4 Easy Ways to Amp Up Your Home Audio
Four Sound System Installation Considerations for Better Audio Quality
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. If you buy equipment from well-regarded audio companies – like our partners Yamaha or Paradigm to name but two – it’s going to sound pretty good, whether it’s a wireless speaker or their best speakers and electronics.
But one’s person’s pretty good is another’s awesome, and yet another’s mediocre. That’s why there’s such a huge variety of audio equipment out there from the inexpensive and portable to the stratospherically costly and heavy. We think that’s great because it lets us offer a wide range of equipment and systems that cater to many varied tastes.
On the other hand, even the best and most expensive gear may not sound as good as it should if it’s not set up correctly. Sometimes, you have to know what equipment is right for a particular space, where to place speakers, and other details that can make a big difference in your sound quality.
With that in mind, let’s talk about some sound system installation considerations that will make your Richardson listening room, theater, or whole home audio system sound its best.
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Proper speaker placement can have a big effect on your sound quality. How far apart they are placed can affect the soundstage and imaging. While this varies, even massive speakers may not be happy if they are 30 feet apart in your great room. We may exaggerate a little here, but some spaces present interesting – yet not insurmountable – challenges to audio quality.
Even for the best-looking speakers, most people don’t want them sitting out in their room very far for obvious reasons of style. But pushing them against the wall isn’t always the best solution. Many speakers, especially tower models and some larger bookshelves, are rear ported.
You may already know what that means, but for those unfamiliar, it means that they have a hole where the bass driver moves air. It helps with bass performance, but it also means the speakers perform best when not up close to a wall – and you will hear the difference in the tightness of the bass. It’s merely another consideration when you are looking to optimize your sound quality; just be aware that some speakers weren’t designed to hug walls.
There is one more thing when it comes to freestanding speaker placement: toe-in. This means angling the speakers – as in a stereo pair – toward the central listening area. This is a relatively simple thing to do, and it’s a trial and error exercise until the sound is right for you. Not all speakers benefit from toe-in, but most do.
Subwoofers and Bass
Subwoofer placement is critical, as well as tuning them to get the best bass response in a given room. Placement and tuning can vary depending on the audio setup; it’s less complicated for a two-channel system, but it’s essential in a multichannel one for a home theater. The mix of bass from a subwoofer to the rest of the speakers in a surround sound system is a critical aspect of achieving a great experience. For all of our home theater installations, we run a professional calibration to get very precise on speaker distances, sound pressure levels, and ensuring that the subwoofers are properly positioned and performing at their peak for that room.
Some spaces are simply an audio challenge for the best equipment. It might be a home theater with an open wall, certain ceiling heights or cathedral ceilings, or types of furnishings and hard surfaces. Often the best solution is acoustic treatment, which may entail choosing different seating for a home theater to using acoustic paneling on walls to absorb sound, all in the name of optimizing audio quality. This is where a professional sound system installation comes into play; acoustic treatment is something we do all the time and have the equipment and experience to diagnose and solve quickly.
Some people want excellent sound quality but don’t want to have equipment or speakers showing. That’s when they typically use architectural ilnes, butwhen using architectural speakers, placement matters as well.
In whole house systems, you want to be careful with speaker placement based on design considerations and other factors. Is the system for background listening only or more critical listening too? Does the listener place a premium on bass response with a built-in setup? Then we have to employ subwoofers that are heard – but carefully blended into the overall sound – and not seen.
Similarly, if a person wants a home theater with unobtrusive architectural speakers, we have to work closely with them to choose the right speakers, locate them where they fit the room’s layout and style, and calibrate them to deliver the type of performance that’s expected.
Hopefully, we’ve communicated that sound system installation matters if you want to get the best out of your audio investment. To learn more about how Crown Audio Video can optimize your setup, contact us or just click below to be quickly connected to one of our experts.