The theatre has moved to our living rooms and the center channel speakers are crucial to the home theatres. They deliver 70% of the main sounds such as dialogues and main vocals during the songs. They are undoubtedly important and therefore you need the best center channel speaker for your home theater. Most standard home theaters nowadays are 5.1 or above and these home theaters have various speakers that give an illusion of surrounding sound while watching a movie or listening to music. More for movies and series, the home theater system is now widely popular owing to the rise in OTT and the cinemas being shut due to pandemics so the audience had to set up their private cinema halls at home.
The center channel speaker produces most of the main dialogs and vocals in a movie, series, or song. It also helps in the transition of sound from one side speaker to another with the movement of the character from one side of the screen to the other. This is therefore the most important piece to achieve the perfect surround sound at home.
A dedicated center channel speaker is now therefore included in almost all the latest home theatres of 5.1 or above but you can always get a separate center channel speaker of better quality or upgrade your existing home theater system with a new center channel speaker. You can choose from various styles and designs now available for the center channel speakers and you only have to make sure that the tonality of these speakers matches with that of the other speakers otherwise the sound will have an extremely jarring and disturbing effect and ruin your movie time entirely.
Make sure you place the center channel speaker near to the ear level when seated to watch the TV. This is the suggested position for the best sound from the center channel speaker. To get this placement in the best manner, you can go through various types of center channel speakers in the market and choose one that will suit your room, speaker layout, and budget the best.
Best center channel speakers you can choose for your home.
This slim center channel speaker is one of the best center channel speakers under $500. This center channel speaker is made to support the big surround sound theaters as well as give you a ravishing music experience right in your living room. You will get all the features of a Polk speaker such as American Hi-fi as well as Hi-Res certification. It has a new balanced design to give the best acoustic sound and give the perfectly timed crossovers from one side speaker to another.
This powerful center channel speaker sports 6 drivers and powerful port technology. Their impedance is 8 ohms and sensitivity of 88 decibels. It has Polk Power Port Technology that will deliver the deepest bass in the highest quality but with minimum distortion as any turbulence will be smoothed to give you the perfect movie experience. It has gold-plated 5-way binding posts and can be paired with any tower speakers of the home theater. It is compatible with the DTS and Dolby sounds and the reproduced sound is clean and crisp as well as realistic and immersive. Also, the speaker has a frequency response of 39 to 40,000 hertz.
It is designed to give you the highest quality sound for whatever you are watching. The design is enhanced to achieve this aim by improving the geometry of the speakers. It is a two-way speaker with a crossover set at 2.5 kHz. The speaker gives a good performance and the sound is certainly commendable. It has highly reliable craftsmanship and this speaker is quite durable. Its midrange is almost perfect and accurately detailed which gives clear vocals.
Design and style
The design of this speaker is classic. It is slim and attractive. It is easy to fit under the TV unit on the cabinet. It can also be placed vertically or used as a side speaker. It gives the buyers various placement options and that makes it a popular choice. Its rounded edges are iconic and details resemble that of an acoustic guitar which gives these bookshelf speakers a sleek and performance-oriented look that is stylish as well.
- This center channel speaker is quite stylish and can complement most interior design themes.
- It comes with a three-year warranty.
- It has a clear and strong sound signature.
- The bass response is also solid.
- Its port technology is powerful and gives the best sound with minimum distortion.
- It is slim and can fit anywhere with ease. It can also be used vertically or as a side speaker.
- This center channel speaker tends to strain at low-frequency sounds.
- The speaker is slim but not one of the slimmest so one needs to check the dimensions well in advance.
- The bass could have been better but can be improved by adding a subwoofer.
Klipsch is considered one of the most well-known home theater speaker brands. Their RP-504C is not at all slim but a big and bulky speaker. This is best for rooms that are large and dedicated to entertainment. This center channel has a powerful sound which wi make you forget reality and transport you to the world of movies or music. It has three color choices to complement most interior design color themes and styles. You can choose from Ebony, Piano Black, or Walnut colors. The price may differ with each color.
The speakers of this center channel speaker are powerful and loud, making it one of the best high-end center channel speakers. It uses Klipsch proprietary Tractrix horn-loaded so that you get the best high-frequency sound that is directed to you by the center speaker and avoid any unnecessary sound. This will give you the clearest and realistic sound. It also has Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) to minimize the distortion and these tweeters are an important part of the best speakers. It has single 5-way screw terminals which accept the banana plug or bare wire up to 12-gauge, giving you many choices and flexible as well as long-lasting connections. These terminals are color-coded to help you set your speakers up easily. These ports also allow for quick air transfer and thus minimize port noise. The inner flares of the ports reduce turbulence and give clean and good bass.
Design and style
It has spun copper cerametallic woofers which are a signature feature of the Reference Premiere series. These are durable but light so you get the best sound without compromising on the looks. With Tractrix horn-loaded LTS tweeters, the sound gets exponentially enhanced with these woofers giving you the highest sound quality and stylish look. It has cast aluminum feet and will look very elegant sitting on your TV unit and the copper anodized ring means less maintenance but classy metallic features. It has satin-painted baffles with a scratch-resistant finish and a laser-etched logo.
- Klipsch RP-504C has a strong and sturdy build and gives high performance.
- It has impressive sound effects and incredible acoustics.
- It is light weight and can easily be transported despite its bulky appearance.
- It may look big but uses less power.
- It is stylish and the finish is high-quality and meticulous.
- You would need to add a subwoofer for a better bass sound.
- It cannot be mounted as it has no mounting holes. You will need to place it on the TV unit or get wall brackets.
- The price of this speaker is on the higher side and is not recommended for a casual audience.
Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 belongs to the Andre Jones series which was designed by the speaker designer Andrew Jones himself and is made to give you professional-quality sound right at your home. This series can effortlessly turn any TV experience into an immersive audio experience. It is small yet powerful as it can easily handle the work of a center channel speaker producing main dialogs and vocals in a movie or music. It is compact but has high-quality sound thanks to its concentric driver with a 3-way design.
This center channel speaker uses a Coherent Source Transducer to reduce any interference between the midrange and the tweeter and therefore gives clear and accurate sound. It will ensure that the sound is being directed in the right direction with the right frequency and timing. It also has an advanced bass response as well as a multi-element complex crossover to blend the audio perfectly. It is a 3-way speaker so each frequency band has a dedicated driver and the radiator is small but has enhanced bass impact. The aluminum woofer and the radiator reduce the unwanted noise from any air turbulence and the oversized magnets give a strong bass. But the bass is fast and tight so it will not last longer than it is supposed to. It will be precise and give you the best movie experience.
Design and style
This small black center channel speaker has a classy and elegant look. This center channel speaker is designed by Andrew Jones and the sides of this speaker are curved to get rid of the standing waves one can witness with the square speakers. The color makes it go well with modern as well as traditional interior designs and therefore it can be bought by anyone without worrying if it will go well with their interior design theme or not. It is easy to place in the room and does not attract attention to itself even though it has an impactful sound.
- It has expensive and classy looks and is made of high-quality material.
- It supports all the Dolby Atmos and DTS audio formats.
- It has direct and reflective sound due to its coherent sound transducer and gently curved edges.
- It has deep but tight bass and great extension.
- The focus from the coaxial driver is sharp and precise.
- The Complex Crossover feature of this center channel speaker blends the audio between the side speakers with the help of a woofer and tweeter for enhanced accuracy.
- The only downside of this speaker is that it gets out of stock at the speed of light.
This is yet another highly affordable but quality speaker from the house of Polk Audio. It has a non-resonant enclosure and thick baffles with a reversible design cabinet to give the best quality of sound and aim the sound towards the required direction. This CS10 series aims to ensure that every seat gets the best sound quality, even if the home theater setup is small. This flexible center channel speaker gives clear sound and serves as the perfect base for your home theater setup.
It has a silk dome dynamic balance tweeter and bi-laminate organic fiber woofer which will give you high-quality sound and bass with minimum distortion and detailed high-frequency sounds for audio closest to life. The reversible design allows for better adjustment when used with computers and the five-way binding hook gives secure hook-up options with other devices. Its tonality is tuned to match the other speakers to give you the best-coordinated surround sound. Its sturdy build allows it to minimize the internal sound distortion and vibrations that could ruin the movie experience. The top is angled and can be placed upside-down as well if required. However, it may affect the audio effects but it will still be clear and crisp.
Design and style
The CS10 center channel speaker is designed to give maximum efficiency. It is small and compact but also compatible with different types of devices. It is sleek and made of sturdy material and ¾ inch thick baffles to give you a clean and clear sound without compromising on the looks. It is black and silver and therefore compliments all kinds of interior design themes. The design is entirely user-friendly and gives the user various placement options. You will be able to pair it up with any device with ease and place it at your convenience.
- It has a wide frequency range and can play most audios with the highest clarity.
- It is lightweight and portable and gives you more placement options within the house.
- It has a sleek look and compliments all kinds of color themes.
- The versatile angles top can be inverted to improve the sound quality and give more choices to the buyers.
- It produces good high and mid-high sounds.
- It is an affordable center channel speaker with high-quality audio.
- Its bass is not as impressive.
- It lacks a mid-range driver.
- It might not work as well on extremely high or low volumes.
The Definitive Technology Procenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker is quite small but again a powerful speaker. It is best for you if you wish to have a decluttered and minimalistic as well as a compact but strong surround sound system. The brand is already well-known for producing quality speakers at affordable prices and this speaker is no exception. It matches well with most brands of home theaters.
It has two 4.5-Inch Cast basket drivers coupled to two 4.5-Inch pressure-driven Planar low-frequency radiators. This allows the Percenter 1000 to deliver rich and warm audio while it carries the burden of 75% of the main dialogs and vocals of the audio. It will give you lifelike details and maximum tonal accuracy to coordinate with the other speakers of the home theater system. It also has one 1-inch pure aluminum dome tweeter which can produce good high-frequency sounds. The BDSS drivers will give you the highest definition of sound and allow you to have an immersive audio experience with this center channel speaker. The double surround system allows the speaker to balance internal turbulence and distortion within the speaker and give perfectly coordinated sound. The bass radiators also allow it to produce precise sounds and a smooth audio experience as they will give a rich bass sound and the mid-range sound. It has a double surround sound system and comes with two hooks to set it up easily with other devices. It also has holes for the wall mount apparatus and can be easily mounted on the wall to reach the recommended placement of the center channel speakers.
Design and style
This center channel speaker is very compact and portable. It is lightweight and compliments all kinds of interiors. It is sleek and minimalist but still gives a strong and clear sound. Its small size allows for flexible placement and the built-in stand also helps in the adjustment for the best sound level.
- It has an incredibly clear and precise sound and will give a detailed sound.
- Its compact size allows for more placement options.
- It has a built-in adjustable stand to tilt the speaker up or down.
- This center channel speaker is affordable.
- It is user friendly and has a high-quality finish.
- It has bass radiators for high-quality bass sounds.
- It starts at a very strong sound and needs to be played for about 48 hours to get the desired sound quality.
- It works well with movies but could have been better for music.
- The front side slips from the smooth surfaces and needs extra pads to hold it in place.
- Not best when it comes to lower frequencies.
Klipsch is known to make high-end speakers that are valued for money and are known for their smooth sound. This is one of those speakers that are most suitable for outdoor use and you can even take it out with you while traveling or set it up for garden parties and birthday celebrations. It has a powerful sound that will give you the best quality sound for TV, projecting screen, or just music for parties. It is available in black and cherry colors.
Klipsch R-25C has a detailed 1″ Aluminum linear travel suspension horn-loaded tweeter and dual 5.25″ Copper-spun high-output IMG woofers along with a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet. It has a 90×90 Tractrix horn that will give you a high-end response and better extension when paired with the aluminum tweeter and gives the clearest and most natural sounds. Its LTS tweeter minimizes sound distortion and gives a detailed audio experience. Its copper-spun injection-molded graphite woofers allow for the best low-frequency sounds and minimal cone breakup. These woofers are also wonderfully lightweight but rigid. Therefore, they allow for minimum sound disturbance and when paired with other features of the speaker, they give the highest efficiency in the audio. The horn and the tweeter help in balancing the frequencies so that the bass is not overpowering and the high or midrange frequencies are not too high. It also has dual 5-way binding posts for bi-wiring and bi-amping. The posts are sturdy and versatile and have high-quality terminals. It gives a great sound experience for movies as well as the music inside as well as outside the house. You will be able to build wonderful memories with this speaker as it gives great sound in all frequency ranges.
Design and style
It has a classic vintage look. The design is optimized to give the best sound performance and it blends well with the interiors of the house. It is also an ideal way to give the parties a boost with its strong sound and chic look. Its cerametallic woofers are covered with a removable grill and give the speaker a rustic look but the sound is of top-notch quality.
- It delivers high-quality audio and accurate sounds.
- It is very versatile and allows it to be paired with many different devices through its dual 5-way posts.
- It has an elegant look with a vintage vibe.
- It has a solid cabinet with a brushed black polymer veneer finish.
- It is affordable for an outdoor speaker.
- It gives powerful performance but uses less power in reality.
- The sound might get slightly distorted when played at extremely high volumes.
- It is not suitable for every room and it depends on the size of the room.
- It does not compliment the audio CD or DVD audio well.
Sony is one of the most well-known brands in the electronic market across the whole world. It is known for its quality and it is possible that all of us had at least one Sony electronic appliance growing up in the house. This Sony SSCS8 speaker also offers strong audio quality while you watch the movies or listen to your favorite music. It is affordable and its wood cabinet is quite classy as it goes well with all types of interiors. It is also very versatile and can easily be paired up with other speakers from different brands.
The tweeter of this center channel speaker is that of a Wide Dispersion and this super tweeter is designed to give the most natural-sounding vocals and you will feel the actors in the movie are standing and talking right in front of you! It is designed to have quick response and high-resolution audio with the widest directionality range available in the center channel speakers. It is also compatible with high-frequency audio. The CS Series has a one-of-its-kind foamed and dual-layer mica woofer cabinets to give the upper surface a smooth finish and the bottom layers low weight to give you the best bass response. Its crossovers are clean and precise due to its high-quality crossover networks which use selected components to minimize signal loss and give the perfect audio experience right in time and coordination with the tonality of the other speakers to match with the emotion of the movie or music. The natural bass of this speaker is tight yet powerful and has accurate timing to give you the right frequency at the right time. It will give you the right amount of bass that will astonish you.
Design and style
This center channel speaker is not too sleek but not too bulky either. It is just right for most rooms and goes well with wood or the TV unit of any material. It has a wooden cabinet not only for looks but also for the enhancement of reviews sound. Its bass also gets a boost with the material. It is also easily compatible with other speakers and you will only need to find the perfect place to fit it.
- This Sony Center channel speaker has various install positions, allowing you for more options while placement according to your convenience.
- It has a natural sound vibration due to its wood cabinet which enhances the sound.
- The build quality is of the highest quality and will last for a long time
- It has a good bass response and the speaker itself is quite pocket-friendly.
- Its amplification is a bit loud but you can manage it.
- It is not suitable for small rooms.
- Sometimes the voices of the actors might sound hollow and unnatural.
Cerwin-Vega has made a high-quality center channel speaker that will allow you to enjoy all the movies, series, and music at home. The Cerwin-Vega SL45C is the latest design by this brand made to give the perfect audio experience to its customers. It will certainly help you in giving your existing home theater a boost with its wonderful sound quality and rocking look.
The drivers are multiple and help in the enhanced clarity of the vocals. It also comes with extra 5 bidding posts to facilitate the installation of this center channel speaker. It has a tuned porting for the bass reflex and allows the speaker to give a punchy yet tight bass response. It has an 8-ohm impedance and is therefore compatible with most speakers, amplifiers, and receivers. This is a large and bulky speaker that will give you a powerful performance. It has a great sound range and supports all the Dolby and DTS sound formats. Its sound works well at high and low volumes alike. It can also play music through Airplay. If you wish, you can get the subwoofer or floor speaker from the same Cerwin-Vega series to coordinate the appearance of the speakers.
Design and style
The design of this center channel speaker is great. It has a removable grill and it also has a reinforced internal brace that adds to the strength of the speaker as well as minimizes the internal resonance noise that has the potential to ruin your audio experience. The black is not monotonous and boring in this speaker as once the grill is removed, you can get a punch of red with the rings around the speaker and add a touch of color to your center channel speaker. This is one of the few center channel speakers that will allow you to have a hint of color in your speaker. Otherwise, the price of the speaker also changes with the cabinet color.
- This speaker has a good dynamic sound with tight and punchy bass.
- Its bass is quite good and responsive.
- Its midrange is also commendable.
- It works well on both high and low volumes.
- It has an attractive design,
- It is easy to use and install.
- It has a solid center and gives a boomy sound
- It will take only 15 minutes to warm up and start giving its best performance.
- Its high-frequency response could have been better.
- Its high range is not as clear.
- It is too big and bulky for small TV units.
Yamaha is well known when it comes to audio-related devices. From speakers and home theatres to musical instruments, Yamaha has acquired expertise in sound and provides the best quality right on the budget. It started in 1887 with reed organs and now is a huge company whose name is known everywhere in the world for its audio/visual products, sports goods, musical instruments, and so on. This Yamaha NS-C210BL is a center channel speaker that is highly reliable and will give you the best quality sound.
The Yamaha center channel speaker is equipped with dual bass-reflex speakers and has center channel technology to provide you with a wide frequency range. It is therefore compatible not only with TVs or computers but also with DVD players and its woofers have an aluminum cone for good response audio. It has a ⅞ inch dome tweeter and comes with a two-year warranty. The sound quality is appreciable for its price and the sound is not only clear and crisp but also perfectly balanced with the other speakers. Its aluminum woofers help in getting a fast frequency response to give you the best and immersive audio experience. It costs less than $100 and therefore, it is a great choice if you urgently need a good but cheap center channel speaker. It even comes with a warranty and from a reputed brand so you will get good quality audio for a jaw-dropping price.
Design and style
This center channel speaker has a classy design with a non-removable black fabric grill. It is compact and will allow you greater placement options. It also has mounting holes to allow you to wall-mount the speaker. Also, it has a sleek look that allows it to compliment all types of interiors- from traditional to modern contemporary designs. Those who are on a space crunch will find this center channel speaker a great choice. The wooden cabinet also allows for natural resonance and minimizes any unnecessary internal noise within the center channel speaker.
- Speaker comes with a very good sound quality, especially in the midrange where the vocals are very clear.
- The speaker has a two-year warranty.
- It is lightweight and can be carried easily from one place to another.
- It has a sufficiently long speaker cable.
- It is slim and can be mounted on the wall as well. Therefore it allows for various placement options.
- It has a slightly thin sound and the high-frequency sounds are slightly brighter.
- The bass is not very impressive and could have been better.
- It is difficult to clean as the grill is not removable and is made of fabric.
Polk Audio is not a new name in this list as it makes its appearance for the third time but this time, Polk Audio brings us their most affordable center channel speaker with the Blackstone TL1 speaker. It has a time lens technology in its compact size and still gives a powerful bass and has a high gloss Blackstone finish. This center general speaker is very affordable, costing less than $100 and still gives high-quality audio, and is compatible with your existing home theater system.
The Polk Audio speakers always have great audio quality and the same is the case with the TL1 Blackstone. Its sound quality is good and blends well with the other speakers. It will give you great performance in this price range. The speaker may be tiny but the dual drivers and the twitter allow for a rich and warm sound with solid bass, mid and high-range sounds. It is full and clear but not boomy or incoherent. It has recessed speaker terminals so that you can easily hang it on the wall or push it against the wall without damaging the connections. It has an aperiodic-tuned rear port for bass extension and the new curved shape of the speaker called time lens technology by the developers at Polk audio is designed to align the centers of the tweeter and the mid-bass to reduce the distortion and give the right sound at the right time. It is easy to connect and use with the other speaker and you will get Polk’s audio quality at an unmatched price.
Design and style
The design of this center speaker is different from other speakers. It is so compact you can easily hold it in your hand but it will still give a powerful performance. It has a glossy back and a curved time lens technology figure to enhance its audio quality and minimize distortions. It will always stay classy and elegant and can be placed anywhere even in the tightest places under the TV, computer, or be mounted on a wall.
- This Polk Audio speaker is very affordable.
- It has a compact and slim design and is easy to carry from one place to another.
- It is easy to connect with other speakers and easy to use.
- It is quite durable and the style is very classy and elegant.
- It could have better sound quality but it is a small compromise for the price.
- It is not over the top but it works well enough in all the frequency ranges.
The center channel speakers work best when placed at the ear level so when you are choosing the center channel speaker for your home, try to see if the speaker matches the decor, the recommended placement, and your budget along with the tonality of the other speakers you have used in your home theater set up. If you have an acoustically transparent projection screen then you can also place it behind the screen otherwise you can go for wall-mounting or placing the center channel speaker on the TV unit itself.
You can also set up your home theater system without the center channel speaker by disabling the center speaker from the setup menu of the AV receiver but then your system will be known as 4.1 instead of the 5.1 system and might compromise on the sound. Yet some people prefer it that way and you can save space that way but to get the real best of the audio experience that is immersive and engaging, a center channel speaker is a must. It is important for the transition from one side speaker to another and the distance of the sounds, as well as the location of different vocals, is determined with the help of the center channel speaker only.
You can get a center channel speaker after paying attention to its sound, clarity, and design as well as its price and whether or not it will fit where you wish to install it and you will see a difference in your existing setup. For big gatherings or just a solo movie night, a center channel speaker can make a major difference. You just need to choose which one works for you from the list above and start getting the best audio experience for all your movies, series, and music.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I choose a center channel speaker?
Check the sound quality of the speakers and the brand cohesiveness. If you are getting a center channel speaker of a different brand then ensure that its tonality is compatible with your existing setup. Also, think of the size and dimensions of the center channel speaker and look for a three-way design if possible as it has a dedicated driver for each range and gives a better sound quality. It is more comfortable if it is lightweight and can fit in any area of the house perfectly. You can read some of the best center channel speaker reviews to make your choice.
What are recommended brands of speakers for home theaters?
We have already mentioned the best brands for center channel speakers in the list above. It is always important to keep in mind a few aspects like clarity, sound quality, bass, weight, compatibility, design, etc. Also, price matters a lot while buying the best speakers for home theaters. If you’re willing to spend a large amount of money, then you can choose an advanced system with almost all the best features. If you want the best high-end center channel speaker then go for Klipsch. Otherwise, there are various brands like Polk Audio, Yamaha, Sony and so on that can deliver high-quality audio as per your expectations.
What is the best center channel speaker?
There are various brands offering center channel speakers at different prices. Also, different center channel speakers have different features which are specifically designed to master any one or more of the features. One may be the best one in terms of clarity while some others may have the coolest design. Again some may be good in terms of sound but again some others may be lightweight but offer low-quality sound. Some of the higher-priced systems can have the best features altogether. All of them have different features and quality so you have to choose which one suits your needs and budget the best as a center channel speaker.
Can a soundbar be used as a center speaker?
Yes, the soundbar can be used as a center channel speaker if you connect it with your home theater system. You can connect it in either a single or three-channel format. Using a soundbar will enhance the audio experience by improving the audio quality.
You can use a soundbar along with your TV to get a better sound quality. It is completely a choice to use it as a center speaker or not but if used, one will never get disappointed. Instead, it will give a much better experience in the overall sound quality and also the system by blending with it perfectly.
How big should my center channel speaker be?
It relies on the size of your room and the power of your existing home theater system. You must ensure before buying that the center channel speaker that you are buying perfectly fits the place where you are wishing to place it. Also, make sure it is compatible with other speakers so that you don’t have to buy other compatible speakers or change whatever you’ve already bought. And lastly, ensure that you have enough space to install it. Even small speakers have great quality sound, so it is a matter of personal choice to buy according to budget, size, quality, and other preferences.
Should the center channel speaker be louder in front?
A direct answer to the above question is a big ‘No’. The center channel speaker is designed specifically to handle most of the major sounds. But that is not the only function it has to perform. Along with handling major sounds, it has to be in sync with all the other speakers. It should be a balanced system overall by having a volume that is neither too overpowering nor too submissive when used with other speakers. The sound should completely blend with the overall system and not cause any unpleasant sound. Therefore, even the front channel speaker should be according to the rest of the speakers.