After the dust has settled on the rest of your smart home installations, there’s probably still a spot left in your heart for something that really makes your home pop, your 4K home theater content sing, and your vinyl and hi-fi audio really rip. That’s what new speakers are for.
And not just any speakers – speakers that blow your friends’ minds. Speakers that make your crew want to come over to watch every new movie at your house, even if they weren’t invited. Speakers that your whole family love, but your neighbors don’t. Speakers that are just that good.
But buying new speakers – especially expensive ones – can be tricky, and it isn’t something that you want to do on a whim. To help you and your ears out, we here at ETC put together some tips to guide you through the process. It’s time to get listening!
1. What application do your needs call for?
Before you even walk into a speaker store, you should decide what exactly you plan to use your speakers for.
- Is this a pair to hook up to your record player in your listening room?
- Do you want a 7.1 surround sound system for your home theater?
- Are you short on space and just looking for a sound bar to get you by until you can upgrade to something bigger?
You should also figure out what hookups your current system has and what else you may need to upgrade along the way. Take stock and think before jumping the gun!
2. What brands do you know and love?
If you’ve purchased speakers in the past or have a high-end technology manufacturer that you already know and like, those can be good places to start. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other great brands out there that you haven’t heard of. And that’s what we are here for! Give us a call today at (561) 881-8118 – we’d love to chat about our favorite brands that we offer and which ones we think will work best for your unique home projects and needs.
3. Where are they going?
Before you decide which type of speakers you should get, you need to decide where these new speakers are going.
- In which room are you planning on putting them?
- How big is that room?
- What is the desired placement – are you planning on getting floor-standing, on-wall, in-wall or in-ceiling speakers?
Your goal is to pick speakers that can adequately fill the room with sound without you needing to turn your amp all the way up and overpowering the speakers. And placement is important because your speakers need to fit; There’s nothing worse than getting new speakers home and then finding out they don’t fit in your media center or cabinet.
4. What is your budget?
As well as deciding what you need your speakers to do, you should also come up with a rough budget. If you are doing other home renovations at the same time, make sure that you are setting aside part of that overall budget for speakers – you don’t want to get everything else installed only to find that you didn’t leave any room for speakers.
You also need to factor in any accessories that go with your speakers – such as cable wire, receivers, amplifiers, and the like. These can also get costly, but they are very important in helping you get the best sound out of your setup.
Deciding your budget can also help narrow down the wide world of speakers into something a bit more manageable.
5. What sounds just OK and what sounds stunning to you?
When it comes to speakers, nothing beats checking them out in person and actually hearing what they sound like. You are the person who is going to be listening to them, so they need to sound good to you. Trust your ears. Different speaker brands all have their own distinct “sound,” and what sounds amazing to one reviewer online may sound way too bright for you.
Ideally, you can try an in-home audition to test drive any speakers you are considering, but if you can’t, that’s what experts like us are for. We take our time to get to know you, your room, and how you plan to use the speakers – combine this with our years of experience helping clients, and we have a great recipe for helping you find the right speaker for your taste and budget.
Bonus: Pro Tips
Make sure your audio amplifier is powerful enough to properly drive your speakers. Underpowering your speakers can damage the amplifier and has a negative impact on sound quality.
Also, it’s very important to remember that your listening experience is only as good as the source you’re listening to. Aim for high-resolution audio, uncompressed audio, Blu-Ray, or vinyl as opposed to compressed MP3 whenever you can.
Of course, if you want other opinions on speakers, give us a call at (561) 881-8118 or zip on over to our Contact Us Page and we’ll be glad to walk you through the different speaker options we have available. We’re always here to lend an ear and to help you tackle your next A/V project!