The price range of home theater varies from the cheapest all-in-one options for a few hundred dollars to extravagant systems that can put the Gross National Product of some nations to shame.

The all-in-one option won't produce full-range sound at volumes necessary for home theater. Money spent on the all-in-one home theater system is probably better spent on an individual component.

On the other end of the spectrum are very extravagant systems. A $100,000 system should sound very good, but after the first $10,000 spent on a high-end home theater sound system, there are drastically diminishing returns. Most people buying very expensive systems aren't just buying home theater; they're buying into a lifestyle. You should decide an approximate budget that's right for you then look around at realistic options within that budget.

A more important question than how much to spend is where to place your budget. When considering home theater audio, distribution of cost is a good indicator of how well components complement each other. High-end speakers are wasted on underpowered amplifiers. Conversely, a good amplifier's potential will never be known if it's hooked up to cheap speakers. At best, lopsided matching means missing out on the full potential of better equipment. At worst it could damage components

As a general rule, the closer to your ear the audio circuit works, the more important it is to sound quality. This makes speakers the most important component followed by the receiver, then any playback devices.

Most home theater enthusiasts spend 50% of their audio budget on speakers alone. Next is the receiver, which warrants up to 30% of the audio budget. Most home theater enthusiasts spend no more than 10-20% of their budget on any single playback device such as DVD player. Anything left is for cabling and wires to connect the components together.

These are not hard rules, just an approximate measure of where most home theater budgets are distributed.
Home Theater Basics

How much am I expected to spend on a Home Theater audio system?

  
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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