Worlds Best Speakers?
What are the worlds best speakers?
How do you determine if one audio/video product is better than another?
Visit a High-End or best home theater systems boutique shop?
No... The answer is...
You live with them! You listen to it, and watch it, then over time you realize the strengths and weaknesses of any design.
Consider a Vehicle for example:
You drive it for a few years and even if it has no problems there are things that you really like and other things that you don't like at all. It's a relationship in a way.
The best speaker systems and best home theater systems are the same exact way. After you have lived with the design for a while, it's strengths and weakness are more obvious.
However, now you're stuck with the Speaker System;
The problem at this point is that there is not much you can do to change the performance characteristics of your loudspeakers.
Not if you bought them retail...
The speaker system that you thought was the best speaker system you had ever heard is now- not so great!
It seems to me that if there were a way to modify the balance of a speaker design it would be very useful. To be able to make small changes in the treble to bass balance would be necessary because of the different rooms that speakers are put into.
I'm not discussing the use of tone controls. I am speaking of being able to modify the crossover schematic or make major changes like changing speaker drivers.
You just can't do this effectively with mass produced products that the speaker manufacturers have on the market.
How Speaker Manufacturer Companies Build Speakers:
Speaker manufacturers will build a loudspeaker system that will appeal to the greatest number of consumers.
And they usually use the cheapest components and speaker cabinet hardware in each price category.
This usually means producing a
good speaker at the lowest cost possible.
The Best Speakers should be quite heavy also
Shipping weight is a common problem for speaker manufacturers.
It is in the best interest of the manufacturer to make the speaker as light as possible to keep shipping costs down.
This light weight will handicap the abilities of the speakers involved. So you must be working with a company that is not attempting to save money with weight.
This means that the speaker company must charge you for weight as an extra expense or build the cost into the price.
Because unless you pick them up at the factory, (which most companies don't allow) the speakers must be shipped.
Either way you will pay for the shipping.
The overall weight of a speaker is a direct result of the cabinet quality and structural rigidity.
It's the old chicken or the egg, which comes first?
High quality cabinets are heavy. Having thick cabinet walls alone will not make a good cabinet.
Internal bracing must be constructed well. Which makes the weight of the speaker product higher.
How important are the Speaker Drivers?
Speaker Driver Quality
is another area a speaker manufacturer can save money.
It seems very obvious that cutting speaker driver quality would not be what you prefer as a consumer.
But a company that does not cut costs with speaker drivers will again pass on these costs to the purchaser in the final price of the loudspeaker system.
I'm not saying that the most expensive speaker driver is always superior. But quality usually comes at a higher price.
Regarding speaker drivers, there is a cost/ performance ratio where your gains become very narrow.
Try Parts Express – Free Shipping Every Day on most orders over $98 (Restrictions apply). I get most of my speaker drivers from them.
Summary: About the Speaker Manufacturer
Unfortunately, all of this brings us to a one sad and inevitable conclusion:
The best home theater systems and stereo systems are not cheap.
Not even close to cheap!
You should expect a well built and
well designed home speaker system
to be as expensive as a vehicle. Depending on the quality you desire would indicate the quality of car we are talking about.
Could there be a Less Expensive Solution?
If you are looking for the best speakers your money can buy you do have one other option.
Build the Best speakers for your budget yourself.
Or subcontract to have them built based on
speaker design plans
that you approve of.
Yes, you heard me right.
Build them yourself.
Before you just close out this page let me describe how you CAN do this.
1. Research this site
2. Use the information we give you.
3. Use the driver matches and software that we describe here.
4. Expect the total project to take between 8 hours and 200 hours depending on the complexity of your goals and approach.
5. Expect the quality of your product to be 3 to 10 times the value of the money invested.
Read more about
DIY home theater speakers here. Custom Speaker boxes
are a great way to improve the audio quality in your home theater room.
You CAN do this!
You might say "I am a very busy person and do not have the time" which is a valid argument. It may be better in this case to just purchase a system which would be the best speakers for you. But it certainly is not because you can not do it!
Use a Speaker Controller as the Speaker Crossover:
The modern day speaker controller can be used very effectively in a home theater or home stereo speaker system. A controller essentially is a pro oriented speaker crossover.
These can be fairly affordable and are the simplest way to set up an all active speaker system. To learn more about these
speaker processors and loud speaker controllers click here.
Using an HTPC for the Best Speakers with Digital Crossover:
At the heart of this system is a versatile Home Theater PC (HTPC).
You can buy your own HTPC,
build your own HTPC,
or you may already have one. In any case a good computer such as this will make it much easier for you to achieve the best speakers and home audio for your application.
Another good reason to build an all digital speaker system using a home theater PC is signal purity. When the digital media is stored on a hard drive it is stored as 1s and 0s.
In a computer based system it is simply sent to the next program to do a given function in the chain.
That might be room correction, up sampling, speaker crossover, etc. Read here how to set up your own HTPC and how to use it to
build the best home theater system.
All of the signal manipulation is done digitally so there are no losses of transparency or distortions introduced.
The digital signal stays in the digital domain until it exits to the D to A converter/interface outside the computer where it is converted to Analog.
This is the first and only place where the Digital to Analog conversion is done. This makes it much simpler and easier to build the best speakers possible.
The hardest part of speaker building is in the speaker crossover.
The crossover is also the part of the speaker system that does the most damage to the musical signal.
By removing the crossover from the speaker itself and doing these functions digitally we have much more control over the final outcome.
The losses and distortions associated with passive speaker crossovers are then only a memory.
The benefit of a system such as this is that you can modify the design until they are the absolute best speakers for your specific needs.
The amplifiers are then directly coupled to each individual speaker driver.
This has countless benefits of its own: Heat causes passive speaker components to negatively interact with the driver causing phase shift, impedance shift, time smear, and other nasty distortion artifacts.
By coupling the driver directly to the amplifier you have what is essentially an ideal situation for both the amplifier and the speaker- maximum damping factor applied directly to the cone or diaphragm.
There are no passive components in a digital crossover to heat up and change the way the amplifier ‘sees the driver’. Also, the driver gets all of the power available, directly from the amplifier.
Choosing a good amplifier is not as complex as with a regular passive crossover speaker system.
Because the speaker is directly coupled it does not interact the same way as it would with a passive crossover. Because of this amplifier selection is whole lot easier and not nearly as risky.
As long as the amplifier is built well and well designed you can be pretty sure it will probably work well.
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These are a few of the factors that make active crossovers the most desirable solution. If getting the highest sound quality, and
is the goal with your home audio system check out some of the other articles on this site.
Other Related Articles:
Acoustic Audio Speakers
Speaker Crossover and how to build a software digital crossover
Cheap Surround Sound Speakers
12 Guage Speaker Wire
Home Floor Speakers
LED HDTV - Find out which set to Buy!
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