Buying a Blu-ray Home Theater System

0 comments
Sony HTSS380 HT-SS380 3D Blu-ray Disc Matching Surround Sound System

Sometimes you just want simple. Buying a receiver, blu-ray player, and separate speakers and subwoofer can often be a difficult task. Will they match up well, will I have to get a unified remote control, multiple vendors to deal with if something goes wrong, hard to use. Fortunately there is an easy way out.

Blu-ray home theater systems

The Home Theater in a Box category (HTIB for short) has been around for quite a while. It is a great way to get an inexpensive and easy to set up surround sound system without needing a degree in rocket science. With these systems the audio video novice can walk out of a store with one box with speakers, Blu-ray player and amplifier all in one box. This not only makes shopping easier but usually makes set up easier too.

See 50 of our favorite Blue-ray Home Theater Systems in our Store

Advantages of getting a HTIB
  • One box to take home
  • One vendor to deal with if something goes wrong
  • Easy Setup
  • Easier operation (usually)
  • One Manual
  • One Remote to learn!
  • Matched components
Features to Consider When Purchasing a Blu-ray Home Theater System in a Box
  1. Do I want to listen to regular radio? Not all HTIB's have a tradational radio tuner included
  2. Do I want a Network compatible unit? With a Network compatible HTIB, you'll be able to access Internet entertainment like Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker and thousands of Internet radio stations. Note that not all units get all content. Requires a WiFi network for wireless and some require a network cable. Choose carefully.
  3. Do I want a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system?
  4. What type of speakers do I want? Wall Mount, Shelf, Towers, Speakers on Stands?
  5. Is the subwoofer wireless?
  6. How big is the subwoofer and where will it go?
  7. Is the Unit 3D compatible?
  8. Does it have HDMI inputs for other devices like cameras and video cameras?
  9. Can I connect my iPod via cable or bluetooth?
  10. Is it AirPlay or DLNA compatible?
  11. Is there an app available to control the unit?
  12. What formats will the Blu-ray play?
  13. Price. Cheap is cheap. If you buy a $150 HTIB it will sound like one. Stick to the $350 and up combinations, idealy $499 and up would be better
Things Not to Worry about with a Blu-ray HTIB
  1. How many watts. If you are concerned about watts due to a large room, don't buy an HTIB, get a high quality receiver and separate home theater speakers
  2. Brand. Some brands are better than others but in general they will all perform fine if you stick with the major manufacturers
  3. Subwoofer size. This is another issue of room size. If you're truly concerned about subwoofer size you might not want a HTIB
Getting the most our of your system

Like with any home theater setup you'll get the most out of it if you setup the speakers correctly. Poor speaker placement will do more to harm the overall sound than anything else. Don't turn up the volume to earth and speaker rattling settings, you'll not only damage the speakers but your hearing as well.

For the most part you can find a decent home theater experience, with a blu-ray player and speakers without breaking the back. Just be sure to consider the options listed above to get the most our of your movie watching and music listening experience.

Search for Blu-ray Home Theater Systems

Search for Network & WiFi compatible Blu-ray Home Theater Systems







What is a 2.5 way Speaker?

0 comments
Energy CF-30 Floorstanding/Tower Speaker (Black), EachTwo.Five way speakers are a weird duck but can sound quite amazing. We know what a 2 way speaker is and what a 3 way speaker is, and the difference there. But what the heck is with the 1/2?

First let's do a quick review of what a 2 and 3 way speaker does.

Two-way speakers usually has two drivers in them


  • A Bass Speaker which produces all the mid and low frequencies
  • A Tweeter which produces all the high notes
Three-way speakers usually has three drivers in them
  • A Bass Speaker which produces all the low frequencies
  • A Midrange Speaker which produces all the mid frequencies, like voices and saxophones
  • A Tweeter which produces all the high notes
What's in a 2.5-way speaker?


Two.Five way speakers can be found in two types of setups.
A speaker where there are at least 3 speakers
  • A Tweeter
  • A Midrange
  • A Mid-Woofer
Note that there is no "woofer" in this configuration. Usually these are not large speakers and the mid-woofer does not produce very low notes and requires a subwoofer to complement it as in these speakers that were once sold by The Speaker Company.

I've read other posts suggesting that a 2.5 way speaker would have a configuration with a tweeter, midrange and a woofer, where the mid produced both mid and lows. This however would actually constitute a 3-way speaker since the cross-over is still covering all the available musical frequencies. Also you'd loose the benefit of splitting the signal so you still allow the low frequency to not interfere with the Mid range speaker.

Here are some speakers that purport to be 2.5 way speakers

 Energy CF-30 Floorstanding/Tower Speaker (Black), Each


New Outdoor Speaker Section in our Store

0 comments
Boston Acoustics Voyager VOYA4W 4.5-Inch 2-Way Outdoor Speakers (White)

It's still summer and that means outdoor entertaining. Late summer is the best time to buy outdoor speakers as manufacturers try to reduce stock before the fall. Gear up today for that carzy labor day party. Visit our outdoor speaker store today.

Shown at left  Boston Acoustics Voyager VOYA4W 4.5-Inch 2-Way Outdoor Speakers (White)

Sonos announces PLAY:3

0 comments

Sonos Wireless Music Player

Sonos recently announced it PLAY:3, a new lower cost entry system for its wireless music system.

What is Sonos? They are more of a wireless music/speaker company than anything else. They allow you to put music in your home almost anywhere you'd like with no wires other than the power cord for the speakers.

Sonos lets you play Pandora, iTunes music and thousands of other Internet stations.

Easy Setup
The units come out of the box ready to go. You do need an internet connection but you don't have to worry about setting them up to  your computer and you don't need to know anythign about networking!

Amoung Sonos' strengths is the ability to synchronize multiple zones, or play differect music to each.  You could have every zone in your home play something different, or exactly the same thing.  You can also choose to play the same songs in the dining room and kitchen and play somthing else on your back porch  This is a key difference between Sonos and AirPlay for instance.

Sonos S5: Wirelessly play any song, in any room. Watch the Demo.

Sonos coupons

Use Coupon Code FREESHIPSONOS for Free 2-day Shipping on all Sonos Wireless Home Audio products.

Popular Posts