how to decide on speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by jeff_c, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. jeff_c

    jeff_c Auditioning

    Jan 8, 2006
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    What would be the best way to determining what speakers (brand, sixe, power) would be best suited for a particular room? also I have a friend who had a theater installed professionally, and they did not install a center channel? Why is this? They said it was not needed for this application? A theater! Well thanks for any help.

  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Dec 17, 2003
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    Well, a center channel is generally used in theaters. Some people make a phantom center with the L/R speakers, but I think most would prefer a dedicated center, especially if paying to have a theater installed.

    The main determination for speakers is going to be your budget and your room size. Once you have those set, we can give suggestions for brands to go listen to, and it's up to you to get out and figure out which you like best. You can then read reviews about internet-direct speakers and see how they compare to the speakers you like.
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Hello Jeff,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I agree that a center speaker is "needed" for a Home Theater. Of course there could be reasons not to install one - budget, no proper placing, other compelling reasons. And, indeed, the function of a center speaker could be simulated by the Left and Right main speakers. But the channel being there in most movie sound tracks, why not send it to the proper place?

    The choice of your set of speakers is a personal thing. The size of the room dictates (well, more or less) the required power of each channel. Of course the speakers should be chosen so as to be able to emit that power.

    The impedance of the speakers is less critical, in general, but a very good rule of thumb is to make them match the amplifiers.

    But then ... the choice is yours. You may want to choose "efficient" speakers (> 88 db/W/m). But for the rest: it's your ears, i.e. your taste. Good speakers are "neutral", meaning they don't add sound coloring of their own. But after you've chosen a few "good" brands (and taken your budget into account), the best you can do is, to go and listen.

    Better shops will not only allow you to do that (and bring some of your favourite and most critical music to play), but also to compare different brands.

    And even then, hopefully they allow you finally to try the ones you've chosen at your home - where the effect can be different.

  4. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

    Jan 14, 2003
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    A center isn't necessarily necessary... A lot of it depends on how far you're sitting from the screen, how big the screen is, and how good your speakers are... For instance, if you've got a pair of maggies or some line arrays up front, the lack of a third speaker in the center likely isn't going to be noticed... And in some cases, it can be obtrusive...

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