Book Released – Affordable Home Theater

When I started this site, I promised I had a book in the works . After sitting on a halfway complete version for a a year, I decided to update it and turn it into a full-fledged guide to buying your own home theater.

In Affordable Home Theater, you’ll learn to:

  • Avoid common mistakes
  • Understand what each component does
  • Pick out parts based on a fixed budget

There’s a complete step-by-step method for buying everything you need for a home theater. Once you finish reading this book, you’ll have all the tools you will need to buy a home theater.

In an effort to stay focused on the needs of someone new to the field of home theater, this doesn’t dive into detailed nuance on the various differences between common parts. You won’t see an explanation of Type AB versus Type D amplifiers, or an analysis of different tweeter types.

What you will get is enough information to make good decisions. If you follow the steps in my book, you won’t overspend on any one item, or get something you don’t need. You won’t buy something that is overpriced and underperforming.

In this book you’ll find:

  1. Three Simple Rules for Buying Audio Products
  2. How to Plan a Projector Setup
  3. Reasons to Buy A Soundbar
  4. The Home Theater Planning Method
  5. Two Case Studies

The case studies will show you how I arrived at great systems on a small budget for $1000 and a projector based system for just $3000. Check out those two lists. If you want to know how to plan out a home theater with a fixed budget in a half hour like I did, you will want to read the book.

Take a look at Affordable Home Theater today on Amazon, and learn to create your own awesome home theater in an hour.

 

Vizio SB3820-x Review

I don’t think anyone who has read through this website thinks there is any doubt I believe buying a soundbar is a bad decision. I’ve explained, at length, in the past why a soundbar isn’t conducive to quality audio. But despite my pleading, the widespread interest in soundbars continues unabated.

So I decided to find a soundbar that I could test and see how it stacked up against some of the cheap speakers that I’ve reviewed.

I decided to go with the 38″ Vizio soundbar as it is currently the best seller on Amazon for soundbars. It is the sound bar that comes with the Vizio SB3821 and Vizio SB3851. If anything represents the zeitgeist on home theater audio today, this is it.

As promised, its much sleeker than a regular pair of bookshelf speakers. It is even smaller than a pair of Micca Covo-S mini speakers.

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Vizio Soundbar in between a pair of Dayton B652’s and a pair of Micca COVO-S

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Monoprice 8251 Review

The Monoprice 8251 speakers are a good looking and interesting pair of speakers, priced at only $80. The first thing I should note is they are BIG. They sport a small tweeter, a 4″ midrange woofer and a 8″ large woofer. The drivers themselves look pretty good with the grills off.

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Monoprice 8251 with a Micca MB42X on top

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Monoprice 8250 Review

The Monoprice 8250 speaker pair is a set of bookshelf speakers with 6.5″ woofers. They cost $40. They are incredibly similar to the Dayton B652 speakers I’ve mentioned numerous times here. In fact this review will basically be a comparison between these two very similar speakers.

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How I Conduct Detailed Measurements

One thing that is very important to me at Affordable Home Audio is that when I talk about speakers, I try and do so from as informed a position as possible. Within monetary restrictions, I talk about speakers which I can hold in my hands and test myself. An important part of any discussion of speakers is speaker measurements.

There were many techniques developed years ago for making engineering measurements of speakers. Gated sine, white noise response, all sorts of things made it possible to understand both frequency, temporal, linear and non-linear aspects of audio equipment.

These techniques necessitate the use of either very large spaces, like your backyard, or a very expensive anechoic room, in order to perform. Reflections in the room make it impossible to analyze speakers using these traditional techniques. Most businesses focusing in audio (the company I work for included), and university labs have an anechoic room for acoustic testing. Below is a great example of an anechoic chamber, made by Paradigm Audio.

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Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Vs Micca MB42X

One of the toughest things to do when buying speakers is picking between two good choices. You have to weigh your options between the various strengths of speakers which reviewers always hold in high esteem. It is therefore key to understand the differences between them so that you make an informed decision.

Both the Pioneer BS22 speakers and the Micca MB42X are commonly chosen as the first speakers for a new audio enthusiast. They are both speakers which are well regarded and get lots of praise from enthusiasts.

There are good reasons to choose one versus the other. The Pioneer BS22 is clearly a cut above the Micca in performance, but the Micca MB42X costs 30% less and has a much more compact size.

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Pioneer Bs22 and Micca MB42X

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Pioneer BS22 vs Dayton B652-Air

When looking at speakers, a common thing to wonder is what are you getting for your extra money. While bother the Pioneer BS22 and Dayton B652-Air are considered “good for the money” and “budget” speakers, the Pioneer speaker costs twice as much.

I will use this post to help explain what exactly you’re getting for twice the money.

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Pioneer BS22-LR Alongside Dayton B652-AIR

 

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