How To Choose A Sound System (THE FULL CHECKLIST)

Sound systems come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right one can be a challenge if you’ve never shopped for such items. Which is why it’s always helpful to consult.

There are varying sound systems designed to fulfill several various needs and your goal will be to get a sound system that you need and not whats hot on the market right now.

This is why I created this post to help and guide you along your journey of purchasing the right sound system…. but always remember that the final purchase decision will be yours.

The tips I offer here will just guide your process of selecting the sound system…. the final call to buy your sound system should and will be yours.

With that said, How do I choose a sound system?

Identify the need

Before you even head out to a physical or digital store to purchase a sound system. Sit down and figure out what you need and why you need it.

Often times people make the mistake of jumping on the first sound system they see without carrying out enough research to warrant the purchase.

You can avoid being those people and end up buying something you don’t need by figuring out what you want in terms of a sound system.

One question you have to ask yourself is what you intend to use the sound system for. Once you figure this out, you’ll have a general idea of what you should be looking for.

The next question after figuring out what you need, is to figure out why you need such a sound system.

The answer to this will provide some context as to what you should generally go for and what you should avoid.

Asking yourself what you want to use the sound system for should be one of first questions you answer when considering the purchase of a sound system. Because the answer to this will set the tone for your other various considerations.

…which brings me to my next point…

Figure out your budget

Figuring out why you need speakers and what speakers you need is simply the first step. The next step is putting your money where your mouth is.

You should already have an established budget before you even head out to buy a sound system. Having a budget in mind is important because it will allow you to get an idea of your spending limits.

While we are on the topic of spending limits, its good to remember that expensive doesn’t equal quality with sound systems. What you need is utility.

If you can get a good sound system that can fulfil your needs for only  a 100 bucks, then go ahead and buy it.

Don’t rush and go for high priced offers without doing thorough research about the quality of what you’re buying.

Room Acoustics

The intended space you plan to use the speakers/sound system in is also another factor that has to be up for consideration.

Depending on the space you intend to use your sound system in, you’ll need different  speaker’s.

For example, if you intend to design a recording studio, you may need to go for studio monitors as the ultimate sound system because they are meant for this kind of application.

Furthermore, they’ll perform best in such a setup taking into account the necessary acoustic treatment done to the room.

On the other hand, if you intend to use the sound system for a live set then you’ll need bigger speakers that can accommodate a live set and a sizable crowd.

Frequency response

Another factor important to consider when looking to purchase a sound system is the overall frequency response of the said system.

You need a sound system that covers a wide array of frequencies because that’s the only way you’ll be able to get the most out of the audio that you play through them.

You also need to buy a sound system that doesn’t alter the sounds that you run through it because that can ruin the experience for the listener.

For example, studio monitors are the best when it comes to getting a flat unaltered frequency response that allows for almost a near perfect audio representation.

Number of Speakers

Another factor you have to consider when choosing a sound system is the number of speakers that the said sound system comes with.

The number of speakers you need will heavily rely on why you need the speakers in the first place.

If you intend to create a surround sound system within your space then you’ll need a sound system that has multiple speakers that you can place around the room to be able to create a good surround effect.

On the other hand, if you need a sound system to simply create a stereo sound environment then you do not need more than 2 speaker’s to get the Job done.

With that said, you should always know what you’re looking for and buy that.

Big or small

Sound systems come in different sizes. Therefore, establishing what you initially need the speakers for is imperative.

Larger sound systems tend to be much louder and can produce a significant amount of low end this makes them suitable for concerts and considerably big events.

Smaller speakers can produce more subtle sound but are considerably loud enough to be used in indoors for use in audio production and the like.

You can always ask the store to give you some guidance as to which speakers would be best for your intended use.

Connection types

Inputs and outputs available on the sound system you intend to purchase is another factor you have to consider.

If you’re to pair up and connect your speakers to other equipment then you’ll need to pay close attention to the inputs and outputs available on the speakers you’re looking to buy.

If the inputs and outputs match with your existing equipment and all other factors are right for the tasks you need the speakers for, you can purchase them.

Other factors that you should consider with regard to connection types should be centred around the quality of audio related to the cable types that can be used with the sound system.

Final Thoughts

You choose the right sound system by answering these questions:

What do I need the sound system for?

What is budget for the sound system?

What kind of space acoustics should I consider?

How many speakers do I need on the sound system?

Do I need big or small speakers?

What kind of frequency response do I need the sound system to have?

What kind of input and output connections do I need on my sound system?