How to Buy Speakers

How to Buy Speakers

By Michael Buckner, Founder and CEO of Audio Intersection.  

Finding Equipment that Matches Up With Your Style

This month, I’d like to share my knowledge on one of the most overlooked accessories to any great TV system, speakers.  This can mistakenly be one of the most unwanted accessories to the interior designers of a household even when a thorough whole house audio system is in place.  Also, there are so many choices out there that it can be difficult to determine what is the right speaker system for your Georgia home.  Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll see that there is something out there that can make everyone happy. 

SEE MORE: A Unique Speaker Experiment

First of all, let’s talk about the experience that speakers add.  Many people are unaware that if you only have two speakers, especially if they are the ones inside your TV, you are missing at least 30-50 percent of the sound that is being broadcast to your living room.  Here’s an analogy: a piano has 88 keys and covers all range of music.  If TV speakers were compared to this, you would only hear the middle 50 keys, while a nice stereo reproduces all 88.  When you watch a movie, this missing sound can really take away from the way the movie should make you feel.  I know that the most exciting thing that I’ve ever experienced was in the movie Saving Private Ryan. When the bullets and bombs exploded all over my living room, it really brought the scene to life, and raised my pulse while pulling for the main characters!     

Now let’s talk about the perception of the way speakers look as part of a TV installation or whole house audio system.  In general, most of the female clients that we interact with call speakers “Wall Warts,” and complain that regardless of the added experience, they’re ugly! For these clients, it’s music to their ears when we tell them that there are speakers that are recessed in the wall and we can paint them with the same paint as the room.  There is also such a thing as 100% INVISIBLE speakers!  That’s right, they make speakers now that go inside the wall and cannot be seen at all.  They sound incredible too!

When buying speakers, aside from making sure the looks please all members of the household, you need to make sure they sound great.   All the time, I tell people this is like buying Coke vs. Pepsi.  While I’m a Georgia boy, and can’t see why anyone would choose Pepsi, some people genuinely like it better.  Speakers are the same way.  

My advice is to start with the type of music you’re most likely to play through your whole house audio.  Most Rock and Country sounds best with what’s called a soft dome tweeter, while many Hip-Hop listeners prefer the sound of a metallic tweeter.  The point here is that most speaker companies use one of these two technologies, so figure out which one of these you like.  Only if you don’t like either of these should you consider the more expensive alternatives.  

MOST IMPORTANTLY, choose a speaker based on your own taste, NOT on the brand name.   After all of these criteria are met, you can rest assure you’ve made the right purchase. If you ever need help finding the right speakers for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.