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Five Things Every Home Theater Needs


Even visible speakers can be incorporated into your home decor.

Home theaters are becoming more popular as home theater technology gets better and better. Things like 3D televisions, 7.1 sound systems, and crisp video playback…a well-built home theater can be like having a private screening room. That said, though, there are things you need and things you don’t for your home theater, and what they are might surprise you.

Location, Location, Location
The first and most important step is deciding where everything will go. For example, placing your television behind a window will both block the sun in a room and draw undue attention to it, making it hard to watch and distracting. Putting it on a wall opposite the windows may make it difficult to watch during the day. Before buying and installing, do some measuring and thinking; properly placing an integrating your home theater into your home will mean fewer arguments and a happier home.

A Well-Built Amplifier With the Proper Wattage
The foundation of every home theater system is the amplifier. To understand why, you need to understand how speakers work. Essentially, all speakers really do is push air at certain frequencies that the electricity flowing in tells them to push at; but, the more air you want to push, and the more energetic the frequencies, the harder it is to push. An amplifier gives your speakers just the right amount of power; overpowering might trash the speakers, and underpowering can result in distortion. Pair your amp with your speakers carefully, and your theater will sound that much better.

Hiding Places
It’s very rare that you want your home theater to dominate the room, but if you put a gigantic television and thumping sound system into your living room, it’ll draw attention even if you don’t turn it on. It doesn’t help that many systems are designed to look cool, not blend into your home décor. Look into touches like home automation that tucks screens and speakers away, or building a cabinet into the wall that lets you keep your living room as a multipurpose space.


This might be a bit of overkill.

Proper Speaker Placement
Getting perfect sound requires placing your speakers properly. There’s a specific place in each room where the speakers and the acoustics align to create a perfect listening spot. It may not always be ideal to create this, but where possible, you should try to do so. Beyond that, think about how the space will be used; will you and your friends be watching and discussing TV shows and sports games? Will you be sitting in appreciative silence watching a movie? Place your speakers for the best effect to get the most out of your system.

Hidden Cables
Unfortunately, making all home theater technology wireless is a work in progress; there aren’t really any solutions at the moment that rival their wired cousins. That means you’ll need to choose wires and cables carefully, and also look for solutions to hide them. One popular method of organizing and tucking cables away is to thread them through the walls; that way, you have fully wired speakers, but also flawless home décor. If that’s not an option, look for cables that can be painted over, or consider covering them with electrical cord covers; there are quite a few available at your local hardware store.

Whichever methods you choose, remember that you can have a home theater in your home without it dominating, and a well-designed theater makes a home that much better. Happy shopping!

Photo credits: Viet Hoang,

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5 Phenomenal Speakers

Finding good speakers is relatively easy these days. Better driver technology, enclosure design and advances in the study of acoustics mean that even mass-produced speakers have better sound than speakers even a few years ago. That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t still a desire to take it to the very, very top, like these five.

Organic Harmony from Shape Audio

Enjoy simple elegance.

The Organic Harmony from Shape Audio as inspired by organic design for the overall construction, as you might have guessed. In fact, as speakers, they’re fairly impressive. They can put out two channels of audio from the one housing, achieved largely through a two-inch tweeter and 5-inch mid firing away from each other, and an 8-inch woofer firing downwards. The baffle has to be specially 3D printed. It’s that elaborate.

If you want them, you’d better be prepared to pay. The bronze units were $44,000, the silver ran $440,000, and the 18K solid gold cost over $6 million. There was only one set of the gold speakers ever made.

Kharma Grand Enigma

Fit for a palace.

Kharma is well known for their expensive speakers, but those speakers are worth every penny. Or, at least, the individual who commissioned the Grand Enigma from them thought so. Carefully built to the highest standards, only one of these were ever made and they cost $1 million. Good thing they weren’t built out of solid gold!

Transmission Audio “Ultimate”

Choose a more modern system.

If $6 million or more is just a little too rich for your blood, we understand. If you’re on slightly more of a budget, you can reach out to Transmission Audio, widely considered one of the best speaker manufacturers on the planet. Based out of Sweden, the only way to get their products is to contact them. You can discuss the job, explain what you want, and they’ll happily build your speaker system to order.

Of course, this runs an average of $2 million, so you might want to be very precise about your acoustics. It’s pretty hard to get a refund.

Wisdom Audio’s Infinite Wisdom Grande

From modern to contemporary.

Unlike a lot of these speakers, the Infinite Wisdom Grande from Wisdom Audio isn’t built to show off you’ve got a lot of disposable income. No, these are workhorse speakers, designed specifically for enormous environments such as palaces, ballrooms, and other locations where events are held and some JBLs on stands just aren’t going to cut it. The whole system weighs two tons, and each speaker in the system has a total of twenty-four drivers.

It’s also cheap. Well, sort of. The whole set up will run you roughly $700,000, which, if you think about it, is a bit of a deal when you break it down per driver!

Backes And Muller BM 100

Why not make your speakers a piece of art?

The only speaker on here to have its own website, the look is driven entirely by getting the sound precisely correct, which is why this looks less like a speaker and more like modern art. But, hey, you can at least get a few for your home, at a relatively thrifty $630,000.

The great thing about these speakers is that design filters down. Eventually, these will be replaced by even more refined and technologically advanced speakers, as we move closer and closer to the ultimate goal: Perfect sound reproduction. Until then, maybe start saving.

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How Automation Can Complement Contemporary Design?

How Automation Can Complement Contemporary Design?

Think interior design and home automation technology are mutually exclusive? Think again. While home automation is a relatively new home addition concept, if planned properly, it can work hand in hand with and even enhance a home’s design. Check out these automation options that work well with modern design.


Home automation may seem futuristic but it’s very accessible and very cool.

Automated Lighting
Imagine being able to set the lighting ambiance of any room in your home with the simple touch of a button. Many exciting automation devices are making this possible and often at a very reasonable price. Some automation systems are available as smartphone applications while others come with their own high tech controllers. Whether you crave soft lighting for the evening’s dinner party or prefer bright lights for easy reading, automated lighting systems simplify the task of setting just the right mood.

Automated lighting blends well with modern design by highlighting certain parts of a room, such as an abstract painting, while dimming the lighting in other areas. Certain lighting systems can even turn on the lights when a person enters the room and turn them off when occupants leave, thus drastically improving a home’s energy efficiency. Enhance the appeal of a room’s furniture, artwork and other elements all with an automated device or app.

Improved Efficiency
As environmental awareness continues to increase, most modern home designs now incorporate increased efficiency. From furniture made out of reclaimed wood to energy efficient light bulbs, new design trends are capturing the essence of efficiency. Now, home automation systems are complementing that efficiency.

Just a few examples of automated systems that increase efficiency include intuitive and programmable thermostats, automated blinds and more. Imagine having an intuitive system that automatically turns off the AC and draws the blinds each morning and turns the AC back on each evening before you return home, all without you even having to think about it. More advanced systems even adjust a home’s HVAC system based on the month’s energy consumption.

Intuitive Home Entertainment
Are you hosting a party this evening but are running late at work? No problem. Set the mood to complement your home’s modern design by turning on the music, adjusting the television and more, all from a distance.

Many automated home devices allow you to set specific moods based on the evening’s plans. For example, you could create a mood for movie nights that will instantly adjust your home entertainment system, draw the blinds, adjust the temperature and dim the lighting, and it’s all done by touching one button. These features of home automation are all about simplicity and convenience and perfectly accent similar trends in modern home design.


Tired of paying too much for utilities each month? Find the solution in home automation.

Home automation may be a fairly new concept, but it’s already making a big splash in the home design world. From automatically setting a room’s lighting with the touch of a button to controlling your stereo system from anywhere in the home, there are many ways to complement and enhance your home’s design with automation technology.

Photo credit: Advanced Telemetry

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