Choosing the right speakers for your home can be a daunting task. With so many options available at different price points, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to choose speakers for your home. We will cover everything you need to consider before making a purchase and answer common questions to help you find the perfect model. Let’s dive in!
What Are Some of the Benefits of Using Home Speakers?
Gone are the days of dealing with cords, headphones, and chargers when listening to music. Home speakers eliminate the need for cables and charging cords, making it a hassle-free way to enjoy your favorite tunes.
Easy to Hear
No more struggling with tangled wires or relying on a single Bluetooth speaker to fill the room with music. Home speakers can be installed both indoors and outdoors, providing clear and powerful sound wherever you want to listen. Say goodbye to storing extra speakers and wires and hello to more space for important things like chairs, a bar, or food.
Home audio systems use wireless connections, allowing you to browse on your phone without pausing the music every time you receive a new notification. It’s a great way to entertain guests during gatherings, as they can move freely while enjoying high-quality music, even outdoors.
One of the best things about a whole-home audio system is the convenience of controlling it all from one app on your smartphone or tablet. No more getting up to change tracks or adjust the volume. Whether you’re sitting in your favorite chair or working from home, your music is always at your fingertips.
With home speakers, each family member can enjoy their own music preferences. Children can play in their room while parents listen to their favorite tunes in the kitchen. Everyone can choose their own radio station or playlist, creating a personalized experience for each individual.
Increase Property Value
Installing a whole-house sound system not only enhances your quality of life but also increases the value of your home. It’s a long-term investment that benefits not only you but also future homeowners should you decide to sell your property.
Couple Dancing While Bathing in Many Streams
Home speakers allow you to stream your favorite playlists from multiple accounts. Whether you prefer iTunes, Amazon Music, Tidal, Pandora, or Spotify, you can enjoy your music seamlessly. You can even listen to audiobooks while cleaning the bathroom or choose between different content options to suit your mood.
Get Your Upgrade
Investing in a whole-house sound system can significantly enhance your listening experience. Zeglin’s Home TV & Appliance Inc. offers a multi-room home audio system that seamlessly integrates with your home’s interior design, providing both value and enjoyment.
What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Using Home Speakers?
While home speakers offer numerous benefits, it’s important to consider the drawbacks as well. Here are the two primary concerns:
Installation Might Be Difficult
The installation process for surround sound systems can be challenging, especially if you have a wired system. It involves considering factors such as speaker placement, wiring, and technical integrations. To ensure a proper installation, it’s recommended to hire professionals who specialize in setting up surround sound systems.
Speaker Placement Could Affect Sound Quality
Improperly placed speakers can impact the overall sound quality of your home audio system. Achieving the desired immersive experience requires careful positioning of speakers. Placing them in a single horizontal or vertical row is a common mistake that can compromise the surround sound effect. The goal is to create a fully immersive experience where you not only hear but also feel the sound. If you opt for a DIY installation, make sure to familiarize yourself with proper surround sound setup techniques.
What Are Some of the Best Home Speakers Out There?
If you’re wondering which home speakers to choose, here are some top recommendations for 2022:
Amazon Echo Gen 4
The Amazon Echo Gen 4 is an affordable home speaker with built-in Alexa. It offers excellent speech recognition even in noisy environments. While not as powerful as the larger Echo Studio, it provides a compact and budget-friendly option. The Echo Gen 4 features a built-in Zigbee hub, allowing you to control compatible smart home devices. With the Amazon Alexa app, you can customize the sound with bass and treble settings.
Denon Home 350
Considered the top home speaker, the Denon Home 350 combines a modern design with superior sound quality. With built-in Alexa, you can control the speaker’s capabilities from your couch. It delivers exceptional sound for music, podcasts, and audiobooks, making it a top choice for music enthusiasts. The Denon Home 350 also allows you to play sound in different rooms by pairing multiple compatible speakers or set up a more immersive theater experience with multiple Denon stereos.
Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4
The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is a smaller version of the Echo Gen 4 with similar design and functionality. It offers great compatibility with Alexa and is perfect for smaller rooms like living rooms or bedrooms. Despite its compact size, it delivers clear and crisp sound with less compression at higher volumes. If you prefer Google Assistant, the Google Nest Mini is a more affordable option with Google Assistant built-in.
IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf
The IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf speaker is designed to blend seamlessly with your home decor. While it doesn’t feature voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant, it can be controlled through an Amazon or Google Home device. It offers a bright sound profile with a balanced mid-range and supports room-editing technology called “Trueplay” that optimizes acoustic performance. The Sonos S2 app allows you to customize the sound further with bass and treble settings.
These are just a few options to consider, and there are many more available on the market. When choosing home speakers, consider your budget, desired features, and sound quality preferences.
How Do You Choose the Right Home Speaker?
To ensure you choose the perfect home speaker, keep the following tips in mind:
Before you start shopping, determine your budget for speakers. Prices vary based on quality, brand popularity, demand, and availability. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options under $200 or high-end speakers costing several thousand dollars, understanding your budget will help narrow down your choices.
Available Home Speaker Types
All speakers fundamentally transform electrical signals into audible sound using drivers. However, the size, design, and materials of speakers can impact their sound quality, clarity, and loudness. The two main types of home speakers are floorstanding and bookshelf speakers.
Floorstanding speakers, also known as tower speakers, are designed to stand upright. They offer a wide range of sizes and designs, making them a preferred option for those seeking powerful and resonant sound with more bass. However, they may not be suitable for small spaces without wall mounting options, and they tend to be more expensive than other types of speakers.
As the name suggests, bookshelf speakers are compact and can be placed on shelves or tables. They offer a similar sound experience to floorstanding speakers but in a more space-saving design. Bookshelf speakers are a great choice for smaller rooms or areas with limited space.
Consider the size of your room and how you plan to use your audio system. Determine whether you primarily listen to music or if you also want to use it for streaming, gaming, and other activities. If you anticipate moving or redecorating soon, keep that in mind when choosing speakers. Additionally, consider whether you’re starting from scratch or already have an existing sound system. Understanding your space and usage requirements will help you select the right speaker size and configuration.
Powered, Passive, or Active?
Speakers can be powered, passive, or active. Powered speakers have an integrated amplifier, while passive speakers rely on external amplifiers. Active speakers have built-in amplifiers for each driver, offering precise frequency separation. Consider your specific audio needs and budget when deciding between these options.
Single-Wired Versus Bi-Wired?
Some speakers support bi-wiring, which involves using two cables to connect them. Single-wired speakers require only one cable per terminal. Bi-wiring speakers allow for better sound quality by separating the upper and lower frequencies. However, check your amplifier compatibility before opting for bi-wiring, as not all amps support it.
Ensure that the speakers you choose are compatible with your amplifier. Consider the impedance and power ratings of both the speakers and the amplifier to ensure they work well together. Most speakers have impedance ratings between 4 and 8 ohms, while amplifier ratings range from 6 to 12 ohms. It’s essential to select speakers with higher impedance than the amplifier for optimal performance.
While technical aspects are crucial, aesthetics also play a role. Home speakers can be visually appealing and enhance the overall decor of your room. Consider the design, color, and placement of speakers to create a cohesive and pleasing aesthetic. Getting your partner’s input is important to avoid any conflicts regarding the speaker’s appearance.
What Are Some of the Different Types of Home Speakers?
Home stereo speakers come in various types, each designed to deliver high-quality sound. Here are some common types of home speakers:
Stand-alone or Floorstanding Speakers: These speakers are tall and rectangular, often housing multiple drivers within a frame. They provide powerful and resonant sound, making them a popular choice for home audio systems.
Bookshelf Speakers: Compact and versatile, bookshelf speakers are designed to fit on shelves or tables. They offer excellent sound quality and are suitable for smaller rooms or areas with limited space.
Surround Sound Speakers: Perfect for home theater systems, surround sound speakers create an immersive audio experience. They come in configurations like 5.1 or 7.1 channels, with multiple satellite speakers and a subwoofer.
While these are the main types of speakers, there are many variations available to suit different preferences and room sizes.
How Do You Install Home Speakers?
Installing home speakers requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are the general steps to follow:
Choose the ideal location for your components: Install the control panel distribution center in a wall-accessible room with wiring from every room. Place it near your audio device for easy access. Consider the location for the keypad, ensuring it’s easily visible and accessible from the desired remote control area.
Make the speaker and keypad holes: Use a stud finder to locate framing members and avoid obstructions. Mark the holes with blue markers and ensure there are no electrical lines or other obstacles. Cut out the holes using a template provided with the speakers.
Connect the speaker wire and Cat-5e to the keypad: Run a Cat-5e cable from the distribution center to each keypad location and another one to the Cat-5e modular connector near your audio equipment. Route the speaker wire from the keypad location to the nearby speakers. Use CL-2 speaker wire certified for in-wall use. Drill holes for cable routing and ensure proper insulation.
Organize the cables: Follow safety measures for Cat-5e cable installation, such as maintaining a minimum radius and supporting the cable with dedicated pins. Connect the wires to the appropriate blocks in the distribution center and keypads. Ensure proper stripping and insulation to prevent any exposed copper. Create enclosures or use insulation to enhance sound quality and minimize gaps around wall speakers.
Proper cable organization and installation are crucial for optimal performance and safety.
What Are Some of the Best Tips for Using Home Speakers?
To make the most of your home speakers, consider the following tips:
Avoid the hassle of surround sound: For music listening, you typically only need two or three speakers. Adding more speakers won’t necessarily enhance the music experience. Instead, focus on getting the best 2- or 2.1-channel system that fits your budget and preferences.
Avoid soundbars: While soundbars offer convenience, they are often optimized for home theaters and may not deliver the best musical audio experience. They also limit your ability to physically separate the left and right audio channels, which can impact sound quality.
Triangulate the seat you’re in: Position your speakers in an equilateral triangle with your listening position. This setup enhances the stereo effect and ensures clear and distinct audio sources.
Angle your audio system: Direct your speakers towards your desired seat to enhance sound quality and minimize audio reflections. Consider the directional nature of speakers and aim them for optimal sound projection.
Amplify your speakers: Amplifiers can boost the volume of your speakers for a more powerful sound. Integrated amplifiers are a cost-effective option and provide satisfactory performance without the complexity of separate pre-amps and receivers.
Place bookshelf speakers on stands: If you’re using bookshelf speakers, consider placing them on stands to prevent vibrations and improve sound quality. Avoid placing them directly on bookcases or other surfaces that can cause audio distortions.
Verify your streaming presets: Streaming music services often default to lower bit rates to conserve data. When streaming over Wi-Fi, maximize your audio quality by selecting the highest bit rate available. Check the settings on platforms like Apple Music or Spotify to ensure you’re enjoying the best possible audio.
Take down curtains: Glass surfaces can reflect and distort sound waves, affecting audio quality. Consider drawing curtains or minimizing glass contact to reduce reflections and improve sound clarity. This simple adjustment can make a noticeable difference in your listening experience.
What Are Some of the Best Ways to Listen to Home Speakers?
To fully enjoy your home speakers, try the following listening methods:
Quick mode: Some A/V receivers offer a direct mode that bypasses unnecessary circuitry, delivering clear and unaltered sound. This mode is ideal for stereo listening and can be beneficial if you’re primarily focused on music.
Standard stereo: Most receivers allow you to use your front left and right speakers, along with a subwoofer, for standard stereo listening. This setup provides a balanced and immersive sound experience.
Stereo in all channels: Some receivers have a stereo all-channel mode that spreads stereo information across all speakers. It creates a wider soundstage and can be an interesting option to try. Experiment with this mode to find the best balance for your preferred music genres and recordings.
Simulated DSP modes: Many receivers offer synthetic surround modes like stadiums, churches, or music halls. However, these modes often produce unnatural and artificial sound. It’s generally recommended to avoid these modes for music listening.
Dolby Pro Logic: Dolby Pro Logic extracts surround information from two-channel stereo sources, enabling a genuine surround experience. While it’s not suitable for all stereo recordings, it can deliver impressive audio quality for specific genres and recordings. Experiment with Dolby Pro Logic mode to enhance your listening experience.
With these tips and listening methods, you can optimize your home speaker setup and enjoy music to the fullest.
Choosing speakers for your home requires careful consideration of your budget, space, and audio preferences. By following our comprehensive guide, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect home speakers. Consider the benefits and drawbacks, explore various speaker options, and ensure proper installation and setup. With the right speakers and a little bit of expertise, you can create an immersive and enjoyable audio experience in your home. Happy listening!