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Cinemas are closed, and chances are we won’t be leaving home for a while. With limited options left in this period of Covid-19 #SocialDistancing, our favourite Blu-ray titles and streaming sites like Netflix have become our trusty companions and respite from the distressing pandemic news.

So it only seems apt to consider enhancing our home theatre experience right now. Setting up a proper sound system is important, but what many of us may realise after buying all the equipment is that it sounds different from when we first tested it out in the store. Picking top-notch equipment may play a big part in laying the foundation for an immersive surround sound system, but there are a couple of other quick tips that can maximise its potential to create the best home theatre experience you can have. Read on for more.

Make sure to match your speakers

home theatre
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Balance (Photo: Bang & Olufsen)

If your speakers have been inherited from friends, or if you’ve bought your own from another brand because it seemed like there weren’t enough speakers in the room, you’re doing it wrong. A hodgepodge of old and new speakers from different manufacturers will only take your home theatre downhill. Each speaker brand has its own signature way of interacting with sound.

By having matched speakers throughout the system you can ensure that the sound transitions seamlessly from one speaker to another, resulting in a more realistic, immersive experience. If you need recommendations on speakers that look good and sound good as well, we’d recommend some from Bang & Olufsen and Devialet.

 

Now that your speakers match, rearrange them

home theatre
Devialet Phantom Reactor (Photo: Devialet)

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is neglecting the speaker placement. As a rule of thumb, don’t place your speakers in the far corners of your room or near the ceiling on top of your cabinet. Every home theatre space is different, and the configuration of your speakers move with your space.

However, in general, your surround speakers are best placed to the left and right of your screen, angled directly at the couch. In case you don’t have enough space for placing your speakers by the side of your tv, position them a few feet behind your listening position and face them forward.

 

Your subwoofer matters — upgrade it

home theatre
Bose Bass Module 700 (Photo: Bose)

In layman terms, the subwoofer is the one the adds intensity and depth to the sound of your movie: think the intensity from an explosion and the pounding footsteps from Godzilla. Unless you’re the kind who solely watches romantic comedies, a good subwoofer really shines in any home theatre. Some brands to consider would be Bose and Klipsch.

 

Think about switching up your amplifier

home theatre
Yamaha CX-A5200 (Photo: Yamaha)

The best speakers in the market won’t do your sound justice if your amplifier doesn’t have enough power. Your speakers may not need a whole ton of power very often, but action sequences in movies and wide variations in music dynamics will require power to maintain excellent sound quality.

New homeowners may consider amplifiers with a 5.1 channel setup, just enough for a small to a mid-sized room and can work with most audio formats. Brands like Yamaha and Denon are trusted names that include a wide range of amplifiers.

 

Create good acoustics

home theatre
Baux Acoustic Panels (Photo: Baux)

Acoustics play a big part enhancing your surround sound system. A flat, hard surface of a wall, ceiling or window will result in sound distortion, and you won’t be able to hear the original audio from your speaker. To control this effect, you will need to soften the hard surfaces in your room so they no longer bounce sound around.

An easy way to do this is by placing drapes or curtains on your windows and installing sound-absorbing panels. A dedicated home theatre would work best with these panels on all your walls, but if you don’t want to embark on such a large project, key areas near the corners of the room would work as well.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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