjustments made on your end. These TV's used to be bulky, with sub par image quality. EOC Audio offers sharp, slimline, Ultra HD / 4K TV's to make for a premium viewing experience outdoors. 



Sound naturally dissipates much quicker outdoors compared to indoor environments, this shouldn't be a surprise considering a soft ground absorbs the sound waves, the open sky and lack of walls means no containment of the audio. Because of the sound waves dissipating, you need to make sure your outdoor speaker system properly covers all areas of your backyard. Sure, a single speaker cranked up all the way can make noise for an entire neighborhood, but what you are trying to do is evenly distribute audio throughout the area, and create an "audio atmosphere".

With multiple speakers, expertly placed and measured, EOC Audio ensures that everyone in your yard will be able to listen to music in a variety of ways. Subtle ambient music for quiet lounging, OR a louder, fuller sound to elevate your next house party into something special.

Permanent outdoor speakers come in many shapes or sizes, our partners at Sonance, one of the leading speaker manufacturers, craft speakers in the form of mariners, rocks, and satellites. There are omnidirectional speakers that doubles as planters, unseen subwoofers built for underground installation, a variety of ways to create this atmosphere. 

When building your outdoor audio video system, you should focus on delivering the best entertainment experience possible for all your guests. An evenly distributed speaker arrangement can make this happen.


EOC Audio makes control simplicity a priority. Did you know that you can add your outdoor audio video components to your home’s existing control system? If you have an existing ElanG system, EOC Audio's team of experts can integrate your outdoor entertainment devices with your existing setup, so you can manage every aspect of your outdoor A/V technology, as you would the rest of your house. Adjust volume, EQ, and media sources. Select the music you want to play, from a stored playlist or stream from Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever streaming service you choose.

Your control interface may even double as a remote for your Outdoor TV. As you sit in the peace of your own backyard, open the app on your smartphone, select the TV you want to control, change the channel and volume, its really that easy. 

Our team at EOC Audio is assist you in your next outdoor audio video project – no matter where you live in the Chicago area. Contact us now by either calling us at 630-386-6266 or by filling out the form below.

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