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6 Things not to do When Designing a Home Audio System

Updated on January 22, 2014

For movie lovers, as well as for music enthusiast, there is one must have for a dream home to be complete---a serious home audio system! Often referred to as a home theater system, a home audio system means that you can watch the movies of your choice within the comfort of your own home, but still with all the perks of theater. (Okay, maybe not all, but you can always add a popcorn machine so you have the number one selling movie food on hand!) But, what does it take to design a home theater? Doesn’t that have to be a custom job?

Well, it really depends on how much time and money you want to invest. There are many elements involved in designing a home audio system, but that doesn’t mean that the average homeowner should not even consider doing the work. It is just a matter of some careful planning and making sure to avoid the things listed below:

  • Don’t design the room to require people to look up. Yes, the screen will be mounted on a wall, but keep in mind that extended time with one’s neck craned is not only uncomfortable, but also impractical. Consider placing the screen lower (between 3 and 5 feet) or investing in some ergonomically designed seating.
  • Don’t place the speakers for your home audio system in the furniture. Sub-woofers placed in a cabinet will cause the sound to be muffled!
  • Just as sitting with your necked craned at an unnatural angle is bad, so is siting too close –or too far- away from the screen. Sites such as engineering offer ways to determine the distance, or you can use the chart shown here. A simple rule of thumb regarding distance is that if the screen structural elements distract you from watching the movie then you are to close.
  • Think about the amount of sunlight. If there are large windows in the room you are planning a home audio system for, then you either will want light darkening curtains or may need to rethink the room you are using.
  • Not planning your budget carefully can be detrimental to having the home audio system of your dreams. Don’t pair a $100 sound bar with a $2,000 television set! Think about what results you want from your system and buy accordingly. Make a list –before you even begin- with the sizes, brands, etc. of surge protector, cables, receiver, stand, speakers and television so that you can better stay on budget. Also, do not plan on spending less than $200 per item for these three elements: television, speakers and receivers.
  • Don’t think you know it all! Ask advice of others who have installed a home audio system, talk to people at the electronics and music stores, read reviews by the professionals, or watch YouTube videos---but don’t think you know all there is to know or, chances are, you will overlook something important!

The pleasure of watching a movie without being at the theater and paying theater prices---yes, that is something to be enjoyed. Taking time to plan and install carefully can make the difference between a box office hit and a total dud!

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of home audio systems. One such site worth visiting is Midwest Speaker.

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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