We have the knowledge
As you might have already guessed, there's a lot of choice out there when it comes to speakers for your hi-fi system. They're available in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but a few variables will help you narrow down your choices fairly quickly.
First, a quick explanation of the two main speaker styles you’re likely to encounter. Floorstanding speakers, often called ‘floorstanders’, are likely the first thing that pops into your head when you think of hi-fi. These big, impressive speakers stand on the floor on either side of your system, delivering a rich sound with lots of low-end.
The other style you’ll encounter most are standmount speakers, often times referred to as ‘bookshelf' speakers. This design is much smaller and meant to sit on dedicated stands for best performance. They offer a great sound in smaller spaces and their compact design can make them a bit easier to position.
See our range of standmount speakers
Space will likely be the first consideration to narrow your options. Floorstanders deliver a tremendous performance in large spaces where the volume can be high, but that’s a moot point if you can’t fit them in your room. Likewise, standmount speakers can easily fill a small or medium room with stunning sound, but won’t have the power required to make music come alive in a big listening room.
Placement within your space also needs consideration. Some speakers sound better when they aren't wallmounted for example, and bookshelf speakers will always sound their best on dedicated stands. Design and aesthetics can be important too and help to narrow down your choice further.
Our friendly experts are passionate about helping you get the perfect pair for you and will happily help with your decisions. They'll even set up different speakers in our dedicated Experience Rooms so you can have a listen in private, away from the busy shop floor.
What makes a good surround sound speaker package?
In a typical 5.1 system, two main speakers are placed front left and right, there’s a centre speaker for dialogue, and two rear channels for surround sound effects, plus the subwoofer for low frequency grunt (that’s the .1).
For the surround channels, full-size floorstanding speakers provide more action, oomph and bass throughout the sound field – they’re ideal for larger rooms and serious home cinemas. For those with smaller living spaces or who want a more subtle presence, smaller satellite speakers are more discreet, while still delivering a fantastic cinema-like performance.
You can even mix and match – with full-size front left and right speakers for great big-screen action and stunning stereo music, but smaller and more discreet satellite speakers for centre and rear channels.
One of the latest breakthroughs in home cinema sound has been the introduction of Dolby Atmos. Simply put, this system uses additional speakers to put sound above the viewer, allowing effects and ambience to be heard in a nearly three-dimensional way for a truly immersive thrill.
Of course, with Richer Sounds, it’s your choice and we’ll help talk you through your options.
Do I need a subwoofer?
Movies use something called LFE (Low Frequency Effects) to add depth and power to the sound. It's not all about explosions - sounds like thunder or the roar of an engine are more believable with a subwoofer. Subs can be used to effectively enhance the performance of any sound system. If you don't have one then your receiver will automatically attempt to play these effects through your main speakers, which can lead to a muddled performance that’s less inspiring than it could be.
If you watch a lot of movies and you're after dramatic bass punch then a subwoofer is the best way to go, but it will also underline everything else you listen to with extra definition. For example, if you're playing music through your surround sound system, it can make the rhythm easier to follow for a more toe-tapping performance. And if you’re going to be welcoming a pair of standmount speakers as an addition to your hi-fi, it’s well worth considering adding a subwoofer as well so you don’t miss out on all the lush, low-end frequencies that can bring your favourite records to life.
In an ideal surround sound system, you shouldn't be able to tell that you have a separate subwoofer; it should seem like everything is coming out of your main speakers, augmenting their performance for the last word in sound quality. Achieving this effect means careful matching and this is where our sales advisors will help you find the right combination for you. You can even have a listen in our Experience Rooms before you buy.