Do I need a centre and sub-woofer?


Standard Member
I'm in the process of buying an AV / Stereo set up from scratch. I went to listen to a few systems and speakers and the shop suggested that a centre speaker was unnecessary if my two fronts could be optimally positioned equally a sub wasn't strictly necessary if the fronts could produce enough base (likely to be B&W CM7s). Any views out there?


It depends what you want to use the system mainly for. If it's solely for music then no, a centre or sub isn't that necessary (Though some music has some good bass with one :devil:). However, if movies are also going to be part of the equation then a centre speaker is absolutely essential as it produces practically all the dialogue and allows the sound to pan across the front soundstage much better. A sub for movies is also a must, though not as essential as a centre. Alot of movies have frequencies below 20hz, and not alot of speakers can produce that low. It also helps by taking the strain off of the amp (Setting speakers to small and directing all bass to the sub) as bass is quite difficult to drive. Of course it all depends on your preferences, budget, available space and the most important of all, wife/gf approval.


Active Member
With Movies the sub is primarily for for LFE, low frequency effects, something that ordinary speakers simply arent designed to deal with. Most of the time you wouldnt notice the sub until it really kicked in, then you,d wonder what happened and prayed the neighbors arent in.:eek:


Distinguished Member
aye, the sub isnt about the depth of frequencies as much as it is about being able to play deeper frequencies with much more fact the LFE channel itself doesnt actually delve that deep.....its the front channels that have sometimes got very deep notes programmed in that get sent to a sub if you have the speakers listed as small in the setup options........anyhow, as mentioned tho if mainly just for music, then a sub isnt strictly necessary, but if for watching a fair bit of movies, then i would definitely say get one, having gone from a 5.0 system to a 7.1 system myself...

as for a centre, same applies, if mainly for music dont worry, if for an even mix of both or more for movies then get one.......some people say they prefer it without, but personally i dont buy it........i've tried both and i prefer a dedicated centre.......still, if you ask a shop nicely and leave a security deposit you can try at home and see what you think yourself :)


Active Member
Centre first, then a good sub later on if funds are short.

A centre that matches the front speakers really is a must for movies, as previously said. But dont think that you need to buy a sub from the same manufacturer or speaker range.

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