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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Someone please help me see through the speaker chaos?!?

    Hi,

    I dont really know anything about speakers, and it seems impossible to see through?!?! Can someone please explain me the difference between home-audio speakers, muldimedia speakers, home theatre speakers and just normal stereo speakers?

    which speakers do I use for what purpuse?

    Thank you for helping an technologically untalented girl :-)

  2. #2
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    hey there, welcome to the forum.
    Ill give a general answer to your questions. home audio speakers basicaly cover all speakers used at home, whether they be multimedia, home theater or normal "stereo" speakers.
    Multimedia speakers refers to "computer speakers", speakers that are generaly used with computers, which are quite small.
    Home theater speakers simply means you've got a 5, 6 or 7 channel (speaker) setup for watching movies (using a special amplifier, called a receiver). these speakers can be no different from the so called "stereo" speakers you mentioned. Stereo speakers just means you've got a normal 2 channel configuration, you have 2 speakers playing through you hi-fi.
    I hope this cleared you up.

  3. #3
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    Home audio speakers include everything listed. They can be multimedia speakers, home theater speakers, stereo speakers. Home audio speakers are used in the home opposed to commercial speakers used for sound reinforcement (public address systems, concert speakers) which are usually much larger, more powerful.
    Multimedia speakers are usually smaller low-powered speakers used for computers, MP3 players, portable DVD, etc... They usually have their own built-in power supply.
    Stereo speakers are used for 2-channel (stereo) listening. Stereo speakers can be anything from the two speakers attached to you boomBox to multi-thousand dollar behemouths with many different driver configurations. Many audiophiles have 2-channel reference systems, tweaked to perfection.
    Home theater speakers are usually a minimum of five speakers, front left, front right, center, right surround, left surround. But they can also be in a 6.1 or 7.1 configuration. The 6.1 system adds a rear center channel and the 7.1 system has pairs of rear and side surrounds. Many home theater systems have small satellite speakers whose woofers can't support low bass frequencies, so a sub-woofer is added. The sub-woofer channel is distinguished by the ".1". The speakers are usually timber matched to provide seamless audio throughout the area.
    Of course this was just a brief description. So you can see where each speaker you mentioned can be a Home Audio speaker. There are also multi-media home theater speakers, which are 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 systems designed to connect to your computer. The Klipsch GMX D-5.1 is one example. Many people start with a stereo system and gradually add the center, surrounds and sub-woofer as they can afford them. In general:

    Multi-media Usually self-powered, lower wattage, for computer and portable audio use.
    Stereo Two channel listening. Right and left channels.
    Home Theater 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, multi-channel, timber-matched, surround sound configuration

  4. #4
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.
    If you give us details about the applications you're after, we can be more specific with info and recommendations...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  5. #5
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    An extremme generalization: If you are looking for good sound, bigger cabinets are generally better and more expensive speakers will generally do a better job.

    Little tiny speakers will never sound great, no matter what Bose says.

    On the other hand many are happy with the built in speakers of consumer audio equipment and may place looks or esthetics ahead of sound quality.

    As mentioned above, if you tell us your application and your goals we can be more specific.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermanv
    Little tiny speakers will never sound great, no matter what Bose says.
    hahahahahahahahaha

  7. #7
    Sonyfan
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    Bose did make some leeway with time though you have to admit and home speakers are speakers that are used in many setups in a home, home theater and stereo speakers are in the same boat, i'll start off with stereo speakers, basicily two speakers a left and a right, then now we add home theater basicily add more to the two so now you have the front left the front right inbetween them is a center channl that does dailog for movies and two back seakers know as srounds back left and back right. The srounds and you front left and right do sound effects for your movies, Home theater adds realism to movies on dvds, tape, and tv. "Multimedia speakers are usually smaller low-powered speakers used for computers, MP3 players, portable DVD, etc... They usually have their own built-in power supply." is very much correct. But sometimes they could have a sub woofer to produce stronger bass. subs are different based on size, wattage, application in which the unit is intended for, and most of all ohmage. This sould help clear some stuff up if not add more confusion inwhich i'll apologeize.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    hahahahahahahahaha
    ?? ??

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermanv
    Little tiny speakers will never sound great, no matter what Bose says.
    Yes, but some little, tiny speakers sound better than they have any right to [esp EARspeakers], and some sound really awful!

    Laz

  10. #10
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trollgirl
    Yes, but some little, tiny speakers sound better than they have any right to [esp EARspeakers], and some sound really awful!
    Laz
    I certainly haven't heard every little speaker, but the physics says that unless it's part of a collection of other speakers some larger, they will never sound "great".

    I have heard a number of home theater "systems" where a little speaker with a driver of say 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches is paired with a sub-woofer. The subwoofer is often of the very peaky one note kind. When measured, they rarely deserve the "sub woofer" name.

    While the saleman gushes at how great it all is, I keep thinking "why can so few people hear how bad this really is?" For the treble, cymbals sound like bits of broken glass or maybe nails being shook in a glass jar. The bass sounds for all the world like you're in the inside of a 55 gallon metal drum being banged with a soft mallet and the mid is practically non-exisitent, makes you strain to understand the spoken voice.

    Maybe I missed it or them, but the tiny speakers I've heard do not approach "great". I think many buy them dazzled by the size, they're buying with their eyes not their ears. I have heard some fairly small monitors well above tiny, that sound pretty good for roughly the same money.

    Buy a system with your ears, deal with integrating it into your home decor, please don't do this the other way around.

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