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Home Audio Speakers: Considerations
 When Buying Home Theater Speakers

Word Count:

This article provides information o
n what to ask a retailer about or l
isten for when purchasing home thea
ter in-wall or cabinet speakers.

home theater speakers, PSB Image Se
ries, tower speakers, in-cabinet sp
eakers, Dali Ikon, in-wall speakers

Article Body:
There are a number of things that y
ou should consider before purchasin
g home theater speakers. Depending
 upon the brand you purchase and th
e components that make up the rest
of your system, you might find that
 you experience unwanted distortion
 or that the speakers you choose si
mply can’t handle the volumes at wh
ich you set your surround sound sys
tem. Take the time to talk to empl
oyees at the home theater equipment
 store and, if possible, listen to
demo speakers that have been set up
 in-store so that you can get a fee
l for any distortion that might occur.

There are a lot of speaker systems
out there, ranging from the PSB Ima
ge Series to the various Dali Ikon
lines. To help you in making the r
ight decision, make sure that you k
eep the following considerations in

One of the most common causes of au
dio distortion is having the volume
 set too high or having too much po
wer coming through the speaker cabl
es. Different speakers can have di
fferent amounts of distortion, so i
t’s important that you choose a bra
nd that will have as little distort
ion as possible. This is definitel
y one situation in which you want t
o talk to a professional. Provide t
hem with as much information about
your home theater system as you can
, including the type of receiver an
d amplifier that you’re using and h
ow you plan to have the speakers mo
unted, so that they can better matc
h you with something that will meet
 your needs.

Placement Requirements
Not all speakers are going to be mo
unted the same way, or even be the
same size. You’re going to have to
 consider the space that’s availabl
e to you as well as the types that
you want to include in your home th
eater system. You’ll need to choos
e from among tower speakers, in-wal
l speakers, wall-mounted speakers,
and even in-cabinet speakers in ord
er to decide how you want your spea
kers to appear. Tower speakers wil
l require floor space or at least s
omething to set them on, whereas wa
ll-mounted speakers will need to ha
ve enough support within the walls
to keep them from pulling out their
 mountings. In-wall speakers are u
nobtrusive, but require alterations
 to the walls that can be inconveni
ent if you decide to remove them la
ter, while in-cabinet speakers are
built in to you entertainment cente
r or other audio cabinet but are li
mited on where they can be placed.
 Of course, a combination of differ
ent types can be used as well to he
lp you get the most out of your spe
aker arrangement.

Volume Limitations
Just as some speakers will start ge
nerating distortions at higher volu
mes, others can also be seriously d
amaged if you try to turn the volum
e up to a higher level than they ar
e designed to handle. Home theater
 speakers that can handle higher vo
lumes may cost a bit more, but that
 cost is worth it if you plan on ha
ving music, movies, or other audio
playing at higher levels. If you d
on’t want to have your audio system
 turned up very high, you might be
better off with standard speakers.

It is important to remember that sp
ecialized speakers such as woofers
and tweeters are also available and
 can be used to customize your audi
o experience to your preferences.
Be sure to get assistance in design
ing your home theater system’s spea
ker arrangement so that you can bri
ng out exactly the sounds that you
most want.   Many audio professiona
ls can help you to find the perfect
 balance that will take your surrou
nd sound audio to the next level an
d make sure that you’re finished wi
th the end result.

~Ben Anton, 2008

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