To enjoy a home theater, soak in thrilling movies, inspiring concert blue rays, streaming, and the video and sound of your favorite TV show. You need a surround sound system with speakers located throughout the room. Each speaker in 5.1ch’s home theater has a role, but the essential speaker is the center channel speaker. The Center Channel carries about 70% of the entire soundtrack and even more sound at certain moments. It includes most of the dialogs and vocals of the music. Also, the center speaker fixes the discussion to the screen, so distance and position must be considered. The character’s voice must be delivered from a specific location, at various sound levels, and be convincing.
What is the difference between the center speaker and the soundbar?
The Center Speaker is part of a more extensive system of left, right, center, and two surround speakers. That provides an immersive listening experience. On the other hand, the soundbar is a standalone speaker intended to improve the sound quality of TVs. Also, many center channel speakers require an external AV receiver or power amplifier to supply power, but the soundbar can be used simply by connecting to the TV.
Other things to observe for with center channel speakers
If you are counting a center channel speaker to your current speaker setup, make sure that you select the same brand as your main left and right speakers with similar mid-to-high frequency response capabilities.
- The entire left, center, and right channel sound field needs to be heard with the ear in the same way. It is called “sound quality matching.”
- Suppose you do not have a center channel speaker with the same characteristics as the left and right front channel speakers. In that case, you may be able to compensate with the equalizer if your home theater receiver has an automatic speaker setting system.
- Or, if you’re setting up a primary home theater from scratch, you can purchase a speaker system. That includes a mix of the front left and right, surround left, subwoofer, and all speaker channels.
Tips for Installing Center Channel Speakers
- If you use a projector and a highly sound-transparent projection screen, the center speaker should be positioned at the ear height behind the screen.
- The center speaker can easily be placed on an entertainment cabinet or a shelf mounted above or below the TV screen. Make sure the speakers are installed up or down to the listener for best performance.
- For large center channels that do not fit into AV furniture. Try to attach them with a stand at the bottom ear height of the screen.
- Always place the center channel speakers in front or behind as close to the screen.
- When installing on furniture, ensure that the front of the speakers is flat. So that the sound waves rove and do not adversely affect clarity and dynamics.
- A rubber door stopper or another non-abrasive wedge can be placed under the front edge of the center channel speaker to raise the tweeter and driver towards the listening area.
- If you set the angle below or above the screen, you can position the laser pointer over the top of the center speaker to precisely match the ear height of the primary listening position.
Center Channel Speaker Role
An adequate surround sound requires a minimum of 5.1 channels (front left/right, surround left/right, subwoofer. And a dedicated center that effectively solves the listening problems with two-channel stereo setups.
The primary function of this speaker is to provide a perfect balance between the left and right set speakers. It results in seamless sound across all speakers. As you can imagine, this will improve your home theater experience. Also, all of this comes from the setup, but it provides a natural sound.
Audio Visual Dialog
Most of the movie’s lines are played from the center channel. It is intended to provide a clear dialog. If you don’t hear the words clearly, you can’t enjoy watching movies. It also helps to reproduce sound effects, and the 5.1ch setup has the same frequency characteristics as other speakers. It is the most significant selling point of this speaker.
Broad sound field
The best center speakers are equipped with multiple woofers and tweeters to expand the sound stage and, at the same time, optimize the localization of the sound. Also, the tweeters are placed horizontally to eliminate the hallucinations that occur in speakers that are not placed in the correct position.
Change in the listening position
Center channel speakers create sweet spots and provide a more flexible listening experience. It’s more convenient to sit at the sweet spot and listen to music. But this type of speaker allows you to move the listening position while the vocals seem to come from the center. Isn’t that nice?
What is the role of the front left and right speakers?
The front left and right speakers play most of the music and sound effects of the soundtrack.
However, it is also used for dialogs when the voice moves to the left or right of the screen. These speakers play a vital role, having to play a wide range of frequencies, from the bass of music and sound effects to the treble of instruments like bells and cymbals. The subwoofer is in charge of the low bass, which I will explain later. Front speakers are required to play the most critical music and sound effects. So ideally, they should be of high quality. However, it may depend on how your system is used.
If you are upgrading from a 2-channel stereo to a full-surround system in your home theater, it’s up to you to use a center-channel speaker. Still, the primary considerations are: The center channel speaker provides a specific anchor location for dialogs and vocals. The volume level of the center channel speakers can be adjusted independently of the other speakers in the system, providing more flexibility in balancing the total sound of the system. When purchasing a center channel speaker, consider one that has the same acoustic characteristics as the left and right front main speakers.