Ballpark Estimate: $1,000 to $4,000
Imagine the luxury of watching your favorite movies right from the comfort of your own living room with your new state-of-the-art home theater system! If this sounds appealing, you have many price options. You might purchase a simple home theater system that you can customize for your listening pleasure or splurge on a first-class version that you load with all of the bells and whistles. Most people settle for a home theater system that falls somewhere in the middle. Regardless of what you select and how much you spend, the enjoyment you get from this purchase can make it a “sound” investment.
When money is limited, you might want to go with a simple home theater system that includes all of the basic features you’ll need. For many people, this will give them decent sound without the hassle of trying to piece together separate electronics. If you are seeking a higher quality home theater system, then you’ll want to spend more to buy better components and put them together for best effect.
How Much to Spend?
To help you determine exactly what level of home theater system will best suit your needs, there are some important factors to consider. For instance, how much money are you willing to spend on a home theater system? Do you have any components already that you can use? What else are you missing in order to create a home theater system that will meet your desires and your needs?
You may have a good television and DVD player already and want to upgrade to create a state-of-the-art home theater system. Or maybe you want to start from scratch to build a good home theater system. Some people go all out on this endeavor, while others opt for somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind that most mid-range home theater systems will offer the benefits you seek and it often isn’t necessary to spend more for premium parts since the difference in quality won’t be enough to justify the extra money.
Here are some of the basic components that are necessary in order to have a good home theater system:
- Television (or some type of video display)
- DVD, VCR or Blu-ray disc player
- Surround sound receiver
- Satellite loudspeakers and subwoofer (5 to 7 speakers is ideal)
- Surge protector or power management device
- Cables and other wires to connect it all together
If you buy an all-in-one home theater system, you can expect it to come with most of the parts you need, except for the television itself. Some home theater systems have a DVD player, while others don’t, which allows you to use your existing one or select one of your choice. In addition, some home theater systems have the DVD or Blu-ray player built right in, while others have it rigged as a separate piece. The way it’s attached may dictate what features and capability it actually has. Typically an all-in-one home theater system comes with five speakers, with two in the front, one center, two rear and a subwoofer. You can upgrade to one with two more additional speakers for enhanced sound.
Where to Shop
With changes in technology, the options in home theater systems are constantly evolving, as are home theater costs, so before you buy you’ll want to explore the latest offerings to ensure your choice will remain current for a while. To get a handle on what’s available, you might want to visit some of the local chain stores that sell electronics such as Best Buy, Sears, Target, or Walmart. Or if you prefer, you can shop at a local electronics store, which will often offer installation.
For a high-end home theater system, you might look to a specialty vendor who offers upscale home theater systems that you can have tailored for your specific setting and situation. They can create an amazing theater experience right in your house.
You can also purchase a home theater system online. Amazon and Nextag can be good websites to try to help you weed through your options and prices. A few other good online resources include Remote Central and Revolution Home Theater. Just keep in mind that buying online poses some challenges for a novice if you don’t know what you need. Therefore, it can be a good idea to do some research in person first before you buy a home theater system online.
Before you shop for a home theater system, it can be a good idea to set your approximate budget for this purchase. This can help you to narrow in on the best configuration for your money. For an all-in-one home theater system, you can shop by price point. But if you’re buying individual components, you’ll probably want to think about how to divvy up your budget in order to get the most bang for your buck. Keep in mind that you will want to invest in components that will work well together. Otherwise, if you splurge on one area, such as a great amplifier, but skimp on the speakers, you won’t be able to take advantage of the amplifier’s true potential.
Cost for a Home Theater System
If you decide to buy an all-in-one home theater system, this will be the most cost-effective option and will also be the easiest to set up, since it should come with all of the pieces you need and the wires will usually be color coded to guide you through the process. (You can also look for wireless speakers for easier placement.)
If you have your own television set and DVD or Blue-ray player and just need the most basic speaker system, you can expect the home theater system price to start at about $150. If you purchase a home theater system in the box that comes with the DVD player, this will cost at least $200. A home theater system with a Blu-ray player can cost a bit more, starting at $400. The price for an all-in-one home theater system can be as high as $2,000, which can end up being a worthwhile investment for people who want better sound quality.
If you prefer to build your own home theater system by purchasing the individual components, expect to spend a minimum price of $1,000 to $2,000, including a decent TV set that’s up to 32 inches. Opting for a larger screen TV can bring the home theater system price up a fair amount. Expect a home theater system cost to be between $1,500 to $4,000 with a better television model and higher-end speakers. To put together a first-class home theater system that includes a plasma TV, Blu-ray player and cabinets to house the components, this will probably cost between $5,000 and $10,000.
The range for a basic home theater system can cost from $150 to $10,000, depending on your specific desires and specs.
If you have more money to spend on your home theater system, you can also splurge on a custom home theater system that’s built right into your room. The experts say that you could pay a price between $20,000 to $30,000 on the project, and this doesn’t include the cost of the built-in movie seats and other furniture. In fact, if money is no object, this can easily cost as much as $100,000 on this project once you add in all of the custom extras.
For people who like the idea of a home theater system but don’t want to spend much money or time on it, sound bars can be an appealing alternative. These are thin bars that contain speakers that you can secure to your wall or place on a shelf near your television unit. These allow you to connect to your television without needing a receiver, so you don’t have as much equipment to house. Usually a wireless subwoofer in the room can enhance the sound. This type of sound bar option cost you between $200 to $1,000, depending on the quality you select.