How to Sell Soundbars to Clients
One-man integration company explains some of the features to look for from today’s generation of all-in-one speaker systems.
Nick Tamburri , CEO and president of Aggressive Home Automation & Design (AHA & Design), operates a diverse one-man shop in Newark, N.J. Tamburri is an active member of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) TechHome Division and has kept a keen eye on the rapid rise of all-in-one speaker systems. He says that as long as they are implemented within reason, installers will have positive results selling them.
“You have to remember that with a soundbar you can only get so much sound from a small speaker,” says Tamburri. “To help it [perform] you’ll also want a subwoofer set at the proper crossover so that you get a good transition to the lower frequencies. Today with the wireless subwoofers you don’t have to worry about connections to get an improvement in sound.”
Tamburri says that he always reminds customers that TVs are made for video and that manufacturers don’t invest in the sound quality of these products. He sometimes uses props like the speakers from old TVs to visibly show clients how small and cheaply made TV speakers are. He’ll also bring a soundbar into a client’s house to demonstrate how much better these products perform in their living spaces.
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“It doesn’t matter if it’s a 32-inch TV or a bigger TV,” he says. “I bring a soundbar with me so they can A/B the difference,” he says. “This way here I don’t have to get them into a showroom. This also may lead to the sales of receivers and other things. Once they hear it for, say, a football game, they’ll say what a difference that soundbar makes.”
Bedrooms & Home Offices Are Ideal Locations
Tamburri typically installs soundbars in smaller rooms – residential and commercial spaces alike – where he thinks they perform best.
“Master bedrooms and home offices are typical installations for me,” he says. “Even commercial offices, these are normally quick installations; you are in and out. But because of the poor sound quality of most video conference systems you can upgrade them to have the sound to come from the display and not overhead or the walls.”
As soundbars evolve, he wants to see added features like active technologies with DSP that allow installers to tailor the sound of the products to their specific room environments.
“It would be nice to have an amplified, digitally enhanced soundbar,” he says. “Digital technologies have been around for a while and with Wi-Fi [for wireless subwoofers] you could do a nice system within a small room,” he explains. “This would be nice to address master bedrooms, home offices and other smaller rooms. In these spaces you typically have 32-inch TVs and you want to combine those TVs with good sound in these rooms. It also has to be cost effective. The market is used to home theater in a box [HTiB] solutions and those products are nothing more than plastic speakers. When looking at soundbars I say to myself, ‘How can I compete with [HTiBs]?’ I am looking for something with quality. When you go with [a] soundbar, the first thing the customer will do is go on Google and look to see what it costs.”
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
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