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Speakers Buyers Guide 101: Choosing A Speaker For Music or Movies

The Difference between music speakers and home theater surround sound speakers may not be common knowledge, but it should be.

We would like to address the most common misconception held by those looking for a speaker system.

Misconception #1: Speakers designed for home theater are just as good at music reproduction?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you can stream your favorite song through your home theater system and sound WILL come out that you’ll recognize as your song. However, your critical ear, the one that knows what the highs, lows and details of the music should sound like may be left wanting.

Truth is, that speakers designed for music reproduction, designed to reproduce the full range and detail of sound, are the very best choice for your home theater system. Why? Because any speaker designed for music reproduction is more than capable of supporting the fairly limited sonic range of your typical movie sound track. However, speakers designed for home theater fall woefully short in their ability to handle the sonic demands of serious music listening.

 

The 2 Main Differences

The Build Difference

The difference lies in a few, but critical differences. Good music speakers are housed in solidly built, space engineered anti-resonant cabinets, which utilize drivers (the things that move the air) that are engineered for controlled motion.  These drivers are supported by an optimally constructed suspension and have cross-overs (the device that separates the signal and sends the highs to the tweeter and the lows to the mid-range driver and woofer) that are built from top grade components with ultra-tight tolerances.

There are several other elements that are found in truly great speakers designed for music, but the list above is at the core of the difference you’ll find between music and purpose built home theater speakers.

 

The Sonic Difference

The difference between speakers designed for music reproduction vs. those other options is the sonic difference between watching a movie on a cathode ray tube TV (the big heavy TV beasts of our youth) vs. the 1080P capable sets many of us have or 4K HD sets now available. The difference visually is startling even to the average consumer. That same sonic difference can exist between speakers designed for music vs. those thrown together to be a slight improvement over the anemic speakers included in your flat screen TV.

The message here is similar to the one we learned in math when we were taught that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. In this application, all speakers designed for music are more than capable of handling movies, but speakers purposely designed for the verbal demands of movies are often incapable of reproducing the full sonic demands of music.

Another way of saying this is that Home Theater systems are designed to play a supportive role, with the video quality and action of a movie grabbing most of the attention.  But a system designed for music has to make it or break it on its own, depending how sonically realistic and tonally accurate it is.

A key component of a home theater system is the center channel.  So if your system is primarily for watching movies, this is what you want to invest in.  If you are mostly listening to music, you will find two full-range tower speakers should be a top priority.

From our inception, Aperion has focused on building musically biased speakers. We are passionate about music. We love our movies, but we’re Gaga about music (pun intended). I invite you to hear the difference speakers built for music can make in your total enjoyment of your home theater system.

 



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