Buying a home theater-in-a-box is easy. Yet, this isn’t always the best way to purchase a complete surround sound system. Packaged surround sounds are limited both quality and sound-wise. Additionally, these systems rarely come with top-quality Blu-rays or an array of connectivity options.
Building a surround system by purchasing individual pieces is a better option. You’ll find that buying separate surround components offers you the most flexibility. Creating your own system may be more expensive than buying a system-in-a-box, but if you’ve spent a lot of money on your televisions, you may as well invest in decent sound.
Advantages of Surround-In-A-Box
There are some advantages to buying a ready-made system. The first (and most obvious) advantage to buying a complete surround sound is simplicity. Once you purchase this type of system, all you have to do is run some wires and hang speakers. Within a matter of moments, your surround sound will be complete. Most of these systems also come with a Blu-ray player, which can be seen as an added bonus.
Most surround-in-a-box packages come with a 5.1 setup. This number could be higher or lower depending on how much cash you’re willing to spend (ranging from $300 to $1000+). These systems are for you if you don’t want to bother building a surround piece by piece. Just beware of surround-in-a-box limitations.
The vast majority of surround-in-a-box systems cannot be altered. Once you purchase that 5.1 system, you’ll never be able to graduate to a 7.1 system. There are some exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include certain Onkyo and other high-end systems.
Expansion aside, surround-in-a-box systems are limited quality-wise. Further, connectivity selections tend to be limited. It’s also important to note that once one speaker is out of commission, your entire surround-in-a-box system will be rendered useless until you have that one speaker fixed (which may, or may not, be worth the expense).
Separate Component Systems
Buying separate speakers and subwoofers means tapping into a world of sound options. You can add an extra subwoofer to your system or choose speakers that really rock. Turn your home theater into a 7.1 system or take it up a notch. Flexibility is the reason why most sound enthusiasts wouldn’t dream of purchasing a surround-in-a-box.
If you’re under the impression that buying separate components for a surround sound system is expensive, you’re mostly right. However, you can buy each part of your system piece-by-piece. Begin by purchasing an amplifier if you currently have other speakers. From there, you can build onto your surround bit-by-bit. You can also choose whether to opt for high-end components or those that are less expensive. The only disadvantage to building your own surround is price, though these parts can easily be budgeted for.
If you decide to piece together your own surround sound, there are a few things that you should know. First, it’s a good idea to purchase speakers from the same manufacturer. The logic behind this recommendation is that same-brand speakers work well together, which is what you want from a home surround sound system.
Second, note that you will need at least five speakers. If you want a “knock your socks off” experience, opt for seven speakers. Lastly, make sure that you have the right cables for your system. It doesn’t pay to purchase cheap cables when hooking up a nice surround sound!