Finding Your Personal Entertainment Space

Several years back I relocated from the midwest to Texas for a job. During that time my wife and I decided to lease a house for a couple of years since we weren’t familiar with the different areas to live in. It ended up being a very wise decision since we were not in love with all of the neighbors (except one), and had the ability to pick up and move. Since this was a winning formula for us, we decided to lease once again. This time we really like the neighborhood and will ultimately end up somewhere near our current location. 

So what does this have to do with this week’s topic you may ask? Well…as you know, I am a huge movie and music junkie. Being transient has presented a challenge for me - namely not having a dedicated space for listening to my music and a having a home theater room. The last two houses have not had the space to dedicate a room for this purpose. Why is this important? For one, it is a little disheartening when you like to listen to music louder than your grown children and you are told to turn your music down. But more importantly, music is a personal choice. Without a room to go into and disappear, what I listen to is subconsciously dictated by what others may be subjected to. So I either don’t always listen to what I would like, and at the volume I would like, or I wait until everyone is away. This way I don’t push my choices on them while maintaining balance in the house. 

For these very reasons and more, this is why I think it is essential to "Find Your Personal Entertainment Space". 

Finding a Space

First things first: What will the space be used for? Will it be primarily for music, movies, or a combination of both. This will dictate the size and type of the room you will want. Some of us are limited in the availability of spaces in the house, so we will have to work with what is gifted to us. No matter what you will have to work within your budget with room acoustics, decor, and of course electronic equipment. My son and I have outfitted a couple of rooms with acoustic treatment that we able to buy at near wholesale prices. We each now have a space that is dampened to sound bounce and sharpness. 

Ideally finding a space that is generous in size and offers a good shape to set up the room is what you are looking for. The room should have the necessary bones to transform it into something that you can be proud of and call your own. 

Below are a two of my favorite entertainment spaces that I have found on Youtube. One for a home theater, and one for a dedicated music listening room. 

Taking Inventory

So now that we know that our personal space will be used for both movies and music (in my particular case), we will need help in determining what equipment will be needed. The number one constraint will be the budget…isn’t it always the budget... So determine what is most important: do you watch more movies than listening to music, or vice versa? A total entertainment space can be done on a strict budget. You just need to know where to look for the bargains. 

From the simple and clean design...

From the simple and clean design...

...To the elaborate and stunning!

...To the elaborate and stunning!

Below are some of my favorite places (in my humble opinion) to look for great deals.

Cables: Monoprice
Acoustic Treatment: The Foam Factory
Sound and Vision Equipment: Amazon
Furniture and Accessories: Ikea
Decor: at home
Speakers and equipment: Elac, Magnepan
PreAmps and Amplifiers: Emotiva, Rouge Audio

Benefits of a Sanctuary

As I had mentioned earlier, the main benefit of having your own personal space is to be in charge of your viewing and listening choices. No weighing out if this volume or selection will offend other members of the house. It is your space - let your mood dictate your choice in the evening’s media selection. This will optimize the chances of you being able to kick back into a comfortable chair and take some much needed time to recharge the old brain box by doing absolutely Jack. 

My office listening space

My office listening space

Getting Help

There is a bounty of resources available on the internet to help you get started. I have found information on everything from equipment reviews for both audio and video to actual step by step guides on building a home theater. Below are some of my go-to bookmarks that are sure to help you in setting up Your Personal Entertainment Space. 

Reviews:

Sound and Vision

The Audiophilliac

Home Theater Review

Youtube

Audioholics

Tips, Tricks, and How to’s:

AVS Forum

Sound and Vision

Audio Karma

Inspiring Ideas:

Houzz

 

This is absolutely one of my passions in life! If you have any questions about getting started, please feel free to reach out to me at mark@boydsiview.com. I look forward to any feedback you may have on the topics in this week’s blog. Thank you for joining me this week. Hopefully it will get you motivated to Find Your Personal Entertainment Space.