You bought the crisp 4K 60” TV, the background mood lighting, and all those Blue-Ray discs. The only thing missing now is finding the best entertainment center for your home theater. With so many choices on the market, it can be a real struggle to find the best option. Some are pricey, some affordable. Some come packed with features, and some are more basic. But, which is best for you?
When it comes to finding the best home entertainment centers, there are plenty of styles to choose from that can match any decor, however, the following three options are probably the most popular:
1) Convenience Concepts Designs2Go TV Stand
2) Walker Edison Wren TV Stand
3) TUSY TV Stand
Finding a great home entertainment center sets the foundation for your theatre. Everything needs a place to go, and unsightly cables and wonky placement can divert your attention from the screen. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that everything looks great with your overall room decor. Never fret; we’re here to help. Read on to discover more about home entertainment centers and which ones are the best.
What Makes a Great Home Entertainment Center?
While you might look at the simple pieces of wood and screws as an afterthought, a good home entertainment center is an important part of your theatre system. When it comes to what makes a great home entertainment center, what you choose will depend on a few factors, including your budget, the size of your home, and what components you’re trying to house.
Take an assessment of your space. Make sure to take into account every piece of equipment you will need to store. This can give you a good idea of what to look out for. Additionally, price is a huge factor for any shopping choice. Decide how much you want to spend and compare products that fit your budget.
Another thing that makes a great entertainment center has a place for everything. If you think about your home theatre system, there are a lot of components. This also includes a ton of wires. If one of your entertainment center jobs is to house all of this, you’ll want to make sure everything will fit. The right entertainment center will be able to house all these components without making a mess. Here are some things that will need to squeeze in:
- Left and right speaker for surround sound
- AV receiver
- Entertainment source (cable box, Blu-ray player)
Types of Home Entertainment Center
There is no single universal design for a home entertainment center (there are plenty of wall units, for example, in our guide). Manufacturers are free to design any product they like. Consequently, you will need to decide what type of home entertainment center you’d like. Here are a few types to look out for:
- Wall units — Often dedicated to a large portion of your home, wall units are usually pretty large and take up a good bit of space.
- TV stands — Usually, TV stands are slightly smaller than 30” and mainly serve as a place to put your TV.
- Entertainment fireplace — These types of units integrate an electric fireplace with a home entertainment center.
- Media chest — Media chests often offer the most space for devices.
Another thing you will need to decide on is what type of material you want your home entertainment center to be. There are quite a few options when it comes to material and finishes. Fitting your room’s interior design to the appropriate style of the entertainment center is easy to do.
Best Home Entertainment Centers
Best Budget Entertainment Center
Price is always a factor when shopping. You want to make sure you are getting a quality product but not overpaying. For those eyeing entertainment centers at a discount, there are some great options to explore. The first option you should consider is the Convenience Concepts Designs2Go TV stand (on Amazon).
This compact unit uses a minimal design not to drag attention away from the TV that sits on the top. Additionally, the attractive espresso wood grain laminate goes well with any decor. Underneath the unit, you will find two spacious cabinets. These cabinets can easily hold anything you might need, from AV receivers to media players.
Another great budget option is the Walker Edison Wren TV Stand (on Amazon). While it might not be as much of a steal as the Convenience Concepts, it does come with a bit more room. This TV stand also features a fairly modern and sleek design.
Best Option for Style and Look
There is no doubt that style is an important factor in any furniture choice. You don’t want your entertainment center to be the eyesore of the room. They are utility pieces that are meant to house your home theatre components, but that certainly doesn’t mean they need to be ugly. Below you will find some great choices if the style is a factor in your entertainment center choice:
- With a nordic raw wood finish, the TUSY TV Stand (on Amazon) is a great choice. It features ample room for electronics and a neutral wood finish that can complement any decor.
- For something truly futuristic, the Bonzy Home Glossy TV Stand (on Amazon) is a fabulous option. The stunning white compliments the limited glass shelving. Add some background LEDs to this TV stand for an extra stylistic element.
- Are you looking for a more rustic and traditional feel? The YAHEETECH Industrial TV Stand (on Amazon) is a perfect choice. The iron features combined with the weathered wood finish work great with more traditional decor choices.
- Minimalism is always in style. The Universal Floor TV Stand (on Amazon) is truly stunning but works better for setup with little equipment.
Home Entertainment Centers for Storage
Let’s face it. Sometimes you need something big and bulky to house all your electronics. If you really have a robust home theatre system, it could mean you need room for half a dozen devices and cables. For a lot of the entertainment centers we’ve already explored, this can be a struggle.
But never fear; there are ample options for those looking for extra space. You won’t have to sacrifice style either, although you may end up paying for that extra space. If you are looking for some extra side storage, the Mainstays Entertainment Center (on Amazon) might be what you need.
With a large area underneath as well as on the side for storage, you won’t be wanting space. Additionally, the minimalist design means your room won’t be fighting to make this unit fit. If you still are searching for a more traditional style, the Walker Edison Traditional Wood TV Stand (see on Amazon) could be the right choice. It has glass front doors to display your electronic components or whatever else you might keep down there.
Best Options for a Full-Wall Design
Fireplace Entertainment Options
If you want a little warmth with your TV, there is an entertainment center for you, in fact, we have a whole other guide on this as well. These designs will utilize an electric fireplace addition to really add some comfort to your home theatre.
Designs like this can be great for multi-use rooms. If your TV is in the family room, then having another thing to huddle around during the cooler months can be great for families. Here are a couple of options to look out for:
- ESTVER TV Stand W/ Electric Fireplace (on Amazon) — If you want to have electric fireplace functionality without looking too traditional, this TV stand is great. It has a neutral wood coloring and a modern fireplace insert.
- Walker Edison Wren Fireplace TV Stand (on Amazon) — We’ve already seen this option on the above list, but this version of the Wren has a fireplace insert.
- Ameriwood Fireplace TV Stand (on Amazon) — Certainly the most modern of all the fireplace offerings, the stunning white and LED accents to make this stand a sight to see.
Tips for Buying an Entertainment Center
Entertainment centers can get pretty big. Some options we listed above can take up an entire wall. For this reason, it is super important to take accurate measurements before shopping. Always cross-reference dimensions before you buy. The last thing you’ll want is to start the assembly process and find that the unit just won’t fit.
Another thing you will need to measure is your TV. If you happen to have a larger television, it might mean that you’ll need a larger entertainment center. As a general rule of thumb, you want at least two extra inches of space around your TV. This means if you have a 60“ TV, find an entertainment center that will fit a 62” TV.
When shopping for TV stands, this can also play a role. Not so much the size of the TV, but the weight. There is only a certain amount of weight a TV stand can take. While you will most likely not stretch the limit if you have a larger TV, you might. This is especially the case if you opted for a cheaper option.
How much do you need to store below or around your TV? If it’s a lot, that might mean you should find a unit with extra storage. We listed a few above that would be perfect for this. It’s a good idea to take stock of all the components you have. This means cable boxes, media players, audio equipment, and even things like DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. They all need somewhere to go.
You might also think about the future. While you can replace components, sometimes you are adding on to your system. If this is the case, that means you will need to find space for those electronics. Make sure you pick an entertainment center that will have extra space if need be.
What to Look Out for When Buying
These can help guide your choice. Some other things to consider are things like ventilation. If you have a lot of electronics, they can build up heat real quick. This is especially the case for gaming systems. Make sure you have ample ventilation space. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:
- Where will my TV go? Do you want to wall mount your TV, or is the TV going to rest in the entertainment center?
- Did you factor in the necessary space for speakers?
- Think about the other furniture in your room. Will the entertainment center take up too much space?
Cords are always going to be an issue. Make sure you have everything planned out when it comes to cable management, or else you’ll be dealing with cord chaos. One way of getting around this is to use this velcro cord organizer on Amazon.
Finding the best entertainment center can be a surprisingly difficult decision. There are a lot of factors to consider before you buy and a lot of options to choose from. Hopefully, by now, you can better understand how you can make a decision when it comes to your new home entertainment center.