Q. What’s the Best System for My Home Theater Audio Needs?
I'm building a new house that will include a home theater. What is the best system to handle my audio needs?
July 06, 2009 by Robert Archer

Q. I am building a house and will plan a home theater. I am free to place my speakers during construction. I want to use the speakers in a 10.1 arrangement. Is there a system like Denon AVR-5308CI Receiver that would handle my needs? I will not be needing the receiver until December? - Shawn

A. If money permits, you should talk with an audio design firm like Rives Audio, PMI or a trained electronics installer.

If you are planning on doing this yourself, there are lots of websites that provide room acoustics calculators. Check this one out.

The calculators take room dimensions and multiply them by the speed of sound. The figures produced can provide a baseline of where you may have some acoustical issues with standing waves (soundwaves that travel in different directions and cancel each other out to cause peaks and nulls within a room).

Standing waves can be problematic in frequencies below 500Hz and could affect bass response and performance. Any of Audyssey’s manufacturer partners that include the company’s technologies will calculate equalization (EQ) curves to minimize these problems in an affordable manner.

Since your building a new house, you have the opportunity to have a professional come in and design the best performance for your room without the use of electronic signal manipulation (EQ).

You can also hire an electronics installer that is trained to deal with these problems. Look for a professional installer that is Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA) or THX certified.

Be advised that no matter what electronics you use, nobody can defeat bad acoustics without proper room design or EQ.

Room acoustics is arguably the greatest factor in determining the sound quality of a system and is often the most overlooked element in a home theater or media room.

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Robert Archer - Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.

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