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7 factors of choosing suitable home theatre speakers

Hawk Eyes

Standard Member
Hey folks, I thought i would share an article I wrote yesterday with you all.

Gone are the days when one used to hear high quality sound only in theatres while watching movies. The same feeling can be recreated in the luxury of your own home. But there are few factors which need to be put into consideration before you purchase any home theatre system.

Research - Before you buy, check out detailed test reports in reputable audio/video magazines and on the internet. Read message boards for owner's comments on particular brands and models of speakers. Ask questions about the quality and type of the individual component parts.

Test - Visit several stores, taking the same group of recordings of music you know and like, for each test. If you have the option of auditioning the speakers in your own home, so much the better.

Don't be fooled by those cheap speakers with the unknown name - The best speakers come from dedicated speaker designers who most often have been in business for 20 years or more. It takes that long to refine and develop really great loudspeakers.

Room Placement of speakers - Room placement of any speaker is critical, and with subwoofers it becomes crucial. Even shifting the subwoofer (or where you sit) by a few feet can have a profound effect on the quantity and quality of low bass you'll hear. Experiment with subwoofer locations! Every room produces “standing waves”–areas in the room where bass may seem too boomy or may almost be absent.

Looks - Looks are important, but not everything. The speakers may look cute and almost disappear into your room's decor, but those tiny satellite speakers can move only so much air.

Budget - Always consider your budget while choosing the speakers for your home theatre audio system. Speakers are available at various rates. Some of the big brands have their speakers highly priced. You can spend up to thirty three percent of your budget on speakers but in no case it should be more than that. This is the golden rule and you must follow it.

Room size - A big sized theatre will need more speakers. Six speakers are sufficient for an average sized home theatre. Now you may ask to how one should decide upon the number of speakers? Well, there's a simple rule which one needs to follow. Just divide the theatre's square feet by ten and what you get is the number of speakers. So it's really not difficult to decide on the number of speakers for your theatre.
 
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mattg

Well-known Member
I'm interested how you would split the other 66% of the budget Mr. Hawk?

More because I've done all of your other steps but split my budget 60/40 in favour of speakers over amp. I've tried to buy the best speakers I can afford that match my amp given my room constraints.

All sound advice, but then if you've found this forum, you are half way there!
 

childejc

Active Member
Now you may ask to how one should decide upon the number of speakers? Well, there’s a simple rule which one needs to follow. Just divide the theatre’s square feet by ten and what you get is the number of speakers. So it’s really not difficult to decide on the number of speakers for your theatre.

Not sure about this bit. My room is approx 20' x 14' or 280 square feet. Are you recommending 28 speakers? My wife my regard that as overkill:)
 

Magslad

Active Member
Not sure about this bit. My room is approx 20' x 14' or 280 square feet. Are you recommending 28 speakers? My wife my regard that as overkill:)

:rotfl:

Just worked out I need 30 for my loft :eek:. I'd better get saving.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The number of square feet divided by 10, are you sure that's not square meters?

Logically, for nearly all consumers, you either need two stereo speakers, a 5.1 speaker system or a 7.1 speaker system. There are 10 channel surround sound systems, but that is way over kill for most users.

Also, it not the room size, it is the listening area size, that matters. You may have a room that is 20 x 30, but your listening area could easily be 15x15.

Next as to the 1/3rd of your budget for speakers. If you are talking about a complete home audio/video system, then that's probably a fair and generous estimation.

However, if you are simply speaking of an amp and speakers, then I would say between 50/50 and 33/67 with the 67% being the speakers. I've always said that £1000 speakers on a £500 amp will sound better than £500 speakers on a £1000 amp.

So, amp and speakers should be from roughly equal to speakers roughly twice the cost of the amp. If you go more than that on speakers, you should probably upgrade the amp too.

But if there is a general rule, strictly for amp and speakers, it's 50/50.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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