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How to choose a great surround sound system

As music and audio technology continues to improve, there has never been a better time to buy a new surround sound system for your home or office. A good surround sound system needs to be tailored to your specific circumstances, and the four main things you need to consider are wired or wireless systems, receiver audio output strength, speaker placement, and level of sound quality.

Wired or wireless

The wired setup is the most common, but wireless and virtual surround sound are becoming increasingly prevalent. With wireless and virtual surround sound systems, you may suffer some sound quality loss, but the upside is that you don't need to spend time stringing wires around your room. However, a pitfall for wired systems is that if you don't purchase good quality wires, you will also suffer sound quality loss, so don't skimp on the cost of any connective cables that you may need.

Receiver audio output strength

This is where the room size comes into play - the larger the room, the stronger the receiver audio output needs to be. For a small room, 50 watts is sufficient; for a large room, look at systems that can provide 150 watts or more. When choosing your system, ensure that you purchase speakers to match whatever audio output you have selected.

Speaker placement

Systems usually contain five main speakers and a sub-woofer. The front-left and front-right speakers should be an equal distance from wherever you are sitting in the room and should be place on either side of the TV screen or music player. The centre speaker should be between these two, and the surround speakers should be towards the back of the room, opposite the front-left and front-right speakers. When purchasing your system, ensure that the various components will be able to fit in these locations in your room.

Before you purchase your system, map out your room and consider where each of the speakers will go. Also look at whether any wires will be able to be run behind furniture or be hidden out of sight. 

Sound quality

For the dedicated music-lover, sound quality is everything. On the other hand, if your main use for your system will be watching movies, ease of setup may be more of an important consideration for you. If the purpose of your surround sound system is a home theatre, you can purchase "Home Theatre in a Box" systems. These contain speakers, a receiver, and cables, and are simple to put together, but may have lower sound quality than a custom-built system. Audiophiles should purchase individual components to ensure the highest sound quality. Focus on the quality of the speakers when purchasing components for your system, particularly the front-left and front-right speakers.

Surround sound systems are readily available and are continually dropping in price. When purchasing your system, consider your setup (wired or wireless, audio strength, and speaker placement), as well as the level of sound quality that you desire. This will ensure that you get the best value for your money so you can enjoy the great quality sounds of your music and movies.

For more information, contact a company such as AV Digitech.