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Guide To Home Theater Speaker Sound

There are so many specs to consider when shopping for home cinema speakers: the price tag, the various features, the design, the power. But one of the most crucial aspects is the audio format the set uses. Here's a guide to the various speaker setups and the most common formats they each use. 5.1 Channel Surround Sound This is the most common surround sound format found in home cinema speakers. 5.1 means that there are five speakers accompanying the bass subwoofer. The position of the speakers is usually: front left and right, center and left and right, though you can also get 6.1 and 7.1 to add in extra channels. 5.1 surround sound is available in two different formats, both of which are featured on most audio/video receivers: * Dolby Digital is the most common sound format used in standard DVDs, HDTV shows and games. In its 5.1 channel format, this is a discrete surround sound format which can produce excellent results. * DTS is the second format commonly using a 5.1 configuration. Because it uses less c...

 


Low-Cost Home Theater Systems – How Low Should You Go?

One of the best things about all-in-one home theater systems is that they can cost as little as $200. But for that price, are you really going to get anything decent? Or are cheap home theater systems better left forgotten? Benefit: Cost It goes without saying that one of the main benefits of cheap home theater systems is that they're cheap. Although most of us would love to bring the movie theater experience to our home living room, this doesn't always fit with a typical family budget. Cheaper all-in-one systems are a good compromise: they improve sound quality over traditional TV speakers, provide a good quality Blu-Ray player, but aren't at the top of the scale that can end up costing thousands of dollars. Benefit: Portability Although cheap home theater systems may come with poorer sound quality, the fact that they're compact is a huge benefit for the average consumer. We don't all have huge living rooms to fill with the biggest and best surround sound speakers. If space is limited, it's useful choosi...

 


Caring For Your Wireless Headset

Wireless headphones can provide a number of conveniences. No more tangled cords. And you don’t have to be tethered to your device. They provide freedoms that wired headphones do not. To increase the longevity of your wireless headphones it makes sense to take good care of them. Here are a few tips and ideas to care for your wireless headphones. #1 Protection If you plan on traveling with your wireless headphones consider buying a carrying case. The case will not only protect them from bumps and dings which can affect sound quality, but it can also keep the speaker portion free from dust and debris. It’s easy to tear the protective padding that covers earphone speakers. A carrying case can help prevent tears and snags. #2 Dust and Debris If you’re using ear buds, then you’ll want to clean them on a regular basis. Depending on your personal needs, you may want to clean your ear buds daily. Use a gentle cloth and basic warm soapy water to clean your ear buds. Never dunk them in...

 


Top 3 Reasons to Get Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Love listening to music but find that outside noise causes you to listen to it a bit too loudly? Do you travel often and wish you could eliminate the constant engine noise? Do you live where there is a constant stream of low level traffic noise? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then noise canceling headphones may be for you. They offer a number of significant listening benefits. #1 Listen at a Lower Volume It’s no secret that listening to music and audio recordings at a high volume damages your ears. Yet sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do in order to hear it. Noise canceling headphones eliminate this problem. They block out unwanted noise so you can hear your music. Noise canceling headphones make it possible to turn down the volume and reduce your risk of hearing damage. According to experts and audiologists, anything above 85 decibels has the potential to cause permanent hearing damage. Normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels. City traffic noise can be 80 dec...

 


A Guide to Choosing the Right Pair of Wireless Headphones

When you begin to shop for wireless headphones you may realize that there is an abundance of choices. Not only do you need to choose the wireless technology, you also have to choose the shape, size, and style of headphones you want. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you compare wireless headphones – and find the right headphones for your needs. #1 Purpose Why do you need the wireless headphones? Where will you use them the most? What purpose do you need them to accomplish? For example, maybe you simply want wireless headphones for your smart phone. In that case you may prefer Bluetooth technology. This technology uses radio frequency and makes it possible to avoid interference when you’re on the go. However, if you want to use wireless headphones for your television or home entertainment system, then infrared may be the best option. You won’t have any interference issues, however you will always need to be in line with your device. For example, you will have to be in front of your...

 


A Guide to Home Theater Receivers

When it comes to home theater systems, receivers play a crucial role. Not only do these power your speakers and let you set them up just the way you want, they're responsible for decoding the audio from whatever you're watching, and some now even come with extra features such as the ability to play multimedia files from your computer! So, how do you go about choosing the best home theater receiver? Here are 7 features you may want to consider. 1) Sound Format: All 5.1 channel surround sound receivers will be able to send the sound from DVDs and TV shows to your speakers for the surround sound experience. Dolby Digital and DTS and widely supported by home theater systems, but newer receivers will also be able to decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD for a more authentic sound (only if the Blu-Ray DVD also provides this). 2) HDMI: The best home theater receiver will have more than one HDMI input. This means you can hook up all your external devices to the receiver, and in turn connect them to your TV with just one H...

 


In Ear or Over-Ear? Getting the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise cancellation technology was actually introduced in the 1950s. It was created to help aviators reduce the sound of engines, propellers, and wind noise. It was quickly adopted by the aviation industry as a means to help passengers enjoy a more pleasant flying experience. By the 1990’s it reached the consumer market. This rapid expansion into the consumer market started as an elite product. The original noise cancellation headphones were quite expensive, and to be honest, the sound quality was questionable. Noise cancellation headphones work by creating a sound that opposes the outside ambient noise. The two cancel each other out and you only hear what you’re meant to hear. As demand for noise canceling headphones increased and they became more popular, more and more options became available. The price decreased and the sound quality increased. Today you can find noise canceling headphones in a variety of styles, shapes, price points, and quality levels. There really is something for ever...

 


The Real And Not-So-Real Dangers of Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise canceling headphones offer a number of benefits. They block outside noise from interfering with your listening. In many cases this means you can listen at a lower volume because the sound in your headphones doesn’t have to compete with outside noise. However, this very same benefit can also be dangerous. Noise canceling headphones work in two basic ways. They can actively play noise that produces an opposite sound to the ambient noise. They can also block noise passively by physically preventing outside sound to reach your ears. Pedestrian Dangers Often the time that you want to wear noise canceling headphones is often the most dangerous. If you wear them when you’re out and about, you may miss warnings. For example, if you’re wearing noise canceling headphones while walking you can easily miss the sounds of a car honking or a bicycle coming up quickly behind you. Driving Dangers Similar to walking when wearing headphones, there are similar dangers. If you’re using noi...

 


Wireless Surround Sound – The Good and the Bad

Wireless surround sound systems can be easier to setup than wired options, thanks to the fact that you don't need to run cables across your living room. You'll usually only find that some of the speakers are wireless. For example, a 5.1 surround sound system comprises of a center speaker, front left and right, and rear left and right. Only the rear speakers need to be wireless thanks to the fact that the other three will be placed in close proximity anyway. The term “wireless” can be a little deceptive here, even for the rear speakers, as they will need to be plugged into an receiver at the back of the room. They will communicate with the main receiver through an inbuilt transmitter, eliminating the need to have cables running all across the room. The Benefits Of Choosing A Wireless Surround Sound Systems There are many benefits to choosing a wireless system over a wired one, the main one being that it's a lot easier to set up when you don't have to find a way to incorporate all the wires in yo...

 


Review: Bose IE2 Audio Headphones

The Bose IE2 In-Ear Audio Headphones are the latest Bose in-ear headphones designed to provide enhanced sound quality, comfort and durability. Bose claim that a new design, in conjunction with Bose’s TriPort structure, provides greater sound clarity and definition throughout the music spectrum. They say the result is a richer listening experience for the user. As well as this, the new Bose StayHear silicone tips give greater stability and a more fitted earphone that will stay put even during rigorous exercise. Finally, Bose claim that the build materials have been improved so that the Bose IE2 Audio Headphones are far more durable and sturdy than previous models. That’s an awful lot of big claims for a reasonably priced headphone set, so do Bose deliver on their claims? Key Specs for Bose IE2 Audio Headphones RRP: $99.95 Year Of Release: 2004 Battery Powered? No Wireless? No Noise Canceling? No Weight: 0.04 lbs Bose IE2 Audio Headphones: The Pros Stability: A big problem with many in-ear hea...

 


Overview of Home Theater System Speakers

If you're shopping for the perfect speakers to fit your living room, then it's not just the technical specifications you need to consider. The design of the speakers is also a huge factor: do they fit in with your living room style, are they going to be easy to set up? Here's a guide to the main types of home theater speakers currently available to buy. 1) Subwoofers No matter which kind of speaker you get in your home theater system, you'll usually also need a subwoofer to go with it. Without one, you just won't get the full effect of any sounds you play through your system. Subwoofers are bigger than other speakers: they need to be in order to create low-frequency sounds. The good news, however, is that our ears can't recognize where bass sounds are coming from, so the larger subwoofer can be placed anywhere you need in your living room to keep it out of the way. 2) Floor Standing Speakers If you've got a larger space to fill then floor standing speakers are an excellent option. Although all speakers va...

 


Review: Sennheiser RS120 Wireless Headphones

The Sennheiser RS120 Wireless Headphones are just one of many wireless headphone systems that have come to prominence in recent times. Wireless headphones allow users greater flexibility when listening to audio around the home. Sennheiser claim that the RS120 headphones will work at distances of over 300 feet, and are unaffected by barriers like walls or ceilings – allowing the user to go move about the house while still receiving an excellent quality audio signal. With a wall mountable recharge base, the Sennheiser RS120 claims to offer the perfect mix of quality and flexibility, but does it all sound too good to be true? Key Specs for Sennheiser RS120 Wireless Headphones RRP: $99.95 Year Of Release: 2010 Battery Powered? Yes – 2 AA Wireless? Yes Noise Canceling? Yes Weight: 2.6 lbs Sennheiser RS120 Wireless Headphones: The Pros Rechargeable: Many wireless headphone sets fall down not on the quality of the audio transmission, but on the ease of use. The Sennheiser RS120 Headphones come wi...

 


Review: Philips O’Neill SHO9561/28 Over-Ear Headphones

Philips O’Neill “The Stretch” Over-Ear Headphones are not your average pair of headphones. The Stretch headphones are designed to be superbly durable and affordable while providing a high level of audio quality that you might expect in far more expensive alternatives. Philips O’Neill have clearly targeted a specific market with The Stretch Headphones – the active market. The wire is a tough, sturdy piece of kit that will tear free of the headphones under sudden stress so as to protect the headphones, while the headband stretches to comfortably fit your head and provide unrivaled comfort and security. On top of this, The Stretch is marketed as a high performance headphone when it comes to sound quality. At these prices, Philips O’Neill are making some big claims that many more expensive headphones find it difficult to live up to, but does The Stretch match up to expectations, or are Philips O’Neill Stretching the truth? Key Specs for Philips O’Neill SH...

 


Surround Sound Speaker Arrangement

Home theater speakers can make all the difference to your movie-watching experience. Even if you've already got the perfect picture on your HDTV, you won't really feel immersed in the action until you hear the sound coming at you from all angles. To do this, you'll need to set up your surround sound speakers at various points around your living room. Here's a guide to the key components of that setup. Center Channel Speaker As the name suggests, this speaker goes right in the center of your surround sound system, usually just below your television screen. You want to get this positioning right, as most of the sound you'll hear when watching TV will come from this one crucial speaker. Front Left And Right Speakers These two speakers are responsible for a number of elements of any movie audio, including special effects that come from specific sides of the screen, or the musical soundtrack. If you use your surround sound system to listen to music, then they will act as the left and right stereo speakers. The...

 


5 Tips For The Perfect Home Theater Layout

Before buying any new home entertainment system it's important to consider where the speakers are going to go. Your specific home theater layout can make a big difference to the kind of speakers you'll need to buy, so here are a few important elements to consider. Why Is Layout So Important? Each speaker in a home theater system has a very distinctive role, playing out different elements of the sounds that go into making up a movie soundtrack. Every home and home theater system is difficult, so it's impossible to prescribe any one home theater layout that will suit everyone, but there are some important guidelines to follow. 1) The Height Of Your Speakers: If possible, you should try to keep the tweeters of the center, front left and front right speakers at ear height when you're sitting down. This is more important than many people realize: the direction at which these sounds hit your ear makes a big difference! 2) Surround Speakers Should Be Higher: because the surround speakers are designed to produce ...

 


Review: Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset

Bose are rightfully considered somewhat of a market leader when it comes to high end audio performance, so it’s no surprise to see the excitement that surrounds their Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset. The MIE2i Mobile Headset has been specifically designed for use with Apple products, including most iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macbooks. Using a combination of Bose TriPort acoustic design to enhance the sound performance and Bose StayHear silicone tips for added in-ear stability, the MIE2i mobile headset aims to replicate Bose’s acclaimed superb performance with an affordable and durable alternative to other Apple focused headsets. The integrated inline remote allows for one touch call answering and the microphone is designed to pick up your voice without you having to talk directly in to it. All in all, the Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset sounds like the answer to many Apple users’ problems, but does the MIE2i live up to the standard you’ve come to expect from Bose, or is it simply a brand fo...

 


Draw the Curtains – First Class Home Theater

If you really want to achieve the true movie theater experience in your own home then there's one element you must add to your entertainment system: home theater curtains. Curtains may not seem important compared to the technology you choose, but in truth they can make or break the whole experience! Why Home Theater Curtains Are So Important A good set of home theater curtains in your living room means that you can keep it completely dark, leaving the focus on the screen. No reflections to worry about: you get the pure, unadulterated cinema experience. Because these curtains are so thick, they can even have an effect on the sound. This doesn't matter so much if you've got cheaper speakers, but if you've spent a lot of money on the best surround sound system you can get, good curtains will help you hear them how they're meant to be heard. How To Choose The Right Home Theater Curtains There are a number of factors to consider when buying your home theater curtains, but the most important is the fabric. This...

 


Wireless Headphones? How Does That Work?

Wireless technology seems to be taking over the world. It is certainly convenient. It eliminates the complicated and often unsightly mess of cords and wires. It also provides you with a bit of freedom. You no longer have to be tethered to your device to hear the audio. But how exactly does this technology work? Three Technologies that Work Differently First it’s important to know that there are three basic wireless technologies. They include infrared, radio frequency and Bluetooth. Bluetooth actually uses radio frequency but it uses it in a slightly different manner. Let’s take a look at each. Radio Frequency Wireless headphones that use radio frequency require a transmitter. This transmitter is plugged into a power supply. It also must be connected to your device. For example, if you want to listen to your television with wireless headphones your base unit will need to be connected to your television. The receiver sends electric signals to the base unit. The base unit then converts the ...

 


Review: Bose QuietComfort15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones are Bose’s 4th generation issue of noise cancellation headphones. Based on the style of the old Bose QuietComfort2, the QuietComfort15s (QC15s) feature Bose’s latest noise reduction technology that they claim provides the absolute best noise cancellation available anywhere. Electronic microchips actively identify and isolate background noise, while each ear cushion acts to insulate the earcup and physically block unwanted sounds. There are many noise cancellation headphones available, and many of them come quite a bit cheaper than the Bose QC15 headphones, but Bose are adamant that other noise cancellation headphones simply cannot compete with the QC15s. Strong words, but do they have the goods the back it up? Key Specs for Bose QuietComfort15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones RRP: $299 Year Of Release: 2011 Battery Powered? Yes - AA Wireless? Yes Noise Canceling? Yes Weight: 0.46 lbs Bose QuietComfort15 Acoustic Noise Canceling ...

 


Do Soundbars Provide True Surround Sound?

In the home cinema world there are two main sound options: the soundbar or a surround sound system (usually 5.1, i.e. 6 speakers). If you're trying to put together the best home cinema in your living room, which of these two options should you choose? Keep reading to find out more. Why Soundbars Have Become So Popular Traditional surround sound speakers are composed of a number of elements, including speakers designed to be placed behind you. In order to do so, you'll usually need to run wires across your living room, or pay more money for a wireless set of speakers. This isn't ideal in many living rooms, depending on the layout of your room and how much effort you want to put into the setup. Soundbars have been developed as a way to deal with this problem. They are composed of a long, slim bar that can simply be placed above or below your television screen. All elements of the surround sound speaker system are housed within the bar itself (though you'll need a separate subwoofer for bass tones). The Dif...

 


Review: Klipsch Image S4i Premium Noise-Isolating Headset

As more people have started using Apple products as their primary MP3 players, the need for a quality pair of iPhone and iPod compatible multi-function earphones has become increasingly necessary. The Klipsch Image S4i headset with 3-button Apple Control is just that – a set of in-ear headphones designed in conjunction with Apple and marketed specifically towards Apple users. The Image S4i claims to provide a balanced combination of functionality, great sound quality and an affordable cost that will transform how users listen to their music. With a simple 3 button microphone and control system that allows voice calls and Klipsch’s oval in-ear tips that are designed for both comfort and noise isolation, the Image S4i headset sounds like a must have for any iPhone users. There will always be some drawbacks to a set of headphones when compared to headphones that cost several hundred dollars, but do these drawbacks affect the user experience, or are the Klipsch Image S4i Headphones a great value...

 


Review: Sony MDR-RF970RK Wireless Stereo Headphones

Sony have a reputation of providing high quality electronic products, which leaves many people are surprised when they come across the Sony DRM-RF970RK Wireless Stereo Headphone system priced at considerably less than many other big name brand wireless headphone sets. Sony claim that the MDR-RF970RK wireless headphones provide the best of both worlds; the excellent quality you associate with Sony at low prices you’d expect from lesser known brands. There is no disputing the price – these are definitely priced at the low end of the market. The question is, are they priced at the low end of the market for a reason, or is this just an absolute bargain not to be missed? Key Specs for Sony MDR-RF970RK Wireless Stereo Headphone RRP: $99.99 Year Of Release: 2004 Battery Powered? Yes – AAA Wireless? Yes Noise Canceling? Yes Weight: 2.8 lbs Sony MDR-RF970RK Wireless Stereo Headphone: The Pros Comfort: One of the first things you notice with the Sony MDR-RF970RK Wireless Headphone system is h...

 


How to Wire Your Home Theater System For Optimum Sound

Believe it or not, your home theater wiring can make a big difference to the way your system works. Although many all-in-one home theater systems include all the wires you need to hook everything up, they may not be the best quality cables. Unfortunately, poor quality cables can lead to interference and a weakened signal coming from the sound sources in your home theater setup, reducing the overall experience. Even if they do work well at first, they may deteriorate a lot quicker than better quality cables. Your home theater wiring really can make a difference to the whole picture and sound quality, which is why it could be worth upgrading to a slightly better model. Here are a few tips to get the best results. 1) Avoid Extra Long Cables: It's important to buy cables that are long enough to bridge the gap between connectors, but try not to go too much longer than this. The longer the cable, the greater the likelihood that the quality of the signal will be compromised. 2) Choose The Best Quality Cable Avail...

 


Review: Beats by Dre Studio Over Ear Headphones Review

If you surveyed a hundred people today and asked them what are the best quality headphones available on the market, a big percentage of them would answer Beats by Dre. Beats by Dre has quickly become synonymous with high quality audio and top of the range headphones, but it has achieved this feat without many people ever having purchased the product! Brand recognition and marketing is imperative when launching a product, and Beats have absolutely nailed that side of their business. However, brand recognition and marketing can only get you so far. Eventually, you’re going to have to produce the goods. The Beats by Dre Studio Over Ear Headphones claim to be one of the best Beats products yet – combining the sound quality that Beats is known for with Monster’s active noise cancellation. The question remains, is it all just a fantastic example of perfect marketing, or do Beats by Dre actually bring anything new to the table? Key Specs for Beats by Dre Studio Over Ear Headphones RRP: $349....

 




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