Haste Makes Wastes of Time and Money
It's a jungle out there, especially when it comes to the wonderful world of electronics and electronics components. The competition is fierce among industry leaders and there are wide gaps in prices and quality from which to choose. Even among the private sector there are such variances in price and quality that it is difficult for most to make truly informed decisions when purchasing a surround sound system or a home theater.
One of the best things you can do for your search is grab a few sound intensive movies, a favorite CD or two and head out to your local retail sales center for electronics. Best Buy may not always be the best place from which to buy but they generally have a good selection of surround sound systems and home theaters that you are able to test out and compare with one another. It's always a good idea to try before you buy and taking an afternoon or a Saturday to browse through your options is good investment of a day if you ask me.
By listening to the different systems you can get a feel for the features that you prefer, those you don't care much for one way or another, and those you would rather do without. This list will be extremely valuable when it comes time to narrow down the systems you would like to further investigate from those that simply aren't best suited for your music and sound requirements. There is nothing wrong with identifying what you want and making efforts to get it. In fact, it's a savvy decision on your part if you ask me.
Once you have a list of the systems you like and a few reasons why you like each system it's time to begin comparing prices. The Internet is probably the best way to do this. You can use prices that compare prices among major competitors and see what others are charging for these items in comparison with what your local stores are charging. If you are feeling up to bargaining you can try to arrange for your local store to match the online price. This works with some stores and not with others. It's a toss up even with the larger chain stores as to whether or not they will acknowledge prices received online as a 'competitors' price in order to meet it. It's worth a shot if you prefer the convenience of shopping locally; otherwise if the best price is online (even after shipping and insurance) then your best bet is to make the purchase online.
There is no magic formula when it comes to purchasing home theater and surround sound equipment other than to make sure you are pleased with the quality of the merchandise. If you listened and made notations about your likes and dislikes, chances are that you have just purchased a sound system that you like, which means you should be thrilled with the fantastic sounds coming out of your brand new speakers for quite a while to come. Taking your time in the beginning in order to make sure you get the system you really want and will be happy with is well worth the wait when compared to the price you pay for haste and purchasing a system with an inferior quality of sound.