Buying Guide: Speakers

Music has a healing capacity and it becomes enchanting when you have good speakers with you. No person today can live without music. Be it the early 70’s collection or the recent pop music, you would love to hear it when paired with quality speakers isn’t it?

It is at times overwhelming when you visit the stores and don’t know exactly what you are looking for. It is always better to look for different features, types and prices before you take out a wad of money! CashKaro takes you to a melodious ride where you will be guided to buy the best speakers at the most affordable price.

Speaker Buying Guide

Speaker terminologies to know before hitting the stores

1. Driver

No, not someone who drives a car, but the circular portion of the speaker is known as the driver. The drivers will be distinguished as mid-bass, mid-range or bass drivers. This shows the frequency spectrum produced by the driver.

2. Cabinet

It is nothing but the structure where the speaker’s components are housed.

3. Tweeter

It basically a very small driver having a diameter 1 inch or less. It is responsible for the treble.

4. Port

It is the hole that is situated in the speaker’s cabinet to increase the bass response.

5. Book shelved speakers

These are medium sized speakers that have driver (5.25 to 6.5 inches) and a tweeter. Book shelved speaker offers some bass and it would totally depend on the brand and model you choose.

6. Satellite

These are very small type of speakers that has the ability to fit in any space especially where people have space constraints. Satellite speakers have tweeters and small drivers. These speakers come in different shapes and sizes like spheres, rectangle, cubes, etc.

7. Monitors

These are oversized book shelved speakers and have big sized driver (usually 6.5 to 8 inches). This means that better bass will be produced as comparison to satellite or book shelved speakers.

8. Tower speakers

These speakers are also known as floor-standing speakers. It has the ability to sit on the floor without the support of any other stands. Also, these speakers have multiple drivers and a tweeter. Driver size varies (3.5 to 12 inches) in diameter. Some of the tower speakers are so well built that they take less space than the book shelved speakers.

9. Surrounds

These are responsible for the directional sound effects. It is placed somewhere behind or near to the listening position. Surround speakers are usually smaller than the main speakers.

10. Back surrounds

If you are looking for some realistic sound while watching any movie then these speakers work well. Back surrounds are placed at the back of a room, facing towards the television so that the person watching the movie can get a realistic feel.

11. Sub-woofer

The main job of the sub-woofer is to produce bass. It has 6.5 to 15 inch driver with no tweeter. It can be best used with low frequency speakers to maximize the effects.

What to look for in audio speakers?

Power and frequency response

A human can hear around 20 to 20,000Hz. Hence, the frequency response should fall in that range. You may go through the product specifications. Now there are two things you need to know about frequency response-

A. Full frequency response loudspeakers

A full frequency response loudspeaker will cover a frequency between 20 and 20,000Hz. These are larger in size and usually have floor standing designs. They offer the best sound but are pretty expensive.

B. Restricted frequency response loudspeakers

The frequency that ranges between 45 and 20,000Hz fall in this category. Prices may vary accordingly. Most of the restricted frequency response speakers are smaller in size and are termed as book shelf speakers.It is not necessary that a speaker that covers this range will have a great sound quality. It is just one of the factors you should consider, but shouldn’t be totally dependent on it.

The usage

You definitely don’t require huge speakers in order to get great sound. You need to think about price, space and the purpose of using them. Do you just want to enjoy listening to music or you want to combine it with watching movies too?

If you are not an active listener, but enjoy listening to music when your mood permits then a bookshelf speaker will be a good option. If you want more bass then a small subwoofer will add better sound.

If you are an active listener then tower speakers can be the best choice. It emits great sound and you might just end up dancing all around your house! Tower speakers have great sound effects and can create a fun mood.

For only watching movies you may go for a wireless subwoofer or soundbar. You would get different quality options in the market.

Selecting audio cables

An audio cable should match with the rating of individual speakers. If you see a reduced audio quality then it might be the consequence of not matching the rating correctly.

Surveying your space

Speakers produce brilliant sound when they are kept a few feet away from the listener inside a room. Make sure that the speakers are placed in a room which is covered with carpentry, tapestry or hand drapes. These items absorb sound and assist in bringing out good quality sound and music to the ears. Medium-sized speakers are best for indoors while large speakers work out well in the open.

Design

A well designed speaker will perform better at both low and high volume. If you are living in an apartment that has thin walls, you would want to play music at low volume much of the time. Beware! Some speakers play really hard and grainy at higher volumes. To avoid this you should go for a trusted brand.

Soundstaging

You need to figure out whether a speaker can create an accurate soundstage or not. It should have the acoustic properties with adequate width, depth and height. You can judge a speaker by the way it plays different instruments, vocal parts and voices.

TYPES

We have already discussed about different speakers in the terminology section. We would still like to elaborate and help you get a better view of the different types of the speakers.

2.0 systems

These are the basic audio speakers and are easy to install. You only need to plug the speaker into the PC or any other audio device and you are done! 2.0 systems have integrated control where the user can switch them on/off and control the volume buttons.

2.1 systems

These consist of two side speakers and one subwoofer. These are examples of surround system. They come in different shapes and sizes. Also, they are better in quality and consume less space as compared to the 5.1 systems. 2.1 systems are affordable too.

5.1 systems

These systems are best for home theaters and commercial cinemas. They are bigger in size and offer mind-boggling sound quality. Yes, they are expensive. Versions such as Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS, and Dolby Pro Logic II are examples of 5.1 systems.

Are you a lover of heavy bass? Single subwoofer is what you need

Single subwoofers can be a good option for the people who love the bass effect. If you enjoy listening to music that has more bass in it then go for single subwoofers. For the ones who listen to techno or hip-hop should look for two or more subwoofers in order to enhance the audio experience.

Bluetooth wireless speakers

This is the most trending speaker these days. You don’t require a cord neither would you require any sort of attachments. All you need to do is connect your smartphone to the speaker via Bluetooth. Many Bluetooth speakers offer play/pause, previous/next buttons for convenience. Buying a local Bluetooth speaker will not offer good sound quality as compared to the branded ones. They have a good bass effect and the music will force you to bob your head! It is portable too.

Non-bluetooth portable speakers

Want to pack a speaker in your laptop bag or a backpack? Try for non-bluetooth portable speakers. These are light, small, and battery powered. If your device does not have Bluetooth feature then these speakers are the best alternative. Connect it with a simple audio cable and there you go!

AirPlay wireless speakers

This is similar to the Bluetooth speakers but they take the advantage of the Apple’s AirPlay technology. AirPlay wireless speakers have better sound quality as compared to the Bluetooth speakers and offer a much better range. The biggest drawback is the only the Apple users can use these speakers as it only connects with iOS OR Mac devices.

Which type of audio speakers is trending in the market?

Things are going wireless now and hence, the buyers are looking wireless sound bars and speakers. Recent study has showed that these speakers are trending at growing pace. As the demand is growing, the wireless speakers are priced at a much lower rate to make it affordable for most of the people.
Top Brands
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