How to Find the Perfect Sound System for Your Space

What is Your Ideal Speaker Placement?

So, what is the ideal placement for your sound system? In a perfect world, you'd have a square room with minimal obstructions between you and the speaker. But that's not always possible, and so you'll have to accommodate for what is in each room. Remember that you want enough space for each speaker to have individual audio fields without getting echo-y or otherwise distorted.

What Does That Actually Look Like?

To find the correct placement for your space, you need to do some trial and error to place each type of speaker.

  • Front Left & Right Speakers: Place these far enough apart to distinguish sounds coming from either direction. If your room is asymmetrical, you may need to tinker with the channel's panning and volume levels.
  • Center Channel: Equalize with your front speakers in mind to get a smooth range of sound, especially with dialogue. Most setups have this speaker above or below the screen.
  • Surround Speakers: Space them apart from the same distance as your front speakers or a little wider and face them towards you. Or place them behind your seating position and angle them toward you.
  • Subwoofer: Work in any spot, ideally in a corner with no X-factors like furniture, carpeting, or thick wall construction to interfere. Clean, punchy bass is the goal with no rattling of windows or dishes, so try placing them near your seating locations for the best impression.

What About the Room Size?

Of course, the size of your room is another crucial factor in finding the perfect sound system. You might think that the larger the speaker, the better, but if you don't have enough space for the sound to move, even the best quality speakers will leave you disappointed with your sound system. Instead, you'll need to choose the sound system that fits your space.

Small Rooms

A small room is typically a bedroom-sized room with an 8-ft. ceiling. You'll need to place your speakers about 6 to 8 feet away from the listener. But which speakers should you get? Giant floor speakers will be too much power for this setup, so you're better off with a two- or three-channel system instead. Don't forget to consider on-wall speakers to free up floor space and tweak your sound with acoustic panels.

Pro Tip: Remember that desktop speakers are designed to provide sound at close distances and aren't ideal for a full-room setup.

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Smart Home Lighting: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Smart Home Lighting: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Benefits of Smart Lighting

The benefits of smart lighting extend beyond the ability to adjust your lights automatically or remotely. There are here are several plus sides to having smart lighting, such as automation, energy savings, and so much more. You’ll discover that there can be more to lighting than just flicking on a switch, and we’ll show you just what we mean.

Automation & Setup

Smart lighting can be integrated individually or collectively. You can set timers to turn off the lights at a certain time, or you can program your lights to turn on and off when you’re not at home, simulating your presence. The fixtures of smart lights are the same as those of regular light bulbs, so there is no need to worry about complicated installation. Simply remove the old one and screw in the new one to install them! Use your app or device to connect them to your home, and you’re good to go in a matter of minutes.

Save Energy

Depending on how you set up your lights, you can get notifications about left on lights, so you can turn them off. Meaning there will be no more waste of light and a significant reduction in energy use, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. So, you can power your home while being eco-friendly. Also, smart lighting has a much longer average lifespan than standard lamps, so you don’t have to replace them as frequently.

Even though smart lighting is more expensive upfront, it will save you money in the long run. Smart lights use five times less energy than normal bulbs, and the ability to dim your lights can help you save even more money on your energy bills. Remember, the less energy your lights use, the better for the environment they are.

Mood Creation

Smart lighting also provides a more pleasant ambiance by detecting various aspects in a room and adjusting to those factors. Most smart lights also offer features that allow you to adjust the color or intensity so you can create a great movie atmosphere, work environment, or just a relaxing space.

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Subwoofers: What Are They & Do You Need One for Your Sound System?

Subwoofers: What Are They & Do You Need One for Your Sound System?

What is a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is a crucial component of a complete audio system because it delivers lower frequencies between 20 – 200 Hz, which traditional two-channel or surround sound setups can't produce on their own. In fact, subwoofers are responsible for the .1 in a 7.1 sound system to deliver all the low-frequency effects.

Subwoofers work seamlessly with the rest of your sound system as one unit, so you never miss a beat.

How Do They Work?

A subwoofer speaker uses large drivers called woofers to produce deeper sounds. These woofers are typically enclosed in a wood or plastic structure and look like any other speaker. The subwoofer then uses the large woofer and a built-in amplifier that powers the signal to produce deeper, cleaner bass.

But to reproduce high-quality sound, they have to deal with the crossover (when sound transitions from speaker to speaker) and phasing, which deals with the timing differences from identical signals.

  • Low-Pass Crossover: The frequency where your speakers begin to roll off and the subwoofer beings to produce bass notes. Subwoofers work best when you set your crossover to 10 Hz above your speaker's lowest frequency range.
  • 0/180 Degree Phase Switch: Woofers work best when they move forward and backward while in sync, but the bass cancels out if they are out of phase. If that happens, you can use the switch to "dial-in" your subwoofer.

Why Do You Need One?

As we said before, a subwoofer lets you feel the sound in your chest or down your spine instead of simply hearing it. And if you have a glass of water nearby, you can even see it when the sound causes the water to ripple. But there's more to it than that, and once you've experienced that deep bass, you won't want to go back. For instance, subwoofers will:

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Smart Home Automation Hacks for When You’re Away on Vacation

Smart Home Automation Hacks for When You’re Away on Vacation

But what is smart home automation? This technology takes common safety protocols like cameras, doors, and light timers and connects them to smartphones. Smart security is a subset of this automation and upgrades any security system to give remote access. This enables remote control of safety features, video streaming to check on the house, and much more.

Benefits of smart home automation:

  • Video surveillance streaming
  • Remote control of locks and lights
  • Increased security
  • Peace of mind on vacation

Here are the must-have smart home automations for vacation and everyday life.

Smart Security Cameras

Smart security cameras function like traditional security cameras. They record videos and allow you access to surveillance of your house. That said, they have upgraded capabilities on top of this functionality. Smart cameras connect to phones and computers, enabling remote viewing of camera footage. Many smart security cameras also offer options like motion alerts and automated recording options. A notification can be sent to connected smartphones when there is motion in a designated area. Cameras can also automatically record snippets of video when triggered by motion.

Overall, security camera streaming to a smartphone is incredibly convenient. This automation option makes it easy to check on the house while away, watch for packages, and get alerts to unexpected motions. Every homeowner should consider a smart camera system for vacation.

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