Buying a home theater system is something you can’t just decide on randomly. It’s a major purchase decision that’s certainly not cheap. You need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and that the product satisfies your wants. To find the right home theater system, consider the tips below.
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- Be clear with what you want.
Before anything else, you need to know what you really want. Do you want a home theater system for music or for movies? Do you want a 5.1 or a 7.1 system? Are you looking for a package that includes a large screen TV or hi-def projector or do you only need a speaker system to be used with your old but still excellent TV? Are you looking for a high-end system or would you be satisfied with a regular home theater system? Are you looking for a home theater that can be used as an accessory for your Xbox or do you want one with its own Blu-Ray player? You can’t just start your search for a home theater system if you are not sure what you want and need. Once you establish what you’re really looking for, you can more properly proceed to evaluating other factors.
- Be mindful of how your home theater will be installed and the room where it will be installed.
After determining what you want, you need to ascertain that what you want can fit into where you want to put it. Examine the room where the home theater system will be installed. Is there enough space for the speakers? Are the speakers big enough to fill the room with the right mix and resonance of sounds or are the speakers too big for the room? Check which home theater system is best for your living room or entertainment room by matching the features you are looking for and the space you have in your living or entertainment room.
For those who have limited spaces, a 5.1 system might be more appropriate. If you want a system that includes upward blasting cones and speakers placed behind the seats (7.1 system), you need to make sure you have enough room to properly position the speakers. You can’t really enjoy the benefits of a 7.1 system if you are unable to put the speakers where they should be placed and with the right distance.
- Take aesthetics into account.
Home theater systems are not only added to a living or entertainment room for the audio-visual entertainment they deliver. They also become part of a room’s fixtures. As such, they have to look good and be suitable to the design of the room where they will be set up. You can’t get something that visually contradicts the design and theme of a room. It may not affect function but the aesthetic contradiction can be an eyesore, and will likely bother you. It does not make a lot of sense bringing in rustic wooden speaker boxes into your modern entertainment room.
Also, be mindful of the lights on your home theater system. There should be minimal lights emitted by your speakers’ interface. Bright blue LEDs turning on whenever you turn your speakers on usually don’t look great. They tend to be highly conspicuous and can be irritating, especially when you end up aiming these bright LED lights directly at your favorite position or seat in the room.
- Do price comparisons.
Certainly, price matters. That’s why you have to compare your options carefully. Fortunately, you can easily find price information online. You can request for prices from an appliance store through their website or browse for prices on price comparison sites such as PriceGrabber.com, NexTag, and Google Product Search. Cheaper is better as long as you make sure that you are buying from a reputable store.
- Visit reviews.
The reviews published online can be very useful tools in coming up with the right purchase decision. You just need to be careful in choosing the reviews you use as reference. Make sure you are using reviews that are impartial and truly informative. Scrutinize if a review is being truthful or is just promoting a particular product or brand.
Good reviews are those that are from sites or blogs that are really dedicated to providing reviews of home theater systems, home appliances, gadgets, or tech products. You can’t expect good quality from reviews on sites that only publish review posts because of guest posting or because the site is being paid to write something about a certain product or brand. Good reviews are clear and concise and preferably should include notes on the advantages or disadvantages of the products being reviewed, similar to what I have on Techi Signals.
You should be able to discern if a review is credible or not by examining the accuracy of the details presented and the tone of the review. It’s not difficult to detect of a post is meant to be objective or is merely written as part of the marketing campaign of a certain brand or company. The external links in the review as well as the amount of mentions of a certain brand should serve as good enough hints.
- Don’t be tied with brands.
it’s important not to be obsessed with brands. You can’t really find the best home theater system for you if you limit your options to your favorite brand. It’s okay to have a trusted brand but it’s not helpful having a compulsive brand loyalty. If your trusted gadgets come from a certain brand, it doesn’t have to follow that your home theater system should be from the same brand. Much have changed over the years in consumer electronics. The brands you know to be the “best” may have already been overtaken by their rivals or by new brands.
- Examine the home theater system in person.
No, this tip is not a contradiction to tip #5 on visiting reviews. You can use reviews as guides but before you proceed with the purchase, you have to carefully examine the product you are buying in person. This means it’s inadvisable to buy it online. It’s not enough that you know the details of the features and technical specifications of the home theater system you plan to buy. It’s always preferable to experience what the product actually delivers with your own ears and eyes.
Ultimately, choosing the best home theater system is about making an informed decision. To do an informed decision, you need to know what you want and do your research on available options. Compares features and prices. Also, don’t forget to ensure that the home theater system you are getting is suitable for the room where you will be putting it. Lastly, you need to avoid brand obsession and to evaluate the product in person before buying.