Hi Fi vs Home Theater Speakers?


Active Member
I realize that recording and film audio producers have very different goals albeit to create a great audio experience but how they approach their crafts and how they view and hear audio has to be very different. I'm from the record business and have worked with many producers and engineers and know that side. I am only assuming what film studio audio production must be.

Is there a concise way to explain the difference then, between Hi Fi and Home Theater (front) speakers? And can you get one pair to do both task very well, at a reasonable price?


Distinguished Member
I have never heard speakers that do music well and movies badly but speakers that work well in a home theatre system do not always work well or as well for music.

Hifi speakers can be used for home theatre, hence centre, surround and height versions.


Well-known Member
A good speaker is a good speaker and will sound good with any content. However for home cinema you may want wider dispersion characteristics and typically the speakers only have to handle 80hz and up therefore dedicated HC speakers may well be designed with those criteria in mind.

With stereo speakers creating a stereo image is a huge part of what they need to do. Less so with HC speakers where the sound stage is created in conjunction with at least 3 other speakers, and normally many more these days.

So at the high end (£20K+ system - plucking a fairly arbitrary figure out of the air) you probably will compromise a little by using speakers dedicated to one or other, for both. But beneath that you should be able to get close enough to optimal performance on both hifi and HC.

If you want to combine your hifi and HC and use the same pair of front L&R speakers then start with a pair of full range speakers for your front L&R which are going to be great in stereo and then take it from there. You really need them all from the same manufacturer’s range so that the sound characteristics are the same - especially the centre which will be quite glaring if the sound characteristics are different from the front L&R.


Active Member
As the number of channels increases the less you can pick up on inaccuracies of a poor speaker.


Active Member


Active Member
We are saying the same thing.

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