Our technology has advanced so much in the last several years, and you might be looking to setup a system at home for your television or streaming music (since radio seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird). But there are so many speakers out there that simply looking for one that’s right for you might seem like studying for the SAT exams. Speakers can be a huge investment, so you’ll want to find the right ones. Our simple guide will help you determine what type of speaker is the best for your needs.
What Are Your Needs, Exactly?
First, determine what you’ll use the speakers for. For occasional music and TV use, a single pair of speakers is probably sufficient. These might include bookshelf speakers or an inside-the-wall set. If you plan to use the speakers all the time and want high-quality sound, floor speakers might be your best bet. For regular TV use, a sound bar will help boost the volume of your flat-screen. Or, you might decide you want surround sound for that theater feel.
Define Your Space
Speakers, like other electronics, take up space, especially if you’re looking at full floor units. Surround sound comes with lots of speakers, so you’ll want to make sure you have space at your television set as well as behind where you’ll normally be sitting.
The size and shape of the room you’re putting speakers into has an impact on the quality of sound you’ll get. Small rooms are not ideal for large speakers because they’ll load your room with bass, creating an effect called “muddying”. A small speaker in a large room will sound, well, small. So, your available space should dictate your choice in speakers.
While we’re talking space, look at how you will place your speakers. If you plan to put them inside an entertainment center, avoid large bookshelf units or any speaker that produces a lot of bass. Also, avoid putting a ported subwoofer into any cabinet.
Placing speakers in a corner presents its own challenges. It tends to cancel out bass, so if that’s your main reason for getting speakers, consider moving them elsewhere.
On Walls and Floors
Smooth surfaces around your speakers will change the sound that you hear. Anything that breaks up that smooth surface (photographs, curtains, etc.) will help your speakers produce more natural sound.
Look at Your Décor
If you’ve spent a lot of effort making your room look nice, consider speakers that will complement, rather than detract from, your home’s décor. There are plenty of speakers available with furniture-like finishes to blend in with any decoration.
Options for Placement
You’ll want to determine where you’ll place your speakers in the room. If your sofa or chairs are up against a wall, trying to fit a system like a 7.1 isn’t feasible. Instead, look for a smaller system with less speakers, like a 5.1.
Wired or Wireless?
There are plenty of wireless, or Bluetooth, speakers available today. A traditional wired speaker will, of course, plug into the wall. Bluetooth speakers, on the other hand, will require regular battery changes, especially if you use them frequently. You can visit speakerdigital.com to learn more about Bluetooth speakers and their features.
What’s Your Budget Look Like?
As mentioned before, speakers can be a huge investment. The best sound systems aren’t available for cheap, so you’ll want to look at how much speaker you can afford. If you’re wanting one just for watching TV, movies, and occasional music, you won’t need to have a top-of-the-line system. Even a basic sound bar might be sufficient. But if you’re big into movies and want that theater sound, or hard-core into gaming, you might want to spend a little more for a bigger, better system.
Hearing is an art; what sounds perfect to one person might sound terrible to the next. When shopping for speakers, listen to different models and pay close attention to the sound each one produces. Because speakers are expensive, you don’t want to buy several setups before you find one that really resonates with you. Bring along your own music and use it to test the units, if you can; you’ll be intimately aware of how the music should sound, so it will be a good indicator if the speaker will meet your needs.
Shopping for speakers doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once you’ve determined what kind of speakers you need for your space and uses, make sure to listen to different models, by different manufacturers if possible, so you get first-hand information about how the speakers sound. Listen to your budget and avoid the temptation to get too much speaker for your available space. And don’t forget to buy extra speaker wire, because you’ll probably end up needing some when you set up your speakers.