Is It Bad to Mix Speaker Brands in Home Theater?
Speakers are an important aspect of any home theatre system, whether you’re starting from scratch or upgrading an existing one. It’s a common question whether it’s okay to blend speaker brands in your setup.
Mixing speaker brands in your home theatre isn’t a bad idea if done correctly. The three centre, left, and right front speakers, which are the hub of your audio experience and pass a lot of the music between them, maybe the exception. Consistency in range and tone is ensured by using the same brand and line.
Understanding each speaker’s job and the potential concerns is the best method to determine whether mixing speaker brands is acceptable. So, before you spend your money, read the advice below. If you see in the long run, it could save enough money for you.
Mixing Front Speaker Brands
Your home theatre system’s front speakers are the most important aspect of the audio setup. The term “front speakers” refers to the centre speaker as well as the two speakers on either side of it, known as the left and right front speakers.
In a conventional 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, these three speakers are three out of five or seven.
The centre speaker, as well as the left and right front speakers, are three different physical devices in typical home theatre installations. The two side speakers, on the other hand, are normally a matching pair.
As a result, having one brand for your centre speaker and another for your left and right speakers is possible. Should you, however, do so?
So, before we get into the issue of mixing brands, let’s go over what the front speakers do.
The Role of the Center Speaker
Your system’s centre speaker is generally the most crucial of all your speakers.
It’s no surprise that it’s in the middle of a home theatre setup. In the centre of your sound stage, directly in front of the viewing position.
It’s where the majority of the movie’s dialogue is delivered. Because dialogue is so important in most films, the replay must be crisp and clear. Over the music and sound effects, your centre speaker ensures that you can hear the dialogue.
Some of the soundtrack and sound effects are also played back.
The centre speaker should be able to span a wide frequency range, from mid to high.
As you can see, your soundscape’s centre speaker is doing all of the hard liftings. As a result, consider it the star of soundstage.
Front Left and Right Speakers
As a result, your star actor is your centre speaker. Consider the front speakers on the left and right as supporting characters.
These speakers have an important supporting function, despite the fact that it is a minor one. They include the majority of the film’s soundtrack and sound effects.
As a character passes across the screen, voices will pass from the central speaker to these speakers.
Because the soundtrack is such an important element of their job, these speakers can handle a wide variety of frequencies. So, with a music system, they’re the type of speakers you’d find.
Why Mixing Brands of Front Speakers May Be Bad
Any movie enthusiast will tell you that the starring and supporting actors must have a good relationship.
The same can be said for your centre speaker, as well as your left and right supports. Assume that all three speakers, the centre, left, and right must be on the same frequency.
Their combined output completely dominates your listening experience. And that’s the problem. The front speakers should take centre stage in your sound setup. You don’t want one or the other to be the centre of attention. It’s important for the sound they make to blend together.
If the speakers have the same drivers, crossovers, frequency response, and materials, this is the easiest way to go. These criteria help to ensure that the speakers have the same tone quality. This ensures that the sound signature is preserved regardless of which speaker is producing it.
The audio will lack clarity, homogeneity, and consistency if this is not done. As a result, a character’s voice may sound like the voice of another person as it moves between speakers.
Sound travels effortlessly between the front speaker’s thanks to matching specs. As a result, rather than detracting from your listening experience, it enhances it.
Matching specifications is a breeze when you buy the same brand. Take, for example, the Klipsch 3.0 Reference Premiere Home Theater Bundle. It’s safe to presume that the provided left and right front speakers, as well as the Center Channel, will work well together.
Is Using the Same Brand Enough?
So, for your centre, front left, and front right speakers, it’s better to go with the same manufacturer.
However, if at all possible, you should try to stick to the same product line. Because different product lines within the same brand frequently have varying specifications.
If you match both, you’ll have a better chance of getting the synergy you need between your front speakers to provide the best audio experience.
Mixing Left and Right Surround Speakers
The movie’s background sounds and special effects are played over these speakers. As a result, their function is comparable to that of the front left and right speakers in several ways.
If you don’t have them, your system will be classified as a 3.1 setup, or 3.0 if you don’t have a subwoofer. That is a totally acceptable configuration. As a result, we might consider the surround speakers to be accessories.
Nonetheless, the purpose of surround sound in your home theatre is to, well, surround sound. So you want to surround sound speakers.
It’s preferable if they’re from the same manufacturer and product line as your front speakers. The elements listed above are the most important.
Along with front speakers, many manufacturers produce surround speakers. Take, for example, the front speaker bundle shown above.
Klipsch RP-250S Reference Premiere Surround Speakers are included in that bundle. Klipsch is the same brand, and Reference Premiere is the same line.
However, it is not as important as matching the front speakers. Because the surround speakers play a smaller role in the overall soundscape, this is the case. They’re mostly there to create atmospheric sounds, which help to balance out the attention-grabbing audio in the centre.
The subwoofer is the mysterious, shadowy figure hiding in the background of your system.
Its job is to deal with the very low-frequency end of the audio spectrum or bass. When it comes to adding depth to your audio, your subwoofer is essential. Your sound would be tinny and one-dimensional without it.
Subwoofers are the final component of your sound system’s jigsaw puzzle. To put it another way, they round out your audio picture.
They don’t need to be matched in the same way as your other speakers because they operate in a different range.
Between the top of the subwoofer’s range and the bottom of the front speakers’ range, you’ll need some overlap. When the subwoofer takes over the handling of the bass frequencies, the transition will be smooth. However, this is not a brand-specific feature and should be controlled through your AV receiver.
To Mix or Not to Mix Speaker Brands – The Conclusion
In conclusion, mixing brands of speakers in a home theatre system is not a bad idea.
If you intend to do so, you must match the requirements in order to achieve the greatest results.
However, in general:
- Your front speakers left and right should be a matched pair.
- The centre, as well as the left and right front speakers, should all be brand and line-matched.
- It’s best if the surround speakers are in pairs.
- If at all feasible, match the surround speakers’ brand.
- It is not necessary for the subwoofer to be of the same brand.
In the end, it’s your system. Try before you buy if you’re considering mixing speaker brands, especially front speakers. Find out which combinations provide the best listening experience for you.
In the end, the best option is the one that works best for you.