Entertainment Center Setup For Hardcore Gaming

by Claude Walters

The world of video games has become an amazing experience that bathes the ears in a sea of sound and washes the eyes in intense graphics. With the right setup, you can see the action in front of you while hearing the subtle rustle of bushes as an enemy sneaks up behind you while seeing their shadow peek across the trunk of a tree. To get the most out of the experience, you'll need an entertainment center that can extract everything the game designers intended. Before getting the biggest, most expensive equipment you can find, consider a few specific entertainment needs to make your experience life-changing.

5 Dot What? 7 Point Who?

There's a lot of talk about 5.1 surround sound, 7.1 surround sound and other speaker configurations that can be confusing. For many people, a bigger number is the best thing to aim for when it comes to quality. Unfortunately, there's more to think about even after you've chosen your speaker system.

The numbers in those speaker systems represent the different places your sound can play, also known as 'channels'. These channels can be programmed by an audio processor (either automatically or by an audio professional) to play different instruments, directions or anything at all from specific directions.

For example, a 5.1 speaker system is 5 speakers with one subwoofer, the subwoofer being used for deeper, bass sounds. The same goes for 7.1 speaker systems, although it's worth noting that many audio works using less than 5 or 7 speakers are unable to take advantage of the full sound potential.

For many modern games that take advantage of surround sound, this means that the game is designed to record the sounds that happen in front, behind and all around your player or the camera. It doesn't just mean sound from the left comes from a left speaker; sound mixing and speaker placement can be so exact that you may hear a leaf crumble beneath your foot or a bird swoop over your shoulder and beneath your legs.

Speaker Placement Is An Art And A Science

Getting the surround sound speakers isn't even half the battle. You need to place the speakers around your gaming area in a way that evenly distributes the sound from all the proper directions. It's easy to get a basic coverage by setting a few speakers to the right, left, back and front of your seat, but to get the most out of the sound you need to take the entire room into consideration.

Everything in your gaming room is a potential dampener or reflector for sound. Sounds can become weaker as they're absorbed by upholstery on sofas or change in perceived direction when bounced off of walls. The effect isn't as distracting with modern speakers due to their power and control, but there is still some quality lost if you don't have the perfect setup.

You can work on an optimum speaker placement by testing the speaker quality in different positions, but that can get old and tiresome quickly. Instead, contact an audio professional with experience in setting up entertainment centers like one from Scott L Gerald Custom Cabinetry to help you make the most out of your 5, 7 or more speakers.