Home Theatre Speakers

by Darren Springthorpe

A Home Theatre System or surround sound system consists of a few essential parts.  Here we explore how to put them together and create a well-matched home theatre system while navigating the various options of setup and brand

Key ingredients to a great system

A great home theatre system is designed to tantalise the senses, both visually and audibly. In order to get the best audio experience, there are a few key components you should consider.

How do I choose the right quantity, type and position of speakers?

Speaker choice is very much dependant on the role it plays in the system. Great home theatre systems are made up of the following:

    • Centre channel speakers sits below or above your image (TV or projection screen). Some projection screens are acoustically transparent meaning they can have the speakers placed behind them too. This is the case in most commercial cinemas.
    • Front left and right speakers flank the Image: In wall, On wall, Bookshelf or Floor-standing speakers are the available choices.
    • Two or four surround speakers, which go behind and/or beside the audience/seating position. (Usually determined by the number of rows of seating size of the room).  The use of In wall, On wall, bookshelf speakers, or a specialised speaker such as Bi-Pole or Di-Pole that steer sound in different directions.
    • One or more powered subwoofers, (depending on room size)
    • Overhead sound effects speakers  with Dolby Atmos® processing, include in-ceiling or upward-firing
    • ceiling reflective speakers.
    • Below are indicative locations to consider when laying out your speaker system design

How do I select the right processing and amplifier?

Once your speaker choices have been determined, you need to match them with the amplification and processing required. These come in a few forms but should be considered carefully

    • A home theatre receiver selected based on the amount of speakers and surround sound configuration desired.
    • Separate Processor and Power amplifiers to power your speakers. This allows you to mix the type of amplifier you like with a required surround processor.
    • Processor and Active Speakers. This is done if the speakers you select have built in amplifiers already and you just need to switch and process the audio from your media player.
    • Integrated wireless Speakers. These are systems that have the amplifier and processor built into them. If you chose to have a Sonos theatre system, you would not have the seperate processor and amplifiers as they are integrated into the Sonos system.

Keep it simple

Space, action, thriller movies or anything with a great soundscape and I’m hooked — especially when I can take it all in on my home theatre system. Watching a movie with a balanced Home Theatre Speaker system or surround sound puts the audience right in the thick of the action, outer space, or suspense.  When home theatre speaker surround sound is done right, it is transformational!

How do you match speakers to your room?

As you design your surround system, the first thing to consider is the room itself, from the room acoustic to room size.

Hard Room

Does your room have little to no sound absorption?  Generally these have hard surface floors, walls and ceilings, large areas of continuous flat surfaces that reflect sound around the “hard room.”

Soft Room

Another room type, acts very differently to that of the hard room, the Soft room type as a rule, incorporates thick heavy underlay and carpeted floors, heavy soft fabric drapes, large soft furnishings, and often described as quiet rooms.

Open Plan

The third room type is a room with extended multi-purpose spaces, open-plan areas include kitchens, dining, and living areas within one large open space, along with open corridors and large expansive areas of ceiling.  However, the seating/listening area may only be a small portion of the overall room size the sound “sees” the actual room, not the seating/listening area.  These rooms present a number of challenges and are often the most challenging room types to achieve a high quality balanced sound.

The second consideration in the choice of speaker is the individual voice of the speaker. Each speaker has a different sound. This is an important thing to understand and take into consideration in the design.

In basic terms, the voice of speaker can fall into one of three categories,


Bright, dry, lean, hard, thin, harsh, sibilant, edgy, shrill, strident, steely, are variations on a theme.


Airy, accurate, ambient, articulate, balanced, controlled, defined, are variations on a theme.


Dark, wet, bloated, coloured, mellow, laid back, body, muffled, hollow, blanketed, are variations on a theme.

The above-mentioned themes may appear to be problematic but can actually be an advantage when matched with the room. It is how we design for the particular acoustic environment. When combined with correct calibration techniques, the correct speaker voice can produce sound to make your home theatre environment sing.

The results prove that speaker performance has everything to do with how you invest during the design stage rather than how much you spend.  The team at InSight Systems know the different voice of Home theatre speakers and surround sound systems intimately, which is then able to be conveyed to you in easily to understand language.

Start your entertainment journey now. Give us a call on 1300 369 451 or email us at sales@insightsystems.com.au and one of our team will happily help you through the process.
Media Players in Home Theatre Systems


Designing your Home Theatre can be complex. To help, we have tackled some of the common questions we are asked.

What is a Home Entertainment System?

Whether a dedicated cinema system designed to fully immerse you in a Hollywood motion picture or a living room system designed to help you enjoy your favourite Netflix series, choosing the correct technology has never been easier.  Click here for more information

How do I choose the right big screen?

The centre of any Home Theatre System is the Big Screen. The big question is which is the best TV or Projector Technology for me?   Click here for more information

Do I need a control system?

Learn about what to consider when choosing a control system and how to get the most out of the products you already have.  Click here for more information

How do I stream media to my Big Screen?

Do you want to stream content and connect media players to your big screen and don’t know how? We break down what you need to consider before making a purchase or signing up to the latest streaming platform. Click here for more information

Do room acoustics make a difference?

Home Theatre Room Acoustics are often underplayed but can make or break your experience.  Click here for more information

Contact Us Today

Ready to start your home entertainment journey? Give us a call on 1300 369 451 or email us at sales@insightsystems.com.au  Alternatively, please fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you soon.

You can also find out more about InSight Systems by visiting our website.

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