When you watch TV, are you frantically pressing the volume control button up and down? One minute an explosion onscreen assaults your ears and threatens to wake the kids; the next, you’re straining to hear dialogue. That’s because the speakers included in today’s TV sets are compulsory but inadequate at best. Now that the excitement of flat-panel TVs has worn off, people like you are ready to begin considering the audio portion of the equation, and manufacturers are responding with entirely new breeds of speakers designed to provide a more robust audio system in your living or media room.
Horizontal sound bars that you can mount below your TV, sound bases that are designed to sit underneath your TV, and wireless speakers are all great design solutions. Some of them even sound great. But for that you-are-there experience, nothing can beat a high-quality surround sound speaker system. Here’s why:
The ‘you are there’ effect
Some all-in-one speakers offer simulated (aka “virtual”) surround sound. While you can get a decent approximation from some of the higher-end models available, it doesn’t compare to real speakers surrounding you with dedicated information going to each speaker (or channel). This means that effects—like rain for example—actually come from the side and rear speakers, totally immersing you in the moment. The result is an experience that actually suspends disbelief and envelopes you in the action. It’s one of those things you’ll want to show off to friends.
While many sound bars come with a separate subwoofer, other all-in-one speakers neglect this important channel. The subwoofer provides the low-frequency effects to the room—the bass that makes you feel those deep notes and explosions. In a surround system, a subwoofer gets its own spot in the home entertainment system and on the receiver or amplifier—and often two spots for bigger rooms—giving your system the oomph it needs to create killer audio.
More pep in its step
Many all-in-one speakers act as the receiver or amplifier, meaning that they have to try to squeeze all the power you’d get from one of these standalone components into a much smaller and more lightweight package. They simply can’t, making an all-in-one speaker—especially one on the lower end—sound anemic when compared with a full surround system. With a dedicated receiver or amplifier, speakers will easily fill your room with sound, while not overpowering.
Wired and wireless wonders
Wireless speakers are all the rage these days for their convenience factor, giving the consumer even more options when it comes to creating an out-of-this-world home theater experience. Wireless speakers are great design solutions for those who don’t want to run speaker wires from their entertainment system all over their living room or break into drywall to run them inside the walls. You simply need a reliable wireless network to support them, especially if you have a lot of other streaming devices, like a tablet or networked computers. Wired surround speakers do require speaker wire, but don’t rely on a network to send information, meaning they are incredibly dependable. Either way, make sure you get a demonstration before you buy. We’ll be happy to show you a few options that will fulfill your needs.
Step it up
If you’re now convinced surround sound is the way to go in your media room, you’ll want to consider getting speakers that are up to the task, as not all surround sound systems are created equal. There is a wide range of quality and capability out there, but the question is: What is best for you and your home? Take the time to demo some different systems. Also remember that when it comes to speakers, it’s usually a case of ‘you get what you pay for.’ That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, however. There are plenty of excellent midlevel systems that will do a bang-up job in the living room. We welcome you to come in for a bona fide surround sound experience coming at you from all sides…and from high-quality speakers. When you hear the difference, you’ll regret that you’ve been missing it all along.