Now that you’re on your own, you have the opportunity to furnish your home according to your unique taste — you don’t have to justify your choices to anyone. If your ex took the TV or scooped the stereo, you’ll be looking for some new equipment — maybe even “the works”: TV, DVD, CD, radio, etc. But there’s so much out there in the market, how do you choose? We asked the experts at Brack Home Entertainment and Kromer Radio for some answers.
“It all depends on what you want in a home entertainment system,” says Shane Myers, Brack’s Design Division Sales Manager (www.brack.tv). “At Brack, we always survey the customer to make sure we can set him or her up with a product that will satisfy all needs and desires, both present and future. We understand that every client’s different, and we want to be useful and direct each customer to a product that perfectly suits him or her.”
When you buy a product like this, it’s important for you — or for the salesperson — to assess exactly what you want. Myers suggests asking yourself the following questions:
- What did you have before?
- What did you like/not like about it?
- Do you want something that’s very big and visible, or generally out of sight?
- Do you want music in one room or all around the house?
- How often would you use it?
- How loud would you play it?
- Does it have to be easy to operate, or do you like to have gadgets to tinker with?
- Do you entertain a lot of guests?
- Would you like to have music outside?
“Often in a marriage, a husband and wife may have differing interests as to what kind of system they want, and one will sacrifice his or her tastes to please the other,” says Myers. “For example, the husband may want something big and showy and eye-catching, whereas the wife may prefer a system that doesn’t take up much space and blends in with the room. Maybe she would have sacrificed size in favor of simplicity and aesthetic appeal, but he was more interested in a system that stood out in the room. Now that you’re single again, however, you’re free to get whatever appeals to your sensibility.”
So when you’re choosing your new Home Entertainment System, make sure that it’s compatible with your home decor and lifestyle. Whether you want something simple or are interested in the latest and greatest, choose a store with a wide selection and knowledgeable salespeople.
The three basic things to consider
According to Frank Abate from Kromer Radio , there are three key elements you need to consider before choosing a system:
- What you want the system to do for you
- Size of equipment
- Your budget
“The best way to get started is to put together a ‘wish list’ detailing what you want the product to do for you,” he says. “From there, you can assemble the key components. For example, is it going to be primarily used as a Home Theatre System, or in conjunction with the audio components as well? Usually, with a Home Theatre, people want an overwhelming sense of sound, whereas with music they want to be able to hear different instruments or sounds in different places. With a Home Theatre, the sound should be able not only to let you pinpoint actions, but also envelop you totally and make you feel as if you’re part of the action, not just hearing it.”
The next step is to decide on the size of the equipment you want or need, Abate advises. “How big do you want the speakers? How many inches of television screen? How much room do you want it to take up? There are a lot of other things to be addressed; the room itself needs to be configured, including its shape and size as well as your seating positions. Some factors are similar for all rooms, and some aren’t,” he points out.
Finally, fit the above items into the budget you’re setting for yourself. If the items you’ve chosen exceed your budget, ask yourself if you’re willing to sacrifice quantity for quality, or vice-versa. “If you’re not able to exceed your budget, perhaps you can settle for lower-end speakers, or a smaller TV screen — or else forego a feature or two,” says Abate.
Follow this plan and you should be able to get a satisfying system.