When setting up your home theater, every component is essential. You cannot miss one component and expect the system to work. However, the most critical component is the center channel speaker. This article discusses how important is a center channel speaker?
In order to enjoy the thrill of every movie and every TV show that you watch, it is important to have a surround sound system. Without this, parts of your room will be uncovered, taking away from your joyful experience.
What Is A Surround Sound System?
The surround sound system is a revolutionary home audio experience system. It enables the user to experience the thrill of every scene with utmost accuracy.
The surround sound system is available as 5.1, 7.1, other multi-channel speaker systems, 2.1 stereo with a subwoofer, etc. In a typical 5.1 system, there are 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer. One of them is the center channel speaker, 2 right and left front, and 2 right and left back.
The configuration is achieved depending on the surround sound system that fits your budget and your room. The core sounds are channeled right at the center through a center channel speaker.
The main goal of the surround sound system is to place a speaker at every corner of the room. Each speaker in the configuration will have a destined purpose. The most important component is the center channel speaker in the entire system.
What Is A Center Channel Speaker?
In simple words, a center channel speaker is the one that is placed in the center of a home surround system. It is responsible for the delivery of most of the sounds coming from the movie.
Even though most of the work is done by the center channel speaker, they are not responsible for the bass and the low frequencies. Mostly, the delivery of the mid-range frequencies is achieved through the center channel speaker.
Functions Of A Center Channel Speaker:
So what does a center channel speaker do that has led to it being so important in a home theater system? The answer is that it is the backbone of the entire system.
Imagine playing one of your most favorite movies, let’s say interstellar. The center channel speaker played at the center of the screen, will make sure that all the sounds coming to you will come directly from the screen.
Without this orientation you will either receive the sounds from the right or the left. It will sound fake and you will not be able to enjoy the space ride completely.
Whenever a track is played, 70% of it is delivered through the center channel speaker. Sometimes, during intense scenes, the center channel speakers carry even more burden than that.
The dialogue delivery and the musical vocals depend on the center channel speaker. Another function of the center channel speaker is the anchorage. It helps locate the distance and location from the screen to the listener.
Importance Of A Center Channel Speaker:
All the functions of the center channel speaker define the importance of the speaker. If the sound is dependent upon the speaker by 70% then removing it will give away dull and inadequate sound, thus, it serves as the base for your entire sound experience.
It is important that various characters speak from different places at different volumes during the dialogue delivery. Above all, this has to look convincing. Guess what, the center channel speaker is also responsible for that.
The center channel speaker is also responsible for supporting the seamless soundstage. This means that it flows the amount of sound between the front left and right main speakers. These sonic transitions are done so smoothly that one cannot help but become mesmerized by the accuracy of the sound.
A center channel speaker allows you to increase or decrease its volume without messing with the other speakers’ volume. This means that you can solely focus on the movie’s dialogues without having to listen to the noisy music in the background.
Clear And Sharp Sounds:
The sole purpose of upgrading the home surround system is to experience clear and sharp sound. Without a center channel speaker, the sound will have too many voids. If you were to experience the same dull sound as your TV delivery, why spend so much and get a home theater system anyway?
Best Center Channel Speaker For You:
In order to find the correct center channel speaker for you, a lot of things should be considered. First is the tonality of the front left and right speakers. A seamless front soundstage will not be possible if this does not match the center channel speaker.
Different sounds will vary in depth without a seamless front soundstage at various locations, especially when coming directly from the front. The error will seem too obvious in the middle of an intense thrill and would cause all the fun to escape at that moment.
In order to find the best center channel speaker for you, it is recommended that you use three identical speakers. This will match the tonality of all three of them.
When placing the speakers, it is very important to maintain their original alignment the way it is designed. Otherwise, the bass response of the speaker will get compromised. It will also change the frequency response of the speaker.
A center channel speaker uses a 3-way driver design and a tweeter aligned vertically in the middle. A bass woofer is flanked at both sides of the tweeter. This way the center channel speaker performs as a full range loudspeaker.
Dedicated Center Channel:
For most users, placing a vertically oriented speaker can be a challenge. For them, a dedicated speaker is configured, which is meant to be horizontally oriented. In this case, the speaker can easily be placed below or above the screen.
However, matching its tonality with the other speakers is still as important as a vertically oriented speaker. We recommend purchasing the same brand of the center channel, left and right main speakers, to avoid having tonality issues.
How To Correctly Place A Center Channel Speaker:
The placement of a center channel speaker at ear level is the best. The tweeter is also automatically placed at the ear level when this location is chosen. In case the speaker does not reach the height of the ear, it is recommended to use the support of furniture.
Your MLP (main listening position) is very important whenever you are placing a center channel speaker. Other than that, depending on the outlay of your room, you will locate your speaker in the most suitable position.
In case of a big room, you will have to place your speakers at some distance. In that case, you definitely need a high-quality center channel. Without one, your sound will be too weak and will have holes.
A center channel speaker is an essential component of the surround sound system. It can elevate your listening experience to the next level. Without a center channel speaker, any home theater system is incomplete as it provides the core of the sound as a backbone. It also helps in the seamless flow of sound from all the speakers on the left and the right.
Q- How do I place vertically standing speakers together?
When purchasing identical speakers, this can be a huge problem. Many floor standing and bookshelf speakers cannot be aligned together without blocking away the screen.
In that case, the speakers can be placed behind an acoustically transparent projection screen. This way the sound will not be distracted from the presence of furniture.
Q- Can I place a vertically oriented speaker on its side?
No. It is not recommended to place a vertically oriented speaker to its side. This is because of their wide horizontal dispersion and narrow vertical dispersion. So by putting it in a horizontal manner, you will mess with the sound quality greatly.
Q- Is a center channel speaker important for music as well?
Yes. The music experience with a center channel speaker will be far more superior to your everyday experience. However, it has a far less impact when comparing it to the movies. This is because of the dialogue delivery which the center channel speakers enhance.
Q- Can I use any speaker as a center channel speaker?
Yes. Any speaker can be used as a center channel speaker. However, in order to match the tonality of the speakers, you must purchase the speakers from the same brand.