“Controversial opinion: audio is more important than visuals in creating a truly sublime home theater experience, ” says Randy Blanchard, director of audio products at Vanco. “In part, that’s because stunning visuals – with dynamic HDR, high contrast, and 4K resolution – are now the default expectation of our clients, making audio the more effective differentiator. More than that, though, audio has the power to fully immerse the audience in the world of the film.”
Blanchard’s observation is often lost on many integrators who tend to focus on video before audio in their home theater projects.
“Object-based audio and immersive surround sound can create truly transporting effects. The audience can feel an explosion in the pit of their stomachs – or hear footfalls approaching stealthily from behind. Far more than the fad for 3D video of the mid-aughts, 3D audio enables suspension of disbelief, without cumbersome glasses or constrained viewer positions,” says Blanchard.
“One of the principal challenges of bringing theatrical sound into a home is confining the sound to the room, both so that the audience gets the experiential benefit of all that sound energy, and so that adjacent spaces aren’t disrupted. It doesn’t matter how powerful your sound system is if you have to keep it turned down to 20% to avoid waking your spouse. Beale Street’s Sonic Vortex speakers are designed to do exactly that – directing all sound energy into the room, with no bleed through.
“Great home theater experiences don’t just come from a box – though using reliable pro-quality components like Beale Street speakers is an excellent start. A truly immersive experience comes from thoughtful implementation that surrounds every member of the audience with powerful, intelligible sound,” he concludes.
The home entertainment category is especially susceptible to the supply chain crisis because there are so many individual components required. Despite that ongoing problem, the once-forgotten “home theater” category continued its strong comeback in 2021 likely driven by the ongoing house-bound public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download your copy today!