In a broad sense, home audio systems are not exactly new. Hi-Fi stereo systems and even appliances such as old-style gramophones fall within the home audio category. In other words, ways to have musical entertainment for the home were available even before electricity was widely available.
Home audio systems however saw a big renaissance in the not-so-distant past with the advent and increased popularity and affordability of big-screen TVs. Obviously, it makes sense that a 50″ or 60″ flatscreen TV that can provide a movie-like experience in people’s private homes should also be accompanied by a suitable and adequate home audio system. In the same way as prices for big-screen TVs dropped, a decent audio system for the home doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely expensive.
A common form of audio systems that can add to a true movie experience would be setups that consist of a sub-woofer plus a number of satellite speakers. Most modern home audio systems will have four satellite speakers which can provide a surround sound atmosphere. Two speakers will usually be in front on the left and the right side of the TV screen while two additional speakers provide the sound from the back of the room. The sub-woofer can be placed in a corner of the room.
In addition to the common 4.1 or 5.1 surround sound systems there are more types available such as home audio systems that are THX certified. Some systems can consist of up to 7 loud speakers plus a sub woofer. Before you buy such a system you should consider your own requirements and in particular the layout of the room you intend to use the system in. This can often be an important factor.