So you've got yourself a sweet hi-fi and home cinema setup that should make you the envy of all your friends and relatives. But where exactly are you going to put all that neat new gear? You're certainly not going to want to just throw it all in a corner by the TV are you? At least not if you truly value your new purchases.
As such, you might want to consider investing in some bespoke furniture for your new or existing equipment in order to not only show it off, but keep it safe, secure and working for longer.
Here, we'll examine a few of the more common pieces you might want to invest in, but be aware that there are also more specific, unique and extravagant options available if you have the money and/or predilection for it.
This is the piece of furniture which will arguably form the backbone of your entire living room setup.
In this day and age, TV stands are not simply there to display a television, but to hold your digital TV boxes, games consoles and even your hi-fi amplifiers and receivers. In essence, it is the hub of both your living room and your entertainment setup, so if you are going to splash out anywhere, this is where you'll want to push the boat out (especially if you happen to watch a lot of TV anyway).
The size of TV stand you require will, of course, depend on the size of your television and the amount of devices you'll want to store in, on top of or underneath it. There is also the amount of shelves to consider and, even more importantly, the actual aesthetic look of the piece. The classic wood, metal, glass or plastic shelves are great for those on a budget, and many will contain their own cable management cables. These pieces are also often the most easily accessible.
If you want to make a real statement, however, you might want to consider a larger, more ornate cabinet with good ventilation and infra red friendly glass. Of course, on the other hand, you might not want a TV Stand at all, and might instead prefer to use a mounting bracket to mount your TV on the wall. That's fine, but unless you run your wires through the walls, you're going to have a lot of ugly, loose wires to contend with, and a wall bracket will never be as 100% safe and secure as a decent stand.
You could argue that a smaller hi-fi system could share space on a larger, more fully featured TV stand, but if you truly value your music, and want your hi-fi to exist as its own separate entity, and not as simply another aspect of your overall entertainment system, a standalone hi-fi stand could be an option.
These stands will obviously tend to be taller and have more shelves in order to provide easy access and hold a number of hi-fi separates. They might also be expandable, so you can add more shelves at a later date if you buy more equipment.
Unless you want to install your speakers in the walls and/or ceiling (which is an option, but a costly and complicated one) then you will probably want to invest in some speaker stands for your main stereo speakers. This is true whether you're using said speakers for your hi-fi system, your home cinema system or both, as most speakers will provide a clearer, more dynamic sound if they are elevated, as the sound waves are given more room to breathe.
These stands have been specifically designed to display your speakers without succumbing to the kind of vibrational problems you might get if you simply decide to plonk your speakers down on either side of your TV, so whilst they might seem like an extravagance at first, you will definitely appreciate them in the long run.
If you have a surround system in place, you might want to consider a stand for each speaker, with the front left and right stereo speakers given pride of place with larger, taller stands. If you're on a budget though, the front left and right speakers should always take precedence.
We already stated that when it comes to your hi-fi speakers, the higher the better. So, by that logic, attaching them to the walls with a dedicated bracket is surely the best option? That isn't always the case, of course (it depends on the speakers and the design/build of your room/home), but there are occasions where wall brackets for your speakers might be a convenient option.
These brackets are generally easier to install than TV brackets, as your speakers will be smaller and less complicated than a TV. You could even opt for a ceiling bracket, which will allow for your speakers to hang from the ceiling, though obviously you might want to ensure your ceilings are strong enough to support the weight of your speakers before investing.
This refers to pieces of furniture designed to work with specific pieces of equipment. The kind of symbiotic relationship offered by these bespoke pieces of furniture is pretty incomparable, though you will almost certainly be paying a premium for the privilege.
What you will be getting for your money, however, is a guarantee that your equipment is in the best possible hands, and will not only be safe and secure, but will look exactly as the designers intended it to look.
When it comes to bespoke brackets, meanwhile, you can be 100% sure that they will actually work and will fit your equipment perfectly, which can never be assured with third party furniture.
Finally, there are numerous accessories available either for specific pieces of equipment, or general products. These will largely relate to mounting brackets and speaker stands (such as stand filler, which will improve the stability of your stands), but could also include more obscure and specific pieces for more obscure and specific products. As is often the case with such things, the accessories you'll require will depend on your individual circumstances and needs so be sure to shop around, ask questions (either in person at your local hi-fi store or on internet forums) and make sure you have everything you'll need to keep your hi-fu and home cinema setup sounding and looking awesome!