A) Types of speakers

B) Things to consider when purchasing

A) Types of speakers

Type Description Product Image
Portable speakers

  • Portable speakers will give you placement flexibility so you can enjoy music in any room while traveling or at an outdoor party
  • Some portable speakers are rechargeable

Floor speakers

  • Provide front Left and Right sound
  • Delivers the majority of sound effects, gives you a more realistic experience when watching TV and movies
  • Provide stereo sound when listening to music

Bookshelf speakers

  • Usually offer less bass response
  • Compact size allows you to fit them in smaller spaces
  • Placing this speaker type on stands will provide best audio quality since the added height 'aims' the sound directly at your ear
  • These speakers can also be used as a rear speaker in a surround sound environment
  • This type of speaker is also suitable to be mounted on the ceiling
Center-channel speakers
  • When building a home theater speaker setup it is always best to start with a quality center-channel and work outwards from there
  • Placed in a central spot below your TV
Surround speakers
  • You can expand your setup with speakers placed behind your listening space and also at the sides
  • Deliver even more ambient sounds, creating an immersive experience you'll love when playing video games and watching movies
  • Need to be paired with a suitable central console or amplifier with same number of output channels
  • Delivering the bass that makes TV show and movie sound effects feel realistic.  Subwoofers also provide a level of bass that enriches music
  • Can be placed anywhere in the room, preferably on hard floor for better sound production
  • Place near a corner to reproduce more bass
Package Surround Systems
  • Good for you if you already own a receiver and don't want to bother comparing individual speaker components
  • comes in a variety of configurations and price ranges
  • True surround sound is delivered from a 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 system.  A 5.1 system includes:  left speaker, right speaker, subwoofer, 2 rear-channel or surround speakers
Dock speakers
  • Gives you the ultimate on-the-go music experience since it fits into everything from your suitcas to the palm of your hand
  • Lightweight and an easy way to add ambiance to any event
Wireless speakers
  • A near-field communication device
  • Offers flexibility and convenience as it uses technology such as Bluetooth, AirPlay, WiFi to receive an audio signal from a compatible device
  • Many are compact, making it easy to place in any room of your house
  • Just connect to the speaker and easily control your music using a smartphone or table to play different audio over each speaker
Sound bar
  • Offers simple way to improve the audio experience delivered from your TV speakers
  • Offers big cinematic without taking up a lot of space, fewer wires to deal with than a complete surround sound system
  • Most sound bars are ideally suited to a smaller symmetrical room that allows the sound to reflect off the walls
  • Uses technology like Bluetooth, AirPlay, WiFi to receive an audio signal from a compatible device


B) Things to consider when purchasing

Understanding Speaker Specifications

  • Frequency Response
    - Measured in Hertz

    - Refers to the frequency range that a speaker can reproduce
    - A speaker, when provided an audio signal at a given level and frequency, it will produce a certain amount of loudness
    - If you keep the level the same but change the frequency, the loudness will remain the same.  This is known as Flat Frequency Response
    - The average human ear can detect a maximum frequency range of 20Hz to 20KHz, so look for a speaker that can reproduce as much of that range as possible

  • Impedance
    - Measured in Ohms

    - Describes how much electrical resistance an amplifier will encounter when trying to drive a given speaker
    - Most speakers are designed with 8 Ohm impedance which will work fine with almost any home audio equipment
    - For consistent response, all speakers in a system should have the same impedance

  • Sensitivity
    - Measured in decibels/watts

    - Sensitivity refers to how loud a speaker can deliver audio per watt of power
    - The higher the sensitivity, the less power the speaker needs to achieve a high volume.  Low sensitivity is around 88db/watt while high sensitivity is 100db/watt

  • Create a setup to suit your entertainment
    - If you’re interested in how your music collection sounds, you would want to purchase a Left and Right stereo speakers

    - If you’re more focused on movies, you can expand your setup by creating a surround sound environment with a receiver and additional speakers that offer an immersive home theater experience

  • What else in the room?
    - Sound quality will be affected by the space you place the speakers

    - Hard surfaces like windows and wood floors will reverberate sound which can distort the audio by amplifying your speaker power or canceling out the sound
    - Softer surfaces like drapes and carpeting can absorb sound, irregular surfaces like bookcases will diffuse sound

  • Trust your ears
    - Each audio experience is unique to the individual

    - Take some time to understand what it is that you appreciate:  smooth sound, bright tones or heavy bass?
    - More advanced speaker systems allow you to adjust the production of the sound with an equalizer function