How to Buy Home Cinema Speakers

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Home Cinema Speakers

A set of surround-sound speakers is an essential part of any well-designed home cinema. Home cinema speakers increase viewer pleasure by bringing films to life with realistic audio. A home cinema audio system typically includes a variety of speakers, each with a special purpose within the group. These can be purchased separately or as part of a set. To make an informed purchase, buyers must at least have a general understanding of how the various elements in a surround-sound system work.

Buyers shopping for home cinema speakers need to understand the many different available speaker options. They should know what goes into producing the best sound quality, and how to place speakers to best take advantage of that great sound. To find home cinema speakers, shoppers can visit audio and electronics speciality shops, along with high street department stores. They are available from many Internet retailers, as well as from online auction sites like eBay.

Home Cinema Speaker Essentials

Before purchasing a home cinema speaker system, buyers are encouraged to learn more about the different products available. Product details help determine which speakers are most appropriate for a particular home cinema. Home cinema systems generally include several types of speakers. When used together, this combination of speakers creates an immersive, surround-sound effect. Home cinema speakers come in all shapes and sizes, and prices can vary significantly, depending on quality and design features. To choose the right speakers, it helps if buyers have a solid understanding of their options.

Home Cinema Speaker System Components

A home cinema system generally includes several different kinds of speakers. The following chart describes the basic components of a home cinema speaker system. Also, the table includes a suggested speaker budget breakdown for those who plan to purchase their speakers separately, rather than as a set.



Budget Percentage

Centre Channel

Sits above or below television; produces 50 percent of cinema audio; helps pin soundtrack to visual display

25 per cent


(Left / Right)

To the left and right of TV; deliver combined 25 percent of audio; handle musical score and effects playback

30 per cent


Produces bass frequencies; 10 to 15 percent of total audio; adds realism and fullness to cinema soundtracks

25 per cent


Beside and behind viewer; creates lifelike ambience through immersive audio and directional sound effects

20 per cent

Of course, the suggested budget listed above is not set in stone. Consumers are urged to consider their audio needs and sound quality preferences when deciding on a budget for home cinema speakers. Typically, advanced surround sound systems featuring a number of speakers carry the highest prices.

Surround Sound Formats

Known as a 5.1-channel surround system,, a standard six-piece home cinema configuration includes one centre channel, one front left, one front right, two surround speakers, and a powered subwoofer.. Other available surround sound formats offer up to nine speaker channels, and may feature extra surround-sound speakers at the back of the room. Additionally, a more advanced system might include a pair of "height" speakers up front to further enhance the audiovisual experience. When choosing a surround-sound format for a home cinema, it is important to verify device and media compatibility. For easy reference, DVDs and Blu-rays typically list their encoded surround-sound formats.

Sound Quality

Several factors influence the overall sound quality of a home cinema system. The home cinema receiveraaffects audio quality a great deal, as does the auxiliary electronic equipment. The number of speakers and their construction materials affect sound quality as well. To be sure the audio does not sound disjointed, consumers should look for home cinema speakers that are "voice matched". This feature keeps multiple speakers in perfect harmony, producing a neatly interwoven tapestry of music and sound. When buying home cinema speakers sold separately, consumers should research manufacturer recommendations to learn which models work well together.

How to Choose Home Cinema Speakers

Before choosing a set of home cinema speakers, shoppers must select a location for their home cinema. Once they choose a room, they can start considering surround-sound formats and speaker placement. Consumers have two buying options; they can either buy a complete pre-matched set, or they can build a full system out of separately-purchased speakers.

Individual Components vs. Home Cinema Systems

A standard home cinema speaker set typically includes at least five speakers, a subwoofer, and a receiver. This option is perfect for buyers on a tight budget, or for people who value easy installation. Pre-matched sets take the guesswork out of speaker selection, and deliver quality sound straight out of the box. As an alternative, some buyers prefer to build their own home cinema system from separately purchased components. This approach requires greater attention to detail to ensure compatibility with the overall cinema system. In some cases, sticking with the same brand or product line helps ease confusion over compatibility.

Selecting the cinema Location

Most buyers have a particular room in mind where they plan to install new home cinema speakers. This approach means they can take room dimensions and available space into consideration when evaluating various options. With plenty of home cinema speakers to choose from, any room design can be accommodated. Some people prefer the sleek appearance of in-wall speakers.. Wireless systems are a good choice for those who do not want to worry about hiding or tripping over speaker wires. The buyer's main goal is to find speakers that can produce quality surround-sound entertainment in the room slated for installation.

Speaker Design and Placement

Speaker placement plays an important role in a surround-sound system's effectiveness. Home cinema systems include detailed instructions to help consumers set up their cinema. Placement diagrams are also available online. Often, the layout and decor of a room dictate which style of speakers best suits the location. Luckily, each type of speaker is available in a range of shapes and sizes. Since the centre channel speaker must be placed above or below the TV, wall-mounted models work well with wall-mounted flat-screens. In most cases, the amount of available space determines whether bookshelf speakers,, tower speakers,, or wall-mounted models are best for the front right and left speakers. Bookshelf and satellite surround speakers are most effective when aimed at the ears. Achieving the correct angle often requires wall bracket mounting or a speaker stand.. Though the positioning of a subwoofer is fairly flexible, placement against a wall or in a corner tends to increase bass impact.

Where to Find Home Cinema Speakers for Sale

Conveniently, home cinema speakers are found in a variety of retail locations. Home audio speciality shops generally carry both individual speakers and complete home cinema systems. Department stores often sell home cinema speakers in their entertainment or electronics section. Wholesale warehouse stores are another good source, as are some high-end gadget shops. Classified ads are helpful for people interested in purchasing used speakers. New and used home cinema speakers are also available through Internet retailers, along with online auctions sites like eBay.

How to Buy Home Cinema Speakers on eBay

To buy home cinema speakers on eBay, first decide which type of speakers you want to find, and then choose relevant keywords for your search. Enter your chosen words into the search box found on every eBay page. A keyword search for broad, non-specific terms tends to produce a large number of results. For example, a search for "speakers" is likely to turn up too many results to scan through easily. To quickly locate listings that are relevant to your needs, use specific, descriptive keywords, such as "subwoofer&" or "5.1 system&". While browsing for home cinema speakers on eBay, choose refinements such as condition and price range to narrow down your options. Using advanced search,, you can locate listings for specific brands and models in seconds.

eBay Advanced Search

Some people prefer to skip browsing and search for a certain product instead. If you have a specific make or model in mind, you may want to use advanced search.. This approach is often much faster, and in some cases more effective, than a standard eBay search. Advanced search allows you to limit search results based on numerous criteria,, including location, number of bids, or how soon listings end.


There is nothing quite like watching a film in a home cinema with surround-sound audio. Quality home cinema speakers help bring films to life by creating a rich soundstage to delight viewers. A home cinema audio system is made up of multiple speakers. A working knowledge of the essential components makes it easier for buyers to get their bearings while browsing. While there are a number of surround-sound formats available, the standard setup includes five speakers and a subwoofer.

Before buying home cinema speakers, individuals are encouraged to scout out potential cinema locations in their home. The size and layout of the room are important factors to consider when choosing speakers. Home cinema speakers are often purchased as part of an all-inclusive home cinema system, but they are also available as individual components. All-in-one sets are convenient and easy to install, but some people prefer to design their own system piece by piece. The eBay Shops and auction listings offer buyers a wide range of home cinema speakers worth considering.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides