Types of Speakers: What's the difference between floor standing, a subwoofer, surround, and Dolby Atmos speakers?!
Putting together the building blocks of a top-quality audio system is easy, but you've got to know the lingo and what to look for. The ABCs of Klipsch speakers are something you cannot pass up because, and once you've learned ‘em, you can build an awe-inspiring home theater.
In this handy guide, we've shared the most popular speaker types on the market. Whether you're searching for the best floorstanding speaker or a high-quality subwoofer, it helps to learn a bit of background before making a purchase.
But, don't take our word for it. Have a look at these different speaker types yourself, do a little comparison shopping, and choose the right speakers for your needs.
Often called "tower speakers", floorstanding speakers are typically a few feet tall and fairly skinny. They tend to employ multiple drivers and are designed with a lot of internal air space, so they produce a deep and full sound. When comparing floorstanding vs. bookshelf speakers, this is the primary difference. Bookshelf speakers are smaller and have less air space, so the sound is generally not as full. Here's what to look for when purchasing a floorstanding speaker so you achieve the best possible sound.
When shopping for a sub, rattling the floor and enhancing your listening experience are key. They typically connect to your receiver and require a power source (hence the term "powered subwoofers").
However, some subwoofers are wireless and don't need to be connected to a receiver or amplifier. Instead, they rely on a cutting-edge wireless transmitter for sending high-res bass content.
Either way, you want something to rumble the room.
Ready to buy a subwoofer? Read this first.
A real home theater experience means you feel as though you’re in the middle of the action. We highly recommend buying a pair of surround speakers, so you're fully immersed in sound. These speakers can be placed behind or near your couch so that you hear audio from different directions. They use wide dispersion surround technology to create a lifelike, cinematic experience. Ideally, you should place a surround speaker on the left and right sides of your seating area.
If you're creating a home theater system on a budget, a powered bookshelf speaker setup doesn't require a receiver. Their amplification is built into the speaker housing. Often, powered speakers include inputs for various music sources, such as a CD/MP3 player or turntable. They may have support for Bluetooth and WiFi as well.
Designed as a center speaker channel for your home theater, sound bars improve the volume and clarity of dialogue, while also filling out the frequency spectrum. If you've ever watched a movie with your TV's built-in speakers and wondered why the quiet moments were barely audible, it's because the movie is tailored for a full home theater system with a soundbar. Some sound bars will even include a wireless subwoofer that you can place anywhere in the room.
Dolby is a legendary audio brand, and its Atmos audio format is designed to take surround sound into 3D space. Typically, surround sound envelops a user on a single plane, but Dolby Atmos movies produce the magical effect of hearing sound above and below you. By investing in 2, 4, or more Dolby Atmos-capable speakers, you can experience three-dimensional sound for yourself.
Want to enjoy rich, high-resolution audio on your back porch or patio? Outdoor speakers are designed to withstand the elements while also delivering acoustic clarity.
Yes, you CAN literally rock out.