High End Speakers – Shopping Tips

You want high end speakers for your great home stereo or home theater system, but if you don’t know much about speakers it’s easy to buy the wrong ones. The first assumption you might make is to look for brand names that you associate with electronic equipment. And you might be surprised to find that they know a lot less about manufacturing quality speakers than they do about making top-notch televisions, receivers and DVD players. Many of the best high end speakers are made by companies like Denon, which you wouldn’t necessarily associate with other electronics.

When you’re shopping for speakers, don’t be impressed by a huge subwoofer. Or more accurately, it’s all right to be impressed, but don’t stop there. You do want a big subwoofer that can handle the sub-bass frequencies, and the bigger it is, the more likely it’ll be able to do that. But size alone won’t make your speakers sound great. Listen to the other speakers, including the center speaker, to make sure they have the same quality. If not, you’ll have great bass and most other sounds that come from the speakers will be slightly tinny, fuzzy or almost hollow sounding. Listen carefully, especially to people speaking and high-pitched sounds, to make sure they sound good before you buy the system.

High End Speakers

Penaudio Chronos Speakers

And don’t be shy about listening to things you’re familiar with on these speakers. High end speakers can easily cost a few thousand dollars – take a look at the range of Mordaunt-Short speakers for examples. When buying speakers, take a recording that you know back and forth, something you’ve listened to many times, so that you can compare the quality you normally hear with what’s coming out of the speakers you’re testing. And test several before making up your mind about which sounds best.

If you’re ready to spend a considerable amount of money on high end speakers, you’ll also want to avoid shortchanging yourself by buying speakers that are too small for your room, and too small to give good sound. A small speaker simply can’t put out the same volume and clarity of sound as a larger speaker. Higher volumes will bring in distortion and other unpleasant effects if the speaker is too small. And avoid speakers with subwoofers “built in” and sold as bass speakers.  If you’re going for a high end speaker system, you need a separate subwoofer to get quality sound.

Once you’ve purchased your speakers, placement is as important as the high end audio equipment. Don’t hide the speakers in cabinets where the surrounding material will interfere with sound. Place the speakers in the proper places (left and right of the television screen, left and right behind the seating area, side surround speakers on each side and the center speaker in front center) whether you mount them on the walls or put them on the floor. And move the subwoofer until you get the sound you want, as its location can change the output of high end speakers a great deal.

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