See here the list of Top 10 best-integrated amplifier under $3000. Read the buying guide and other important factors before selecting an integrated amplifier for you.

Guides: Questions to keep in mind before buying a sound system

What makes a good sound system?

buying guide for amplifiers

High-quality speakers are a must for a successful sound experience. There should also be enough speakers to provide surround sound.

Surround sound is an important component of the perfect sound system. A flat-screen TV alone is not enough to turn the living room into a movie theatre. This sound is created when the technique distributes the sound across multiple electronically controlled speakers in the room.

This allows you to tune in to the music as if you were sitting in the front row at a concert and stuck right in the middle of a movie.

The number of speakers is also crucial, with at least two speakers and a subwoofer. Most widely used is Dolby 5.1, which is perfectly adequate as a home theatre system and creates incredible virtual surround.

There are theoretically no limits to the top, if space permits, so that there are also 11.2 sound systems on the market. It is not just the number of speakers that is important, but also their quality, of course, where sound differences are clearly noticed.

How does a sound system work?

The loudspeakers are connected to a terminal and thereby generate a gain, as well as room filling of the sound.

In a 2.1 sound system, you simply connect the speakers to the PC or TV, which gives you a stronger sound.

The 5.1 sound system, on the other hand, delivers a sound experience as you know it in the cinema, the sound does not come from one direction only, so you get the feeling of being a part of the movie. It comes from five directions and is distributed to all speakers and thus the surround sound is achieved.

For example, in the movie, a sound comes from the back left corner, then it will come through the back left speaker in your living room from there.

Did you know that the perfect surround sound also depends on the media you want to play?

Your speakers and speakers may be so great – if the audio track of the DVD or Blue-Ray is of poor quality, it will not help.

What are the advantages of a sound system over a soundbar?

A sound system provides an excellent sound that spreads throughout the room. In addition, a 5.1 sound system can deliver perfect surround sound and bass.

  • Does Not Produce Full / True Surround Sound
  • A separate subwoofer is often needed

The speakers can also be perfectly aligned to your liking and for the best possible sound. A maximum bass is also guaranteed, as well as an audiophile presentation as in the cinema.

Another advantage with a sound system are the speakers and subwoofers, the soundbar often requires a separate subwoofer.

In summary, it can be seen that the sound system delivers much better sound once it has been properly installed.

For what purpose would you like to use a sound system?

Sound systems can be used in the first place to listen to music. Also, to play on the PC or to watch movies with the feeling of sitting in the cinema.

When choosing the right sound system for you, you should think about what you want to use it for the most part. If you only want to listen to music, a 2.1 sound system is enough. It’s best suited for connecting to a PC or laptop.

The speakers are kept small in this case and take up little space. The performance of these systems should not be underestimated. Not only the living room can be decorated with such a system, but also your own car.

Christian Sengstock Expert for Gaming & amp

They are also suitable for playing on the PC, but you want to completely immerse yourself in the virtual world if you look for a 5.1 system. 5.1 Sound systems are mainly used as home theatre systems in the complete system with a Play Station 3, a DVD and Blu-ray player and a receiver.

To refine the home theatre experience, you can also connect the system to a projector.

The development of sound systems is very much related to the development of motion picture films in order to achieve optimal sound in their own walls.

What alternatives are there to the sound system?

The cheaper option would be a soundbar that is also space efficient, as the speakers do not need to be distributed throughout the room.

This makes installation much easier. However, one must then accept that the sound is less space filling and on the real surround sound you have to do without. Of course, there is a good sound.

The following overview shows the advantages of a soundbar and the disadvantages of a sound system:

Decision: What types of sound systems are there and which ones are right for you?

Sound systems are generally differentiated by the number of loudspeakers and subwoofers (woofers), which can be read off the name of the system. Basically, we distinguish between two sound systems:

  • 2.1 Soundsystem
  • 5.1 Sound System

where the number before the dot is the number of speakers and the number is the dot for the subwoofers. From 5.1 we are talking about multi-channel sound systems or surround sound systems.

With such a sound system, it is possible to create the most realistic possible soundscape. You should not just feel like there are speakers next to the TV that will give you a stereo cinema sound from the front, but hear the sound from all sides of your environment.

In addition, there are other expansion kits to further enhance the sound:

  • 7.1 Sound System
  • 9.1 Sound System

Sound systems are all about the acoustic experience. However, this can also be extended by a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, which also makes it possible to deliver a great TV picture.

Add to that an AV receiver, which we have a complete system together and with a suitable TV set the perfect home theatre fun nothing stands in the way.

    • home theatre system

Depending on your physical and financial capacity, as well as the intended use of the sound system, another device is best for you.

What does a 2.1 sound system consist of and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The 2.1 sound system is relatively simple and only needs to be connected to a PC or TV.

It only has two front speakers that output the sound and a powerful subwoofer that outputs the bass.

The 2.1 sound system can be used for music, games, and movies. Especially in games and movies, the much larger subwoofer comes into play by producing a powerful and rich bass.

Advantages
  • No large space required (Compact size
Disadvantages </span >
  • No Surround Sound

High-quality music is suitable for playing high-quality music 2.1 sound system with two large satellite speakers, which in addition to the good quality, also provide a high volume.

The special advantage of the 2.1 sound system is that only a few connection cables have to be laid and the installation effort remains low. In addition, the cost of the effective sound feel of what the system does is not all that high.

A large space is not necessary here, too, compared to other systems because it has a compact size.

The disadvantage of the 2.1 sound system is the lack of surround sound, which distributes the sound around the audience and gives the impression of being part of the action. This technique is only possible with a 5.1 sound system.

In summary, the 2.1 sound system is good enough for a good sound experience while listening to music.

The right sound system can make television a true home theatre experience. Therefore, there should not be saved here, because even smaller differences are noticeable immediately in the sound.

What makes a 5.1 sound system and what are its advantages and disadvantages? </ h3>

A 5.1 sound system consists of five speakers for medium and high frequencies and a subwoofer for bass-heavy audio. The speakers just mentioned include

  • a center speaker placed directly in front of the viewer,
  • two front speakers left and right in front of him,
  • two smaller satellite speakers or surround speakers in the back of the room
  • and a powerful subwoofer.

This sound system gives the user an authentic audio experience with a realistic soundscape as if you were actually there. The powerful subwoofer provides the dense atmosphere and the shock effects of action or horror films, as well as stadium atmosphere during sports broadcasts.

The 5.1 sound system is not only great for an unforgettable movie experience, but also for games. For example, this allows players to more easily locate their opponents and gain significant benefits.

Benefits
  • Cumbersome back speaker wiring
  • Requires a lot of room
  • Average significantly higher price

The good sound of this sound system should not be underestimated. For music lovers, there is the possibility to listen to concerts or music pieces in the multi-channel so that one has the feeling that an orchestra plays in the living room.

The 5.1 systems are however technically more elaborate, in particular, the wiring of the rear loudspeakers represent a hurdle. However, there are models, with which these are addressed over the radio.

Another downside is the need for a lot of room and the higher average price that would be incurred.

What does a 7.1 sound system consist of and what are its special features?

The 7.1 sound system is a redeveloped 5.1, in addition to the three front, the two rear speakers and the subwoofer in addition to two left and right side speakers.

This system is also great for lavish blockbuster effects, as well as multi-track music and multi-channel play, without losing the details.

With this technology, the sound flows better and the home theatre experience becomes even more effective. Most of these sound systems are more likely to be used in cinemas when the cinemas are wide, as they provide a pleasantly spacious sound distribution.

In particular, a distinction is made between direct radiators suitable for installation in larger rooms and dipole speakers for wall mounting at a small distance from the seating position.

What does a 9.1 sound system consist of and what are its special features?

A 9.1 sound system consists of three front speakers, two rear, two side, a subwoofer, and the two front high speakers.

The 9.1 sound system also features two front high speakers that add more spaciousness and brilliance to the movie sound.

This causes storm noise, such as rain, to mimic the third dimension. These front high speakers should be placed directly above the screen or TV.

What is a home theatre system and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Another option would be a Blu-ray home theatre system, which can be equipped with an integrated amplifier (receiver) and an additional 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system.

The AV receiver makes sure that different audio and video devices are connected and amplified by the amplifier the acoustic output power.

The benefits of these complete systems are the well-matched speakers and subwoofers, and a unit that includes an integrated Blu-ray player, mostly with 3D capability, an amplifier, and connectivity.

In addition, the player can be connected via LAN or wirelessly via Wi-Fi and thus other features such as various apps are opened.

Advantages
disadvantages
  • Expensive

Unlike buying 5.1 or 7.1 sound systems alone, there is no problem with complicated cabling here.

The subwoofer can usually be wirelessly linked to the central unit and wireless speakers are also no problem.

If you make sure that the system fits the TV when you buy the complete system, all devices can be controlled with just one remote control. The only downside is the high price that has to be paid for it.

Purchase criteria: These factors allow you to compare and rate sound systems

In the following, we want to show you what factors you can use to compare and rate sound systems. This will make it easier for you to decide if a particular product is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Performance
  • Integrated Drive
  • Usage

In each of the following paragraphs, you can read about each of the individual purchase criteria and how to classify them.

Power

When looking for the right sound system, you often read something of 200 watts or even 500 watts. But what exactly does this have to do with the volume and is the motto the more the better?

This can not be said to be limited, since above all the efficiency, which is indicated in decibels, determines the volume, but is usually not indicated. In addition, the interaction with the amplifier also plays an important role.

Room size 25 m²
minute 200 watts

The wattage corresponds only to the possible power of the speakers, so nothing is said about the sound quality. But what you should pay attention to is the size of the room in which the sound system should be set up.

Smaller rooms are enough 40 watts, larger rooms should be equipped with models over 200 watts.

Sound Quality

The speakers are the most important audio component for achieving perfect sound quality.

In terms of sound quality, of course, the speakers come first and here the money invested is the most noticeable. That’s why the selection of these is enormously important.

First, you should note that you should spend at least as much on the boxing set as on the rest of the equipment. These are, for example, amplifiers, Blu-ray players and cabling. There is no point in combining a 1000, – € amplifier with a 300, – € mini satellite.

It’s obvious that higher price ranges are reflected in the quality.

Be it the power supply or the sound processor, upper-class devices have better components that bring out more details like bass and treble.

If you have a limited budget, it’s better to buy less good boxes than more modest ones.

Did you know that especially flat TV screens can be particularly problematic? have good sound?

The extra flat design does not leave much room for good speakers. Here, it pays to invest in an external sound system.

Number of Audio Channels

Sound systems can have different numbers of audio channels and their goal is to provide the most realistic possible spatial sound experience. Audio channels are all kinds of speakers.

If you look at the 5.1 sound system, you find that such a system consists of five equal main channels and one low-frequency channel. These tones are easily transmitted.

The separate bass cone is the sonic subwoofer which is connected separately for the right bass.

The main channels on a 5.1 sound system are split in the room, in two front speakers, a center speaker, and two back speakers.

This results in a first-class surround sound through the individual channels. The number of audio channels depends on the type of sound system.

Wireless Speakers

Wireless speakers are very easy to use, which means hassle-free installation and freedom of installation as there are no troublesome cables.

There are often problems with the placement of the speakers because the room is inappropriate, you do not want to have cable clutter in the middle of the room and hide under the carpet or tearing the floor is not an option.

The wireless speakers come with advanced wireless technology that makes the sound crystal clear. The rear speakers usually have a small receiver, which is already integrated and through which they are connected to electricity. The front speakers are wired to the AV receiver as usual.

This technique gives a lot of freedom in setup and makes installation easier. For this effective solution, however, a higher price has to be paid.

Wireless devices allow more freedom when setting up sound systems. In addition, other devices can be paired with the speakers at short notice.

Speaker Control

Speakers can be controlled either on the unit itself or by remote controls.

When selecting the speakers, control is probably not the number one priority, but it is a matter of convenience. It must be distinguished whether the loudspeakers can be controlled by a remote control or on the loudspeaker itself.

Some sound systems have the right satellite speaker, with easy access to all controls, such as on / off switch and volume control.

Second, there are wired control devices with convenient access even the Bluetooth pairing button. There are also sound systems that can be controlled by individual remote controls.

To avoid having it for any device, such as TV, Blu-ray player, and more, have their own remote controls, they can be replaced with a single one.

Another option of operation is through the smartphone or tablet. Some vendors have easy-to-use apps for that.

Integrated Drive

In addition to a sound system, you can get a drive. However, since this usually involves a lot of expenses, a sound system with an integrated drive is better suited for a home theatre system.

You can use DVD or Blu-ray drives, but you can clearly say that Blu-ray players are more modern and 3D-capable. Even if you do not have Blu-ray discs yet, such a player can get a lot out of the old DVDs and improve their quality.

It also allows players to connect to the network via LAN or Wi-Fi, opening up a new range of features.

You can use different apps, the browser, and video-on-demand portals, and DLNA also allows the device to access files on other network devices such as network drives.

With Airplay support or a docking station, even iOS devices such as iPod, iPhone or iPad can play their media files through the complete system.

Also, you could buy the complete system to match the TV, so that Blu-ray player, speakers, and TV are perfectly matched. This would not be a problem in most cases, as most TV manufacturers are also active in this sector.

Use

Sound systems are especially suitable for every day listening to music. Are you planning to listen to musical orchestral pieces, a 5.1 sound system would make more sense because only then does the feeling arise in the concert to sit down.

Both are available for playing on the PC or consoles and offers through the 5.1 sound system even stronger effects. For watching movies, a complete home theatre system is best.

Before buying a sound system, you should know what you want to use it for later. For every user, there is the appropriate system with appropriately selected boxes and their number.

It’s crucial if you just want to listen to music, as a home cinema system or for the game console.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about sound systems

Sound system origin

The sound system originated in Jamaican culture, which is a mobile nightclub. The first sound systems came into being as Jamaican music underwent a great development and new genres of music emerged in the 1950s.

Dances or Bashments were organized in so-called “Dancehalls” by the first record labels.

Germany moved to the sound system in the 1980s, but only from the mid-1990s, when it came to the mass start-up of sound systems, through increased dancehall and reggae events.

How to Build a Sound System?

To achieve the desired effect of the sound system, the installation of the speakers is very important to note.

The ideal speaker setup is usually not given for space reasons, but there are some things you should definitely consider and even small changes cause audible effects.

Compact speakers should not be placed on the floor, in general, speakers do not have to look for in shelves, and it is not advantageous to install them firmly in wall units.

Speaker stands or wall mounts would be perfect, but you can also put your speakers on the right feet to prevent vibration from being transmitted to the ground.

Other rules of thumb for setting up the boxes depend on the type of sound system and the number of speakers.