7 Ways To Test If You Have Good Speakers

What do good speakers sound like? Here’s what to listen for. Make sure to bring your own demo material so you’ll have a known reference.

A Natural Tonal Balance

Acoustic instruments and vocals should sound realistic, not muddy or bright. An instrument with a wide frequency range, like a piano, shouldn’t change character between its low, middle, and high registers.

Bass Characteristics

The bass should be articulate and detailed, not boomy or indistinct. It should be easy to differentiate individual notes of instruments like the electric bass.

Listen To A Variety Of Music

Make sure to check out loud and soft passages, simple and complicated arrangements and orchestrations, and the very beginnings and decays of musical notes.

Dynamic Range

Ideally, the speaker should be able to reproduce a wide range of soft to loud sounds, from quiet passages and background movie soundtrack ambience to a rock band or action movie at full tilt.

Blend Between The Satellites And Subwoofer

The individual speakers shouldn’t call attention to themselves but instead produce a spacious, continuous sound field. The subwoofer should blend with the satellites without any noticeable transition from bass to midrange sounds.

Imaging And Sound Field Reproduction

Instruments and vocals should originate from a precise location, and movie soundtracks should be reproduced with an immersive, allencompassing sound field.

Center-Channel Dialogue Reproduction

Most dialogue reproduction comes from the center channel. Make sure voices sound clear and intelligible, not “hooded” or obscured.

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