I Think My System Sounds Great – Should I Return It?
You’ve been unhappy with the sound from your TV for a while. It’s sort of been in the back of your mind. Then you are walking through a big box store and you see a deal. Some sort of package deal that you’ve noticed a couple of times. Lo and behold, it is on sale! Suddenly, you find yourself at home setting up your new sound system and, to your great enjoyment, it sounds great! A few days or weeks later, you are either wanting to share online your love of your system or maybe just do some research on how to optimize your configuration. You discover post after post of people hating on your new system! Your speaker system sounds great to you, but now you’re thinking you should return it? What to do? Let’s discuss!
You are experiencing what is commonly referred to as “buyer’s remorse.” This is when you feel like you’ve overspent on an item. Before you went online, you thought your money was well spent. But after reading all the negative comments, you now feel like you could have gotten something much better for your money. Should you feel this way?
The reality is that you could probably always get something better for the money you spent no matter what the purchase. There is certainly cheaper gas somewhere nearby. Probably cheaper bananas, ground beef, and canned beans. You don’t worry about these differences because you know there are additional costs. It costs you money and time to drive all over town looking for the best prices on every item you buy. In the end, sometimes it is just easiest to spend a little extra for the convenience of getting what you want quickly rather than constantly value shopping for everything.
Should you feel buyer’s remorse? In most cases, you certainly could justify it. There are always more powerful speakers and subwoofers available for slightly less money (or more money but you get much greater performance). But just because you didn’t eke out every cent of value for your purchase doesn’t mean you didn’t make a good purchase.
What You Got is Objectively Better than What You Had
You’ve already experienced that your new system, no matter how much hate it gets online, sounds better than what you had before. If that is what you were going for, then you’ve achieved it. I would be willing to bet that other people that heard your system would also be impressed. Are the online people right in that you could have gotten more performance for similar money? Likely. But better is better and you’ve got better. If you hadn’t gone online, you’d still be happy with your purchase. I know you can’t put that genie back in the bottle, but try to remember that.
Think About Your Upgrade Paths
One of the things about speaker package deals is that many of the components are just fine. It is usually the subwoofer (and sometimes the center) that is the problem. You can normally upgrade the subwoofer and maybe the front three speakers later and end up with a great system. If you are happy enough with what you have right now, just keep it and start thinking about what you’ll add later on to improve your system. Believe me, even if you had bought one of the “Internet-approved” systems, you’d be doing the same thing. There is always something better out there.
Returning Your System Won’t Necessarily Make Things Better
Even if you decide to return your system and start over, you are going to find yourself in the same boat. No matter what you buy, there is going to be someone (or maybe even a lot of someones) that will think you could have spent your money better. At some point, you just have to be okay with what you’ve purchased.
My advice is often to make your purchase and then not read anything online about what you bought for at least six months. This gives you time to enjoy your purchase and come to your own conclusions about the products.
More importantly, don’t return anything if you don’t have an immediate purchase ready to go. If you don’t have a full replacement in mind, with certainty that you can actually order it, then don’t return your system. Your system sounds great to you, don’t return it without a plan. If you return it without a plan then you’ll end up in analysis paralysis – always shopping and never buying.
It’s hard to think that returning a system that sounds great to you would be a good idea no matter how many better deals are out there. You spent the time and effort getting it set up and configured already. Surely that is worth something. Plus, how much better is it going to actually sound? If you can use most of your current system as a jumping-off point to a great system later, maybe returning it doesn’t make as much sense. But if your system has proprietary connections and can’t be added onto later, maybe returning it now is the best option, no matter how great you think it sounds. You’ll have to decide.