Acoustics are a form of art.
And we should treat them accordingly. Setting up devices to enhance your sound experience is more than just buying the most expensive gear and plugging it in.
This is also not about combing through the market to find a bargain or finding the more powerful speakers to get the loudest sounds.
Finding and setting the right sound system for your home is not rocket science either. All it is is a simple process, and we’re telling you the most practical way to get things done.
We’ll guide you through the most efficient way of setting up your sound system. But before, we’d like to drop a couple of lines about the components that make up a complete surround-sound system at home.
Set Up Your Sound System At Home
Usually, most sound systems that recreate immersive acoustics in your home are the 5.1 ones. This means they have five channels directing sound throughout the room. However, there are sound systems with up to 11.1 channels driving their sound.
The Basic Components Of A Home-theater Sound System
As we’ve mentioned, 5.1 surround systems are the most common of all. You might be wondering what these two digits mean.
The 5 represents the number of speakers the sound system possesses. Some speakers might be inside the same artifact, and some might be independent.
For example, although a soundbar is a single piece of equipment, it usually contains three speakers inside. One on each side and one in the middle. This is why soundbars can act as central and frontal side speakers in a surround system.
The other two speakers that represent the number 5 of the surround-system digits are the rear ones. They are two individual speakers that complement the sound of the frontal ones.
You might be thinking, what about the subwoofer?
In 5.1 sound systems, the second digit represents the number of subwoofers. It’s usually a single one but there may be more.
Setting Up Your Surround System
Each of the speakers that compose your surround system work, in a way, as translators. They take electrical audio signals and turn them into audio waves that the drivers inside each speaker output.
Follow these steps so you can squeeze the juice out of your sound system at home.
- Channel Speaker
The channel speaker is also known as the central channel.
Yes, it goes in the center.
Some people choose to place it right under their TVs, either mounted or on top of the furniture. Others might arrange it on top of their screens. If the central speaker is tilted downwards, you might want to opt for the latter.
- Side Speakers
As we said, these are usually included inside the soundbar. These are left and right speakers positioned at the sides of the central one.
If they’re inside the soundbar, you won’t get a say in where they’ll be placed. Now, if you have separate speakers, you’ll want to station them on the sides of your TV screen, facing towards your couch.
- Rear Speakers
The names are actually helpful.
Rear speakers will direct the sound straight to your back. They’ll complement the acoustics to recreate that multi-dimensional sound effect.
You can either put them right on the back corners of your couch or in the corners of your living room.
Almost all of them are meant to be on the floor. The perfect location for your subwoofer will be on one of the sides of your TV.
This is not only because of how well they complement the sound in that position. It will help the connectivity too.
If you have to wire them to the soundbar or central speaker, the length of the cable will be limited. If the connection is wireless, you’ll still want them as close to the central system as they can get.
Most guides will tell you how to position the speakers, but they forget all about the plugging-it-in part.
This isn’t too complicated, but if your TV and sound system allow multiple connections, you’ll just have to decide which one works best for you.
You’ll likely be choosing from an optical cable or HDMI connection, or even a Bluetooth one if you want to go completely wireless.
How Can I Set Up My Sound System If I Have More Channels?
- 7.1 Systems
These systems include a couple of extra rear-side speakers. You can use your couch as a starting point to place them.
The rear speakers should be placed just like in the 5.1 system but farther from the actual couch. The rear-side speakers will be facing each other, each one on one side of your sofa, just next to the armrest.
- 9.1 Systems
This system is just like the 7.1 one, but it has 2 more speakers. You want to place them facing directly towards the couch but tilted diagonally.
1. What is Needed to set up a home-theater system?
If you’re thinking of setting up a home theater system in your house, you might already have a TV and a sound system in mind.
You’ll need your screen and your sound system to be compatible in some way. Check input and output ports as well as if they support wireless connections. The more connectivity options you can get, the better.
If you’re planning on watching cable TV, you’ll need that service through wire or a satellite box. If you’re only going to stream directly from entertainment platforms, you want to make sure your TV can access Wifi.
2. How do I get my TV to play through my surround sound system?
While some screens automatically detect the sound system you just connected to them, some might need a little nudge.
Take your remote control and head to your screen settings. Once you find the option to manage your sound, select the output option. Then choose the audio system that you’ve just connected.
3. How does a wireless home-theater work?
You don’t need many wires to set up your sound system. As a matter of fact, they come with fewer cables as time goes by.
A wireless sound system picks up radio frequencies instead of electrical audio signals. Once these signals are decoded, they transmit it just the same way wired systems do.
Follow The Instructions, Sit Back, And Enjoy
Connecting sound systems to screens gets easier with time. Nowadays, more setups consist of a single cable that connects the central speaker to the screen. Most times, the rest of the speakers connect to the rest of the system wirelessly.
Believe it or not, the most complicated part of setting up your home’s surround system is the positioning of all the speakers.
Make sure you take note of the direction your speakers will be facing. It will not only guarantee an enhanced experience but a peak performance of your sound system too.