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How to choose a good loudspeaker

There are many different types & styles of loudspeakers in the market today. There are your traditional bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers and satellite speakers with separate woofers or sub-woofers. There are also a lot of choices in size and shape.
Once you choose the type of speaker that fits your living environment you should look for the following sound qualities to help you choose the best speaker for you.
Listen for Tonal Balance
Listen for how natural instruments and vocals sound. The best way to do this is to use acoustic or non-amplified music if possible. Since your familiar with how voices, pianos, guitars and other acoustic instrument sound you’ll get a good feel for if the speaker is reproducing the sound naturally. When choosing a speaker it is best to stay away form rock music and movies won’t work well since you have not good reference for how they sounded when they were recorded. Good loudspeakers will sound very natural.

Listen for distinct instruments and voices from different places.
When choosing loudspeakers listen to see if you can “place” the instruments and singers on a stage. Can you hear one instrument in front of another? To the left right or center? This helps determine if the speakers have “depth” Good loudspeakers will a good sound stage, presenting music as if you were there.
Can you easily distinguish different sounds?
Listen for good loudspeakers to let you hear every instrument. Do you hear the percussion, voice, guitars, horns separately? Is the sound of a cymbal or bass easily distinguishable? Good loudspeakers will let you hear each instrument distinctly.
Dynamic Range
Good loudspeakers will produce clear sounds at both soft and loud volumes. When a horn section cuts in does it sound clear? Do they still sound clear if you turn up the volume? Choose a good loudspeaker by looking for ones that don’t sound “harsh” or “muddy” when the music quickly changes from soft to loud.
Choosing a quality loudspeaker is easy if you listen for tonal balance, a wide and deep sound stage with clear distinct presentation of all instruments and voices and the ability to play both soft and loud sounds without sounding harsh or muddy.

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