What are the Various Types of Home Theater Speakers?
Updated: May 19, 2021
Home theater speakers come in a large variety of types and sizes but understanding their application, performance and purpose will help you design a right plan and price for your home theater.
Speaker choice will also allow you to choose the appropriate AV receiver; big speakers need big power, little speakers need less power, that sort of thing.
Also, more speakers mean you'll need more channels on your receiver. And for the most immersive sound possible, you may want to consider adding the latest in-home theater technology.
If you are looking to buy the best home theater speakers for your surround sound system, then you have many things to consider, which may or may not be related to your budget.
One of the most common speakers frequently observed in the living rooms of Indian homes are Satellite Speakers.
Satellite speakers are those small speakers that you place on the sides of your TV and behind the listening area. Satellites are reputed for redefining the performance of the audio system with incredible refinement. These are designed to serve an area of around 100 spft to 200 sqft.
Satellite speakers are great for creating immersive surround sound in small to medium-sized rooms, often in a 2.1, 5.0, or 5.1 arrangement. These type of speakers have less output in delivering low-frequency response and rely heavily on the sub-woofer to create punch and bass required for a desirable Home Cinema experience. Satellite speakers are great companions of TV due to lack of clarity (in TV Sound) and makes a decent budgetary surround sound system.
Some of the most popular and recommended satellite speaker packages include Yamaha YHT-3072, Sonodyne Micro HTS and Polk TL-1600. You can also check our videos on best satellite speaker systems under ₹50,000/- in India, here.
Limited floor space, desire to go big and the aesthetic considerations have made this segment of On-Wall speakers very trendy in the recent past.
An on-wall speaker is another great way to decorate your home and design your home theater system. They are generally between 3 to 6 inches in depth and protrude as much as a regular LED TV with a wall-mount. On-wall speakers are more often used in surround sound setups because of this added dimensionality, and also due to their superior stereo effect for music.
You can use these speakers for Front Left and/or Right, Center and/or Surround Speakers. These speakers have better output power and frequency response than satellite speakers because of their driver sizes and volume, which makes them ideal choice for home theater or media rooms ranging from 150 sq. ft. to 400 sq. ft. They can be clubbed with TV as well as Projector Screen based installations.
In-Wall or Architectural Speakers
Architects and Interior Designers demand for speakers that cannot be seen but can only be felt created a new category of speakers in the installed segment. These In-Wall Speakers gained so much traction and popularity in the design fraternity that companies started referring these speakers as architectural speakers.
In-Wall or Architectural Speakers are speakers without an enclosure, that can be mounted inside a wall/wooden cabinet/gypsum or acoustic panels. These speakers sound and behave exactly like On-wall speakers but are tuned to operate inside a structure.
The low-frequency driver in an in-wall speaker is typically mounted in a rubber surround and with a back box provision they can be equally loud like a floorstanding or an on-wall speaker. These speakers are usually inexpensive in their price range due to less moulds and mateiral required for finished cabinets; but it does not necessarily mean that they cannot produce good quality sound with bass. They sound awesome if you select the right speakers that match your room requirements. These speakers come with grills which are paintable to match your wall or finishing surfaces color and can easily be accomodated in small to large rooms.
There are also a new category within these architectural speakers which are referred as angled speakers, which you can know more about here
A bookshelf loudspeaker (or bookshelf speaker) is a compact loudspeaker, generally sold for consumer-grade home audio applications as part of a hi-fi stereo pair or home theater package that is compact.
Smaller in size just like an on-wall speaker but higher depth and volume makes it a little powerful than satellites and on-wall speakers. Bookshelves are like younger siblings to the Floorstanding speaker and are often placed on a shelf or stand from which it derives its name.
These speakers maximize sound in small and mid-sized spaces. If you have small living room or drawing room, bookshelf speakers are the best option compared to other home audio speakers. They can be used as only 2-ch audio system or as a home theater speaker system with TV. These speakers have a big driver, twitter so it covers full range and rests well with a wide variety of users.
Floor-Standing or Tower speakers
The king of home theater speakers is definitely larger than life and takes space which too, is larger than any of the other mentioned speakers.
Floor Standing speakers (also referred as tower speakers) stand on the floor or an attached outrigger type stand. Normally they are around three feet tall and seven to ten inches in width and depth.
They are often multi-driver, 2-way, 2.5-way or 3 way speaker systems featuring a dedicated bass driver(s), midrange driver, and a tweeter. They usually have more bass output, better dynamics and can play louder due to their size and volume. If space has no object, you’ll almost always get the best audio experience out of a pair of floor-standing speakers which can be paired with a stereo amplifier for a fulfilling 2-ch hi-fi system or use them as Front Left and Right speakers in a Home Theater configuration of 5.1 and above.
The only drawback is its hard to make them disappear since they are fairly large and most floor standing speakers need to be away from the back wall to sound best, usually 6" to 36” out into the room.
Now, that you are in a better place to make decisions regarding your home theater speakers, let us know in the comments which ones would you go for and why?
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