Whether you’re looking for speakers for your television, stereo or computer, consider these questions before you buy to help find home speakers that work best for you.
1. What types of home speakers are available?
Sound bar: If you want to boost the audio on your television but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a surround sound system, consider a sound bar or sound bar subwoofer. These thin speaker strips are designed to integrate seamlessly into your TV’s audio system.
Floor speakers: These freestanding speakers are placed at ear level to deliver great sound. They take up more room than bookshelf speakers (and are more expensive) but offer better quality sound.
Bookshelf speakers: Bookshelf speakers are smaller than floor speakers and can sit on tables and shelves. You’ll sacrifice a bit on sound quality (particularly bass), but they’re a great choice when space is at a minimum.
Subwoofers: These speakers provide heart-pounding bass, making them great for gamers and action movie fanatics alike. A subwoofer is usually placed in front of TVs or stereos.
Portable speakers: Lightweight and usually battery operated, portable speakers can go from room to room or with you when you’re on the go. Look for wireless speakers to easily connect to your portable devices.
Docking stations: Docking stations are small, compact speakers that connect directly to your smartphone or MP3 player.
2. Do I want surround sound?
Surround sound uses a network of speakers for an immersive cinema or gaming experience. Most surround sound systems use at least five speakers: a centre channel speaker and four speakers that go in pairs in front and on either side of you.
- Consider adding more speakers for an even more immersive system.
3. What should I look for in quality speakers?
Sound is very personal, but these factors can help you compare speakers so you can find a quality sound.
Size: It may seem outdated, but larger and heavier speakers are generally better quality because they can house bigger, higher quality materials.
Frequency: Measured in hertz, frequency is the range of sound a speaker can emit. A good all-round speaker will cover as much of what a human ear can hear, about 20-20,000Hz.
Sensitivity: Sensitive speakers use less energy to get to higher volumes. A high sensitivity speaker will get about 100 decibels per watt of power.
Power handling: Simply put, more watts means louder speakers that provide crisp and clear audio at higher volumes.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to buying speakers, but in the end, the right speakers are the ones that sound good to you. No matter what your home audio needs, you can find speakers that match your budget and expectations.