loudspeaker vs. satellite speaker


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 21, 2006
Real Name
hello everyone.

i have always been into electronics but i wanted to know something. how are loudspeakers better than the satellite type? i mean i have heard some satellites and they are really loud sometimes. I wanted to really know what do loudspeakers do that make them better when it comes to home theatres. thanks alot.


Senior HTF Member
Oct 26, 2002
I assume when you say "satellite" you mean something like a small plastic box with a 2.5" to 4" woofer and maybe a tweeter; and "loudspeaker" means something in a wooden enclosure with, say, a 6.5" or larger woofer plus a tweeter and possibly a midrange?

My own personal preference for movies is to use something with at least a single 5" woofer. With few exceptions anything smaller just sounds too thin/anemic to me. Based on my own experiences, smaller "woofers" seem to sound fine........until you directly compare them to something larger, then you realize that around the typical crossovers of 80-100Hz that tiny woofer is huffing and puffing along and just can't reproduce those frequencies properly (including the ones directly above the xover point). Even at 100Hz the eight inch woofers in my Bostons are very active, particularly with music.

Speaking of music: for a system used more for that than movies (like mine), I would advise using something with at least one 6.5" woofer, or a very well built 5" woofer.


Jan 6, 2005
The term "loudspeaker" and "speaker" are THE SAME THING!! Any speaker can be a loudspeaker and any speaker can play loud, you guys are confusing the terms here. There are many different types of speakers and there is no one "better" than the other, just more suitable for your application. There are floorstanding speakers that have larger woofers and reproduce more of the audio spectrum and then there are bookshelf models that are designed to have the lowest (bass) frequencies sent to a seperate subwoofer. These are usually smaller and sit on a stand and sometimes referred to as a satellite speaker.


Senior HTF Member
Jan 27, 2003
The nice thing about not using satellites (i.e. using larger speakers that have nice wood casings) is that you don't have to rely on the sub woofer for your bass. Most satellite systems work well because the sub is making up for the lack of bass in the satellites.

For me, backing off on the sub and allowing the main speakers to handle the bass, often creates a more enjoyable experience. My sub was great at first, but it got old very quickly and I find the powerful bass (that comes from my mains) to be more pleasurable than the heart pounding bass that rumbles through the sub.

Again, it's all preference, but at least with decent main speakers, you can have the best of both worlds.


Senior HTF Member
Dec 15, 2001
Real Name
Oh, yeah. I was playing a CD with lots of bass (Muse - Black Holes and Revelations), and I was surprised at how low my JBL E30s could go. The specs say they can go down to 50Hz - if that's 50Hz, then damn! There were times where I thought my subwoofer was on, but it wasn't. I turned my subwoofer on, and it went so low that I could feel it in my bones. I wasn't in the mood for that, so I turned it off.

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Jun 24, 1999
Real Name

What it means is, you should read up a little more before making comments like this one.

Satellite speakers are small, thus they don't extend very low, so in order to hear the lower midbass which sats cannot reproduce, your sub has to make up for that to give you overall even response, along the lines of what Mark Hastings mentioned. Your sub is for SUB duty, not midrange duty. Starting around 120Hz, sound becomes loclizable, aka you can tell where the sound is coming from in the room, and crossing the sub higher to make up for lacking sats means that midbass is now localizable to the sub's location. By not having the midrange coming from the sats, they lose some of their ability to draw you in and make the sound believable, both directionally and sound wise. If the crossover point is not set correctly, you will also develop a dip in the overall frequency response.

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Latest member