Is A Bigger Center Speaker Better or Should It Match Front Speakers?


Is A Bigger Center Speaker Better or Should It Match Front Speakers?

There is no rocket science behind choosing the size of the center speaker and yet the quality of it doesn’t depend on its size scale. It is getting complicated. Right! Not at all. Stay with me and I will make it easier for you to understand. But is a bigger center speaker better?

The better center speaker will be that its driver’s size matches the size of the drivers of the front left and right speakers. If the front left and right speakers are bigger then the center should be bigger and vice versa.

Keep reading as I will put the proof of my opinion in front of you and discuss many more aspects of it also I am answering more related queries that will help you to perfect your center channel for a better home theater experience.

The size and The quality of the center speaker vs front speakers (Pure Myth Busting)

Is A Bigger Center Speaker Better?
Image Source: Squid Game By Netflix

You have to match the driver’s sizes of the center speaker and front speakers. For newbies, I will say that driver is the main speaker body that is installed in the wooden box around it.

This driver size is important not in the terms of its size scale but its size matching. The same size of the driver should be installed in the three front LCR(Left, center, and right) speakers.

Why match the size? Because the sound of the video transitions from one speaker to another in this front LCR speakers set.

The center speaker is the most important speaker followed by the two front left and right. About 80-90% of dialogues come out of the center and the rest out of the left and right speakers. When the main character is in the middle of the screen and talking, the center speaker will be used for the dialogues when the character is going from left to right then the front left and right speakers will be used for the dialogues.

Now, no one will want their favorite character to sound different in all of the LCR speakers. This will be such a bad experience. You need a constant dialogue sound taste in all of the LCR speakers. 

For this only reason, you never choose a center speaker that has a comparatively bigger or smaller driver than the front left and right speakers.

That’s why I recommend choosing all the LCR speakers from one brand and the same model number.

Read my guide about the best center speakerOpens in a new tab. for the home theater. You will know many more things about it.

At a Glance

Size Of The Center SpeakerRight Or Wrong Matching
The center speaker is bigger than the left and rightWrong
The center speaker is smaller than the left and rightWrong
The size of the center speaker driver matches the size of the drivers on the left and rightRight

Should the center speaker be louder than the front?

The center speakers should be a few dBs higher than the rest of the speakers if you want the dialogues to stand out but if you want the dialogues to blend in with the whole audio then keep them at the same dB as well.

The recommended dB for the home theater speakers is 75dB and keeping the center speaker a few dBs means 2-3. It depends on your taste to up it to 2dB or 3dB. In this configuration, the dialogues will stand out and will be easy for your brain to understand.

But if you want homogenous audio from all the speakers then keep the center at 75dB as well.

Know about the right frequency crossover settings for each speaker in the surround soundOpens in a new tab.. I have put my theater system crossover values in it.

Should the center speaker be small or large?

The center speaker should be set to small in the speaker setup menu because it can’t produce deep bass sound on frequencies lower than 40Hz. The lower frequencies should be shifted over to the subwoofer for deep bass.

The “small” means that some of its frequencies will be shifted to the subwoofer for the sound production and the large means that all of the frequencies should be played by the same speaker and none of its frequencies should be sent over to the subwoofer.

The center channel can’t cope with the lower-end frequencies. Because their driver is not made for that. That’s why you need these lower frequencies to be thrown out by the subwoofer. And for that, you need to set the center speaker to “small”.

Know about how to optimize the audio of home theaterOpens in a new tab.. You will get the best experience possible.

FAQs

Is a center speaker worth it?

The center speaker is responsible for throwing out 80-90% of the dialogues and this is why it is the most important speaker in the whole surround sound setup.

The center speakers have the most important role in the home theater. The dialogue is the blood and breath of the movie and without it modern movies are worthless. Unless you are a fan of the old silent movies then yes the center speaker doesn’t worth anything to you.

This was my opinion, read more about it on the SVsound blogOpens in a new tab..

How to improve center channel speakers?

The tweeter of the center speaker should be at the ear level of the audience. To do this you can tilt it up by placing a towel or standing underneath it. 

This is one little trick but the most important is to acoustically treat the home theaterOpens in a new tab. and soundproof itOpens in a new tab.. After that, you must optimize the audio with a calibration mic or calibration software. Click on the blue-colored words to read my guides about it.

These three steps are a must for the audio of each speaker in the home theater. Without these steps, I will never talk about the experience of home theater.

Here is one of the best calibration software Dirac Live.Opens in a new tab.

What makes a good center channel speaker?

A good center speaker will be one that has a tight grip on the high, mid, and lower mids frequencies of the sound. Also, it should be working in harmony with the front left, and right speakers.

The dialogues range from tone to tone. Every person and gender has its tone signature. That’s why the grip of the center speaker on high, mid, and lower mids is very important. Because the center is responsible for producing dialogues of all these different tones.

Why does my center channel sound muffled?

The bad acoustics of the room, setting the center speakers to “large”, or the tweeter of the center speaker is not on your ear level will make the center channel sound muffled.

Apart from this, I will also advise matching the center speaker with the front left, and right speakers. 

Ayaan Khan

Hi, it's Ayaan khan a freelancer and a computer science degree holder from P.E.S. College. I write articles on Homelytainment.com. The facts and research is provided by Daniel and the writing job is mine.

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