All You Need To Know About Home Theatre In-A-Box

What is included with a home theatre in-a-box?

As the name suggests, a home theatre in-a-box contains all the components you’ll need to set up a powerful, multi-channel home theatre system. All in one box! This will include a receiver or amplifier, and speakers—usually with a subwoofer as part of the package.

Some manufacturers take the name literally, including speaker cables, HDMI cables, speaker mounting brackets, a microphone for system optimization and even batteries for the remote control. However, this varies so be sure to check the details to see if you will need to pick up any extras like cables for the installation.

Features and benefits of choosing a home theatre in-a-box

There are several big benefits to choosing a home theatre in-a-box system, and that’s why they are so popular.

The first is ease of installation. When cables are included in the box they are usually colour-coded for plug and play ease. Even if they aren’t, the companies that make these systems go out of their way to make setup straightforward. This is possible because they know every component that’s included.

The second big benefit is that you can count on all of the components to work perfectly together. Putting together a system yourself with components from different manufacturers can result in features not being supported, functions not working as advertised, and head-scratching while you try to troubleshoot problems. It’s also easy to accidentally mismatch components if you’re not really familiar with home theatre audio. For example, if a receiver supports 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos, this requires special speakers to actually hear the effect. With a home theatre in-a-box, you can count on having components that are matched for optimal performance.

A final feature that’s important to many buyers is that the included components don’t just match in terms of capabilities. Home theatre in-a-box system are designed to look coordinated, so they are a more stylish option than mix and match.

What’s the difference between this and a soundbar system?

Soundbars and home theatre in-a-box systems both aim to simplify the process of setting up a home theatre system, but they are two different approaches.

Instead of using multiple speakers positioned throughout the room, a soundbar houses the amplifier and drivers in a single elongated bar (it may include a subwoofer as well), and emulates the effect of a multi-speaker system. Some of these can be very effective, but a home theatre in-a-box will typically provide superior sound, in addition to a receiver with a wider range of inputs and features.

Is a home theatre in-a-box the right solution for all types of audible media?

While the name suggests the purpose is upgrading the sound when watching movies and TV, a home theatre in-a-box system is actually an excellent choice for any kind of audio including listening to music.

Receivers will have inputs that let you connect a CD player. Some include FM radio, and many home theatre in-a-box receivers also support wireless music streaming, with Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi connectivity. Vinyl lovers can also find systems with a dedicated PHONO input.