When you’ve spent your whole life listening to stereo, anything with surround sound is a welcome change. Small improvements to your home theater are the next natural step in improving what you already have.
And that’s exactly the point—you can do more with whatever you have. Here are 10 things you can do right now to improve your home theater experience. Some of the ideas presented here may need you to shell out some cash though m ost people aren’t going to. As long as you follow these criteria and complete as many as possible, you won’t go wrong.
Before you get started, it’s crucial to recognize that sound quality is influenced by more than just the speakers themselves. I strongly believe that room-tuning kits are unnecessary. These may be pricey, and you won’t know whether you’re receiving the audio quality you want from them until you plug them in.
You can change the way your room sounds
To begin, try clapping your hands and listening for echoes of your hands. If you notice an echo or ambience in your room, you need to add extra cushioning. Objects in the room that create an echoey sound will affect even the best bass or subwoofer speakers.
Look around to see if there is anything obvious that is causing this. Near the speakers, you could find an oddly shaped shelf or a glass-fronted cabinet. This gets me to my second argument, which is that certain materials are better at deflecting sound than others.
Sound is absorbed and deflected by certain materials.
Shelves, lights, and even clocks, which are all made of metal, may all have an impact on it. Moving things about is the greatest option, but adding some consistent padding is the best option if you can afford to do so. There are a number of ways to do this. Despite their softness, they aren’t excessively absorbent, so the sound doesn’t bounce straight off of them.
In the end, it’s important to strike a balance between the many elements in the space. Be aware that the kind of flooring you have might also have an impact. A carpet might be a good idea if you can especially important if you have floor standing speakers.
Your Speakers Need to Be Toed in
The term “toeing-in” refers to directing your speaker systems towards the audience at the correct angle. Sound quality is greatly influenced by this, and it may be changed in a matter of seconds. Follow the broad criteria listed below to do this as efficiently as feasible. To get the illusion of complete surround sound, you should do this.
At a 22–30-degree angle inboard toward the sitting area, your front speakers should be situated. For every additional speaker, there is an additional consideration that must be made.
It’s best if your speakers aren’t positioned directly in the middle of the audience’s seats (unless you have a single soundbar). Because it was the designer’s intention, the soundbar or center channel should always be positioned in the centre of the room.
It’s important to keep in mind that soundbars should be placed as close to the audience as possible, and ideally, just beneath the TV itself. The best sound will come from getting the calibration as near as feasible to this.
Upgrade your subwoofer
When you watch movies, your subwoofer is what makes them sound more powerful and deep. Reflect on your most recent experience at a large fireworks display. It’s probable that the loudest explosions drew the most cheers from the audience, right? Despite all the beautiful colors and designs you witnessed. Explosions and the thunderous footsteps of a massive Transformer awe the audience.
This is something you can have in your home theater with a good subwoofer. Do not forget that size does not always equate to superiority. If you have to choose between a high-quality 10″ subwoofer and a low-quality 12″ subwoofer, we recommend the higher-quality sub. You’ll be able to appreciate your movies more since you won’t have to deal with the muddiness that comes with low-quality design.
After that, try moving it about the room a little to see if that makes a difference. Evening out the sound by shifting some of the bass peaks around may be achieved by relocating your subwoofer. By placing them at the front corner of the room, you may increase their output and so improve the sound quality of your audio system.
For the best sound quality, make sure you place your seats in the best way possible
Only those who have a huge area set up will be able to use this formula. If you want to know how far between your speakers and monitor should be, Sony has devised a simple formula:
Diagonal Length of Screen x 2 = Distance from TV (convert this number to feet)
At this point, you should be at least three feet away from your screen. To obtain the finest sound from your speakers, try to stay within this range. This math tells us that we should be no more than 20 feet away from the center speakers if my projector screen is 120 inches. Even though we don’t have such a large space, we’ve found that sitting 10 to 15 feet away from the television works just well for our family. You should receive the optimum sound quality from your speakers if you’re within a distance of 3-5 feet of them, based on my own experience.
The back wall should be at least one foot away from your seating position.
It’s not a good idea to have your sofa or theater seats right next to it. When the sound is completely enclosed inside your walls, you want it to be heard clearly. Don’t let the bass become too boomy, or it won’t have time to be absorbed by the rear wall before it smacks you in the face.
Allow low-frequency sounds to bounce off the rear wall when your ears detect them for a greater surround sound experience. Additionally, if you’re using rear-facing speakers, you’ll be able to hear them better from this distance. You don’t want to be seated next to them at all times.
Sitting closer to your speakers than the space between the center and rear speakers is not the best position for listening. You’ll get the finest sound if you do this. In a nutshell, the listening position should be in the vicinity of 1.2 times the distance between the speakers.
Check Your Cables
Composition, size, and density. If you’re an audiophile, wires may make all the difference. There are three basic factors that influence the performance of a wire. Is the length of your speaker wire excessive, and can you afford to reduce it? In this section, we’ll cover these principles in further detail.
If the resistance of a cable is more than 5% different from the impedance of a speaker, you will hear a noticeable difference in the sound.
It is important to remember that speakers with lower impedance (measured in ohms) are better, but you need equipment that can handle it. The most important point is that you may need to use a larger cable for your speaker system’s Ohms than you now use. If you believe this is the problem, I strongly suggest contacting another sound company.
Here is a chart to help you in determining the appropriate gauge of wire.
Wire Gauge and Length for Specific Speaker Impedances
|Wire Size||2 Ohms||4 Ohms||8 Ohms|
|22 gauge||3 ft.||6 ft.||12 ft.|
|20 gauge||5 ft.||10 ft.||20 ft.|
|18 gauge||8 ft.||16 ft.||32 ft.|
|16 gauge||12 ft.||24 ft.||48 ft.|
|14 gauge||20 ft.||40 ft.||80 ft.|
|12 gauge||30 ft.||60 ft.||120 ft.|
|10 gauge||50 ft.||100 ft.||200 ft.|
Tips for Boosting the Quality of Your Surround Sound
Use this section to double-check your calibration procedures and eliminate any potential pitfalls.
If you’re playing a game, ensure sure your console is set to 5.1 uncompressed audio. Xbox One and PS4 Pro, for example, don’t have their surround settings set by default. If you’re using an HDMI Arc cable, the Nintendo Switch will not support surround sound. If you want to use 5.1 surround sound, you must need an optical cable to connect the device to your TV or other sound system.
Adjust the equalization settings by turning up the back speakers. The output of high-quality surround sound systems is extremely nicely blended. If you crank up the back speakers a bit more than the front speakers, this might make a world of a difference in the quality of the surround sound.
Turn all of your speakers so that they face the audience at a 22- or 30-degree angle. I’m going to stick with Sony’s and Dolby’s recommendations of 22-30 degrees for my center speakers, despite a lot of Google advise to the contrary. There’s no need to argue about the fine points of which option is superior. Consider having a buddy sit down with you and tell you what works and what doesn’t while you make manual adjustments. Just make sure they’re not all pointing the same direction; a little inclination is preferable.
If you don’t have a microphone or a software to calibrate your speaker levels, contact the speaker brand’s customer service. Your surround sound merchant should provide you with a microphone and a software to calibrate all of your speakers. If you lost your microphone or didn’t get one, the video at the top of this page shows you how to use an SPL meter.
Increase the number of Sound Systems
A home entertainment system is not complete without speakers. Sound data from Blu-ray discs or a computer streaming a movie from Netflix are sent to the speakers through the receiver, which is the most important part of the entertainment system.
High-def digital HDMI and optical video and audio connections, analog component ports, and even separate speaker channels for a 7.1 configuration are all supported by a capable receiver. Make sure you do your homework before you purchase a receiver, since there are a lot of factors to consider. The “Receivers: How to Choose” guide by Crutchfield is an excellent place to start.
Unfortunately, we’re not through yet; putting up a home entertainment system requires more than just selecting out a receiver. In order to watch DVDs, Blu-ray discs, or Web videos that you’ve stored on your computer, you’ll still need a receiver.
A Blu-ray player is an essential component of any modern home theater, allowing you to view Dolby Digital surround sound 1080p HD movies. A media center PC, a computer designed specifically for storing and playing back multimedia information on a large-screen TV, is a fantastic complement to a home theater. Rather of relying only on computer displays to display vast amounts of video, software like Boxee makes it simple to view video from both the Web and your own computer.
Soundproof the Room
Home theater soundproofing is important for a few reasons, so it is important to do it. For starters, correct acoustics will increase the quality of your theater’s sound. Two, you won’t have to deal with the noise of the washing machine, dishwasher, or blender interrupting your work. Do you ever notice how those types of sounds usually tend to show up at the most tense and dramatic moments of a film? The third and most crucial reason to soundproof your space is to preserve your favorite film’s score.
For those who live in a large home in the middle of nowhere, this may not be as critical. Noisy movies might annoy family members or even neighbors if they aren’t properly soundproofed before they are played in the living room. Acoustic panels installed on the inside walls of your home theater may enhance sound quality, while padding as well as insulation in the same walls and floors can reduce noise transmission through those areas. If the space is properly insulated, we should be able to separate the home theater from the rest of the world except for one big intrusion: light.
It is important to calibrate your TV or projector
Most TVs and projectors aren’t up to snuff right out of the box, and if you haven’t messed with with your settings much, now would be a good time. Simply make sure you’re not in the store demo mode, then go through all of your photo presets to choose your favorite. For the best and most consistent experience, we also suggest turning off any ambient light sensing options.
In the next step, you should look at some of the photo processing techniques that may be beneficial but potentially destroy the image. Be aware of the fact that the most striking distinctions might actually destroy nuance and granularity. For more particular information on visual settings, see our article on how to set up your TV.
TVs have sound options, so don’t forget about that. These options are generally simpler than image settings, but they’re still worthwhile to look at if you have the time. Dialogue Enhancement and Bass Boost have a price to pay, both in dynamics and balance, thus it’s best to leave them alone. Please consider purchasing a subwoofer or soundbar to get extra bass.
Effortless Ways to Enhance Soundbar Performance
Remove the TV’s internal speakers and turn the volume down. Even though we had our TV speakers set to level 2 or 3 and our soundbar set to a greater volume, we only observed a small distortion in the audio output over a lengthy period of time. The identical item was being played on the TV via two speakers. The distorted echoing sound disappeared when we turned off the TV’s internal speakers and just used the Soundbar to play back the audio..
Instead of using an HDMI cable, go for an optical one. For the best sound quality, an optical cable should be used instead of a USB cable. The Soundbar will get the sound straight from the TV through optical connections. HDMI cables convey visual signals from Netflix and FireTV as well, thus their resistance is higher than that of USB cables. There are also less Ohms in optical cables than there are in HDMI cables or HDMI Arcs.
Your equalization settings should be tweaked. Treble and bass are the deciding factors. Playing around with these two pieces is the greatest approach to get a handle on how they interact. If you’ve recently seen a movie or a program, try out different EQ settings to find out which ones sound the best to you. Consider lowering the bass if you often watch programs with a lot of speech. Adjust these options as needed, of course, according on what you’re seeing.
Try it without a receiver and see if the quality improves! In many older home theater installations, the receiver plays a significant role in coordinating the many sound systems in use. Some people may like this, however if you already have a Soundbar, get rid of it! It is a common misconception that soundbars are more complicated than they need to be, but this is simply not the case. More nodes your sound system needs to travel through to reach your ears, the worse its quality will be.
Here, I talked about all the things you can do to improve the sound quality of your home theater right away. It’s possible that you also learned about better ways to improve it in the future as you went through it. As a rule, these methods should be as simple as possible, and they’re not meant to be complicated at all.
I don’t know everything there is to know about the best way to improve the sound in your home theater, so you can do more research and find out if those changes and tweaks will make your home theater better overall.
Is a Soundbar better than a channel system?
In some ways, they are, but it all comes down to how important you take your audio experiences. Soundbars are better if you want to set up your home theater quickly or if you have a small space. If you’re having trouble hearing, these headphones are better for you. They can help you hear more clearly and not lose out on low-end bass at the same time. Channel systems are good if you have a lot of money and can set up multiple speakers in different rooms.
When should I upgrade my home theater sound system?
Not every new piece of sound technology is the best or the most up-to-date. Most of the time, new sound systems from Yamaha or Dolby are small and don’t make a big difference. People should keep using their systems until they break or they can sell them for money. Older models that are still better than your current system are a good idea if you have the money to buy them. You don’t have to give up too much by having the model from last year.
What is a dB measurement?
It is called a “decibel” when you measure it. The most important thing to know about home theater sound systems is that they should be calibrated at 75dB and not more than 85dB. A simple SPL Meter from Amazon can quickly help you change the speaker ratios.
How do I know if my speakers are giving me the best sound possible?
The best way to find out is to make sure you are following all of the tips in this article. Use an optical cord for speaker output and make sure all of your systems are set to 75dB so you get the best sound possible.
Do I need 5.1 surround sound for virtual reality?
Not all the time. In this case, if you don’t play with headphones and your graphics card can play 5.1 Dolby surround or something similar, then it will be possible to play without headphones.