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How to Choose the Right Speakers for Your Hi-Fi Multimedia Speaker System

Photo of speakers on a HiFi system with a TV in the background

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There’s more to building a high-quality Hi-Fi multimedia speaker system than simply purchasing the most expensive components in the market or sticking to esteemed brands like JBL, KEF, Bose, Barco, Sony, etc.

It’s about paying attention to your needs, sound preferences, space, and several other important aspects that can maximize your experience.

While a typical HiFi system comprises several components, such as amplifiers, receivers, and cabling, speakers remain the most important, arguably, since they impact the audio quality.

And, with so many options available, buying the best speakers for your needs is unnecessarily challenging.

Editor’s Pick
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

A low-cost speaker with a powerful audio performance and a beautiful design. It punches above its price point. Keep in mind these are near-field active speakers which means they need to be plugged in and are awesome when you are close to them.

If you prefer Passive speakers then we’d recommend the Q Acoustic 3010i, 3020i or 3030i.

Editor’s Pick
Q Acoustic 3030i Bookshelf Speakers

I own the 3010i Q Acoustic Bookshelf speakers and love them. Definitely recommend them and their newer brothers the 3020i and these 3030i. Q Acoustic make an awesome speaker than offers serious value for money. Everytime I play music through them I have to smile.

So, in this post, we’ll share how to choose the right HiFi speakers for your audio system so you can make a more informed decision before heading to a HiFi equipment store or site.

Choosing the Best Hi-Fi Speakers for Your System – 7 Key Factors to Consider

1. Budget

Before you head to an online or offline store, you should consider how much you’re willing to spend on speakers. Like most components of a Hi-Fi multimedia system, they’re available in different price ranges based on quality, brand popularity, demand, and availability.

So, are you looking for the best speakers under $200 or $500? Maybe, you are in the market for a top-shelf product worth thousands of dollars?

Once you’ve determined your budget, the next step is to understand the different types of HiFi audio stereo speakers you can find, which brings us to our next point.

2. Types of Hi-Fi Speakers Available

At their core, speakers serve the same basic function – taking electrical signals created by an audio source (smartphone, computer, television, etc.) and amplifier and using drivers to convert them into audio.

However, the sound-producing capability and level of clarity, volume, and fullness depend on several factors, including the speaker’s size, design, and material. Generally speaking, HiFi speakers come in two designs – floor-standing and bookshelf.

Floorstanders

Also commonly regarded as tower speakers, these audio devices are strategically designed to stand upright.

Thus, you can find them in multiple shapes and sizes, making them the go-to choice for most HiFi enthusiasts looking for a cleaner sound with more bass due to better resonance dampening and more driver units.

However, their large size makes them unsuitable for small spaces, especially if you don’t have wall-mounting options. Moreover, they’re generally more expensive than their counterparts.

Q Acoustic Concept 40 Floorstanding Speakers
Q Acoustic Concept 40 Floorstanding Speakers | Make Life Click

Bookshelf Speakers

On the flip side, we’ve got a bookshelf or stand-mounted speakers. These devices are designed to be placed on an elevated surface, such as a shelf, rack, wall unit, or speaker stand. Compared to floorstanders, these speakers offer more flexibility due to their smaller size and placement options.

Q Acoustic 3010i Bookshelf Speaker
Q Acoustic 3010i Bookshelf Speaker | Make Life Click

3. Space

Now that you’re well-versed with the two major speaker types, the next step is to consider the setup space. Ask yourself questions like:

  • How large is your room?
  • Are you looking to listen to music only or have a more diverse use case for your system, i.e., gaming, streaming, etc.? 
  • Are you looking to redecorate or move any time soon?
  • Do you have a sound system, or are you building one from scratch?

Simply put, you should understand room acoustics to get the most out of your speakers. Most manufacturers recommend a distance of at least six feet between a wall and your speakers. So, before you splash your cash, see if you can tweak your space layout to fit them perfectly.

Plus, your room size will help you decide if you should opt for a floorstander or a smaller bookshelf speaker.

4. Active, Passive, or Powered?

Once you’ve considered the factors above, the next step in choosing the right HiFi speaker is learning about passive, active, and powered speakers:

Passive

Passive speakers simply receive signals from amplifiers to their drivers via a crossover to produce sound. They’re the most popular options in the market.

Powered

These speakers have a built-in amp and a separate main supply since the signal is amplified inside the cabinet. Thus, the crossover is passive.

Active

Active speakers feature a high-quality built-in amplifier for each driver. Moreover, unlike powered speakers, the crossover is active, meaning they do a more accurate frequency splitting job. Due to greater sound quality, they’re the most expensive options in the market.

5. Bi-Wired or Single-Wired?

Bi-wiring refers to using two cables to connect the same speaker, meaning your speakers will have four terminals at their rear for the cables. In contrast, single-wired speakers will have one cable for each terminal. The difference between both types typically falls to frequency distribution.

Biwired speakers can split upper and middle/low frequencies to deliver better sound. However, not all amps support bi-wiring, so you’ll have to check yours if you already have one.

6. Amp Compatibility

If you already have an amplifier for your Hi-Fi multimedia speaker system , you must ensure compatibility and synergy before finalizing a speaker. This can be a rather complex subject. However, here are two key things to consider:

Impedance

Ideally, you should opt for speakers with a higher impedance (electrical resistance in ohms) than an amplifier. However, you should steer clear of doing the opposite. You can find these ratings on the product specs. Speakers are usually rated between 4 and 8 ohms.

In contrast, amps are rated between 6 and 12 ohms.

And just for reference most daily use headphones are around 32 Ohms, although they can go up and down alot from 16 to 600 Ohms.

Power

Secondly, make sure the speaker you’re planning to buy can handle your amp’s power output. So, pull up the specs again and look for the recommended amplification levels in watts.

7. Aesthetics

Finally, once you’re done with the technical aspects of choosing Hi-Fi speakers, perhaps you should also consider aesthetics. After all, HiFi equipment is incredibly beautiful and can be used as a prominent part of your room décor even though it’s not their core function. You’ll also need to get your partners approval else you end up with some tension in the house.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
KEF LSX II Wireless HiFi Speaker System (Carbon Black)
KEF LSX II Wireless HiFi Speaker System

Conclusion

We have shared seven factors you must consider when choosing the right speakers for your Hi-Fi multimedia speaker system. Hopefully, with this information, you can strike gold on your first equipment purchase and avoid painful, unnecessary refunds and exchanges due to compatibility or quality issues.

By doing your homework and paying close attention to these details, you can refine your product hunt and equip your space with the best H-Fi speakers for your budget in terms of sound quality, functionality, durability, and design.

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.

This post was last updated on 2022-11-27 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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