How to Find a Cheap but Good Home Theater System

cheap home theater system

Coby makes this home theater system with DVD, under $100! Now that's cheap!

If you’re in the market for a cheap but good home theater system it’s easy to get a bit confused by both advertising and sales people.  They would have you believe that you can’t live without feature A or feature B.  The fact is that once you know what features are important and which aren’t it’s quite easy to get a quality home theater system cheap.

There are a few different types of home theater system available, and, believe it or not, the type of system doesn’t determine if it’s cheap or not, it’s the quality and features that do.

Let’s look at the different types available

7.1 and 5.1 these two types offer the best sound, as long as the components and software are top notch.  They use a subwoofer, side speakers, center speaker and rear speakers.  The 5 or 7 means surround speakers while the ‘1’ means subwoofer.

The 2.1 system.  This is a simpler system with just a subwoofer and two side speakers.  The surround sound quality can be quite good with this if it’s a quality system.

The sound bar.  By far the simplest with all the speakers housed in a single ‘bar’ shaped unit.  Although there are fewer speakers it can achieve a surround experience using software.  Do not disregard this as they can be quite good, as well as a cheap home theater system alternative.

The important thing to know is, if the components and built in software are good quality any of these system types can achieve a convincing surround sound.  If you’re looking for a cheap home theater system you need to consider any of these types.

Now take a look at the power output of the home theater system.  Note that even a cheap home theater system may have a really high power rating, don’t be fooled by this since as the power goes up so does the distortion so a cheap home theater system may sound bad if the power rating is real high.

If you are considering a 5.1 or 7.1 type of home theater system take note of this.  It’s quite common in cheap home theater systems to skimp on the quality of the rear speakers.  This will be really noticeable when you crank up the power as the rear hiss and distortion will really ruin the experience.  If you want a powerful, cheap home theater system I suggest the sound bar or 2.1 system for this reason.

Another cheap home theater system, this one by JVC

One thing to pay close attention to on cheap home theater systems is the number and type of connectors available.  Make sure the system you’re considering will be able to connect to your TV as well as any other components you own.

When looking for a cheap home theater system try to avoid fancy accessories like ipod docks and internet connectivity if you don’t absolutely need them as this will just add to the price.

When you’re ready to head out to find a great cheap home theater system I suggest reading home theater system reviews on sites like Consumer Search, Consumer Reports and even on Amazon.  These home theater system reviews are oft times written by people just like yourself and can really help you find a cheap but good home theater system that fits your needs perfectly.

Filed Under: Home Electronics

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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