5 Things To Consider Before Buying Speakers

Deciding what speakers are best for you depends on your room size, budget, and listening requirements.

Consider the following:

Room Size

Are you in a small apartment or room, or are you building a large-scale custom home theater? For the former, a compact satellite/subwoofer system will do the job (and these systems can play surprisingly loud); for the latter, you’ll need larger speakers and perhaps multiple subwoofers. Make sure the speakers will fi t into your installation or entertainment cabinet.

Freestanding, On-wall, or Inwall?

If space is at a premium, on-wall or in-walls are an attractive option — but keep in mind that with in-walls, you might have to factor in the cost of professional installation. On the other hand, larger freestanding speakers will play louder and with greater “real live” presence and scale, and with full-range floorstanding speakers, you won’t need a standalone subwoofer.

Budget

Even if it’s limited, avoid those under-$100 all-in-one systems, which are okay for computers and maybe gaming but aren’t the best choice for a home theater. While high-end custominstallation systems can easily top $100,000, many excellent systems are available for less than $1,000.

Appearance

You’ll want speakers that complement your décor and system. A plethora of black, silver, wood-finish, and paintable models are available.

Compatibility

If you’re buying speakers “à la carte” rather than a prepackaged system, make sure they match sonically — even if you’re buying from the same manufacturer — or else you’ll lose the illusion of a seamless sonic blend.

For more information on speaker setup check out our Speaker 101 feature by Frank Doris here.

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