Buying the best quality speakers for your home theatre or home audio setup is paramount. When it comes to choosing the right speakers, there are many aspects to consider. Since the perception of sound is different, it gets even more difficult to explain these concepts.
Countless books, guides and articles have been written about this topic, however, we’ll aim to break it down right here and give you a better understand of the basics. Knowing these basics and answering the right questions will help you choose the right speakers for your home.
Understand your requirementIt is important to if your speakers will be projecting speaking voices, singing voices, orchestras, or a combination. One of the most critical deciding factor for speakers selection is volume. This is critical because speakers are made to reproduce sound and have been designed to perform optimally up to a certain sound pressure level (SPL) in the room.
Location-based impedance matchingWhile selecting a speaker, the goal is to optimise your coverage area. It is would be beneficial in taking the time to figure out your coverage area before purchasing the speaker. This will ensure that you hear everything everywhere without having to turn up the volume too loud later. Based on your location of use you will have to choose between a low impedance or high impedance speaker. Impedance is the complex-valued generalisation of resistance in electronic and mentioned in the Ohm's law. Below are two aspects to consider while determining location:
High ImpedancePlaces that are planning on using speakers for only Public Address (PA) systems and other lower-volume applications, such as corporate offices, warehouses, schools, and malls should look into high impedance speakers. They are also known as a distributed system and they usually require lower amplification. They tend to be low profile and reproduce low sound pressure.
Low ImpedanceIf you’re looking for speakers that will be used for louder volume music playback, your best option would be to consider low impedance speakers. These require much higher amplification, so more equipment will be needed as compared to high impedance speakers. That being said, low impedance speakers offer higher dynamic range, clearer sound and a natural listening environment.
Optimise speaker placementThis is when aesthetics, acoustics and sound distribution work harmoniously. Speaker placement is very important for good sound quality. Sometimes speakers may need to be at visible spots. Other times, you may want the speakers to blend in with the environment. Understanding speaker placement is an acquired art. It would be best to consult an audio professional or AV integrator to determine the best option for your requirement.
Read more about speaker placement here.
Hearing is believingNow that you have determined the function, location, and placement, it’s time to select the right speakers. Many brands and styles exist, however, when it comes right down to it, the most important question to answer is “How do they sound?”. If you’re planning to buy new speakers the best thing you can do is listen to them.
If you’re an avid online shopper, event watching speaker comparison videos on YouTube could really help you make the buying decision. As much as perusing specifications help, nothing compares to giving them the good old ear.