We are in the era of technology and we can’t fight keeping up with it. For instance, let’s think about phones versus smartphones, we can’t deny that it’s much easier and efficient to use a smartphone. The same is with TV and other accessories such as surround system or center channel speaker. If you want to improve your music and movie experience at home you should definitely get one or the other. Now, which of them? might be your question. Well, both of them are a good choice when it comes to quality of sound, but no to room space. If you leave in a big house, or you have a big living room than you might want to opt for the surround system, but for a normally sized apartment or even a small living room it would be better to have a central channel speaker.
What is center channel speaker?
Most people are so fed up with commercials and advertisements of surround systems that they don’t even know about the existence of the center channel speaker and what it can do. It is the most important piece of all sound systems as it renders most of the conversation in the movie. It can come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and it is different from the other speakers. Why is it important for you to have it? Imagine that you only hear 20% of the dialogue in a movie. Will it still be fun to watch it? You can give up on other speakers but never on this one. Even though it is meant to reproduce dialogue, it has a wide frequency response and it can be used to render sound effects and music. This means that it can easily replace the front right and left speakers. Yes, you could use those as a center piece but it would be harder for you to find the perfect place around the furniture and TV for them, while the specific center speaker is wider and it can fit perfectly above of under your TV.
Advantages of using central channel speakers
The main advantage of the center channel speaker is the ability to control the sound of a movie. As you know, most of DVD’s or Blue-rays have the voices to silent while the explosions or knocking just waves you out of your chair. Well, thanks to the existence of the center piece you can avoid this, you can rise the volume level of the dialogue while the back sounds that reproduce through left and right speakers remain unchanged.
The other advantage of the center piece is the design and variety of shapes and sizes. It is nearly impossible not to find something that will fit your living room furniture. You can opt for a horizontal or vertical type. Most center pieces are about eight inches tall and have a diameter of 6 inches. Due to these restricted sizes, the workload must be split in two in order to reproduce the maximum sound pressure needed for clarity. Therefore, the center speaker will be wider and not to too tall. The horizontal type is recommended if you can manage to arrange all the seats in front of it perfectly. If not, you risk some frequencies to be enhanced while others to be minimized. The vertical center pieces have less wave interferences and are not as upsetting to our ears as the ones reproduced by the horizontal center piece.
Nevertheless, no matter what type of center speaker you opt for, it needs to be taken up off the ground. It is very important how you set up your system in order for it to work properly and not compromise the sounds. Also, you should install it at a certain distance from the back wall and have something that will absorb the floor reflection, such as a carpet. Additionally, it is very important to calibrate and configure correctly all your speakers.
What to consider when choosing center channel speakers?
When deciding to purchase a surround system you will need to take the space in the room you want it to be into consideration.
If you don’t have a special cinema room in your home you might want to opt for a simple system, as compact speakers can easily fit in your décor and you will still have room for any other activities. For instance, you can consider ceiling, bookshelf or in-wall speakers as all of them are small.
After imagining how will your speakers be placed best and have decided on the center channel speaker let’s think about the right and left speakers.
These are the ones that render the musical score of a movie and the bulk of special effects. The surround speakers are meant to reproduce the ambiance in the movie, like rustling leaves or rain drops. These can also be stands, in-wall or ceiling speakers, depending on your space.
The last piece of the system is the subwoofer that reproduces the explosions, planes flying or windows cracking. If your room is large you should go for a 12’’ subwoofer at least. If you have a small room, get a compact sub.
Usually, the subwoofer is included in pre-matched systems. If you’re looking to keep it simple, but still want quality, you might want to look for those systems that are voice-matched. If this is not possible, or you already have the front left and right speakers and you only want to purchase the subwoofer, center channel speaker, and surround speaker, you don’t need to worry, they will still work properly.
If you start building your system from zero you should first choose your center piece. The next step is to find your front left and right speakers. These should match sonically as much as possible as they make the front stage of your movie. Then search for your surround speakers and the last one is the subwoofer.
Now that you’re all set, get a movie, invite some friends over and try out your new system. More opinions can help you improve the arrangement, the sound levels or any other aspects that you might have missed.
10. Budget Friendly: Pioneer SP-C22
There was a time when possessing a cinema perfect home theater sound in your home was fiscally enforceable. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. There are perfectly blended a myriad of ways to ensure you get the best home theater sound system in your home at an affordable price.
To start off our review is the Pioneer SP-C22 budget friendly center channel speaker. The Pioneer SP-C22 is an auditory marvel endowed with a rich set of features that offers a state of the art sound experience. First off, this central speaker is designed to be both contemporary and conventional. This channel system features two 4’’ structured woofer surfaces that are perfectly vented at the rear to allow for good reduction of pressure build up thus producing an incredibly robust and rich bass sound that appeals to any dialogue.
The channel speaker also features an RF molded curved cabinet, a 1’’ high-efficiency soft dome tweeter, the sophisticated 6 element complex crossover does an excellent job in showcasing audio signals into a range of different frequencies which makes it perfect for video gamers; the incredible sound effect takes the user to an excellence sound experience zone. It also features gold 5-way binding posts.
1. Deep bass frequency response.
2. Good reduction of pressure builds up.
3. Budget friendly center channel speaker.
1. Basely is not too smooth due to a low 3dB
9. Infinity Primus P351
The infinity primus sound producers have set a high tier with this top notch 3-way center channel speaker that depicts all the top features a great home theater has to offer in one item. This perfectly designed speaker that will give meaning to your music and change your home theater experience by ascertaining clarity to lyrics above high frequencies.
This 5.25-inch dual MMD woofers receive high frequencies basically, by splitting receiver audio signals into about 5 different loudspeakers while the dual 3-inch mid-range drivers handle the mid frequencies radiating an incredible sound boom experience.
This channel speaker also encapsulates a 3-way center channel loudspeaker, dual 133 mm low-frequency driver, 19 mm high-frequency driver,5-way binding posts, and a greatly improved cone performance to its predecessor the P251 as well as a great rigidity. All these features are perfectly blended together into to deliver an awesome output.
1. Incredibly low resonance enclosures
2. Good integration between components.
3. Precise crossover networks.
4. High frequency
1. Relatively limited frequency range.
8. Compact center channel speaker: Pro Center 1000
Then comes the Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000. This is a small size remarkable and sophisticated eight center channel speaker with great sound quality that will take your home theater system to a whole new level. This channel speaker is a single system with a sleek dapper looking glass black color with a top quality finish.
The Pro Center 1000 is a mid-size center channel speaker that features two 4.5’’ pressure driven BDSS technology bass radiators, a 1’’ aluminum dome, and two 4.5’’ mid woofers designed to cleverly enhance sound quality due to their position on the either side of the system.
The sound efficiency of this system is designed to be 90Db, with a frequency response of 47Hz – 30kHz and an amplification level ranging from 10 – 200 watts. Due its great mid-size it takes up minimal space and can fit in any corner of the house.
1. High-quality finish and home theater sound quality.
2. High impacts sound effects.
3. Distortion-free dynamics.
4. Components sold separately.
5. Bass radiators for extra effect.
1. No specific crossover frequency is specified.
7. JBL Arena 125C 2-Way
If you are looking for a sound system that puts you at the top, center and back of your house, the JBL Arena 125C is for you. Wave goodbye to distorted sound effects, with this one of a kind center channel system
The JBL Arena 125C encapsulates a 1’’ soft dome tweeter with High Definition Imaging (HDI) wave guiding technology for exceptionally detailed sound across a wide area. Two 5.5’’ poly cellulose mid-woofers for a vigorous bass sound to all your gaming, music, shows and TV with a clear dialogue, as well as an amplification response level ranging from 90 – 40,000 Hz.
1. Computer-optimized network integration and driver positioning design.
2. A sleek contemporary cabinet shapes with a top panel side and a modern sophisticated angle side.
1. The bass effect is not as good as the rest.
6. Martinlogan Motion 30
Elegance, sophistication, and conventional sound quality is the definition of the Martinlogan Motion 30. This premium center channel depicts a folded motion tweeter that provides almost eight times the surface area of a 1’’ dome tweeter to create a precise, highly dynamic sound.
This innovative folded motion tweeter squeezes the air out while providing a lightning fast response time to produce high-quality sound.
The MartinLogan motion 30 center features 6.5 inch rear facing bass drivers, 5.5-inch cone mid-range woofers that produce a high-quality bass effect.
As well as, a frequency response of 65Hz to 25,000 Hz for a great sound production with a peak handling power of 200 watts per channel and an impedance of 4 ohms that conducts power to the speaker. Other than that, this channel speaker is innovatively designed by top-notch engineers with the advanced topology Vojtko crossover and very high-quality performing aluminum cone woofers to give a clean crisp sound.
Additionally, it is a versatile center channel speaker infused with an Audiophile-grade 5-way bi-wire binding posts that provide a secure connection not to mention they can be positioned either horizontally or vertically.
1. Folded motion tweeter for a fast response time.
2. Convenient push styles speaker terminals.
3. Flawless yet elegant sleek style
4. Highly dynamic and precise sound.
5. High-performance aluminum core woofers
6. High-gloss finish that blends with any décor
1. May cause some problems during installation.
5. Micca MB42-C Center Channel Speaker
For a seamless budget friendly enjoyment of outstanding quality music in movie and gaming soundtracks, go for the Micca MB42-C center channel speaker. Micca sound technology has a well-known reputation of outstanding quality sound items that aspire to be the definitive technology for their class of sound electronics.
Thanks to their two balanced woven carbon fiber woofer, this channel speaker features high-quality drivers that provide great sound quality with a transient and impactful bass through the dome tweeter. Other than that, it features an impedance of 4 ohms and can handle up to 100 watts thus giving you an unforgettably detailed sound experience.
1. Lightweight, stylish yet sturdy speakers.
2. Accurate and neutral sound signature with great vocal clarity.
3. A classic compact design that is easy to position in the house.
4. High-performance silk tweeter dome for great sound effect.
1. Lacks crossover hence, may need an upgrade
4. Yamaha NS-C210BL
This is another outstanding conventional center channel speaker and one of the most popular brands in the market today. It is compactly designed, super sleek yet very stylish. This loudspeaker is versatile in terms of placement it features light aluminum-conned woofers and 7/8’’ balanced dome tweeter designed to produce lightning fast response and fidelity as well as a great sound effect.
That said, it also encompasses 2-way acoustic bass reflex speakers that offer a crisp and clean sound, and has a slim design that matches flat panel TVs. Furthermore, the crossover is about 3.9kHz for a suitable sound immersion, the frequency response featured is 90Hz to 45kHz and an outstanding sound sensitivity of 90dB and an impedance of 6Ohms.
1. Designed for full, dynamic HD sound effect.
2. Elegant sleek designs.
3. Versatile high-tech sleek look
4. Slim design look.
1. Not too many sound variation effects.
3. Pork Audio Blackstone TL1
Pork Audio is a reputable sound tech producing company known for its impeccable sound quality effects with great features and sophisticated conventional looks. The Pork TL1 is a high-end wall center channel speaker offers you the dynamic ability to focus on great sound directional effects during playback, more so than any other center channel speaker in the market.
This center channel speaker features time lens technology that aligns the drivers for better sound staging and imaging, curved enclosures with a sleek high-gloss finish to match today’s flat panel TVs, plus 1.2’’ silk dome tweeter and 2.5’’ dynamic balance mid woofers.
That said, the TL1 also features aperiodic-tuned rear ports that give a good resonance effect with the subwoofer to give impeccable quality sound every time you play your music.
1. High-quality definition features
2. High- quality sound effect
3. High end center channel speaker
4. Can play a wide range of frequencies.
1. It has a lower sensitivity level than some of the center channel speakers in our review.
2. Runner-up: Klipsch Reference R-25C
Our runner up in this review is the Klipsch reference R-25C developed by the phenomenal engineers at Klipsch audio. It has a classical and futuristic design that will appeal to anyone. Its outstanding features set it on a high tier above all other center channel speakers we have reviewed so far.
It features two copper spun woofers that allow the R-25C to provide a thrumming deep bass that lends you a cinematic audiophile experience at the heart of your home with an equally added oomph. Other than that, it features a detailed 1’’ aluminum linear travel suspension with a horn loaded tweeter, as a matter of fact, the positioning of the tweeters allows for a greater range of sound delivery that fills the room giving a home theater feel.
The measurements of this speaker are 6.6’’ H, 13.5’’ W, 6.75’’ in depth and a weight of 14.8 pounds. The exterior of the cabinet comes in a black veneer that is sturdy yet sleek.
1. Great volume speakers.
2. High-quality definition sound mimics a cinema.
3. Sleek and sturdy look
4. a balanced blend of frequency dimension in the sound effect.
5. Gold plated binding posts are great for a variety of connections.
1. May have trouble installing it.
1. Our pick: Pork Audio CS10 Center Channel Speaker
To round off our review is the CS10 from Pork Audio. Yet again, Pork Audio has outdone themselves with this impeccable sound system. The Pork Audio CS10 is without a doubt, one of the best center channel speakers there is on the market today. This speaker is a blend of sophistication, convention, style and impeccable functionality with a lot to offer.
The CS10 features a 1’’ fabric composite balance dome tweeter with a very powerful neodymium magnet structure that delivers clear and crisp high detailed frequency response for any music instrumentalist. It also offers a frequency response of 63 – 24,000 HZ.
Furthermore, this is a three-way speaker system that incorporates rich deep bass tones into its construction of two 5.25’’ Bi- laminate dynamic composite balance drivers that are very light weight and stiff with good damping high excellent efficient bass and lower distortion. This Pork Audio center channel speaker is designed to give an impeccable sound performance with the strongest audio experience possible in a stylish look.
1. Life-like sound quality,
2. Unique cabinets.
3. High mids and nigh-crystalline highs.
4. Has all bases covered in terms of connectivity.
1. High-end price