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How to Compare Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Updated on January 1, 2011

WIN: Teufel 5.1 Speaker System

How to Compare Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Introduction
Comparing surround sound speaker systems can be a frustrating and confusing process when there are so many to choose from. It would seem ideal to purchase the least expensive surround sound, but most people want to get their money’s worth, have a great system, and meet their needs at the same time. There are specific factors to take into account when comparing systems.

Price
Budget priced systems feature compact speakers and subwoofers. They are also comparatively easy to set up. These are usually called Home Theaters in a Box. The power ratings fall within a 25 to 50 watt per channel range, and are priced from $100 - $300 as of December 2010. Higher-end surround sounds can be priced up to $3000 or more, with 600 watts of power. They also provide the best image and sound quality technology offers. Higher-end surround sounds provide the latest features, but are complex to set up.

Style
Several manufactures like Sony, Samsung, and RCA offer elegant styles and appearances with sleek designs. They are comparatively easy to set up, but the bass output can be limited. The amplifiers are normally tucked inside the subwoofer for a trim design. Power ratings can fall within the 50 to 100 watt per channel range and the cost averages $200 - $600.

Wireless
For those who dislike too many cords, wireless speakers are an option. However, wireless high-performing speaker’s are still a technical challenge. Wireless speakers receive their signals via infrared light or radio waves. Wireless speakers still needs an outlet cord to be plugged in for power, but they eliminate speaker wires. Most manufactures offer wireless speakers, and are priced from $100 - $600 on average.

Reviews  
Consumer reviews are an excellent way to compare surround sound speaker systems. Most reviews are unbiased, and people often state their experience, likes and dislikes about products they have recently purchased. Reading over several reviews is an excellent way to compare various types of surround sound speaker systems before a purchase is made.

CNET Reviews: Buying Guide
http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-7612_7-269-1.html

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