Speakers Buying Guide
The most sophisticated, high-tech surround sound system is nothing without quality speakers, and this article will define a few key terms and help you understand everything you need to know about your options, including in-wall speakers, in-ceiling speakers, home theater speakers and surround sound speakers.
On the Top Notch
Why we like it:
- Precise sound direction control
- Can work either as front or rear-channel speaker
- Uses innovative multi-element complex
So what is a speaker, exactly?
A speaker is a translation machine; it translates the electrical signal from a record, CD or DVD into physical vibrations to create sound waves. A speaker consists of drivers, a diaphragm (also called a dome or cone), a spider, a voice coil, a surround or suspension, a basket and a spider. Speakers also contain a cross-over, which is what separates the sound into various frequencies such as high, low and sometimes mid-range. There are three different types of basic speaker drivers: woofers, tweeters, and
Speakers also contain a cross-over, which is what separates the sound into various frequencies such as high, low and sometimes mid-range. There are three different types of basic speaker drivers: woofers, tweeters, and mid-range drivers.
As mentioned earlier, all speakers contain a voice coil, but you will find that some speakers feature dual voice coils. The main advantage that the dual voice coil speaker offers over a single coil is wiring flexibility, and they do tend to be a little more expensive.
A few other terms you are likely to encounter in your speaker search, whether you’re looking at in-ceiling, in-wall, home theater or surround sound speakers, are two-way versus three- or even four-way speakers, dual tweeters, impedance, resistance, sensitivity, power handling, and frequency response.
Different types of speakers defined
Two-way speakers include a tweeter and a woofer and often work well when combined with a subwoofer to handle the lower frequencies. Three-way speakers contain a tweeter, mid-range, and woofer. Four-way speakers contain a tweeter, mid-range, a woofer and a dedicated subwoofer. Which style will work best for you depends on your budget, space, and overall system?
Whether you’re considering in-wall, in-ceiling, home theater or surround sound speakers, a few other factors you will want to consider are frequency response, power handling, and sensitivity. Frequency response refers to the range of Hertz (or Hz, which is a unit of frequency) that a speaker can reproduce. For example, a 50-20,000 Hz speaker has a greater range than a 65-20,000 Hz speaker.
Power handling refers to Watts and helps you determine what kind of receiver would be best suited to your speakers and vice-versa. Sensitivity, also commonly referred to as efficiency, refers to how effectively the speaker uses the power it receives from the receiver. Higher sensitivity means the speaker will produce more volume without taxing your receiver.
Home theater systems consist of a center channel speaker, which delivers much of the dialogue; front left and right speakers, which handle most of the special effects; and surround sound speakers. Surround sound speakers typically provide the ambient sounds you hear while watching a movie or TV show, such as falling raindrops, gravel crunching underfoot, or the rustling of leaves. And lastly, most systems also include a subwoofer to catch and emphasize the lower frequencies.
All of these work together to create a dynamic theater-like sound experience. Bookshelf and satellite speakers are a great choice when you’re looking for space efficiency in your home theater system. You might also consider In-wall or in-ceiling speakers, depending on how you intend to use your space and your personal aesthetic. The grills on the fronts of both In-ceiling and in-wall speakers can be painted to match your wall color, allowing them to blend right into your decor.
The design of the speaker’s enclosure impacts how all these elements work together to create sound. Common enclosure designs include bass reflex, passive radiator, and dipole designs. If you’re working with an audio professional, he or she will understand exactly how these elements affect the sound experience and will help you select the best speakers for your space and use.
When choosing the best in-ceiling, in-wall, surround sound or home theater speakers for your specific needs, you’ll want to consider the shape and make-up of the room where the speakers will be installed, and how the room will be used. The shape and size of each speaker will impact the overall listening experience. Different shapes of speakers will project sound in different ways, for example, and it’s important to select a speaker shape that is appropriate for the room where it will be installed.
With so many quality brands of speakers on the market today, finding the perfect sound solution that fits both your budget and your lifestyle is possible, whether you prefer to do your homework yourself or hire a professional to walk you through the process. Working with a knowledgeable audio professional who will evaluate your needs and help you select the right system for you means no guesswork on your part, and helps ensure you get what you are looking for the first time around. Either way, you now have a basic understanding of speaker terminology with which to begin your search.
Best Speakers under $1000
|Pioneer SPEBS73-LR||True 3-Way Speaker design with Dolby-enabled top-firing concentric driver; uses Coherent Source Transducer drivers; for main front or rear-channel speaker use; Quad Gold Plated 5-Way Binding Posts + Multi-element complex crossover technology||Outstanding||Affordable||4.7 / 5|
|JBL L880 4-Way Floor-standing Loudspeakers||1" pure titanium dome tweeter with Aluminum waveguides; Freeflow port technology for least amount of distortion; Gold-plated, 5-way bi-wireable binding post||Very Good||Affordable||4.4 / 5|
|SVS Prime Towers||1” Aluminum light & efficient dome tweeter with Finite-Element-Analysis (FEA) optimized diffuser; 4.5” mid-range driver + dual 6.5” woofers; SoundMatch crossover sports premium-grade capacitors||Very Good||Affordable||4.4 / 5|
|PSB Imagine X1T||Unique 3 5-way transitional 5.25” woofers design in die-cast aluminum baskets with one 1” titanium dome tweeter with Ferrofluid & Neodymium magnets; dual 5-way Gold-plated binding posts + one 4” midrange driver||Very Good||High||4.2 / 5|
|Bowers and Wilkins 685 S2||2-way bass reflex type system with 1x ø130mm Woven Kevlar ® cone bass; 50kHz at -6dB reproduction frequency band; 8 ohms impedance + 4kHz crossover frequency||Very Good||Affordable||4.5 / 5|
|Energy Veritas V-6.2 Floor-standing Speaker||Design made to match any home décor; aluminum tweeters with less distortion & resonance; guaranteed lower price tag||Very Good||Affordable||4.5 / 5|
|Infinity Primus P363 3-Way Speakers||3-way floorstanding loudspeaker with dual 6.5" (165mm) MMD low-frequency drivers; 0.75” MMD hi-frequency driver; 4" MMD midrange driver + 5-way binding posts||Very Good||Affordable||4.6/ 5|
1. Pioneer SPEBS73-LR
This is one of the best speakers under $1000. Considering its unique features, it is a speaker that will enhance your music experience. It produces the best sound quality than any other speaker that falls between these price ranges. It has a three-way design and comes with a 5.25-inch woofer. Its tweeters are concentrically mounted at the center of its midrange drivers thus feeling the air with high-quality sound standards.
2. JBL L880 4-Way Floor-standing Loudspeakers
JBL speakers will give you an extremely musical relaxing experience in your house. It will bring to life the CDs and DVDs that you listen to. Its features include the one-inch titanium dome tweeter which provides a very high-quality performance. It is also technologically provided with aluminum waveguides that reduce distortion and increase dispersion. This quality product as so much affordable.
3. SVS Prime Towers
These speakers have a beautiful design that will make you think they are expensive, but for sure they aren’t. They are affordable and will not make you spend so much on them. They are moderately tall and wide. The aluminum dome tweeter has a protective grille that protects it from petty accidents. It has two bass drivers which are set up with different crossovers, hence speakers are characterized as 3.5 way instead of 3 way. SVS prime towers has a capability of filling a large room with music without looking like they are struggling.
4. PSB Imagine X1T
When talking about refined and natural music, then, PSB Imagine X1T speakers are the best for this function. They are very affordable as their prices fall under $1000. The speakers bring forth a stylistic taste of music that is easy to listen to and is suitable for acoustic or jazz music. It is best used in small spaces or medium sized rooms.
5. Bowers and Wilkins 685 S2
This will ones will give you the best entertainment as they offer excellent sound quality, in an attractive, stand-mounted package. It is suitable for both music and movies. It has a redesigned tweeter that will give you the best insight into recordings without it being harsh. It has a 6.5-inch woofer that will give you an extraordinary boom of music. Its unique dimensions of 13.5 inches high by 7.5 inches wide and 12.8 inches deep make it look presentable with different designs.
6. Energy Veritas V-6.2 Floor-standing Speaker
This is a low-priced speaker model that will reproduce live performances for you, right at the comfort of your living room or bedroom. It has a wonderful design that is made to match with any sort of décor. It feels the room with melodious music with its aluminum tweeters that have a little amount of distortion and resonance.
7. Infinity Primus P363 3-Way Speakers
This is one of the most popular mid-end and low priced speakers in the market. It has a metal matrix diaphragm technology that produces high-quality music with low resonance. Its highs and bass are the best and good enough for your average music fan and experience. You will never regret acquiring these speakers because they are durable, produce high-quality music and very affordable.
Also read: Best Headphones Under $300