What to look for in a home theater system under $500?
When looking for a home theater system under $500, there are some things you’ll want to look for and we’ll explain each in more detail. First and foremost, you’ll want to look at the type of the system and what you’ll get in it, since many come with different things. Next, you’ll want to evaluate the quality of the sound of the system since this will be important. After that, you’ll want to pay close attention to the number of inputs, the ease or difficulty of installing it, and then its warranty.
Type and what’s included
When it comes to the type of home theater system, you’ll want to pay attention to two numbers: 5.0 and 5.1. These numbers represent how many audio channels or speakers your system can connect to, which in these cases are 5. The primary difference between the two channels is that in a 5.1-channel surround sound system, a subwoofer is included into the system. This subwoofer is able to draw a lower frequency sound which uses quite a bit of power from your amp. Subwoofers can add tremendous depth and power to your sound since it produces more bass.
In terms of what you can expect for a home theater system, for one that has a 5.0-channel, you’ll most likely get two front, two back, and a center speaker. For a 5.1-channel system, it’s the same speakers plus the subwoofer.
The quality of sound
When you buy a home theater system, the ultimate goal of it is to have some awesome sound pumping through the speakers. And while you could get a fancy and expensive home theater system, there really is no reason to do so when there are plenty of affordable home theater systems for under $500. While the quality of sound between speakers may be hard to objectively quantify, you should be able to get a sense of the sound’s quality by looking at its power output. In general, the higher the wattage of a system, the better the sound quality should be. This sound quality will especially be noticeable through the subwoofer, which is the primary source of your system’s bass audio. So, be sure to check the wattage of the system you’re looking at and you can discern a higher quality by looking at its power.
Although it’s not consistent across all home theater systems, you can expect to find different inputs for different systems. The number and type of inputs can differ across system too and across different brands. However, some common types of inputs and ones you may find in most of these home theater systems include a USB input, auxiliary, a stereo mini jack, and an HDMI. Some, like the Polk Audio TL1600 5.1 Compact Home Theater System with Powered Subwoofer, have an all analog input setup. While many home theater speakers are now digital, some systems like this one still rely on an analog input to power the system.
You don’t need to super tech savvy to be able to install a home theater system. In fact, most of them are fairly simple to install yourself provided you have a few necessities. The biggest necessity you’ll need is proper access to electrical outlets. You’ll also need to ensure that the cables connecting to your speakers are long enough to be able to get to your outlets. The ease of installation will also depend on the devices in your room that you want to connect your home theater system to. While it could just be your television, other people tend to also hook it up to their gaming consoles.
The warranty is an important consideration especially if you encounter numerous issues with your home theater system. However, the only caveat is that not all warranties are the same and the length can also vary. Thus, it’s important to verify what is covered under the warranty of the home theater system under $500 you’re looking at. Some may cover only certain aspects of the system, like the Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System. This system offers a 3-year warranty on drivers and tweeters and a 2-year warranty on electronics and HD Wireless Hub. Others can offer a full warranty on the entire home theater system so it’s incumbent upon you to check this before you purchase the system.