Home Theater System

Get the basics right

 Now feel the pleasure of a good movie theater at your home. To make the best out of your movie theater, a home theater receiver and at least six speakers that also includes a powered sub woofer are the basic needs. This is a key to enjoy the beautiful surround sound experience of a movie theater. We will discuss the basic needs for the great movie theater at home.

Sometimes the ideal solution for sound quality doesn’t suit your decor, just don’t worry about that. Its always interesting to break the so called “rules” and handle these situations with some creative compromises in addition to your choice surround speaker system for the home theater.

 Easy and Convenient Way:

Don’t have much time to investigate or collect deep information about the surround sound system, just go for a pre-matched surround speaker system. Even if you are considering to buy your speakers a la carte or any other pre-matched surround speaker system, read the description of matched systems. It is always of a great help and first step towards the knowledge of the speakers surround system.

 Mix and Match: Involve yourself

Its fun to rather mix and match the things, but you have to go shopping for the below listed items:

  • Center channel: It is a speaker residing below or above your TV.

  • Front left and right speakers:These speakers are put either side of your TV for the best effect. Generally people choose floor-standing speakers or bookshelf speakers for the main front speakers.

  • Two or More surround speakers: Go with two or more surround speakers which will be placed behind or beside where you generally seat to enjoy the surround movie theater. In this case people either choose specialized bipolar speakers or bookshelf speakers.

  • One or two powered subwoofers: Sub woofers can be placed anywhere in your movie theater to get the good results.

  • More Speakers: Buy one more pair of speakers, in case you have a receiver that can power front heights or width channels.

  • Dolby Atmos enabled speakers/In-ceiling speakers: Do you enjoy overhead surround effects? Are you the proud owner of the receiver that offers Dolby Atmos surround sound processing? If yes, then you should also include a pair or two of in-ceiling or specialized Dolby Atmos enabled speakers to your shopping bag.

 For a cleaner looking installation, consider buying in-wall speakers, in-ceiling speakers or custom flat-panel speakers that integrates with your TV set.

 Read articles about the in-wall and in-ceiling speaker installation and learn the details.

 Matching is essential: Larger space with larger speakers

Where you want to put your speaker system? Is living room the right space? Is family room-the one? Or you want to go with the larger space? Do you want to have it in other quiet space?

Wow..Bunch of questions!! Don’t worry we will sort things out for you.

Multi-purpose space is not targeted for single purpose, so it is obvious that the movie theater (that includes TV and surround sound system) won’t always be the main event. In this case, you should go with the small speakers that blends easily with you room decor and leaving the larger space for other activities. As people use these spaces for various non-TV activities, get-together room for friends, playing room for children, etc. So larger speakers in multi-purpose space is quite a mess and it leaves no space in the room.

Now if you want to give focus to your TV and surround sound system completely, just go for medium to larger space. A room totally devoted to be home theater room includes a TV and larger speakers that provides high quality audio experience in addition to the mesmerising video experiences. For larger space don’t go with the small speakers as it will spoil the fun of the movie theater.

Layout and shape of your room in correspondence to the positioning of the speakers go hand in hand. So before choosing the speakers for your theater room, just have a clear idea of where the speakers should be placed without getting in the way. The placement of speakers will also affect the surround sound and decor of the room.

Watch the videos on speaker placement to learn about the ideal place to put your speakers, you can also read the detailed guidelines in the speaker placement article.

For some creative solutions, check out the articles on room-friendly ways to add surround speakers and practically invisible speaker options.

Key points

  • Never hide your speakers behind furniture or any other obstacles as it results in proper sound dispersion

  • Never place your front left and right speakers to far away from your TV screen as the soundscape will seem unnaturally wide. If you put it far away from the TV screen, the sound will draw attention to itself and this results in disconnection of you from the on-screen action.

The bigger the better: Big TV matches good with the big speakers

Its all about the creating the atmosphere in the room. If you are setting up 55 inches TV screen or any other large TV screen in your home theater then you should go with floor-standing or bookshelf speakers for your perfect sound surround environment. You can match these front speakers with the some smaller speakers that can handle more power. This will be a great match. But in case if you are setting up a 40 inch TV, then you should go with a nice and modest subwoofer or satellite system.

Can you go with different brands?

The answer is Yes, you can go with different brands. Its good to have the same brand but some situations demands for mixing the brand, like if you have two speakers of one brand and can’t find center speaker of same brand then you should go with the another brand but always keep in mind they should be of same frequency. Is your cabinet small for the same brand center channel speaker? If yes, don’t worry, just go ahead with mixing the brands. Mix and match brand for good end results is fun. Just remember efficiency is important as this would make it easier to match levels.

If situations are in your favour then we recommend you to go with the voice-matched speakers of the same family or series within the same brand. This will save your time and you will definitely get a consistent tonal quality and smooth transitions while sound travels from one speaker to another.

Choose wisely:Speakers

When you buy a new car or a new house, you go in detail and research every vital information. Same would be true when you go looking for new speakers because remember you are investing your hard earned money and you wouldn’t want to waste it. Grab the knowledge about each speaker as each one plays its part in making your surround sound system experience better.

Center channel speaker

In a home theater setup, a center channel speaker is one of the most important speakers. When you watch a movie, 50% or more of the soundtrack is directed to the center channel that includes almost all of the dialogues. The other main purpose of this speaker is to also serves as an anchor for the soundtrack.

When you set up your home theater understand the art and science of the speaker channel placements. If your TV is placed on TV stand, the right area to settle your center speaker is under your TV. When you go looking for center channel for your TV, look for the appropriate size for the intended placement. In case of the wall-mounted flat panel TV, consider a wall mountable or in-wall center channel speaker as there will be no TV stand to place your center channel speaker.

The television set, a center channel speaker and other speakers together makes a good home movie theater. Choose the center channel speaker and other speakers that fits well with the size of the TV set. If the room and surrounds are small then opt for smaller center channel speakers. Compact subwoofer/satellite systems works fine with smaller center channel speakers. Tower speakers are more suitable to a larger center channel model in order to get a balanced and seamless surround effect.

Front left and right speakers

 In home theater, the experience will be more fantastic and real if the sounds blends perfectly with the video as well images on the screen. You can enjoy this with the good selection of front left and right speakers. Theses speakers produces most of the music, sound effects for a movie as well as handle the great amount of the special effects. For example, in a movie when an action hero enters the room from the left side of the screen, the sound of the door opening will come from the right speaker and gives you the realistic feel. These speakers plays a vital role for music listening and handles all the work when it comes to stereo music reproduction.

The main front left and right speakers are floor-standing speakers, satellite speakers and bookshelf speakers. Satellite and bookshelf speakers can be placed on shelves or tables and also can be mounted on stands or walls. They all work good for home movie theater as front left and right speakers.

  • Floor standing speakers delivers superior sound experience with soaring highs, booming lows and also provides great low-frequency response.

  • Bookshelf speakers are more versatile than any other pair of speakers available for home entertainment. They may not reproduce the needed bass and may need a subwoofer to deliver the best possible result.

  • Compact wall mountable satellite speakers fit beautifully in most rooms and a great cosmetic match for a flat-panel TV. For best results team up the wall mountable speakers with the subwoofers. If you want big sound from a small package, these speakers are the best fit.

Surround speakers

Emptiness can be found in the home movie theater without the surround speakers. Surround speakers are designed to give you the environment and atmosphere as if you are the part of the scene you are watching. They create sound fields like ambient sounds that includes water droplets in rain, whispering of leaves or beating of rocks and many more.

The perfect surround system makes you feel that you are the part of the movie you are watching. For this the placement of the speakers should be designed to provide indirect sound.

The most common setup is a 5.1 channel surround system with only one pair of surround speakers. If you have a larger space in your home theater room, you can also go with more than a pair of surround speakers. In this case 6.1- or 7.1- channel system is good and ideal fit for your home theater room.

For Dolby Atmos surround sound, use one or two more extra pair of speakers as they will generate a three-dimensional layer of the sound over your listening positions in your room. For this you must be the proud owner of the receiver that can decode the Dolby Atmos surround sound. In-ceiling speakers are also designed to push the sound upward in addition to the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers.You can use any of the two for better special effects overhead.

Sometimes people ask you, “Are your surrounds off?”, “Are they not working properly?” and you start thinking why they are saying so? Because you have bought a new pair of surrounds. This all can be the result of the wrong placement of the speakers. The correct speaker placements will lead to a realistic three-dimensional sound field. The best angle of surround speaker is towards your listening area. Rotating speaker stands and the mounting brackets are of a great help to get the perfect three-dimensional sound field. Check the various speaker placement guides and video to get the clear idea how to put your surrounds in the absolute position, these videos can also give you more understanding about the usage of the wall-mounted, stand-mounted or in-ceiling speakers and which is the perfect buy for you.

Area plays very crucial role in your movie theater, each and every speaker has the same capability of performance. Sometimes people choose bookshelf or satellite speakers as surround speakers for their movie theater. The requirement of these speaker is stand placement or wall mounting.

Bipole/dipole speakers are used for the placement flexibility and wider sound field. Both dipole and bipole speakers attempt to spread out the sound in order to create a diffuse ambient effect in the rear of your room.

Powered subwoofer

One powered subwoofer is essential for a home movie theater. Powered subwoofers have their own built-in amplifiers and are not dependent on any amplifier limitations of another receiver or amplifier. In today’s time mostly all home theater receivers consists of the built-in features. Because of the built-in features, the subwoofers are easy to use.

A good powered subwoofers is necessary in your home movie theater to deliver the crucial low-frequency impact. The sound you actually feel; the deep bass that shakes you up and gets you right in the gut is all because of good powered subwoofer. A quality subwoofer, placed correctly in a room, can produce deep sounds realistically, not just the thump-thump. Now a days a dedicated channel of deep bass is provided by many TV shows, movie and also video game soundtracks.

Now lets talk about the placement of the powered subwoofers, it is easy to place them as it produces non-directional sound waves. While placing your subwoofer close to a wall or in the corner of your room, the bass impact will increase noticeably. Place your subwoofer a little away from the wall or from the corner as if you place it close to a wall, the bass impact will increase noticeably. If you want to achieve more smooth and even coverage, you should add one more of second subwoofer.

If you want to fill up your large theater room, just go for a subwoofer with the 10” or 12” woofer cone. This is simple here: Need the deeper bass, go buy the larger driver. Ultra compact subwoofers are in the market that offers multiple drivers to produce big bass. For large rooms, just check the subwoofers with more watts in the built-in amplifier. If you are setting up the theater in small room, just select the compact subwoofer. Typically, best placement for a subwoofer is in the front of the room, just to the left or right of the main speakers.

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