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7 Reasons to Avoid New Home Theater Speakers Today

Home theater speakers

7 Reasons to Avoid New Home Theater Speakers Today

Home theater speakers have been the norm for stellar sound quality for a number of years. What if you didn’t have to rely on them to get killer sound for your media center?

There are numerous reasons to avoid purchasing home theater speakers. If you’re on the hunt for great sound, then are of course alternatives you can purchase that fill the same niche without the drawbacks of home theater speakers.

Reasons to Avoid New Home Theater Speakers

Home theater speakers are a great choice for those looking for a premium audio experience with their movies or shows. There are multiple reasons the average person might want to avoid them for their media experience, however.

The Setup

Home theater speakers
Home theater sound systems are great but certainly have their drawbacks.

Home theater speaker systems are rarely set-and-forget endeavors. With other options you can usually just plug it into your required sound source or follow the manual and get where you need to go.

Home theater speakers, on the other hand, are a fairly complex endeavor. You’ll need to make sure all the cabling is going to the correct location. Amplifiers and receivers will need to be powered up and double-checked to see if everything is functional.

If you’re not an audio-visual tech, this can be a very daunting experience. It certainly doesn’t help that if you install components incorrectly your expensive investment just won’t emit sound at all.

Lag Between Components

There are wired and wireless home theater speaker options. Now, wireless components certainly have their advantage. For one, you’re not having to sort out all the cabling. However, wireless home theater speakers are also prone to latency.

Imagine listening to the audio mix of a really good movie but the subwoofer is just off by a fraction of a second. Sounds pretty irritating, right? This is something that can happen with wireless home theater speakers.

It is especially noticeable with devices that emit electromagnetic interference. Common devices would be wireless routers, your TV, cable receiver, and other components.

Figuring Out Speaker Placement

You can just place your speaker anywhere you want. Well, you could, but the sound quality would be less than ideal.

There is an exacting science behind listening angles for audio. Now, the optimal solution would be to measure things out or hire an AV tech to install things. At that point, however, you’re looking at additional expenses on top of the cost of the speakers, amplifier, and receiver.

Cabling Woes

Wired home theater speaker arrays are like a jungle of cables. You’ll have cables running from the speaker to the amplifier, and just about everywhere else. There are certainly elegant solutions to keeping the cables managed and tidy.

That raises other concerns, however, like in the event of an upgrade for the speakers. You’d have to trace out each individual component to detach it from the current setup. For some, this might not be a huge hassle, it’s an every-now-and-again sort of thing.

However, if you dread cleaning behind your TV already, adding more cables to the mix isn’t likely an enticing proposition.

The Expense

home theater speakers
Home theater systems can be quite time-consuming to set up.

There are home theater speakers below $500. When you get into everything else you need to get rolling, however, it is a very expensive investment.

You’re not just purchasing speakers if you’re new to it. You’ll be needing an amplifier to deliver power, a receiver to send the signal from your TV, and of course a television.

Those bare components alone can run up to thousands of dollars. Sure, the sound quality is absolutely lush, but you could have spent less to get an equivalent experience.

Maintenance

Every component in your home theater speaker setup is going to need occasional cleaning. This is just a fact of life. You’ll also likely want to inspect speaker cones on all the speakers, as well.

Maintenance isn’t the most time-consuming thing in the world, but you might just want to sit down and watch a show after a long day at work.

Now, neglecting home theater speakers will eventually lead to failure. It isn’t going to be an instant affair, but it does set them up for more wear than they need.

As such, you’ll want to keep a vigilant eye on your speakers and other components for optimal performance.

Other Components are Needed

You’ve got your home theater speaker array, and they seem pretty great. As previously mentioned in other sections, you will need other components to make this work.

At a minimum, you need an amplifier and a receiver. That’s assuming you already have a television. Now, thankfully they do make combination amplifiers and receivers, but those can be extremely expensive.

The speakers by themselves have no way to convert the digital signal from your TV into an analog signal they can use. The additional components actually help with getting the sound from your TV to transmit to your home theater speakers.

Alternatives to Home Theater Speakers

There are a few alternatives that still provide great sound for your home viewing pleasure. In some cases, these can actually be cheaper than the setup associated with home theater speakers.

Soundbars

Great Entry-Level Surround Soundbar
JBL Bar 1000
$999.95
  • Features Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, and MultiBeam Surround Sound technology.
  • Includes detachable surround sound speakers.
  • Includes a 10-inch wireless subwoofer.
  • Comes with Wi-Fi and Chromecast built in.
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03/11/2024 10:11 am GMT

Soundbars are wildly popular and for good reason. They might not do true surround sound, but they can deliver powerful audio with minimal setup. In most cases, you’ll just need a power cable and an HDMI cable running to the soundbar itself.

The JBL Bar 1000 is an affordable take on the soundbar that provides up to 7.1 channels of surround sound. JBL has also packaged a subwoofer and detachable surround speakers. This means you get all the advantages of home theater speakers without space considerations.

Smart Speakers

Great-Sounding Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo Dot
$49.99
  • Integrates with Roku and Amazon devices
  • Control compatible smart home devices
  • Can handle Dolby audio codecs
  • Stream music and podcasts from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and more
  • Mic off button for increased privacy controls
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03/11/2024 06:22 am GMT

Smart speakers can be a rather affordable alternative to home theater speakers and soundbars. Considering you can pick up a quartet of smart speakers for the price of a single satellite speaker, it makes for a rather enticing alternative.

The latest Amazon Echo can decode Dolby audio with ease. You’ll need an Echo-compatible streaming device, like a Roku or Fire Stick, but you can readily use it in place of home theater speakers. If you’re on a budget, this is a great alternative to get a decent sound out of an inexpensive setup.

In-Wall Speakers

Great In-Wall Speakers
Architectural Speakers by Sonance
$512.50
  • Mounts easily on walls and stays unobtrusive
  • Great frequency response for music playback
  • Requires custom installation
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03/10/2024 12:31 pm GMT

This is the deluxe option when compared to home theater speakers. In-wall speakers effectively work just like a home theater speaker setup. If you don’t mind spending out for the required components for a home theater system, in-wall solutions might be the way to go.

You can add additional speakers and subwoofers for surround sound capabilities. The Architectural Speaker line from Sonos is a great option for those looking for stellar sound quality at an affordable price. Speakers come in pairs, so you can very easily tailor your surround sound experience or keep things stereo.

Why You Still Might Want Home Theater Speakers

Home theater speakers still fit a certain niche. They are very much intended for home theater enthusiasts who want the absolute best option for their money. For people just looking for better sound, they might not be an ideal fit.

That said, if you’re after stellar sound quality in a bespoke package, then home theater speakers might be right for you. Ignoring the reasons why you should avoid them, they still are the pinnacle of readily available consumer sound.

Closing Thoughts

There are plenty of reasons to avoid home theater speakers. That said, you might want to consider the needs of your home theater before choosing an audio solution.

For some, it might just be fine to keep with the built-in speakers on your TV. At any rate, the market is filled with attractive options to fit your household’s wants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need speakers for my TV?

That really depends on what you want out of a home viewing setup. If you want better sound, speakers will certainly get you there.

Are soundbars true surround sound?

Typically, no, but there are some exceptions. Since soundbars have speakers built into the bar, there isn’t really space for positional audio.

Can smart speakers do surround sound?

Some certainly can do surround sound. Options like the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod can both handle surround sound with ease when streaming from a compatible device.

Are in-wall speakers better than home theater speakers?

They’re effectively two different classes of the same product. In-wall speakers are just out of the way and take up less space once installed.

Should I get home theater speakers?

If the reasons listed don’t really bother you, then home theater speakers might be a great choice for you.

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