In the home theater environment, it’s often said that sound is 50% of the experience. A big picture needs to be matched by equally big sound. Is that really true, though? Many viewers will find themselves prioritizing one aspect over the other, depending on their personal preferences and needs. Where do you fall on this scale?
I’ve always been a videophile first and foremost. While I recognize the importance of audio quality, and have dutifully upgraded my theater room to lossless 7.1 surround sound with what I consider to be respectable gear, I have certainly not spent as much on audio equipment over the years as I have on video. If it really comes down to it, I can tolerate mediocre sound quality on a delivery format (like, say, instant streaming from the internet) much more than I can tolerate even minor video flaws. I find myself much more engaged with a movie’s visuals than I do its sound. When I get really wrapped up in a movie, I tend not to even notice the sound. The times that I do notice it generally means that something is really wrong with it.
On the other hand, I know people who prioritize optimum audio fidelity above all else, and would watch a movie in artifact-ridden standard definition if it had a great soundtrack.
What’s your priority in a home theater system?