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If you have just bought a great TV and are looking match the image with quality surround sound, a home theatre system will be the perfect addition to your set-up. Whether you are upgrading your components or buying a system for the first time and have some questions, we have you covered.

Ultimately, the big choice is between the convenience and affordability of a soundbar, and the sound quality, expense, and size of a multi-speaker system. Both options enable a better sound experience than your TVs built-in audio, but there are pros and cons. With many choices available it may seem daunting, but the best thing you can do is visit us in-store and have a listen. Carry out your own comparisons and test multiple systems so you can get exactly what you need.

Once you find your dream sound system, it is always a good idea to read the owner's manual for your components, even before you take them out of the box. Get familiar with functions and connections before you hook-up and set-up.

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Soundbars

Soundbars are the most affordable option when it comes to getting better audio quality from your TV. A slim soundbar is the perfect match for a smaller budget and space. Although they can be accompanied by a wireless sub, soundbars do not require multiple speakers. The addition of a wireless subwoofer helps to achieve more of a home theatre-like experience by adding low-end bass tones to your TV show, movie or music.

Everything you need is included in the box and it is easy to setup. Most soundbars come WiFi and/or Bluetooth enabled, so you can stream any audio effortlessly from your devices. Alternatively, you can connect to a soundbar with compatible wireless speakers for multi-room listening.

Dolby Atmos soundbars will take your audio to the next level as it attempts to mimic the immersive, virtual surround and 3D audio experience you would typically get at the movies. Utilising upward-firing drivers to disperse the sound overhead, it gives you the effect of having speakers in the ceiling. Many 4K Blu-Ray discs, Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming platforms support Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos soundbars will offer a vertical dimension to the audio output. As it is self-contained and not reliant on a feature of your TV, you can add a Dolby Atmos soundbar to your existing setup.

The majority of soundbars come with built-in amplifiers that power everything, and channel processors that separate left, right, and centre speakers within the soundbar. Generally, we would suggest a soundbar with minimum 3 channels to correctly simulate surround sound for the most immersive experience.

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Subwoofers

Subwoofers are responsible for reproducing low-pitched audio frequencies, which most speakers and soundbars are not capable of producing independently. Subwoofers fill an entire room with layers of deep, bottomless sound that not only lets you hear your favourite movies but feel and experience the action.

It is important to note that more bass does not always mean better bass.

When shopping for a subwoofer its best to listen for its ability to move between the bottom two octaves, from 20 Hertz to 80 Hertz. Power output is another specification to keep watch for as this is determined by the wattage of the subwoofer. More power is generally preferred as not only will it play louder, but it will be able to handle lower frequencies more precisely, with better control of the drive units in the subwoofer.

It is also recommended that you pair your loudspeakers with a subwoofer from the same speaker manufacturer or similar speaker series for the most consistent home theatre experience. Matching equipment always preforms best but if you are considering a subwoofer from a third-party manufacturer, we do recommend you come instore to audition if the subwoofer is the right choice for you.

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Floor-standing Speakers

Floor-standing speakers can take up a bit of floor space but are elegantly designed and have sizeable internal volume. This means you can have a greater range of sound when compared with Soundbars or bookshelf options. By dedicating one or more speakers to bass frequencies, as well as separate mid-range and high-frequency tweeters floor-standing speakers will deliver the most comprehensive and impressive result, whether for music or home theatre.

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Bookshelf Speakers

These can be mounted on furniture or onto stands, meaning they are a great choice for smaller rooms or for where a more discreet look is needed. Due to their smaller enclosure, these speakers won’t deliver the power of floor-stands and generally will not produce lower frequencies to the same level.

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AV Receivers

The home theatre receiver is the heart of a home theatre system and is required to power component speakers. This also provides the inputs and outputs that you connect everything into, including your TV.

If you have an open living room, 5.1ch is recommended, but if you have a dedicated media room, then 7.1ch will be the best option. 7.1ch AV receivers allow you to have an extra set of speakers in the room, creating a total surround experience.

It is recommended to invest equally into the quality your AV Receiver and speakers to achieve the best home audio performance. In some cases, if your equipment is not of equal performance, you can experience poor audio quality and even audio distortion. If you do have any questions about which AV receivers’ pair best with your choice of speaker please give us a call.

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Unbalanced Speaker Levels

You've connected and placed the speakers, turned everything on, but nothing sounds right; the subwoofer overwhelms the room, dialog can't be heard over the rest of the soundtrack, and the surround sound effect is too low. This is easily solved as most home theatre receivers have a setup menu that allows you to note the size, as well as the distance of the speakers from the prime listening position. This also includes a test tone generator to assist in adjusting the sound output level of each speaker. Still unclear on the best set up for your space? Get in touch with our helpful team.



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