If you are thinking about adding a home stereo or full home theatre to your home, a renovation project is the perfect time for the upgrade.

Typical in wall wiring for a mounted TV with no wires showing

Even if you haven’t totally made your mind up, now is the time to run wires.  These are typically inexpensive to run as they are low voltage . Running wires for speakers can cost only a few dollars in the pre-drywall stage, and save you hundreds vs the time and effort required to install it after the fact once the drywall is put up.

There is also the matter of adding value.  A clean, in-wall speaker system will be a selling feature vs. just having a TV mount left on the wall when you leave.

Choosing Equipment

Bluetooth technology

phone-stereo

A Bluetooth enabled receiver allows you to control your music from anywhere in your home

This allows you to control your stereo from your phone – a very cool feature. No more running over to the stereo to change a CD or leaving your TV station set on a music channel.

If you want this feature, just make sure your receiver or sound bar has Bluetooth functionality to connect your mobile phone and you are all set.

Choosing Quality Components

Similar to the world of cars, speakers have a large range in price ranging from really cheap to really expensive. A good idea can be to start with a high quality receiver, and build onto the system from there. If you don’t know what you are looking at, it can be hard to make the right choice with speakers. You may want to avoid commission based audio/video stores until you have had a chance to do your own research.

Surround Setup

Surround speakers are placed behind the viewers, and point forwards. In a 5 speaker setup (Dolby 5.1) there are two of these surround speakers. On a 7.1 system there are four. The difference between a 5 and 7 speaker setup is subjective and some people won’t be able to tell much difference. This is one area where you should do some thinking of where the wires will run beforehand, because this will be the set of speakers with the longest cable runs.

Hiding Wires and Speakers

in-wall-speakers

In-Wall Speakers significantly cut down on clutter

If you are designing your basement layout, then look at some of the in-wall options. they provide awesome sound with a flush inset look that will never get dusty, get knocked off its mount, or tripped over. These start at a couple hundred dollars for your right and left front channels, but a high-end set will cost you.

Your front channel speakers are where 75% of the sound that reaches your ears will come from, so choose wisely.

Room Décor and Sound

acoustic-panels-2x4-alt

Sound deadening panels

Creating a room for optimum sound means that you want to fill the room with things that absorb sound. Things like parallel walls and hardwood tend to bounce sound rather than dissipate it, so you can get creative with things like fabric wall coverings if the sound system sounds echo-ey. You may also want to consider acoustic foam panels on ceilings that do a lot for insulation.

While most people choose carpet for these areas, there are other choices as well. More info in this post here: The Best Basement Flooring Options for Calgary

 

Soundproofing Walls

While basements tend to be the most soundproof area of a home, designing a high power stereo system complete with subwoofers will create a lot of noise (as they should!) so soundproofing the basement is something you may want to look into. You can get special insulation for interior walls that is green in color and specifically made for this purpose. Another thing you can do is use an extra layer of drywall to effectively dampen the vibrations from the subwoofer. Going further, there are bracket-bushing type products available that put a layer of rubber at the contact points between the studs and drywall that are also very effective, but not always in the price range of the homeowner. Having the ability to use your system whenever you like is a nice option that can be had with the proper planning.

In Wall Wiring Photo: Credit