Good Home Theater vs Best Home Theater

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The home theater market is buzz with names; every diehard fan of a given brand has enough reasons to believe that his choice of home theater/speaker brand is the best. The brands that rule the roost in the market like Bose, JBL, Klipsch, Onkyo, KEF, Paradigm, Pioneer, Yamaha, Jamo, Monitor Audio, MK Sound, Quadrel, Triangle, ATC, Focal, etc, have found patrons for 3 prime reasons,

  • The brand suited the customer the best out of the available options within his reach (accessibility and budget friendly)
  • The brand had a good market service
  • The brand was sold by somebody they trusted (home theater dealer)

In today’s fierce competitive world, it is difficult to believe some of the above mentioned Brands/ Companies know something more than the other Companies/Brands do not know. Like the saying goes, “what you know is not as important as what you do with what you know.” These Brands do employ different levels of technology in creating home theater system/speakers depending on what they perceive as the best value for money product. In other words, the USP chosen by these brands decide their customers. The USP may be,

  • Not to look obtrusive and be non-conspicuous
  • To sound very accurate, to the extent of being exceptionally realistic
  • To be easy on the ears for long listening
  • To be aesthetically very appealing/rich finish
  • To complement one’s lifestyle

Various permutations, combinations of the above USPs are also available in brands.

The above facts about Brands/Companies being true, it is very difficult for an end customer to have had comparisons of all Brands/Models before choosing the right combination of speakers. But what is important and must be followed by the customer in picking up a Brand/Company is to over regard some features with under regard to some other features. It is unacceptable to pick up a small cute looking wall mount speaker which disregards performance just because it looks good on the wall; similarly, it is as unacceptable to pick up an ugly looking but great sounding speaker.

Small compromises on certain aspects of sound reproduction are alright for a gorgeous looking speakers being picked up for its looks. A great sound speaker/home theater system may be given a little bit of margin for error on the aesthetic appeal front. A combination of looks and performance always works.

Sound being so personal and subjective, another aspect of Brand/Company evaluation is the sound signature of the product, roughly analogous to the flavor. In a given sound mix, Brands/Models of Brands can sound differently with different sound signature that may appeal differently to different ears.

Brands apart, the fundamentals of a home theater that makes good home theaters as the best home theaters are,

Does every seat of the home theater get the experience of the story as the directors/studio engineers wanted?

  • The seating positions, the number of seats, the size of the screen, the luminescence of the screen, the viewing angle of the screen, the speaker positions in the room
  • The dimensions of the room (L:B:H) ratios
  • The right acoustics, (absorption diffusion combination)
  • Speaker placement viz-a-viz walls
  • Speaker placement heights


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