There are many things to consider while putting together a home theater system. Many questions should come to mind during this process. Rather than overwhelm yourself, pace yourself. Take the time to learn what you’re getting into before blindly purchasing. If you don’t have any audio enthusiast friends, there is plenty of educational content and great advice online and within the home theater forums. The forum forest is large and consumers love to share their voice. But I’d say you hit the jackpot in finding our Aperion University.
A Few Questions
Some questions that you should ask yourself should be: What is the main purpose of the system? How will I budget this investment? How large will I expand my system? What speakers fit my needs? What is my setup plan of attack for my floor plan?
Music? Movies? or Both?
You’ll first want to determine what the purpose of your system will serve. Will it primarily play music or movies? If music is your preference with occasional TV or movie watching with no plans to expand further, then you may consider picking up a nice two channel amp and route all of your separate components through the TV. If movies are your forte then there are many more options to be aware of.
Dealing With Budgets?
When building a surround system for your home, budgeting is most likely your number one concern. Please budget for a nice receiver. You don’t want to be the one who has awesome speakers that aren’t sufficiently powered. Also keep in mind all of the cables you might need. I won’t get into the subject here, but there is great debate over whether or not you can hear a difference with more expensive cables. Another thing to think about would be speaker stands or wall mounts. How about a universal remote? Unless having four or five remotes doesn’t bother you… Not to mention you probably already were budgeting for furniture, and a new TV or projector screen.
The great thing is that you can build it a piece at a time. But if you absolutely can’t wait and can’t control your anxiety for sonic awesomeness, then by all means run up that line of credit!
It is a huge accomplishment when your theater is finally hooked up and rockin’. From a 3.1 home audio setup to Atmos capable systems, they are all very rewarding when you can finally sit back, relax and enjoy great sound. Most people go with a 5.1 home audio system. You can always start with a 3.1 and expand on top of that later on. If wanting to dive into the Atmos realm, just be aware of the receiver you choose. Most receivers have seven channels of power but are able to process additional audio signals from the pre-outs. If your receiver has nine channels of power you would need an additional two-channel amp if running a 7.1.4 Atmos setup.
Does Size Matter?
Speaker size is a negotiable topic. I personally believe that no speaker is too big for a room, unless it literally doesn’t fit in the room! I’ve heard large speakers in large rooms and also small rooms. I like the listening experience in a small room, it feels more intimate. With a larger room, some of the sound might get swallowed up, especially if there’s a vaulted ceiling. A good speaker sounds good at loud volumes. A great speaker sounds great with all dynamic ranges.
Room floor plan and speaker placement is definitely something worth taking the time to map out. If it’s an open floor plan like a living room, then speaker placement can be a bit tricky due to already existing furniture or lamp wall fixtures. The living room is most likely the main operating room of your home. This could allow a bit of ease to the budget and which components to purchase first. For example, if you mostly watch movies or play videos games, then you might start with a new 4K TV and build from there. If it’s a dedicated room then it makes it a bit easier to choose the placement. With dedicated rooms it might be best to budget and get everything at once. I know I would be itching if I had a dedicated theater room that only had partial of the needed equipment. To get a more in-depth look at speaker placement check out a recent blog article: setting up your speakers.
In closing, please don’t rush the process of getting your home theater system. It will be well worth the wait and all of your hard worked hours to pick the right gear. If you don’t quite have the budget just yet, the patience and waiting to get the proper gear will outweigh the potential of not being fully satisfied. With efficient planning and asking all of the questions that come to mind, the journey to getting your home theater should be an enjoyable experience. Once you’re all setup, the enjoyment will last for years to come.