Living in the dorms of my university changed me forever. It’s a kind of freedom I had never experienced before. That one hundred square foot room filled up quickly with my possessions – a 486 desktop PC, my Realistic 8-channel mixer, and a tube TV I’d procured from a garage sale somewhere. That was my first home theatre system, way back in 1997. Nowadays, gear is slightly higher tech than the stuff I used (and by slightly, I mean very). Here are some tips, tricks, and product recommendations – all to ensure you have the very best home theatre experience in your next dorm room.
Seating – that’s the most significant problem you’re going to need to address. Due to the compact nature of most dorm rooms, desks don’t always allow for the most pleasant viewing experience. Spending a few hours in a hard-backed chair may not be ideal for your next Lord of the Rings marathon. Consider a television wall mount. A strategically placed flat screen TV (mounted above a dresser or closet) can provide you maximum comfort while viewing your favorite media. The Panasonic VIERA 32” 720p LCD television is a great size for a single occupancy dorm room, and it’s currently on sale for 299.99$. Purchase a few extra throw pillows for your bed – and you’ve got an instant couch where you can comfortably enjoy the first season of Battlestar Galactica.
While a wall-mount for your TV works well in a dorm room, wall-mounted speakers do not. Proximity to other students is a serious consideration when setting up your sound system. Placing speakers close to walls is a sure-fire way to disturb the rooms connected to yours. When I was in university, rocking a game of the first Grand Theft Auto on my 486DX280 back in 1556, I’d often be interrupted by floormates who most certainly did not appreciate my gargantuan subwoofers. If I could do it all over again, I’d get something space-efficient and easy to setup, like the LG 2.1 Channel Speaker Bar. It’s equipped with LG’s Silk Dome technology – a great solution to fill your dorm room with high-fidelity sound. Combine it with a Sony USB turntable, and you’ll be listening to the Beastie Boys on vinyl in no time.
Quiet hours. Take a long look at those two words, because you’re about to start hearing them a lot. Most university dorms impose an audio blackout on weekdays – usually at some point between 10PM and 11PM. A good pair of wireless headphones can fix this problem in a jiffy. Not being encumbered by wires allowed me the mobility to microwave burritos, sort-of clean up (i.e. kicking dirty laundry under my bed), or take a walk down the hall to the common area – all while listening to Kid berate Play during my 400th revisitation of House Party 2. These Sony headphones are an excellent value at 89.98$, but act quickly – that sale price is only good until August 9th.
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