Finding the best center channel speakers can make or break your home studio. You can find reliable, affordable speakers regardless if you’re a music aficionado or a first-time speaker buyer.
This guide will help whether you’re trying to upgrade your current sound system or need an extra set of speakers.
|Best Center Channel Speakers||Model||Expert rating||Price|
|Polk Audio Signature Series S35|
|Yamaha NS-C210BL Center Channel|
What to Look for in the Best Center Channel Speaker
The crossover system is the biggest determinant of your speaker’s sound quality. A low-quality crossover coverage is easy to notice and results in incoherent dialogue.
Every speaker brand uses different methods to assemble its speaker, meaning that each speaker has its own way of reproducing frequencies. When buying speakers from the same manufacturer, you’ll notice the smooth sound transition.
Always check the frequency response of your speakers before buying them. The average human can hear sounds within a 20 Hz – 20 kHz range. The frequency response measures the speaker’s ability to reproduce these sounds without damaging the ear.
For instance, the Polk Audio Signature Series S35 has a 53Hz-40 kHz frequency response, which is loud enough to play sounds outside of a human’s hearing range.
Magnets can cause sound interference if not appropriately managed. Magnetic shielding prevents the speaker’s in-built magnets from connecting to other electronic devices nearby.
For instance, it will protect your speaker from other devices if it’s placed near the TV. If there is no magnetic shielding, the magnet will stop the electronics from flowing. This results in mis-coloring, distortion, and sometimes permanent damage.
Some speakers like the Yamaha NS-C210BL don’t have magnetic shielding. If that’s the case, you can use an additional magnet to receive more sound information. If you have multiple magnetic devices in your home, consider getting a speaker with this feature.
Enclosure or Cabinet
The quality of the speaker cabinet’s material will determine how well it reflects sound. MDF is a great material to make enclosures because it cancels out unwanted vibrations or energy.
Additionally, it improves the speaker’s ability to resist distortion and resonance. Because of this, you should avoid materials that use plastic.
The 5 Best Center Channel Speakers:
- 53-40 kHz Frequency Range
- Maximum Sensitivity: 88 dB
- Dimensions: 6.1″(D) X 24.4″(W) X 4.1″(H)
- Max Power: 150 Watts
- Power Port Design
The Polk Audio Signature Series S35 uses its Dynamic Balancing technology to improve your listening experience. When in use, it eliminates issues that reduce the sound performance. Thus, making is the best center channel speaker for music aficionados wanting to get the most out of their music equipment.
We like the Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker’s attention to mid-range sounds. It does this via the butyl rubber surrounds, Mica polypropylene cones, and Conex fibers. The custom mid-range drivers help create better linearity, low distortion, and clear bass.
The Polk Audio Signature Series S35 can fit into spaces that are inaccessible to other devices. That way, you can install the speaker in your home studio or theater without taking too much space. With its 6.1″(D) X 24.4″(W) X 4.1″(H) dimensions, you’re getting a tall yet compact speaker.
You can physically feel the bass when using this speaker! It features Polk’s patented Power Port design that transitions air flow from the speaker sport to the listening area. And it extends the bass port, which gives it more surface area and eliminates distortion and turbulence. As a result, you’re getting a speaker that has a deeper bass impact than its competitors.
Polk Audio Signature Series S35 has above-average sound quality. It has a 53-40,000 Hz frequency response, 8-ohm impedance, and has a max power of 150 watts. So you’ll have no issues with hearing your favorite tracks with this speaker system.
- Max Power: 400 Watts
- Tractrix Horn Technology
- 95 dB Sensitivity
- 8 Ohm Impedance
- Removable Grille
Next on our list is the Klipsch R-52C Powerful Detailed Center Channel Home Speaker. It offers a max of 400 watts of power, which delivers crystal-clear sound for your favorite music lyrics and movie dialogue.
Another feature lies in its sound Reinforced MDF construction. When in use, it improves sonic accuracy, reduces audio coloration and cabinet vibration. The Klipsch R-52C is a durable speaker that works to remove unwanted sounds and background noise.
The Tractrix Horn Technology ensures that the user hears high-frequency energy when listening to music. It does this by reducing the artificial filtering or reverb caused by indirect sound. So you’re getting a speaker that’s designed to add detail and clarity to your sound.
The Klipsch R-52C has an aluminum tweeter that uses Linear Travel Suspension. The tweeter uses Kapton material, which improves the detail and resolution coming from the tweeter suspension. This helps the speaker minimize distortion and deliver a detailed, enhanced audio performance.
It has an extremely rigid yet compact, Light Injection Molded Graphite woofer, providing minimal cone distortion and low-frequency response. Get the Klipsch R-52C if you want a speaker that will bring your home theater system to life.
- Dimensions: 9.5 (H) x 5.8 (W) x 6.5 (D)
- Carbon Fiber Woofer
- Silk Dome Tweeter
- 5-Way Binding Post
- 86 dB Sensitivity
The Micca MB42-C is a vinyl speaker that creates a clear voice and improves your home theater setup. The speaker’s 60Hz-20kHz frequency response gives you a diverse range of sounds to listen to. Because of this, the Micca MB42-C is great for those wanting high-quality sound at an affordable price.
The Micca MB42-C uses a crossover design to create a dynamic, balanced, and open sound. It contains a 0.75” silk dome tweeter that gives the listener enhanced bass and smooth treble. The tweeter uses a filtering capacitor which protects it during low frequencies and further improves audio quality.
The Micca MB42-C is compatible with receivers and amplifiers, giving you more sound options to choose from. With 100 watts of power and a 4 ohm impedance, you’ll get well-defined lows and highs as soon as the speaker starts playing. There is a 5-Way binding post that complements the speaker wire connections.
Aesthetic-wise, the Micca MB42-C has a simple yet sophisticated appearance. The speaker has soft bevels, rounded corners, and a cloth grill, further enhancing its aesthetic value. Not only does the speaker sound good, but it also looks pleasing to the eye.
Buy the MB42-C if you want a speaker that blends with any room or studio setup. Its vocal clarity and well-balanced sound signature make it great for home theaters, anchoring on-screen action and dialogue to simulate a cinema-like experience.
- 55 Hz-20 kHz Frequency Response
- 1” Soft Dome Tweeter
- 2 rear side wire connections
- 90 Watt power handling
- Dimensions: 8.44 x 18.13 x 7.13 inches
The Pioneer SP-C22 is built to deliver astounding sound quality and a pleasing design at an extremely reasonable price. It features a true curved design that reduces sound waves emitted from inside the cabinet. This gives you a speaker that’s powerful and aesthetically pleasing.
Need a speaker that seamlessly blends audio? The Pioneer SP-C22 contains a 6 element crossover that blends audio between the tweeter and woofer for better sound accuracy. It has 90 watt power handling, giving you enough clarity when sound comes from the speaker.
In regards to sound performance, the speaker has a 88 dB rating. This means that it requires less power to operate while still delivering sound at its highest level. Additionally, the SP-C22 has a 55 Hz – 29 kHz frequency range, meaning that your home studio will have clear sounds amongst the high and low ends.
The Pioneer SP-C22 is one of the tallest speakers on this list (8.44 x 18.13 x 7.13 inches). However, the speaker’s power and sensitivity level make it difficult to pair up with speakers outside the Pioneer family. Make sure that the speaker’s height doesn’t block the TV’s remote control sensor.
Buy the Pioneer SP-C22 if you want to take your entertainment to the next level. It provides optimum value and exceptional bass response, making it one of the best center channel speakers in the market.
- Max Power: 120 Watts
- Dimensions: 13-3/8″ x 4-1/8″ x 5-3/16
- 65 Hz – 45 kHz Frequency Response
- 6 Ohm Sensitivity
- Weight: 4.4 lbs
The Yamaha NS-C210BL is designed to reproduce dynamic sound when watching your favorite movies. The speakers have cone woofers and dome tweeters to present the best-elevated sound. As a result, you’ll get clear sound from HD sources when the speaker is in use.
Additionally, the speaker sounds better when listening to music. For example, it has a 6-ohm impedance, giving you the power needed to blast sounds throughout your home studio. Thus, making it one of the best center channel speakers for musicians on a budget.
Another hidden gem lies in its compact size. It weighs in at 4.2 lbs, which is light enough to install in any area of your home studio. Whether you place it near your TV or PC, you’re getting speakers that are portable enough to travel with.
The speaker does not have magnetic shielding. So you’ll have to use an additional magnet to get better sound information. It does have a 120 max power wattage, giving you the power needed for HD sound.
Try the Yamaha NS-C210BL if you want speakers with heavy bass. The woofers have a fast response to each sound while the tweeters remain balanced. That way, your living room will have effective speakers that are tuned to play Blueray Discs, MP3s, and other sound sources with ease.
FAQs About Center Channel Speakers
Can I Use Any Speakers for the Center Channel?
The majority of center channel speakers are placed horizontally. Why? Because center channel speakers are meant to be positioned above or below a TV set.
While there’s no law saying you need to use a horizontal speaker, you’ll rarely see vertically placed speakers in a living room. Unless you have very small speakers, it won’t work correctly with a regular TV.
You should not place vertically placed speakers on the side to create a center channel. The sound won’t be properly balanced when played across the sound stage.
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Where Should I Position My Center Speaker?
When positioning your center speaker, you have to take into consideration where the sound will be produced. As a rule of thumb, you should place the center speaker at ear height, which is why it’s placed below the TV.
However, you can place it in any position, but you should angle it slightly upwards or downwards so the sound comes through the listener’s ears.
How Many Center Speakers Should I Use?
Only use one center speaker at a time. Using two center channels will introduce comb-filtering in the sound.
The original sound will be reduced, resulting in less clear dialogue when watching movies. One speaker is good enough!
Should I Get a Larger Speaker?
First, start by getting the best center channel speaker that your budget and space will allow. Let’s discuss the speaker’s woofer’s size. The center channel speaker does not need to make a lot of basses. In movie soundtracks, there is no bass information located in the center channel.
Get a speaker that makes dialogue intelligible if you want the best center channel speaker. This isn’t easy since other sounds are competing for the listener’s attention.
Woofer size explains one aspect but also looks at how the tweeter is utilized. That way, you can decide what speaker size works best for your home theater.
To conclude, the top 5 best center channel speakers give high-fidelity sound without background interference.
Get the Polk Audio Signature Series S35 if you want an all-around speaker with minimal gaps in sound quality. For power listeners, the Klipsch R-52C Powerful Detailed Center Channel Home Speaker has over 400 watts, giving you extended audio opportunities.
Try the Micca MB42-Cif you want speakers that are compact yet effective. No matter what speakers you buy, you’ll enjoy rich audio without breaking your bank.