Audio Racks Buying Guide
Entertainment Furniture: Audio Racks Guide
An audio rack can protect your sound system while showing it off to its best advantage. In addition to the most obvious benefit of not having components scattered all across the floor, an audio rack or audio cabinet contains everything in one place, adds functionality to the room's décor and allows you to organize your components in a way that's most useful to you. Finding the right audio stand is not hard if you know what to look for.
How many components are you purchasing the stand for and where is it going to go? Determine these factors first, and then measure the intended space. Especially if certain items are bulky, also measure each piece of equipment. Knowing how much space you have to work with will give you a better idea of what size or kind of audio rack to buy.
Audio racks are typically made of wood, metal or both wood and metal; each type of material has its own distinctive look. Before shopping for an audio stand, decide if a wood rack would look better in your home than a metal and glass one.
If you prefer out-of-sight-out-of-mind when it comes to storing electronic equipment, make sure the audio cabinet you select has adequate ventilation.
Do you want the stand to remain stationary or would you like to the option of moving it around from place to place? If mobility is appealing to you, choose an audio rack with locking casters.
An audio stand is an excellent way to keep a living room, family room or den organized. To make the stand a perfect fit for your lifestyle, decide what features you want the stand to have. Do you want to be able to move components around or add new ones at a later date? Select an audio rack with adjustable shelves.
Plan for the future. If you have the space to spare, buy an audio rack or stand that is larger than your immediate needs so that you have room to expand.
If there are young children in the home, select an enclosed audio rack or a cabinet with doors that can be locked.
When buying an audio stand with glass shelves, purchase one that uses tempered rather than regular glass. Tempered glass is specially treated so that it is stronger; it is also designed to break into rounded pieces rather than shards, making it safer than standard glass.
Before making a final purchase, make sure that the audio stand or audio cabinet you select has shelves that are wide enough to store you specific components.
Selecting the Right Type of Audio Furniture for You
Audio racks, stands or cabinets are a practical and affordable way to house and display a wide range of audio equipment. They come in a number of styles and configurations and are typically comprised of multiple shelves designed to hold stereos, radios, amplifiers, and CD players. Most types of audio racks are available in two, three and four-shelf models. Some manufacturers offer modular audio racks that can be added to as needed.
An audio tower is one of the most versatile types of audio furniture. It allows for advantageous display of your components, while giving you easy access to your equipment. Audio racks and audio stands with open shelves are typically made of metal with glass shelves but can also be constructed of wood with either glass or wood shelves. Many types of audio towers include wire management, which helps to maintain the stand’s sleek appearance. It can also be a great space saver in that is generally has a smaller footprint than other types of entertainment units, using wall (vertically) rather floor (horizontally) space. Most types of standard audio towers have fixed shelves. To make your audio tower even more functional, choose a modular stand; it will allow you to adjust shelf heights as needed.
Modular stands allow you to create a stable environment for your components, letting you customize it to your requirements. A modular stand can be easily expanded. Many manufacturers of modular audio stands give the consumer a choice of adjustable carpet spikes, nylon floor glides or casters. Often glass shelves of a modular unit are available in clear, frosted, smoke or color options.
An audio cabinet is a piece of AV furniture designed to give you access to your components, while allowing you the option to store items out of sight. Because equipment will be enclosed, choose a cabinet that will permit optimum ventilation and accessibility to equipment, cabling, and power sources. Audio cabinets are typically constructed of wood or wood and glass. It’s important that the audio cabinet is well-constructed and that it sits evenly on the floor. To combat uneven floors and ensure that your AV cabinet stands flat, choose one that has adjustable feet.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Choose a wire management system that uses a back panel with holes to keep the wires and cables of your audio equipment organized and hidden from sight instead of the type that has channels in the side beams of the stand. Especially if you are dealing with the cables attached to several components, a side channel wire management system might become too cramped for your requirements.
Since you will be storing heavy pieces of equipment on the shelves of your audio rack or audio cabinet, check the weight capacity of each shelf. Weight capacity is the amount of weight the unit can hold as opposed to the total weight of the unit itself. This information is usually included in the product information provided by the manufacturer.
Vibration interferes with the overall enjoyment of your system and in some cases, if persistent, can be harmful. To eliminate the possibility of vibration, the audio stand or cabinet must be level. If you know uneven floors will be a problem, purchase a unit that includes levelers.
Make sure that any wire management system that is part of the unit does not have sharp edges where cables enter/exit.
Do you want the stand to hold just components or would you also like to be able to store CDs/DVDs as well? Then choose a cabinet or unit that has a number of storage options such as drawers and cubbies in addition to shelves.