There are several different types of home speakers and subwoofers that are available on the market, but trying to find the right one that fits your needs can be tricky. If you want to set up a 2 channel stereo system, whole house audio system, or surround sound system you'll want to become familiar with the types of speakers out there and their function.
There are a number of features that are used to classify speakers. Here's a look at some of the most common. Speakers are often categorized by their design and size. There are in-wall speakers designed to be mounted inside the wall or ceiling. Floor standing or tower speakers are the largest and highest quality and are designed to stand on their own. Bookshelf speakers use smaller boxes and are designed to be placed on a shelf, entertainment center or speaker stand. Surround Sound speakers are used for the rear effects associated with true surround sound and sound-bars, or speaker bars, are used to simulate surround sound when there is little option for rear speakers. Then there are the wireless speakers from SONOS that can give you a near unlimited custom audio video options.
The frequency ranges from these dedicated drivers are also a classifying quality of speakers. Two-way speakers use a woofer (lows) and tweeter (highs) while three-way speakers also include a mid-range driver. Four-way speakers include an additional driver, such as a low-mid. Speakers may include several drivers for one or more frequency range but are still classified as two, three or four-way. Speakers can be classified as direct radiating, bipolar and dipolar. Direct radiating speakers feature drivers on the front of the speakers to fire the sound directly at the listener, while bi and dipolar speakers include drivers on both the front and the back to provide a fuller sound and larger sweet spot.
Base Reflex or Closed Box: These terms describe the design of the speaker enclosure or box. In a closed box, the drivers are housed in a box made of wood or other material, which is completely sealed so that no air can escape. A bass reflex speaker has an opening on the front or the back, which allows air to escape.
There is an indoor, outdoor, and wireless speaker option available for almost every application in a home. When choosing the correct type of speakers for your room, it is best to have an A/V expert, like AIC, to schedule for a complimentary in-home consultation.
Room acoustics play a very important role when determining what speakers should be installed in a room. For Instance, if you have a 16ft open vaulted ceiling, in-ceiling speakers are not the best speaker for your room.
AIC has teamed up with Elan Home Systems, KEF, Martin Logan, Sunfire, and JL Audio to provide our clients a wide spectrum of indoor speakers to choose from. Another fun fact to remember is that most in-ceiling and in-wall speaker grills can be painted to be match any ceiling or wall color that you like.