Curtains + room treatment:
After sorting out which of the main systems you wish to buy, you may also wish to consider various elements of room treatment.
Most new homes are nice shiny classy affairs, with designs which might even make the covers of some Home Improvement magazines. However most do not have much room treatment, and it is my personal yet strong opinion that you should consider this to be as important as a new pair of speakers.
In fact I would go as far as to say, the improvements that you hope to achieve with a spanking new pair of speakers will be negated or slighted by poor or no room treatment.
Now I will be first to say, that it is not easy as the idea of foam pads or other forms of soundproofing may not go down well with the missus. But a set of curtains are a start and most home needed them anyway.
Since not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated HT room, the inevitable location will be the living room and this place serves many other functions, and it is actually the ambient noise levels which will affect your experience.
Many demos in showrooms tend to crank their systems up to deafening levels to compensate for the noise around their showrooms, this may accentuate the bass, but tends to drown out details as our ears start to shut down, or our spouses leave the demo in disgust.
So may I suggest the opposite:
Quieten the listening environment, lower your noise floor and turn down the volume. Sounds counter-intuitive? Try it or come and listen, happy to show how it works.
Then add "black - out" curtains.
I use a guy called Joseph Hong in AMK (97946060 Homg Ming Store Ptd Ltd) - 64523830 (no financial interests in this store).
A metre of this material will be about 26$ including installation.
It cuts out light and higher frequencies - note it is Not a bass absorber.
The material is easily washable and comes in many colours. You can use it for your windows, or even to partition off a section of your hall for the HT listening, or to cut down ambient light if you are using a projector.
No sense getting a fancy and expensive PJ and have all kinds of light leaking in and spoiling the experience.
Try it and see for yourselves!
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.