The hidden costs of a sound system in a restaurant environment.

Designing for the restaurant owner to lower installation and operating costs, while improving audio quality.

This article will help you determine what audio equipment to consider for a restaurant sound system and how interface design and speaker choices directly relate to a franchise’s expenses / income.

Staff Training

Digital controlled audio systems require complex software and programming to essentially perform the function of a switch and volume control. Using these type of controls will require repeated “operations training”. Too complex an interface often leads staff to interrupting the owner, manager or other employees for the simple tasks of changing a channel or adjusting the volume.

Consider using the Octasound’s RASX4 over a digital controller. It’s just a switch and volume control. The front plate is intuitive and provides users the operating instructions. Turn the one dial to select a channel, and turn the other dial to adjust zone volume. That’s it, zero training requirements. There’s also no expensive software to update / maintain and no complex custom installation programming required.

Operating Interface – Digital Vs. Octasound

Digital Based Interfaces – Disadvantages

  • Time consuming and difficult to navigate menu system.
  • Manufacture’s constantly discontinue products making entire systems obsolete.
  • Controls panels are incompatible between manufactures.
  • User manual and sophisticated training / user is required.
  • System reboots might be required when errors or glitches occur.
  • Software and firmware updates maybe required. This can be risky and will be expensive.
  • Expensive and hard to upgrade or service. Requires specialized and “specific product” programming experience.
  • Tablet based interfaces have theft value.
  • Easy to damage. Expensive to repair.
  • Require constant charging.
  • Bar location for these devices is not ideal.

Octasound Remote Audio Modules

  • No software needed.
  • No menus to navigate.
  • Future compatible.
  • Compatible with all other manufacturer’s.
  • No user manual or sophisticated training required.
  • Remains forward compatible with all interface devices.
  • Wall plate is double anodized aluminum. Markings will not wear off.
  • Metal shaft volume controls, sealed conductive plastic. Will never oxidize.
  • No theft value
  • Always on
  • Safe to install behind the bar

Compatibility – Octasound is Forever Compatible

Octasound’s remote audio modules keep you out of the software loop. The end user’s device “of the day” is forever compatible.

Changing the Channel

Going out to watch the “big game” is big business and a sound system better be ready to move easily from background music to playing the game. Forgotten passwords, uncharged tablets, damaged controls, poor support, buggy software and staff that “don’t know how to change the channel” are all risks to disrupting the event.  Provide a poor customer experience at this critical time and they’ll leave or decide to go elsewhere for the next game. These decisions unfortunately happen without the owners ever knowing. Changing a channel shouldn’t be complicated or risk your customer base from returning.

Octasound systems are easy to operate and are built to provide years of flawless performance. Simply turn the dial from Background music to TV and adjust the volume. Negative experience avoided. Octasound has audio components in service for well over 30 years. Our track record and quality built components are the best in the industry. It’s why we offer a 3 year warranty.

Background Music Quality

Should you use multiple speakers to try and paint every table with sound or make the sound source invisible to the listener using Octasound speakers?

Pendant Speakers - Restaurant

Multiple pendant type speakers firing into tables competes with customers conversations. When people can’t hear each other from across the table they will talk louder. This raises the noise floor in your establishment and it’s almost certain to annoy.  A frequent complaint is “We couldn’t even hear each other from across the table”.

Octasound - Restaurant

Background music should be in the background and not interfering with customers conversations. Using only one or two Octasound speakers can easily replace 10 to 20 pendant ceiling speakers. Consider adding a subwoofer with warm bass to enhance the audio experience. With the music source being invisible (omnipresent) customers will no longer be competing with the sound system.


Too many speakers and incorrect placement increases audio reflections, decreases intelligibility . Speech becomes unintelligible and confusing as words overlap, arriving at several different time intervals. Customers become agitated trying to understand the sportscaster. This experience will either make them leave or chose another establishment with better sound for the next big game. This is a real hidden loss.

Octasound Solution: Good quality sound increases the bottom line.  Clear and crisp announcements from just a single speaker lowers the number of reflections and significantly increases intelligibility. Octasound speakers can replace up to 20 ceiling type speakers. Customers will choose your establishment over and over for game day.

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