5 Recommendations for Optimizing Your Home Theater’s Audio Quality
The majority of us have experienced a home theater, either in our home or in others. Replicating the visceral cinema experience can be a challenge; the perfect pairing of an eye-popping screen and a blend of layered sound that places us in the center of the action. But why not take this experience to the comfort of your own home? You can transform any free space into a home theater equipped with a surround sound system and entertainment center.
A surround system is easier to replicate than it may seem. The three-dimensional sound environment is created through the use of multiple speakers, and you won't need the number that the movie theater uses to recreate the feeling the action is happening around you. Most homeowners choose the 5.1 surround sound system, which consists of speakers that handle the different layers of audio. Channel speakers project dialogue, while left and right speakers blast the music. On the perimeter of your setup, rear speakers and a subwoofer add ambiance and depth. When combined, these elements create the ideal sound experience. But there are even more setup options to choose from that further expand and optimize your sound.
Place the Center Speaker Up High
As logic would suggest, center speakers should be placed in the center. Place the center channel speaker above your television, horizontally centered, so you feel that the dialogue emanates from the image itself, instead of elsewhere in the room. Those placements are reserved for ambient sound. You can easily mount your speaker with rubber feet, a stand, or a wall mount. If it isn't possible to mount your speaker above the television, keep it as close below your television as possible. Either way, the center placement is key.
Don’t Make the Subwoofer a Secret
You may have noticed homeowners who attempt to hide the full power of bass by placing their subwoofer in a corner or an obstructed view. There's no need to hide away the epicenter of your sound quality! Remember you are aiming to recreate the experience of a home theater, so test out some locations. An ideal spot is slightly off-center of your seating, so you experience an engaging sound that crafts an immersive home theater. Allow nothing but the floor to touch your subwoofer, so there won't be anything rattling to disturb your sound quality. If you don't own a subwoofer, you've been missing out. Get one now to experience a new depth of sound!
Choose the Right Size
When selecting your speakers, remember the bigger the speaker, the bigger the sound. If you are working with a medium-size living room or den for your home theater, 12" to 15" tall speakers are in the ideal range. But, if you're working with a larger, or multipurpose space, then a 38" or taller speaker may be preferable. But make sure to consult a professional because you don't want to end up drowning in sound.
Pair your Speakers to your Room
While we're on the topic of size, the 5.1 system may be compatible with many rooms, but it may not be the standard quality of sound you desire. You may want to upgrade your technology or the number of speakers you use. In that case, a 7.1 or even 9.1 system may be a better fit if you are working in a larger room or if you are currently remodeling your home theater.
Calibrate your Sound
Our final piece of advice for achieving cutting-edge sound output is essential. Calibrate your speaker's system output levels correctly. This step can make or break your home theater's audio quality. When done perfectly, you'll feel all the subtle nuances in the most explosive action or chilling horror films. Luckily for the less tech-savvy, the majority of modern-day systems are equipped with automatic calibration features. However, you should never hesitate to contact a professional if you have questions about calibration.
Our team of certified professionals at Austin Audio are ready to assist you today with your home theater, whether you have visions for one built from scratch, or you are currently remodeling. Contact us today!