Home Theater: How To Choose The Best Speakers

The experience of sitting in the midst of a surround sound home theater system is by far superior to the sound produced by average TV speakers. With a little research and thorough product testing, you will be sure to enjoy your new home theater for years to come.

There is something to be said for sitting in your media room watching TV or a movie and being able to feel almost as if you are in the picture. You can hear the knock on the door behind you that occurs behind the main character of the movie. You can hear the cars roaring past you when you watch the races. With a surround sound home theater system, you feel like you are part of the action, like the character in the movie you are watching, or a spectator actually at the sports event that is playing on your TV screen. Surround sound theater systems have become very popular, resulting in a multitude of brands and systems available for purchase. With some research and some time spent thinking about what your needs and wants are, you will be able to considerably narrow your search.

The front three speakers which include the center, left and right speakers, produce most of the sound for your sound system. You should choose the center speaker first, as it reproduces the majority of the sounds-approximately 90% of the dialogue and 50% of the soundtrack. Buy the best you can afford. Next, choose your left and right speakers. It is very important that they sound identical to the center speaker-you want the sounds to flow together. The sound that is achieved should "float" in the center of your space. You should not be able to easily trace it back to any one speaker. When testing these speakers at the store, be sure to try many different types of sounds. Try one person singing solo, does their voice seem to float? Does it sound like they are there in person? Try a solo instrumental- can you hear the finest details? These types of tests will ensure that you get a quality product suited to your tastes. These three speakers produce the front soundstage.

Next you will need the surround speakers. This can include anywhere from two to four additional speakers. A 5.1 channel system has two more speakers situated on either side of the rear of the listening space, in addition to a sub woofer. A 6.1 channel system has all the components of the 5.1 channel system, but adds an additional rear speaker that sits in the center rear of the listening area. A 7.1 channel system has all the components of the 5.1 system, but adds two additional rear speakers, mounted on the rear wall.



Listen to each channel system, and determine which works best for you. Obviously, the more speakers that are in the system the more costly that system will be, so keep your budget in mind when you are looking. If you do wish to have the 7.1 channel system, you can always add the two extra speakers later.

When you are at the store, remember, you get what you pay for. Yes, name brands are going to be more expensive, but they will last longer and will be more durable. The quality of sound will also be better, as the better known brands often offer the cutting edge technological advances that may not be offered on less expensive models or with lesser known brands. The warranties will also be better. As always, be sure you are familiar with your store's return policy.

If you are sure to research the product you want to buy, and thoroughly test it out, you will be rewarded with a home theater system that will last years, and provides the ultimate home theater experience.

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