picking a home theater audio system

When it comes to building a high-quality home theater system for your home, it’s not as simple as connecting randomly selected pieces of equipment and a handful of different speakers. In order to achieve the best audio possible, you need to make sure that every component complements the others within your system. Also important are speaker size, wattage, and impedance and, of course, placement.


Although today’s pre-packaged home theater systems are much improved over those first introduced over a decade ago, they aren’t capable of delivering the level of quality sound obtainable from building a home theater audio system by the piece. Here are some tips from the audio experts at AcoustiCreations for picking and creating a well-tuned home theater system.


Comparing Receivers


The receiver is the heart of the home theater system. It is the component that receives the source audio and video and amplifies it to your speakers and monitor. Most of today’s high-end receivers also work as an entertainment system’s video source switch. This means that if you have a television with just one HDMI input, but you have multiple components with HDMI outputs (blu ray player, cable box, XBOX One, PS4, Apple TV, Roku, etc.), then you can use a receiver with multiple HDMI inputs as a bridge between your TV and your components so you can enjoy the premium audio and video only attainable through the HDMI connections.


A good quality receiver should also support all of the surround sound standards used by filmmakers, such as DTS, Dolby Digital, and Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (SDDS). This will ensure that the audio signals are decoded and sent to the appropriate speaker for the best possible soundstage.


Surround sound receivers are available in either 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 formats. For each designation, the number before the decimal signifies how many speakers the receiver supports while the number 1 after the decimal stands for the subwoofer. So, in a 5.1 system, you will need two front speakers, two rear speakers, a center speaker, and a subwoofer. The more speakers supported by the receiver, the more encompassing the soundstage will be.


Some of the features you might want to look for in a good quality receiver include:

  • Certified DTS and/or Dolby Digital surround sound
  • At Least 6 HDMI Inputs
  • Optical and/or Digital Audio Inputs and Outputs
  • 100 watts per Channel Minimum
  • Customizable Sound Settings
  • USB Support for Portable Audio Devices
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Easy-to-Use Menus and Controls
  • Attractive Appearance and Finish


Choosing and Placing Speakers  


There are hundreds of different speakers available to choose from, and they come in a variety of styles including floor standing models, bookshelf models, in-wall models, and more. Each comes with its own benefits, but ultimately your choice should depend on sound quality and the look and feel you want in your home theater room.


In-wall speakers are the most attractive as they are mounted inconspicuously in the wall or ceiling. Because these speakers require wires to be run in the wall, installation needs to be taken into consideration during the planning phase. When installed properly, these speakers are flush to the wall and practically invisible. Before choosing in-wall speakers for your installation, you need to consider the following:

  • Does the Impedance and Wattage Ratings Match the Receiver?
  • Are Your Walls Deep Enough to Support the Speaker Housing?
  • Do the Speakers Sound Good?
  • Does the Speaker’s Fit, Finish, and Appearance Suit Your Application?
  • Are the Speaker Grills Paintable?


Stand speakers and bookshelf speakers make it easier to get the soundstage exactly as you want it because they can be moved and positioned at different angles to support the acoustic contour of any room. But, the drawback with these speakers is that they are out in the open and in some cases, they can be an eyesore when they’re not being used. If you are planning on mounting the speakers on the wall or ceiling, you need to make sure the mounting hardware you’re using is rated for the weight of the speaker. Also, going with a speaker bracket that can be tilted or swiveled is preferred so you can make directional alterations when necessary.


When shopping for stand or bookshelf speakers, make sure the wattage and impedance match with the receiver’s output and try to choose speakers that deliver optimum sound without overwhelming the room aesthetically.


Call AcoustiCreations for Custom Home Theater Audio System Installation


A lot of different factors can impact the quality of your home theater system’s performance. From the quality of the speaker wire to the placement of the speakers to the actual equipment you choose. One of the best ways to avoid problems is to have AcoustiCreations design and install a custom home theater audio system for your unique needs.


Call AcoustiCreations today at 910-390-6154. We’re one of the leading designers and installers of home theater systems in the Wilmington area. We can design, build, and install a system that will bring all of your favorite movies, games, and TV shows to life. And, all of our services are fully backed by our unbeatable customer service.  

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