What is it that makes you buy a stereo system or a home theater system? Is it the cool touchscreen remote? Or maybe you can control the whole thing with your iPhone. Is it THX certification? You’re welcome. Is it the look or aesthetics of the speakers or maybe the fact that you don’t have to see the speakers at all? When you are making your buying decision for a stereo system or a home theater system what do you base it on?
At Soundings Fine Audio Video, we’ve seen our fair share of stereo or home theater systems that are packed full with technology, fancy touchscreen remotes, and more in-wall speakers than you can shake a stick at. But we have found that what really matters most in your stereo or home theater system is not how cool your remote control is, or how many speakers you have, or the fact that you can turn on your hot tub from the airport, it’s what happens when you press the “play” button. You see, when you press “play” and start a movie or piece of music, there are only 2 possible outcomes: either the movie or piece of music will grab you in a way that completely removes you from reality and draws you into the music or the unfolding scene in the movie – or not, and you can move on to paying the bills, feed the dog, returning text messages, etc…
At Soundings, we’ve spent most of the past 5 years replacing equipment in stereo or home theater systems that are only a few years old. Re-read that last sentence. Why? For the client at the time, the salesman wowed them with technology, the touchscreen remotes seemed cool, it was like picking out new kitchen appliances – start with a budget, pick out a size and color, make sure it has the features you want, etc.. They didn’t pay too much attention to the sound and picture quality, and most didn’t even get the chance to see or hear the system they were purchasing before they bought it. What they eventually found out was that, despite of all their in-wall speakers and really cool remote controls, their system failed to satisfy them – and because they picked it out much like they would any other appliance in the home, it became as emotionally involving as their toaster. As a result, music and movies became less important or not that interesting and talking to them about a quality hi-fi stereo or home theater system was like asking someone who spent the last few years eating at Taco Bell what they think about fine dining – they’re probably not really into it.
When most people come into Soundings for the first time, they’re generally not asking us for high quality, in fact most immediately ask if we sell Bose or what kind of in-wall speakers we have. You see, the quality we have – they didn’t even know existed! All they know is that they have spent a lot of money on their current stereo or home theater system and it wasn’t really getting used all that much, either because it wasn’t involving or because it was too complicated to deal with. They think: “Maybe, if I get a new home theater receiver or blu-ray or change or upgrade something, my stereo or home theater system will finally become involving and fun to use.” It will be better (or different) for a little while, and that eventually wears off. Everyone has a quality level at which a stereo or home theater system must perform at in order to become involving and if the quality of the system does not meet that level, it will never let you get involved with the piece of music or film.
When we give music or movie demonstrations to clients, we always hear: “I’ve seen that movie (or heard that song) before, it’s my favorite – but I had no idea it was that good!!” Maybe they had “seen” the movie or “heard” the song before, but they had never actually “experienced” it. After a demo they want to run home and check to make sure they have the same disc we just played for them because they can’t believe it.
We understand that a lot of your time might not actually be spent really actively “listening” to your stereo or home theater system or even “watching” the picture on the LED TV or home theater projector and screen you just bought. But there are times when it’s nice to kick back and get really involved in the movie, or close your eyes and really hear a song. For all those other times – quality never hurt anyone.
We’ve done this long enough to know that after all the technology is installed and working properly and it’s time to kick back with some tunes or watch TV, it will be the sound and picture quality and nothing else that will determine how much fun the next few minutes or hours are going to be. The praises and thank you letters that we consistently get from our clients assure me that we are right in this understanding. As I said before, most people do not come into Soundings for the first time asking for quality, but that’s what they get – and for that, they thank us.
If you have not experienced what Soundings can do for film and home theater or it’s been a while since you heard good music in hi-fi stereo, bring your favorite piece of music or movie with you and come to Soundings Fine Audio Video in Denver, CO to experience the quality audio and video I’m talking about.