With today's technology, there is a lot more you can do with a small room than you could have dreamed of just a decade or two ago. Flat screen TVs are highly affordable today and take up nearly no space at all. Home theater systems often come with Blu-ray or DVD players built inside and even smart technology for accessing Internet-based apps. When it comes to speakers, you don't need an auditorium to get great theater sound. Sound bars and wireless speakers can give you surround sound in even the smallest area.
TV and Components
When space is at a premium, mounting a flat-screen TV on the wall rather than placing it on a cabinet can save you two or three feet of floor space. Ultra-slim wall mounts for many HDTVs can give the TV plenty of air circulation while keeping it only a half-inch from the wall. To save even more space, consider what you need in a component before buying it. For example, if you want a Smart TV but you don’t have the budget for it or you already own a TV, you can get equivalent smart functionality in some game consoles or a Smart Blu-ray player. The same is true for a surround-sound speaker system. A home theater system with Blu-ray can eliminate the need for an extra receiver for the speakers.
Sound bar systems can be an ideal way to pack in a lot of audio output in a small space. Designed to be placed above or below your TV, sound bars are typically between 40 and 50 inches long and only a few inches high, meaning even the tiniest room can accommodate them. While many sound bars are also an economical solution for getting good sound, many sound bars can rival expensive stereo systems in both price and audio output. For example, a 2.1 channel sound bar with vacuum tubes can provide you with a warmer, richer sound and a higher dynamic range with less distortion than similar systems using solid-state transistors.
To achieve a true surround-sound experience in a small space, consider a 5.1 audio system—that's five speakers and a subwoofer. This setup gives you three speakers in the front of the room and one speaker on each side of your seating area, without requiring the extra space behind a couch to place rear speakers. The subwoofer, which is the .1 portion of the 5.1, can be placed anywhere you have room. Ideally the subwoofer should be about a foot from the wall in any corner of the room, provided it's not too close to your other components.
Other Speaker Ideas
To save even more room in a tight space, consider mounting your surround-sound speakers in the wall, or even in the ceiling, rather than letting them take up additional floor space. Many entertainment center speakers come on stands that you can adjust to keep them approximately at ear-level. If you are using these kinds of speakers, you can position them closer to your couch or seating area. For the best sound, these types of speakers should usually be placed about one yard from the wall.
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