Compare Options for Your Office Music Systems

Setting up a great music system in your office can help change its dynamics and atmosphere.

Here’s what you need to consider when choosing the best music system for your office.

Office Music Systems Need to Be Versatile

While your speakers are primarily designed to play music, you may also use your system to talk with your colleagues. You might need to interrupt the tunes to make an announcement, for example.

You might need your speakers to play at a different volume in one room compared to another. You might also need tight control over an office speaker, so your employees or customers cannot play any song they would like to play.

An office environment can be very tough on a conventional speaker. Your office might be dusty or humid compared to your home. Your speakers might also be on and running all day, seven days a week, while your home speakers might only be running for a few hours each day.

For these reasons, it can be wise to look at systems that are targeted for a business environment. These sets have been designed for heavy use, and they can perform in even difficult or unconventional environments.

They are also made to give you the control you need without a lot of programming, so they will work even if you don't work with electronics for a living.

Speakers & Amplifiers for Offices

According to Crutchfield, you have many options in terms of speakers for your system.

  • In-ceiling speakers: These lie flat with your ceiling. They can bathe your space with sound without taking up any space. A good option in this category is the Yamaha NS-IC800. These small speakers provide great sound quality with a swivel tweeter to aim the sound where you want it.
  • Pendant speakers: These hang from cables on the ceiling, bringing the sound down to your audience. A good option in this category is the Bose FreeSpace FS2P. These high-quality speakers are appropriate for both music and announcements, and they come in both black and white to match your office.
  • Surface speakers: These can hang on almost any wall. The Yamaha VXS5W is a good choice in this category, as it’s quick to install and can be painted to match nearly any office.

This chart can help you understand the pros and cons of the office speaker systems we've mentioned.

Violation Table
Yamaha NS-1C800 Bose FreeSpace F22P Yamaha VXS5W
Type In-ceiling Pendant Surface
Pros Easy to hide, good sound quality, swivel tweeter Easy to install, available in black and white, brings sound closer to listener Versatile, paintable, can be used outside
Cons Requires professional installation, can cause rattles with heavy bass notes Can swing in a stiff breeze, could get hit by ladders or tall equipment Sound comes from just one direction, so it may provide an uneven experience
Best application Background music Background music, announcements Background music, announcements

In addition to speakers, you will also need an amplifier. This piece of machinery takes in the music signal (such as a playlist or radio program) and pushes it to the speakers.

Once you have settled on the speakers you want to be part of your office music system, choose the amplifier that works with those speakers. Often, speakers and amplifiers are sold in sets.

Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Sound System

With so many sound systems on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for your office. Consider these things before you make your final choice:

Size of your office

The size and quality of your sound system will directly correlate to the size and configuration of your office. A smaller office can get by with a fairly basic sound system, whereas a large, multi-room office will require a more robust system.

The size of your speakers should fit the space. Large speakers can overwhelm a small space, and small speakers won’t be sufficient to fill a very large office.

Sound quality

This is subjective, but a high-quality sound system will balance different tones well and sound natural. If the sound is tinny or harsh, it’s a sign that the system isn’t great.

Ideally, you’ll listen to the sound of various systems before you make a purchase. If you aren’t able to listen in person, read reviews to get an idea of others’ experiences with the system.


The amplifier you choose should work well with the chosen speakers. If you don’t purchase your speakers and amplifier as a set, confirm they are compatible before you purchase.

Set up

How you set up the speakers and overall system will influence how sound is distributed throughout your office. It may take some trial and error to get it right.

Best Speaker Placement for Offices

Determining where your speakers should be placed can be a bit of an art.

CNET, for example, has an eight-step process to help people align speakers for a single room filled with just one desk. A typical office environment has many more desks and many more people, so determining where the speakers should go can take time and planning.

In general, according to Crutchfield, it is better to have too many speakers than too few. If you do not place enough speakers throughout the space, you will have zones where the sound is too loud as well as spaces in which the sound is too quiet.

A sound engineer can help you understand where your speakers should be placed, and this professional might also install your system, so you can avoid wiring and electrical hassles. If you don't have extensive experience with electrical installations, this can be a good option.

How to Set Up Office Speaker Systems

While it’s often best to hire a sound engineer and installation team–especially if you’re using ceiling speakers—some small business owners prefer a DIY approach. While the specific steps you’ll take can vary dramatically by the size of your office, the work you do, the acoustics of the room, and the speakers you choose, some basic steps are shared by everyone installing office speaker systems.

Here's what you should do:

  1. Identify one device that will play and control the music. That could be a tablet, a laptop, or your phone.
  2. Connect your receiver to your amplifier. You could use a cable (such as a mini-jack TS/TSR cable) or Bluetooth.
  3. Connect the output of the amplifier to the input of either a mixer (if you want professional sound) or to the input of the first speaker in your system.
  4. Connect the output of the first speaker to the input of the next speaker.
  5. Continue until all of your speakers are connected.

With your system online and functional, walk around your office. Does the sound seem consistent from one space to the next? If so, you’ve installed everything perfectly. If not, you may need to adjust your speaker placement to eliminate dead zones.

Office Speaker Systems & the Law

We’ve outlined how to choose speaker systems and configure them. Know that choosing the right music is critical too. Skipping a few common-sense steps could mean breaking the law and facing steep fines.

When you play music through your office speakers, it’s considered a public performance that’s subject to copyright law. You must make arrangements with the copyright holder (such as the musician or the producer) and make appropriate payments for each performance.

You could make those arrangements by contacting all the major performing rights organizations (PROs), such as BMI and ASCAP. You'll pay a fee to connect with each one.

You could also connect with companies like Pandora CloudCover that have connections with PROs. With one fee, you could play all of the music you want

Other Good Office Music System Options to Try

We have focused on speaker systems that could work in very large offices that take up several rooms or even several buildings, but not all offices are this big. In fact, some offices are little more than one room with several workers.

If you run an office like this, you may not need much more than one speaker/receiver combination. There are plenty out there that require no installation or wiring whatsoever. You can simply charge them, place them in your office, and start the music.

One good option, according to the website Tech.Co is the Fugoo Sport. This tiny speaker can play for a whopping 40 hours on a single charge, and it produces robust sound that can fill up an entire room. The speaker is also portable, so if the office crew moves outside for a work party, the tunes can come along too.

Imagine that your office is on a construction site. You may have a trailer to work in, and that space may be somewhat protected from dust and humidity. But that speaker might get pushed aside frequently by your employees, and there may be times that the tunes need to move outside with you.

The JBL Charge 3 is a portable speaker, made to move with you from place to place. It is waterproof rated. It can also connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so cords and wires should not be a problem.

This speaker will connect to multiple devices, according to Popular Mechanics, so you will need to ensure that your employees do not take charge and begin to play their own music. But if you're looking for a small speaker you can use in a construction office, this might be the right one for you. When the job is done and your office moves, this speaker can move right along with you, with no demolition or construction required.

What Does It Cost to Add a Music System to My Office?

The cost of an office music system can vary widely, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to $10,000 or more.

Generally, you can get a good office music system for $1,000 to $2,000. The bigger your office space, the more expensive the music system will be.

Make Your Office Music Work

With the right office speakers and the perfect music receiver, you are ready to fill your office with music. Next, you will need to ensure that you have the legal right to play the music you have chosen.

In the U.S., music is protected via copyright. When you play music in your office, even if you are playing music you have purchased for your own personal use, it is considered a public performance. Each public performance requires a payment.

Performing rights organizations (PROs) send scouts into the field, looking for organizations that are playing music without paying the fees they owe. If your business is open to the public, a scout could come walking through your doors and demand payment. You could also see letters coming in the mail with similar demands.

Let Pandora CloudCover Help

We can help. At Pandora CloudCover, we have an entire library of music that is appropriate for office use. You can choose the right mix for your office, and you can set the music that plays through our app.

There are no difficult setup instructions to follow. We make it easy.

We work closely with PROs, and we have negotiated payment schedules with them. This means you will not have to contact each PRO individually and pay them. We do all of that for you. That allows you to simply play the music you want to play without worrying about the details.

Let's talk about the music your office needs. Contact us today.


Get Legal Streaming Music for Your Enterprise Business

Start Free Trial

No credit card required