The speaker is an integral part of the home theater, but they need the power to give you a great experience. That’s why we should explain this topic with more care. So, how much should you spend on speakers vs amps?
At A Glance: If you are new to the home theater, then the front LCR speakers should cost 2 times the cost of the amplifier and the rest of the surround sound speakers should additionally cost 2 times the amp. If the amp is $300, the front speakers should cost approximately $600.
Keep reading as I will explain these budgeting terms based on the experiments that I have conducted at my showroom. There is a reason behind this budgeting quota.
Why this budget for the amp?
The price of the amp has very little effect on the sound of the speakers. This statement is true if you are a newbie and not an audiophile.
But I am not saying you should pick any amplifier that costs half of the front speakers, and it will work fine. You have to match the amplifier with the speakers. The amplifier should be able to deliver 153% more power to speakers as the speakers are labeled with it in its nominal impedance. Does this statement confuse you? Don’t be. Read my this guide, and it will explain it more. How to match speakers with the amplifier?
But why does the amp’s price have little effect on the sound for newbies? Let me explain this experiment that I conducted during my working hours at my showroom.
When somebody comes to my showroom to buy anything for their home theater, I would ask if they help in the experiment and I will provide a discount.
First, if you are a newbie then you qualify for it. BTW. I can spot newbies with the way they talk.
I connected the same pair of speakers to a cheap and then expensive amplifier and played music. I repeated this with 10 customers of mine.
8 out of 10 newbies noticed no change in the quality of the sound. The other 2 notice no significant change, just a slight change.
But if you carry out the same experiment with audiophiles, they might point out tonnes of changes in the sound. That’s why I didn’t carry out this experiment by relying just on my ears.
Let’s get back to the budget quota. If you are a newbie then go with the 2 times the cost of the amp, but if you are an intermediate or above-level guy. Then you can raise the bar for this budget too.
Why this budget for the speakers?
The speaker is the part that is most responsible for the sound quality. The amplifier has the responsibility to just deliver the power. But the speaker has many components that move continuously to produce sound.
These components need to be engineered with precision and best practices. For example, the cone and spider. They stretch and contract thousands of times per day. They need to be made with the best material and best engineering practices.
Otherwise, they will lose their elasticity and the speakers will either sound bad or wear out completely. These are just two components of the speaker.
This is why you need more budget for the speakers to spend. A cheaply made speaker will not sound that much which will make you fall in love with the home theater or surround sound.
If you are a newbie or intermediate, then you can follow this budgeting rule. But when you turn into a pro user of home theater or stereo. You will know by yourself that now I should upgrade.
You will need to upgrade the speakers. If you upgrade speakers, then you will have to get a new matching amplifier for it. You can read my guide to know how to safely and cheaply upgrade. How to update an old home theater? You will know about unique ways to upgrade.
The final verdict is that the speakers are those that will do much of the heavy lifting, and you want to give better muscles to them. I mean, you need to buy good quality speakers and good quality speakers cost more.
That’s why you need to spend ⅔ of your budget on speakers and ⅓ of your budget on the receiver.
But you will raise the budget for both once you get promoted from newbie to intermediate and then to pro level.
I hope I have answered your question, and that you have understood it. I think it should help you. If you still have questions. You can ask it in the comment section below.
Read to know how much to spend on a soundbar. You will know why I recommend mid-range soundbars.
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What's more important: an amp or speakers?
The speakers are important because you can’t have sound without them and when it comes to amps then you can have active speakers or powerful AVR that can work with your below-average speakers.
The AVRs can run below average speakers in all places of the surround sound, but if you want hi-fi speakers in the front LCR speakers then you will need an amplifier to power them. But you can find active speakers for that too. Active speakers have built-in amps.
How much does a good speaker setup cost?
A good speaker setup can cost you from $1000-1500, depending on the budget and room size. There are speaker setups that have an AV receiver with them, and they are budget-friendly too.
What's a good size amp for a beginner?
A good size amp that can provide 153% more power for the speaker in its labeled impedance. Calculate this power thumb rule for each speaker in your system, and you have a good size amp.
To have a good size amp for beginners. First, buy the speakers setup and then get a matching amp for it by applying my rule of thumb.
Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More
- This was my opinion, read more about it in this forum discussion on Audiogon. (Resource for the first answer)
- I have reviewed a few of them in this guide. Best home theater speaker setup under $1000. I have reviewed the top 5. (Resource for the second answer)