I have had a 5.1 home cinema system in a box before but found that (a) the sub-woofer was too ‘boomy’ even when turned down; and (b) the sub was too over bearing if I wanted to listen to music. I wonder if there is a system or set-up that doesn’t use, or need a sub and allows the user to switch to 2 front speakers for listening to music?
I personally like the Denon brand although many will have the options needed to help you out. A good brand of speaker would be DCM. Here are some things to look for that should help you out if they are available on your system.
First, there should be a crossover setting that determines what frequency range is sent to the subwoofer. Many companies will set this high to force extra bass. It is how many people decide on which system to purchase and makes up for lower quality speakers that have a very limited range.
Second, you are looking for a setting that gives you a plus or minus on the db to each speaker. This allows you to personally contour your speakers to your room. If one speaker has to sit further away then you boost it or if another happens to be right over your shoulder you might reduce the output.
Unfortunately, this is a common problem with Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems. Not all but many, including big name brands, are putting poor responding speakers with less intelligent receivers. There is a market for them, I owned some at one time. If you find yourself spending more money on a HTIB system then you should consider entry level separate components for a similar price.
As an example, I can give my customers an excellent alternative for $900 that will sound better and last longer than HTIB systems.
Louis P says
You can use a receiver that has the option to control two zones or two-rooms. Then, don’t hook up a woofer to the second zone and just hook up two speakers to it. The other zone can be yur full 5,1 system. When you wanna listen to music switch to "zone 2" and when you wanna watch a dvd or tv switch to "zone 1" and there you go! Most Denon (the best IMO) receivers have the options for two zones. If you are looking for a home theater in a box for that kind of feature, I am really not sure. But, get a muli-room receiver and you can do what I suggested above. But, without a sub, loud music will not sound good as the sub will take the bass out of the speakers and you can damage your speakers if you blast it. I don’t reccomend not using a sub. It sound like you have a lousey home theater in a box if the sub is "over bearing" even when turned down.
Does that help?