Choosing Home Theater Speakers

What purpose do speakers serve in a home theater? If you said, ‘they give the sound,’ you’d be correct – but what you might not know is that speakers pick up the electronic signal on the movies and play it as sounds you can understand. The concept is the same for music CDs as well. It reads the signal.

You want speakers that can read signals like you hear in the movies at the theater. To get that kind of theater experience in your home, you’ll need decent home theater speakers. How to choose these components to add to your system depends on two main factors: where you’ve set up your home theater – whether you’ve got the room for a decent speaker set up, and whether or not your room is too large for the speakers you’ve chosen.

Start with a home theater system with at least 5.1 channels. ie 5 full range speakers and a sub-woofer.

Start a home theater system with at least 5.1 channels. ie 5 full range speakers and a sub-woofer. The latest AV receivers support up to 9.3 channels.

A large, living room with twenty foot ceilings will swallow the sound if the speakers aren’t compatible with that kind of space. Speakers need to be heard before you bring them home.

What looks good on the box might not deliver the power of the sound you’re looking to get. Do a listening test on more than one speaker system before you make your final decision.

Don’t be afraid to test out the speakers before you buy them. If you get salespeople who try to push you to buy the speakers without a listening test, move on. It’s their job to sell but you don’t want to fork over money for a product that’s going to be with for a long time only to find out that you hate the quality because the sound isn’t up to par.

Also don’t be suckered into buying just because the speakers carry a brand name. If the company isn’t tops in the acoustics department, they’re not going to know how to design the best speakers.

If you have a good system that you know produces what you’re looking for and you’re happy with it, don’t orphan component parts if you can help it. Electronic components within the same family are all created to work together to give you the most out of your home theater. So if you can, get the speakers in the brand you used for your other parts.

Make sure you’re happy with the way the speakers look. If you get speakers that can deliver a monster sound but really do have a monstrous appearance, you won’t be happy. If you can’t tolerate the way they look and you stuff them in a home entertainment system to hide them from view then you’ve defeated the purpose of having them because you’ve muffled the sound.

What should you spend on speakers? Figure up the total amount you’d like to spend on a home system and then plan to spend about half that amount on speakers.