Choosing Your Surround Sound System

In the world of home audio entertainment, a great surround sound system can be the difference between watching and listening to movies and music and experiencing the same movies and music. Building a quality surround sound system takes time and a decent budget, but it also helps to know what to look for in different setups. High quality audio doesn’t have to be overly complicated or extremely expensive since there are plenty of options for every kind of entertainment expectation and budget. No matter if you are putting together a new system from nothing or looking to upgrade to some better speakers and add more amplification to your space, here is a look at some of the coolest, most effective surround sound system setups.

Sound bars

This system is a slender speaker system with good capacity to boost stereo sound. As a sleek, lightweight, and compact amplifier, this is a good starting point if you are looking to add crisp, dynamic sound with a good dose of bass to your TV without spending your monthly food budget. The size of these speaker systems make them ideal for setups tight on space, lower budgets, or first time surround sound purchases. The best part is that you can place these setups anywhere and many come with cool features like wireless subwoofers and built-in Bluetooth. Of course, the limits of sound bars are recognizable once you reach a certain threshold and if you’re looking for a sound system purely for music capacity, you probably want to go a step further than a mere sound bar.

AV Receiver and Speakers

This is a classic surround system setup that won’t cost a fortune and will get you the audio results you’ve been seeking. In this setup, the AV receiver amplifies sound and routes video signals, though the main role is amplification. The critical component here is the speakers, and there are a lot out there. Speakers are all about design and sound quality and ultimately, getting the sharpest, most resonating sound for the money. Today, there are some great speaker setups that are compact, stylish, and offer good sound. Small speakers are nice to save on space and distribute the sound, but larger floor speakers give a performance boom you can’t get from some smaller models. Either way, you don’t have to spend three grand on speakers to make this setup great. Shop around and find an option that meets your needs and budget, but throw more money at the speakers over the receiver. Speakers are an investment and a quality set can last decades or longer.

Audio System

License: Creative Commons

Tower Speakers and Sub-woofer

This is the most classic home audio setup around. It is simple and can cost as much as you’re willing to pay. Once again, all the focus is on the speakers–and they are big. A pair of tower speakers can surround you in sound as much as five or six well placed small surround sound speakers. The setup can also be easier since there is no placing a center channel speaker and running wires across the room. You might also end up with better speakers–you’ll only have two but they will be high quality. Hooking up two tower speakers to a receiver and adding a subwoofer for good measure will give you a robust experience for movies and will absolutely dominate on music. You might not get the total immersion of sound like you would from small speakers in every nook and corner, but you will get clarity and power and that is hard to beat.

by +Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn writes about home audio setup for Ben is currently working in getting his own home theater set up and knows how important it is to find the right system for your space.