Small Speakers = Small Sound

We have a love hate relationship with Bose. On the positive, they have helped to guide the charge on the “home theater” and encourage people to spend a little bit extra for speakers. On the negative, they developed a line of speakers that are mostly far over promised and gimmicky. One of their most popular is their small Jewel speakers. Which brings us to this fact:

Small Speakers = Small or Poor Sound

That’s all there is to it. There’s no magic to it. The reality is there is no way to fool physics and physics tells us that larger objects produce lower sounds. But this doesn’t change the fascination with people and small speakers.

Thankfully there is a solution. The solution is to combine larger speakers with smaller speakers or a subwoofer with smaller speakers. This is Bose’s model and for the most part it works. Except they have taken the size of their speakers a little too far. The result is it’s very hard to hear people speaking. If you’ve ever had a surround sound system that was hard to hear the vocals, it was probably a Bose.

The best approach is to use speakers that are slightly larger and have a lower crossover. The crossover is the frequency that the smaller speakers stop playing and let the bigger speakers or subwoofer take over. On the flip side, it is the highest frequency that the subwoofer will play up to. Typically, most subwoofers hit their prime between 25 and 80 hertz. Ideally therefore, you’d like to find speakers that play from 80 hertz up to your highest frequency, 20,000 hertz. With that you cover the entire frequency band and make sure that you don’t miss any of the action.

This is the formula that we apply and why our systems are so much more pleasing to the ear. The result is audio that allows you to actually hear what is being said.

Going back to Bose. Their Jewel speakers bottom out at 280hz and their sub kicks in at 100hz. The result is 180hz of completely lost frequency response between 100hz and 280hz. The worst part is that it’s in these frequencies that most male voices fall into. The result is audio that is very hard to discern what is being said.

If you’re struggling to hear the words on your TV or surround sound system, give us a call. You’ll be surprised to hear just how much you’ve been missing by not having a professionally designed system.