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Speakers

Selecting Speakers

Choosing speakers can be confusing and sometimes frustrating. AV AUstralia have put together this basic guide on speaker selection. We have tried to cover most areas of speaker selection and I hope you find it useful!

Step 1 – Speaker Design

Choosing the design of speakers that you want to purchase, really comes down to personal preference. The key differences being athsetics, space & performance. The guidelines below are for a reference only as performance can vary depending on the quality of the speaker.

Bookshelf
Ideal for: Front Left/Right and/or Center and/or Effects
Pros: Acurate sound reproduction, can be mounted on wall, ceiling or stands
Cons: Can be tricky to mount to wall and ceiling

Bookshelf speakers provide performance sound in a compact box. Although they do not provide as much bass as a floorstanding speaker, they do still outperform satellite speakers. They can be mounted on the wall, placed on stands or placed ontop of cabinets.

Floor standing
Ideal for: Front Left/Right and/or Rear Left/Right
Pros: Acurate full-range sound reproduction
Cons: Take up space, falling hazard for young children, generally not accepted by the Wife

Floor standing speakers provide the best sound as they can be acurately tuned. They do however, take up more space than other speaker types.

Satellite
Ideal for: Front Left/Right and/or Center and/or Effects
Pros: Compact size, Easily mounted to wall or ceiling, Can be mounted on stands, Modern stylish design
Cons: Can Lack bass response

Sattellite speakers are the ideal choice, if space is an issue. As they can be easily mounted on the wall or ceiling. They are available in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Allowing you to match the design with your decor.

In-Wall & In-Ceiling
Ideal for: Front Left/Right and/or Center and/or Effects
Pros: Descreet, Paintable, A hit with the Wife
Cons: Can Lack bass response, Requires cables to be installed into walls, Requires Plaster to be cut

In-wall & In-ceiling speakers provide the most descreet solution for speakers. As they are installed into wall & roof cavities, flush with the plaster, they do not take up any usable space. In most cases the grills and bezel can also be painted to match wall and ceiling colors, making them near invisible.

Step 2 – Speaker Types

Although speakers can be used for any purpose. There are some speakers that are designed with a specific purpose in mind. For example, you could use a Floorstanding speaker as a centre channel. But this would not be ideal as it would be difficuilt to place the speaker around your screen. Below are some of the common types on the market.

LCR Speakers
LCR speakers, are speakers designed specifically to function as front Left, Centre and Right speakers. This is particularly important when considering In-ceiling speakers. As most In-ceiling speakers are directed towards the ground, a conventional speaker will not provide an acurate result when using them as a front channel speaker. LCR speakers have been designed with that problem in mind and the speakers inside the enclosure of an In-ceiling LCR speaker are oriented to fire towards the listener.

Centre Speakers
Designed to sit below, behind or above you screen to provide centre channel reproduction. They are often a balanced configuration of drivers and tweeters in a horizontal orientation.

Di Pole Speakers
Di Pole speakers are best used for rear and side effects in a surround sound system. The project audio in two opposing directions, producing a better coverage for surround sound reproduction. This is often achived with two horizontally opposed drivers but can also be achived with a single speaker driver.

Subwoofers
Subwoofers are used to achive low frequency reproduction. They are particularly useful if the main front speakers are not full-range speakers. In Movies they provide impact and can get your seat shaking to envelope you in the action.

Outdoor Speakers
Outdoor speakers are designed specifically to be permanently installed exposed to the elements. They are often a cabient design with a wall mounting bracket included. Other variations are speakers that are designed to look like garden rocks. There are also some Outdoor subwoofers now available. Most are weatherproof and will state if they are.

100V Speakers
100V Speakers are used for public address systems are will not work with standard home theatre amplifiers. They must be used with a 100V Amplifier. 100V allows multiple speakers to be connected with one run of speaker cable off a single amplifier. 100V speakers are idea for background music in commercial applications where more than 4 speakers are required.

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