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Best Surround Sound Options When on a Tight Budget

Premium Audio has always pushed for more than the basic setup, but what if you cannot afford our over the top setups? That’s ok, we have you covered there too. In this post we will discuss several entry level options to get you started with. Don’t feel bad about the money you spend today on a system 1) rather than waiting quite some time for what you want you get to enjoy a better system today than the one you have now. 2) You can always relocate this system to a bedroom when you upgrade later.

Soundbar

   A Soundbar will instantly make the poor sound quality you have from just a television go away. It will be replaced with a single speaker typically the same length as the tv. This one speaker will have much better sound. Need to turn up the sound for low level dialogue scenes, but afraid of the distortion? Don’t be afraid any longer, problem solved. With just a television all you have is a pair of tweeters, whereas with a soundbar you get a tweeter and two mid range speakers (mids) to produce better bass tone without distortion. Because you have a pair of mids the tweeter no longer has to work so hard to produce all the sound; instead the tweeter recreates the rest of the sound. The result? Much clearer sound at all volumes. For those that want more bass purchase a soundbar that comes with a sub woofer. Now the super deep bass can be reproduced too. A soundbar connects to the television with a single wire or perhaps two (depending on the setup). The optional sub woofer (sub) connects to the soundbar with a single wire. Place the sub on the floor about a half inch to an inch from the wall and put the soundbar directly above, below or in front of the television (if it doesn’t block the screen). That’s it, just one to two wires for the soundbar and one for the sub all easily hidden. It couldn’t be easier!

Home Theater in a Box (HTIB)

   Ready for even better sound? If you are, be prepared to be amazed. Like the soundbar setup this is relatively simple, most wires can be easily hidden and the price can be very affordable. Unlike the soundbar more speakers are used for better sound movement. This helps to better recreate the feeling of actually being in the middle of the action and not just watching it. With this setup you will have a receiver and typically a DVD or Blu-ray player all rolled into one device. All of your speakers will then connect to this one device. Depending on the type of connection used, one to five wires will be used to connect this device to your television. Don’t worry this will not be hard to wire up. Most systems now use a single wire called an HDMI wire to provide the very best in sound and picture available. Even if the system you choose uses five wires they are all color coded (one end to the television and the other end to the device that your speakers connect to. Your speakers will each use a single wire to go from the device to the back of the speaker and the sub woofer will connect to the device with a single wire.

   A home theater in a box will use 5 speakers plus the sub woofer to move the sound around you. This is what is commonly referred to as a 5.1 channel surround system. All movies today have sound encoded in them for surround sound setups. Rest assured your home theater in a box knows how to unlock these sounds for you. With this type of setup you will have a center channel speaker which will provide most of the sound you will hear. Place this speaker where the soundbar would have gone. The sub woofer should be placed just like it would have been with the soundbar setup. Here is where things differ: you will have two additional pairs of speakers. One pair will be used up front (one speaker to the left and one speaker to the right of the television). The other pair will be used in the back (one speaker to left and one speaker to the right of your sofa). For best results try to place your front and back pairs of speakers at ear level when sitting. Since the speakers are all typically small in size they are usually wall mountable. This comes in handy if you do not have furniture you can place speakers on top of.

   So you see you are not throwing away your hard earned dollars because you can still get use out of today’s system even when you buy tomorrows system. As stated earlier connecting it all is super simple, the speakers are not very big and can be wall mounted, and wires are minimal and can be hidden so the question is no longer should I buy it, but what should I buy?

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The Next Great Surround Sound ….

So you’ve heard about all of the surround sounds that both Dolby and DTS have made and they have come along way. Since 2014 Premium Audio has been inventing, testing and writing about their exclusive surround sounds. Fast forward to 2017 …. Premium Audio went “way beyond home theatre” in vastly surpassing the capabilities of existing surround sound as we know it today. So what’s next? Is Premium Audio going to unleash something “way, way beyond home theatre” or is time for others to step it up?

How can surround sound get even better then 22.4 (a Premium Audio exclusive in 2016)? In order to push the envelope further and make things even better sometimes it requires a little time to stop and reflect and let the next ideas come to you. This is exactly what Premium Audio is doing at this point. Like anything to become better it requires a problem to be identified and then the brain storming can begin. At the time of this posting no news has come about involving any new surround sounds from Dolby or DTS so right now we do not have an answer as to what the next surround sound will be. We can only hope that whatever it is and whoever comes up with it that it serves a purpose and is worth upgrading to.

Perhaps it will not be a new surround sound. It could be a new speaker technology or material used to make the speakers or components. Maybe it will be a new way to sit and watch movies? TV’s have improved by leaps and bounds so it is doubtful that TV’s will somehow evolve again soon. Right now our plans are to update and expand our product lines.

So what is next for Premium Audio? We are hoping to acquire another brand or two of speakers, but we cannot discuss details until everything is finalized. In 2018 we will be promoting a book about how to build speaker stands yourself. The book of course will include a few unique features that will be exclusive to us so they are not just another pair of speaker stands. Who knows maybe Premium Audio will once again create another incredible surround sound topping it’s latest ones or maybe improve on something new from someone else. We will have to wait and see.

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Become one with your movies!

     Have you ever been over to a friend’s house (or perhaps this happens at your own home) and felt that the movie you just watched was lacking in some way, but you couldn’t quite place your finger on what went wrong? Was it the acting? No. Was it the plot? No. Was it well written? Yes. Were you sitting in a comfy chair or sofa? Yes. Was the dialogue too soft at times to hear or perhaps the action on screen did not hold your attention? If the answer to this last question is yes, then good news, we can help! Most likely the problem was the audio or lack thereof. Together we can overcome this issue and actually get you excited again about watching tv and movies at home! Become one with your movies!

Because most people have the perception that it costs too much money to get a speaker setup or that they do not think they have room for one, they tend to just skimp out on good sound. A quality made film will draw you into the story and hold your attention til the end, but only if you take the time to setup your living room (or wherever you watch movies) to have good audio. All modern films have surround sound encoded into the movie just waiting for you to unleash it upon your senses. Some of the more popular surround sound formats include Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, Dolby True X, Dolby Atmos, DTS, and SDDS.

Together; both audio and video will create that sense of realism that you are there in the middle of the story. For instance how about hearing a car zoom from the left of the screen to the right and then crash into another car, catch on fire and explode? Surround sound will steer the sound to the appropriate speakers as needed and with the addition of a powered sub woofer explosions will come to life. Or what about the sometimes subtle nuances in a film created to build suspense? This too can be properly recreated with a good audio setup. Imagine watching a scary movie. In this scene some friends are talking in the middle of the room (heard thru the center speaker) with some music playing faintly out of one of the rear speakers. At the same time out of the other rear speaker a door creaks open (que the scary music). Suddenly the attacker rushes towards them wielding a weapon, (heard thru the center speaker) the friends all take off running in different directions. Wouldn’t that be much better than the lifeless sound just barely audible coming from your tv speakers? Of course it would!

Upgrading your sound is really easy! If you do not have space for lots of speakers we suggest starting out with a sound bar. Sound bars are quite affordable (even the more deluxe ones with a sub woofer included). A sound bar will replace the sound coming from the tv speakers and make it much more realistic sounding. For even better sound, consider a home theater in a box (HTIB) solution where everything you need is included together to hook up to your television. This is extremely popular due to affordable pricing, appearance (small matching speakers that can be wall mounted) and easy to follow setup instructions. You can also mix and match everything to make your system unique and truly stand out. Click here to see our entire selection of products.

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This was originally written by Premium Audio 1/2016 and somehow was never published on our own site, yet was published on 7/19/16 as an ad for Premium Audio on another site. Sorry for the delay, we thought we published this on our own site and didn’t. Better late than never!

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22.8 Channel Surround Sound

22.8 Channel Surround Sound

After months of promising something big and having to postpone it, the wait is finally over. While finishing up testing the worlds first 22.4 channel surround sound that I created for Premium Audio, I came across a revolutionary idea and that idea is the topic of this blog posting: 22.8 Channel Surround Sound.

Let me break this down for those unfamiliar with my unorthodox approaches to bettering surround sound that run rampant here at Premium Audio. Simply put, 22.8 channel surround sound means that there are 22 speakers (not the industry standard of just 5 speakers) and 8 powered sub woofers (not the traditional one or perhaps two of them).

The idea here is not to deafen you, but instead to provide you the most accurate depiction of bass placement in a movie as possible. No longer will all sub woofers play the bass simultaneously, but instead will play the bass out of only the most appropriate sub (or pair of sub woofers) based on the closest proximity to the speaker reproducing sound at the moment. Just think about that a moment…imagine an explosion comes out of the right rear speaker and the boom to represent the impact of the explosion coming out from just the rear pair of powered subs. Or how about this….the explosion comes from the center channel speaker and the boom to go with it comes from one single powered sub located directly under the center channel.

Had you been were watching that same movie with current traditional surround sounds (not created by Premium Audio) such as a 7.2 channel surround sound for instance this would have sounded completely different. With just two powered subs they would have been placed in the front of the room (one in the left corner and the other in the right corner) they would have both dispersed the boom effect at the same time and with the same volume (provided they are identical subs set to the same volume level). Not to knock this since it is a good surround sound, but think about how inaccurate the boom would have been. It would have been coming from the completely wrong direction in the example of the explosion coming from the right rear corner of the room and had it been intended to come from the center channel it would have made the impression that the boom filled the entire front of the room instead of just directly in front of you.

With enough rapid movement of action, film companies can trick you into believing this to be correct. The truth is, this is nothing more than an advanced shell game where they are really just creating deception thru a constant bombardment of sound to trick your eyes into being a believer. The faster the movement is, the more effective the trick is. Don’t let them trick you, the next time you watch a film (especially an action one) really focus on the film. If it is a good film, watch it again while once again paying careful attention to not only what you hear, but also what you see and you too will come to realize the inadequacies in the current surround sounds that films are encoded in.

Although the current traditional surround sounds have come a long way in trying to make the brain believe you are in the middle of all the action, they are still generations behind my concepts that I alone continue to create, test and ultimately offer to you. Interested in learning more about how to wire this up? If so, please download my latest book: “The Evolution of Home Theatre: 22.8, 22.4.4, and 22.6.2 channel surround sounds.”

 – Written 10/30/16 By Anthony Di Chiaro; published February 2017 for Premium Audio

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Way Beyond Home Theatre; surround sounds by Premium Audio

Way Beyond Home Theatre

Happy New Year!

In December we went over the history of surround sound prior to Premium Audio so logically our next blog should be about what Premium Audio has done for surround sound. Here it is; way beyond home theatre; surround sounds by Premium Audio. Information about these surround sounds can be found on our website under Home Theatre Diagrams, our blog page and of course the book: Customize Your Home Theater.

8.1

10.1

11.1 (not the same as what Dolby created)

12.1

13.2

14.1

15.2

17.2

19.2

21.2

22.4

The implementation of pseudo subs into surround sound

More to follow…. Just when you think we cannot take it to another level we do just that. In February we will discuss what is next. Stay tuned….