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Why You Need an Amp to Power a Subwoofer

Why You Need an Amp to Power a Subwoofer

What Are Subwoofers?

Subwoofers are speaker drivers that can produce low-frequency audio. Subwoofers are usually mounted in a speaker enclosure that is called a cabinet. Cabinets are typically made from wood. The enclosure is really to protect the tech from air pressure and to avoid deformation.

Subwoofers have multiple design aspects that help their performance. An example of a design aspect that the cabinet of the subwoofers has is a bass reflex. This is usually the hollow tube that you see on speakers. That hollow tube acts as a hole or vent that allows the sound from the rear side of the diaphragm to increase the system’s efficiency when it has to produce low frequencies.

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What Are Subwoofers?
Image by Jean van der Meulen from Pixabay

Another example is passive radiator speakers. These are the dome-like structure that you see in speakers. The dome-like structure is actually called cones. This design is beneficial for compact audio systems where applying a vent is difficult or impossible. There are many more cabinet designs such as the acoustic suspension, infinite baffle, horn-loaded, tapped horn, transmission line, bandpass, or isobaric.

All represent unique trade-offs. The efficiency, sound quality, cabinet size, and cost are all factors that are considered when choosing a design for a subwoofer.

Subwoofers are made to produce audio frequencies known as bass and sub-bass. Both bass and sub-bass are low frequencies, and the typical range that a subwoofer that is sold for recreational purposes produces is about 20hz to 200hz. Higher quality subwoofers for professional live sound, on the other hand, produces lower than 100hz.

THX-certified systems can produce about lower than 80hz. George Lucas founds THX. Some movie theatres, screening rooms, gaming consoles, car audio systems, computer speakers, and video games utilize this system. So if you see audio systems that are THX certified, you can expect high-quality audio performance.

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What Subwoofer Should You Get?

The power and the driver size are important factors to consider. The first thing that you have to know about power is that higher-powered subwoofers are not louder than low-powered models. The power does not dictate the loudness; that’s what the volume is for! So a 1000-watt subwoofer is not louder than a 100-watt subwoofer.

The watt rating is just a rough guide on the output it can produce. Here’s a tip, don’t be scared of getting a 1000-watt subwoofer. They perform very well even in a relatively regular-sized room. In fact, a 100-watt subwoofer may not be enough since we are talking about subwoofers and not loudspeakers. 300, 500, and higher watts are a good range to choose from.

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What Subwoofer Should You Get?
Image by Yassine Khalfalli from Unsplash

Another important thing to factor in is size. The size of the driver inside usually dictates the size of the cabinet. So a subwoofer with a 12-inch driver has a bigger cabinet than a subwoofer with an 8-inch driver. It was mentioned before that the purpose of subwoofers is to create bass.

Bass waves are really long, so there should be sufficient space in the cabinet behind the driver. Because the driver has to perform heavily to create waves in volumes that we can hear, the bigger the driver, the better. So 12 inches is a good size to get.

There are multiple sizes to choose from. For example, you may encounter two 6 inch drivers. In that case, a single 12 inch is still better. However, multiple subwoofers are still good and useful because you get to improve the sound experience by setting it in different locations in a room so it is more spread out.

If you have a smaller subwoofer, a good way to counter that is to get a subwoofer with a higher power.

Voice coil also factors in when choosing a subwoofer. There are two:

  1. Single Voice Coil or SVC – This generally only supports one specific ohms rating, so it is not as versatile as the DVC.
  2. Double/Dual Voice Coil or DVC – This gives you more wiring options to connect your subs with amps allowing you to hit the correct impedance loads you need for the best sound possible.

How Will You Know if You Need an Amplifier With Your Subwoofer?

Some subwoofers come with loudspeakers, and some subwoofers have built-in amplifiers. But, definitely, subwoofers are never used alone. This is because subwoofers are just used to give loudspeakers a low-frequency range—loudspeakers, on the other hand, cover high-frequency bands.

A good thing to note is that an external amplifier usually powers passive subwoofers, and active subwoofers usually include a built-in amplifier. So when buying equipment really research about it. Find out the important details and specs.

So what do you need? A passive or an active subwoofer? Here is a short guide to help you find out!

How Will You Know if You Need an Amplifier With Your Subwoofer?
Image by AliceKeyStudio from Pixabay

Most of the time, for cheaper or entry-level audio systems bundles or kits, what you get is a passive subwoofer. A drawback that passive subwoofers have is that they might not give you the quality of an active subwoofer. Although, it is a good option because it is relatively more affordable and is more budget-friendly.

If you’re only buying for casual enjoyment, a passive subwoofer might be enough. Still, if you aim for a surround sound experience or generally just a really high-quality audio experience, active subwoofers might be for you. Active subwoofers are perfect for professional use or if you want to build a theater room at home.

You can even elevate the sound quality by adding an external amplifier. Although even without the additional extended external amplifier, an active woofer performs really well. It can also help save you real estate if you only have limited space for your audio system since there is no need for an external amp.

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All About Amplifiers!

An amplifier is a piece of audio equipment that increases the power of a signal that is connected to its input terminal. Hence, the output that you get from using an amplifier is a greater and balanced signal. Its gain measures the amp’s power output. The gain is the ability to increase the signal from the input to the output by adding energy converted from a power supply.

All About Amplifiers!
Image by Bertrand Fines from Pixabay

If the explanation is a little too complicated… here’s a simpler explanation. The amplifier receives a signal from the source connected to it, and these may be your mobile phones, turntable, CD, DVD, media players, etc. Then it replicates the signal it receives larger and greater for the output to produce.

Usually, the output is speakers. As you already know, from passive and active subwoofers, an amplifier can be a separate piece or is part of another piece. To control the output you’re getting from your amplifier, you will need a potentiometer. Using the potentiometer, you can control the volume.

This is because the potentiometer allows the user to control the amount of current that goes to the speakers, which directly affects the overall volume level. Amps may differ in their shape and sizes, but it all really works the same way… to amplify the sound that comes out of your speakers.

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What to Look for in an Amplifier?

When choosing an amplifier, there are five important factors to check out:

What to Look for in an Amplifier?
Image by Andreas Glöckner from Pixabay

1. Power Output

This defines how loud you can turn up the volume. If you have large and high-quality speakers, the more power you want. However, for average listening and casual purposes, you don’t need lit. 10W is just fine and is already loud enough for an average user.

Although if you need audio for large parties, 100W may be what you need. So it all really boils down to what you’ll use it for. Speaker sensitivity also factors into this.

So also make sure to check the specs of the speaker you have or planning to buy. The average speaker sensitivity rating is 87 dB to 88 dB. 90 dB is considered excellent. The higher the sensitivity rating, the louder your speaker is.

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What Is a Good Signal to Noise Ratio for an Amplifier?

2. THD + N (Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise)

This is a measure of how much effect the amplifier has on the sound output it produces. What you’re looking for is that you want the output from the amplifier to be as close to the original sound.

However, your speakers will still have the biggest effect on the sound or the audio experience. That is why you must get an amplifier that works compatibly well with your speaker. For THD + N, the lower numbers are better! 1k is better than 20k, for example.

3. Signal to Noise Ratio or SNR

Amplifiers tend to generate a very faint noise. This is from the electrons whizzing around inside. Good amplifiers make this noise almost impossible to hear, and that’s what you want when looking for an amplifier.

You want the sound to be more dominant than the noise the amplifier generates. The bigger the number, the better the amplifier is in hiding the noise.

4. Crosstalk

This is the ability of the amplifier to differentiate what should come out to the left or what should come out to the right. Good quality amplifiers can split apart signals to travel to the output where it’s meant to be. The more crosstalk there is the more unwanted interference between left and right output.

5. Inputs and Connections

Will it work with the device you want to use it with? There are different connections for different purposes. For example, you’ll need 3.5mm cables for Mobile phones or USB for computers and laptops.

So when you look for an amplifier, these are factors that you may want to ask about.

Subwoofer and Amplifier Matching

Now that you know about subwoofers and amplifiers individually, time to learn how to use both together for a better sound experience!

Subwoofer and Amplifier Matching
Image by Peter Harte from Pixabay

Just a recap, if you have a passive subwoofer, you will need an external amplifier to improve the audio quality. Still, if you have an active sub, you don’t necessarily need an external amp since it already has an amplifier built in the box. Still, you can always add an external amp to improve the quality further.

Let us start learning about getting the right amplifier for your subwoofer or getting the right subwoofer for your amplifier!

First thing’s first, the amplifier capabilities need to match the subwoofer’s specs. In technical terms, the watts RMS and the ohms have to match.

Subwoofers for Amps

If you already have an amplifier, which subwoofer should you get? The first information you need is what your amp can do? What is the RMS rating of your amp at different loads? Your amp’s power output is expressed in watts RMS. Next, you also have to know the power output you would like to get because the load impedance of that rating will be what your sub’s total impedance be.

There is actually a chart that you can use for this that can help you as a guide. The number of subs you want or also need factors in. Lastly, it is important to get a subwoofer for both SVC (single voice coil) or DVC (double voice coil). Refer to the heading what to look for in a subwoofer for more info about SVC and DVC. Basically, it’s for versatility.

So remember, the secret to having your audio gear produce good bass is the have an evenly matched subwoofer and amp that works properly together.

External Amp for Subwoofers

Now, if you already have a subwoofer, but you need to add an amplifier. If you have multiple subs, the first thing to do is to check if they all have the same coil type, whether SVC or DVC and impedance. They must be all the same so that the power will be divided equally between all subs. But, again, you don’t want some to be overpowered or some underpowered.

The first information you need is the answer to how much power can your subwoofer produce? This is the watts RMS rating of the subwoofer that you have. If you have multiple subs, you will need to multiply the subs you have by the RMS rating of each to get the total RMS rating.

Next, you need to know the total impedance that the subs can be wired together from.

Once you have information on both steps, you can now pick an amp to handle those watts and ohms. Here is a rough guide that can hopefully help you choose the right amplifier for your setup

  • 1 SVC 2-ohms can only have 2 ohms of impedance
  • 1 SVC 4-ohms can only have 4 ohms of impedance
  • 1 DVC 2-ohms can have 1 ohm or 4 ohms of impedance
  • 1 DVC 4-ohms can have 2 ohms or 8 ohms of impedance
  • 2 SVC 2-ohms can have 1 ohm or 4 ohms of impedance
  • 2 SVC 4-ohms can have 2 ohms or 8 ohms of impedance
  • 2 DVC 2-ohms can have 2 ohms or 8 ohms of impedance
  • 2 DVC 4-ohms can have 1 ohm or 4 ohms of impedance
  • 3 SVC 2-ohms can have 6 ohms of impedance
  • 3 SVC 4-ohms can have 1.3 ohms of impedance
  • 3 DVC 2-ohms can have 1.3 ohms or 3 ohms of impedance
  • 3 DVC 4-ohms can have 2.7 ohms or 6 ohms of impedance
  • 4 SVC 2-ohms can have 2 ohms or 8 ohms of impedance
  • 4 SVC 4-ohms can have 1 ohm or 4 ohms of impedance
  • 4 DVC 2-ohms can have 1 ohm or 4 ohms of impedance
  • 4 DVC 4-ohms can have 2 ohms or 8 ohms of impedance

The Best Amplifier in the Market Right Now

Marantz PM6007

Marantz PM6007

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Marantz PM6007 Specs

Power Output (8 / 4 Ohm RMS):45 W / 60 W
Frequency response:10 Hz – 70 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion:0.08%
Damping Factor:100
Input Sensitivity: MM:2.2 mV / 47 kOhm
Input Sensitivity: MC:No
Signal to Noise Ratio: MM/MC83 dB / No
Input Sensitivity: High level200 mV / 20 kOhm
Input Sensitivity: Balanced High levelNo
Signal to Noise Ratio: High level102dB(2V input)
Input Sensitivity: Power Amp Direct INNo
Signal to Noise Ratio: Power Amp Direct INNo

This is a 45W per channel amp. You can use either coaxial and optical cable for digital inputs. It also supports headphone output. Overall, this amp is a clear and punchy performer, has broad connectivity options, has a solid built. The only con is that it is not Bluetooth enabled and no connection for USB.

Cambridge Audio CXA81

Marantz PM6007

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Cambridge Audio CXA81 Specs

Power Output (8 / 4 Ohm RMS):80W RMS into 8 Ohms, 120W RMS into 4 Ohms
Frequency response:<5Hz– 60kHz +/-1dB
Analogue Audio Inputs:1x balanced XLR, 4 x RCA
Digital Audio Inputs:1 x S/PDIF coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK optical, 1 x USB audio, Bluetooth (integrated)
Compatibility:TOSLINK optical: 16/24bit 32-96kHz PCM only, S/PDIF coaxial: 16/24bit 32-192kHz PCM only, USB: audio profile 1.0/2.0 (default 2.0), up to 32bit 384kHz PCM, up to DSD256 or DoP256, Bluetooth: 4.2 A2DP/AVRCP supporting up to aptX HD (24bit 48kHz)
Bluetooth Aptx Hd Receiver Built-inYes
Roon TestedYes
OutputsSpeakers A+B, 3.5mm headphone, Preamp Output, Subwoofer Output
Remote Control:Yes
Max Power Consumption:750W
Standby Power Consumption:<0.5W
Dimensions (H X W X D):115 x 430 x 341mm (4.5 x 16.9 x 13.4”)
Weight:8.7kg (19.1lbs)

This amp has a power of 80W per channel. You can use S/PDIF coaxial and Toslink for digital inputs. Unlike the Marantz PM6007, it is Bluetooth enabled and has USB connectivity. It has an aptX HD receiver built-in for Bluetooth.

It also allows headphone output. The only con, but it isn’t really a deal-breaker, is that it doesn’t have a remote control. But overall, it is still one of the best. The price may be a little bit too steep if you’re going on a budget.

Rega io

Rega io Specs

Power Output:30 W per channel into 8 Ω
Power Consumption:135 W
Inputs:1 x Phono input, 2 x Line inputs
Frequency Response:Phono: 15 Hz to 40 kHz (-3 dB points) / 27 Hz to 20.5 kHz (-1 dB points)
Remote Control:Mini
Max Power Consumption:135 W @ 230 V / 220 V / 115 V / 100 V into the rated load of 8 O
Dimensions (H X W X D):7.1″ x 11.4″ x 2.7″
Weight:2.9 kg

Power is 30W. Doesn’t provide Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Also, no digital input. However, it does allow headphone output. It also has a remote control included. All in all, it produces detailed, rhythmic, and fun sound, and it has a good headphone output. Good enough for those looking for an amp on the cheaper side.

Naim Nait XS 3

Naim Nait XS 3

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Naim Nait XS 3 Specs

Power Consumption (max.):350VA
Mains Supply:115V, 230V; 50 or 60Hz
Power Consumption (quiescent):16VA
Supplied With:NARCOM-5 Remote Control, Mains Lead, Link Plug and Safety Manual
Audio Inputs
MM Phono Input
:
via RCA, 47k parallel 470pF input impedance, suitable for 5mV cartridges
Line Level Inputs:130mV sensitivity, 47k input impedance, suitable for 2V
Audio Outputs:DIN Socket
Speaker Outputs:70W per channel into 8 ohms (4mm sockets), 100W per channel into 4 ohms
Remote Input:1 x 3.5mm Jack on rear
Max Power Consumption:350VA
Mains Supply:115V, 230V; 50 or 60Hz
Dimensions (H X W X D):70 x 432 x 314 mm
Weight:8.5 kg

Power is 70W. Zero digital inputs available and no USB or Bluetooth. Headphone output available. This amplifier has a dynamic sound.

Cambridge Audio CXA61

Marantz PM6007

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Cambridge Audio CXA61 Specs

Power Output:60W RMS into 8 Ohms, 90W RMS into 4 Ohms
Frequency response:<5Hz– 60kHz +/-1dB
Analogue Audio Inputs:4 x RCA, 1 x 3.5mm MP3 input (front panel)
Digital Audio Inputs:1 x S/PDIF coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK optical, 1 x USB audio, Bluetooth (integrated)
Compatibility:TOSLINK optical: 16/24bit 32-96kHz PCM only, S/PDIF coaxial: 16/24bit 32-192kHz PCM only, USB: audio profile 1.0/2.0 (default 2.0), up to 32bit 384kHz PCM, up to DSD256 or DoP256, Bluetooth: 4.2 A2DP/AVRCP supporting up to aptX HD (24bit 48kHz)
Bluetooth Aptx Hd Receiver Built-inYes
Roon TestedYes
OutputsSpeakers A+B, 3.5mm Headphone, Preamp Output, Subwoofer Output
Remote Control:Yes
Max Power Consumption:600W
Standby Power Consumption:<0.5W
Dimensions (H X W X D):115 x 430 x 341mm (4.5 x 16.9 x 13.4”)
Weight:8.3kg (18.3lbs)

This is a 60W per channel amplifier. You can use S/PDIF coaxial and Toslink for digital inputs. It has USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a headphone output, and a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Cambridge Audio CXA81. Most of all, it has detailed and dynamic audio and great build quality.

Rega Brio

Marantz PM6007

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Rega Brio Specs

Power Output:50 W into 8 Ω
Power Consumption:195 W
Inputs:1 x Phono input, 4 x Line inputs
Frequency Response:Phono: 15Hz – 40kHz (-3dB) / 27Hz – 20.5kHz (-1dB)
Remote Control:Yes
Max Power Consumption:195 Watts at 115V into the rated load of 😯
Dimensions (H X W X D):216 x 78 x 345 mm
Weight:5.1 kg

Power is 50W. Just like the Rega io, it doesn’t provide Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Also, no digital input. However, it does allow headphone output. It also has a remote control included. Still, the quality is amazing, detailed, and dynamic. Agile and rhythmic.

Location and Positioning

Audio quality doesn’t directly rely on your equipment. It is also good to know how you can set it up to get the most out of your audio equipment. For example, putting your subwoofer against the wall may add a little a bit of volume, and putting it in a corner will add a little bit more.

All in all, to know the best placement for your subwoofer in the room, test it out. Sit in the place where you mostly do the listening. Have a family member or friend move it around to test the sound quality. Try it on several locations that are a few feet apart.

There is no exact ruling on where you should place your bass because it can depend on preferences but having it ear level is a good tip. Getting the most out of your system is important. You don’t want just one area in the room to get a ton of bass and another part to get next to nothing.

5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in red color

When it comes to the best turntable speakers there are a lot of options. Which model is best for you depends on your needs and requirements. You’ll have to consider the matter of budget and depending on how much you’re willing to spend you can get a discount, mid-priced, or high-priced speaker.

Then, you need to consider build quality, materials used, design elements, and finally features within the speaker model. Some speakers are made to maximize audio quality and give off a high-powered sound, while others focus on factors like in built amps and preamps. Consider whether bluetooth connectivity is a primary concern for you.

Speaker size and power value also play a role. You’ll need storage space for your pair. If you plan on carrying it around you’re better off buying a light-weight option. To make this decision easier for you we’ve compiled this list of the best budget speakers for turntable use. As you make your way through this list think carefully about which pros and cons apply to you.

5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable

1. AudioEngine A2+

Best Overall
Audioengine A2+ Plus
  • 60W of power
  • Compact and light - 6lbs
  • Flat frequency response for accurate sound
Editor's Rating:
5.0
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Perfect for home office and small setups

On the list of best budget speakers for turntable the AudioEngine A2+ is a top choice. You can get these active speakers for an affordable price of under $300, putting them in the medium priced category. With wireless connectivity options, and a built in digital to analog converter these are the best speakers for vinyl.

Additionally, these bookshelf speakers use quality materials like a silk dome tweeter, Kevlar woofers, shielded wooden cabinets, high performance amps and top-of-the-line connections and wires that work well with any device. The budget speakers come with a bluetooth option, RCA cables, a USB port, and one-eighth inch input port.

The A2+ speakers have two RCA ports so you can connect the output to a bluetooth transmitter and use a bluetooth soundbar with it if you want to. You can also choose between a red, black and white color option.

Pros

  • Easy to use because you just need to plug in the USB or connect with the bluetooth
  • The DAC device results in a loud and crisp stereo sound perfect for a home cinema or for DJing
  • The active speakers work great with vinyl and come with a build in amplifier
  • Flat frequency response (65Hz-22kHz ±2.0dB) speakers give off an equal and pure audio quality, so you get an enhanced and accurate sound with little external interference
  • Superior build quality combined with a compact form of 6” x 4” x 5.25” that weighs a total of 6.7 lbs making it easy to carry
  • Accessories include optical cables, a speaker stand and a control panel with independent volume control
  • The power value for each speaker is 30W so the two speakers add up to a 60W rating
  • Auto standby mode extends battery life

Cons

  • Only one input source works at a time so you will have to turn off bluetooth to use the usb connection
  • Lack the bass response of a subwoofer, however, you can attach an external device

Why We Like It

The design for the A2+ model is meant to serve as a middle ground between home audio and desktop speakers. So you get a compact budget speaker with bluetooth connectivity, incredible performance, high sound quality, bass punch, and flat frequency response.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Audioengine A2+ Stereo speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. The active speakers come with a build in amplifier and all the necessary cables to get it to work. With both bluetooth connectivity as a USB port it’s easy to use. And the flat frequency response improves the crispness of sound so you get a high quality listening experience.


2. Kanto Yu4 Speakers

Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built in ampplifier
  • Two optical inputs, a 3.5mm AUX and a subwoofer outputs
Editor's Rating:
4.6
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High-quality bookshelf speakers with maximum features

These mid-sized bookshelf speakers work well with turntables of all sizes. They measure 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh 6.9 pounds. The Kanto Yu4 Speakers are among the best speakers for vinyl on the market with a price range from $400 to $500 depending on the accessories and stand you choose to purchase. Despite costing higher than other budget options this pair of speakers will last you a long time. The durability combined with the build quality and sound response make it a contender on the list of best budget speakers for turntable use.

Various design features help make these high-quality speakers user friendly. The single knob control panel is placed on the front as opposed to the back. With a built-in pre amp you can connect these speakers to the turntable of your choice. You have a subwoofer output if you want to add more bass. Both the bass and treble are adjustable.

The company left nothing out, going above and beyond to perfect these bluetooth speakers. You don’t even have to worry about the battery life because the speakers automatically shift to standby mode to conserve energy. Additionally, you can pick a color and finish of your choice to customize your stereo speakers. Apart from the sleek matte black and white speakers there is even a bamboo option.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music from any device
  • Phono preamp makes your speakers compatible and connectable with all turntables
  • Remote control option to manage bass and treble levels
  • Two optical inputs, a 3.5mm AUX and a subwoofer output all help improve the speaker connectivity
  • The Kanto YU4 bookshelf speakers give off high quality sound
  • The speaker comes with an amplifier so you don’t need to attach any external device
  • Automatic standby mode helps preserve speaker battery life
  • The speakers come with all the needed cables and you can also use remote control
  • Parts include four inch kevlar woofers, a one inch silk dome tweeter, a class D amplifier and a subwoofer

Cons

  • More expensive than other budget speakers

Why We Like It

The AptX bluetooth speakers come with an inbuilt pre amp so you can stream music directly from your phone. With a focus on connectivity these bookshelf speakers let you set the mood. Whether you want to throw on your favorite vinyl records or stream a playlist the choice is yours. The audio quality definitely leaves nothing to be desired.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Kanto Yu4 Bluetooth Speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. These high powered speakers come with built-in phono preamp and aptX tech. Additionally, high-quality parts like the 4 inch Kevlar drivers and 1 inch silk dome tweeters result in crisp high notes and steady mid-range notes that would please any audiophile.


3. Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers

Best Budget Pick
Edifier R1280DB
  • Built in amplifier
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Has both optical and coaxial inputs
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Best budget pair of speakers

At under $130 per pair of speakers the Edifier R1280DB is the reigning king when it comes to best budget buys. Despite the affordable price you get a range of features like RCA ports, bluetooth connectivity, optical inputs, remote and onboard controls.

The bass and treble adjustment options on the side of the speaker makes this a top choice if you want to listen to vinyl records. Since the speaker uses active monitors you don’t need to get an amplifier to boost the volume. Also, these bookshelf speakers connect to analog and digital devices which lets you access a wide range of devices and music catalog.

The speaker measures 5.75 inches by 9.5 inches by 7 inches so it is slightly larger than the previous options. With speaker size you want to think about storage and whether you’ll need to transport it a lot. If these aren’t concerns then the larger size doesn’t matter.  In terms of color options you can get this speaker in a black or wood brown design.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any device
  • Control panels lets you adjust the volume, treble and bass frequencies
  • Multiple RCS input ports let you connect 2 devices simultaneously
  • Speakers for turntables with analogue or digital sources
  • Inputs work with optical and coaxial needs
  • Active speakers remove the need for external amps
  • Battery operated wireless remote to switch inputs or bluetooth devices
  • Comes with all the needed cables, including speaker cable, optical cable, RCA cable
  • Frequency response ranges from 55 Hz to 20kHz
  • Power output of 21W RMS per channel
  • Hardware includes 4 inch bass unit, 13 mm silk dome tweeter and removable grills
  • Components made using solid mdf sheets

Cons

  • No built-in phono preamp so you will have to get your own
  • Since these are budget speakers their build quality is lower than other more expensive options

Why We Like It

The audio performance, crisp sound, and connectivity options are unmatched for turntable speakers at this price point making the Edifier R1280DB the best budget vinyl speakers on the market. The pair comes with 2 port RCA input cables, bass and treble controls. Overall, you get an output of 21W RMS per channel which adds up to a 42W total.

Conclusion

The Edifier R1280DB comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best budget bookshelf speakers. These bluetooth budget speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, built in amplifiers, and bass controls as well as a two year warranty which will last you a long time.

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4. Airpulse A80 Speakers

Airpulse A80
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • High power output - 100W RMS
  • App to customize speaker output
Editor's Rating:
4.2
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Powerful Bass Frequencies, Good Speakers for Vinyl

The Edifier A80 speakers are one of the best pairs for turntables, in terms of audio quality and sound clarity. These high powered speakers have a superior build quality and use the finest components, including transparent brand wiring, high-strength MDF sheets, horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor.

However, all these features, materials, and design qualities have a trickle down effect. The total cost of these money speakers adds up to around $600-$700. For many audiophiles the high price point is worth the audio quality. It all comes down to the type of speakers you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Power output of 100W RMS with audio that is loud, clear and powerful
  • Frequency response range from 52 Hz to 40kHz
  • Speakers measure 5.5 inches by 9.8 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh around 20.5 pounds.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 provides high resolution sound so you can stream music and get a clear and even result
  • Bass driver speakers with controls to alter the bass and treble levels
  • Foam pads provide acoustic insulation that prevents echo in the audio or external interference
  • Digital and analog setup speakers for turntables
  • Additional Sono units can further elevate the audio
  • Use the Sono app to customize the speaker sound according to your requirements
  • 3.5 mm input and RCA ports for easy attachment to a turntable
  • Multiple connectivity options include 2 RCA inputs, 1 optical input and 1 USB port, making these the best turntable speakers for vinyl
  • Materials include high-strength MDF sheets for the cabinet and foam lining for the interior soundproofing
  • Parts include a horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor

Cons

  • Expensive option that not everyone can afford

Why We Like It

The Edifier A80 high powered speakers come with an extensive list of features, high-quality audio, and expert build quality that make this speaker perfect for any turntables. Special features include acoustic insulation, built in amp, bass and treble remote controls, and an alumnium cone mid-woofer.

Conclusion

Customers give the Edifier A80 speakers and 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and for good reason. These are the best speakers on this list, in terms of audio and build quality, as well as, overall performance. However, while the features attract audiophiles, this quality comes at a high price point.

That said, the investment is definitely worth its while as you can use these speakers with any type of turntable or audio input. If you’re shopping in the $600 to $700 range there are no other speakers that can compete with this product in quality or design.


5. Sonos Five

Sonos Five
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Can be adjusted for stereo or mono effect
  • 3 tweeters and 3 woofers for robust sound
Editor's Rating:
4.0
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Best Wifi Speakers for Vinyl

The Sonos Five high powered speakers are a mid-range option of around $500. These are the best speakers for vinyl but you can also use them for streaming and get quality audio. You can get a lot of range out of these speakers by either placing a single speaker horizontally in a stereo position or both vertically and at a distance for a mono effect and broad sound stage.

The speakers measure 8 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches and weigh around 14 pounds making them comparatively light-weight. The 3.5mm input port lets you connect the speakers to the turntable. And if you want to customize and edit the quality of the output sound you can use the Sono Trueplay app or the Apple AirPlay2 to fine tune the audio.

What makes this one of the best turntable options is the range you get thanks to the various pieces. With the 3 multi-dimensional tweeters you get a surround sound effect that you control. The 3 sealed woofers provide the bass frequencies.

Pros

  • 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers so you get a quality surround sound experience
  • The Sonos Trueplay app lets you finetune the sound levels and adjust the bass
  • When attaching to the turntables you can place the speakers horizontally or vertically to get a stereo or mono effect
  • The Sonos Five comes with higher memory and faster processing power than previous models
  • Speaker is humidity resistant
  • Speaker updates are automatic and effortless
  • On-board touch panel lets you adjust the control settings although you can also use Alexa and Google Assistant for a more interactive experience
  • The speakers comes with a power plug and a set up guide that lets you know how to connect them to the turntable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for audiophiles who prefer to separate their vinyl and streaming music setups

Why We Like It

The Sonos Five takes surround sound to the next level with its 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers, set in an echo reducing acoustic design. This speaker comes with the Sonos Trueplay app which lets you adjust and fine tune sound levels. Overall, this is one of the best turntable speakers for vinyl or for streaming because of the powerful and clear sound output.

Conclusion

The Sonos Five comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best high powered speakers for vinyl. These record player speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, treble and bass controls as well as a control panel that lets you customize sound.


Buyers’ Guide

When you’re purchasing a turntable setup there are certain things you need to know so you can make an informed decision. These include the various components, how they work with one another, and the options you have. After all, you can’t get quality products if you don’t know what to look for.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers with Bluetooth and Phono Preamp, Gloss Black from Amazon

The overall setup for your sound system determines what devices you will need to purchase.

  1. Type of set up: Common turntable and amplifier

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, speakers, amplifier

  1. Type of set up: Simple turntable and active speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, active speakers

  1. Type of set up: Turntable and desktop speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, computer

  1. Type of set up: Classic stereo system

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, speakers, amplifier

1.  Phono Preamp

How it works

Your turntable puts out a Phono signal, however, audio equipment often can’t recognize it in this form. To solve this problem the device uses a phono preamp to convert the phono signal to a line level signal that the speakers can interpret.

What you need to know

Generally, most turntables will have a built-in preamp, but this is not always the case. So how do you tell? If the device comes with a USB port it will also have a preamp. Older models for stereos come with preamps so just look for the input slot with the tag marked ‘phono’. You can use a DJ mixer for the same purpose and if you are using an external preamp get RCA cables to connect and set up the entire system.

When you’re dealing with a turntable without a built in preamp remember that it will need grounding, otherwise you’ll notice outside noise that will interfere with the output quality. For this you will have to purchase a grounding cable so take that into account.

Additionally, preamps come in a range of qualities and a significant price range, starting at $50 and going all the way up till $500. So if you don’t find one that fits your budget initially keep looking because you don’t have to get an expensive option.

2.  Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive

How it works

In the belt drive system an independent motor runs the turntable platter using the rubber belt. On the other hand, the direct drive system drives the platter without mediation.

What you need to know

When it comes to the drive system the more suitable option depends on your needs. If you want to DJ then you should get a direct drive system and not the belt drive system. Overall, the belt drive system has a more clear and crisp sound. There is no outside noise or interference to disrupt the music and overall you’ll get a better listening experience.

The direct drive system is more durable, with superior build quality and sturdier hardware. Also, these turntables have stronger torque and take less time to start up. If you know what your eventual goal is you’ll find it easier to choose between the two drive types.

3.  Cartridge

How it works

The cartridge is the electro-mechanical component that produces an amplifiable signal in the record player. It is an essential part of the sound system and ensures fast frequency response, high sound quality, tracking speed of the needle across the record grooves, and the power output. If there is one part of the set up you should invest in it is the cartridge, because expensive options generally offer more impressive audio quality.

What you need to know

You can choose between a head shell mounted cartridge or one that plugs into your tonearm directly. The Ortofon 2M Red is a solid option for the first type while the Ortofon Concorde series falls into the second category. Keep in mind that these are quality options for home listening. DJing requires a special separate set of cartridges.

If you’re considering other options look into factors like cartridge weight and alignment. Generally, any device you buy will likely be MM or Moving Magnet. If an item is labelled MC or Moving Coil then it will be more expensive and have higher maintenance costs. These are advanced options not suitable for beginners.

4.  Tweeters

How it works

A tweeter also known as a treble speaker comes in a variety of forms such as dome and horn type. These speakers produce audio with high frequencies that are generally between 2kHz and 20 kHz, although some custom designs go as high as 100kHz.When you attach these to your turntable you get a superior listening experience.

Dome tweeter speakers use a circular diaphragm that comes in plastic, aluminium, or titanium. Aluminium dome tweeters give off crisp and strong high frequencies. Titanium tweeters do the same, with higher accuracy, but without the sharp edge.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers from Amazon

What you need to know

Tweeters are a must have if you want your sound system to deliver a full range of sounds. They add crispness and clarity to the sound output from the speakers and are essential for a high quality listening experience. Because of their small size their output volume is low. To solve this you can attach a horn to your speakers and amplify the audio volume.

5.  Woofers

How it works

A woofer also known as a bass speaker produces sound with low frequencies that are generally between 50Hz and 1000Hz. Physically woofers are a lot bigger than tweeters, with an average diameter of more than 12 inches.

What you need to know

There are two common types of woofers in speakers, sealed enclosure and ported enclosed. The sealed enclosure woofer traps sound waves coming out of the back of the speakers. The result is crisp bass and clear audio with a low volume.

The ported enclosed woofers do not trap sound completely. The escaped audio has a 180 degree phase shift so when it travels to the front of the speakers the result is a muddier sound.

6.  Bass and Treble

What you need to know

The bass settings let you adjust the bass or low frequency sounds like bass drums and guitars. The treble settings let you fine tune the higher pitched sounds like snare drums and cymbals. You can change the settings depending on the type of music you are listening to.

7.  Turntable Mats

How it works

Keeping a specially designed turntable mat underneath your record player can help improve sound quality by reducing friction. This is a must buy for DJing but also a worthwhile buy for a home cinema. The mat will protect your records and dampen vibrations caused by the movement of the record against the platter.

What you need to know

Rubber mats are a solid dampening option and will improve the sound quality. But, if you get a felt mat you can hold the record in place as the platter beneath continues to spin. As audiophiles and listeners with expert ears will tell you, cork mats open up the range of sound frequencies, taking the listening experience to new heights.

8.  Additional Features

When you’re looking for the best budget speakers for turntables you’ll come across various brands promoting their products by highlighting specific features. Knowing these terms will let you tell the quality speakers apart from the mediocre turntable speakers.

A pair of RCA output cables channels the signals in your turntable. These should come with the device, as should a tonearm weight to direct the tracking force. This refers to the pressure on the needle. Turntables should offer high torque, especially ones designed for DJing.

Additional features of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth from Amazon

If a turntable is listed as anti-skating that means a built in control keeps the needle in the records center groove. Another factor is the pitch control which lets you adjust the platter’s spinning speed.  Usually, you can play records at 33 RPM, 45 RPM, or 78 RPM.

It is an added benefit if a turntable comes with an acrylic platter as opposed to a standard one. Not only does it boost sound quality, but it also removes the need for a mat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are active and passive speakers?

Active speakers have built in amplifiers while passive speakers require an externally attached amplifier. Generally, passive speakers are only suited to home use whereas active speakers can fulfil a wide variety of roles including DJing. The brands and products listed above are all active, high powered speakers.

Do speakers stay on all the time?

The best turntable speakers are designed to automatically turn off when they aren’t playing music. This helps conserve energy and extend their battery life. However, you should look into the power consumption of your chosen speaker when idle before you decide to purchase.

Are bigger tweeters better?

It isn’t a case of better so much as a case of what you want. Bigger tweets are easier to install and pair with a midrange. Smaller tweeters produce more accurate high frequency sounds and have superior off axis response.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a number of speaker options to choose from depending on your individual preferences and needs. If you’re having trouble deciding which speakers are best for you start by isolating one factor. The price range is generally a good place to start as it will considerably narrow down your options.

Once that’s done decide which factors and qualities you are not willing to compromise on. If you’re a huge audiophile and cannot consider buying a speaker with subpar sound clarity or quality then focus on the amps, preamps, tweeters, woofers, and other sound enhancing design factors.

On the other hand, if you want to stream music you’ll want a bluetooth speaker and if your goal is playing vinyl then look for the best speakers for vinyl. No matter your preference, there’s something for everyone. So happy shopping!

Our Top Choice
Audioengine A2+ Plus
  • 60W of power
  • Compact and light - 6lbs
  • Flat frequency response for accurate sound
Editor's Rating:
5.0
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Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

Connecting Wired Subwoofer to Soundbar

Subwoofers are a great way to enhance your sound experience at home by making you feel the low-frequency sounds in music, movies, or games. These are excellent additions to your home and are easily part of mid-range and high-end setups.

Different kinds of subwoofers and speakers possibly connecting and wired to soundbars
Photo by Pedro Martin on Unsplash

If you already have a soundbar, you might be interested in connecting a wired subwoofer (or two) for a better listening experience. Know that a jack and cable setup is necessary to connect a wired subwoofer to your soundbar, as most wired subs do not come with wireless connectivity options. So if your soundbar doesn’t have the input and output jacks, you may want to invest in a wireless sub instead.

But before anything, your soundbar should be properly placed so you are getting the most out of it.

Related: How to Power a Passive Subwoofer

How to Properly Position your Soundbar

Before you go out and connect a sub to your sound bar, make sure it is properly placed. If it is slanted and you are sitting anywhere but directly in front of it, your listening experience will surely be compromised. 

In pretty much any home theatre set up, you will notice they are almost always lined up with the TV. Soundbars can have pretty large dimensions, and some people will find that their TV stand does not have the space for the soundbar’s best placement. You will risk placing it at an awkward angle or position and this defeats the purpose of upgrading your audio quality. 

How to Properly Position your Soundbar
Image by Bru-nO from Pixabay

Seating is also important when it comes to soundbars. Their long and straight nature ensures an even sound experience for listeners or an audience seated in front of it, not off the side. 

If you are working with limited space, a good option is to hang the speaker on a wall directly above the TV. Brackets are easily found online or in-store for this purpose. Just make sure you don’t place the speaker too far above the TV to avoid audio delays.

Once you have a properly placed soundbar, it’s time to look into adding a subwoofer for the ultimate home theatre experience. 

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Five Tips When Choosing The Best Subwoofer For Your Soundbar

Before purchasing the best subwoofer for your soundbar, there are a few key things to consider.

#1. Soundbar Connections

Some soundbars have proprietary outputs that make connecting a wired subwoofer impossible. It is essential to look for a soundbar that accepts a cable (like the SVS SoundPath RCA Audio Interconnect Cable) or something comparable. Cables like this should work with almost any subwoofer, including all SVS models.

Unfortunately, using a jack and cables is necessary if you want to connect a wired subwoofer to a soundbar. Otherwise, you might need to get a sub that offers wireless connections.

#2. Cabinet Size

One of the biggest factors for choosing a soundbar for your home is the visual impact. If you want it to have a minimal visual impact in a room, you will likely want a compact subwoofer that can be concealed or discreetly integrated into the interior of your space. Most people opt for a sealed cabinet sub because they have smaller cabinet dimensions and footprints than their ported sub counterparts.

#3. Your Listening Preferences

Of course, your personal preferences for audio quality are a key factor in choosing a soundbar. Soundbars by nature can’t match the output of a 5.1 home theater surround sound speaker system or Dolby Atmos. With this, you don’t need a massive subwoofer to significantly improve bass response and impact. But if you want a more immersive experience – especially for listening to intense music, watching action movies, or intense games – then a larger and more powerful subwoofer will be right for you.

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#4. Room Size

Similar to cabinet size, the room size where you intend to place your sub is important. If you have an open concept living room or maybe a massive home theater in your basement, the bass from a small subwoofer will probably lack the ability to energize the entire space with seat-rumbling bass. A bigger space needs a larger subwoofer, or even two small subs, to get even bass response throughout the listening area. Meanwhile if you are placing your sub in a small bedroom or game room only, there is no need for purchasing the largest one in the market. Smaller subs are also more convenient to set up, move around, and customize.

#5. Subwoofer Accessories

Lastly, one way to reduce visual impact and open up speaker placement options in a room is to install a wireless subwoofer kit. This will be useful if the sub is on the opposite side of the room from the soundbar because it removes the need for a subwoofer interconnect cable as we mentioned earlier. Although rare and possibly more expensive, it is possible to run dual subwoofers out of a single sub output on a soundbar by installing an RCA Y-adapter.

It may seem like added work and expenses, but there are many benefits to having a sub at home.

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Why Should You Add a Subwoofer to Your Soundbar

Adding an external sub will undoubtedly give your listening experience an upgrade. Only a sub will provide the rumbling bass that completes battle scenes or EDM songs!

Why Should You Add a Subwoofer to Your Soundbar
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Here are three reasons why you should connect a subwoofer to your sound bar:

Depth of Sound

Imagine watching an action movie at the theater and wishing your sound system at home could reproduce the heart-thumping rumble you felt. Well, once you add a sub, you can recreate that experience. The sub can recreate the low bass signals that your sound bar can’t. 

Subwoofers have their limitations too and they are not quite as powerful as monster speakers or those with Dolby Atmos, they can still recreate the cinematic feeling you get in the movie theater because of the new technologies.

Proper Size

We all know the struggle with adding furniture in a small room. But because low frequency sounds are largely omnidirectional (meaning you can’t exactly tell where they’re coming from), there are always lots of options when it comes to the placement of your subwoofer. To maximize the audio quality experience and take up minimal space, people opt to place their sub on the floor – usually next to the entertainment center, where the sound bar is underneath the TV, wall-mounted or placed on a cabinet. 

Look and Feel

Subwoofers are designed to blend in well with virtually any home environment. Typically, they appear as a simple black box below your line of sight, and they don’t need to be at the heart of your space. You can tuck it away in a corner or beside another piece of furniture, like a bookshelf, where it gets less attention. There are plenty of options to choose from and you are free to pick the sub that will be a perfect fit for your home theater as most subs can be mounted horizontally or vertically. 

If you are ready to get your hands on an external sub for your sound bar, you will first want to make sure that it is compatible with the sound bar you’ve already got at home. You can easily do this by checking the back of your sound bar for a subwoofer output jack. If it has one, it will work perfectly with any powered subwoofer in the market. 

Making the Connection

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to gain the benefit of the additional bass information that a subwoofer provides as long as your sound bar offers a subwoofer output on one end.

The process of connecting a wired subwoofer to a sound bar is simple. All you need is a mono or monaural audio cable with the appropriate connectors on the other end. As long as you have the input and output jacks, your wired subfoower and sound bar should work properly. But if not, then you may want to opt for a wireless subwoofer that is likewise compatible with your sound bar.

As we mentioned, this jack and cable setup is necessary to connect a wired subwoofer. Most wired subs do not come with wireless connectivity like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or voice automated channels (like Google Alexa). The most common sound bars with sub-out jacks are those from Yamaha, SVS, and Denon.

Now follow the three easy steps.

#1. On your sound bar, locate the subwoofer out jack. It is usually located on the rear of the unit.
#2. Locate the input port on your subwoofer. Similar to step 1, it is usually on the rear of the unit.
#3. Plug one end of the mono cable into the soundbar’s subwoofer out jack and the other end into the subwoofer’s input jack.

Easy as that!

Once connected, your sub and sound bar will work seamlessly with each other. The sound bar will reproduce most of the audio frequencies while the sub will handle the lowest bass and rumble frequencies. However, you will need to manually adjust the volume for each. There is no way to control the sound bar and subwoofer volume in the same control.

Conclusion

Since many soundbars do not include the ability to hook up a subwoofer, it is most important to check if your speaker has this functionality. If not, you may want to look into other soundbars that either come with a built-in subwoofer or officially support them through wireless connections so you can truly enjoy high quality audio at home.

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Woofer vs. Subwoofer – Learn the Difference

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

If you are interested to build your home theater system or simply want to improve the sound quality in your room, investing in a woofer or subwoofer is a great first step. The quality of a sound system hinges on its ability to replicate all the low and high notes. Some types of music will benefit from a subwoofer more than others, but adding quality bass to a stereo system will surely bring the music to life.

Woofer vs. Subwoofer - Learn the Difference

This article will mostly discuss the two loudspeakers – woofer vs. subwoofer – and how they differ. Figuring out how they vary and what they are best suited for will help you decide between getting a woofer or subwoofer for your needs. Since woofers and subwoofers are speakers, they work by converting electrical signals into sounds, using the concept that variations of an electric signal facilitate the speaker’s movement with it and create sound waves through the air (or water). So whenever there are audible differences and distortions noticeable in the sounds, that’s all because of your woofers.

While they have similar features, there are distinct ways to use a woofer vs. a subwoofer. We’ll help you narrow down on which one you’re better off buying between the two by describing each type, differentiating them, and listing down the factors to consider depending on the sonic experience you are looking for.

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What is a Woofer?

First off, woofers are loudspeakers. What makes a woofer unique is because it specializes in the lower end of the audible spectrum of sound. Funnily enough, the term ‘woof’ from woofer refers to the low sound of a dog’s bark.

In a typical home audio setup, the woofer is part of the main speaker system. These are usually the floor-standing speakers you see in home theatres or living rooms. It helps the tweeter with mid-range frequencies since they typically have a range of about 20 to 2 kHz (kilohertz), which enables it to play low to mid-range frequencies. Since they have a wider range of sounds, woofers are perfect for use in home theatres!

What is a Subwoofer?

A woofer is a specialized speaker, while a subwoofer is a specialized woofer that covers a more narrow frequency range. Subwoofers are used to emphasize the deeper bass notes.

There are many subwoofer variants in the market. You can differentiate among these products by looking at efficiency, cost, size, and even their distortion and power handling capabilities.

Normally the structure of a subwoofer is a plastic or wooden enclosure that has one or more woofers fitted into it. However, the focus on the lower frequency ranges causes the subwoofer to be often designed as a larger speaker than woofers are. This larger size allows the driver to move a lot of air while maintaining the required low frequency. Remember that it matters how you place your subwoofer because it can make room for the emergence of multiple subwoofer variants in that area.

Subwoofers are made up of one or more woofers mounted on a wooden loudspeaker enclosure. This enclosure is built to withstand air pressure and resist deformation as these variables affect the sound quality produced. The common subwoofer designs are bass reflex, horn-loaded, bandpass, and infinite battle.

The frequency range of your subwoofer is determined by how you use it. For a subwoofer at home, the frequency range will usually be between 20 to 200 Hertz (Hz) and around 100 Hz for subwoofers used in enclosed professional settings, like a church or a hall.

Since subwoofers concentrate on a narrower spectrum of frequencies, you should carefully place them to have a fuller sound. This “fuller” sound effect cannot be achieved on a regular woofer. However, this can get tricky because your sound system is now more complex. You may need to invest and add other speakers to cover the higher range of frequencies and make the most out of your subwoofer setup.

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Can a Woofer Be Used as a Subwoofer?

Since a subwoofer is a specialized type of woofer, you might be wondering if a woofer can function as a subwoofer. The simple answer is yes – a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, but the resulting sound is still that of a woofer.

You can use a woofer as a subwoofer by installing the same driver in its box with its amplifier. This way, it functions with an LFE or low-frequency effect.

Drivers classified as subwoofers are often designed for lower frequencies than the range that typical woofers cover. So while a woofer can be used as a subwoofer, you still cannot expect the lower frequencies to be as crisp on your woofer vs. subwoofer.

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer

The Differences Between Woofer Vs. Subwoofer
Photo by Sandy Kawadkar on Unsplash

The key difference between woofer vs. subwoofer is the frequency range. Subwoofers are used to produce a wide range of low sounds and are great for loud bass sounds, unlike woofers. Woofers cover high frequencies as well as the mid and treble range.

With woofers, while their covered range of frequency is pretty adequate for most of your applications, you might want to get a subwoofer if you want the best sound quality.

It all depends on what you want the sound system effect to be. If you plan on a sound system that has more than two speakers, then opt for woofers. But if you want better sound quality from your sound system – now is the time to ask if you should get a subwoofer or a woofer.

Subwoofers from reputable brands will have high accuracy in producing low frequencies. Since the human ear can hear sounds ranging from 20 kHz to as low as 20 Hz, artists and producers feature special low-frequency effects of LFEs in their content to make it more entertaining. This goes for movies, films, music, and every creative thing in between. Directors want their audiences to make the most out of their viewing experience, so they utilize this range and work with more LFEs.

Let’s say that in your home, you are using floor-standing woofers to handle low-frequency waves. Your woofers will generally reproduce sub-bass sounds ranging from 40 Hz to 2500 Hz. Unfortunately, this means that much of the LFEs falling in the narrow range of below 35 Hz will generally be lost. You, unfortunately, will not be able to hear or enjoy them in the way that artists, directors, or producers had hoped or designed.

But if you have a subwoofer, they can reproduce even the extremely low frequencies ranging from 20 to 200 Hz! This way, they can handle the narrow frequency ranges that create earth trembling effects. Imagine your favorite movie and all its bass sounds! You can replicate this experience right at home by getting the right subwoofer set up.

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Types of Subwoofers

Types of Subwoofers

Another important thing to note is there are two types of subwoofers you can choose from.

This will help you determine if you want the specialized features that subwoofers offer or if these are unnecessary and you are already satisfied with a woofer.

Active Subwoofer

Active subwoofers are also known as powered subwoofers. This type is self-contained. It has line-level inputs and outputs, a built-in amplifier, and a volume control panel. It doesn’t require an external amplifier to compensate for the power. Instead, it relies on its built-in amplifier, which does a pretty decent job of providing the required power to amp up the large speaker driver.

However, you will need an independent power source. This means that your active or powered subwoofer should be plugged in a power outlet for it to work.

It has its volume control panel, too. In addition, the powered subwoofer comes with its independent gain and volume controls separate from those in the receiver. These controls will allow you to tune it to meet your required specifications or sound preferences.

Passive Subwoofer

Meanwhile, a passive subwoofer works with an external amplifier (similar to a typical loudspeaker). The subwoofers use more power to decrease low-frequency sounds. Passive subwoofers have a subwoofer driver, enclosure and are powered by an external amplifier. This type relies on the external amplifier to achieve the best sound; otherwise, this is sacrificed. If this is what you have (or want), you will need to first connect the amp to the preamp output of the receiver. This way, the preamp will send clean audio signals to the amplifier for amplification. You will certainly make the most out of having a passive subwoofer.

When dealing with a passive subwoofer, the amplifier or receiver should have enough power to handle the bass that your subwoofer will produce. Otherwise, the energy supply will be drained from your amplifier. They require a lot of power, so setting it up properly and accurately is a necessary step. Failure to add an external amplifier means that your subwoofer won’t have enough power to reproduce the deep floor trembling bass. You basically won’t get to make the most out of your subwoofer and your listening experience.

If you are looking to buy a subwoofer, here are the factors to consider because they will impact your listening experience:

#1. Power

Like previously mentioned, active subwoofers have built-in amplifiers. These are more powerful because it gives you more control over how the power is used.

It would be best if you also looked into the driver. The larger the driver, the deeper the bass. This is ideal if you have a lot of space to work with and prefer loud bass sounds.

On average, individuals lean towards subwoofers that have 10 to 12-inch cones.

#2. Cone Mount

There are two ways to mount a single cone subwoofer – down-firing or front-firing. Since the subwoofer’s cone moves back and forth to produce sound waves, the way these are mounted makes a huge difference in the quality of sound you can expect.

Keep in mind that down-firing cones are mounted on the bottom of the subwoofer cabinet. Front-firing cones will be on the side of the cabinet. Cone mounting is a matter of personal preference, so take note of the space you are working with and the overall look and sounds you want to achieve.

#3. Casing

Casing plays a big role in the quality of sound from your subwoofer. The way its encased makes a huge difference, and even the build of the case affects the way it functions and produces sound.

Acoustic suspension is where the woofers are inside of a box, producing a base response sound. The sound produced by an acoustic suspension enclosure is precise and clear.

Meanwhile, base reflex casings have a port. This makes the foundation of your subwoofer bigger and more extended. Having a port allows some of the power produced by the woofer to come out. The enclosures are better on power but less accurate.

#4. Sealed Box

A sealed box produces a smooth bass line, resulting in an even flow of music. In addition, sealed box woofers tend to have better low-frequency ability compared to other types of boxes. It will also produce a transition from one note to the next, which is quick and clear.

However, a sealed box also has its cons. These types of boxes require more power because they lack efficiency. In addition, they do not produce at the volume levels that other boxes can.

Because of that, you can easily damage your subwoofer as it’s more reliant on power. More power means more heat, but a sealed box – hence the name – does not let the heat escape. You will also notice distortion in the signal because it will be heard in the upper base note resulting from your subwoofer.

#5. Ported Box

A ported box comes with a port. The result with this box is better because the port adds more boom the quality of bass sound from the subwoofer.

The port will mimic a speaker, which gives you a rounder and fuller sound. Plus, this ported box has a better low frequency compared to a sealed box. There is also better circulation and airflow since it is not sealed. This allows frequencies to produce a better boom, and you can play the speaker for longer periods without worrying about overheating or draining the power source.

But ported boxes can be tricky to adjust with certain speakers. The design can distort within the speaker. Unfortunately, heat does not have a chance to spread out evenly when the speaker is played long and hard. Think of it as your typical wear and tear as with any gadget or appliance.

The ported box also does not provide a cushion for the speaker, which can cause issues in both functionality and sound.

Lastly, these types of boxes are larger. Therefore, you will have to consider the space you are working with before purchasing a ported box.

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Conclusion – Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Conclusion - Which One Should You Buy Between a Woofer Vs. Subwoofer?

Subwoofers are perfect for home theatre systems and clubs because they give a more realistic and engrossing sound. Just imagine the thumping bass from your favorite club. That sound is thanks to the bass speaker abilities of a subwoofer that woofers cannot offer. If you are more particular about personal settings for your listening experience, you’re better off with a subwoofer because it allows for more control.

Meanwhile, woofers are more appropriate for compact and portable systems such as your car. They are usually smaller, so it is more convenient to set them up and transport them. In addition, woofers consist of just one speaker driver inside an enclosure. Since there is not much technical wiggle room here, opt for a world-class brand to get the high-quality sound.

There is no general rule of thumb if a woofer or subwoofer is better. It depends on your needs, preferences, and budget!

Invest in a quality woofer or subwoofer for an amazing sound experience, but keep in mind that not all speakers are created equally. Always go with a trusted brand with many good reviews that can provide you with the amazing sound experience you deserve.

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The Best High-End Center Channel Speaker For Optimal Sounds

The Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 Andrew Jones Center Channel Speaker

Enjoying various types of music at home has not been a problem for me in spite of the ever-changing sound technology industry.

In the previous decade, the stereo-surround audio speakers dominated my home theater experience, separating the recorded sound featured in music and movies into two channels.

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If you’re short of time and just want the results, here are our 3 best high-end center channel speakers:

These huge right and left channel speakers delivered stereo-surround sound beside my TV right at the heart my living room.

But as technology evolved and consumer preferences change, innovations yielded the center channel speaker.

With the desire to heighten my music entertainment and home theater viewing experiences, I adapted to this shift and availed one of the best high-end center channel speakers.

This high-performing sound device does not disappoint, considering the crystal-clear details, impactful bass, and fast natural mid-range it delivers.

Hence, house parties have been more enjoyable as my guests and I enjoyed DJ Paul Oakenfold and DJ Tiesto’s electrifying electronic dance music.

The Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 Andrew Jones Center Channel Speaker

Furthermore, my family members and I have relished classic films’ prize-winning cinematic themes.

Among them are Ennio Morricone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Disney’s animated musical, “Frozen,” and other action-packed movie series such as “James Bond,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Indiana Jones.”

As I no longer use my previous audio speakers, I still get to enjoy the immersive, room-filling surround sound, though this time, it is much more seamlessly blended, thanks to the best high-end center channel speaker.

Here are three of today’s highly-rated pieces of sound equipment that consumers will also find worthy of purchasing:

THE MOST VERSATILE:
The Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker

The Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker

The Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker 

As a music and cinema consumer, I have always desired to stay updated with the latest in sound technology.

I discovered the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker as among the most dependable.

This best high-end center channel speaker delivers high-fidelity and more vibrant music and sound experiences.

Product Description

I found the tall and slim design of the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker attractive, and I am confident that other buyers will also feel enticed with this attribute.

It makes this premium piece of sound equipment easily fit in spaces that other center channel speakers cannot.

Furthermore, this product features several drivers. It has six pieces of three-inch, round mid-range, mica-reinforced polypropylene cones. Plus, it has a one-inch, circular Terylene tweeter.

With an overall frequency of 53 Hertz to 40 kiloHertz, this product measures 6.1 inches in diameter, 24.4 inches wide, and 4.1 inches high.

I appreciate how the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker brings the huge surround sound theater and music encounters at the comforts of my cozy living room.

Quality of Sound

I tried using the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker by playing some acoustic guitar songs like the famous “Change the World” by Eric Clapton and some ’90s throwback music like Babyface’s “When Can I See You.”

It surely amazed me with its delivery of clear, detailed, and high-end sounds. I felt as though I was in the actual concert hall or studio with these legendary artists singing right in front of me and strumming their guitars passionately.

Plus, with minimum support of 40 kiloHertz, the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker perfectly reproduces the latest high-resolution music files with the optimized audio extension.

Costing of the Center Channel Speaker

The Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker’s price is not unfriendly to the interested buyers’ budget. It falls right below the $200-price range.

I must say that, with its versatility, the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker is worth its price.

Customer Feedback

I was curious about what the customers who availed the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker think about their purchase.

They find its slim appearance gorgeous the same way I did. Moreover, they felt wowed by the clarity this speaker system offered, mainly when used for movie-viewing purposes.

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Some buyers felt inconvenienced by the static sound that the model they bought came with, but I think these were factory defects.

The seller did not intend them and, so, these negative comments do not tremendously impact the worthiness of this center channel speaker.

Advantages of the Center Channel Speaker

What I appreciate the most about the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker is that it is undoubtedly all-around.

Its Dynamic Balance acoustic array benefit offers optimized sounds for TV, music of various genres, and films.

Therefore, aside from acoustic music, I also appreciate its optimal delivery of cinematic themes.

For instance, when I watched classic films “Indiana Jones,” and listened to the provocative cantata, “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff, I admittedly felt awed with the fantastic sounds.

My movie nights are, indeed, perfect because of the crisp, lucid, and home theater-filling sound the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker delivers.

These benefits make it deserving of the high-resolution certified rating.

Disadvantages of the Center Channel Speaker

I was expecting a reasonably decent delivery of bass sounds from the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker.

When I listened to Destiny’s Child’s high-bass song, “Lose My Breath,” I discovered some undesirable boominess with some voice ranges.

Thus, I think that those looking for enhanced, bass-boosted sounds for their Beyoncé and Jay-Z music-listening experiences might not get what they are expecting from this speaker.

Overall Impressions

The Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker is a recommended purchase for music and film aficionados.

Aside from its strikingly bold and stylishly dramatic design ideal for cozy home settings, this high-quality speaker allows consumers to listen to various music genres in a whole new way.

Its cost may be a little higher than other models, but I think it is still worthy of buying.

It is because consumers will surely love its delivery of huge, dependable surround sound that optimizes their home theater and sound systems.

Therefore, with its reliability and versatility, I believe the Polk Audio Black Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker deserves a rating of 98/100.

Click Here To Check Price & Polk S35 Reviews On Amazon


THE BEST FOR HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE:
The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker

The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker 

The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker

As a movie enthusiast, I must say that I received the best home theater experience from the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker.

This best high-end center channel speaker is small and compact. It is among the most affordable center channel speakers, perfect for movie-viewing purposes.

For instance, hearing the opening song of the critically acclaimed James Bond film “Spectre” by Sam Smith titled, “Writing’s on the Wall,” made me experience a genuinely cinematic feeling.

Product Description

The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker measures 9.1 X 16 X 5.4 inches. It is rectangular, and I found it a little bit heavy at 12.57 pounds.

Nonetheless, it was not a significant issue for me since I was after the delivery of no-comprise audio encounters.

Quality of Sound

Listening to upbeat pop songs like “Loyal” by Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Tyga, and French Montana was fun with the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker.

At high volume, I noticed the minimum distortion. Chris Brown’s pronunciation of the lyrics was crisp and lucid that I could rap with his every word.

Watching the famous 1997 movie, “Jerry Maguire,” was also quite entertaining because, through this speaker, I viewed the cast speaking their lines very intelligibly.

It made me chuckle out loud to watch the scene featuring the hilariously famous “Show me the money!” line that Tom Cruise’s character exclaimed.

Aside from the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker’s delivery of exceptional clarity, I also experienced superb booming bass and engaging soundstage.

Costing of the Center Channel Speaker 

Buyers will not frown with the product cost when purchasing this best high-end center channel speaker, especially if they choose the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker.

Most of these devices fall above the $150-range and below the $300-level.

The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker is a good buy because I guarantee that it will not cause a severe dent on the audiophile’s budget.

Customer Feedback

Clarity is the primary advantage that buyers of the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker praised about, and I could not agree more.

I gathered that they heard a much clearer and fuller sound with this piece of sound equipment as compared to their previous speakers.

Some buyers used the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker with their other speaker systems, yielding more fantastic sounds.

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I read that these customers experienced these advantages, primarily when they used the speaker to watch 4K films, soccer games, and their favorite TV programs.

Advantages of the Center Channel Speaker

At any volume, the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker is efficient, seamless, and delivers clear sounds. The lucidity is, indeed, the principal plus factor here.

The main theme of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” which interpolates Giacomo Puccini’s timeless “Nessun Dorma” aria, sounded terrific that I think I was in an actual movie theater when I watched the famous Tom Cruise film.

I found my eyes glued to my high-definition TV as I loved how the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker made the music fill my living room with zero-distortion sound. 

Disadvantages of the Center Channel Speaker

I gathered that what buyers did not appreciate about the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker is its size.

This piece of listening equipment, indeed, fills up a large space in living rooms.

Nevertheless, I believe that interested buyers who are after sound clarity and depth will not find this issue too troublesome at all.

Overall Impressions

Cinephiles and audiophiles alike will enjoy having the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker.

This piece of sound device makes the consumption of movie themes and music unquestionably worthwhile. The price is not onerous on the budget as well.

Above all, its delivery of clear sound of movie themes and dialogues is among the primary reasons why this product is a must-have.

The Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker is, indeed, the best high-end center channel speaker for watching movies, giving a delightful home theater experience.

Therefore, with its reliability for home theaters, I believe the Klipsch RC-42 II Black Center Speaker deserves a rating of 96/100.

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THE MOST BUDGET-FRIENDLY:
The Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker

  The Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker

The Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker

For budget-conscious audiophiles, I am sure that they will feel enticed to avail the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker.

Along with its affordable price, I believe they will also reckon it as giving good value for their money because it does not fail in delivering premium-quality sounds.

Product Description

 The Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker’s elegant finish is undoubtedly eye-catching.

Buyers will find it perfectly complementary to the interior layout of their living rooms. I find the slim design of this piece of sound equipment awesomely matching to my flat-panel TV.

With measurements of 5.2 X 13.4 X 4.2 inches, it is effortless to place this sound device anywhere in my living room as well.

The Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker is lightweight at 4.4 pounds, so moving it around my home theater was not taxing at all.

Quality of Sound

Blu-Ray discs and digital broadcasting are now the norms, and I appreciate how the maker of the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker has adapted to these new technological developments.

I discovered that this premium-quality speaker offers a high-quality sound that complements high-definition or HD music and movie sources.

It surely did not disappoint me with its delivery of clear sounds.

The new aluminum woofers and the balanced dome tweeters of the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker reproduce extra-rapid response as well.

I feel convinced that it assures cinephiles and audiophiles the best possible, full, and dynamic HD sounds.

With a frequency response from 65 Hertz to 45 kiloHertz, this two-way bass-reflex center speaker delivers a sound that is clean and detailed.

Thanks to its magnetic shielding advantage, watching Rod Stewart’s acoustic performances of the songs from his album, “The Great American Songbook,” delighted myself and my family because of the more realistic sound staging this speaker offered.

Costing of the Center Channel Speaker

Money-savvy consumers will consider the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker worth purchasing. This top-class speaker system’s price falls right below the $100-range.

This costing makes it among the best high-end center channel speaker that is undoubtedly budget-friendly. I do not think it deserves to be overlooked considering these benefits.

Customer Feedback

I learned that the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker wowed buyers because of its small dimension, making it fit appropriately under a TV with limited space.

 They also appreciated how the dialogues in movies were soft and delivered without the harsh treble.

On the other hand, some of the customers experienced inconveniences that this product entailed, like an unpleasantly boomy mid-range and having a cheap look.

Nonetheless, I found very few of these complaints.

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Overall, I learned that the buyers loved this high-quality speaker’s delivery of exceptionally lucid and sonorous sound, giving the buyers zero fatigue on their ears.

Plus, at around 50% less $$$ than the others, its costing is undoubtedly friendly on their budgets.

Advantages of the Center Channel Speaker

I consider the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker as among the best high-end center channel speaker because, first of all, it is not that expensive enough to be called “high-end.”

Hence, with its affordable price, I get two values, which are more savings and more quality.

The sound I have received is also very clear, genuine, and clean. Therefore, when I listened to Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande’s perky music, I automatically got my needed mood boost.

Disadvantages of the Center Channel Speaker

I do not feel anything negative about the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker, considering that it is budget-friendly.

The full and dynamic HD sound does not disappoint as well. I did not encounter any of the defects and inconveniences that some consumers voiced out about this product.

Hence, I believe this speaker is worth buying because it certainly works to optimize one’s home sound and entertainment systems.

Overall Impressions

For cinephiles and audiophiles who are money-savvy and looking for great value for their money, I highly recommend the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker.

Its costing is certainly not harmful to one’s budget, and its figure is ideal for various home designs.

Therefore, with its budget-friendliness, I believe the Yamaha Black NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker deserves a rating of 95/100.

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Purchasing one of these best high-end center channel speakers did not disappoint me, considering the value they delivered.

I guarantee the buyers that they will enjoy their favorite music, TV programs, movies, and other entertainment content more if they make the right choice with the speakers, and this guide will help them.

Happy shopping for the best high-end center channel speakers (on a budget!)!