It’s challenging to decide what speakers to buy, especially if you can’t quickly go out and listen to them in person. Plus, you have to pick among big and little, towers and bookshelf speakers, expensive, inexpensive, and everything in between. That’s why we decided to break down the process so that you could get as close as possible
Step 1: Determine the Budget
This is where everything starts. Guess how much you’re willing to spend on a pair of speakers so you can get the most bang for your buck. Also, if you’re building a complete system from the ground up or planning to overhaul it entirely, keep in mind that an excellent amplifier is at least required, and maybe even a CD player or vinyl record player. Also, don’t forget about decent cables to make sure everything is connected correctly. If that’s the case, another factor to consider when setting your budget is a long-term investment. Hi-fi music systems aren’t like smartphones, which you replace every year or two. This is something you’ll want to keep for a long time, perhaps even generations.
Step 2: Take measurements of your space.
When it comes to room dimensions, there are a few essential guidelines you should be aware of. For example, don’t pick huge floor-standing speakers for rooms like 100 square feet or less. Smaller bookshelf speakers would be better for these situations.
It would be best if you also thought about how much room you have for the speakers. Some speakers sound best when they’re a few feet or even a couple of meters away from the wall to achieve the most apparent bass. This is particularly important when utilizing many speakers with rear bass ports.
If you have a little or crowded room, you may need to keep your speakers close to the wall. Bottom-ported speakers are ideal for this. However, if your speaker is already installed and you’re not sure whether it will do well against a wall, there are some things you may check. For example, depending on the manufacturer or dealer, you might look up product descriptions to determine whether your speaker requires more breathing room.
Step 3: Choose between Towers or Stand Mounters
Depending on your room’s location between the two extremes mentioned previously, you may pick from one of these two speaker families. If you want your system to be a huge, booming wall of sound, go for a pair of considerable floor standing (tower) speakers. After determining all of your options, you must now choose the correct ones. If you want a more intimate sound without the need for vast amounts of bass, bookshelf (stand mount) speakers may be ideal. These are also excellent candidates for pairing with a subwoofer to complete the sound and not sacrifice your limited amount of space.
Step 4: Is it passive or active?
Passive speakers don’t require an external power source, so they must be connected to an amplifier for proper functioning. Active speakers, on the other hand, have in-built amplifiers. Dynamic speakers, on the surface, appear to be more convenient and less complicated to set up than passive ones: all you have to do is connect them to the wall, and you’re ready to go. These speakers are frequently more expensive than their passive counterparts, but not always. The KEF LS50 is without a doubt the finest money can buy. However, active speakers have one major drawback. Passive speaker systems may be constructed with various components, such as DACs, amps, and cables, allowing for greater flexibility. Understand us – there are a lot of individuals who are advocates of active speakers. However, this is another thing to think about. Especially if you’re getting into the world of audio, we recommend starting with passive speakers.
Step 5: Power, Impedance, and Sensitivity
In a nutshell, this aspect is to ensure that you’re matching your speakers to the amplifier you already have or the amp you’ll be purchasing. If you don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty, ask your dealer which amplifier would be ideal for powering most of the speakers on your shortlist thus far.
However, if you want to delve even deeper into the rabbit hole, join us:
Your amplifier should deliver 50% to 100% more power to each channel than the continuous power that a speaker can tolerate. For example, if your amplifier can produce 800 watts per channel and even 1000 watts while your speakers can handle 500 watts of power continuously, you’re good.
Look for the Continuous Power rating on the speakers you’re considering and make sure they can handle half or ⅔ of the wattage your amplifier says it can.
Impedance is the electrical resistance that your speakers’ circuitry offers to the signal that enters it. It’s usually written as an omega symbol for Ohms and is next to a number like 4𝛀 or 8𝛀 on most speakers.
In a nutshell, you should connect speakers with a higher impedance (say, 8 ohms) to an amplifier that can handle speakers with a lower impedance (such as 4 ohms). However, it would be best to connect speakers with a greater minimum impedance (for example, 10 ohms) to an amplifier with a lower maximum impend.
This is all about how loud your speaker can go. You could find a sensitivity on your speakers’ technical specifications of 88 decibels (2.83V @ 1m). This indicates that, in a controlled setting, if you send 2.83 volts of electricity into these speakers, the provided number of 88dB is acceptable, as it rises into the mid-90s. It should not be too low since a speaker that is 10 dB less efficient will require ten times as much power to drive. If it gets too high, the sound quality may suffer because the bass response might be impacted.
Step 6: Looks
While the appearance of a speaker is beyond skin deep, you should also think about speakers that appeal to you and the décor in your room. Do you want a wood finish? Dark or light? After all, these speakers should be the main attraction in your home for many years to come. Therefore you should consider them with the same care as a sofa set or a coffee table. However, aesthetics are not necessarily critical.
Step 7: Listen
This isn’t something most of us can do these days, but if you’re reading this in a location or an era where you have access to a buddy or a retail shop with a good listening room and the speakers you’re looking for, see them. All that matters is that the speakers suit your ears.
We hope that following these guidelines has helped you select the finest hi-fi speakers for your budget, space, equipment, and other factors. It’s not simple to pick speakers; that’s certain.