DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

How to choose home theatre speakers?

Old 02-13-06, 10:34 AM
  #1  
Cool New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 40
How to choose home theatre speakers?

I've started reading up on how to buy a home theatre set (speakers and receiver). I just have a couple of questions on matching the speakers to the receiver. I know most say start with the speakers first and then the receiver, but if I can understand the basic matching, I think I'll be ready to shop. Assuming I have a 6.1 dolby digital receiver putting out 100 watts to all 6 channels, what should I look for regarding speaker specifications:

- I'm assuming the speakers are 8 ohms
- should each of the 6 speakers rate 100 watts? does a speaker that says 10-150 watts sufficient?
- how does speaker sensitivity play into this? if my receiver and speakers are 100, what minimum dB (such as 90) am I looking for.
- can you give me a combination (of receiver & speaker specs) using the 100 watt receiver that would a) blow my speakers out (speakers to weak) and conversly b) make the speakers sound too weak?
- is my best (and easiest) bet to buy a speaker set (all 6 that go together) or is it just as easy and effective to buy each speaker separately?

Thanks for your help!!
bilal is offline  
Old 02-13-06, 10:40 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Listen to the speakers. Then worry about a receiver afterwards. There really isn't much matching between speakers and receiver to worry about. You do want to match speakers to each other, though. The sub doesn't matter as much, but the other 5 for sure. You can buy them together or apart, but you want them to match so stick to the same product line once you pick some.

We had a detailed thread on why the 100w ratings on most receivers is absolute BS. I'll see if I can find it.
Spiky is offline  
Old 02-13-06, 10:42 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,675
Power ratings on most receivers are indeed BS. Manufacturer's often report the power rating of the receiver driving only one channel, or only accross a particular freq. range. Total BS.

You can almost never have too much power. You will damage speakers much more quickly with an underpowered amp than with an overpowered amp.

What is your budget? I would look at speakers first and then tackle the receiver.
BobDole42 is offline  
Old 02-13-06, 10:44 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Here's the thread.
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread....ghlight=100wpc
Spiky is offline  
Old 02-13-06, 03:06 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 12,209
If you take the time to visit a store where you can properly demo speakers you can then see what is being used to drive them. You are right decide on speakers first then see what you need for a receiver.
Brian Shannon is offline  
Old 02-23-06, 12:45 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
A question along the lines of this topic. I need to get a new reciever. The specs listed on the reciever that I am looking at state 100 watts x 7 into 6 ohms at 0.8% THD. Am I ok to hook this up to my 8 ohm speakers? Ive read that its not an issue, but will I lose anything as far as clarity or power? I know speaker impedance is a much more complex issues, but I just want to know if Ill be ok.
FantasticVSDoom is offline  
Old 02-23-06, 01:43 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
A question along the lines of this topic. I need to get a new reciever. The specs listed on the reciever that I am looking at state 100 watts x 7 into 6 ohms at 0.8% THD. Am I ok to hook this up to my 8 ohm speakers? Ive read that its not an issue, but will I lose anything as far as clarity or power? I know speaker impedance is a much more complex issues, but I just want to know if Ill be ok.
Those specs would concern me. The fact that the manuf. is reporting power output only at 6 ohms leads me to believe they are trying to inflate the specs. The receiver may only put out 80 watts/ch at 8 ohms but 100 at 6ohms (no idea if this is the case, just an example). What is the brand/model of the receiver? As I, Spiky, Brian and numerous other folks on this forum has said, power output doesn't mean much on most receivers. Best thing to do is listen to the receiver with your speakers if possible. But, to answer your question, you won't damage your speakers by connecting it to that receiver. There is no such thing as a 6 ohm receiver (well, there are tube amps that must be switched between 2, 4, 8 ohms; also, many receivers aren't stable much below 6 ohms... but I digress...) - it's just the impendence at which the manuf. decided to report the power output. A "real" power rating should be measured accross the entire freq. range (20 hz to 20khz) with all channels driven. Idealing, an amp will "double-down" (i.e. 100 watts at 8 ohms, 200 at 4, 400 at 2, etc.) but no receivers can manage this. This is all excess information - bottom line is choose a receiver based on how it sounds to you, manuf reputation, price, etc - not the reported power rating.
BobDole42 is offline  
Old 02-23-06, 01:46 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Yes, it will be fine. The rating is stated that way to get the magic number of 100 watts on the box. The real power will be a lower number than 100 watts with 8 ohm speakers, but that shouldn't concern you since 100 watts is fictitious, anyway.
Spiky is offline  
Old 02-23-06, 02:19 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
FantasticVSDoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: No longer trapped
Posts: 11,610
Thanks for the input Spiky and BobDole...I figured as much, but I just wanted to double check. Unfourtanately there is no way to listen to it on my speakers, but I will check the reciever out to see how it sounds. I know its not a top quality reciever by any stretch of the imagination, but its no worse than what I have now (a little better actually), and suits my needs just fine for now.
FantasticVSDoom is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.