Home audio performance considerations

The quality of your home audio is affected by a number of variables - impair one, and you alter the rest.

For example, even the most expensive speakers in the world will sound average in a room with bad acoustics. Similarly, a well treated, acoustically sound environment can’t improve the sound that comes from speakers that are placed in random positions around the room.

So before you break the bank on a set of costly loudspeakers or a flash amplifier, think about getting the other factors right first – soundproof and acoustically treat your room and work out where you will be putting your gear. You never know, you could be surprised to see that you don’t need those speakers after all, giving you money to spend on other equipment.

Surround sound technologies

5.1 and 7.1 surround sound technologies

What's the difference between a 5.1 surround system and a 7.1 system, in practical terms? Which is right for your setup?

Surround sound vs. stereo

The difference is fairly obvious to anyone who's heard it, but which is appropriate where? And what sort of surround sound technology should you choose?

Environmental acoustics

The shape of a room, what it contains, and the textures and materials that are used throughout are just a few of the things that can affect audio quality and how sound is delivered.

Home theatre soundproofing

High fidelity sound is only as good as your ability to isolate it. See how soundproofing can help to improve your listening experience, and to stop the neighbours from complaining.

Where to position speakers

Where to position speakers

Speaker systems, particularly those that use surround technologies, are designed to be positioned in very specific ways. Find out how to position your speakers for the best possible sound.

How a soundbar works

Soundbars offer a simple way to create a surround-sound like experience using a single piece of hardware. Find out what soundbars are and how they work.

Music to test speakers with

Obviously everyone has different tastes, but the right sorts of music can make a significant difference to how objectively you're able to test your speakers. Find out how the experts evaluate and demonstrate their speakers.