You can have a great home theater in your apartment, regardless of square footage. Excellent sound that doesn’t wake the neighbors. A large, flat screen without ripping holes in your walls. Décor and soundproofing without painting. Follow these tips for an apartment-friendly entertainment center.
When it comes to audio, bigger is only better if you have a big space. It takes power and energy to fill a large room up with sound. In an apartment, little speakers can easily fill a small room with high quality, immersive sound.
Place your speakers and especially your subwoofer close to your seating. That way you can turn down the volume to a level that doesn’t bother your neighbors, but still hear all the explosions and whispers in your TV shows.
Beware the Subwoofer
Take extra care when placing a subwoofer. Subs produce low-frequency sound that can travel quite a ways before becoming inaudible. If the sub is near you, you’ll hear deep bass sounds perfectly well at low volumes. Do not place a sub by a shared wall. If you have neighbors below you, you may want to put your sub on a platform. This will help send resonance forward into your room instead of down through the floor.
Simple Sound bars
A relative newcomer to the home audio scene, sound bars have advanced technology and are swiftly gaining popularity. They contain many speakers inside one piece of equipment, and use audio tricks to project sound around the listener. Sound bars are a simple solution for anyone trying to improve their home theater sound in a limited amount of space.
I could rave on about the advantages of projectors, but I’ll just give you the two big ones.
- Portability—apartment dwellers tend to move dwellings frequently. Instead of lugging around a heavy TV, just pack your little projector in its case and throw it over your shoulder.
- Adjustability—with an adjustable projector you don’t have to worry that your current screen won’t fit well in your next apartment.
If you prefer televisions to projectors be sure to use a model that rests on a cabinet. Wall-mounting is bad for your security deposit. Try not to place the cabinet against a shared wall. If you must, scoot it a little bit away from the wall and place speakers below the TV, as far from the wall as possible.
Apartments rarely have enough space for a dedicated home theater room. Your multipurpose living room/theater/playroom/office poses a furniture challenge. Keep a stack of floor pillows in your closet or even on a bed. Simply toss them in front of your sofa to create temporary home theater seating for all your guests.
In home theaters décor plays multiple roles. It creates ambience, but it also blocks light and sound reflections. In an apartment, hang dark drapes to absorb sound and light. That way you don’t have to paint or install soundproof panels. Put down dark rugs over your floors or carpets for the same reason.