Small TV Lounge Settings

Infinity Speaker System in Bad Room

Are You Doing It Wrong?

You can make your sound and picture much better just by avoiding these common goofs

To get the most bang for your buck when assembling an audio or audio/video system, it’s important to make each piece of equipment and the room all work together synergistically. Simply buying good pieces of equipment isn’t enough, and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. While I understand that some audio/TV rooms are multi-purpose and have inherent compromises, some errors are egregious.

Before reading this article also check out our YouTube discussion below for further insights.

Common Mistakes When Setting Up a Home Theater YouTube Video Discussion

Here are, in no particular order, some of the more common mistakes made when conceiving and integrating a system into a home…

Selecting components in the wrong order

Don’t buy your receiver first. You may be enthralled with a certain receiver because of its features or appearance, but it shouldn’t be your first component choice. Select your speakers first, to match the room and your budget. Pick your amp (or receiver) next, to match the speakers. In the case of a home theater, you probably want to make your screen or video display selection in advance of selecting speakers so everything fits properly. Leave yourself some wiggle room and keep an open mind in case you have to make changes before pulling the trigger.

Inappropriate gear for the venue

Heavyweight speakers and amps might overpower a small room, but I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. Overkill is generally good, whether it be wattage, horsepower, pizza, or Nutella. What is inappropriate, however, is a low-powered system with low-sensitivity speakers in a large room. And you can exacerbate that problem by not including sufficient subwoofage. Most often, speakers with a sensitivity rating of 86 dB @ 1 meter will not work well in a 5, 000 cubic foot room, regardless of the size of the amplifier. In a larger room, you may have to step up from a receiver to separates, and move to speakers that handle more power and have higher sensitivity. And if your 300-watt 10” sub makes rude flatulent noises during loud passages, it isn’t necessarily the sub’s fault. If you have under-spec’ed a subwoofer for a room, you can compensate somewhat by placing it in a corner where it will couple better and have more output, but in some cases may sound boomy in a corner. Consider buying multiple subs. Not only will the output be cleaner because each driver and amp is being driven less hard for a given system SPL, but you can place them strategically in the room to smooth out the room modes. If two are placed laterally on opposite midwalls, they can minimize the null to improve bass in the center of the room where most people place their seats.


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