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Home Audio System Buying Guide EXCLUSIVE

AirPlay 2 is much more than just a simple pairing option: It lets you send both audio and video to a growing variety of devices, such as TVs, speakers, Apple TV boxes, Macs, and home theater receivers, all sans wires. If you own more than one AirPlay 2-compatible audio device, you can stream your music to just one of them, some of them, or all of them without losing synchronization. If that sounds cool, stay with us. We're going to point out all of the exciting features of AirPlay 2 and show you how to use it.What is AirPlay anyway?

home audio system buying guide

Several models of Blu-ray players can be had for very reasonable prices, and you can even find them in gaming consoles like the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, in case you already have one of those in your entertainment unit. Blu-ray players can play 4K Blu-rays, regular Blu-rays, DVDs, and even audio CDs, and they can pump out impressive HDR visuals through leading codecs like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X for a truly cinematic experience at home.

Vintage and used gear can be a great option for buyers on a budget, as most high-quality home-audio equipment was built like a tank and designed to last for decades, says Geoffrey Bennett, sales manager at Decibel Audio in Chicago.

There are pros and cons to both types of systems. A soundbar usually takes up less space and is cheaper to buy, and is a good choice for inexperienced users who want home theater audio that is easy to set up. A dedicated home theater audio system usually has a separate amplifier and more prominent speakers. This will provide better sound quality in many cases, but it will also be more expensive to buy and more complex to set up. Of course, if you spend more on a high-end soundbar system, you can get sound quality on par with a complete home theater.

Prices of AV receivers can vary from under $250 to over $2,000, so it is important to do your homework and make sure you are buying the one that is right for your needs. The most popular manufacturers are Denon, Yamaha, Sony and Onkyo.

This is a well-priced Denon receiver with support for 5.2 surround sound systems and 4K Ultra HD with HDR and Dolby Vision, plus Bluetooth. It can stream from Spotify, Pandora, Tidal and other services, and can be made part of a whole-home audio system with Denon's Heos function.

What really matters here is buying the best speakers you can afford, but also picking up the speakers that physically fit best in your home. Many can be mounted to stands that either sit on the floor or fix to the wall, while others work well sitting on a shelf (indeed, they are known as bookshelf speakers), and others are designed to fit seamlessly into the ceiling. Some are very compact and take up very little space, while high-performance, floor-standing speakers can be huge.

So what issues are there with Wi-Fi? As anyone who has any experience of home Wi-Fi will know, the signal is not 100% reliable and is a poor alternative to a hard ethernet connection. The same applies to audio. Any problems you might have with your wireless signal, whether due to interference or an interrupted connection, will result in a slight loss of fidelity.

For now, home Wi-Fi audio-visual technology is relatively limited and proprietary. For example, you need an Amazon Fire TV Stick to stream AV content wirelessly via Echo speakers and even then you are still limited to a pair of stereo speakers and a subwoofer.

WiSA-ready home theater products provide a reliable, high quality authentic wireless experience, including surround sound using up to eight audio channels. They are capable of delivering uncompressed 24-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio depending on the product.

As highlighted above, the best way to experience wireless cinematic audio in your own home is to opt for a true surround sound system with WiSA-certified speakers or, less ideal, a home Wi-Fi based wireless system.

While many wireless home audio systems are designed by audio manufacturers to be used within a closed hardware ecosystem, DTS Play-Fi is a wireless system created by the audio gurus at DTS and licensed to numerous manufacturers, including Pioneer, Polk, and Klipsch.

Sonos Amp: Connecting devices to the Sonos Amp is the best way to integrate wired speakers and audio sources like stereos and vinyl record turntables into the Sonos ecosystem. Offering 125 watts per channel, the Sonos Amp has the power audio enthusiasts demand for bringing their favorite hi-fi speakers into the world of wireless home audio. Wirelessly adding a pair of Sonos Ones together with your Sonos Amp and connected wired speakers lets you create a surround sound home theater system. You can even run outdoor speakers into the Sonos Amp to bring your multi-room audio system out to your yard.

Denon HEOS Bar: The HEOS Bar is the gateway for bringing your Denon wireless home audio system to your TV. Underneath its clean exterior, the Bar is powered by 9 high-performance drivers that produce exceptional sound for movies and music. With four 4K-capable HDMI inputs, the Bar is able to connect to multiple home theater setups at once, giving you even more entryways for bringing your wire-bound audio sources into the wireless HEOS system. Pair the bar with a HEOS wireless subwoofer and two other HEOS speakers for full 5.1 surround sound.

Bluesound offers a comprehensive selection of award-winning wireless hi-res audio components that allow you to play music in every room throughout your home, including outside in your backyard. With support for all of the major streaming services including Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music HD, Spotify, Deezer, and the ability to stream from a music library connected to your home network or through a platform such as Roon, Bluesound 2i components offer access to millions of tracks which are playable in high-resolution digital audio for the ultimate sonic experience.

Stream high-resolution digital audio files with no latency drop-outs in every corner of your home with the PowerNode 2i which offers advanced dual-band WIFI and support for Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD; including streaming to your wireless headphones with dedicated volume controls. With a wide array of inputs including analog, optical, and HDMI ARC, the PowerNode 2i can be the heart of a two-channel home audio/video system that is controllable with the BluOS control app.

Like the Node 2i, the Vault 2i can stream high-resolution digital audio in every corner of your home with advanced dual-band WiFi and support for Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD including support for multi-room streaming and wireless headphones. With its wide array of inputs/outputs including analog, TOSLINK digital optical, coaxial digital RCA, and USB (for connection to memory sticks), the Vault 2i is one of the most comprehensive digital sources for the music listener who requires the flexibility to listen to their existing CD collection but is also committed to digital streaming.

Designed with the same level of acoustic engineering that has made PSB Speakers one of the most respected loudspeaker brands in consumer audio, the Pulse Soundbar 2i delivers a full-range music and home theater experience that fits right under your television. The first wireless multi-room soundbar to deliver high-resolution audio and audiophile-grade bass response without a subwoofer sets the bar for what can be achieved in a compact soundbar.

In our article on how to use Sonos with wired outdoor speakers we discuss a few scenarios. You can also check out our outdoor speaker planning guide and buying guide for more info on putting together an outdoor system.

Home theater systems are designed to provide a high-quality audio and video experience in the comfort of your own home. Home theater systems offer a range of features and capabilities to enhance your audio and video experience and can be customized to meet your specific needs and preferences.

All speakers in a home theater system are essential and work together to create an immersive and balanced audio experience. However, if we have to identify the most important speaker in a home theater system, it would be the center channel speaker.

At Blueprint, we are dedicated to providing your family with best-in-class audio solutions. A world leader in manufacturing high-performance loudspeakers, the Bang & Olufsen brand is synonymous with not only high quality but also with sleek and innovative designs. We not only are proud to bring Bang & Olufsen and its high-fidelity audio products here to the Honolulu area, but we are excited to be your local resource for all things B&O this holiday season. In this Blueprint gift-buying guide to the holidays, we will explore five of our favorite B&O products as you look to find the perfect present for the audiophile or music enthusiast in your life. Just keep reading below to find out more.

Thankfully, almost all HTiB speaker systems come with AV receivers that support both DTS and Dolby standard surround sound audio codecs as well as the lossless HD versions found in Blu-ray formats. Apart from dedicated Blu-ray players, most modern TVs are smart enough to support streaming video services, but it is also possible to hook up your home theater with media servers or even dedicated small form factor HTPC computers that serve everything from Blu-ray movies and music to streaming audio and video.

Contemporary manufacturing and demand for affordable yet high-functionality audio gear has forced there to be options that will provide plenty of flexibility if you want to cover home, live and studio performances in a single shot! Thanks capitalism!

If you love music and appreciate great sound quality, Sonos could be the perfect fit for you. If you'd like to build up an audio system in multiple rooms of your home, then Sonos is class-leading in this field and has the awards to show it.

At Smart Home Sounds, we are leading Home Audio Visual Specialists and one of the UK's largest Sonos dealers. Our knowledgeable team provide expert service & advice on a wide range of audiovisual products and are here to help you find the perfect setup for your home. 041b061a72


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