In the present world of electronic media, it is really hard to choose a good speaker or home theater system from the market. Several brands and manufacturers are into this business and thus it becomes very confusing for the customers to select from the available varieties. Proper selection of the number of channels, deciding the connectivity, frequency range,etc. are some of the important factors to be kept in mind while buying any speaker or home theater system. The cost of a good quality audio system is pretty high. Thus the quality as well as durability of the system should be good enough to satisfy the customer over a long period. Following are certain checkpoints you must consider while buying a speaker or home theater to make it worth the cost:
1. First of all, let us discuss about the acoustics of your house. Acoustics means the "listening environment" of any place. Take proper measurements of the room in which you want to place your speakers. You may have to provide this data if you go to buy your audio system from a reputed brand (such as 'Bose'). If your room is a big spacious one, it will not be appropriate for large speakers. Large rooms echo a lot giving a blurry effect to the sound output. Medium sized rooms with rough walls, floor carpets and curtains are perfect for placing your speakers.
2. According to the acoustics of your room, decide the number of channels you require for your home theater system. You can opt between 2.0, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2 and 7.1 channel systems. These numbers have appropriate meanings. The first number tells us the number of channel speakers or sub-woofers while the number after the decimal indicates the main woofer along with the power module.
3. Next, decide the number of sound inputs you desire to connect to the audio system. These may be your computer, T.V., DVD players, iPods, MP3 players, Play Stations, etc. Accordingly check for the connectivity ports provided at the back panel of the main audio receiver. Recently, models having USB connectivity are given high preference as songs can be played from your pen drive directly by pushing it into your home theater. Again if you want to listen to online radio, then you'll have to opt for the models which support live radio streaming.
4. Now move on to the specification card of your speakers. The operating frequency bandwidth is a very important parameter. Lesser the lower limit is, the better is the speaker. This means that your speaker is enabled to analyze and reproduce the finest sounds of very low frequencies to give a high clarity listening experience. Check the audio output rating (given in Watts-PMPO) which indicates the output sound intensity.
5. Go for the models having an LCD, LED, or TFT display boards. This will make it easier for you to control your audio system.
6. Buy an audio system having a remote controller (preferably a one using Bluetooth radio signaling technology) to control your system from anywhere in your house.
7. Make sure that the speakers are magnetically shielded. If your speakers are not shielded magnetically, it will produce annoying hazy sounds every time your cellphone rings or receives messages. This is due to the interference caused by the electromagnetic waves from the cell phone's receptor.
8. Look for add-on accessories in the audio system. It may include an integrated FM radio player or a DVD player. This will surely add to the functionality of the system.
9. Avoid buying a home theater with lots of wires for the interconnections. Always go for a less wired system. It will be best if you buy an wireless model. This will eliminate the hassle of wires running throughout your room.
10. Always try to keep the tower speakers or sub woofers at a height of 4-5 feet from the ground level (the average height of human ear while standing). On the contrary, place the main woofer on the floor (if possible hide it under your bed or sofa) for experiencing excellent thumps of bass.
11. Choose a stylish model with your favorite color (if available) because a sleek looking home theater system will add an extra mark to the interior decor of your house.
12. Your ears are the best tools to judge the quality of the sound of any speaker. Before going to buy an audio system, carry a music disc which is quite familiar to you. Play a song that you have heard a number of times before in the home theater systems at the showroom. This will make it very easy for your ears to make a comparative study between the various models and choose the best one for your home.
13. Always prefer to buy any speaker or home theater system from a reputed manufacturer (such as Bose, Sony, Pioneer, etc.) from their authorized dealers only. This will ensure a proper customer service in case of any problem with your speakers. More over a speaker purchased from a reputed brand is always worth the cost owing to its high performance, quality and durability.