Modern sound systems offer Dolby and DTS surround sound support which, without any doubt, ensures a truly immersive cinematic sound. However, due to technological progress, even they require some upgrade at some point in time, to say nothing of much simpler home theater systems.
However, it's not really important which system you own. In any case, there are a lot of ways to upgrade it, and it doesn’t matter whether you want to upgrade your old sound system, or just want to improve the sound of your new system in some way. Some methods are expensive, the others are cheap, and some of them don’t even require money. If you are interested in some useful tips on how you can upgrade your home theater system, just read the next paragraphs.
Buy a center channel speaker
A center channel speaker is a device that is designed to control the vocals and dialogues. It works as a part of an audio system. It lets you regulate the volume of the center channel sound without interfering with the left or right channel speaker, allowing you to achieve a perfect listening position. As usual, it works best with Dolby or DTS audio content.
Externally, it looks like a soundbar, but they should not be confused. The center channel speaker has a more complicated construction. It includes an amplifier, drivers, and other components, while the soundbar requires an amplifier and AV receiver to operate. It’s commonly applied to boost the built-in TV speaker while the center channel speaker is used to customize the surround sound.
A center channel speaker gives you a lot of advantages. You will be able to balance the volume levels, adjust center speaker, customize music output and make it more precise, accentuate vocals and dialogues, change the listening position, etc.
Buying a center channel speaker, you should pay attention to its enclosure. It should be made of a rigid material to be able to resist distortion and resonance. Choose a model that has 150W capacity or close to it if you want your speaker to be able to tolerate a lot without getting damaged. Make sure that a speaker has large magnet if you want the sound to be loud, deep, and volumetric. It also should have a 18-inch amplifier or larger.
Buy new subwoofer
A subwoofer is responsible for adding more bass, impact and depth to the sound. A high-quality subwoofer will create close-to-real-life sound effects. This will feel especially great when watching action movies. However, remember, that in this case bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. If you will get a choice between a high-quality 10-inch subwoofer and a lower quality 12-inch subwoofer, you should pick the first one. You will get a better impact and cleaner performance.
Buy new cables
If your speakers are connected by thin cables, they should be replaced with thicker ones. Upgrade all your existing speaker cables to 12-gauge (12 AWG) cables. Even cheap ones will do. Thicker cables are best suited for surround sound speakers and the sound improvement from them will be quite noticeable.
Whether you are using expensive cables or cheap ones, it’s important to make sure that each cable meets the basic standards. Even one defective plug can ruin your listening experience. Some low-cost cables need to be replaced from time to time with more corrosion-resistant ones.
Rearrange your speakers
The speaker placement can upgrade your sound (or make it worse) in a drastic way. Remember that other than wall-mounted models, most speakers are not designed to be installed next to the wall. So the best thing you can do for your speakers is to move them away from walls and corners. Try to move them 23-27 inches away from the wall. This will improve the soundstage.
Also, your speakers should not be located parallel to the wall. Try to experiment with the position of your speakers relative to your listening position. Try placing them at different angles. Make sure that all tweeters, including the center ones, are at the same level with your ears.