Guide to buying a home sound system

Guide to buying a home sound system

With the home audio equipment market set to generate $49.9 billion worldwide by 2026, there’s never been a better time to invest in a quality sound system for your home.

Whether you’re planning to use your system to watch movies, listen to music, play games, or entertain guests, there are plenty of options for your consideration. The good news is, it’s possible to spruce up your existing decor, compliment the aesthetic of your home and even boost the value of your property by choosing the right sound system.

Stereo vs surround sound

To figure out whether a stereo or surround sound system is best, it’s worth pointing out the main difference between the two: essentially, left-to-right stereo creates a sound field that closely replicates a sound stage, whereas surround sound uses the same left-to-right sound field but with extra elements, often placed behind and above the listener.

Surround sound is said to provide a more immersive experience, whereas stereo systems are usually best for listening to music. Both stereo and surround sound setups have their advantages and disadvantages, and which one is best for you will depend on the primary purpose of the system. For example, if you’ll be primarily watching movies and playing video games, immersive surround sound may be the best option – alternatively, you may opt for a stereo system if you’ll be primarily listening to (or producing your own) music.

Take into account the size and acoustics of your property when picking out a home audio system – if you overestimate the system you need, you could find that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew and that your neighbours may be disrupted.

Tools and resources needed

Depending on the nature of your system, you may be required to purchase extra elements if you want to enjoy the optimal listening experience.

Most stereo systems are comprised of two matched speakers, a stereo receiver or amplifier, and a sound source – try to choose a system that has everything you need builtin or included with the initial purchase. Unless you pick up a wireless sound system, you’ll almost certainly have to connect or ‘string up’ your hi-fi amplifier wires to the corresponding speakers – just make sure that you don’t spend too much money on wiring, as the value of this can depend according to length.

Don’t feel as though you have to blow your budget on amplifiers, receivers, and speakers – there may be little discernible difference in quality between moderately priced options and the more expensive ones. It’s worth noting that wiring up home theatre systems can be a complicated business – check out this simple guide to help you on your way.

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