With the rise of Netflix and other streaming platforms, movies and series have never been this accessible. Without going to the cinema, you can get the same experience at home as long as you have a streaming account, a flat-screen TV, and most importantly, a home theater system that delivers high-quality audio.
Fortunately, you have many options to choose from when it comes to speaker systems available in the market. However, this often makes choosing a difficult task. Luckily, this article aims to give you helpful pointers on what to bear in mind when buying a home theater system. After that, a list is also provided to help you navigate your options.
To imitate a cinema or a concert, home theater systems make use of different devices with their own features and functions. The basic components of a home theater system are a TV screen, a video source, a receiver, and speakers.
No home theater system would be complete without a visual display. Whether you use a flat-screen TV or an LED projector, it is important to have a screen that can display movie frames in amazing quality.
The size of the screen is totally up to you, but we highly recommend that you go for those with HD resolution for a more intense and immersive viewing experience. This allows you to have that cinema or concert-like experience at home.
The next main component of a home theater system is the video source, which can either be your DVD player or the signal from your cable provider. More contemporary options include streaming platforms such as Netflix and Viu, which for many are considered much more practical and accessible than the first two video sources mentioned.
Ever wonder how every speaker in a home theater system work in sync with each other? The receiver is mainly responsible for that, as it connects everything together whether through a wired or wireless connection. Receivers are basically amplifiers, with a built-in radio section and audio control that helps you adjust your audio settings.
Probably the most important of all, speakers are the essence of your home theater system as they deliver powerful and high-quality sound effects. Although the speakers found in a home theater system can vary depending on your setup, at the very core, every single one has a center speaker, forward speakers, rear speakers, and a subwoofer.
Aside from its many components, home theater systems also vary in terms of their features. Some may give you the surround sound advantage, while other setups may offer a space-saving design. Before making the purchase, it is important to weigh these things and assess which features should be prioritized.
People buy home theater systems for different reasons. Most people use it for streaming movies, some for video games, while others use it to simply listen to music. Either way, it is important to specify its purpose so you have an idea of what to expect when making your purchase.
Home theater systems are usually purchased for the purpose of having the theater or cinema experience at home. To imitate this, speakers with surround sound abilities are a must for every speaker system. That's because these kinds of speakers blast out powerful and life-like sound effects that make your viewing experience more immersive.
Of course, sound effects are not only made for movies and series. You can also enjoy the surround sound feature when playing video games and perhaps, watching sports events. Combined with a good flat-screen TV, the surround sound feature can convince you to never leave your room again.
A less popular use for home theater systems is for music. This is because most artists do not release music that requires complex speaker systems unlike with movies. For this purpose, a speaker system, even without a surround sound feature, would suffice.
However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good home theater system for listening to music. In fact, if you are an avid music fan who enjoys good quality sound, then it is definitely worth investing in a decent speaker system with a good stereo amplifier and at the very least, two additional speakers.
Believe it or not, the size of your room matters when picking a home theater system. Obviously, larger rooms can accommodate big and bulky speakers while it might be best to place more compact speakers in smaller rooms. The following sections would explain in detail the two common speaker setups in home theater systems.
The 5.1 Channel System is a speaker system wherein there are five surround speakers and one subwoofer. This is the most basic home theater system setup best suited for small to medium-sized rooms. Since they require the minimum amount of speakers, they're perfect for those who want a home theater system but are on a budget.
In a 5.1 set-up, since you will have two instead of four speakers behind you, expect that the experience would not be as immersive as a 7.1 system. However, one way to get that cinematic experience is to position the speakers well around your room.
On the other hand, the 7.1 channel type refers to a home theater setup wherein there are seven speakers and a single subwoofer. The 7.1 is the upgraded version of the 5.1 system for a more immersive viewing and listening experience.
In this setup, the speakers are usually positioned around you either on a stand or mounted on a wall. Since there are more speakers than usual, expect your home theater system to take up more space inside your room.
Speakers come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, the types of speakers are actually based on those two characteristics alone. The common types are bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers, and lastly, wall-mounted speakers.
Bookshelf speakers are box-type speakers that can deliver quality audio without taking up too much space. They are called bookshelf speakers because they can be put on top of any flat surface, may it be a table, a cabinet, and well, a bookshelf. They are small and rectangular and usually come in pairs.
These types of speakers are recommended to be placed at the left and right sides of your TV, and preferably, they should be larger than the speakers placed at the rear. Usually, they are placed on an entertainment unit you're facing when watching TV.
Floor-standing speakers are tall, rectangular speakers that have large acoustic chambers inside them. These chambers are perfect for intense movies and series since they can resonate high quality and realistic sound effects to make you feel as if you're actually in the movie you're watching.
These types of speakers are preferably used in large rooms as they tend to bigger and bulkier than other speaker types. However, the pros of these speakers aside from their quality audio is that they can be placed on the floor, unlike bookshelf speakers.
Wall speakers are ideal for tightly-packed rooms because they come in a compact size. The acoustic sound, of course, is not as great compared to larger speakers, but with the right placement, you can still make the most out of them.
Since they can be mounted on your wall, you can place them higher over your head for a more immersive experience. However, before purchasing on-wall speakers, it is important to assess whether you have sufficient wall space to mount them. Also, do note that wall speakers typically require some drilling and cabling when setting-up.
Speakers are not the be-all and end-all of a home theater system. There are also things such as speaker cables and stands that work behind the scenes to make sure your speakers work well. When purchasing a home theater system, consider buying these as they can drastically improve your home theater experience.
To make sure your speakers are working in sync, you would need speaker cables that would connect them all together. Good-quality speaker cables are those that can accommodate different types of speakers and can last for years without loosening over time.
However, let us not dismiss the threat to speaker cables: wireless connection. Although going wireless is more mainstream, many speakers have not let go of the wired connection option. In fact, they are not likely to disappear soon as many still prefer manually connecting their devices rather than going through the whole Bluetooth ordeal.
Just like in theaters, it is important that your speakers are placed at the right height for a better audio experience. To be specific, it is recommended for speakers to be at ear level in order to make sure that the sound effects remain realistic and seem as if they come from the space around you.
Aside from that, speaker stands also make sure that your speakers don't take up too much floor space in your room. Unlike with bookshelf speakers, you wouldn't have to put a wide table that gets in the way if you have speaker stands that can elevate them at your desired level.
When purchasing a home theater system, you can either buy a complete set or customize something on your own. Typically, a home theater receiver and at least 2 speakers are present in home theater systems and it's your choice to add more components. In this list, we'll show you the best options for your home theater system.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Best For||Movies, Series, Sports, and Music|
|Best For||Movies and Music|
|Best For||Movies and Series|
|Best For||Movies, Series, and Music|
|Warranty||Local Supplier Warranty|
|Best For||Movies and Series|
|Best For||Movies, Music, and Games|
|Best For||Movies and Series|
|Best For||Video Games|
MagniFi Max SR Home Theater System
Bluetooth Home Theater
5.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver
Home Theater/Soundbar Speaker
Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Soundbar With Wireless Subwoofer
Floor-Standing Tower Speakers
Surround Sound Speaker System
Home Cinema Soundbar System
HP Stereo Speakers
Experience Surreal Sound With This Speaker System
Budget-Friendly Home Theater System With 5.1 Channels
A Slim, Powerful, and Reliable Home Theater Receiver
A Home Theater System That Can Be Converted to a Soundbar
Get Crisp, High-Quality Audio With These Wooden Bookshelf Speakers
Enjoy Deeper Bass With This Soundbar That Has a Wireless Subwoofer
Experience Thrilling Sound Effects With These Pair of Speakers
Surround Sound Speaker With Advanced Bluetooth Technology
A Soundbar System With Clear Audio and Real Surround Sound
A Center Speaker With Surround Sound for Immersive Gaming
|Price Starts at||₱42,980||₱2,729||₱35,990||₱4,030||₱7,166||₱3,443||₱19,990||₱6,650||₱15,999||₱969|
|Setup/Type||5.1 Channel||5.1 Channel||Amplifier/AV Receiver||2.1 Channel||Bookshelf Speakers||2.1 Channel||Floor-Standing Speakers||5.1 Channel||5.1 Channel||Center Speaker|
|Best For||Movies, Series, Sports, and Music||Movies and Music||Movies||Music||Movies and Series||Movies, Series, and Music||Movies and Series||Movies, Music, and Games||Movies and Series||Video Games|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||Local Supplier Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||6 Months|
It is important that your TV is directly in front of you, but it doesn't stop there. To know exactly where to sit, take the measurement of the diagonal screen size of your TV and multiply it by two to get the distance that you should have between you and the TV in feet.
The soundbar should be at the dead center under the TV and the left and right speakers should also be turned at that center usually at 22 or 30 degrees. Lastly, make sure your seating area is at least 1 foot away from the back wall so that you can put your rear speakers there and prevent audio from bouncing off the walls.
Sounds can bounce off your room and create an echo that can ruin your audio experience. To prevent this from happening, add sound absorption materials and hard objects such as art, curtains, rugs, and other objects staggered around the room.
Soundbars can be pricier and more arduous to set up but what's great about them is that they can function well as music speakers especially if you have a smaller space. This makes it perfect for entertaining guests in your living room.
A subwoofer delivers low-end audio whether it's bass from a band or a thud of an explosion. Try placing it at or very near the main listening spot. Play music with constant bass and try to move the subwoofer around the room until you find where the subwoofer sounds best.
Want to explore more options? Check out the Top 10 lists from our other articles for other selections of home theater systems and speakers.
Audio is an underrated aspect of the cinematic experience. We often take for granted the very sound effects that keep us on the edge of our seats. Thankfully, the advent of online streaming also witnessed the production of high-quality home theater systems. We hope that this article helped you know more about them and ultimately decide which unit to purchase.
Author: Katrina Balingit
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