So I am in the process of looking for a 7.1 home theater system for my girlfriend for Christmas (She loves her movies and music and has been wanting one for years). And I am have having a lot of trouble with it since I know next to nothing about them and audio in general.
So I got a few questions.
1) What are good brands for speakers? I have some Klipsch speakers for my computer setup that I love and sound good but is there any better brands I should be aware of or even is Klipsch a good brand?
2) Now would it be possible to rig it so that the home theater system can be used for the TV and also used with my computer setup (I would need a external sound card probably)? If it is possible Preferably something easy to change between to two not completely disconnecting everything and reconnecting to the other system.
3) Now as I said before I have a set of Klipsch speakers for my computer. I believe it is this set or just like it http://www.bestbuy.com/site/klipsch-promedia-2-1-speaker-system-3-piece-black/9382232.p?id=1218095770265&skuId=9382232 . Anyways would it be possible just to buy a cheaper 5.1 system and combine the two sets together to form a 7.1 system? Sorry if I am getting this wrong I still don't really understand what makes a 7.1 system or 5.1 system (I am assuming it means the number of speakers).
If that is possible what would I need? Would they need to be the same brand? Stuff like that.
Anyways thanks for your help in advance I have no idea what I am doing here.
@1: Personally, I'd suggest Amstrad.
@2: It's possible, assuming you have some basical things like switches. (You would need 16 switches for extended, or 8 switches for a simplified version)
@3: You need a 7.1 amplifier. Speakers aren't everything. That's just a simple 2.1 amp+speaker system, so, no, it won't work so easily.
Speakers don't need to be the same brand.
Speakers are VERY simple. They're just a loop of wire around a magnet. The wire is then connected to the membrane.
The amplifier creates high voltages that travel through the wire, creating a magnetic camp. It reacts with the other magnet, moving the membrane, creating the sound.
The biggest thing you need is a 7.1 amplifier.
I've been able to get a 5.1 for €40 (Amstrad, used), a 210W one, who had an integrated subwoofer.
About speakers: You need 7 regular plus a subwoofer (unless your amp has one inside).
I have two bigger Amstrad ones, plus 2 side ones (taken from an ancient FM Radio) plus another I don't remember where did I take it from.
But what matters is if they can keep up with the Watt requirements.
I have a 210W amp, who sends 60W to the subwoofer (As per google search).
Basically, (210-60)/5 = 30W.
Every speaker has to keep up to at least 30W (If you use it to the maximum).
About the wiring, if you want to connect it to a pc, you have two ways:
1. The expensive one: Buy a dedicated Sound Card, which supports 7.1 output
2. The cheap one: Some integrated Sound Cards support outputting from the microphone/line in jacks. This only allows for up to 5.1 to my knowledge. You can still use front jacks for microphone.
3. The alternate one: Some amps may give you some hardware to allow you to wire your PC to the amp, like a USB sound card. Never happened to me to find one tho, but that's possible.
Then, after wiring everything up, place them in their assigned positions, as follows: 1 ] Front Left
2 ] Front Right
3 ] Mid Left
4 ] Mid Right
5 ] Rear Left
6 ] Rear Right
7 ] Central