Five Tips When Buying a Surround Speaker System
Home theater and entertainment systems are the latest rage. You can enjoy
almost the same surround sound movie experience at home as in the big movie
complexes. Surround sound is also great for listing to music -- it puts you
front stage center, especially when listened to DVD audio. If you have decided
that now is the time for surround sound speaker system, here are a few buying
- Consider the space where the system will be installed. It is
pointless to buy a 7.1 speaker system if you don't have the room to place the
extra two speakers. Make a plan -- on paper if necessary -- about where the TV
and speakers are going to be placed around the room. The seating area also has
to be arranged accordingly.
Decide on the number of satellite speakers you want. Surround sound speaker
systems are sold as either 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 configurations. The “.1” part of
these numbers is the subwoofer, and there are either 5, 6, or 7 speakers which
are situated around the listening area. Deciding which configuration to go to
with depends on the size of your listening area and your budget.
Knowing whether you need a 5.1 or a 7.1 speaker system, head down to your
local audio shop for some sound demonstrations. Try to bring along your own
DVD so that you can test the speakers with the kind of sound you want to get
out of your system. In particular, choose a movie which has heavy bass
passages so that you can see if the subwoofer holds up to your standards.
As well as a DVD, also bring along a couple of music CDs to test on the
speaker systems. The front speakers need to be able to produce the full
spectrum of sound, so checking these on a music CD that you are familiar with
allows you to judge their quality.
Choose a surround sound speaker system rated at an appropriate power level. If
you have a powerful amplifier and use it to drive speakers with a lower power
rating you will quickly burn them out. On the other hand, if the speakers are
overrated for your amplifier output you will not get a good sound.
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