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Podcast #468: Easy Home Theater Audio Tweaks

It seems like there was a lot going on in the news this week, so we have a bunch of current events to cover - everything from iPad 2 to  Then we go over some tips from an article at Electronic House called Acoustics Matter: Easy Home Theater Audio Tweaks.  The article has some good ideas for how to get the most out of your home theater audio equipment and configuration.

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Acoustics Matter: Easy Home Theater Audio Tweaks

From Electronic House
February 24, 2011 | by Greg Robinson

Setting up a surround sound system isn’t rocket science, but most people take the easy way out by simply plugging everything in and leaving it at that. Remember though that every room affects sound differently, and receiver manufacturers don’t know what kind of speakers you’re using.

To get the most out of your surround sound system, you’ve got a bit of work to do and the below seven tips should help you get started.

  1. What Are You Doing, Dave?
  2. Size Matters
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Cross Over
  4. Two is Greater Than One
  5. Level Out
  6. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
  7. Viva Lossless

Read the full article



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Reader Comments (6)

I pretty much agree with all of the Electronic House suggestions. I'd add two more though:

1) I'd put this at the top - quickly pop over to or and follow their speaker placement guides! Most people figure out to put the center in And most people put the Front L/R speakers on either side of their TV (although I still see a lot of people with Front L/R speakers mounted way up in the top front corners, or just positioned too high or too far apart or too close together or what-have-you).

The big one though is the surround speaker placement. So many people put the surround speakers on the back wall or in the back corners. And very few people put the surround speakers up high - 2 or 3 feet above seated ear height - where they are supposed to be!

So before ANY other setup tips, just getting the basic, proper placement should be priority #1!

2) It's me, so you know I'm going to bring this up :p


In particular, decouple your subwoofer(s), but also decouple your speakers if you really want to glean maximum performance from your audio setup. You'll notice it most in the bass frequencies, so subwoofers and tower speakers really need decoupling and it's easy to hear the difference. But there can be a surprising amount of added noise when your other speakers are not decoupled from the stand/bookshelf/table top on which they are placed.

So use SubDudes/GRAMMAs, use MoPads, use IsoNodes, or save cash and just use mousepads, shipping foam or any other material that can act as a "shock absorber" between the bottom of your speakers and the surface on which they are sitting!

You add those two ideas to the ones in the Electronic House article and I think a lot of people will enjoy MUCH improved audio in their homes ;)

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob H.

Ara mentions that he is using his iPhone as a wifi hotspot. A brief google search seems to indicate this requires jailbreaking the phone. Just wanted to confirm this. My dad is interested i nthis so I told him I'd do some research :)

March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn H

A quick followup to my wifi hotspot question... Sounds like he's using Verizon's hotspot feature (29:00 into the show), which doesn't require jailbreaking. Lifehacker mentions $20/month in the article linked below. Ara mentions $45/month. Ara, can you enlighten us as to the details please? :)!5759603/how-to-create-a-wi+fi-hotspot-on-your-jailbroken-iphone

March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn H

Hi John,

Right now I am tethering to my AT&T iPhone. I can connect it to my computer via the USB cable or Bluetooth. When I said hotspot I was referring to what was going to be available on Friday March 11th. I made it sound as though that feature is available today sorry for the confusion. To be able to use the hotspot you have to have a tethering plan which is why I made that change last week. So on Friday when Apple releases iOS 4.3 I'll be able to take advantage of the new hotspot feature immediately.

The Plan AT&T is offering is 4GB of data shared between devices for $45. It will cost $10 for each GB after that. I was paying $60 for Verizon's data on my laptop, $30 for my iPhone and $30 for my iPad. I will have to use 7GB of data over my 4GB allotment to almost equal what I am paying today. My heaviest month prior to the switch was 6GB so I will be saving quite a bit of money!

Sorry for the confusion.

March 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterHT Guys

Rovi was formerly Macrovision and although we all knew them for copy protection they also have IP rights to a lot of content.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

That press release about Blu-Ray production was a hoot. Some funny lines:

"pre-recorded Blu-ray Disc production"
Are there other plants burning "live" Blu-Ray content?

"Blu-ray Disc software"
So apparently it's now considered "software" not movies.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom in Sebring

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