Whether you're expanding your home theater to include surround sound or just adding some background sound to your kitchen, choose the best speakers for the job with these tips.
Step 1: Pair power handling Pair the power handling of the speakers to the power of your amplifier and receiver, measured in watts. Speakers with a range of 20 to 100 watts are a good match for a 100-watt receiver.
TIP: Most home receivers produce between 50 and 100 watts of output.
Step 2: Match to room Match the size and power of the speakers to the room they'll be in. A large room or home theater can handle large, freestanding tower speakers; small rooms or apartments would do better with small bookshelf speakers or advanced sound systems that fit in the palm of your hand.
Step 3: Consider in-wall or in-ceiling speakers Consider in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, which save precious floor or bookshelf space and add surround sound to a home theater.
Step 4: Look at stereo input speakers Look at stereo input speakers. This single speaker plays both left and right channels of stereo music and is perfect for adding background music to small or awkward spaces.
TIP: Use moisture-resistant models in humid areas like bathrooms or kitchens.
Step 5: Consider frequency response Think about frequency response, measured in hertz. The greater the range, the more balanced the sound. Check for sensitivity, or efficiency, measured in decibels.
Step 6: Match speakers to music Match the speakers to the type of music you enjoy. Bring along one of your favorite CDs when shopping and see how it sounds through different models.
FACT: A standard human ear can hear frequencies from about 20 Hz to about 20,000 Hz.