In this article, we discuss the ten major issues in the choice of speakers in audio purchases
1. Why discuss speakers first?
This is because the choice of speakers is the most critical part of a sound system, and it is also a decisive part of the sound quality. Basically, it can be said that if the speakers are selected, the purchase of the audio is half completed. If you buy a pair of suitable and good ones, you can get twice the result with half the effort. If you buy a pair of beautiful, big and cheap designer boxes, congratulations! You can save trouble later, just take the AV power amplifier, simple, convenient and low-cost (but the sound quality is not very good, hehe).
Second, what proportion of the speakers in the budget is relatively reasonable
Although the speakers are the most important and decisive for the system, this does not mean that the speakers will account for the largest proportion of the system's budget, although many people will suggest you this way. In fact, the budget ratio of the three major audio components cannot be fixed. What is 1:1:1, what is 3:2:1, it's all nonsense, hehe! Unless you can set the overall budget and confirm which speakers you like or which ones, all proportions are possible.
Three, choose active or passive
Although active speakers are indeed more worry-free in selection, especially in the range of one or two thousand. However, there are not many good things that have the best of both worlds. When your budget is high to a certain level, you will find that although active is a little more worry-free, it does not save money at all. Instead, it takes a lot of money to achieve the same price passive effect! The reason is explained in more detail in the author's "Ten Needs and Ten Don'ts for Audio Purchase". The key is that there is always a compromise to be active (especially for mid-to-high end). And this kind of compromise will increase with the increase in the price, and with the increase in the price of the system, the passive system will have more and more advantages.
As the price increases, your requirements will increase, and the system will become more complex. At this time, active will even lose its advantages in convenience, and its disadvantages will be more prominent.
For example, most high-end actives do not have pre-amp functions, and there are only power amplifiers in the speakers. This means that you need a preamp, plus a sound source. At the same time, the distance between the general speakers is also wider, and the long signal line is also a problem. The picture below is a passive system launched by Xiaobian. It is only three pieces together. Two power cords, a pair of RCA signal cables and a pair of speaker cables are very effective on the desktop. If you use a computer as the audio source, a two-piece set is enough, and the wiring is very simple. Very cost-effective, but only in 4k.
Fourth, the first question of choosing audio: the size of your environment
It is common for many people to ask, "Recommend me a set of the most valuable speakers within 3,000?"
There is really no way to answer this question, of course not because of your dude's tone, ha ha. But when it comes to buying audio, budget is not the most important thing. In fact, there is no such thing as the most valuable audio at the price point. The first thing you need to determine when choosing a speaker is: environment and purpose!
The biggest difference between speakers and headphones is that they interact with the environment. The size of the room and the internal processing directly determine the best low frequency and maximum volume you can hear. Desktop, small room (within 15 square meters), medium and large rooms (above 15 square meters and most people's living rooms) and special large listening rooms (above 20 square meters after special acoustic treatment) are quite large. difference.
Five, you need a pair of speakers with multiple speakers
For desktop use, the speaker can be up to 5 inches, even in small rooms. Of course, if there is some acoustic treatment, a small room of 6.5 inches is more than enough. In large rooms, generally speaking, a 6.5-inch box is sufficient. Only rooms with good soundproofing that have been specially acoustically treated (that is, what we call listening room sound) need a larger speaker unit to allow you to enjoy lower dives and looser low frequencies, as well as better dynamics And levels.
One thing to note is that the unit size is only one aspect, which unit is more important. For units of the same size, one or two thousand for high-quality, one or two hundred for general, and twenty or thirty for inferior units, the difference in sound is huge. Excellent 5-inch unit, the low frequency emitted is fully enough for general music appreciation needs. Even in large rooms, the high-quality 6.5-inch low frequency is completely enough, and its low frequency is much stronger than many 8-inch AV boxes.
6. Your purpose is also very important
Mainly listening to music, or watching movies? What kind of music do you like to listen to? These are all important!
Here I still want to say that 5.1 is actually unnecessary for home use, and it can be said to be a waste. 5.1 will not only lead to lines everywhere in your living room, but also the chance of being able to speak up is almost zero (of course, you have a villa when I haven't said it). If you dare to speak loudly, let alone your family, even your neighbors will be annoyed by you! On the other hand, 5.1 most people choose the cheap and large AV box. The biggest advantage of this kind of speaker is large, not only the appearance is large, but also the sound is large (AV box is usually good to push). But if you listen to music, in addition to the low frequency that can shock you (although the quality of the low frequency is basically a roar), the analysis and sound field are far from comparable to the well-designed hifi speakers.
On the other hand, except for a few well-designed hifis, they can basically be used as theater boxes (except for some old large-angle speakers, full-range small speakers, etc.). But the reverse is basically impossible, even if it is low-end AV boxes from big brands such as B&W, focal, and Dynaudio, it is still difficult to meet the needs of audiophiles to enjoy music. And now almost all major brands are out of AV boxes, and some brands have completely abandoned the hifi market.
7. What brand do you need to choose
Generally speaking, the world's major speaker brands have their own characteristics. After knowing your listening preferences, it is not difficult to choose a brand, but you must be aware that they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, Chuqing after the rain is famous for its musical taste. Its mid-frequency vocals and string music are very charming, but at low frequencies and analysis, these are weaker; B&W (Baohua) high-end speakers have their own unique taste, brilliant and gorgeous. But some people like it and some don’t (the author doesn’t like it); Dynaudio’s mid-to-high end is neutral and transparent, with first-class resolution, but it has extremely high demands on the surroundings, and it will make a bad sound if it is careless; ATC is unique in its medium frequency. The world, but it is very difficult to push; TAD's sound is extremely accurate, but the high frequency of the horn is not very delicate; Jinchi's sound is very balanced, basically without low-end goods, but it is expensive; focal (French Jinlang) is high The frequency is very delicate and nice, but the middle and low frequencies may also make people dislike it......
In the speaker industry, for imported goods, what you pay for is the last word. It is impossible to want cheap and good (everyone has to eat, especially foreigners, the labor cost is much higher than that of foreign countries)!
8. Can domestic brands be selected?
Although many veterans look down on domestic production, the author still thinks it is an option. However, there are many good brands of sound sources, decoding, power amplifiers, especially tube amplifiers in China, but there are not many good brands of speakers. The only ones that can be counted are Masterpieces, Hewlett-Packard Little Cyclone, Boliang, and the New Equal Law. Not all products are good, there are only a few models of famous classics. In addition, the sound technology's MC15 and Beauty Voice's Monitor One are both very good, but they are difficult to push well. Therefore, domestic old speaker brands can still be considered, but for some completely unknown brands and some brands that are mainly used as theaters, it is especially necessary to pay attention to some foreign brands that are actually domestically produced. It is better to be more cautious.
9. Is there a choice for DIY?
The design of the speaker is a matter of testing the level. It requires long-term listening experience and careful tuning, supplemented by scientific design. I have introduced a pair of entry-level hifi boxes, which are not too difficult 5-inch coaxial (Natural Sound NS16), for desktop and small rooms to listen to music. As a result, after more than a year, the optical horn unit has been changed to the sixth version, the cabinet has been made 7 pairs, and the other changes are countless. This is only with the assistance of a relatively powerful speaker factory and friends who have been developing speakers for many years, and it can barely meet the requirements. I personally know the difficulty of developing speakers, and good speakers are definitely made slowly. The development cost will never be low, but the sales volume will not be too high, so the price is far more than DIY.
Under amateur conditions, the possibility of holding a good unit to make a good sound is almost impossible in the speaker industry. Therefore, choose diy more carefully, unless you have heard it or know it very well.
10. Do you need to monitor or hifi
In fact, this is a false proposition! However, there are too many monitors currently under the banner of various kinds of confusion, leading many people to think that monitoring and hifi are incompatible. In fact, many big brands do both monitor and hifi, and their good products can be used for monitor and hifi. Many people regard hifi brands as non-monitoring brands, such as After the Rain, Dynaudio, B&W, and ATC. They are all big names in the monitoring industry. Many world-renowned recording studios use these brands.
When designing hifi speakers, the frequency response smoothness of +/-3db in the anechoic chamber is the basic requirement (except the AV box). At this level of smoothness, there is no major problem with the reducibility of the recording. However, it is impossible for the frequency response of a speaker to be completely flat, so there will always be some smell in it. Different manufacturers have different design requirements, which leads to a variety of voices.
For monitoring that must separate yourself from hifi, I advise you to be more cautious. The reverse is also the same.
One last thing to say: nothing can replace your ears! This is especially true when your budget is high to a certain level. Find a place to try it yourself and make some comparisons. It is more important than anything! Although you will spend some time or even travel expenses, but you choose the sound you like, and the cost saved is often the bulk of it!