A well-crafted home theater system is a thing of beauty. Whether you have your system installed in a living room or a dedicated home theater, there's nothing like sitting down with your family to enjoy a theater experience in your own home. That fantastic experience can make it all the more disheartening when your system isn't performing as well as you expect.
There are as many potential audio system issues as there are audio system designs. Problems can arise due to anything from failing hardware to poor placement and configuration. Below you'll find three of the most common issues faced by many home theater owners and how you can troubleshoot these issues to restore your system's performance.
1. Bass Problems
Bass problems can occur in any home theater system, and they may present themselves even if you're using extremely high-end hardware. A common complaint is "boominess," or a subwoofer that sounds indistinct and muddy. Fortunately, this is one problem that you can often resolve without purchasing new equipment for your system.
Easy fixes include moving your subwoofers away from flat walls and keeping some distance between your seating and the nearest wall. You can also try adding bass traps to corners, which can minimize issues caused by room layout. In most cases, simply trying different positions for your subwoofer can significantly improve its audio quality.
2. Poor Dialog Performance or Front Sound Stage Issues
Your sound stage is the illusion your home theater creates of being in the action, whether that's literally a music stage or an exciting scene in a movie. A good sound stage immerses you and gives the impression that the audio is flowing seamlessly around you. For movie watchers, common sound stage issues include poor dialog or noticeable switching between left and right channels.
In many cases, your center speaker may be to blame for these problems. An incorrectly matched center speaker can create a noticeable "seam" as sound travels between the left and right speakers. You may also notice issues with muddy or inconsistent dialog. Upgrading your center channel to match your left and right speakers will usually drastically improve your front sound stage performance.
3. Mismatched Speakers
Many people upgrade their systems over time, replacing individual speakers or channels with higher-end components. While this is a cost-effective approach, it won't always lead to the best outcomes. Many audiophiles use the term "timbre matching" to describe speakers with similar acoustic qualities. Piecemeal upgrades can prevent you from achieving this goal.
If you notice an audible difference between your speakers (such as from your front and rear channels), you may be suffering from a timbre matching problem. While matching all of your speakers is the easiest solution, you may be able to find alternatives with similar acoustic qualities. Whatever the case, choosing more carefully matched speakers will result in a more fluid and seamless sound stage.
Talk to an audio visual professional to get help with your audio system.Share
29 June 2021
When I bought my new house, I wanted a surround sound system installed. I spent a long time diagramming the rooms so that I could determine the best way to position the speakers. The angles and positioning are key to getting the sound to resonate properly. When I couldn't be sure that I had the positions right, I went to a local audio/visual specialist. Then I created this site to help others learn how to decode the angles and directions for optimal audio from a surround sound system. I hope that this information helps you get the perfect sound from your new system.