Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Find the Right Speakers to Meet Your Needs

The key to getting the most out of your audio system is by having high quality speakers. Even with an AV receiver being of the highest-rated, the audio setup won't produce significant results without the right speakers. Speakers provide the crucial bond between the audio system's internal components and physical world where the sound is being derived. It is crucial that the right speakers for the job are obtained; making the difference between mundane and distorted sound to a truly crisp and stunning audio experience.

Audio Misconception

"Bigger is better"- In terms of speaker size, big speakers do not necessarily increase sound volume, clarity, or bass. Occasionally, size can make a difference. However, the majority of the time, it all depends on the quality of the speakers. As an example, a ten-inch woofer can actually create crisper and deeper bass than a twelve inch. To make things easier, the price you're willing to pay most often directly correlates with the quality of the audio obtained.

Concepts of Audio

Volume- The level of volume you're looking for is critical for choosing the type of speakers necessary. Some speakers sound as if they are struggling and become distorted when they are being played at higher volumes. Others can sound incredibly impressive at even the lowest of volume levels. Thus, depending on the amount of volume you require will directly correlate with the type of speaker to look for. It's not necessary to purchase the highest grade speakers with high volume capabilities if they are to be used in places such as an office where high volume would not be practical. Smaller speakers will most likely provide more than enough volume you're looking for. If you're looking to play both high and low volumes, a high quality speaker will be able to sound impressive no matter the volume.

Frequency, Response and Balance- The measure of how high or low a sound is pitched is referred to as its frequency. Frequency response is the level of how wide various sounds can be reproduced. Usually, high-quality bass that is very deep can be quite expensive. If you're looking for something for your office, midrange performance would be more plausible. If the speaker accentuates high frequencies too much, the sound produced will be mushy, harsh, and far from crisp. On the opposite end of the spectrum, speakers that de-emphasize frequency will sound bland and lifeless.

Wattage and Power Handling- Wattage is a measurement of electrical power when applied to speakers. Speakers possess two types of wattage: "RMS" and "Peak Power". RMS, or "continuous power", is how well a speaker can consistently perform without incurring damage. Peak Power is self explanatory being the maximum amount of power a speaker can withstand for a brief period of time. Peak power is not an accurate way of judging a speaker's performance however, because it is only very brief and doesn't represent the true value of the speaker. RMS wattage is actually the true reflection of how well a speaker performs and is what should be referred to.

For Your Money, What's Best?

The first thing to assess is what you already have and how familiar you are with audio equipment. You could start out with a Home Theater in a box which combines Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 surround-sound. This includes a speaker set with an AV receiver. The great thing about this is it's very easy to assemble; all the equipment comes together and allows you to become more familiar with what you are looking for. These home-theater sets vary highly in price range so they're sure to fit any budget.

If you're more familiar with surround-sound systems and crave a more intense experience, then odds are you need to look for something more elaborate and specific to your tastes. The great thing is that if you already have speakers in place, it's not necessary to replace everything. This will save you money and time. By just replacing the speakers closest to where you will be sitting, it will drastically improve quality. When including a center channel speaker, the transitions will be seamless, which is incredibly important for a well-rounded audio system. As you increase the quality of your speakers and better cater to you wants, sound quality will become more crisp, tighter, smoother, and better when varying from the precise highs and lows. Volume can be increased with little to no distortion, creating a truly incredible experience.

So What Should You Choose?

If you're looking for something in the office, an elaborate system with large speakers is probably not what you're looking for. Odds are, you will not be playing extremely loud music. Video conferencing and company videos will not require a state-of-the-art audio system. Instead, it may be more important to focus on the video and visual aspect of the system. Deep bass and large variations in highs and lows will probably not be necessary. One thing many companies do wrong is that they go state-of-the-art and spend absurd amounts of money for these systems, and then never use them even close to the potential they possess. With the office atmosphere, it may be better to go with speakers of larger quantity being of smaller size. This creates great clarity and allows parties located across the office to become fully submerged in what is being presented.

When it comes to something like a home-theater system, it would be beneficial to look at higher quality audio equipment. This is because when playing movies or video games, there is a wide variety of frequencies that need to be thoroughly obtained or else everything will sound distorted and can hinder the experience. For home-theater systems, it's recommended to do some research and talk with the experts before purchasing audio systems based solely off of judgement. The last thing you want to happen is spend all the time installing the systems and then for it not to meet your expectations. To obtain substantial bass for these situations, bigger may be the better option. Large woofers will save you from purchasing multiple woofers to achieve the same amount of bass. Basically, it's dependent on how large the room is and what you have the space and disposable income for.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What To Do With Outdated Audio Visual Technology Equipment

With the increasing volume and frequency of electronics and audio visual technology being introduced into the workplace and at home, a common problem is what to do with the outdated electronics. This technology includes analog televisions, outdated projectors, speakers, PC's, VCR's, and DVD players. It would be highly inefficient and environmentally impactful to just throw everything away into the trash can. Thankfully, there is a growing number of recycling programs to assist in disposing of this audio visual technology and electronics. From communities to manufacturers, there are various possibilities of recycling which take away any excuse for just giving it to the garbage.

One solution when possessing outdated audio visual technology and equipment is to just move the setup to a different room. There is always somewhere else the equipment can go; there is no reason to just remove it altogether. From bedrooms to the basement, there are many possibilities of relocation. If that is not an option, give the audio visual technology and equipment as hand-me-downs. A great opportunity when possessing outdated technology and equipment is to save it for soon to be college students. Many setups can be placed and used in their college dorm rooms or homes away from home. This is beneficial because it saves parents and students from purchasing new equipment and odds are that any outdated audio visual system will certainly be more extravagant than the norm. Other family members may greatly appreciate hand-me-downs as well; it's not just limited to immediate family members.

To rid yourself of old equipment and audio visual technology, giving to friends, donating, and selling are certainly options. Selling to friends, family, or via a yard sale can also prove to be highly effective. Garage sales are a great way to remove junk from the house. It is often said that "one's junk is another's treasure". As long as the outdated audio visual technology and equipment is discounted in price, friends and others may highly demand the merchandise that holds no significant value to you anymore. Donating to local schools, community organizations, and churches is a great way to please others as well as yourself by doing a socially satisfying deed. It is not practical to invest money in purchasing brand new equipment and electronics for these facilities, so they often completely rely on donations. By choosing to rid yourself of outdated audio visual technology and equipment through your own means or through a recycling program, either way, the environment and somebody else will surely be better off in the process.

Some Recycling Methods Include:

Consumers Electronics Association- Greener Gadgets.org
The Sony Recycling Program
The Best Buy Recycling Program
The U.S. Post Office Recycling Program
The Toshiba Recycling Program
The Office Depot and Staples Recycling Program