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This is the place to find out about the latest television and stereo sales, why 4K TVs are great and which surround sound receiver is best for you. Check us out frequently for information about monthly audio/video sales and tidbits about the electronics industry.
Bose vs Definitive Technology - What provides the best sound for the dollar?
Disclaimer: The information below is our professional opinion only.
I’m almost willing to bet that if you walk up to 100 random people and ask them if they have ever heard of the company Bose, at least 95 of them would say yes. Bose invented the “small speaker” category, they have a great product and they are extremely good at advertising and providing customer support. We used to be the certified installers for Bose for all of Southern California so we are very familiar with their product line-up. However, times have changed and there are small speaker offerings that we feel are a better option for the buck. One brand is an award-winning speaker company called Definitive Technology. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Bose Acoustimass 6 System:
- (1) 2.5” Twiddler full-range speaker per speaker
- (1) 5.25” powered woofer (subwoofer) 8”Wx13”Hx22”D
Bose Acoustimass 10 System:
- (2) 2.5’ Twiddler full-range speakers per speaker
- (2) 5.25” powered woofers in the subwoofer enclosure 8”Wx16”Hx25”D
Now let’s look at a few items from Definitive Technology (also called Def Tech) in comparison:
- (1) 4.5” driver, (1) 1” aluminum tweeter, (1) 4.5” passive radiator
- (1) 5.25” driver, (1) 1” aluminum tweeter, (1) 5.25” passive radiator
SuperCube 2000 Subwoofer:
- (1) 7.5” powered woofer, (2) 7.5”ultra-low bass radiators approx. 10” cube dimension
SuperCube 8000 Subwoofer:
- (1) 11” powered woofer, (2) 12” ultra-low bass radiators approx. 16” cube dimension
The Def Tech speakers are going to sound far more full and detailed than the Bose speakers for a few reasons. The ProMonitors have markedly more driver surface area which directly helps achieve more full mid/low range frequencies and they have the separate metal tweeters which give the speaker great clear detailed high frequencies. With the passive radiators (which supply more bass) added, these speakers throw out nice full-range sound that fills the room nicely. Once you have decided which ProMonitor you like, you then get to pair them with one of Def Techs excellent subwoofers (which are MUCH smaller in size then the Bose units). All the subwoofers in the Definitive Technology SuperCube line deliver clean, precise, LOW frequencies that you can’t get with a 5.25” driver like the Bose subwoofers possess. Another great thing about Def Tech is that you can piece these systems together as you see fit. For example, you can use the larger ProMonitor 1000 speakers with the smaller SuperCube 2000 Subwoofer. However, if you like the smaller ProMonitor 800 speakers but want teeth-rattling bass you can add the larger SuperCube 8000 subwoofer (or either 4000/6000). This allows you to make your own stereo “kit” to match your budget and desired quality level. When it comes to Def Tech vs Bose, we have to say that we feel that Definitive Technology scores a knockout!
Love Bose and need new speakers? Give us a call and let us show you how you can get more tunes for your bucks with Definitive Technology and some calibration from the best local speaker store, Aire Theater Designs.
Martin Logan Motion 60XT tower speakers and Motion 50XT center channel
It has been scientifically proven that when Martin Logan takes 15% off the price of their Motion series speaker line, your life gets 15% better. For this reason, Martin Logan and Aire Theater Designs want to enhance your quality of life by 15%. Until September 1st, save 15% on:
MOTION 2I bookshelf speaker pair
MOTION 4I bookshelf speaker pair
MOTION 6I bookshelf speaker pair
MOTION 8I bookshelf speaker pair
MOTION 15 bookshelf speaker pair
MOTION 40 tower speaker pair
MOTION 30 center channel speaker
MOTION 50XT speaker pair
MOTION 60XT speaker pair
MOTION FX speaker pair
This line REALLY sounds incredible. You know that speakers sound great when the guy that owns the speaker store (me) has the same line in his home. Want to hear music and movies in a new and better way? Step up to Martin Logan for your 2 channel audio and surround sound AND save some bucks!
San Diego Martin Logan specialists are here! Aire Theater Designs proudly serves and displays Martin Logan to all of San Diego County, CA including Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, La Mesa, El Cajon, Blossom Valley, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Alta Del Mar, Del Mar, Olivenhain, Rancho Santa Fe, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, La Jolla, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Blossom Valley, Alpine, La Mesa and El Cajon...we're here too.
Surround sound system and installation with Martin Logan and iOS univeral remote
How Much Does Surround Sound Cost?
Does surround sound cost $100.00, $1,000.00, $50,000.00? It depends. Think of today’s surround sound systems like a car. If you went to a dealership that sold every car on the planet and said “I want a car”, you might get a $500.00 used jalopy or a $1.4 million Aston Martin. You would need to ask some questions or present a budget/needs to actually get something you want. Surround sound has just as many variances. The reason is that there are many levels of quality of devices, types of speakers, different system configurations, levels of system control, etc. The build of your home can also determine how much surround sound installation costs as some homes are much more difficult to get wires from A to B.
Here are some things to consider:
Speakers: Your sound quality starts and ends with the quality of your speakers. If you want accurate, detailed true-to-life sound...buy better speakers. See link below for more details.
Ease of Use: When you have a surround sound system, you have MANY remotes. If you have a quality universal remote, just one button push on ONE remote will put everything on the correct input and setting. It will also ensure that nothing can get out-of-whack so you can enjoy your system without frustration. You will never exclaim “How do I turn on the TV” with one of our systems.
Management: Are you a techy person? If so, you may be familiar with power-cycling components, enabling bridge mode on routers, optimizing WiFi download speeds, etc. If you’re like 98% of our clients and you aren’t, plan on adding pieces that provide better WiFi and that make power-cycling easy (this is when you unplug your misbehaving cable box, AppleTV, Roku, etc.).
Components: Would you like to listen to streaming music through Pandora or Spotify? How about playing vinyl on one of our turntables? Want to get the best movie quality with one of our Blu-Ray players? Adding components will provide more entertainment solutions and fun but will have an associated cost.
You: Be frank and honest about your budget and what you’d like to accomplish. We are here as your audio/video advocate and our desire is to get you exactly what you want. However, if you don’t let us know what you are comfortable spending or what you may like, you may end up with the equivalent of the jalopy or the Aston Martin presented above. With a car or a house, people bring up budget right away. We recommend looking at surround sound systems in the same light.
“Surround sound” typically costs $5K-15K (once you add a TV). Here are 3 different systems in a Good/Better/Best scenario. These will give you a good idea of general costs of surround sound installation and systems for your home. Please keep in mind that each of these scenarios can be tweaked to fit your specific needs or desires.
Yamaha 5.1 A/V Receiver: ($280)
5 good in-ceiling speakers: ($875)
Good Subwoofer: ($400)
Basic Universal Remote w/ programming: ($500)
TOTAL = $3,055
Yamaha 9.2 A/V Receiver: ($1100)
2 Front Floor-standing speakers: ($1,600)
1 Center Channel speaker: ($700)
4 better in-ceiling speakers: ($1500)
Better Subwoofer: ($700)
Better Universal Remote w/ programming: ($1000)
TOTAL = $7,850
These systems can cost 6 figures. Please refer to one of the insanely high-end systems we created in one of our previous blogs. VERY cool stuff!
Krell Illusion Pre-Amp: ($14,999)
5 Krell Solo 575 Mono Amp: ($34,999)
Martin Logan Neolith Loudspeakers: ($79,995)
Martin Logan Illusion ESL C34A Center: ($6,995)
Martin Logan ESL-EFX On-wall speaker: ($3,095)
Sony XBR-100Z9D 4K Ultra HD TV w/ HDR: ($59,999)
TOTAL = $200,082
The above will at least give you the idea of a few different price scenarios and what would fall in each surround sound system. Hopefully this gives you a good reference of where you want to start for the new surround sound system you want for your home. Ready to enjoy movie theater quality surround sound and amazing music with the family in your home? Start with a call to us. We are the home of San Diego surround sound systems and installation.
San Diego Pro-ject turntable dealer - 1 Xpression Carbon Classic with olive plinth
Remember those things that we used to have in our stereo systems? You would place a big, round black disc on it and the disc would go round-and-round in a circle? This “antiquated” technology is still alive-and-kicking and we are proudly bringing it back! We’re announcing that we are now a San Diego Pro-ject turntable dealer! Why is this a good thing?
!) Vinyl sounds great: When you listen to a GOOD turntable, you will hear a natural sound that CDs and streaming don’t provide. In our opinion, vinyl and records sound 3-dimensional with amazing realism in replicating vocals. On our demo system featuring Parasound Halo, Martin Logan ESL tower speakers and a Pro-ject 1Xpression Carbon Classic, it literally sounds like the artists on the records are performing right in our office! If you really enjoy music, you owe it to your stereo system and your ears to add a turntable.
2) Pro-ject economy of scale: Pro-ject is HUGE is the turntable world. In addition to making all sorts of different turntables from the budget option at $199 to a reference turntable at $12,000, they also OEM for many other manufacturers. What does this mean? This means that you are getting cheaper assembly and a higher level of research-and-development in their turntables. If I tried to make you a turntable, it would probably cost $100,000 by the time I was finished. Pro-ject could make it for $199 and it would probably sound better the the Frankenstein I would create.
3) Turntable options and choices: Do you really want a great 2-channel stereo listening experience? Pro-ject has an option for you. Like a turntable in red to match your red piano (this goes out to one of our clients who is a musician and has a red piano)? Pro-ject has your record player. Just getting into vinyl and want to see what the hubbub is all about without breaking the bank? We’ve got a Pro-ject turntable at $199.00. Whether it is your 1st time listening to vinyl, you want to listen to Mom’s records or you want the experience of having your favorite music artists in your listening room, we’ve got a turntable solution for you.
Want to experience this for yourself? Call us for an appointment and listen to the vinyl vs. CD comparison.
We are now San Diego Project turntable dealers and we can’t wait to show you why that is a good thing. Aire Theater Designs…Better audio, video and home automation.
San Diego Pro-ject turntables OR Project turntables...however you want to spell it, we'll help! Aire Theater Designs proudly serves Pro-ject turntables to all of San Diego County, CA including Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, La Mesa, El Cajon, Blossom Valley, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Alta Del Mar, Del Mar, Olivenhain, Rancho Santa Fe, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, La Jolla, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Blossom Valley, Alpine, La Mesa and El Cajon...we;re here too.
Sometimes we have lots going on and just want to let you know about all of the good stuff happening at Aire Theater Designs. Here's a remote headstrap for your time. In no specific order:
Sony 85" 4K TVs are on clearance at $3999.99 until they are gone! This is the best price ever on Sony's XBR85X850D monster big screen 4K TV!
We are now San Diego Pro-Ject turntable dealers! Want to hear why vinyl is coming back in vogue? It sounds fantastic and is cool...that's why!
Big sales going on with Definitive Technology subwoofers. Save up to 25%! Did we mention that we are your favorite Definitive Technology dealer?
Save 10% on select Martin Logan tower speakers. Get the Motion20, Motion40 and Motion60 speakers at 10% off while the dealio is on!
Lutron lighting control is cool.
Did you know that basically every electronic troubleshooting call we receive is tied to "unplug the device...plug it back in again"? Check this audio/video troubleshooting tip out.
You need better WiFi...here's how to get it. Hint: Don't go to your local big-box store...call us first.
Thanks for reading...we feel much better now. Looking for great audio/video equipment or smart home technology in San Diego? Give us a call!
Martin Logan home speakers can definitely be part of a great home stereo system...read on!
So you're looking for the best home stereo system you can buy? If you're thinking about spending $163,389, our earlier blog post here details a fantastic system. However, if you're like most of us that aren't thinking about spending 6 figures on a home stereo, here are some ideas.
1) Bigger is always better: You will always get deeper bass, more presence and more authoritative mid-range (think vocals and dialogue) with larger speakers as compared to smaller ones. If you have room in your space for something like these, you're on a good path to great sound.
2) Allocate $$$ toward speakers: In our opinion, dollar for dollar, speakers make more of a difference than any other component in providing a better music and listening experience. Instead of buying the $2000 surround sound receiver and a $400 pair of home speakers, we'd recommend reversing the formula.
3) Quality necessitates cost: We had a new audio company come to us this week and tout how their speakers (name withheld for legal reasons) sounded just as good as our $4500.00/pair Monitor Audio Gold 200 tower speakers at 1/3 the price. Really dude? Really????? My further questions about the technology, type of drivers, crossovers, etc. left him befuddled and had me hanging up the phone. With home speakers, just like most things in life, your quality goes up with your budget. Better quality equals more audible dialogue at lower volume levels, levels of detail that become amazing and just a more enjoyable home audio experience.
4) BBCO: "Buy best, cry once". Ever buy a Subaru Outback base model and then find out there is no A/C in the rear seats? Your 73 year-old mother in law (who sits in back) was not pleased. How about the cheap gym membership where you can't go to the club with the pool and basketball court...and you LOVE swimming and basketball. Home stereo systems get MUCH better when you go from entry-level systems to better home speakers and amplifiers. You do get to a point of diminishing returns eventually but until you're getting into 5 figure cost, we recommend going with better audio components and high-quality home speakers for truer, more accurate sound.
Want to get the best home stereo system for your budget, San Diego? Talk to one of our home stereo experts and let us build an audio package for you. NOTE: We still have some of our crazy up to 75% off home speaker sales listed here. These deals are one-of-a-kinds and when they are gone, they are gone.
Looking for the best home stereo system San Diego? Aire Theater Designs proudly serves all of San Diego County which includes Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, El Cajon, Blossom Valley, La Mesa, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, La Jolla, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Need help in Murrieta, Wildomar, Temecula, Fallbrook or Bonsall...we're there too.
Yamaha AVENTAGE receiver acts as the heart of your whole-house entertainment and surround sound system
It's probably been a while since you've bought a new audio/video receiver or maybe I'm being assumptive and this is your first foray into surround sound. No worries...we'd be happy to help. Your audio/video receiver is the heart of your surround sound and whole-house entertainment system. Making the right choice here assures sonic excellence and also provides you the flexibility to hook up future components. However, dealing with the big-box stores or attempting to figure out what to buy on the Internet can be painful (aside from this article, of course). Here's a quick guide to picking the right audio/video receiver.
What is it: Your receiver acts as the hub of your audio/video system. All of your components like cable boxes, video games, Blu-ray players, streaming devices, etc. hook into the receiver and it provides the sound for your speakers. Pick your receiver based on:
1) How many devices you will be hooking up to it?
2) Will you be connecting other areas/rooms of speakers?
3) How important is it to get the best surround sound experience you can?
Brand to Buy: Yamaha. Why? In a nutshell, they rarely break, provide great sound and have plenty of inputs. You can Google different brands, models, histories and other facets but we've already done that. We've also performed thousands of installations and sold receivers for over 20 years. We know what is the best TODAY. NOTE: If this ever changes, we'll let you know and we'll change our mind. However, for the time being, Yamaha is our choice for the best receiver at the price point.
GOOD: Yamaha RXV383. 4 HDMI inputs, 70 watts X 5 channels @ $279.99. Buy this if you are on a budget, will be hooking up four components or less and aren't hooking up speakers in any other areas of the house. NOTE: Plan on how many components you will be hooking up not just now, but in the future as well.
BETTER: Yamaha AVENTAGE RXA770. 6 HDMI inputs, 90 watts X 7 channels, video upconversion, multi-source/multi-zone, Dolby Atmos @ $649.99. This is part of Yamaha’s AVENTAGE step-up line. Buy this if you will be hooking up 6 components or less or if you will be hooking up speakers in other areas (ex: Outside, other bedrooms, etc.). This is also a good choice if you have older components as it plays nicely with legacy video formats (Wii game systems, VCRs and certain cameras come to mind).
BEST: Yamaha AVENTAGE RXA2070. 8 HDMI inputs, 140 watts X 9 channels, improved audio processing, Dolby Atmos @ $1599.99. Buy this if you are hooking up 8 components or less and if you want the best in today's surround sound formats. Our earlier article about Dolby Atmos goes into depth about the latest surround sound mode. This receiver also sounds noticeably better than step-down models due to its particular high-end construction.
Now you're dangerous...you've got some good information. Stop by or call one of our product experts and let us simplify your decision to purchase a surround sound receiver. Aire Theater Designs, San Diego Yamaha AVENTAGE and surround sound installers.
P.S. For you DIY surround sound people, when you purchase a Yamaha AVENTAGE receiver through us, you receive a guide that shows EXACTLY how to hook it up (which the manual doesn't) as well as lifetime phone/e-mail tech support!
Episode outdoor spealers on post, bracket and in-ground
We live in San Diego for many reasons but one that is encompassing is our weather…it’s beautiful! This allows us to spend 12 months of the year outside. The perfect partner to this is an audio system with outdoor speakers. Having an outdoor audio system can really help you and your family to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest. However, it can be difficult for the uninitiated to choose what system is best for your home and outdoor environment. Here’s an overview of some of the forms of outdoor speakers and outdoor audio systems that we carry.
Standard outdoor weatherproof speakers: This form of outdoor speaker has been in place for over 20 years. These type of speakers are “weatherproof” (Note: These can weather in direct sunlight, high heat, VERY wet areas, etc….let us be your outdoor speaker expert when it comes to placement) and provide good sound in a limited area. The quality of outdoor speakers is VERY dependent on the budget. In general, expensive speaker…great sound. Cheap speaker…not-so-great sound. “Great” in this description means that the speaker provides elements such as fine detail so you can hear exactly what the artist is saying in your favorite song (it’s not “We built this city on sausage rolls”), deep, full bass so your music doesn’t sound tinny and exceptional balance so your treble, midrange and bass all sound life-like with no tones exaggerated.
You can install outdoor speakers under your roof eave, on the exterior wall on your house or on posts in a landscape setting. We are dealers for Definitive Technology outdoor speakers, Episode AW6 and AW5 outdoor speakers, Martin Logan, Monitor Audio Climate speakers and Niles outdoor speakers.
Rock speakers at head of pool - Rancho Santa Fe outdoor audio project
Rock outdoor speakers: Want something that looks a little different? Rock outdoor speakers can be a good way to camouflage your outdoor music system and to get great sound. Rock speakers are weatherproof so you can place them in your outdoor environment and not worry that your sprinkler system or gardener will damage them. These speakers can also provide fantastic sound. They typically cost a little more than standard outdoor speakers due to the form factor. You can also choose outdoor speakers that look like planters.
These planter speakers are actually functional and provide good sound for outdoor environments. We are dealers for Episode, Niles and Rockustics rock speakers and planter speakers.
Episode landscape speaker with landscape subwoofer
Outdoor landscape speakers: This form of outdoor speaker has become very popular over the last couple years. These landscape speakers provide great sound by coupling the outdoor speakers with an in-ground or visible subwoofer. This outdoor subwoofer augments the bass and provides much fuller, deeper sound than typical outdoor speakers do. The combination of the landscape speakers combined with the landscape subwoofer gives you an unbelievable outdoor audio experience. We carry landscape outdoor speakers and landscape subwoofers by Episode, Martin Logan, Monitor Audio, Bose outdoor speakers and Sonance.
Which type of outdoor speaker system is best for you? Let San Diego’s outdoor audio and landscape speaker experts assist with this. We’ve been selling outdoor speakers and outdoor audio/video solutions for over 12 years. NOTE: Looking to get a listen? We have the Episode landscape system on display in our office. Call for an appointment and enhance your life with music!
FREE FREE FREE!!!!!! One of our favorite speaker brands, Martin Logan, is doing some great stuff for summer . For a limited time, get FREE subwoofers with the purchase of selected speaker pairs. See below for details.
Martin Logan Monolith Speakers and Friends - San Diego Home Stereo Systems
Ever go to a home stereo store and hear something along these lines...“I have picked out the absolute BEST stereo system for you!” – “You will never find anything better anywhere than the speaker you see before you now” – “You will think you died and went to heaven once you hear this top-of-the-line incomparable home theater system that I’m going to sell you for almost FREE!”. Have you actually ever been impressed with some of the stereo systems that are available at those stores? It's possible...some of these stores do actually have some good decent audio/video gear. However, is it the “BEST AVAILABLE ANYWHERE”? Have you ever wondered just how crazy good and expensive a home theater system can be? Here's an example of a home theater system below that, for all intents and purposes, could be considered as one of the BEST HOME STEREO SYSTEMS around. Take a look.
Krell Illusion surround sound pre-amplifier (1) $14,999 ea. = $14,999
Krell Solo 575 575 watt monoblock amplifier (5) $6,999 ea. = $34,999
Martin Logan Neolith Loudspeaker pair (1) $79,995 pr. = $79,995
Martin Logan Illusion ESL C34A center speaker (1) $6,995 ea. = $6,995
Martin Logan ESL-EFX on-wall speaker pair (1) $3,095pr. = $3,095
Sony 100" OLED TV XBR-100Z9D 4K Ultra HD (1) $59,999 ea. = $59,999
Total = $200,082
This system actually is missing some things as some of today's formats need 13 AMPLIFIERS instead of the 5 above, there are 10s of thousands of dollars needed for power management and cables, etc. but this illustrates that there is some pretty amazing stuff out there. When you walk into our office here at Aire Theater Designs, this is the kind of system that we will tout as one of the best. What gets even better is the fact that we deal with all the companies above. Do you or someone you know want to ACTUALLY think you died and went to heaven listening to your home theater system? Maybe you don’t want to get that crazy but are still looking for a new more practical home theater system. If so, give us a call and let San Diego's home stereo system experts show you what you may be missing.