How to Find the Perfect Home Audio System

One of the best parts of going to the movies is that you can completely immerse yourself in the story. With the dimmed lights and the massive screen, all you can focus on is what’s happening in front of you. The amazing sound system makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

Buying a movie theater-sized screen might be impractical. Buying a movie theater-quality sound system is much more achievable and can take your movie and TV watching experience to the next level. These days there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to home audio systems. With a wide variety of features, styles, and prices, it can be hard to know where to start.


Step 1: Figure out your budget

The first step is figuring out how much you want to spend. You can find amazing audio systems for a couple hundred dollars, or you can spend a couple thousand.

Knowing how much you want to spend first will help limit your options and make the process less overwhelming. It will also prevent you from falling in love with some amazing sound system, only to find out that it’s out of your price range. Save yourself the heartache. Limit yourself to looking at home audio systems that are firmly in your price range.

This isn’t to say that you can’t find amazing sound systems at a budget-friendly price. You absolutely can.


Step 2: Determine what you actually need

Next, you need to figure out the type of sound system that best fits your needs. While having an intense surround sound system seems nice, you might not have the space to set up the speakers. If your TV is set up in a small room, you don’t need a super powerful system to get the job done like you would in a larger room.

If you spent a lot of time and care (and money) decorating and arranging your TV room, keep that in mind as well. You don’t want to ruin the décor of the room with a massive speaker system. You may want to go for more subtle speakers that blend into their surroundings.

If you only want a sound system to enhance your TV watching experience, then you can get by with a simple audio system. If you listen to a lot of music or you watch a lot of movies, then a high-quality sound system would better suite your needs.

You have a couple options when buying a home audio system and both can be as simple or as complicated as you want.

Option 1: Sound Bar

The first option you have is a sound bar. This is by far the simplest option. In fact, for many people the simplicity and ease of set-up is the most attractive feature. A sound bar is one device that consists of multiple speakers. They can be mounted to the wall or placed on a shelf above or below the TV, making them inconspicuous and perfect for smaller rooms.

You can also get a sound bar system that comes with a separate subwoofer (which is a speaker competent that produces very low bass frequencies), and some also have separate rear speakers. These systems have a surround sound-like effect, but aren’t as powerful and crisp as a true surround sound system.

Sound bar systems are good for people who mostly use their TVs to watch TV shows and don’t necessarily need such an intense sound system. A multi-speaker sound bar system is good for people who like to watch movies or listen to music, but don’t have the space for a surround sound system.

Option 2: Surround Sound System

The other type of home audio system is a surround sound system. When it comes to surround sound, you can—again—make it as simple or as complicated as you want. The more speakers involved, the more planning you will have to do to figure out the layout.

A typical surround sound system is a 5.1 system, meaning there are 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer. You can find systems with more or less speakers depending on the sound quality you want (more speakers means a higher sound quality).

You can build your own surround sound system, which can get complicated. This allows for more customization which can be nice if you know exactly what you want from your sound system. For example, an audio system for a hard-core music lover would be different from the system for a movie buff.

The simplest option is a pre-matched speaker system, which is also called a “home theater in a box” or HTIB system. With HTIB systems, the manufacturer has packaged all the essential equipment like the speakers, as well as the cables and wiring. These systems are also usually color-coded making set-up easy. The down side of these sound systems is that you typically can’t add or replace speakers.

Step 3: Find you perfect sound system

Now that you know the type of system you want and your price range, it’s time to find your perfect audio system. You’ll want to research different brands and read reviews before purchasing. If you can, actually go to a store and listen to something on the speaker system you think you want to buy. If you can’t do that, then make sure you read a lot of reviews.


Step 4: Enjoy!

You’ve found, bought, and set-up your home audio system. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy that new, crisp, high-quality sound.


About the Author

Appliance & Furniture RentAll has been providing consumers with home furnishings, televisions, home electronics, and major home appliances since 1983. Our 20 rental-purchase stores serve customers in North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, with corporate offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.