Flat Panel Speakers

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There are some advantages to having flat panel TV speakers mounted on the wall next to your TV or at least standing next to the TV on suitable stands. There are many options these days.

Affordable Flat Panel Speakers

Klipsch, known for high quality speakers makes the Quintet SL Flat Panel Speaker set up for home theater. It is a 5.0 system with matched Left, Center and Right speakers and two smaller satellites. The bass-reflex LCR's come with 2- 3.5" aluminum drivers front-firing ports to assist in boosting the bass, but this means you cannot mount them on the wall. Like most Klipsch speakers they come with a loaded horn for highs. At only 5.6 inches deep it means they will look great next to even relatively thin TV's.

Moderately Priced Flat Panel Speakers
Boston Acoustics makes some really nice Front-ported speaker that come in both black and silver. Each 3-way speaker has 3 4.5 inch drivers, two woofers and one midrange. With thier aluminum dome tweeter, 5 way binding posts and high quality build these will nicely complement any flat panel TV. Only 4-3/4 inches deep and capable of up to 150 watts these will sound great paired with a nice 100-300 watt subwoofer. $399 each.


How to Choose a Floorstanding Speaker

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Floorstanding speakers are big and some times bulky. That said there is no denying that the more drivers you have the more likely it is that the sound will be more open than say a bookshelf speaker. This article will not deal directly with what sounds better in floorstanding, sometimes called tower speakers, as it will with the different features you can find on different models.

2 Way vs. 3 Way
Tower speakers come in 2 way and 3 way configurations. (See difference between 2 way and 3 way speakers) One will not necessarily sound better than the other but in general a 3 way speaker has a better chance of sounding more natural because it offers 3 speakers, each tuned to provide for a specific frequency range. Specifically, adding a mid-range speaker of 3-5.25" may make vocals sound more natural. 

Number of Drivers
Because of their size floorstanding speakers usually have more room for multiple drivers and usually the more drivers the more "open" the sound-field the speaker will produce. It is not unusual to see floorstanding speakers have 3 bass drivers, 1 mid driver and a tweeter. Sometimes this goes even higher.

Size and Position of Bass speakers 
Front firing - Some towers will rely on multiple smaller bass drivers facing forward with a well tuned port (or more than one port) on the back or front of the speaker to add more bass. This allows for a smaller cabinet.

Side Firing - Others will use larger 6, 8 or 10" bass speakers that are located on the side of the speaker. These speakers must be purchased in matched pairs since they are distinctly left and right.

Feet
Many tower/floorstanding speakers will include feet or carpet spikes to lift the speaker off the floor to reduce any resonance the speaker might conduct through the floor therebpossibly distorting the sound from the designers intent.

Bi-Amped
Many high end floorstanding speakers will offer bi-amping, the ability to use multiple power sources to power different speakers within the speaker. This is accomplished by using more than one set of binding posts on the back of the speaker. Depending on your ability to purchase separate amps and your level of listening involvement you may notice a difference with this approach.

Safety issues
Tower speakers sound great and can look even cooler but they are usually heavy and tall. Given this you should always be careful to anchor your towers to a wall if you have small children as tipping them over could cause injury. If you are not sure please consult a professional for advice on how to do this.

Search Amazon.com for tower speakers

Thats all for today. If you have questions please email us at thespeakerguy@gmail.com 

New Harmon Kardon Sound bar with surround

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HKSoundbars are getting more popular by the day. With more and more famlies owning multiple flat panel TV's the need to address the subpar sound that comes from them is increasingly important. Most recently Harman Kardon has entered the Sound bar market with the SB 16 featuring a wireless subwoofer and vitrual surround processing.The left and right speaker channel has two 3-inch midrange drivers and a 0.75-inch tweeter. The speakers are powered by a 2x25-watt amplifier rated at 20Hz to 20kHz onto 8 ohms with less than 0.07 percent THD with both channels driven simultaneously. The sound bar's connections are a stereo analog input for source one, and two input features both a coaxial digital input and an optical digital input, allowing for digital connection of two additional devices, like a Blu-ray player, set-top box or gaming machine. The sound bar doesn't incorporate Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1-channel decoders, it instead relies on a DSP to fool your ear into hearing the sound from somewhere the speakers are not.. The 10" subwoofer is a bass-reflex designand the driver is down firing.
Some reviews.
No Amazon review yet but they have the best descriptions and pictures.Harman Kardon SB16 Soundbar and Wireless 100 Watt Subwoofer (Black)
Audioholics
The SB 16 is very competitive in terms of its price point and design philosophy. The wireless sub is a plus and three inputs a definite bonus. The SB 16 seems to have it all from looks to features. What was more impressive is what they accomplished sonically.

Tips on Chooseing Outdoor Speakers

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There is no better way than to compliment your pristine backyard, and add a soundly fervor to your parties and get-together, and all social hosting that you take part in, than by purchasing and installing some high quality outdoor speakers to compliment your backyard and really bring some tunes to it. Think about what you are missing out on. Saturdays by the pool with your favorite music playing, or parties that you host every so often, no need to pull the boom box out of the closet. No matter what your needs for quality outdoor speakers are, you will surely want to know what you are looking for when the time comes to buy them. So we thought it relevant to guide you with this blog.
What types of outdoor speakers are right for your needs?
There are hundreds of varieties of outdoor speakers, and they come in all shapes and sizes, some even disguised as rocks or bushes. First identify what your needs are, and keep in mind that the crazier the speakers are disguised, and the more power that they can handle, generally the more costly that they will be. Here are some good things you want to keep in mind before purchasing any outdoor speakers. And, before you pull out that credit card, make sure you know what you are looking for.
Some things to consider when buying outdoor speakers

  • How much money do they cost, versus power they emit and speaker size?
  • Are they easily installed or do you have to pay for professional installation?
  • Are they water and weather-proof/resistant?
  • Will they look good in your backyard or stand out?
  • What type of warranty do they come with?
Differences between weather-resistant and weather-proof
You want to look for outdoor speakers that offer the maximum amount of insulation around the speaker cone itself. While it is nearly impossible to entirely protect any outdoor speaker from moisture seeping in, you can find ones that offer better protection than others. Look for weather-proof versus weather-resistant. Generally, the outdoor speakers that are weather-proof will have a higher amount of insulation around the cone and the wires and will offer more protection and longevity than those that are merely weather-resistant; think along the lines of water-proof watches, versus water-resistant watches and you will have the right idea in mind. Here are some good lines of weather-proof and weather-resistant speakers to consider.

Installing Those Outdoor Speakers
This awesome video (below), courtesy of Audioholic Magazine, demonstrates step-by-step exactly how to install in-wall and on-the-wall speakers, including those that you would buy for outdoor usages. Now that you are in the know of what types of speakers you should buy for outdoor speakers, know how to install them properly the first time, when the pros teach you how a simple and easy step at a time. Your parties and get-togethers will never be the same again.

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