Six Important Home Theater Trends
There's always something new developing for home theater enthusiasts
A multiple screen home theater installed by Stereo East.
November 01, 2012 by Grant Clauser

5. Floorstanding and Soundbar Speakers

The types of speakers being incorporated into media rooms is changing, too. Berman sees a trend in people using floorstanding and bookshelf speakers rather than in-wall speakers. The media room is still a special destination room, so users want a good experience. In-wall speakers are great if you want to hide all of the equipment, but floorstanding and surface-mounted on-wall speakers produce the clearest audio. Stereo East usually recommends a quality digital-to-audio converter (DAC) with each audio system to improve the fidelity of digital music files.

Paradigm Studio 60 tower speaker

Atlantic Technology’s Peter Tribeman notes a strong move toward soundbars, as well. People may think that soundbars are more about looks than sound, but Tribeman says today’s best soundbars approach the quality of full-range speakers and can be easier to integrate into the home. Entry-level and midrange home theater-in-a-box systems are giving way to soundbar/subwoofer systems because they offer an easy way to fill a room with audio. Built-in audio processing, Bluetooth, wireless subwoofers and one-remote operation are making those systems attractive options for people looking to upgrade from poor-sounding TV speakers.

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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