Speaker Buying Guide

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In today’s technologically advanced world, audio has seen significant advancements, making buying speakers more intricate. Whether you’re an audiophile looking to enhance your home audio experience or someone seeking to upgrade your car audio, the vast array of options available can be overwhelming.

The choices are endless, from the compact bookshelf speaker to the towering floorstanding speaker. This comprehensive speaker buying guide is designed to navigate you through the intricate world of audio, ensuring you make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

Imagine sitting in your living room, feeling the sound waves from a pair of speaker units perfectly reproducing your favorite song’s bass frequencies. Or perhaps you’re setting up a home theater and on the hunt for the ideal center channel speakers to complement your TV deals.

Maybe you’re an avid gamer or a work-from-home professional, and computer speakers with clear audio signals are what you need. Or you could be an adventurer for whom portable audio, especially portable Bluetooth speakers, are essential. Whatever your audio needs, understanding the nuances of different types of speakers is crucial.

The world of speakers isn’t limited to just home audio. Many are passionate about car audio, ensuring their drives are accompanied by crystal clear sound. The advancements in car audio are noteworthy, from car stereos to car speaker units equipped with GPS navigation and voice control.

And for those who love the open seas, marine audio, including marine radio and marine speaker systems, ensures that your maritime adventures are musically enriched.

But what about those who need audio solutions for larger spaces or events? PA system’s live sound equipment, including PA speakers and microphone bundles, cater to commercial audio needs, ensuring sound reaches every vast space corner.

Studio monitors and pro audio equipment are indispensable for musicians and recording artists. In the age of smart homes, smart speakers with wireless connectivity and voice control have become household staples, integrating multiroom audio and wireless home systems seamlessly.

However, diving deeper into the technicalities, understanding terms like frequency response, speaker impedance, and sensitivity ratings becomes essential. For instance, the difference between powered and passive speaker units, or the choice between a 3-way speaker and channel speakers, can significantly impact the audio output.

Furthermore, the crossover network in a speaker determines how audio signals are split and directed to various speaker drivers. For those keen on ensuring their speaker’s sound is amplified perfectly, pairing them with a powerful amplifier based on power handling specifications is crucial.

Beyond the primary speaker units, audio accessories, including speaker accessories and audio cables, are pivotal in enhancing the overall sound experience. And in today’s digital age, where everything from fitness trackers to air purifiers is interconnected, integrating your audio system with other smart devices can elevate your living experience.

Whether you’re checking out speakers for your computer audio needs, setting up a home stereo, or exploring marine audio for your boat, this speaker-buying guide aims to provide clarity, ensuring you get the best bang for your buck.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to speakers. If you’re not sure which is best for your needs, here are 10 things you should consider before making your purchase.

Tips for Buying Speakers

10 Things to Take Into Account Before Buying A Speaker

#1) How powerful does the speaker need to be?

The size and power of the speaker will depend on what type of sound system you want (e.g., home theater or stereo). The more power, the louder it will be; however, this also means that the bigger speakers may require more electricity to operate at full capacity.

You can find smaller amplifiers with lower wattage ratings if you only need low-volume sound output. It’s important to take into consideration how large an area you’ll be filling with sound as well — large speakers are required for bigger rooms, while smaller speakers are great for small spaces.

Bestseller No. 1
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. 2
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio, Bluetooth, Wireless Subwoofer, Voice Assistant Compatible, Includes Remote Control - V51x-J6
  • Low-Profile Modern Design - Clean silhouettes, subtle textures, and matte finishes seamlessly blend into any environment.
  • Powerful Performance - Brilliant clarity, thunderous bass, and Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround support combine for performance beyond its size.
  • Simple Setup, Streaming & Control - Get setup and listening in minutes with HDMI ARC and Bluetooth connectivity for unparalleled ease of use, control, and access to your content.
  • 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.
  • 6 Total Speakers - Full-range drivers deliver coherent sound and brilliant clarity.

#2) What is the speaker’s wattage rating?

Wattage can affect your speaker system’s sound quality. Generally speaking, more watts suggest a better-sounding product, but this isn’t always the case — factors like impedance and distortion levels can have just as much of an impact on sound quality.

Although higher wattages generally indicate higher quality sound, it doesn’t mean that lower wattage speakers aren’t just as good; low watt ratings may mean longer periods of listening time before the amp needs to be recharged or replaced by a new one. It also means less wear and tear on your batteries or electrical socket over time. For example, a 100-watt speaker will take less power from your charged amplifier than a 50-watt model.

Must read: Best Speaker Brands

#3) What type of speaker is right for you?

f you’ll be using your speakers in any harsh outdoor conditions, Metal Speaker’s would be the best choice because metal speakers are great for vibration and weather resistance. For indoor use, there is no difference between metal and plastic speakers. It all depends on how much volume you need and how loud you want them to play.

Bestseller No. 1
TREBLAB FX100 - Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 20W Rugged Outdoor Speaker, 35H Battery, IPX7 Waterproof Speaker, Wireless Speaker w/Powerbank (Black)
  • Durability done right – Defy the elements with a dustproof, weatherproof, shockproof, and IPX7 waterproof travel speaker. TREBLAB’s outdoor wireless speakers are crafted from ultra-durable ABS, Metal, and Thermoplastic rubber, and compatible with any Bluetooth device.
  • Endless playback – Enjoy your favorite hits with the TREBLAB FX100 wireless Bluetooth speaker. Each portable speaker is built around a 5600 mAh powerbank with a battery life indicator. Up to 35 hour of playback per charge.
  • Outdoor ready – Discover the ends of the earth with outdoor Bluetooth speakers at your side. Take the FX100 Bluetooth speaker with microphone to the pool, beach, or on the golf cart.
  • Multi-speaker connectivity – Create your own sound system with a TWS mode. Simply connect two FX100 portable Bluetooth speakers and party on!
  • Ultra-portable – Go anywhere with a waterproof Bluetooth speaker designed with a compact body, carabiner, 2 sound modes & built-in phone charger with a 5600 mAh battery. 1-Year Warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Bone Conduction Speaker, True Wireless Speakers Mini Portable Stereo Sound Creative Speaker Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Tablets and More Box, Bigvapor
  • 【Turn Anything Hollow into a Speaker】 Snuggle Sac Bone Conduction Speaker is the world's smallest and most versatile bone conduction speaker that allows you to have a different but still spectacular sound experience anywhere, in any setting. Turn anything hollow into a speaker, anytime
  • 【Different Surfaces Different Sounds】 The duramobi spakers are something you have never seen before. The speaker uses bone conduction technology to give you a DIY customization sound experience. You can test and enjoy different sounds - almost as if different instruments are being used. Place it on different surfaces such as glasses, guitars, Kraft box, plastic storage box, photo frames, sports headphones or even dashboards can provide you various sound effects.
  • 【Excellent Combination Experience】The bone conduction speakers are connected by bluetooth. Two humbird speakers bluetooth can be paird automatically, which will give True wireless stereo.We highly recommend you to use two interconnected speakers, you can have 2.0 surround sound experience since this innovative Bluetooth enabled device is also TWS enabled.
  • 【Small But Powerful Speaker】Whe you find the right right object for the bone conduction humbird speaker, the speaker can be quite powerful reaching up to 115db, and it allows you to customize the tone quality. It's suggested thin object, such as hallow plastic box or bucket.
  • 【Multiple Function Speakers】You can use humbird bone conduction speaker to listen to music, podcasts, have separate phone conversations or conference calls, play games or movies, and even enjoy the wonderful experience of the sound of games. The Bone Conduction Speaker also used as FM radio allows you to listen to music, follow podcast.

#4) How long must the battery last?

The lifespan of an average battery or rechargeable battery can vary anywhere from 20 hours to 100 hours. The lifespan of the battery will depend on the volume level and type of playback you’ll be using.

If you need your speakers to last all day at a music festival, for example, plan on buying extra batteries so they can easily be replaced when needed.

#5) Should you get wireless or wired speakers?

A lot of people choose wireless speakers because there is no risk of them being unplugged by accident or tripping over wires during use.

Wireless speakers enjoy more benefits than just limited physical entanglements — convenience features like Bluetooth connectivity and remote controls can help with playing and pausing songs without having to stop what you’re doing to hunt down the right controls. Wireless speakers are also great if you plan on using the device in several different locations since they don’t require an outlet for charging or the use of extension cords.

But wireless speakers aren’t perfect; low battery life is one of their biggest drawbacks. Some models can barely last eight hours before they need to be charged again (wired speakers, on the other hand, can run for days without needing juice). Bluetooth connectivity is another potential downside; although no sound is lost in transmission during playback, some music files may not work with certain types of Bluetooth connections.

SaleBestseller No. 1
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio, Bluetooth, Wireless Subwoofer, Voice Assistant Compatible, Includes Remote Control - V51x-J6
  • Low-Profile Modern Design - Clean silhouettes, subtle textures, and matte finishes seamlessly blend into any environment.
  • Powerful Performance - Brilliant clarity, thunderous bass, and Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround support combine for performance beyond its size.
  • Simple Setup, Streaming & Control - Get setup and listening in minutes with HDMI ARC and Bluetooth connectivity for unparalleled ease of use, control, and access to your content.
  • 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.
  • 6 Total Speakers - Full-range drivers deliver coherent sound and brilliant clarity.
SaleBestseller No. 2
VIZIO M-Series 5.1 Premium Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth, Wireless Subwoofer and Alexa Compatibility, M51ax-J6, 2022 Model
  • America's #1 Sound Bar* - VIZIO has been filling homes with truly immersive audio for over 10 years, and our sound bars just keep getting better. We are proud to provide our customers with top-tier audio products that bring movies, shows, podcasts, music, and more to life like never before. (*#1 Sound Bar Brand in 1H 2022 Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., based on units, Jan. - June 2022 combined.).Waterproof : No
  • Low-Profile Modern Design - Seamlessly blends into any environment and ingeniously attaches to select VIZIO M-Series TV stands for quick, clean tabletop or wall-mount installation.
  • Immersive Performance - Experience immersive, cinematic 3D surround sound powered by Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
  • Advanced Connectivity & Control - The latest HDMI eARC connectivity enables state-of-the-art 4K Dolby Vision pass-through to the TV and lets you control the sound bar using your TV remote.
  • 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.

Network compatibility issues between older phones and newer speakers might also arise. Wired speakers don’t have any of these problems because there’s no chance they’ll run out of power unexpectedly or lose their connection to the source device. And if you don’t want anyone tripping over cords, wired speakers are your only choice.

#6) What is the speaker’s sound quality like?

There’s no way to be sure how good a speaker sounds until you try it — just because one company makes great speakers doesn’t mean that every product they make will live up to those same high standards. Every speaker system is different, and its sound quality will vary depending on what kind of hardware and software was used in its construction as well as the wattage and frequency ratings.

The best method for narrowing down your selection is by reading reviews from other customers who have already bought and tested these products so you’ll know exactly what kinds of features to look out for before you buy.

Must Read: Yamaha YHT-5960U

#7) Are the speakers multi-functional?

Every speaker system is multi-functional in some way, but some brands have more features than others. For example, a great feature to look for in a Bluetooth speaker is a built-in microphone so it can be used to make and receive phone calls free of charge without having to touch your phone while driving or at other busy times.

Many wireless speakers also have volume control buttons on the main unit rather than from inside your device’s menu, which allows you to change the volume levels even when the software volume limits won’t let you turn it any higher or lower.

#8) What style do they come in?

Speakers don’t just come in different styles — they also come in many different colors. You’ll also be able to choose between having speakers that are portable, stationary, or easily mountable on a wall or ceiling if you need them out of the way for whatever reason.

#9) Is the speaker durable enough?

If you’re looking for durability, you’re going to have to expect some compromises when it comes to portability. Portable speakers are smaller and lighter than their larger counterparts, but can’t produce as loud or bassy sounds if they aren’t made from durable materials like metal or plastic.

A good rule of thumb is that the more features your speaker have (like Bluetooth connectivity), the less likely it’s going to hold up through heavy use over time.

#10) How easy is the speaker to set up and use?

Just because a product looks great on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to be as simple as just plugging it in and playing your music. Look for some of the most common uses before you buy any speaker system, such as making sure that wireless speakers can connect to all Bluetooth-enabled devices and that wired speakers automatically switch between multiple sources without having to unplug and plug them back again every time you start using a different device.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Logitech G560 PC Gaming Speaker System with 7.1 DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound, Game based LIGHTSYNC RGB, Two Speakers and Subwoofer, Bluetooth, USB, Immersive Gaming Experience - Black
  • Built-in LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting blasts game driven lighting colors and effects activated by the audio in many popular games.Waterproof : No
  • Explosive 240 Watts Peak power and unique driver design deliver a huge soundscape for a heightened gaming experience
  • Integrated DTS:X Ultra surround sound renders 3D positional audio so you hear your gaming environment from every angle
  • Easily customize four speaker lighting zones with Logitech Family Software for both front and rear light projection in your choice of 16.8 million colors
  • Works with Windows based PCs and Bluetooth enabled devices including computers, smartphones and tablets (DTS:X not supported on Mac OS X)
Bestseller No. 2
Edifier 7.1 Surround Gaming Speaker Computer Sound Bar G1500 BAR, RGB Desktop Soundbar with Deep Impactful Bass Bluetooth 5.3 & 3.5mm AUX-in, USB Powered PC Speakers
  • 【STRONG SOUND EFFECT】Edifier adopts 2 speakers and 2 passive bass radiators. Repeated tuning by acoustic engineers makes the low frequency more powerful, brings high resolution, and renders more delicate sound quality experience possible.
  • 【7.1 SURROUND GAMING SPEAKER】Built-in 7.1 channel. DSP sound card chip. Edifier Gaming Center7.1 surrounding sound effect together create a more immersive experience. Intelligent noise cancellation and crystal-clear sound quality. Included 3.5 mm headphone jack, these are the soundbar you've been looking for.
  • 【Broad Compatibility】Versatile compatibility with Bluetooth V5.3 and USB one-line connection, for all your devices like PC Mac/ PS4/ Xbox/ Laptop/ TV/ CD Player/ Mobile Phones etc.
  • 【CUSTOM RGB EFFECT】Choose your favorite light effect through Edifier software【https://hecategaming.com/】and match it with gaming headset to create an immersive atmosphere!
  • 【EXCELLENT SERVICE】Edifier brand provides timely after-sales support for long-term assistance. If you have any questions, before taking any action, Really hope you would contact us first. We will provide a satisfactory solution.

Speaker systems with advanced features like multi-room connectivity may require specific software or hardware setups first so look out for those red flags and make sure you read each manual carefully before unpacking your new purchase.

Also read: Hiding Speaker Wires

Conclusion

In conclusion, buying speakers for home speakers’ needs, car audio, or commercial purposes is filled with technicalities and choices.

However, this journey can be rewarding with the right knowledge and understanding of what each type of speaker offers.

From the deep low frequencies produced by a floor-standing unit to the crisp sound from bookshelf speakers, every speaker has a unique charm. It’s essential to align your audio needs with the specifications and features of the speaker.

Whether you’re a professional looking for studio-grade monitor speakers or someone simply wanting to enhance your home audio, always remember that the essence of sound lies in its purity and clarity. Let this speaker-buying guide be your compass in the vast ocean of sound, guiding you to the perfect audio destination.

FAQs about Speaker Buying Guide

  1. What are speaker drivers, and why are they important?

    Speaker drivers are the components in a speaker that convert electrical signals into sound waves. They are crucial in determining the speaker’s sound and overall audio quality.

  2. I’m new to audio equipment. Is there a comprehensive speakers buying guide I can refer to?

    Absolutely! Our detailed speaker’s buying guide provides insights into various types of speakers, their features, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

  3. What does speaker impedance mean, and how does it affect my audio setup?

    Speaker impedance refers to a speaker’s resistance to the current flowing from an amplifier. Matching the speaker impedance with your power amp to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage is essential.

  4. Should I opt for floor-standing or in-wall speakers for my living room?

    Floor-standing speakers, or tower speakers, are standalone units offering powerful sound output. In contrast, in-wall speakers are built into the walls for a seamless look. Your choice depends on room aesthetics, space availability, and audio preferences.

  5. How do wireless systems differ from traditional speaker setups?

    Wireless systems eliminate the need for physical cables, offering a cleaner setup. They connect to audio sources via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, making them convenient for multi-room audio setups.

  6. Can I integrate CD players with modern speaker systems?

    Yes, most modern stereo speakers come with inputs that allow you to connect a CD player. Ensure the powered speakers or power amp you choose has the necessary ports for such integrations.

  7. What’s the difference between standing speakers and inceiling speakers?

    Standing speakers, whether floor-standing or tower speaker models, are designed to stand on the floor and often serve as the primary audio source. In-ceiling speakers are mounted into the ceiling, offering a space-saving solution, and are often used for surround sound or ambient audio.

  8. How do I decide the type of speaker suitable for my room?

    The ideal type of speaker depends on your room size, audio needs, and aesthetic preferences. Our speaker buying guide offers insights into various speaker types, helping you make an informed choice.

  9. Is it powered vs. passive speakers? Which one should I choose?

    Powered speakers have a built-in amplifier, eliminating the need for an external power amp. Passive speakers, on the other hand, require an external amplifier to function. Your choice depends on your setup preferences and available space.

  10. Are home stereos compatible with various speaker types?

    Most home stereos are versatile and can be paired with various speakers, from floor-standing to in-wall speakers. Ensure you check the compatibility and impedance matching before setting up.

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Richard

About Richard

Richard has always been immersed in the realm of creativity. Not only has he mastered various musical instruments and delved into the composition of cinematic pieces that evoke profound emotions, but he also boasts a rich background as an audio engineer with over 15 years experience. Before establishing ColorViewfinder, Richard lent his expertise to multinational corporations, assisting them in their audio endeavors. Although he may not claim to be an expert in every artistic domain, his commitment to continuous learning and innovation remains unwavering. An audiophile at heart, Richard relishes the opportunity to experiment with the latest audio technology, from home theater receivers and hi-fi systems to soundbars and earphones. His dedication is to sound and maintain an unbiased stance, always prioritizing the audience's experience.