You’ve bought the best home theatre system. What are you going to do now? Well, there’s still a lot more left to do. Getting the perfect Home Cinema experience doesn’t simply consist of getting one specific set of equipment.
In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to improve home theatre sound quality- from getting all the extra equipment to placing every piece of equipment in the best possible way.
Tips To Improve Home Theatre Sound Quality
1. Pick The Most Visually Pleasing Spot
This first step is avoiding simply putting your stuff wherever you like. Indeed, you can actually follow a scientific method to position your couch, TV and chairs perfectly to get the most use out of them. There’s some mathematics you need to do to get the right viewing distance, but you can also take the easy route and refer to these recommendations offered by Sony.
2. Go For A Soundbar If Your Room Is Small
While a full-fledged home theatre system is good for a bigger room, you’re better off with the best soundbar in a small living room. That way, you won’t be wasting the potential of a bigger system while still getting excellent sound quality. Even better, you get to be more efficient with the space in your room. Soundbars are essentially low-profile horizontal bars loaded with several high-quality speakers. They can sit under the TV with minimal visual clutter and, in some cases, even act as a base stand.
You might be concerned about the quality of surround sound produced by these speakers, but fear not; they can produce that effect all while having a discreet design. That’s because they come equipped with advanced surround sound technology, along with a specially designed speaker placement.
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3. Provide Enough Space For Proper Bass
Next, you must think about where you will place your subwoofer. These things are meant to give the impression that the entire space is shaking, contributing to immersion. If you put one, make sure it’s not in a cabinet or an enclosed area. In that situation, the woofer won’t produce the purest sound; strange rattles will result instead of a pleasant rumble. It’s ideal if you keep it on the floor, next to a wall (for even more intensive bass) and preferably in a corner.
4. Store Your Speakers On Shelves
If you’re going to equip your room with several speakers, then you can do a few things to get the best audio out of them. Firstly, they should be properly spaced out from each other. The ideal distance between two speakers will be the sum of their diameters minus one foot of separation. Next, if you can’t put them on walls or base stands, don’t just throw them on the ground randomly; store them on shelves to save space and to get better directional audio quality.
5. Ensure The Right Number Of Audio Channels To Get Good Surround Sound
When adding multiple speakers, you have to carefully consider the number of audio channels you want. The classic 5.1 system will give you left and right front, centre channel, left and right rear speakers, plus a subwoofer for the bass kick. However, there are 7.1 systems that can position two additional side-surrounds in an excellent way to get the most out of action-packed movies with many sounds coming from all sides of the screen.
Do note that it’s important that these speakers are placed correctly. Not only do they need to be far enough away but also angled correctly, so they don’t bounce off walls back into each other and create a confusing mess of noise.
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6. Avoid Issues With Odd Angles By Getting An OLED TV
With the advent of vertically-oriented screens and thin flat screens, wall-mounted TVs are becoming more popular than ever. However, when it comes to setting up a home theatre, unconventional angles resulting from such TV setups can affect immersion. OLED TVs were created with this in mind; they don’t suffer from the same issues as standard LED or LCD TVs when mounted at weird angles because each pixel can be turned off individually (something called “dimming”).
7. Consider Room Lighting
Lighting is also an important consideration when setting up a home theatre. Blinding lights can cause problems for projectors and cast ugly shadows on the screen, detracting from the experience. If you’re using a projector or large TV, then consider getting some blackout curtains to cover windows (or at least make sure they’re covered) and avoid any distraction.
There’s also the option of installing mood lighting in your room; it’s not only great for special occasions like romantic dates more fun, but it will make your individual audiovisual experience feel much more immersive too. You could even get multi-coloured bulbs and change them depending on what kind of movie you’re watching!
8. Clean Up Your Cable Clutter
A massive amount of cables are inevitable for any home theatre; you need them to connect your movie player, game consoles, Blu-ray players and TV. However, this can result in an unsightly mess of wires that detracts from the room’s decor. One solution is to use VGA splitters (or HDMI splitter), so you can reduce the number of cables running into the single box location; another option is to hide them with cable covers or even behind wall panels.
9. Choose A Room With Good Acoustics
If you’re setting up a home theatre, then choosing a room with excellent acoustics is important (although this might not be possible if it’s a basement chamber). Ideally, all surfaces should be hard and non-reflective to produce clear audio. Also, consider adding bass traps or sound absorbers to the walls and ceiling if your room is a “live” space where echoes can prove distracting. For a more professional fix, consider getting an acoustical engineer to make some changes for you.
10. Be Ahead Of The Curve With A Curved TV
Curved TVs are often criticized for being gimmicky at best, but you can make some good use of them in the home theatre. How? Getting a curved TV is ideal if you’re concerned about bad viewing angles or bright screen glare. The curvature means that these problems are drastically reduced, and seeing the TV is comparable to how it would be if it were right in front of you. Also, these can look aesthetically pleasing when placed on a wall!
11. Get A Subwoofer If You Don’t Already Have One
You don’t need to be concerned if your system already has a subwoofer, but if it doesn’t, then you should definitely consider purchasing one. Adding a subwoofer to your setup can make explosions and other audio effects feel much more immersive.
However, there’s no need to shell out for overpriced models as long as you follow some basic guidelines: first, don’t get a subwoofer that is smaller than your main speakers (this will make it sound like muddy noise); second, try to have the size of your subwoofer be well-matched with your front left/right speakers.
12. Try To Get More Speakers
Why not opt for some high-end studio monitors if you have money to spend? However, you can still get good value from regular bookshelf speakers too. You can get an excellent sound experience with the help of an AV receiver or amplifier. Just make sure that you place them in ideal locations and tune their settings properly.
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13. Get The Right Height For Your Seating Area
The height of your seating area is also vital if you want to achieve the best home theatre experience. Ideally, the seats should be able to recline so that you can get into a comfortable position while still facing your display(s) which should ideally be 1-2 feet above eye level. This ensures that there are no uncomfortable neck cramps during movie watching sessions!
As for what kind of seats you should use? Well, it depends on personal preference, but here’s something to think about: did you know that leather furniture doesn’t make much noise when moving around?
This makes it ideal for home theatres where you may have to move around a lot.
14. Go For A Projector If You Can Afford It
Most people will only consider the flat-screen TV when setting up their home theatre but don’t forget that projectors are still an option. They have recently seen a boom in popularity thanks to “old film” movie lovers looking for authenticity in their entertainment experiences. Still, they can also be used to good effect by anyone!
Do keep in mind, however, that these can eat through your budget, so if it’s possible, then try getting a projector + screen in one package deal. This will definitely save some pennies in the long run.
15. Try Playing Around With Off-Axis Projection
Many people will set up their projector right in front of their seating area, but what if you have the space to spare? For example, you could place your projector on a high table or TV stand. This may not be for everyone, but if done correctly, this can give a massive boost to image quality! The main benefit here is that it positions the image slightly off-axis, which means there’s less light interference between the projection and your viewers. It also adds an interesting twist to movie-watching experiences as it puts more emphasis on sound effects/dialogue instead of visual detail.
Now you know how to improve home theatre sound quality. Follow these tips for the best possible audiovisual experience at your own house! You’ll never have to go to an old theatre to watch all the newest and coolest movies again.
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