Tag Archives: speakers

Klipsch Install Stories: Lids

Chances are that if you know anything about hats, you have heard of Lids. The 21-year-old company is a staple in practically every major city, airport and shopping mall in North America.

Of course, Lids does far more than sell flat-brimmed caps that have become ubiquitous across the country. They sell other related gear like officially licensed jerseys, shirts, accessories and novelties.

Back in 1995, Lids opened up their first retail story at Tippaecanoe Mall in Lafayette, IN, just an hour or so north of Indianapolis.  Now boasting over 1,300 locations across North America, Lids’ rapid expansion has resulted in the need for a brand new headquarters. Earlier this year, the company moved into its new Zionsville, IN digs, just mere minutes away from Klipsch’s headquarters.

Despite the proximity, it was a happy coincidence that Lids picked Klipsch speakers to outfit the audio for their swanky new offices.  CCS Presentation Systems, a CIM Integration Company, is one of Klipsch’s local long-term partners. CCS/CIM utilized Klipsch speakers in several special installations including Indianapolis’s Georgia Street project, helping to redefine a public space into an entertainment hub. The companies also worked together in the city of Whiting, IN installing Klipsch speakers in their outdoor parks, providing excellent sound for large-scale community events.

With such an expansive yet unique structure like the Lids new headquarters, the CCS/CIM team felt that Klipsch speakers would provide the sound quality and flexibility needed to meet and exceed their client’s high standards.

From the luxurious meeting rooms to the expansive cafeteria, dozens of Klipsch speakers populate the shimmering headquarters, delivering a truly special sound experience.

“After meeting with Lids, we knew that Klipsch had the right audio solutions for the many applications LIDS wanted to implement in the executive boardroom, dining/bar area and divisible multi-purpose rooms. Working with Klipsch and their sound engineer Trey Cannon has been 100% successful with every system we have installed,” said Rob Childers, Senior AV Engineer for CCS/CIM.

Trevor Gibson, National Sales Manager of Professional Sales for Klipsch, concurred with Childers: “It was clear that LIDS wanted an audio system in their corporate headquarters that was tailored by the needs of each particular space. Thanks to working with a top-shelf local partner like CCS/CIM, we were certain that it would be a world-class installation.”

Dipping into the updated Klipsch portfolio of distributed audio solutions, CCS/CIM selected KPH-525 pendent speakers, CP-6T 70/100 Volt speakers as well as Reference R-20B sound bars and wireless subwoofers to tackle LIDS’ unique installation.

The KPH-525 speakers are perfect for high-ceiling structures or areas with no suspended ceiling for direct, overhead distributed sound. The CP-6T presents an appealing look from all angles with its integrated bracket and its ability to be tightly mounted into a corner with its V-shaped rear profile. The R-20B represents a flexible, easy-to-setup (yet, still great sounding) option that can be shifted around to being used from a meeting room to the divisible banquet hall.

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Up on the top floor, an executive board room with its giant U-shaped conference table and television is outfitted with black KPH-525 pendant speakers. The speakers’ elegant cabinets allow them to look like a discrete design element for the room and assure that every presentation is audibly astounding.

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Down on the lowest on the lowest level, the expansive dining and bar areas – complete with ping pong, pool tables and carnival basketball games – are covered with white KPH-525 and CP-6T speakers that blend naturally into the feel of this large, open room.

The banquet hall that connects to this dining and bar area is also fully immersed with KPH-525 and CP-6T speakers. The giant area is easily divisible, giving Lids the flexibility to separate it into separate rooms while maintaining a high-level audio experience. Adding to the install’s flexibility, a massive portable screen is paired with a R-20B sound bar and wireless subwoofer for when unique situations arise.

“This project has been one of our favorites as the end result was exactly what Lids needed for their new headquarters.  Klipsch was instrumental in the design process, working with our team to create a powerful but very user friendly system,” said Dale Gayman, President of CCS/CIM.

Next time you’re traversing the world or strolling the mall and see a Lids, remember that not only do these people sell terrific gear, they know great sound when they hear it.

Have a comment or question about the Klipsch speakers that were installed at Lids? Post in the comments!

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Klipsch La Scala Trio Home Theater Room Build

The following is story written by Michael Stevens, a member of the Klipsch forums, who describes the journey of how his trio of Klipsch La Scala speakers turned into one of the coolest home theater builds you will ever see. It is story that goes beyond speakers and cabinetry, touching upon the impact of friends, family, the Klipsch community and so much more. You can also check out the entire thread about this project on the Klipsch forums. It has conceptual renderings, more photos, daily videos of the progress, detailed commentary and installation issues as well as host of other goodies.

Since purchasing my first Klipsch speakers in 2008, I have since owned just about every Klipsch Reference speaker as well as a few Klipsch Heritage speakers.  I was always of the opinion that Klipsch Heritage speakers looked “dated” and were too different from the modern design of the Reference Series that I was accustomed to. Since them, I began a quest to hear as many various Klipsch speakers in my own home, with my own gear so that I might know firsthand how they sound and share my thoughts and photos with the Klipsch community. Little did I know I would begin a quest that would lead me much further than I ever thought I would go.

In July of 2014, I saw a listing on Craigslist for a pair of LaScalas.  The seller was asking $850, which was a very good price. At the time, I had been using Klipsch RF-83s and RC-64 in my dedicated home theater room for the past 6 years and absolutely loved them. The gentleman that was selling them was moving into a much smaller home and wanted to downsize to smaller Klipsch speakers. I told him the only speakers I had that I would be willing to part with were a pair of KG 3.2’s that I was using in my office. I shared with him that I would not expect the KG 3.2 to produce anywhere near the sound that the LaScalas would. I made an offer to the seller that I was hoping he would refuse because frankly I did not have anywhere to put the LaScalas nor did I like the style of them. But to my surprise, the seller insisted that I bring the KG 3.2’s over for a listen and was open to my offer.

After listening to the KG 3.2’s, the seller felt they would be perfect for his smaller home and was grateful to trade his LaScalas for $400 cash + my KG 3.2 speakers. I expected to bring them home, do some A/B comparison between the LaScalas and my RF-83’s and share my review with the Klipsch community and then eventually pass them on to someone that would truly appreciate them. From the moment I hooked up the LaScalas, I knew I was in trouble. Although the RF-83s are amazing speakers, the LaScalas produced so much more detail and due to the large midrange horn, vocals sounded much more smoothe and pronounced.

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Over the next week, I tried to convince myself that although the LaScalas clearly sounded better, they just were not the style that I preferred. I also knew if I were to incorporate them into my home theater, I would want to purchase a third LaScala to use as a center channel. I knew this would be a long shot but posted in the Klipsch forums regarding my new purchase and wanted to see if anyone had a single LaScala that they would be willing to part with. “Wstrickland1” from the forum said he was selling three LaScalas and had a buyer interested in purchasing a pair from him. The only problem was how to get this beast from South Carolina to Florida. Luckily, “Wstrickland1” said that in a month he would be passing through my area on the way to a business meeting, so within a month, a third LaScala was proudly sitting in my home theater.

What had I gotten myself into? What was I doing? I genuinely thought there would never come the day that I would even consider parting with my RF-83s and RC-64. I began a quest over the next week to do as much comparison between the two sets of speakers. I wanted to make absolutely sure I was making the right decision. To my surprise, at the end of the week, I knew what I must do. I was 100% confident that it was time for “Youthman” (me on the forums) to dip into the dark pool of the Heritage Series!

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Within 2 weeks, I sold my RF-83 & RC-64 and have had absolutely no regrets since. Unfortunately, due to the LaScalas size, they would not fit behind my false wall.  I contacted my friend Shaun “Wake” Ivy (Wakejunkie from the Klipsch forum) and he suggested that he could build a new front cabinet that would accommodate the LaScalas. Although Shaun lives 600 miles away, he was confident to make this dream a reality.  Since I was upgrading the front soundstage, I figured I might as well upgrade the screen too.  Shortly thereafter, Shaun purchased the rough-cut red oak wood in August of 2014 and I bought enough Seymour Center Stage XD fabric to build a 150” Acoustic Transparent screen.

The LaScala Trio Home Theater Build had begun!

Little did we know, within a few months of starting the project in January of 2015, at only 36yrs old, Shaun would suffer from three major strokes that would forever change his life. [Editor’s note: We did an article about Shaun on The Klipsch Joint last year.] He was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. The strokes affected Shaun’s short term memory in that he could only remember about three days. After three days, any memories made during those days would simply fade away. What used to take him one hour, now takes him about five-six hours due to the strokes without any ability to retain short term memories. Fortunately, he remembered everything pre-stroke as those memories, knowledge, skills were stored in his long-term memory.

Over the next nine months, Shaun would begin the road of rehabilitation and therapy.  In October of 2015, he contacted me to say that he thought he was ready to begin working on the project again. He asked me if I had plans for New Year’s. Although he didn’t want to make any promises, his goal was to finish the cabinet before the New Year. Jokingly, I told him let’s not specify which year.

It wasn’t long before Shaun realized he would not be able to finish this project alone. His strength, memory and problem solving skills were not anywhere near what they used to be, so he began to recruit help from his dad and several local friends to assist with the project. Over the next eight months, they would continue to build the cabinet that would soon be the new home of the LaScala Trio and four Klipsch RSW-15’s.

On Saturday, June 18, the special day had finally arrived! My dad and I hooked up a 20’ enclosed trailer and headed for Alabama!

During the trip, we met up with Shaun and his wife, making a side trip to pick up his very own Klipsch LaScalas and made a stop to visit the home theater of Superdave, another friend of ours from the Klipsch forum. Within two days of leaving Florida, we had arrived in Alabama, loaded up the cabinet and thus began its journey to its new home.

On Tuesday, June 21, Shaun, myself and my father began the build. Over the next seven days, we ran a 20 amp dedicated circuit, wired five Lutron Dimmers to five Lighting Zones, constructed the front wall and screen and moved the projector outside the room in between a hall closet and my son’s closet.

Obviously, there struggles here and here of which you can read about them on my thread in the Klipsch forums. (You can also see my daily video recaps on my YouTube page.) It was only a one week install which meant nearly-sleepless nights and plenty of energy drinks.

Everything turned out so much nicer than I could have ever imagined. The custom cabinet features hand carvings, a beautiful diamond pattern that surrounds the screen, arch lighting, lighting behind the screen, LED lighting around the screen, the ability to raise the 150” AT Screen that is supported by gas shocks to gain access to the speakers and a drawer that extends to allow easy access behind the components. Shaun’s cabinet is truly a work of art and his craftsmanship and attention to detail is to be admired.

My journey to build my LaScala Trio home theater was so much more than just building a cabinet and setting up some speakers. It was about friendship, family, the Klipsch community, determination, hope and beating the odds. I’m truly grateful for the friendship that I have with Shaun and his family. He is living proof that you can overcome adverse circumstances by surrounding yourself with people that believe in you and are willing to support you through the process.

What do you think of Michael’s La Scala home theater build? Post in the comments!

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Klipsch Palladium Series: A Masterclass

Every once in a while, there comes along an industry-redefining project. The Klipsch Palladium Series is one such mission.

It wasn’t done overnight. Heck, it took a full decade for this project to fully actualize itself.

Each and every speaker in the Palladium Series was designed to be utterly flawless from the floorstanding speakers to the subwoofer. These are not ordinary speakers. They are the pinnacle of Klipsch engineering and design.

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INNOVATION DOESN’T COME EASY

Ever since the doors of Klipsch opened for business with the introduction of the Klipschorn, the company has strived to be at the forefront of innovation. Of course, this comes with a price.

Much to the delight of the engineers and designers at Klipsch, they were shackled with any sort of budget in mind. The goal was simply to create the best speaker possible in terms of acoustics and design.

Palladium is built on the collective expertise of a global network of partners. From our headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, we went to the corners of the Earth in our quest for the perfect speaker Design consultants in Munich and Los Angeles, manufacturing partners in Dongguan and Shenzhen, China and build specialists at our original Klipsch factory in Hope Arkansas, all collaborated on this masterpiece.

Unlike other high-end audio speakers that rely on off-the-shell driver systems, we opted to build every Palladium driver the ground up. Like we said, we didn’t just want to make a great line of speakers. We wanted to make the BEST line of speakers.

There were struggles. There were disagreements, but not one can argue with the end result.

It is truly a triumph of passion.

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SUPREME PERFORMANCE

The beauty of the Palladium Series isn’t just on the outside. An equally stunning acoustics package resides within these oh-so-sexy cabinets.

Unique to the Palladium Series is a carbon-infused, thermoset composite dual-horn configuration. It consists of a proprietary tweeter design, combining a chambered phase plug and Tractrix® Horn for extended high-frequency response; a second 90º by 60º acoustically dampened Tractrix Horn is coupled to the midrange driver, resulting in remarkably precise and detailed performances.

Strategically placed neodymium magnets inside the titanium diaphragm tweeter and midrange are also used to increase efficiency, maintain dynamic range and drive power, detail and emotion.

The Palladium Series floorstanding speakers’ sport three low-frequency drivers employing hybrid cone woofers which are powered by a unique three-part neodymium magnet structure with dual stabilizing rings that reduce nonlinear flux. Triple ports further enhance low-distortion bass response.

Stepping down a size in speaker, the Palladium P-17B bookshelf speaker offers superior bass performance with a low-frequency driver that employs a 7-inch hybrid cone woofer, powered by a unique neodymium magnet structure. A single port on the rear of the speaker enhances low-distortion bass response.

If you’re looking an immersive home theater experience, look no further than the P-27S surround speakers which employ dual 0.75-inch titanium diaphragm compression drivers mated to 90º by 70º Tractrix horns in our exclusive Wide Dispersion Surround Technology (WDST) provides crystal-clear sonic detail even in listening areas with less than ideal configurations, so the surround sound is pointed at you no matter where you sit.

For each Palladium Series speaker, the woofers’ voice coils respond accurately to the smallest signal modulation, yet can also handle the high power of the most demanding soundtracks.

The Palladium P-312W subwoofer employs three 12-inch drivers—one front-firing woofer and dual side-firing passive radiators—and a potent BASH® digital hybrid amplifier. Fitting nicely into a corner, the subwoofer’s unique enclosure lets the passive radiators face both walls of the corner for maximum output.

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A WORK OF ART

Some of you may think that the design of a speaker doesn’t matter. That’s cool, but you should probably skip to the next section.

For the Palladium Series, we partnered with BMW Group DesignworksUSA and together we created this masterpiece. It’s a signature look that blends classic Klipsch designs with a dramatic, yet clean and contemporary appearance.

The floorstander and bookshelf speakers’ “boat-tail” enclosure hints at the power and performance inside, while maintaining a high degree of sophistication and beauty.

Next to its unique shape, the most striking visual statement is the exotic zebra-grain Linia veneer that’s available in three different finishes: natural, merlot and espresso. The horizontal linear grain and absence of visible fasteners allows Palladium series speakers to elegantly complement your furniture and décor.

Featuring no parallel walls and an extensive internal bracing system, each Palladium speaker’s side panels combine with an angled top panel and a steel-reinforced front baffle to ensure minimal cabinet resonance and maximum acoustic performance. But rest assured, there’s plenty of style to go with all that substance.

The P-27C center channel speaker delivers dialogue as flawlessly as any leading actor. And just like a leading actor, the P-27C looks the part with signature Palladium design cues.

These speakers are also thoughtfully designed for the spaces they will belong in. Featuring a dark smoked nickel satin finish and zebra-grain end caps, the P-27S surround sound speaker offers a slim profile and an even slimmer chance of going unnoticed. It’s meant to be out of the way but not out of mind.

Of course, a true home theater system isn’t simply composed of just floorstanders, bookshelf, center channel and surround speakers, so even the P-312W subwoofer was design as a true masterpiece. Subwoofers need not be boring black boxes.

This is what luxury looks like.

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HANDMADE TO PERFECTION

With all of the effort our engineers and designers went through to make this product a reality, the end product has to measure up to the lofty promises we make about the Palladium Series.

We’re going to be straight up with you. Palladium speakers are extremely difficult to make. The end product is effortless and gorgeous in its design and sound, but the process is nothing but.

We offer our endless thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of our speaker artisans who have made this project a reality.

Go ahead. Delight your ears and eyes.

Psst! You are invited to the Klipsch Palladium PRIVATE SALE: http://www.klipsch.com/palladium-sale

 

Best Speakers and Headphones for Memorial Day Weekend

Before diving into things, we would be remiss not to mention that Memorial Day is ultimately about honoring those who lost their lives defending this country. We consider Memorial Day weekend a celebration of the lives we are allowed to live, thanks to the ultimate sacrifices they made.

It’s a time for friends, family and a whole lotta fun. Assuming the weather cooperates, we’re guessing most of you will be marauding around outside, forgetting to put on sun screen, grilling up various meats, and drinking too many “beverages” – oh wait, maybe that’s just us.

Anyway, music is likely going to be a big part of your weekend plans, so we’re here to help you figure out exactly what you need to quench your thirst for quality audio.

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THE ESSENTIAL

Klipsch Groove Portable Speaker

It’s small. It’s rugged. It’s even splash proof. Oh, and it sounds great with an output that belies its stature. This is the speaker that your fun-loving self can beat up a little and it’ll keep on rockin’. Just set it down wherever, add your playlist and get back to grillin’, drinkin’ and whateverin’.

There are simply a myriad of reasons that make the Klipsch Groove an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker for Memorial Day weekend and all summer-long activities.

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HEADPHONES FOR THE RACE TRACK

Klipsch X12i Headphones

Klipsch’s headquarters are located just a few miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so the Indy 500 holds a special place in our hearts, especially so since it is the race’s 100th anniversary. While we are quite proud to have Klipsch speakers installed at various locations around the track, we have to admit that there are times that call for headphones.

With their slim and lightweight aluminum casing, the Klipsch X12i in-ear headphones will let you hear all of the drivers on the radio with perfect clarity while blocking out the engine noise from the cars whizzing around the track. They also work great as earplugs too, if that’s more your speed.

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LIMITED EDITION GEAR

Klipsch Reference R6 On-Ear Headphones (Snakepit Edition)

So, we’re showing favoritism toward Indianapolis once again, but here us out. The Snake Pit is essentially a giant mosh-pit for the concerts that occur before the running of the Indianapolis 500. It pretty dang wild. Anyway, we teamed up with the track’s organizers to come out with 100 of these custom headphones to celebrate the 100th running of the race.

If you don’t care about the Snake Pit or simply want something less flashy, you can always just get the standard black finish Reference R6 On-Ear headphones, which deliver amazing performance and comfort at a very palatable price.

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SYSTEM FOR WHEN IT’S TOO DANG HOT OUTSIDE

Klipsch R-15PM Powered Monitors

For whatever reason, the weather gods always seem to turn the sun up to 11 for Memorial Day weekend. It is totally understandable if you decide to duck inside, veg-out and watch “Shooter” on FX for the 100th time.

The R-15PM powered monitors are just so dang easy to set up and use that you won’t have to sweat it all – or, at least, you won’t be adding to the sweat that has already accumulated on your back, head and who knows where else. Just plug this versatile speaker pair into a turntable, TV, computer or cell phone and play.

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IF YOUR HOUSE IS PARTY CENTRAL

Klipsch Outdoor Speakers

Let’s say you’re the person with a few acres of land, a sweet-ass pool, a shiny new grille and some wheelers idling on the side. (First of all, we get it. You’re awesome at life.) If this is indeed you, you’re likely going to be hosting a ton of summer parties and your guests are going to expect sound quality befitting the expansive property.

That’s where Klipsch comes in. We have the outdoor speakers to make your backyard into an audio oasis. Sure, the cops may swing by, thanks to the noise complaints but that’s nothing that $20 can’ fix. Oh, and you can be THAT guy that makes a bunch of terrible “rocks” puns too. Think about the possibilities…

What Klipsch speakers and headphones are you utilizing this Memorial Day weekend? Let us know in the comments!

Turntable Setup Guide for Passive and Powered Speakers

A growing number of people are investing in the reborn industry of vinyl music. Whether it be the warm and textured sound or the tactile experience, vinyl is having quite the comeback and turntables are popping up in households around the world.

Some people may be content with some cheap all-in-one-solution for their turntable setup. Affordable all-in-ones typically do not have very good reputation as they have the tendency to ruin records from the amount of force that is applied to them by the stylus. However, if you’re reading this blog, you aren’t satisfied with “good enough.” You want audiophile-grade sound from your turntable.

This doesn’t mean that you ought to be intimidated by the prospect of a proper performance-grade turntable setup. We’re here to make things simple (and sound great) with our turntable setup guide for both passive and powered speakers.

First of all, you need to decide whether you are going to go with powered or passive speakers. Powered speakers like the Klipsch Reference R-15PM powered monitors have internal amplification, while passive speakers like the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160M bookshelf speakers require external amplification.

From there, it’s really quite simple…

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How to Set Up Passive Speakers With a Turntable

You will only need a few things to set up your passive speakers correctly with a turntable: a receiver, phono pre-amp, RCA cables and a pair of speakers. While there are more components to setting up passive speakers than powered speakers, the process really isn’t much more involved. (If you need help choosing a pair of speakers for your turntable, please click here.)

  1. Connect the turntable with the RCA cables to the preamp. (Some turntables require grounding.)
  2. Connect the pre-amp to the amp with RCA cables.
  3. Connect the amp to the speakers.
  4. Drop the needle and enjoy!

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How To Set Up Powered Speakers With a Turntable

Not to brag, but the R-15PM power monitors are pretty awesome. Besides having internal amplification, they have a built-in phono pre-amp. Most powered speakers still require a separate phono pre-amp. In any case, internal amplification and the built-in phono pre-amp eliminate the need for two separate components – a receiver and discrete phono pre-amp.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect R-15PM powered monitors to your turntable

  1. Connect the RCA and ground cables from the turntable to the R-15PM
  2. Ensure the switch on the back of the R-15PM is set to “Phono”
  3. Plug the turntable and R-15PM into power outlets
  4. Put a record on and enjoy!

This is the easiest way to setup a turntable with quality speakers.

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Turntable Setup and Configuration

Depending on what turntable you have, the amount of setup and configuration will depend on the specific turntable you select. Some turntables come set up straight out of the box while others involve a great deal of tweaking. Of course, there are also turntables that give users the option to upgrade components like the phono cartridge.

We won’t go into the nitty-gritty of every possible turntable setup because we already dove into the anatomy of the turntable, but there are some basics you need to know.

First of all, there are two primary types of turntables: belt drive and direct drive turntables. Simply put, belt drive turntables are for those listening to records while direct drive turntables are what you would see DJs using.

There are also automatic and manual turntables. Automatic turntables simply require you to press a button and the turntable will lift the tone arm and place it on the record. Manual turntables require you to physically place the tone arm on the record.

You may have noticed that we showed off a Klipsch turntable at CES 2016 and, if you’re in Canada, you can already purchase a turntable bundled with the Klipsch R-15PMs as part of the Klipsch Music Crate. Don’t worry, it will be coming to the United States and rest of the world very soon!

Anyway, the Klipsch turntable is a manual, belt-driven turntable created in partnership with Pro-Ject. It sounds great and also offers an extremely easy setup.

The Klipsch turntable comes set up right out of the box, meaning that you will not have to mess with the tracking force or counterweight adjustments. It comes with a moving magnet Ortofon OM 5E cartridge.

Regardless of the type of speakers or turntable you choose, a proper turntable setup is extremely important in delivering quality sound; however, it shouldn’t be considered a daunting challenge.

What does your turntable setup consist of? What guidance do you have for someone looking to set up their new turntable with quality speakers? Post in the comments below!

 

 

 

70th Anniversary Edition Klipsch Heresy III Speaker

With 2016 serving as our platinum anniversary, we decided to do something special to honor the proud history of Klipsch. We have created limited editions of two of our favorite designs

In celebration of our 70th Anniversary, we are handcrafting an exclusive, limited edition of the Klipsch Heresy III speaker, available now at Klipsch.com and through select retailers. The 70th Anniversary Klipschorn will follow in May. Both are stunning tributes to Paul W. Klipsch’s timeless designs.

Our craftsmen in Hope, Arkansas only made 70 pairs of each model and they will be gone before you know it.

Introduced in 1957 and now in its third iteration, the Heresy is a compact, three-way loudspeaker utilizing a 12” woofer and horn-loaded midrange and tweeter. It was originally intended to be a center channel for the Klipschorn speakers; however, they quickly stood on their own merit.

While the design of the speaker has remained remarkably similar to the original, the Heresy III was given a substantial upgrade in recent years to include a more powerful woofer, bi-wire network, as well as midrange and tweeter compression drivers, featuring a titanium diaphragm for smooth and accurate definition.

Audio enthusiast and reviewer, Steve Guttenberg calls the Heresy III “a rock’n’roller’s dream speaker” in a Stereophile editorial. He expounded upon this praise of the Heresy in a post on his CNET.com blog: “The sound in my listening room was closer to a live rock concert sound system than I’ve heard from a lot of much more expensive and bigger speakers. That’s what the Heresy IIIs do so well, and once you experience that sort of sound at home, a set of Sonos wireless speakers won’t cut it anymore.”

The 70th Anniversary edition of the Klipsch Heresy speaker maintains its own character that will make it remembered for long after we run out of inventory, which may be very, very soon.

Here are its new features.

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Limited Edition Australian Walnut

While the standard Heresy III comes in cherry, walnut and black ash, the 70th Anniversary Hersey III features an Australian Walnut wood veneer that is a total showstopper.

Coming all the way from the costal tablelands of North Queensland, Australia, this limited edition of wood veneer varies in color but is usually a pale-golden hue highly contrasted with darker streaks of chocolate brown, grey, black or even pink.

Each pair of 70th Anniversary Heresy speakers will have a slightly different character to it, making them truly unique. This wood will only be used on 70th Anniversary edition speakers.

70th Anniversary Klipsch Heresy III Behind the Scenes

Book-Matched Wood Veneer and Speaker Pairs

Every pair of 70th Anniversary Heresy speakers uses book-matched wood veneers. So, what does that mean? It means that the veneer leaves are kept in order as they are delicately sliced from the timber and precisely arranged to provide a mirror image at the splice joint – like turning the pages of a book. This gives each pair of speakers an aesthetically pleasing and consistent appearance that is treasured more than any other cut of wood veneer.

In addition, every cabinet is carefully matched so that each speaker in the pair is practically indistinguishable from the other. The speakers move seamlessly together through the factory. Each finished product is inspected and labeled with sequential serial numbers, ensuring that the Heritage series speakers leave the factory as a meticulously crafted set.

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New Nameplate

Heresy owners (and fans) may note that the speaker typically comes with the iconic PWK badge in the top left/right of the speaker. We changed it up a bit for the 70th Anniversary with a curvaceous Heresy nameplate that harkens back to Klipsch logos from years past.

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Special Plaque

Each speaker also features a small plaque identifying its numbered sequence in the series and has been signed by its craftsman.

Klipsch Heresy 70th Grille

Silver Luster Grille Cloth

The fancy new nameplate is mounted to an eye-catching silver luster grille cloth that you haven’t seen anywhere else. It looks sort of like a metal mesh, which gives the speaker a rather distinct personality. Again, this is a special edition cloth is a feature reserved for the 70th Anniversary Klipsch Heritage speakers.

Klipsch Heresy 70th Riser

Matte Black Risers

You may have also noticed the contrasting matte-black slant risers which are only available on the 70th Anniversary Heresy III speakers and a perfect complement to the Australian Walnut wood veneer.

Have any questions about the 70th Anniversary Heresy III speakers? Ask them here!

Klipsch Install Stories: Toronto Raptors BioSteel Centre Practice Facility

The Toronto Raptors compete with an end goal of winning the NBA championship, so it makes sense that they need the very best facility to help them accomplish their dream.

Toronto Raptors Basketball Club President and General Manager Masai Ujiir said, “We wanted the BioSteel Centre to feel like home for the team and music is a very important part of creating that atmosphere. We also wanted this new facility to be world-class in every way as we work to bring a winner to Toronto for our city and our fans. Klipsch was a natural partner for us to deliver exceptional sound at the BioSteel Centre.”

The brand new BioSteel Centre is a two-story, 68,000 square foot facility that serves as the Raptors official practice facility in the heart of Toronto, Ontario. It features two full size basketball courts; state-of-the-art locker rooms with individual TV monitors above each locker; a large fitness, weight room and training area; an extensive medical and rehabilitation area, including cold and hot tubs and an underwater treadmill; and a player lounge with a full service kitchen and dining room.

In other words, it’s pretty freakin’ sweet.

Klipsch Biosteel Centre Toronto Raptors Practice Courts

Each practice court at the BioSteel Centre is equipped with a pair of Klipsch KI-396 commercial speakers complemented by a THX-certified Klipsch KPT-684 high output subwoofer. Just like the Colts in Indianapolis, we imagine the Raptors have no problem cranking the volume on their Klipsch speakers to simulate a hostile away-court environment.

Practice is just part of the equation for a team looking to win a championship. Endless film study is also a requirement to be the best. Thankfully, Canada’s favorite basketball team has a 24-seat theater room, with a 105-inch flat screen, bordered by two Klipsch KL-6504 THX in wall speakers. It’s so awesome and would be a shame if the theater is only for studying game film. (That being said, we bet there are a few non-basketball movies viewed here on occasion.)

Before the players can even view the game film, coaches and staff members break down the footage on their own. A three-person team analyzes and prepares it using workstations powered by Klipsch Reference R-10B soundbars.

Whether for rehabbing or simply training, the pool is a great place to get a great workout that’s easy on the joints, even if you’re not Michael Phelps. Klipsch AW-800 all-weather speakers make it easy on the ears as well.

“After the retrofit of the Air Canada Centre in 2014 with over 1,000 Klipsch speakers, they were our top choice for the new BioSteel Centre,” said Bob Hunter, Chief Project Development Officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Our goal with this new training centre was to deliver one of the top facilities of its kind in sports for the team and the technical abilities offered by Klipsch to push out a clean sound with low distortion over a large area made them a natural fit.”

OK, so maybe having a killer sound system throughout their practice facility isn’t going to guarantee a NBA Championship for the Toronto Raptors, but we’re proud to help support our friends from the north in their quest for greatness.

What do you think of the Toronto Raptors new practice facility and its audio setup? Let us know in the comments!

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Surround Sound System Buying Guide

Not all surround sound systems are the same. For your optimal listening experience—the kind that makes you forget about that whole “outside world” thing—you want the best surround sound system for your price range, arranged with precision and set up with enough knowhow to push its capabilities to the max.

If you’re hungry for steak, you don’t order a cheap, tough cut of beef and force yourself to enjoy it. When you really want to dress up and hit the town, you avoid black sweatpants and a T-shirt with a tuxedo print. And if you want surround sound, you don’t simply grab any old speakers, scatter them around, run some wires and hit play.

You want flowing, detailed, risk-a-noise-complaint-from-the-neighbors surround sound. You want crisp dialog, stirring musical scores, whispers you can hear and understand, and explosions that shake you to the core. You want to believe that helicopter is hovering above your roof, a dinosaur is stomping down your hallway, and that—for a couple of hours anyway—you are the center of the cinematic universe playing out around you.

You want high definition, high-performance surround sound.

Home theater systems that make excellent use of surround sound via quality equipment can elevate a typical move night to an event. All this transformation takes is a little background knowledge on how a movie’s audio makes its way from the disc through your speakers.

What is Surround Sound?

The definition of surround sound is sound that literally surrounds you, coming at you from the front, rear, and either side for a 360-degree listening experience. Surround sound puts you in the heart of the audio action, transforming the simple act watching of a movie at home into a rich and complex entertainment experience.

TV speakers alone send all of the sound at you from a single source. Rockets firing into the stratosphere, buildings collapsing all around, and heroes leaping toward the screen and beyond all sound like they’re happening in a box—because they are. Life doesn’t come at you from only one direction, so a single source for sound can reinforce the fact that what you’re watching is contained.

Soundbars can improve the experience by giving the audio more room to move, simulating surround sound without actually surrounding you.

Despite a soundbar’s impressive output, which is plenty for some people and room applications, true surround sound is the only way to re-create the movie theater experience at home, allowing you to hear what and the director intended. This immersion can boost your enjoyment of the experience by plunging you into the story. Watching becomes something more than just watching.

How Does Surround Sound Work?

When creating a production that makes use of surround sound, audio engineers will split all of the noises in a given scene into separate channels. Sounds that correspond to action happening to the left go left. Effects accompanying visuals on the right go right.

A surround sound receiver acts as a sort of traffic cop, directing all of the sound to be sure it gets to where it’s been ordered to go. The center channel does the heavy lifting in terms of handling dialog and whatever’s happening right in front of your face. The rest of the speakers take what’s been assigned to them. The system can be broad or specific. A setup with five speakers will transmit the sound accordingly, even if there are more channels encoded into the disc. Many movies are released on disc or broadcast in six channels, though an increasing number are coming to home viewers in an eight-channel format.

When connected and arranged properly, the speakers in a surround sound setup work together to properly fill the room based on its size and direct the sound toward the optimal viewing and listening area.

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Surround Sound Formats

You may notice that surround sound systems are referred to in numbers, such as 7.1 surround sound. This lets you know how many speaker components the system has. A 7.1 setup boasts eight channels: seven discrete main audio channels, divvied up among seven speakers, and one channel fed to the subwoofer for the low notes.

A 5.1 surround sound system includes the left and right speakers to sit in the front near the screen, one center channel for vocals, the left and right speakers for either side of your seating area and the subwoofer. The speakers flanking you while you enjoy your audio attack are known as the surround speakers.

A 7.1 surround sound system has the same basic setup as the 5.1, but also includes a right and left back speaker positioned behind the viewer.

The 9.1 setup adds another pair speakers to the 7.1 mix. While the speakers in a smaller setup (in front of, to the side of, and behind you) allow sound effects to freely travel left and right, forward and backward, it takes two more speakers, each mounted a few feet above a corresponding left or right front speaker, to give the noise some opportunity for altitude. Height gives music and audio effects another axis, creating a more immersive experience.

Any of these systems can also incorporate multiple subwoofers, upping the number on the right side of the decimal point. Got a pair of subwoofers? Put them on opposite walls so you receive bass from two directions. Four subwoofers should take up one point each on a diamond surrounding the listener, creating a web of thumping and rattling that will catch anything in the middle and ensure it gets a good shaking. What good do all of these subwoofers do? They even out the bass response and make your movies and music thump a little harder and crisper. One of the first recommendations you will hear from home theater buffs is to add at least one subwoofer if you are rocking a 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, etc setup. It makes a massive difference.

Like a doctoral student collecting new skills, prestige and a series of letters to add to the end of a signature, your sound system can continue to advance into the future. Dolby Atmos, a leap forward in audio technology that breaks from the traditional channel-based system to free the various audio objects in a soundtrack and allow them to move about and come at you in three dimensions—including from above your head—can prompt you to turn your 5.2 system (one center channel, four speakers, and two subwoofers) into a 5.2.4 by adding four speakers to ceiling mounts or four speakers that direct sound up to bounce back down toward the viewing area. No longer tethered to a pre-assigned output, these sounds can move to come from the direction that best serves your movie-enjoying experience.

Too much? Your ears (and friends) may disagree, but that’s OK. Keep it simple with a 9.2 system, creating an encircling perimeter of speakers anchored by two subwoofers.

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Must-Have Surround Sound Features

There are several essential components necessary for anyone looking to showcase what a home theater system can do. The cinema-experience-level technology available to everyone these days should get you excited about letting your speakers off the leash to really run wild.

THX-certified standards ensure that the sound being created on the movie-makers’ end is getting its due with the audience on the other end. A production company can pull out all the stops in crafting a scene where a shot ricochets off of a dozen metal objects scattered around the room before hitting the target, but if the system meant to broadcast that intricate series of sound effects is incapable of properly handling the load, nobody’s going to be ducking to avoid taking a bullet to the skull. Be sure to invest in THX-certified speakers—such as the THX Ultra2 Series from Klipsch, which earned the highest possible certification rating. Boom.

Consider a setup that can best deliver the free-range, real-world-emulating, three-dimensional sound experience of the gotta-have-it-if-you-care-about-movies Dolby Atmos experience mentioned above, including a speaker that bounces everything off of the ceiling, raining down noises and music to soak you with sound effects. We tapped out at a nine-speaker system in our initial explanation of this audio gift to humanity, but the technology can work with up to 34—repeat: 34!—so we’re sorry/not sorry to say that you don’t stand a chance against that level of audio power (but why would you want it any other way?). The Klipsch Reference Premeire Dolby Atmos enabled RP-280FA speaker has a built-in elevation channel that does nothing but blast away at the plaster over your head. Actually, it does do one other thing: win awards.

Klipsch emphasizes Wide Dispersion Surround Technology for all of its surround sound speakers, which ensures the best sound, no matter the home theater system setup. Can’t get fit the speakers exactly where you want them? Don’t worry. You’re still going to feel like you’re in the middle of the action.

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Wireless vs. Wired Surround Sound

Wireless surround sound is ideal for people who prize both performance and simplicity. You can place the speakers anywhere without worrying about connecting them to the amplifier or hiding the evidence of those connections.

The fact that wireless systems can hold their own against their wired counterparts is evidence of how far technology has come since sound first electronically made its way from a source to a speaker.

If you’re considering a wireless setup, know that time is of the essence. That means the more modern your speakers, the better. Older wireless systems operated on technology that could interfere with or be disrupted by other wireless signals in the home. They also tended to be more expensive and not as reliable.

Today, wireless technology has advanced to the point that it can deliver the goods. Just know that you will need a special control center. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry: It’s smart enough to start pumping out the sound you want within minutes of leaving the box.

What is the best wireless surround sound system?

Honestly, the best wireless system is one that works for you now, and will continue working for you in the future. This means it should be able to handle expansion as you add more speakers to the set, as well as advancements in technology.

Consider the Reference Premiere HD Wireless system from Klipsch, which delivers high-definition, high performance cinema-quality sound and welcomes new additions by recognizing them and adding them into the system without any need for physical connections. Klipsch offers lifetime upgrades on their Control Center’s firmware so you are sure to always have the most advanced and reliable technology.

Basically, the speakers talk to each other via a WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) network that ensures each high-fidelity member of your surround sound system does what it’s supposed to be doing when it’s supposed to be doing it. WiSA coordinates every audio detail to ensure speakers are in sync, timing is precise, delivery is impeccable, and you are beyond impressed—all without interfering with other wireless devices around your home.

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What are the best surround sound speakers?

The cop-out answer: Whatever speakers work best for your wallet and room. While this is true (and, actually, really good advice), the you-know-you’d-rather-hear-this answer is more fun.

The best surround sound speakers are those that apply the most cutting-edge technology to the highest-quality materials with the most discerning audiophile in mind. Seek out well-crafted components from a reputable company with a tradition of creating speakers that continue to define the industry. Look for home theater systems built by people who understand cinema-quality sound because they also build for cinemas.

If you need to start small, there’s nothing wrong with that. The best surround sound speakers will make the system—not the other way around. Investing in a 34.7.15 surround sound system won’t deliver amazing sound if the speakers themselves aren’t high quality. Instead, get a small number of top-of-the-line speakers and build the system out as time and money allows. Great sound doesn’t go out of fashion.

Your ears will thank you (once they get over the initial thrill of their first dose of true surround sound).

What is your advice for someone looking to buy a surround sound system? Post it in the comments below!

How to Hook Up Your Surround Sound System

If you want to cement your home’s status as the best place to watch a movie—even taking the nearest cinema into account—you’re going to need more than your standard TV sound system. But even a shiny set of surround sound speakers might not be enough to earn you the title. Want that crown? You have to know how to precisely position those speakers and master the ins and outs of how to hook up surround sound to your TV.

Plenty of people find themselves practically paralyzed when it comes to the prospect of running wires and angling speakers. Countless more have given it their best shot but found they could still use some pointers on maximizing their surround sound systems. Allow Klipsch give you everything you need to know about hooking up your surround sound system. At the end of the day, you’ll stop calling your friends and family by their names and start referring to them as “the audience.”

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Fig A. – The full 7.1 system setup.

Surround Sound Speaker Placement

Before you begin any surround sound setup, you have to believe one crucial truth: You are the center of the universe. The focal point. The Reason with a capital R. This also goes for anyone else you welcome into the heart of your soon-to-be marvel of audio engineering. Every speaker will be pointed at you to create a direct line of sound. These speakers and their carefully calibrated positions exist to please your ears. Focusing the surround sound speakers on a single, central point will best allow them to do what they were made to do.

Also important: the surround sound system itself. The number of speakers you get will help you to determine how to position them, which, in turn, factors into how you hook them up.

The most common surround sound systems are 5.1 and

, with the “5” or “7” indicating the number of speakers in the setup and the “1” indicating a solitary subwoofer. Either of these is a good-sized sound system for TV viewing, movies, game playing and more. Of course, you will never hear any complaining if you add an extra subwoofer, as that will even out the room’s bass response.

It should be noted that the arrival of Dolby Atmos sound has created an additional dimension to this traditional sound formula. Dolby Atmos sound calls for the addition of elevation speakers, allowing sound to come not only from all around you, but also from directly overhead. An example of a Dolby Atmos setup would be 5.2.4, which represents five speakers, two subwoofers and four elevation channels.

The Klipsch team has gone into great detail about 7.1 speaker placement elsewhere, but a quick explanation here can’t hurt: You’ll want a center channel front and, well, center, just above or below your screen. Set up the two front speakers to either side of the center channel, at least six feet apart and angled toward where you’ll be sitting. The general rule of thumb is to place the front speakers at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock to your listening positions. Two surround sound speakers should go to either side of—and just a bit behind—your viewing position, while the final two (ignore this step for a 5.1 setup) should settle three feet behind the sitting area, about three feet above the viewers’ heads and angled inward like the front pair.

You have some flexibility with the subwoofer, which can be tucked into a corner on the same wall as the screen or sit next to one of the front speakers. As we discussed in a previous blog post, there is no true formula for finding out where to place your subwoofer. It’s up to your ears to decide! Experimenting is key.

One final, but crucial, element of surround sound setup: the room itself. A lot of hard, flat surfaces can make for a less-than-ideal listening experience, since sounds will bounce around and grow muddy, ruining the effect. If you are blessed to have a dedicated home-theater room, you can get specifically designed acoustic material to go on your walls, ceilings and corners. Consider softening surfaces wherever you can, whether that means laying some carpet on a hardwood floor (or at least finding a nice rug that really ties the room together) or installing shelves on otherwise bare walls and stocking them with books. Don’t forget windows. Cover them with curtains and close them. This is best for stopping an unwanted muddying effect, as well as for preventing any neighbors from spying on you while you snuggle up with your special someone. Yes, romance movies come in surround sound, too.

As you arrange the room, be sure to keep anything from intruding into the space between your speakers and your viewing area. Direct access is a must for surround sound.

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How to Hook Up Surround Sound to TV

With the speakers positioned right where you want them, it’s time to connect them. Typically, they need to be wired to a surround sound receiver, which acts as the brain of the entire system, receiving input from your Blu-ray player, cable TV box or gaming console and sending the sound through the wires to its designated speaker. Of course, new speakers utilizing WiSA technology, like the Klipsch Reference Premiere HD Wireless sound, substitute the AV-Receiver for the HD Control Center.

Having your setup positioned before you begin this step will allow you to determine the length of the wires necessary to connect the various pieces, assuming you’re not using cables with connectors, which are often called banana plugs. If you are, plug everything into the designated ports and move on. If you’ve got a wireless surround sound system, your speakers will coordinate through a specialized control center.

For any wiring endeavor, start by shutting it all down. Avoid the chance of an electrical shock by unplugging every component in the entertainment and surround sound system that can be plugged into the wall.

Next, run the appropriate length of wire from each speaker to the receiver and, if necessary, strip the ends to ensure enough bare wire is available to be secured in the clips. The back of your receiver should feature a bank of these clips, arranged in pairs: one for positive, one for negative. Red typically indicates where the positive wire should go, and black or blue indicates the negative.

Like jumpstarting your car, wires should run from the positive clip on the speaker to the positive clip on the receiver. Same with the negative clips.

Before actually securing any ends in place, be sure that all wires and cords are hidden and out of the way as possible. You’re not going to stretch them tight across a frequently walked-through area at ankle height, of course, but go the extra mile to tuck them beneath rugs and run them behind furniture and other features of the room.

Be sure that every speaker and subwoofer is connected. Subwoofers have a slightly different setup on the back, likely going from a port labeled with some variation of “sub” on the receiver end and “LFE” on the subwoofer end.

At this point, the receiver is ready to welcome inputs from your devices: your TV, disc player, gaming system, etc. This step will likely be as simple as plugging in both ends of an HDMI cable. For equipment that still uses an optical digital-audio out, follow the color coding to connect the cables, video to video, audio to audio. Component video and audio can’t travel through the same cables, which is why there will be cables for each. Same with composite, if you have them.

Consider developing your own labeling system for identifying at a glance which wires and cables go where, whether that means affixing your own color-coded stickers to the various cords or simply attaching tags that read “left rear speaker” or “Blu-ray.”

Surround Sound Test

Once everything is arranged and connected, run a surround sound test to ensure each speaker is getting the proper signal from the receiver and blaring it accordingly.

A surround sound test will involve more than popping in the latest superhero blockbuster—though you will want to use something of that caliber for your first showing. To start, follow the audio setup instructions on screen when you plug everything back in and turn it all on. These will walk you through any necessary steps to get your system running based on pre-set standards. Once a baseline is established, begin tweaking the system to deliver your customized surround sound experience.

Surround sound system tests are available on disc and for download, and will send sounds to each separate channel to ensure everything is working as it should. A test may also include sounds to check the interplay between two speakers, revealing whether they are in or out of phase with each other.

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How to Configure Surround Sound System for Optimal Sound

Modern technology has advanced to the point that some home system setups allow you to position a microphone where you plan to sit in the heart of your personal media temple, then fire up an automatic program, step out of the room, and let your surrogate ear and its attached gear do all of the work.

Not yet ready to welcome your robotic overlords—or at least their helpful, pristine-audio-delivering helpers? You can still assert your humanity by settling yourself in and fiddling with the surround sound system yourself. And by “settle in,” we truly mean it, since our guess is that you don’t watch your movies in a perpetual state of rigid-spined alert. Get comfy, like you’re going to watch a movie. You want your ears in the spot your ears will be the next time you hit play.

From that comfortable vantage point, do your best to accurately determine the distance from you to the front of each speaker. Your setup menu’s speaker settings should have a speaker distance/delay menu that allows you to enter these distances. The numbers will tell your sound system the precise point in the room where the different tracks need to arrive to form a harmonious whole.

The other main element of your configuration efforts involves setting each speaker’s level to ensure it’s at a volume Goldilocks would love: not too loud, not too quiet. This is different for everyone so you should determine your personal preference (generally aim for the 75- to 80-decibel sound pressure level range) and adjusts accordingly. Handheld devices with built-in microphone and decibel-reading sensors give you accurate readings as you navigate the system, moving from speaker to test-noise-emitting speaker.

Surround Sound for Gaming Consoles (Optional)

If you know games, you know that titles today are closer to cinematic experiences than the first-person shooters of years past. Graphics are stunning and the sound effects and scores tend to come in 5.1 or even 7.1 format. Plus, certain gaming systems, such as the PS4 and Xbox One, can also play movies.

The variety of input and output ports on various TV, receiver and game console combinations mean you may have to experiment to get the best surround sound between HDMI and optical cables. Keep in mind, though, that optical cable can only support 5.1 formats.

Great debates have been waged as to whether it is best, ports allowing, to connect an Xbox One or PS4 to the receiver, then the receiver to the TV, all with HDMI, or to route the game console audio to the receiver, but send the video directly to the TV, with the idea that a direct path for the visuals is best. The keep-the-audio-and-video-separate option is most often suggested by people who have no HDMI output connections on their receiver, meaning they use HDMI cable to transmit stunning graphics straight to the screen, while they pump 5.1-format sounds and music through optical cable to the central system that will farm it out to the speakers.

You may need to experiment with this on your own to get the most out of your own surround sound setup, but that should be no problem, given your gaming experience. Think of it as leveling up.

Just remember that no matter what you choose for games, movies or listening to music, any surround sound speaker setup—and heck, even a sound bar—is going to be better than the speakers built into your TV.

Do you have any questions on how to setup your system for surround sound? Post in the comments below!