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Five Tips When Buying a Surround Speaker System

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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 tips.

  1.  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.

  2. 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.

  3.  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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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