A Quick Guide to Sound for Your Home Theater System


Three Big Things that Impact Home Theater Audio Performance

What’s more important, image quality or sound quality? When you’re talking about a home theater, it should be both. When you go to a movie theater, you have a set of expectations; both the visuals and the sound should immerse you in the story. When bringing the cinema experience home, it should be the same – a giant screen with sound that leaves you wanting is an unsatisfying mismatch.

Many factors can affect the audio quality in a home theater, from the room layout, materials, seating, electronics, speakers, and more. We’re going to break those down into three broad areas so you can be better informed as you think about a new or upgraded home theater system for your Henderson, NV home.

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Speakers play a critical role in home theater sound. One question that can serve as a guide is, do you favor how music sounds in a home theater, or do you like sheer impact? For movies, dialog and dynamic range are essential for powerful sound. Some people prioritize this over musicality. Some speakers favor the dynamics of film over musicality. Many excellent speakers shine with both, but you should think about this factor. You may prefer a system that packs a more explosive punch in action movies, or you may want a well-balanced speaker that makes the music soundtracks the highlight of the film.

Fortunately, there is a vast array of choices in speakers for home theaters. You can pick from floor-standing, bookshelf or stand-mount, in-wall, on-wall, and in-ceiling speakers. Even subwoofers can be discreetly installed in walls. Or you can choose free-standing speakers designed for cinema applications that might hide behind an acoustically transparent screen. Don't think that architectural (built-in) speakers will lack in sound quality compared to free-standing counterparts. Both architectural and traditional hi-fi speaker brands offer audiophile-worthy built-in speakers in an astounding array of sizes and designs.

AV Receivers and Processors

AV processors are necessary to decode movie and surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital and Atmos to multiple channels of audio output by home theater speakers. AV processors paired with separate amplifiers are a popular choice for home theaters, as are AV receivers that combine processing and amplification (and many other features) into one unit. Large theaters with many channels of audio benefit from individual components, where the build quality tends to be higher, and the amplifier output is more powerful. Features in these systems are important, but critical performance factors are build quality, updated digital interfaces that serve your theater's requirement (like 4K video switching), and the right complement of digital and analog connections that serves your needs for several years.

Acoustic and System Tuning

Every home theater room tends to have some audio imperfections. The layout of a room, the seating arrangements, room finishes, décor, and even seating material can all influence audio performance. Not to mention the audio equipment itself, from the speakers to the electronics. Every home theater benefits from expert tuning, and in most cases, acoustic treatments. Tuning can use sophisticated software and manual configuration to ensure bass performance is even and highs are not too shrill or fatiguing. Since sound bounces off many surfaces, sound absorption materials can be applied within or on walls to optimize audio performance. Optimizing for the best possible sound in a given space is not post-installation; it is a factor that will influence many aspects of your home theater’s design.


For a home theater system with the cinema-worthy sonic impact you expect, call a professional like Fusion Home Systems. Reach out to our team today; we look forward to working with you!

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