Home » Audio » Speaker » When does the center channel speaker become necessary?
When does the center channel speaker become necessary? [message #89631] Mon, 28 January 2019 23:04 Go to next message
mamoss is currently offline  mamoss
Messages: 170
Registered: May 2016
Master
A lot of changes do happen in the audio space and more often than not, some devices quickly become obsolete. Are there any instances where anyone would need a center channel speaker and if not, what are the available options?
Re: When does the center channel speaker become necessary? [message #89633 is a reply to message #89631] Tue, 29 January 2019 09:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17419
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

A center channel for home theater is very good, especially for dialog intelligibility, with one caveat: The center channel speaker must be the same as the left and right mains. A spectral mismatch really blows the illusion of reality, so the speakers really need to be well-matched.

The center channel must also be placed at the same height as the left/right mains, preferably somewhere in the bottom half, from midpoint down. This placement precludes solid screens, and necessitates a projector and acoustically transparent screen.

So if you have a flat panel TV with a solid screen, a compromise must be sought.

One of the most common compromises is to place the speakers just below the screen. This is acceptable provided the center speaker is the same as the left and right mains, but that's usually the sticking point - unless the speakers are very small, placing them below the screen puts them too low. And a horizontal array or "sound bar" is a substandard arrangement, because the off-axis nulls are in the horizontal plane, right where the listeners are sitting. This kind of compromise is usually just too difficult to work around and get any kind of decent quality sound.

The compromise I have found to work best is the phantom center. A phantom center can be done very well using speakers that have uniform-directivity and that are properly positioned, with their forward-axes crossing just in front of the listeners. This provides a realistic illusion if done right. If the screen is solid, it's the best option in most cases.
Re: When does the center channel speaker become necessary? [message #89634 is a reply to message #89631] Tue, 29 January 2019 09:42 Go to previous message
mamoss is currently offline  mamoss
Messages: 170
Registered: May 2016
Master
Hey Wayne, I have been thinking of getting a center channel speaker for my home theater system and based on your very elaborate explanation, I think I will go for it. I haven't been paying much attention to the matching of every sound component in the room and this has sort compromised the quality of the sound output.
Previous Topic: Is a soundbar really necessary?
Next Topic: Current Drive
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Thu Apr 18 06:25:40 CDT 2019

Sponsoring Organizations

DIY Audio Projects
DIY Audio Projects
OddWatt Audio
OddWatt Audio
Pi Speakers
Pi Speakers
Prosound Shootout
Prosound Shootout
Smith & Larson Audio
Smith & Larson Audio
Tubes For Amps
TubesForAmps.com

Lone Star Audiofest