One question we see a lot of in the consumer electronics world, and especially in the home theater industry, is what type of speaker works best for surround sides and surround backs? In this post we’ll discuss some of the pro’s and con’s of the most common speakers used in these types of systems.
The are three main types of speakers used in this particular application. For the purposes of this post, all enclosed speakers whether they be standard or dipole will be considered bookshelf type speakers. The other two varieties include recessed ceiling speakers and in wall speakers.
Enclosed speakers offer several advantages over in wall and in ceiling speakers. For one, as the name implies, they are completely enclosed. This means that any vibration due to the movement of the woofer will be minimized due to the cabinet design of the speaker. This means that very little vibration will be transferred to the wall surface to which they are attached.
One of the biggest benefits seen from an enclosed speaker is the bass response. Because the manufacturer is able to control the amount of air in the chamber of the speaker, bass reproduction tends to be very accurate and responsive.
In most surround sound systems bass response from the surround channels is not hugely important. Most surround tracks don’t include much bass to these speakers since they are typically smaller. But many of today’s surround receivers will allow you to specify what size speakers you are using for the surround channels. If you specify large, the receiver will route more bass to those speakers. This can result in pretty dramatic performance improvements.
The cons of using a bookshelf speaker in this application are pretty obvious. In many rooms, there is no place to hide a big and bulky speaker. They are often black and rarely fit in with the decor of the room. In addition, they usually require some sort of mounting bracket to attach the speaker to the wall.
In Wall Speakers
In wall speakers would obviously go in the wall on the sides and at the back of your theater room. Since this type of speaker relies on the surrounding wall for it’s air chamber, bass usually has much less impact. Installing these types of speakers can also be difficult or intimidating for those that are not comfortable with cutting into the drywall of the room.
Some manufacturers have started designing speakers with integrated back boxes that do enclose the speaker to a large degree. The result isn’t the same as a bookshelf, but it’s close.
In Ceiling Speakers
Similar to in wall speakers in performance, in ceiling offer some of the same benefits and drawbacks. In ceiling speakers typically offer a bit more flexibility in placement since the ceiling of a room is usually pretty wide open.
As with in wall speakers, many manufacturers offer speakers with built in back boxes, thus providing for more bass than those without. But they’re still not going to compete with an enclosed speaker on bass response.
Another feature of many recessed ceiling speakers is the ability to aim the tweeter and woofer at the listening position you’ll most likely be using. This can greatly improve sound quality and surround track reproduction.
As with in wall speakers, you will be required to cut some drywall. And you’ll want to be careful when choosing your location to avoid any ducts or electrical wiring. If you do encounter any, you’ll need to do a bit of drywall ceiling repair, and find another location.
Often times when installing speakers in the ceiling you will run into blown in fiberglass insulation. This isn’t a big deal. Just remove enough to allow the speaker to fit. Just be prepared for a bit of a mess. norsk online casino