Audio

What Makes the Best High-End Home Theater Speakers – 2021 Guide

What Makes the Best High-End Home Theater Speakers?
Bestseller No. 1
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel 1000W Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Dual 10" Subwoofers...
  • With 70+ years of audio excellence, experience the absolute best audio no other soundbar can replicate. Feel the roomshaking bass with industry’s only Dual Wireless Subwoofers & 360° 9.2 channel audio from every direction with our soundbar + four modular surround effects speakers. This plug and play solution’s designed to bring the acoustics of a high performance cinema into your living room in approx 30 minutes. Winner of the best Dolby Atmos soundbar battle (hosted by Brian Tong, Ex-Cnet host)
  • Our DUAL 10" WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (industry's 1st!), the new soundbar reference standard for bass, produce ground-shaking rumbles that turn your living room into an epicenter of adrenaline-pumping action. They merge to distribute bass evenly throughout the room with zero localization. The sound bar, surrounds and subwoofers replicate the perfect theater experience, reaching cinema-level volumes with no distortion. Agreed among experts, TWO subwoofers are a must for ultimate home theaters.
  • FOUR 2-WAY SURROUND SPEAKERS (industry's 1st!). Each of them (connected to sub via RCA wires) is constructed with a tweeter that reproduces high frequencies with captivating clarity, and a full-range driver that delivers surround effects with power and precision. MODULAR in form, they are designed to work perfectly for any room size or shape. Attach them as dipoles to disperse expanded surround effects or detach as 4 individual speakers (signature setup) to deliver our 360° surround sound
  • Redefine soundbar expectations and surround performance with our exclusive SSE Technology. Featuring 3 advanced audio processing engines working in harmony to enhance directionality, enlarge spaciousness and unlock extra details of any audio soundtrack. Envelop your home theater with up to 9.2.4 channels of Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object based multi-dimensional audio that flows around, above and through you. Unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience with 110dB of room-filling sound
  • All units sold since Aug '19 can receive Dolby Atmos surround via TV’s eARC when streaming with TV’s smart apps like Netflix (Note: not all TVs can output Atmos. Refer to your TV brand’s audio output specs). Enjoy advanced connectivity with Dolby Vision, 4K UHD pass-thru and High Dynamic Range (HDR). Connect up to 6 devices via 1 HDMI ARC, 3 HDMI, 1 Optical and 1 Coaxial inputs. The 52-key backlit remote allows seamless control of sources, DSP modes, individual channel and room size optimization
SaleBestseller No. 2
Fluance Signature HiFi 3-Way Floorstanding Tower Speakers with Dual 8" Woofers for 2-Channel Stereo...
  • Mastering precision and sonic accuracy, the Signature Series uses only premium components that ensure high fidelity sound transporting the concert into your living room
  • Powerful dual 8" woofers provide optimal linear movement resulting in a low frequency bass performance that is clean, deep and controlled
  • Ultra high-end Neodymium tweeters produce high frequencies with captivating clarity
  • Unique midrange pointed dome allows sound waves to travel directly from the center of the woven glass fiber cone for an enhanced soundstage so every song is indistinguishable from the original recording
  • Acoustically inert, the cabinets are precision crafted with engineered MDF wood to create a warm, distortion-free sound; A solid 1.4" thick front baffle bears chamfered edges to significantly decrease sound diffraction
Bestseller No. 3
HannLinte 12AWG Speaker Wire Cable Premium Heavy Duty Braided Speaker Cable Dual Gold Plated Banana...
  • Maintain Best Audio and crisp clear sound with this dual conductor 12 AWG oxygen-free pure copper (OFC), color coding banana plug to enable matching polarity, high strand count wires in a no-slip PVC Y-Boot and a durable braided jacket.
  • Precision bolted interior banana plug terminations create a secure connection and a convenient alternative to cutting and terminating speaker wire with banana plugs.
  • High-end look with braided jacket wrapped around speaker wire, giving them extra protection to your speakers' finish allowing Pro-grade sound quality yet retaining the flexibility of ordinary speaker wire.
  • Quick and easy installation for connecting a speaker to an A/V receiver or amplifier with banana plug style ports.
  • Package includes: 1 x HannLinte 12AWG premium heavy duty braided Speaker Wire Cable
SaleBestseller No. 4
GearIT 14AWG Premium Heavy Duty Braided Speaker Wire Cable (6 Feet) Dual Gold Plated Banana Plug...
  • Quick and easy installation for connecting a speaker to an A/V receiver or amplifier with banana plug style ports; Precision bolted interior banana plug terminations create a secure connection and a convenient alternative to cutting and terminating speaker wire with banana plugs *Package includes 1 cable*
  • Maintain Best Audio and crisp clear sound with this dual conductor 14 AWG oxygen-free pure copper (OFC), color coding banana plug to enable matching polarity, high strand count wires in a no-slip PVC Y-Boot and a durable braided jacket
  • High-end look with braided jacket wrapped around speaker wire, giving them extra protection to your speakers' finish allowing Pro-grade sound quality yet retaining the flexibility of ordinary speaker wire
  • Professional Look packed with professional grade features, such as color-coded, brushed aluminum connectors, gold plated banana plugs, and braided fabric jacket, get the appearance of a professional installation without the cost and hassle
  • Audiophile Equipment compatible with popular home theater equipment such as KEF LS50 Mini Monitor, Marantz PM-8005 Integrated Amplifier, Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers, Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver, Pioneer Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker / Bookshelf Loudspeakers / Floor standing Loudspeaker / Add-on Speakers for Dolby Atmos / Watt Powered Subwoofer, Polk Audio PSW505 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer, SMSL Class D Amplifier + Power Adapter and more!
SaleBestseller No. 5
Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System
  • The Klipsch reference theater pack delivers a superior acoustic performance while keeping an incredibly minimal footprint
  • Klipsch's exclusive Tractrix Horn technology and aluminum Tweeters deliver the cleanest, most natural sound possible. The down-firing wireless subwoofer is designed to deliver room-filling low frequencies without requiring too much floor space
  • To complement the easy placement of the wireless subwoofer, each satellite speaker has a keyhole mount and a threaded insert for maximum mounting flexibility
  • The reference theater pack brings the Klipsch cinematic sound into your home with an incredibly minimal footprint
SaleBestseller No. 6
Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker Set of 2 Black
  • Single 4" spun-copper IMG woofer
  • 1" aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn
  • 68 hertz - 21 kilohertz +/- 3dB; Nominal impedance - 8 ohms; Compatible crossover frequency – 1,730 hertz
  • Sensitivity 90dB
  • 200 watts power handling
Bestseller No. 7
Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer - Power Port Technology, Up to 100 Watts, Big Bass in Compact...
  • POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR EXTRA BASS & PUNCH – A 10-inch Dynamic Balance woofer & a uniquely configured directed port provides accurate bass with added depth that brings your music and movies alive. A perfect solution for your small-to-mid size room
  • LOUDER CLEARER SOUND EVEN AT HIGH VOLUME – Enjoy a thrilling yet balanced music experience with rich, deep sound, even at low frequencies. BLENDS EASILY WITH ANY SPEAKER and plays the most demanding nodes effortlessly without any distortion
  • DOUBLE THE AMPLIFIER POWER TO 100 Watts of Dynamic Power with its in-built 50-watt RMS amp. Sophisticated engineering with best in class resonance-free driver materials make this sub highly durable and FIT FOR EXTENDED USE
  • EASY TO INTEGRATE WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS – Hook up this sub to the receiver and upgrade your music sound instantly! Features continuously variable 80-160 Hz crossover and 40-160 Hz (-3dB) frequency response
  • A sleek detachable grille on the front, speaker and line-level inputs as well as speaker-level outputs on the back, and a Phase Toggle Switch for multiple subwoofers, make this sub cohesive and complete!
Bestseller No. 8
Arctis 7 Cable for SteelSeries Headphones, Replacement Audio Cable Extension Cord for SteelSeries...
  • 👍【SteelSeries Arctis Pro Cable Replacement】Fit perfectly on SteelSeries Arctis 3, Arctis Pro Wireless, Arctis 5, Arctis 7, Arctis Pro Gaming Headsets.
  • 👍【High Quality Braided Cable】The high-end customized Audio Cable made with the Tangle-Free Nylon Braided cord, effectively extends the lifetime.
  • 👍【Cable Length】The length of the cable is 2m/6.5 Feet
  • 👍【Gold-plated】24K gold-plated 3.5mm Male OFC braided , prevents it from breaking off during usage.
  • 👍【After Service】: WE CONTINUE TO develop more professional headphones accessories for SteelSeries. Please contact us for replacements or refunds if there is an issue with your purchase.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Samsung HW-Q67CT 38.6" 7.1 Channel Home Theater Sound System with Wireless Subwoofer and Rear...
  • 38.6" Acoustic Beam Soundbar
  • Supports DTS Virtual:X & 4K Pass-through
  • Bluetooth Enabled for Wireless Streaming
  • 2 Rear speakers and subwoofer included
  • Includes HDMI Cable, Optical Cable & Remote
Bestseller No. 10
Polk Audio T50 150 Watt Home Theater Floor Standing Tower Speaker (Single, Black) - Hi-Res Audio...
  • GET SUPERIOR HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE WITH IMMERSIVE SURROUND SOUND & HI-RES AUDIO. Featuring a 1" tweeter, a 6.5" Driver and (2) 6.5" Bass Radiators. The 2 bass radiators augment the main woofer and produce a well-balanced, natural warm sound reaching the far corners of the room
  • AMPLIFY YOUR MOVIE, MUSIC AND GAMING EXPERIENCE with this T-series speaker that not only sounds brilliant but also heightens your audio experience. Fill any small to medium sized room, produce captivating lifelike sound, which pulls you right into the heart of the action
  • CREATE A FULL-FLEDGED 5.1 HOME THEATER SETUP with the complete range of T-series speakers from Polk with two T50 Tower Speakers, one T30 Center Channel, two T15 Bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer
  • Polk speakers are COMPATIBLE WITH MOST HOME THEATER AV RECEIVERS giving you many setup arrangement options - in single or multi-room with 2.0, 2.1, 3.1 systems or an immersive 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 setup
  • POLK'S UNMATCHED QUALITY AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE. With these value-priced speakers, you can now enjoy premium acoustics, high quality construction, easy setup and a spectacular theater experience right at home

Choosing a high-end speaker system for your home theater setup can be challenging, especially if you're not familiar with speaker technology and what to look for. After all, the best high-end speakers will come at a hefty price, so you don't want to find yourself disappointed or wishing you would have chosen something else after spending thousands on a speaker setup. Luckily, you don't have to be a speaker expert to do a bit of research before making your selection. With that said, here are some of the top factors, features, and tips to consider when comparing high-end speakers for your home theater.

Understand the Importance of Using a Good AV Receiver

Although there are many speakers on the market that are “self-powered” most of them can't stand up to the sound produced by the more robust speakers, most of which require external power. An Audio/Video (AV) receiver includes several amplification channels that drive power to each individual speaker in your surround sound setup. While many speaker systems will include a receiver as part of a comprehensive package, purchasing a standalone newer model AV receiver separately will allow you to reduce the cost of the speaker purchase, while also ensuring that you have access to the latest and greatest signal processing technology. Thus, while comparing different speakers for your home theater, it's also a good idea to compare AV receivers as well – you can read about it here.

Look for Wide Frequency Range

The human range of hearing spans from about 20Hz (super deep bass) to 20kHz (high pitch beep). Bass frequencies lower than 20Hz can be felt and are, therefore, incorporated into movies and games to reproduce vibrations, explosions, and other tactile stimulation that helps to create a more immersive experience. For this reason, it's best to look for speakers with the lowest possible bass frequency range. However, it should be noted that to take advantage of a speaker's lowest possible bass frequency, you'll need to use a subwoofer.

Compare Frequency Response Deviation

It's also a good idea to check out the +/- deviation of the frequency response. Ideally, you'll want to choose a speaker that has a response deviation of +3 dB or lower. The closer you can get to +0 dB, the closer the sound reproduction will be to the actual source. However, most home theater speakers add some “coloration”, which simply means that the sound is intentionally brightened and made more entertaining rather than left in its original state, which some listeners may find to be bland and boring.

Other Key Speaker Specs to Consider

Aside from frequency reproduction range and signal response deviation, other key specs to examine include sensitivity and impedance. The sensitivity of a speaker doesn't affect the sound quality, but it does affect the overall volume and sound pressure capabilities. A typical speaker might have 80dB sensitivity rating, whereas a higher end model would be closer to 90dB or higher. The impedance rating also does not affect sound quality, as it is a measurement used to indicate how much power a speaker requires from an amplifier to function. A higher impedance number means that it requires less power from the amplifier. For example, a speaker with an 8-ohm impedance rating would require less power than a speaker with a 4-ohm impedance rating – something to consider when choosing an amplifier or AV receiver.

How to Test and Compare Speakers by Ear

Although your ears can do a pretty good job of telling you what sounds good without any fancy knowledge, when comparing speakers, you mainly want to look for sound accuracy and spatial realism. Do acoustic instruments sound natural? Are the sounds extremely clear or are they muffled by excessive bass instead? Are words crisp and easy to understand? Do the speakers make you feel like you've been taken into a whole new environment? These are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself while comparing high-end home theater speakers.

Incorporate a Variety of Speaker Types Into Your Setup

It's important to consider the unique advantages and applications of each speaker type when designing a home theater speaker system. Most experts recommend starting with a center-channel speaker like a soundbar and then branching out from there. A good subwoofer is a must if you want to experience the rumbling sub-bass frequencies that make movies and games feel more realistic. The furniture in the room will also play a role in which speaker types are best. For example, if you already have an entertainment system or shelves on both sides of your display, bookshelf speakers might be ideal. Floor speakers are generally recommended for rooms with hard floors that don't produce a lot of additional resonance. Finally, surround speakers are the finishing touches that complete an enveloping and immersive home theater audio experience.

Look for Good Reviews and Recommendations

Aside from the technical specs, it's also a good idea to double check the popular opinion about a setup before making your final decision. Sometimes a system can look great on paper, but after examining the reviews you find that there are certain shortcomings that you'd rather avoid. Since home speaker systems can be quite expensive, it makes sense to do your research and look for as much experience-based guidance as possible before committing to the investment.

Testing Speakers at Local Electronics Outlets Before Buying Online

This is a great bonus tip to consider before making your purchasing decision. Although you'll probably find better deals online, looking at pictures of speakers won't tell you much about how good they sound in person. Fortunately, most of the models you'll find online will also be available at local shops (albeit typically at a higher price), so it's a good idea to test them out locally before buying online.

Ensuring the Speaker Setup is Ideal for the Room

In closing, it doesn't make sense to spend a bunch of money on a fancy speaker setup, only to throw it into a room that's acoustically unfit for the system itself. Room design and size can have a major impact on sound reflections, absorption, and resonant frequencies that affect the accuracy of bass. Thus, while the above tips are certainly the primary aspects to consider, it's important to choose a speaker setup that is ideal for the room it's going to be installed in.

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