Home Audio

What home cinema audio setup should I go for?

2.1 / 3.1 systems

A basic home cinema system will only provide you with the sound being directed at you (not around you). These systems are not as immersive as their bigger counterparts but do a good job for general viewing. In a 2.1 system, you have one speaker placed left and right of the screen and a subwoofer placed elsewhere in the room to provide lower end support. A 3.1 system adds an additional speaker in the centre which assists typically for spoken word.

5.1 / 7.1 systems

These systems give you the true home cinema experience placing speakers in front and behind you gives the full range of sound available especially through the dedicated recordings on modern movie titles. 5.1 systems give you, in addition to a 3.1 system, 2 speakers left and right of the space behind where you sit. A 7.1 system adds an additional 2 speakers either side of your sitting position to fully immerse you in sound.

Lighting for home cinema rooms

Good lighting in a home cinema room is essential to creating the right mood. Lighting should be bright enough to navigate around the room but dim enough to properly enjoy the picture. It should also incorporate some level of brightness when required for times when you want to clean the room for example. Popcorn seems to get in the strangest places!

There are different styles of home cinema lighting including:

  • Star-light ceilings
  • Cove lighting
  • Stair lighting
  • Table lamps
  • LED downlights