Center channel speaker and floorstanding speaker

What are Channel Speakers and When Are They Your Best Bet?

There’s nothing quite like a real surround sound system for creating a movie theater experience at home. However, a full system requires money, space, and time for setup, leading many to go with small options, like soundbars or a simple two channel system. While the former option is going to be a decent upgrade to the (more than likely) poor speakers inside your television, and the latter is a great option for music, there’s a compelling argument to be made for adding a center channel speaker to that two-channel system, even if you’re not ready to complete the whole 5.1 package.

Watching a movie on stereo speakers is great, but when you do that, you’re relying on those speakers to work together together to create the most important part of any movie, not the special effects explosions, the dialogue. If you’re a two-channel expert with two painstakingly setup speakers then you may be getting perfect dialogue throughout every movie and television show. However, for many of us that’s simply not an option. Sometimes the room you watch TV in doesn’t allow for a perfect setup. This means that dialogue can come through muddy and difficult to understand unless you turn the volume up, which becomes a problem when that special effects explosion does come along.

A center channel speaker is the most important speaker in a surround sound setup because it does most of the work. Most of the action, and conversation, in a film happen front and center on your screen, meaning that the center channel is the one reproducing it. By not splitting the audio information among the left and right speaker, except what’s supposed to be there, you let each speaker focus on part of the job, letting each one do its job better.

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