Nothing makes a new place feel more like home than equipping your pad with a top-notch entertainment setup. From hosting a housewarming party to playing some romantic music on surround sound after a date or chilling out after dinner binge-watching your favorite shows, home entertainment can serve as a cornerstone of your lifestyle.
Whether you’re a single in a Minneapolis apartment hoping to mingle or a family that spends their time in a luxurious, 5-bedroom Manhattan apartment, you can create the ideal scene for top-notch entertainment with these essentials.
Choose the Right TV
Oh, televisions. They’ve come a long way in a few short years, from the huge, boxy, living room-overtaking contraptions of a decade ago to the slim, sleek, smart TVs that can do everything but the dishes. That said, choosing a television is no simple task. There are several factors to consider, such as the size of your space. For a living room, experts suggest a screen size between 55 and 65 inches, but you’ll also want to consider seating, as it’s a good idea to sit at a distance of three times the screen height, or 1.5 times the screen height if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV.
Also, if you’re making an investment, you should splurge for a TV with 4K resolution, considered the most future-proof option as of now, and OLED TVs are said to look better compared to standard LED TVs, but they also cost a bit more.
Get a Soundbar
If you’re a sucker for good audio quality, a soundbar is an investment you’ll definitely want to make. It’s not necessarily much of one, though, as you can get a decent soundbar for a few hundred dollars, often less. That said, you can still splurge and spend $700 or more on a top-quality model.
A soundbar will improve the sound quality dramatically, as today’s televisions are slimmer, and this design sacrifices speaker quality by necessity. There are options here, too, such as soundbars with a dialogue enhancement setting (something you definitely want), models with matching wireless subwoofers (if you like to feel your bass), and built-in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to stream your favorite music. Oh, and if commercials that seem to put the sound on blast make you crazy, look for a soundbar with volume leveling technology.
Spring for a Complete Home Theater System
Rather than purchase a standalone soundbar, another option is to purchase a complete home theater system. These systems combine an A/V receiver module with speakers, often consisting of a full surround-sound configuration. They also typically come with a soundbar, with the benefit of knowing that all your speakers will function in perfect compatibility.
You can purchase a home theater system today with Bluetooth for streaming music wirelessly for about the same price as a standard system without wireless compatibility, so there’s really no need to pass on this feature. There is a big price disparity among home theater systems, however, although a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to higher quality. They range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, so this is an investment worth some pre-purchase research.
Consider a Gaming System
For gaming enthusiasts, this is a no-brainer. Today’s video games aren’t your typical Super Mario Bros. adventure; you can get a variety of games and experiences that provide a great way to entertain a crowd, such as karaoke games like We Sing 2 or the ever-popular Guitar Hero.
Families can take advantage of a gaming system for family game night (Scrabble, anyone?) or even as a way to encourage physical activity thanks to games like Just Dance and Zumba Fitness. Whether you’re trying to entertain a few close friends or a larger group, a gaming system can come in handier than you may think. Plus, that large TV and surround sound system will create an even more immersive experience.
Apartment living doesn’t have to mean giving up the ability to entertain, set up a romantic date night scene, or spend quality time together as a family. The right home entertainment setup can make all the difference.
Written By: Matt Lawler
Matt Lawler is a lifestyle blogger, Internet marketing specialist and a graduate of Arizona State University. When he isn’t writing, Matt likes to enjoy the outdoors. He can often be found hiking, cycling or finding new ways to explore his home state of Arizona.