Home Theater Systems Black Friday Deals (2021)

Home Theater Black Friday Deals

Home Theater Systems Buyer’s Guide

Design and Build

When looking for a home theater system, the design and the build will determine how durable it is and how long it will last. Are you looking for a complete system or one that’s more rudimentary such as a soundbar? How many speakers you have will also affect the sound quality.

One thing is for sure, our media team suggests looking for sturdy MDF cabinets on all your devices. The components, such as the speaker cones should also be robust but also flexible enough to deliver high-quality playback.

Home Theater System Configuration

How many speakers do you want? There are a variety of system configurations to choose from starting with a 2.0 system as the most basic, and up to 7.2 or even 9.2 systems. What do these numbers mean? The first number refers to how many channels of sound (usually the number of speakers) are present in your home theater setup and the second number behind the decimal pertains to the subwoofers.

living room home theater setup

For basic surround sound quality, our audio engineers say you will need at least a 5.1 system [1]. A 5.1 system will have 1 subwoofer, left, right, and center channels plus 2 satellite speakers.

Sound Quality

The number of speakers affects the sound quality as well as the design, but a game-changer that can push a home theater system above and beyond is proprietary technology.

Certain brands will include their patented tech such as Sony S-Force, which creates a more 3D experience with the audio. Brands can include helpful features to elevate the sound for a more expansive experience, but you can also find technologies that help to boost spoken dialogue clarity and match your interior acoustics.

Surround Sound

Other than using a 5.1 system and above to create surround sound, the embedding of industry-leading audio technologies from Dolby, for example, can really help to bring the cinema experience to your home. Our experts are big fans of Dolby Atmos, but you can also find Dolby Digital TrueHD, DTS:X, and more. 

Receiver

The receiver is like the heart of the entire system. It operates as a connection hub, and has every device in your setup connected to it. Whether it’s audio or video, the receiver uses its own abilities to decode the frequencies to elevate the quality.

stereo receiver

Since the receiver is such a crucial component, you have to know how to pick one. The first thing is to pay attention to your connections. You have to make sure you have enough to accommodate all your devices. Our advice is to go for more, not less. You can always upgrade your system and add more speakers, but you will run into real problems when you don’t have enough.

Our media experts suggest nothing less than 4 HDMI inputs on your chosen receiver just to be safe. HDMI is always our recommended connection for its speed and stability. 

Setup

The setup should be easy. Enjoying great sound should not be a difficult task. The best placement would be at the front of your room. One other trick is to balance the placement. For example, if you have 4 speakers, place two on each side of the room. Doing so will ensure a more even playback. 

samsung-tv-speaker

One other thing our experts say is to not go for the most complex system money can buy. Why? Because not everyone has the room for a 9-channel system. In a smaller room, you most likely won’t need that kind of power anyway. The key is to find the best fit for your space.

Connectivity Options

The connections on your speakers and receiver are so important, because if they are not compatible, then you will be left with a very expensive yet inoperable system. For example, if you want to connect your system to your TV to the center channel, make sure they both share the same port.

If this is something you don’t want to worry about, then go for a wireless setup. However, there is a good chance you will still need traditional connections for a few of the components. 

Price and Warranty

Home theaters are not always costly. The brand, the features, the configuration, and the technology are all factors that impact the price. Our team also suggests looking for a warranty that covers your purchase for at least a year. Better yet, find an option that has an extended warranty plus a guarantee just in case you need to return your system for a full refund.

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Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.