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New Loudspeaker Technology

New Developments Allow for Music Everywhere in the Home

Anyone who has seriously shopped for a stereo system knows that the speakers are the most important component. The general rule of thumb is that you are supposed to spend half of your budget on speakers and the other half on all of the other components such as a receiver and CD player, etc. That’s because speakers have the most audible differences between brands and models. Sure, you can hear the differences between brands of receivers, but it’s hard. Speakers, on the other hand, have very clear-cut differences in sound. Some speakers have big, open, dynamic output that sounds like a live concert. Others deliver clean, accurate sounds akin to studio monitors. It really comes down to personal preference, and that is why you must take some time and listen.

Bring your own CDs-and make sure that you have a variety: acoustic music, electric music, and vocals. A good female vocal CD can really test a speaker’s midrange reproduction, which is often a problem for some inferior models. Listen if there is a seamless transition between the singer’s lower and upper ranges. A good pair of speakers can handle a constant frequency sweep without dropout. Also check out the bass response. Bring music with serious low bass content. Many speakers can deliver good mid-bass, such as 100 Hz and above. Great speakers can also give some punch to the really low notes. Many music fans will opt to supplement their system with a powered subwoofer for really deep bass. And now powered subwoofers can come built in to the main speakers. Finally, bring some violin concertos to see how the speakers handle really high-frequency reproduction. Highs should be smooth. Beware of shrill and metallic high frequencies, which are a telltale sign of an inferior loudspeaker.

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