Home sound systems

What to Look for in Home Sound Systems

Have you ever considered buying a home sound system? You might have some reservations about shopping for home sound systems because they are mere luxuries and are not worth your hard-earned cash. Yes, these sound systems are pricey, but they are great investments if you choose the best system that matches your home TV viewing and audio needs.

The rule of the thumb in buying a home audio system is to determine your preferences and needs before you make any purchasing decision. The kind of home sound system you will need depends on the audio components you already have at home. You may opt to get complete sound systems with surround sound capability if you are just starting out. Or you can go for several audio components to add to your existing home theater setup at home.

Regardless of the kind of home sound system you are going to buy, be sure to check several things first. Here are the components you must look into when shopping for a home audio system.


The first consideration when choosing speakers is the size. Space limitations dictate the size of the speakers you can have for your home sound system. It is because you will use at least five speakers for your sound system. What’s the use of large, powerful speakers if they don’t fit well into your room? Look for speakers that can be installed using mounting brackets. This may be an additional expense, but the extra cost is worth it given the amount of space it will save.

Movie viewing in your home will become a blast if you equip your home sound system with a large subwoofer. Subwoofers provide loud thumping sounds in the music and the explosions or action scenes on movies. Be sure to have a subwoofer tested before you purchase it.

When it comes to surround sound, the main consideration is compatibility. Nowadays, surround sound comes in different formats such as Dolby and DTS. Make sure that your audio devices support the surround sound format of your DVD or Blu-ray player, and that each component is compatible with one another.


The appearance of your home sound system is second to performance in terms of importance. Although black is the predominant color in home sound systems, visual appeal is still an important factor when purchasing your audio components. The color and design of your audio devices should match so that they look good in your living room. So, for example, your home audio system can have a black and silver color scheme or other color combinations. Just make sure the colors are consistent unless you want your sound system to become the laughingstock of your guests.


Wired or wireless? It depends on your preference. Both audio connections have their own advantages and disadvantages, so be aware of them to be able to make the right choice. If you choose wired audio devices, be sure that you install them with safety in mind. Of course, you don’t want accidents to happen due to messed or tangled wires. They don’t look good, too.

Remote Control

This gadget may be small, but don’t underestimate its function in home sound systems. The kind of remote control included in your home sound system can either be a boon or bane to the way you use your audio components. Check if the remote control has keys or buttons that are easy to press and access. Buttons that are smartly laid out on the remote make it easy for you to find the volume or other controls in the dark.

Upgrading to Home Sound Systems for an Ultimate TV Viewing Experience

What’s the use of modern audio technologies if you don’t take advantage of them? Take your home theater system, for example. Relying solely on the built-in speakers of your high-definition TV just doesn’t give you the quality of sound that can match the audio technology used in cinemas. Give some oomph to your TV viewing experience at home by equipping it with a topnotch sound system. Home sound systems can be as simple as single-speaker sound bars or as sophisticated as 100% surround sound systems.

Now, if you have audio components at home, you have a lot of options when it comes to upgrading your sound system. Don’t just settle for the audio system you have at home—gear them up for a higher level of sound technology by following the suggestions discussed below.

Use Better Cables for Your Speaker

The speaker wires are the best starting point for a home sound system upgrade, as they can improve the performance of your sound system. Speaker wires connect the speakers to the amplifier or receiver. If you have advanced speakers, then they will benefit a lot from premium-quality speaker wires.

When choosing wires for your speaker, you need to consider their length, thickness, materials, and connector type. Check your owner’s manual to know the wires that are compatible to your speakers.

Bi-amp Your Speakers

The receiver of your home audio system may have spare amplifier power channels that you can use to upgrade your sound system. Most receivers have seven amplifier channels, and usually, homeowners use only five speakers in their home audio systems. That means there are at least two unused surround back channels that can redirect power for bi-amping the two front speakers. In doing so, the number of dedicated amplifier channels that power the front left and right speakers is doubled. This, in turn, leads to a more powerful and vibrant sound.

Before you bi-amp your speakers, check first if each of the front speakers has two pairs of bi-amp inputs or input terminals. Also, make sure that your sound system’s receiver has the capacity to redirect extra amplifier channels.

Get the Most out of Your Disc Player’s Advanced Surround Sound Format

Most Blu-ray players use two modern formats for surround sound: DTS and Dolby. Both surround sound formats offer crystal-clear sound that can complement the stunning visuals of a high-definition TV.

Do you have a Blu-ray player with decoding for DTS or Dolby? If you’re not sure, you can check the owner’s manual if your Blu-ray player has this feature built into the unit. A Blu-ray player can be connected to a receiver through multichannel analog audio wires or HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface). However, a Blu-ray player without built-in decoding for DTS or Dolby can be connected through HDMI to a receiver, which can decode the surround sound format.

Protect Your Home Audio Components with a Power Conditioner

You can purchase a power protection and conditioning unit to prolong the lifespan and boost the performance of your sound system. A power conditioner is all you need to protect your precious investment from power spikes and other factors that may damage it. Also, the power conditioner can block electronic interference coming from the appliances, cable connections, computers, and phone lines, which can affect the performance of home sound systems.

Surround Sound Technology Boosts Performance of Home Sound Systems

Want to listen to theater-like sounds when you watch TV at home? Then “surround” yourself with sound! That effect is easily achieved with the help of home sound systems with surround sound technology. This modern audio technology is a far cry from the monosound format of the pre-1950s and the stereo sound format of the 1960s. Surround sound can do something that its predecessors cannot—that is, to seal the sound within the area of the audience while they’re listening to music or watching movies.

So what exactly does surround sound do? This audio technology thrives on the dedicated speakers that surround the audience physically. Aside from the two front speakers that produce most of the sounds, a surround sound format usually includes a center speaker and two or more surround speakers. The center speaker is the carrier of the on-screen dialogue, meaning it sticks the sound of the dialogue to the screen. The surround speakers, for their part, generate the sound enveloping effect. The proper placement of these speakers is vital for precise and high-quality sounds, as it ensures that the sounds coming from the various speakers will arrive at the audience in a timely and accurate manner.

How many surround speakers are necessary in a home sound system? It depends on the sound format and how many playback channels are supported by your audio components. With surround sound technology, the number of sound signals that are supported by the surround format does not have to match the number of speakers used. That being said, the four-channel format of Dolby surround can be played over a sound setup with a five-channel playback. In that setup, every surround speaker plays the same sound. Likewise, a 6.1 surround format such as the Dolby Digital EX can be used on a 7.1 playback sound system. For this setup, the two surround speakers placed at the rear area play the same audio.

You might be curious about what the numbers included in the terms for surround sound formats mean. For example, the .1 in a surround audio playback system (e.g., 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1) is the low-frequency effects channel. This channel uses full-range speakers for the left and right areas, and the low frequencies can be transmitted to one or both of them. The low frequencies can also be transferred to the two front speakers and the low-frequency effects channel.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that surround sound involves only multiple speakers. In fact, there is such a thing as a single speaker surround sound system. Surround sound systems with single speaker are included in several home audio systems today. Single speaker surround systems are ideal for small rooms or spaces as well as people who don’t want too many speakers in their room, and those who don’t want the mess and the hassle of the typical 5.1 surround sound setup.

Single speaker home sound systems with surround sound create an effect almost similar to regular surround sound technologies by using virtual surround technologies. Such technologies are based on potent signal processing technologies that are able to recreate the enveloping effect of a typical home surround sound system. However, when it comes to overall sound quality, single surround sound systems still are no match against a true surround sound system. The only advantage you get from a single surround sound system is a clutter-free sound system setup.

Important Terms You Must Learn about Home Sound Systems

Do you love watching movies and going to the cinemas? Most likely, you appreciate the stunning visuals, sound effects, and 3D surround sound that make viewing movies in the cinemas an experience like no other. The speakers of your television cannot recreate that kind of viewing pleasure. That is why home theater systems with audio components have become a hit among movie buffs and audiophiles alike. With home sound systems, cinematic viewing experience can be brought right at the comforts of one’s home.

If you want to upgrade the home sound system in your living room, there are several things you need to do to make sure that you get more value for your money. It would be very helpful if you know the individual audio components before you go shopping. Also, it would be better to acquaint yourself with some of the technical terms that are commonly used to refer to speakers and other home audio components. Most homes already have TVs, receivers, and DVD players. What home entertainment components do you have at home?

Take some time to understand the important terms used in home audio systems regardless of the audio component you decide to purchase—be it an expensive sound system that costs thousands of dollars or just a few extra speakers for your TV. It is because you will inevitably encounter these terms once you start shopping for home audio components. And you can make better buying decisions if you are familiar with them. Listed here are a few terms you may need to know about home audio systems.

1. Watt is the unit of measurement of power. In a receiver, watt is associated with the loudness of the sound system. In a subwoofer, its bass is described in watts. So if a subwoofer has more watts, that means it has more bass.

2. Timbre refers to the quality of a sound’s tone apart from the frequency and amplitude. Speakers from different manufacturers may not have similar timbres—you can detect that when you hear a sound that moves from one side to the other side of your room. To prevent discrepancy in the timbre of your speakers, make sure that you test them together and check if their timbres match. Testing for timbre is especially important if you are buying your home audio components separately.

3. Decibel measures the loudness of sound produced by an audio component. In particular, it measures loud noises from a sound at a specified location. Decibels are not an absolute measure of loudness, so do not base your product comparisons and judgment on this measurement alone.

4. Subwoofer is the speaker driver or loudspeaker that generates the lowest sound or bass audio frequencies. Sometimes bought separately from speaker systems, subwoofers complement the main loudspeaker, thus adding some depth to your listening experience. Because subwoofers are hard to localize (meaning it is hard to detect or locate the sound coming from it), they can be placed at any spot of your home.

5. Midrange is the speaker driver that generates—as the name suggests—the midrange sounds.

6. Tweeter is the speaker driver that creates the highest frequency of sounds. Together with the midrange, tweeter is sometimes included in a speaker system.

7. Surround sound envelopes the listener with an environment that’s very different from the almost obsolete two-channel stereo. It is a recent audio technology in home sound systems that recreates a listening experience closer to real life.

How to Get Money Savings on Home Sound Systems Purchase

Did you know that you can get a superior home sound system even at a low price? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s possible. Finding the best sound system at a price you can afford can be a very challenging task, though. Plenty of companies offer a wide range of audio systems and components on the market today. A simple mistake in choosing your own sound system may cost you a lot for repairs and replacements. To prevent that ugly situation, arm yourself with the right and sufficient knowledge on the options available for home sound systems.

For sure, you’re wondering what kind of information necessary to make wise decision when buying a home sound system. With the many technical terms used in audio technology, you will surely get lost and overwhelmed with information overload if you try to learn everything in just a short span of time. Basically, most home audio systems include the following components: speakers, a subwoofer, an amplifier, and a receiver.

To make things simpler for you, here are the features you need to know to be able to choose the best sound system for an excellent movie viewing and music listening experience at home.


The most important components of a home sound system, speakers are responsible for producing high-quality sounds depending on their construction and strategic location in a room. Most home audio packages include five to seven speakers, which usually consist of a center speaker, two front speakers, two surround speakers, and a subwoofer. The center speaker can be set up on top of the television or below it. The front speakers, on the other hand, are placed on the left and right sides of the TV set at the same distance. The surround speakers are placed partly behind the sides of the seating area, while the subwoofer can be placed anywhere.

When shopping for speakers and subwoofers, try each unit you’re considering before you pay to the counter. If you love the richness and depth of base sounds, then invest in a large subwoofer because it produces better bass sounds than smaller ones.

Speaker Configuration

Looking for the perfect home sound system is a lot easier if you are familiar with the different speaker configurations used to describe speakers. In general, speakers come in four configurations. The first is 4.0 that consists of the center, front, and mono surround speakers. The 5.1 speaker configuration is similar to 4.0, only that the former produces low-frequency sounds. This enables you to listen to the bass thumps and booms usually heard in cinemas. The 6.1 speaker is similar to 5.1, with an added surround speaker placed right behind the viewers’ area. Lastly, the 7.1 configuration has extra two back-surround speakers, also positioned behind the viewers’ area.


Essentially, a receiver is in charge of controlling sound decoding within your audio system. The best receiver depends on the configuration of your speakers. For instance, if you have a 7.1 speaker configuration, the best receiver for that is a Dolby Pro Logic IIx format. Ask an audio expert or the sales person about the best decoding format for your particular speaker configuration.

Frequency Response

This feature has something to do with base sounds. An outstanding base sound is produced with a frequency response with a lower limit of not more than 40 Hz.

Now that you know the various features you need to look for, you can start hunting for the best home sound systems!

Home Sound Systems: Tips on Finding the Perfect Surround Sound Components

One of the most popular and revolutionary audio technological wonders today is the surround sound system. It literally “surrounds” the audience with its sound to provide a real cinematic feel to your home TV viewing experience. Home sound systems with surround sound capabilities can truly recreate the ideal home theater setup. Want to get one but have no idea where to start? Read on the following tips on choosing a surround sound system that will give you a bang for your buck.

• Think about the type of technology you must use for your home audio system. Three types of surround sound technologies are available on the market: the 2.1 surround sound system, 5.1 surround sound system, and the sound bar style. The 2.1 surround sound system, which comes with two side speakers and a subwoofer, provides quality sounds and consumes less space. The 5.1 surround sound system has side speakers, rear speakers, and a dedicated subwoofer for an excellent sound quality. The third surround sound system is the sound bar style that uses a software to imitate surround sound. This system is ideal for those who hate wirings and cables.

• How much power do you need from your audio system? Bigger is not always better with regard to home audio systems. Consider only the sound systems that can fit into your room. A sound system with multiple speakers may not be ideal for a very small space. And the more speakers you have, the more wires you’ll have to deal with—unless of course if you’re going to use a wireless sound system.

• You may want to use sound systems with a single or three speakers to be able to maximize space in your room without compromising sound quality. With these setups, the speakers are positioned at the front area of your room and aimed directly at the seating area. To compensate for the lack of tweeters and subwoofer, see to it that the speakers you buy have a broad frequency range.

• Decide on the extra features you want for your home sound system such as iPod docks, DVD player, wall-mount brackets, among others. Of course, your budget must determine how many accessories you can add to your system. And obviously, the more features you get, the more bucks you have to shell out.

• Determine if your home theater system at home can double as an amplifier for your speakers. If your system has no ability to do so, then you may need to get a dedicated or separate amplifier. There are sound systems that include amplifiers, so you won’t have any problem looking for one elsewhere. But if you’re buying audio components individually, a 100-watt amp is powerful enough to use for a typical home sound system. Also, you will need to spend a couple of hundred dollars for the amplifier of your sound system.

• If you’re completely new to home sound and theater systems, you may consider getting a full home theater in a box (HTIB). HTIBs are popular among home entertainment enthusiasts because they offer visual and audio components at budget-friendly prices. In the future, you can upgrade your speakers if you wish.

Surround sound systems are great additions to your living room. Settling for the built-in speaker of your TV is not enough. Home sound systems with surround sound capabilities are ideal for those who want to experience a totally different movie viewing and music listening.

Home Sound Systems: Tips on Choosing and Installing Your Audio System

If you’re fond of watching movies, wouldn’t it be nice to transform your living room into a mini-cinema—complete with all the sound technologies for a great viewing experience? Thanks to home sound systems, a cinema-like viewing experience is possible at the convenience of your home! You don’t have to leave your home just to see your much-anticipated movie! If you have great audio components in your home theater system, you can sit down and relax while enjoying the high-quality sound of a movie.

No two home audio systems are alike. Some systems outperform the others in terms of quality, price, or both. For maximum movie viewing pleasure, there are things you need to keep in mind when choosing audio components and installing them in your home theater system. The following are some tips on how to make the most out of a home sound system.

• Allot a reasonable budget before you purchase a home sound system. Most sound systems are pricey, and the best ones may cost you an arm and a leg. Thus, setting a realistic budget can save you from future hassles.

• Try out only the sound systems that fall within your price range to prevent spending beyond what your budget allows.

• Shop around thoroughly—and resist the temptation to buy the first one you see on the store’s display. Do a little research, compare different brands, and choose the one that suits your needs best. Expert and customer reviews are available online, so you can read them to know which home audio system is perfect for you.

• You may install the home sound system on your own or hire a professional to do it for you. If you’re going to install the system by yourself, make sure that the wires are hidden and carefully kept to prevent tripping and other kinds of accidents. A safe option is to buy wireless speakers.

• Consider the shape and size of the room where you are going to place your home sound system. Also, take into consideration the area where the viewers are supposed to sit. For an enhanced viewing and listening experience, the speakers should be placed in an optimum position for each seat in the room.

• The center speaker, which is the most important of all speakers, must be placed in the best location. You can place it in the center of your home theater system, above the television or below it. Keep the center speaker at the same distance as the left and right speakers from the seating position. Also, see if your TV set allows for positioning of the center speaker behind its screen.

• The tweeter, which is the speaker that produces the highest sound frequency, should be at the viewers’ ear level for maximum listening experience. For a great sound quality, aim the speaker at the viewers’ location.

• Make sure you have not less than five speakers in your home theater system. Three speakers should be placed at the center, left, and right areas relative to the viewers’ position. The other two are surround speakers that are usually positioned on either side behind the three main speakers. For better sound quality, you may opt to get more speakers depending on your budget. But if you’re working on a tight budget, five speakers are decent enough.

Home sound systems are one of the biggest investments you can have at home. So invest much time and effort to make sure you get only the best sound system and install properly for a cinematic listening experience.

Home Sound Systems: Buying Guide for Homeowners

Home theater systems are not complete without home sound systems. In fact, every all-in-one home theater package comes standard with a sound system. But if you want to improve the overall quality of your television viewing experience, then it pays to invest in a brand-new premium set of audio components for your home theater system.

If you are looking for a great home sound system, you have to carefully explore your options. Sound systems for homes do not come cheap these days. The cheapest you can get is roughly $200, and most sound systems with decent quality cost thousands of dollars. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned cash for a mediocre piece of crap, do you? That being said, you need to play your cards well to make sure that your purchase is a wise one.

The first step in buying a home sound system is doing some research. Browse the Internet to find high-quality home audio systems and great deals on audio packages. It won’t be hard to find one, as numerous websites offer home audio systems that suit every need at competitive prices. Read customer and expert reviews on various home audio systems offered on the market today, as reviews can help you choose the best audio system. You may even go to greater lengths by contacting the sales representatives of the online companies you consider. Or you can talk to sales people of audio stores in your locality. That way, you can get an idea on what features you want for your home sound system.

Because each home sound system has its own good and bad features, you need to know them to be able to choose the one that meets your expectations. Be familiar with the brands, costs, and features of the products.

Buying separate audio components is usually a better move than opting for a complete package. Why? Because home audio packages usually include low-priced components to make the price of the package more attractive to consumers. Purchasing individual audio components give you the freedom to pick the ones that exactly match your preferences.

When it comes to home sound system costs, you definitely get what you pay for. Usually, you get poorer sound quality if the price of a home audio package is lower. Yes, you get big savings on a cheap home audio system, but you will actually spend more in the long run because it may become defective sooner than you expect. On the other hand, it may not be necessary for you to spend a fortune for your home audio system. The reasonable price range for a good-quality home sound system is around $400 to $4,000. The right price and audio system depends on your needs and the features you prioritize. For instance, if you value sound quality, then you may need to shell out more bucks. There are buyers who do not mind paying extra for greater quality. Others have to work on a limited budget, so additional features may not matter to them as much.

Here’s a tip: choose the best audio system and wait until it goes on sale or if a store offers a great deal on the purchase of that product. Just make sure that you try the products first before you make the purchase. Your wait for quality home sound systems will surely be worth it.

Four Tips to Get Superior Sound Quality from Home Sound Systems

It doesn’t take an audiophile or sound expert to know that a superb sound quality is vital to home TV viewing experience. Home sound systems are made to serve that purpose. Composed of various components such as speakers, amplifier, and connecting wires, sound systems can make a lot of difference to your viewing experience. Each audio component affects the quality of sound you hear.

Not many people are aware that there are many ways to make the most out of sound systems, though. A common notion among homeowners is that all home audio systems can enhance the sound of home theater systems. Period. But that is not completely true. In fact, there are some tweaks you can do to boost the sound quality produced by your home sound system.

1. Set up your speakers correctly.

As the most important components of your home sound system, your speakers must be placed at the right location for optimum sound quality. Ideally, the center speaker is positioned on top of or below the TV set, while the front speakers are placed at a spot that is either partly angled at the viewers’ direction or facing directly into the room. For the best sound quality, place your surround speakers at an angle that points to the main viewing position or facing straight across the room. While positioning the various speakers of your home sound system, ask someone with a good sense of hearing to sit in the main viewing position and listen to the sounds that each speaker produces. That way, you can easily test whether a certain speaker position gives the best listening experience.

2. Tweak the auto setup features of your receiver.

You may not know it, but your home sound system may possess a number of advanced features for manipulating sound quality. Check your owner’s manual to see the sound calibration features of your audio system. Some modern receivers of home audio systems come with features that enable users to measure sizes and distances of speakers, balance channel volume, or adjust frequency response and delay settings. Nowadays, receivers allow manual adjustments on the receiver settings so that you can control the sound to suit your preferences, the settings of your room, and the configuration of your speakers.

3. Tweak the settings of your subwoofer.

Did you know that you can get more advantage from your subwoofer simply by adjusting its settings? A subwoofer provides deep bass or low-frequency sounds for a better cinematic effect when viewing movies on TV. Too much crossover and bass volume create unclear and intrusive sounds. You can enjoy a rich, super sound quality by ensuring that the subwoofer’s level and crossover settings are correct. Additionally, you get well-defined bass that perfectly complement the sound of your home audio system’s speakers.

4. Set your DVD player or receiver to “Direct” or “Pure” mode.

Using these modes eliminates unpleasant noise and interference from the sound produced by your audio system. Particularly, the “Direct” and “Pure” modes turn off the unused parts of the circuitry of your audio system. As a result, you get clean, distortion-free sounds.

These are just a few tricks to juice out the best-quality sound from your sound system. Of course, you can still find more tweaks for home sound systems by browsing through your owner’s manual.

Choosing Speakers for Home Sound Systems: A Guide for Home Theater Enthusiasts

Nothing beats the realistic sounds one can get from watching TV or listening to music with a superior-quality sound system installed at home. Indeed, home sound systems have become a staple part of many living rooms in the United States. A home sound system typically consists of a television, DVD or Blu-ray player, speakers, a receiver, and a subwoofer. If you wish to have your own sound system at home, you can find a lot of appliance stores and online companies that offer a wide array of sound systems for home use.

Among the important audio components you must pay attention to when shopping for a home sound system are the speakers. At least five speakers are needed for a good sound quality: one center speaker, two front speakers (left and right), and two surround speakers. Your choice of speakers can make or break the overall performance of your home audio system. So take some time to look around for various speakers and search for important information about them.

Read on the following suggestions for buying the different speakers for your home sound system.

1. Center Speaker

The center speaker is positioned—you guessed it right—at the center of a room. The most essential sounds come from the center speakers, so make sure that you get only the best one.
Ideally, your center speaker must be of the same brand as your front speakers. This ensures that the timbres of the center speakers and front speakers match perfectly. Also, the size of your center speaker and front speakers must be similar for a balanced sound. That means if you have a set of large front speakers, buy the biggest center speaker available.

A wise option is a three-channel center speaker, which can share the bulk of the subwoofer’s bass work.

2. Front Speakers

Vital to both movies and music, the front speakers (also called left and right speakers) occupy the biggest space in your home sound system. So buy only the biggest front speakers that can fit into your room and your budget. The left and right speakers must also have the same power and timbre as that of your center speaker. Invest in a better-quality set of front speakers if you’re using your home sound system for listening to music more often than watching movies on TV.

3. Surround Speakers

Just like the other speakers, your surround speakers must be compatible with the other speakers and components in your sound system. However, exact timbre match is not a requirement for surround speakers since their purpose is to produce 3D sound effects.

The two types of surround speakers are monopole and dipole speakers. Commonly used in HTIBs (home theaters-in-a-box) monopole speakers produce sound straight in one direction. On the other hand, dipole speakers produce sounds in two directions, making the sounds diffused in a room. Monopole surround speakers are best for listening to music, while dipole surround speakers are best for watching movies.

4. Subwoofer

This audio component enhances the fullness and depth of surround sound and sound quality. In particular, it produces the rumbling sounds you hear when watching action movies and the deep bass thump when listening to music.

Powerful subwoofers are the bigger ones. However, the problem with this kind of subs is that the very deep bass results in poor sound quality of home sound systems. If you want crystal-clear sounds without the deep bass, you must go for smaller subs. A better option would be to buy several small subwoofers so that the sound quality is improved without the annoying sound resonance.