Adding Surround Sound | Is it worth it?
Adding surround sound to your TV and entertainment system can greatly improve your viewing experience. Watching movies, playing games, and listening to music can all be enhanced with stereo or surround sound. From the thunderous scenes in Jurassic Park to the engine roars of Grand Theft Auto, stereo and surround sound help give these moments extra impact. There are a few different ways to add stereo or surround sound to your home entertainment setup, including wired and wireless options.
Wired options for stereo or surround sound generally provide better sound quality than wireless options. However, they can be more difficult to set up and may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Wireless options are usually easier to set up and can be more aesthetically pleasing, but they may not provide the same sound quality as wired options.
Why surround sound makes a difference
If you have ever been to a movie theater, you know how impactful surround sound can be. It creates an immersive experience that can make you feel like you are part of the action. The same is true for your home entertainment system. When you add surround sound, it can greatly improve the quality of your viewing experience.
If you are a gamer, adding surround sound to your PS5, Xbox Series X|S, or Nintendo Switch can also enhance your gameplay. It can help you to be more aware of your surroundings and make it easier to identify where sounds are coming from.
Types of surround sound systems
There are two main types of surround sound systems: stereo and wireless.
Stereo surround sound systems are the most common and typically the most affordable. They use speakers that are placed around the room, and they can be wired or wireless.
Wireless surround sound systems are becoming more popular because they are easier to set up and don’t require running cables around your room. They use sensors to detect where the speakers should be placed for optimal sound. Some wireless options include Bose, Klipsch, JBL, Nakamichi, Vizio, and many more. With wireless, you’ll also need to decide between WIFI or Bluetooth connections.
How to choose the right surround sound system
The best way to choose a surround sound system is to figure out what your needs are. When choosing a stereo or surround sound system, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The first is the size of your room. If you have a small room, you won’t need as powerful of a system as someone with a large room. If you are on a budget, a stereo system may be the best option. If you want something that is easy to set up and doesn’t require running cables, a wireless system may be the better choice.
The components of a true surround sound system include:
- Receiver: This is the brains of the operation. It decodes the audio signal and sends it to the appropriate speakers.
- Speakers: There are different types of speakers, and the number you need will depend on the type of system you choose. stereo systems typically have two speakers, while surround sound systems have five or more.
- Subwoofer: This is a special speaker that reproduces low frequencies. It can help to create a more immersive experience.
- Center Channel: This is a speaker that is placed in the center of the room. It helps to anchor the sound and make it easier to understand dialog.
- Surround Speakers: These are placed around the room and help to create the feeling of being immersed in the action.
- Cables: You will need cables to connect your receiver to your TV and speakers. If you choose a wireless system, you won’t need as many cables.
Installing a surround sound system
Once you have all of the components, you will need to set up your system. This can be a bit tricky, so it’s best to follow the instructions that come with your particular system. Running wires to the speakers can often be the hardest part, so it’s important to take your time and plan out the best route. Aesthetically, hiding the wires is often the goal, so you may need to get creative. If you have a wall mounted TV, running the sound wires to the receiver can also be a challenge if you are trying to hide them.
If you are looking for a more complex installation (with hidden wires, etc…), you may need to consult a professional. Often times, even the surround sound speakers can be unsightly, but there are speakers that are designed to be mounted in the wall. Wall mounted/embedded speakers will obviously require more work – cutting drywall, running hidden wires – all of these tasks may require a professional.
To optimize your sound and replicate the true effect of theater, you will need to place the speakers around the room. They should be at ear level and placed an equal distance from the seating area. The center channel speaker should be placed directly in front of or above the TV. The surround speakers should be placed to the left and right of the seating area, and angled towards it. The subwoofer can be placed anywhere in the room, as long as it is not blocking a speaker or vent.
Ensuring proper speaker placement can be tricky, so it’s often best to consult a professional if you are unsure.
Surround Sound Tips
- If you have a stereo system, you can still enjoy surround sound by using speaker placement to your advantage.
- To create a more immersive experience, try using a subwoofer.
- If you want to save money, look for a stereo system that can be upgraded to a surround sound system.
- If you are having trouble hiding the wires, try running them along the baseboard or using cord covers.
- Make sure to consult a professional if you are unsure about anything during the installation process.
Cost of Surround Sound System
Surround sound stereo systems typically range in price from $100 to $500, while surround sound systems can range from $500 to $2000. The wireless systems are often on the higher end of the price spectrum. The good news is that you don’t need to break the bank to get a great system. However, if you have a complex installation, your cost could rise to 4X what you’d pay for standard system.
What are you waiting for?
Once you have your surround sound system set up, you can enjoy a whole new level of home entertainment. Whether you’re watching your favorite movie or TV show, or listening to music, you’ll be able to experience it like never before. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping and enjoy the sound of your home entertainment in surround sound!