Soundbar vs. Home Theater System, Which Is Right For You?
If you are like most Americans, you have a big flat-screen television in your home. You might think that with all the bells and whistles that come with these bad boys, that you would get top-quality sound to go with the high-def picture and price tag. Unfortunately, the built-in speakers that come with your TV just don’t cut it when it comes to sound quality. Even if your television’s sound quality is decent, you won’t get the experience you get with a soundbar or home theater system.
If you are trying to decide which is better for you, a soundbar or a home theater system, we are here to help. Which is right for you depends on your budget, your space, and what kind of sound you want. We are going to go over the difference between a soundbar vs a home theater system to help you decide which is right for you.
Although it looks like a single speaker, a soundbar is a multi-speaker unit that houses several speakers integrated into one rectangular-shaped box (or bar). Because of its size, it can be placed on a shelf below or above your television or mounted to your wall. On first thought, a home theater system probably sounds like the best way to go, but there are some advantages to using a soundbar.
Back in the day, if you wanted to connect a sound system to your television, you had to use wires and large speakers. With a soundbar, you can connect to any of your Bluetooth devices and stream music or television, without the need for extra cables or wires. They are easy to set up even if you’re not tech-savvy.
Soundbars are affordable and convenient for small spaces. If you don’t have a large space to work with, a soundbar can provide you with better quality sound than you’d get from your television speakers. Although they don’t give you all-around sound like a home theater system, they can mimic a surround system to give you a digitally created surround-sound effect.
HOME THEATER SYSTEM OVERVIEW
If you are looking for the best quality surround sound system, a home theater system may be best for you. A home theater system gives you immersive all-around sound. It creates a theater-like experience, with sound coming from all around the room. A soundbar can replicate surround sound, but you won’t actually be surrounded by sound.
You can customize your home theater system by selecting the speakers you want and placing them in different areas. If you have a theater or media room, watching movies can be just like being in a real movie theater. A soundbar is just one speaker unit that is placed near your television. With a home theater system, you can decide where to place your speakers to provide the best acoustics.
There are a few drawbacks to a home theater system. They are more expensive than a soundbar. They require more space for speakers and may be difficult to set up. You can opt for a smaller home theater system and add speakers to your home theater to build out your system as you go. But, sometimes integrating new speakers with your sound system can be complicated. Some products are not compatible with each other. Before you go out and purchase a bunch of components, you should talk with a professional to make sure they will work together.
HOW TO DECIDE WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Before you make your decision, think about what you want in a sound system. A soundbar may be a good option if your budget is limited, but if you really want a theater experience, starting with a few speakers for a home theater system might be better. If you purchase a soundbar and later want to have a better system, you may not be able to integrate your soundbar with the rest of your sound system. Soundbars are intended to be used as standalone speakers. Before you purchase either, consult a professional to see if your soundbar will work with a home theater system later.
SOUNDBAR PROS AND CONS
Perfect for small spaces
Wireless (or minimum cords and wires)
May not include a subwoofer
Sound will only come from one area of the room
HOME THEATER SYSTEM PROS AND CONS
Exceptional immersive surround sound
More options in speakers and components
May require professional installation
Takes up more space
May not be available in wireless options
If you are still trying to decide which is right for you, give Intuitive AV a call and talk to one of our professional home theater specialists. We can help take some of the confusion out of which products are best for your space.
Top 5 Tech Essentials For The 2021 Home Office
If you’re one of the folks that suddenly found yourself working from home in 2021, you may have created a home office. With the trend of working from home continuing, you might be ready to invest in a better setup for your home office. If your home office isn’t working for you, it might be because you don’t have the essential technology for a home office.
Whether you run a business or work from home, everyone needs a functional workspace. If you don’t have the tech products you need, it will make working from home challenging. We’ve put together a list of the top five tech essentials for your home office in 2021.
Love it or hate it, Zoom meetings are here to stay. If you’ve been winging it on Zoom, it might be time for you to invest in a noise-canceling microphone. By now you probably have the hang of connecting your laptop to video and audio for your video conference calls, but are you the guy in the Zoom meeting that nobody can hear? The standard microphone on your laptop is not ideal for video conferencing. Consider purchasing a noise-canceling headset with a built-in microphone for your Zoom meetings.
DO YOU CONDUCT VIDEO MEETINGS OR WEBINARS FROM YOUR HOME OFFICE?
If you’ve been getting by with your laptop microphone, 2021 is a good time to invest in a better quality microphone. If you create social media live streams, webinars, or do any type of video recordings from home, having a good sound system is critical.
Have you ever listened to a video conference or webinar and couldn’t hear what was being said due to background noise or poor audio? It’s frustrating! If you have to struggle to hear someone -— unless you have to be there — you probably leave quickly. A podcast microphone or studio microphone will make all the difference in sound quality. Bring your home office up to speed with a high-quality, sound-canceling microphone.
Maybe you’ve thought about getting a camera for your home office, but have been making do with your laptop webcam or smartphone camera. Your laptop camera is not designed for making high-quality videos. Have you noticed how grainy you look through your laptop’s webcam?
Perhaps, you’ve been using your smartphone for video conferencing instead. Your smartphone is usually a better option for making videos, but it’s nearly impossible to do everything you need to do from your smartphone. You can’t see or share screen shares or presentations from your smartphone. And, even if you have an expensive smartphone with a great camera, saving large video files is difficult.
If you do a lot of video conferencing, a high-quality camera is a must-have. With a high-quality camera, you will have the best quality video for web conferencing. It’s perfect for creating video presentations that you can save and share too.
If you worked in a traditional office, you may have gotten used to high-speed internet that works from everywhere. If you have a home office though, your internet connection may not as be as good as you’re used to or sufficient for your needs. When it comes to internet connections, a high-speed internet provider is just one part of what makes a good wifi network. If your office is not located right next to your router, you may have trouble connecting to the internet. Moving your office may not be an option. If you want your wifi to reach your living area and your office area, you may need to improve your setup. Intuitive AV can help you set up your wifi networking so that your entire home is getting the coverage and speed you need.
Even if you don’t do video conferencing at all, good lighting is something you truly need in a home office. If you are working in a dimly lit room, it’s hard on your eyes, and will actually make you less productive. You can improve your lighting naturally by moving your desk closer to a window and opening your blinds during the day. But, if natural light is limited, you should really consider investing in a better lighting system. With today’s smart home technology, you can design a lighting system that you can operate and program right for your smartphone. It’s one of the most affordable first steps in creating a smart home and office.
In 2021, many of us discovered the joys of working from home. It all sounds like fun. You get to wear PJs all day and do what you want. But, working from home also means distractions that get in the way of your productivity. If you’re looking for a quieter workspace, investing in acoustic solutions like acoustic panels can greatly improve the peace and quiet in your work area. It’s hard to be productive when you are hearing outside noise or a TV set in the background. Sound masking panels help block out noise so you can work.
While noise and distractions can interfere with your productivity, good music while you work may boost your productivity. A sound system for your workspace is a great way to make your home office more fun to work in. Your office is where you spend a large portion of your day. Why not make it a happy place to work?
How To Get Started With Home Automation
With smart home technology growing in popularity, more people are starting to look into it. If you have been thinking about making your home a smart home, you may be overwhelmed with all the information. It’s actually really easy to start making your home a smart home. Before you jump all in and start planning a complete smart home system, consider starting with just one or two smart home products.
HOW TO PLAN FOR SMART HOME AUTOMATION
You may be wondering if you need to plan out your smart home or if you should purchase certain smart home devices first. There is really no right way to set up your smart home. You can start with one or two features you are most interested in and scale your smart home as you go. When it comes to smart home technology, literally almost every electronic device in your home can be automated from your television, lights, thermostat, sound system, to door locks and window blinds. Decide which areas of your home you are most interested in and start there.
When you purchase your first smart home devices, find out whether or not they are standalone devices or can be integrated with other smart home technology. Control4 is a leader in smart home automation and integrates with tens of thousands of smart home products. You can start with one or two automation products. When you are ready, you can integrate all of your devices so they can be controlled by one touch screen or app.
HOME AUTOMATION OPTIONS
SMART LIGHTING SYSTEM
A smart lighting system can be set up for indoor or outdoor lighting. Having automated lights allows you to adjust your lighting from your smartphone. You can program your lighting to turn on or off automatically. A lighting system that is automated is a great first step in a home automation plan. Not only are smart lights convenient, but they also add security and reduce your energy use.
SMART DOOR LOCKS
Automated door locks add security and convenience to any home and have a lot of benefits you may not have thought about. A standard key lock requires you to always have a key, or be home to unlock a door for someone. With an automated door lock, you will have a convenient way to lock or unlock your door from anywhere. They offer security as key locks make it easy for an intruder to break into or force entry into your home. A smart lock can be integrated with your home security system and is a great first choice for getting started with home automation.
A smart thermostat is an innovation in heating and cooling systems. Your entire HVAC system can be automated to control the climate in your home. Like a smart lighting system, an automated HVAC system can save you hundreds of dollars in energy use over the life of your home. Smart thermostats offer much more than a programmable thermostat. They can be programmed or adjust the temperature or humidity of your home automatically
With smart speakers, you can automate your sound system indoors or outdoors. If you enjoy music, you are not limited to an indoor automated system. You can take all of your music anywhere inside or outside of your home, and have it completely automated. With a touch of a button, you can adjust the sound in your entire home.
Automated Window Treatments and Blinds
Everything in your home can be automated, including window treatments and blinds. Automated blinds add value, beauty, and energy efficiency to any home. They can be programmed to open or close when you’re away from home. This is an awesome feature for anyone who is creating a mockupancy program for home security, but it’s also a convenient feature. By pushing a button, you can control your automated blinds from anywhere inside or outside your home.
WHICH HOME AUTOMATION PRODUCT SHOULD YOU START WITH
If you are just getting started, automated door locks and lighting are the most affordable and easiest options to start with. While some of the other home automation features are cool and convenient, smart door locks and lighting give you the most value. Both are affordable options for home automation. They will improve your home value, your home security, as well as the energy efficiency in your home. They are easy to set up and are what most people start with when setting up a smart home. As you have the budget, you can add additional smart home technology.
If you are interested in getting started with home automation, talk to an Intuitive AV professional. We can answer any of your questions and recommend the best products for your home.
Remotely View Your Security Cameras When You’re Away
If you have a home security system, one of the best features is the security cameras and surveillance. With today’s smart home technology you can view your security cameras from your smartphone, even when you’re away from home. A home security system protects your home from intruders, but also allows you to check on your home when you’re not there.
With so many options available how do you decide which home security system is best for you? Intuitive AV offers two of the best options in home security. Honeywell alarm systems and the Control4 system allow you to monitor your home from anywhere. With the touch of your finger, you can see what is going on with your home easily from your smartphone. Keep reading to learn more about each of the systems and which one is best for your home.
REVIEW YOUR HOME SECURITY CAMERA REMOTELY WITH A HONEYWELL ALARM SYSTEM
Honeywell offers a variety of home security systems to meet your needs. Each system works with a home security starter kit that includes a camera base, two sensors that can be used on doors or windows, a remote-control key fob, and a mobile app. All of their systems come with video surveillance and can be monitored with their mobile app. Their security system sends you alerts when an event happens so that you have peace of mind when you’re away from home.
Honeywell’s smart home starter kit is a DIY solution. It comes with video surveillance, video recording, motion detection, and everything you need to monitor your home. Once it’s installed, it connects with Amazon Alexa and can be integrated with your other smart home technology, Honeywell also works with other smart home devices like your automated HVAC system. You can control the security, and climate of your home easily with one device.
In addition, Honeywell’s alarm systems offer additional features for added security and convenience. To add these features, you will need a professional installation. With their Lyric controller, you can manage all of your home’s smart home technology including lights, automatic door locks, thermostats, and other devices. If your system is disarmed, you can capture a picture of what’s going on inside of your home with their mobile app. Intuitive AV’s professional installers can answer any questions you have regarding installation, set up, and use of the Honeywell alarm system.
CONTROL4 SYSTEM’S HOME SECURITY REMOTE VIEWING
Control4 is a top provider of smart home technology and home automation. Control4’s smart home systems provide you with more than just home security, your entire home can be operated with a quick touch of the app from anywhere. The Control4 system uses advanced smart home technology to provide you with elevated features and the best smart home experience. Honeywell alarm systems can be used independently as a standalone home security system or integrated with the Control4 system.
Advanced security features that come with the control 4 system include enhanced alerts, “mockupancy” programs, and the ability to check your home from anywhere in the world. With enhanced alerts, if your alarm is triggered, you can attract the attention of neighbors and police. Your home security lights will flash on and off repeatedly to attract attention. Any television in your home can be used automatically to view what’s going on through your security cameras.
To create the illusion that you are home, you can use the Control4 to set up a “mockupancy” program. Lights, televisions, etc can be turned on automatically at different times. In addition, sensors within the home can alert you of temperature changes, moisture in your home, or issues with your furnace. Because Control4 integrates with all of your smart home technology, if an alarm is triggered, you can control your exterior or interior lights, televisions, or any of your automated devices.
The Control4 system can be scaled to meet your needs and your budget. With Control4, you can automate and control almost every electronic device in your home from your television, to your outdoor lights, to your window treatments, doors, or thermostat. If you are interested in having the ultimate smart home experience, Control4 is the best solution.
Give Intuitive AV a call. Our professional team of installers will be happy to answer any questions about Honeywell alarm systems, Control4, or any of our other smart home technology systems.