Do you feel the bass rumbling through your couch? Can you here bullets whizzing past your head, or footsteps walking by? Does your home sound system immerse you into your favorite film or take you to a live recording of your favorite band? I can. Most say that I’m not your typical woman. When I got my home built in 2006 it was me, not my husband, that opted to get the whole house wired for sound. We made sure that the whole lower level was wired. My family sounds like a movie theater and I love it!
But what if you cannot wire your family room for sound? You can still get outstanding sound from your sound system. If you want to get the most out of your home system follow these five, simple tips.
1.Start with the Best Quality Recordings
In a day and age where downloads are king, we have to pay attention to where we get our sounds. For the best quality sound, you have to start at the source. The most expensive sound system in the world can’t make bad quality recordings sound good. So the first step in improving the sound from your home system is to only use the best quality recordings. If an artist has a bad microphone cable it will ultimately affect the overall sound of the recording. The same goes for films with poor sound design. To get the best sound out of your system, you will have to look for recordings by well-regarded sound recordists.
2. Keep Your Audio Uncompressed
Audio files can have many different levels of compression; the less compression, the better the sound but the bigger the file size. Some online music stores will have an option to purchase higher quality audio, such a lossless, as well as the standard mp3. Lossless files are totally uncompressed audio, giving you the clearest possible sound, with absolutely no distortion. Since the introduction of Blu-Ray, viewers have been able to hear films in studio quality. It is important to note that if the original audio was a bad recording, all the imperfections will be clearly defined in lossless format.
3. Put Your Speakers in the right place
Most home theater systems will have a 5.1 stereo system. That is a system with 5 speakers and a subwoofer. The placement of the speakers will drastically affect how the audio sounds. The most basic set up is to place speakers on either side of the TV, another two beside or slightly behind the sitting position, and the final one in the center, either above or below the TV. This positioning all depends on personal taste, so can be changed slightly, depending on the size of the room and seating position. Some people will find it favorable to place the speakers up high, while others will prefer them to be low. Most films now will come on Blu-Ray with 7.1 surround capability, so for the best sound possible, it might be time to upgrade with another two, rear mounted speakers.
4. Tweak your Subwoofer Settings
Possibly the most overlooked part of setting up home audio, the subwoofer can completely change your audio experience. To make sure you are getting the most out of your sub, check your crossover setting on your systems receiver. The crossover will tell your speakers what frequencies to play at, keeping the lower frequencies to the sub and away from the smaller speakers, which will often not be able to handle lower than 120Hz. Adjust the bass volume to be just right; otherwise, you could have loud and overpowering bass that drowns out other sounds.
5. Invest in good quality Wires
I hear this from my DJ fiance all the time! Wires make a difference. Purchase keep wires, and your sound will suffer. They may not seem important, but this is where the sound goes to get to the speakers. If the wires are faulty, too long or too thin you can easily end up with distorted sound coming through the system. A few things to consider when looking into wiring is the gauge (thickness), length, construction and connection. The gauge will adjust how much current can go through the wire (the more current the better the sound). Thin wires allow for only a small amount of current, but can be suitable for speakers, so long as they are only short in length. Even a thick wire stretched too far will lose its quality, so make sure you haven’t got the speakers too far away. Wires with thicker sleeves are more likely to retain current and are better shielded from interference. A bad connection can create a lot of interference in the sound coming out of the speaker. Good connectors at either end of the wire will keep the sound crystal clear. Did you get all of that? Stores like Madison Tech supply everything needed for the perfect speaker wires.
Most films will now come on Blu-Ray with 7.1 surround capability, so for the best sound possible, it might be time to upgrade with another two, rear mounted speakers. If you’re not happy with your speaker system, browse stereo and av receivers for sale to look for some improvements.
With these tips you can completely recreate your home audio experience.
How is your home theater system setup?
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Madison Tech. All opinions are my own.