One of the most critical things to understand about home speakers is that not all models are created equally. Speakers built specifically with music in mind might not sound like you’d expect in your home theater. That doesn’t make them bad speakers – that makes them inadequate for your needs.
Maybe the biggest decision you’ll need to make involving your audio entertainment equipment involves whether or not to invest in speakers that support Dolby’s Atmos technology. These speakers have tweeters located not just on the front of the device, but also on top. They fire sound at your ceiling, thus allowing noise to “feel” like it’s coming from above you during a movie or show. By using an object-based sound field, this can absolutely create a more immersive feeling with regards to the content you watch.
There isn’t a huge amount of Atmos content available right now, but that will change in the next few years. But ultimately, this decision will come down to HOW you use your speakers. If you only listen to music, Atmos is probably unnecessary. If your system is devoted to movies at least 75% of the time, however, Atmos is absolutely something you’ll want to consider.
Finding That “House Sound”
A lot of people don’t realize that most speakers from big name manufacturers like Sonos and Leon actually have their own “house sound.” While they all sound good, they also all sound different from one another thanks to specific choices made during the design process. Some are known for their deep bass, while others are famous for their clear high-end.
This is why “auditioning” speakers in a showroom before you buy them is essential. You need to make sure that “house sound” is something you’re actually comfortable with. Never buy speakers over the Internet without hearing them first. Go to a provider in your area and listen to music, booming Hollywood films and other types of content to make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re purchasing.
Floorstanding or Bookshelves?
Finally, you’ll absolutely want to consider whether to invest in a pair of floorstanding home speakers, or their smaller bookshelf cousins. Floorstanding speakers are generally great for two situations. This includes ones where you’re trying to provide sound for a large room, and where you may not necessarily have the floor space for a subwoofer. If you have a medium or small room, however, bookshelf speakers will likely do just fine, even in a dedicated home theater.
The CAVE Approach
Unlike big box electronics retailers that seem to think that all consumers (and all environments) are the same, the team at Cathey’s Audio Visual Entertainment sees things a bit differently. Since 1954, we’ve been helping clients in Southern Arizona break free of the myth of the “one size fits all” solution to home theater and home audio. Our work is done completely in-house, which means that we can not only help you design and install systems from Sonos, Leon, REL and other providers that are purpose-built with your home in mind, but that can also enhance the joy of movies, television and music in your home in all the ways you’ve always wanted.
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