Blog

HOME THEATRE SPEAKER CHOICE

A Review By: Alphonso Soosay

GENERAL IDEA 

home-theatre-speakersBefore you take advantage of your speaker’s choice, try to imagine where you are going to position them in your room. Speakers can be positioned on floor stands, suspend on wall brackets, or positioned on furniture cabinet. Subwoofers typically sound best on the floor, in room corners or near the left- or right-front speakers. The front three left front, centre front, and right front speaker’s usually sound best when positioned with their tweeters elevated to the same height as a seated listener’s Ears. Whatever the situation may be in your home, try to keep the centre speaker near the same height as the left and right speakers. You can place speakers on shelves or on, in a low cabinet or entertainment centre. Several type of speakers are better suited to this arrangement than others. “Acoustic suspension” sealed satellites are the most appropriate. Subsequently with ported speakers it can be ports located on the front or the back of the speaker cabinet. However, speakers with rear mounted ports will not perform at their peak when they are placed inside a piece of entertainment cabinet. As for the rear channel surround speakers, they usually sound best when positioned two, three or more feet higher than the front speakers. However, high fidelity Super Audio CD and DVD Audio music will sound best when surround speakers are placed at the same height (Ear level) as the front speakers. That’s from practical experienceChoice of quality speaker’s available right now on specials is: B&W, FOCAL, PSB, JBL, ENERGY, NORH and AXIOM Speakers. Check with your nearest Home Theatre Consultant.

HOME THEATER SPEAKERS AND STEREO SPEAKERS:   Front speakers perform best when the listener’s EAR is directly in front of the speaker and at the same height as the speaker drivers. The Audio response where the driver is pointing directly at the listener is called the on-axis response. As soon as you move off-axis, the speakers will not sound as loud. That’s the difference. Generally, Stereo speakers have a better off-axis response than Home Theater speakers. The sound that the listener hears is a mixture of the left and right channels, combined with the reflections of the both channels off the walls, floor, and ceiling. Stereo speakers sound best when the listening area is centred and in front of the two speakers, but they also sound good from either side of the room. With a well recorded CD soundtrack, both the left and right signals comprise the same music, but they will not be at the exact same volume levels because of the  different  musical instruments mixed at different levels in the left and right speakers. If you are directly in front of one of the speakers, you should still be able to hear some parts of the musical instruments coming from the other speaker.
The front speakers in a home theater system can be designed to have just the opposite effect. They can have a very short vertical off-axis response that limits the dispersion of the sound in the room. This is done to prevent the reflection of the sound off the floor and the ceiling. The purpose for this is straightforward. With a home theater system, there are 2 rear speakers to provide the sound from the back. The reflection from the front speakers will only interfere with the job of rear speakers. Studio editors mix the sound having you in mind for a movie; the editors want you to feel like you are in the movie. If the actors are in a large room, then the echoes should appear to be deeper and take longer to arrive back at the listener. This is impossible if you want to hear the reflection of your front speakers off the back wall of your living room. Ideally, the only reflection you should hear is the false reflection provided by your rear speakers. That’s why it is called Surround.

REAR SPEAKERS: Rear speakers in a Home Theater system have a greater diffusion than you would get with stereo speakers. Sometimes, rear speakers have drivers firing in multiple directions. This causes a lot of reflection against the walls and makes the rear echoes sound like they are coming from a spacious area.

CENTRE SPEAKER:  Center speaker is the most important speaker in a Home Theater system. It produces all of the quality voices that come from actors on the screen. Without a centre speaker, the voices would be coming from the corners of your room.  Selected Home Theater speaker systems use two centre channels instead of one. It is debatable on whether more than one centre channel is necessary. It probably depends mostly on the size of your TV viewing and the distance you are seated.

THE SUBWOOFER:  In the past, the word subwoofer assumed that a speaker is to produce sounds deeper than a regular woofer. A subwoofer driver then would have to be at minimum a 12″ wide to produce these frequencies. Now, the term has come to suggest that it is the largest driver in a system, regardless of whether the system has a woofer or not. In some small speaker systems, especially computer multimedia systems, a subwoofer can be 6″ or smaller. A subwoofer of this type is completely ineffective in a good Home Theater system.
You can get extra Bass from a subwoofer through good Sub box design. On average, a ported subwoofer box can achieve an extra 3db, and a bandpass box can produce an extra 5db or more. Many people like this extra Bass but there are disadvantages. Ported boxes will usually be slightly larger than a sealed box using the same driver and a bandpass box can be twice as large. Also, it is difficult to determine when a bandpass Subwoofer is being pushed too hard. These Subs can self destruct before any distortion is audible. Finally, ported and bandpass boxes are only louder at certain frequencies. A sealed box may not be as loud but it will have a flatter response curve and a smoother roll-off on the Bass output.
Usually, individuals place the subwoofer in the corner of their room. The placement of a subwoofer is not critical because the Bass is so deep that the listener should not be able to determine at what direction it is coming from. This is why it is necessary to get a good deep Bass Subwoofer. Although the corner of the room works very well in most cases, a Sub can be placed anywhere in the room. Let your ears be the judge.

2012

 

More
Its all about the Music Follow on Twitter Facebook google plus LinkedIn