Home Audio Roundup


Home Theater Image Gallery Choosing home audio equipment can seem intimidating, but if you know what to look for, it won't be. See more pictures of home theaters.
©iStockphoto/3alexd

Even if you have a huge display with fantastic picture quality, your home theater can't deliver without the right audio equipment. But with so many audio formats, speakers, and accessories to choose from, picking the ones that will work best in your home can be an overwhelming task.

Don't worry -- HowStuffWorks has you covered with these great articles about how all of those home audio components work. Read on to learn about the technology behind the essentials.

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How CDs Work

CDs popularized digital recording in the late 1980s.
CDs popularized digital recording in the late 1980s.
©iStockphoto/Maria Bibikova

Before compact discs, you had to rewind and fast-forward to get to a particular bit of information. Not so with digital storage -- the incredibly popular CD makes pinpointing data a split-second task. Find out how CDs (and CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs) hold and let you retrieve information.

Read about How CDs Work.

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How Speakers Work

There are countless speaker systems out there. Read about all the options.
There are countless speaker systems out there. Read about all the options.
Christopher Gould/Getty Images

The best amplifier, receiver and CD player won't do you much good, if you don't have good speakers. Speakers are the final step in the stereo process -- the key component that turns electronic data into sound. Learn all about these key components.

Learn about How Speakers Work.

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How Amplifiers Work

Don't leave out the amplifier!
Don't leave out the amplifier!
© 2002 HowStuffWorks

An amplifier may seem like an audio add-on, but your stereo system would be pretty useless without it. Leave out the amp and you'd never be able to hear the music on your CDs (your neighbors might be happier, but would you?). Find out how amplifiers pump it up to 11.

Learn about How Amplifiers Work.

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How Surround Sound Works

Feel like you're in the middle of the action with a surround sound system.
Feel like you're in the middle of the action with a surround sound system.
Photo courtesy Sony

Surround sound has become an integral part of the movie theater experience, and it's becoming a staple in home theaters, too. There’s nothing like feeling a fighter jet fly by while you’re sitting on the couch. Find out how surround sound puts you in the middle of the action, and learn how you can set it up at home.

Learn about How Surround Sound Works.

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How THX Works

How does THX improve your home theater experience?
How does THX improve your home theater experience?

When you see the THX logo splashed across a movie screen, you know you're in for an audio feast. But what does that logo mean? Is special equipment being used? Do all movies have THX sound? Find out exactly what THX is and why it improves your movie experience.

Find out How THX Works.

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For more information about home theater components, check out these links: