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How to Get the Most Out of Your Surround Sound System

Optimize the Audio in Your Home Theater with a Professional Installation

How to Get the Most Out of Your Surround Sound System

Movies are about more than just dynamic images on the screen. A movie’s full effect comes through with the sound. From the creaking of a door to the suspenseful music, it’s the audio that really sets the tone. Even in silent movies, in-theater music helped carry the action. This is why it’s important to put a lot of thought into your surround sound when designing a home theater system. Make sure you take the following things into account to get the ultimate movie-watching experience in your Sonoma, CA home. 

SEE MORE: How to Build a Luxury Home Theater System

Designing the Right Layout

Before buying any equipment or installing any wiring, visualize how you want your theater to look. Figure out what size screen you want, the type of seating, and also the number of speakers. There are a variety of surround sound layouts that could make sense for your home theater, though we highly encourage you to upgrade to a Dolby Atmos system.

What makes this system so unique is that it lets sound move independently throughout the room instead of being relegated to a particular channel. This way you hear a plane flying directly over you or explosions encompassing you from all sides. Though the number of speakers may vary, a Dolby Atmos system has a basic layout: two front speakers to the side of the screen, one center speaker, two surround speakers behind the viewer and two in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.

Choosing the Right Equipment

There are two primary components of your surround sound system: your AV receiver and your speakers. For your AV receiver, you want to ensure you have enough outputs for all your speakers and enough firepower to fill out your home theater. We recommend a Dolby Atmos-enabled receiver from Arcam or McIntosh that adjusts audio settings to meet your room acoustics.

The type of speakers you use will depend on the size of your room (to gauge how powerful they should be) and your aesthetics. If you want comprehensive surround sound without the bulk, we can install in-ceiling and in-wall speakers from Sonance. If you’d rather show off the speakers, we recommend KEF’s R250 Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.

Using the Right Source Material

Though the right surround sound solution will enhance any content, you can also boost your audio by investing in high-quality sources for your home theater system. Specifically, try to find content already mixed with Dolby Atmos technology. Most new Blu-ray releases offer 3-dimensional sound as do streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

If you plan on using streaming services for your home theater, it's also important you reinforce your home networking system. Ultra HD and Dolby Atmos content require large bandwidths. If your network can't carry all the necessary data, your video and audio signals will revert to a lower quality.

Immerse yourself in your favorite movies with a surround sound system that offers three-dimensional audio. Contact Lavish Automation to find out which Dolby Atmos solution makes the most sense for your theater. 

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