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The Ugly Secrets Of Home Theater In A Box

High definition LCD and plasma televisions and Blu Ray players are driving the biggest sales surge in consumer electronics history.  Sales are far bigger and building much faster than even the VCR or DVD.  The only problem is that this boom has a dark side -- HTIB (HomeTheaterIn aBox).  Like a silicon plague, millions of customers wishing to take advantage of the "high quality" sound and video of DVDs are falling victim to HTIB.  Avoid becoming the next victim of HTIB by looking beyond the prices and paper specifications of these systems, and stepping up to a high quality, handmade system from Orb Audio.  Pairing a great TV with bad speakers is a recipe for disappointment we can help you avoid.


Top Reasons To Avoid HTIB

     *   Mediocre Performance
     *   Mediocre Reliability
     *   Poor Setup Help/Support/Service
     *   Lack of Upgradeability
     *   Limited # Of Input Connections
     *   Ugly, plastic, poor build quality
     *   Large, low quality subwoofers
     *   Usually replaced in 1-2 years
     *   Little to no resale value

     *   Less $$ to buy right system now

How Do I Detect HTIB?  


What Are My Options?


HTIB can be detected by looking for the cheap all-in-one "home theater" that includes a DVD/Receiver and a set of cheap speakers.   Manufacturers and vendors are offering these cheap, "all-in-one" solutions right now to cash in on the high definition boom because many consumers are unsure of what to buy and they are easy prey for the "all-in-one" trick.  Consumers are also worried about installation and ease of use and manufacturers are offering single speaker and cheap multiple speaker systems that really have no chance of sounding good.  The truth is that it's no harder to setup or use a real home theater system than any of the alternatives that have been pitched as an easy way out.

Many people also indicate that price is one of the main factors driving them toward an HTIB solution.  We find that HTIB is actually a more expensive choice for a large number of people.  In our experience, it is very common for clients to replace these cheap systems within a year or two, with something better, and the combined cost of both systems is much higher than it would have been to just buy the right system from the start.  All of the money spent on the HTIB is ultimately flushed down the drain.  Certainly there is little or no resale value.

Do not be fooled, "all-in-one" sounds good and easy, but it is not.  The easiest thing about HTIB systems is purchasing them, it is all downhill from there.  Most have major design and performance limitations that will undoubtedly leave you disappointed and in the market for a real system within a few months or years.

What Is Wrong With HTIB?

You have almost certainly seen ads for systems infected with HTIB, because they are everywhere today. Most of these systems are mass-produced in China and sold in chain stores.  They come in one box and seem to promise the world for anywhere from $300 to $1,000.  Deep down you know there is a catch, and there is. 

First, the electronics (amplifier and DVD player) in these systems are usually of poor quality.  They typically have very little power and are not capable of producing clear highs and deep, full sound.  Yes, they will probably sound better than your boombox or the speakers on your TV, but if that is all you are looking for, why bother with home theater?  Especially when you can get real speakers and electronics for about the same price.  The electronics on these HTIB systems also have very few or no additional inputs, which means you might not be able to hook up your video game, CD changer, your cable box, a vcr or other components to your speakers.  This is a major drawback that people often overlook until they get home.

Worse, these HTIB-infected systems are most likely designed with extremely inexpensive speakers and subwoofers, quite often using plastic and some of the cheapest components available.  The use of plastic as a major material in any component pretty much speaks for itself.  In fact, you will find that most design decisions in these HTIB systems are made in order to be cheapest to manufacture , not best for the consumer. 

For example, many HTIB subwoofer are "passive' and rely on the amplification in the receiver to produce sound.  This is not good and all high quality subwoofers have their own dedicated, high power amplifier. 

Also, most HTIB subwoofers are quite large and ugly.  One way to create bass, albeit inaccurate, boomy bass, is to use a large enclosure instead of a quality amplifier and speaker driver.   What is the point of making small satellites when you are forcing your customers to put a two-foot long box somewhere in their room?  Worse, many of these HTIB systems require you to wire your speakers to the subwoofer, and not to your receiver/DVD player.  This may not sound like a big deal, but it limits where you can place the subwoofer in the room due to long wire runs and other problems.  Ask anyone who owns one of these systems -- it's usually the first thing they complain about and the last thing a sales associate at a store will mention. 


So what can you do?  Well, we take a very unique approach to speaker design.  With Orb Audio, our speakers are modular and upgradeable and you can start with our least expensive system and upgrade it to our highest performing system over time.  This is truly unique to can start with our $239 Quick Pack or $549 Classic One and ultimately turn it into our top of the line $1,289 Mod2 or $1,999 Mod4 systems.  And best of all, we sell direct, which cuts out the middlemen and retail markups and saves our average customer about $1,000 in markups.  That means you get handmade, audiophile speakers (made from steel) for about the same price as the plastic, fake wood junk in the stores.

After all, the best way to protect yourself from HTIB is with steel balls and the Orbs are only $95 each in our home theater  packages.  Plus, Orb Audio is an employee-owned American company and our Mod1, Mod2 and Mod4 satellites are handcrafted in the USA to ensure the highest possible quality. 

So, do not get tricked into thinking an HTIB all-in-one system is an easy, good solution.  It is neither easy nor good, as many disappointed customers can tell you.  Orb Audio can protect you from HTIB, or cure your HTIB if it is already too late for you (you can replace just two of your existing HTIB speakers for as little as $239 and notice a HUGE difference).  Simply browse our website or call 877-ORB-AUDIO (877-672-2834) for more information, or email us at

Blow your mind without blowing your budget!

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