Today’s home theater systems are a seamless integration of high-definition television and high-resolution sound, all connected wirelessly and conveniently controlled from your smartphone or a universal remote.
High-resolution televisions have progressed from 1080p to 4000p, which is sometimes referred to as 4K ultra high-resolution TV. Likewise, audio has seized digital technology to create a superior sound experience known as high-resolution sound. A signal-processing method by Qualcomm, called aptX, transmits better-than-CD quality sound signals wirelessly to speakers or headphones.
Sound systems today have a small footprint, yet technology gives them potent sound output. Interest is waning in built-in wall or ceiling speakers, which are being replaced by sound bars or small bookshelf speakers. A sound bar strip is about three inches wide, two inches deep and 36 inches long. It is accompanied by a short subwoofer cabinet placed nearby to provide depth to the sound, all connected wirelessly. Embedded in the bar are tilted speakers, directionally projecting surround sound from one location. Many sound bars lie horizontally in front of the TV screen but some are vertical sound bar towers. Prices start at $300. Bookshelf speakers place your sound discreetly between books or accessories on nearby shelves, even behind plants. They are smaller than the height of a book.
Content providers in one place. Your smart television offers the ability to bring up a menu of providers such as Netflix, HULU, Flickr, sports networks, Spotify, Pandora and satellite radio. Just scroll, click and play. Even easier is the verbal command technology that obeys spoken commands.
Quality up, prices down. With the introduction of any new technology, prices start high, but decline sharply in just a few years. Audio technology is no exception. The “early adopter” consumers plunk down the high initial price for the new experience, while more price-conscious consumers wait for the cost to settle.