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Integrating Technology, Architecture and Design  |  (877) 550-5150

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What Speakers Do I Need for a Home Theater System?

We’ll Help You Choose and Set Up the Right Speakers for Your Mendham, NJ Home

What Speakers Do I Need for a Home Theater System?

Some movies need to be experienced not on a TV (or dare say a laptop)—but in a theater. Whether it’s by Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Nolan, you deserve to enjoy your favorite movies with the best video and audio quality. With the right speaker system, you’ll feel the Titanic sink into the Atlantic and hear James Bond’s car wiz by as if you’re really there, all from the comfort of your home.

With social-distancing practices currently in place, now is the time to upgrade your home theater. Although we can’t go to the local movie theater now, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy cinema-sized entertainment at home. Why not bring your family together during this confusing time and make the most of it in your private theater?

To achieve cinema-quality sound in your theater, you’ll need high-end speakers installed in optimal locations. But surround sound can be daunting to get started with. What does 5.1 and 7.1 mean? How many speakers does one need? And what exactly is Dolby Atmos? We answer these questions below to help you create a home theater system in your Mendham, NJ home.

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How Many Speakers Should I Install?

The number of speakers required in your private cinema will depend, as there are dozens of possible speaker combinations to try. In fact, some homeowners opt to use just a single soundbar (although we wouldn’t recommend that if immersion is your goal). A traditional surround sound setup uses five speakers: a center speaker, a left and right, two rear left and right, and a subwoofer. The more speakers you have, the more immersive and powerful your theater’s sound will be. Some people keep their system simple, with only a left front, right front, and center speaker. But you can build up to seven or more speakers for out-of-this-world sound.

What Do Channel Numbers Mean?

No, we don’t mean the channels you flip through to find a TV show. When assembling surround sound, you’ll see systems labeled as 5.1, 7.1, 11.2, 5.1.2, etc. So, what do these numbers mean? Each represents a different audio channel, and you can think of the first number as the number of speakers. So, in a 5.1 setup, you would have five speakers. The second number represents a subwoofer, so with 5.1, there is one subwoofer. If there’s a third number, it stands for how many Dolby Atmos (overhead or up-firing) speakers are in a system, so a 5.1.2. means there are five speakers, one subwoofer, and two Dolby Atmos speakers.

What Is Dolby Atmos?

For the longest time, 5.1. speaker systems were the best of the best. But Dolby Atmos changed the game, introducing “3D surround sound”. Dolby Atmos speakers create a layer of sound that hovers in different areas above the audience, allowing you to pinpoint the precise location where sound travels across your room. To experience this, you’ll need a Dolby Atmos-enabled receiver and at least two Dolby Atmos speakers. The speakers are available as on-wall and in-ceiling models, as well as toppers that rest above rear speakers.

For help designing and installing a surround sound system for your home theater, look no further than Total Home Technologies. You can contact us by calling (877) 550-5150, messaging a member of our team below, or submitting a form here.