Take the Mystery out of Home Theater System Shopping – Learn how to buy home theater systems

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Learn before you shop for a home theater system

If you’re going to shop for a home theater system then you owe it to yourself (and your wallet) to have some idea of what features you need.  If you’ve started looking for home theater systems then I probably don’t have to tell you that it can be a bit confusing for the first time buyer.  Don’t worry, I’m going to go through some of the basic things you should look for, what you should be wary of and what some of those confusing numbers mean.  Read further to learn how to buy a home theater system without wasting your money.

It’s easy to get confused by that 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 stuff.  This simply means the number of speakers and the number of sub woofers.

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 sub woofer, side speakers, center speaker and rear speakers.  The 5 or 7 means surround speakers while the ‘1’ means sub woofer.

The 2.1 system.  This is a simpler system with just a sub woofer 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 and a great home theater system buy.

I suggest reading home theater system reviews to get an idea of what real consumers are saying about the sound quality of the particular home theater system you’re interested in.

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, actually they can even blow out the rear speakers, check the power output against the rear speaker capacity and see if this is possible.

If you are considering a 5.1 or 7.1 type of home theater system I urge you to check the rear speakers carefully.  It’s quite common, especially 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 surround sound experience.  If you want a powerful, cheap home theater system I suggest the sound bar or 2.1 system for this reason.

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, like a DVR, gaming system etc.  The last thing you is to have to return an otherwise great home theater system because you can’t connect your blu-ray player to it.

When you’re ready to head out and shop for a 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 written by people just like yourself and can really help you buy a good home theater system that fits your needs perfectly.

Filed Under: For the Home

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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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