DIY home theatre part one: Speakers

Everything you need to know about speakers.

Sony DAV-IS50's satellite speakers

Sony DAV-IS50's satellite speakers

Of all the components in your home theatre system, the speakers are arguably the most important. They take the electrical pulses from your amplifier and convert them into thrilling highs, rich mid-range and stunning lows.

There are many kinds of speakers, designed to fulfil many different roles in a home theatre. From tiny satellite speakers to giant, floor-shaking subwoofers, your choice in speakers affects how your music or movies will sound and the overall experience of your home cinema.

We’ll give you a condensed overview of the different kinds of speakers and the advantages that they offer.

Satellite speakers

Satellites are small, versatile speakers that you’ll be able to easily mount anywhere within your living space. Usually supplied with extensive lengths of cable — the six metres per speaker with Sony’s DAV-IS50 — satellite speakers provide surround sound in spaces where larger speakers would be impossible to place. You’ll get acceptable treble from even the smallest speakers, which makes them useful for immersive surround effects. The trade-off is a lack of any mid-range or bass response.

What’s Hot: Small size and low weight, easy placement, decent treble response.

What’s Not: No mid-range or bass.

Bookshelf Speakers

As the smallest size 'regular' speakers — featuring a woofer for low-range sounds and a tweeter for treble — they should get all your attention for centre, rear and side surround effects. There are many different kinds of bookshelf speakers, ranging from Yamaha’s sizeable Soavo 2 to the smaller Tannoy Mecury F1 Custom. Special mention must be made of full-range bookshelf speakers, which funnel all sound through a single speaker driver using clever enclosure design — JohnBlue’s JB4 Mk2 are a great example of this. Bookshelf speakers don’t generally have the power handling ability of full floor-standing units, but they make up for it with great sound quality from small enclosures.

What’s Hot: Great potential for quality sound, more versatile than satellites.

What’s Not: Larger and heavier, may need stands for placement.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags speakershome entertainmenthome theatre

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?