A center channel speaker plays a crucial role in enhancing your movie or TV viewing and gaming experience. You can pair central channel speakers with a variety of stereo speakers and home theater systems for a spectacular surround sound experience. The best center channel speakers, as their name suggests, form the core of the surround sound system.
All topnotch brands of center channel speaker reproduce high quality, stereophonic surround sound. Any quality surround sound speaker reproduces movie dialogues with crystal clear clarity and enables you to enjoy the musical notes. You can effortlessly slide a central channel speaker inside the TV cabinet owing to its small size.
At the same time, you can place them at the backside of your large screen LED TV or movie projector set up. The best thing about having center channel speakers is that they help balance the blaring noise emanating from traditional speakers.
How To Choose The Best Center Channel Speakers
Configuration matters most
Regardless of whether you have a 2.1 or 6.1 channel speaker system, you’d want to enjoy the optimum output. Make sure that the product you’re going to buy can be configured with your audio or home theater system.
The configuration of a center channel speaker lets you know the number of tweeters on the speaker, whether the product includes a subwoofer. If you wish to connect the center channel speaker with a home theater system, then ensure that its resistance rating ranges between 6-8 ohms.
You’ll come across center channel speakers with a wide range of power rating. The stereophonic or home theater system you have will determine the power rating of the center channel speaker. The power rating of central channel speakers is evaluated in decibels and ohms.
Do you want to buy a center channel speaker exclusively for viewing movies or listening to your favorite audio tracks? Or do you wish to opt for a versatile product that offers across-the-board applications? Though the majority of the popular brands let you use the products for listening to music or playing video games, you’ll also find center channel speakers designed for exclusive usage.
The number of channel speakers you’ll need will depend upon the total available space in your drawing room. The rule of thumb is to choose a small center channel speaker if you’re buying small channel speakers and vice-versa.
The crossover factor
The crossover coverage system integrated with the center channel speaker plays a key role in the quality of audio reproduction. Improper setup and implementation of crossover coverage will inevitably lead to poor quality of sound output. Always go for a three-way center channel speaker for making the most of the crossover.
A three-way audio speaker reflects sound waves from three distinct units, namely the tweeter drivers, woofer, and mid-range speaker.
Seating arrangement and room size
The quality of audio waves reaching your ears depends upon the positioning angle of the speakers. The intersection of sound waves creates an audio logging effect that affects sound quality. The wider or greater the hearing angle, the better will be the output quality.
Bi-wire speaker functionality
Only the high-end center channel speakers come equipped with bi-wire connectivity feature. Bi-wired speakers have a dual set of connectors at their backside with one set linking up high-frequency drivers, and the other connecting low-frequency drivers. Your ears pick up the best quality of sound when the tweeters and the woofer are powered through separate wires or cables.
Top 10 Best Channel Speakers in 2020 Reviews
1. Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker
If you’re looking for good reasons to choose the Sony SSCS8 to pair with your stereophonic audio system, you’ll find many. For a start, the 2-way center channel speaker has a 4-inch foamed mica cellular reinforced woofer that reproduces incredible sound. The 1” polyester central tweeter has 6-ohm impedance rating implying minimal distortion.
One hundred forty-five watts of power makes for optimum crossover consistency which means you get to hear the best quality of audio from your favorite tracks. The brand new ‘wide dispersion super tweeter’ reproduces natural vocals. The pioneering design of the main tweeter enables it to project high-frequency audio (up to 50 kHz).
The Core Series speaker makes the most of dual-layer foamed mica woofer diaphragms for delivering soothing sound and stimulating a bass response.
- 3-speaker, 2-way bass-reflex mechanism
- 4-inch foamed (dual-layer) mica fortified woofer for exceptional bass response
- 145W of input power goes a long way in facilitating optimal crossover consistency
- Wide dispersion super tweeter work towards focusing the vocals at you, resulting in a 3D (surround sound) hearing experience
- Slim-fit and compact design lets you slide the unit beneath the TV
- Ultra-wide frequency response: 55Hz-25 kHz
- Can be paired with a small home theater system as well as used as a standalone bookshelf speaker
- Cannot be paired with home theater systems having multi-channel speakers as it is a 2-way center channel speaker
- Does not perfectly reflect the mid and low ranges
2. Polk Audio CS 10 Center Channel Speaker
The Polk Audio CS 10, despite being smaller than its big brother CS20, packs in quite a punch. This center channel speaker from Polk uses a frequency response range of 53Hz-25Hz and 20-120w of power. So, you get to listen to music and dialogues belted out at 91dB.
The angular profile of the speaker means you can place it inside the TV cabinet in an inverted position. The cabinet, constructed from MDF (medium density fireboard) not only makes this center channel speaker durable but also makes it performance-driven.
The CS 10 center channel speaker appears elegant and takes up minimal storage space, thanks to the detachable black grille, black top plate, and pewter accents.
- Non-reverberant MDF framework makes for excellent audio reproduction
- The MDF construction imparts an extensive shelf life to the center channel speaker
- Dynamic balance dome speaker made from a composite of polymer and fabric for high quality sound reflection
- Neodymium magnets outfitted on tweeter deploys crisp and clear audio
- Lightweight, balanced tweeters with excellent damping deliver top quality bass with minimal distortion
- Five-way post connecters ensure a firm and secure installation
- Companionable with a variety of AV devices reflecting HD sound
- The slim design of the speaker means the unit takes up minimal storage space
- Suitable exclusively for setting up with home theater systems that have separate components units (as opposed to small-sized channel speakers)
- The issue of crossover coverage crops up when installing in a small room
- Certainly not a lightweight center channel speaker
3. Micca MB4 2X-C Center Channel Speaker
If you wish to enjoy supreme quality music and the latest crime thrillers in the comfort of your home, then don’t look beyond the MB4 2X-C Central Channel Speaker from Micca. The pocket-friendly MB4 2X-C has a compact body allowing you to place it comfortably below your flat-panel TV. The stylish design gels easily gel with the décor of your drawing room.
This Micca center channel speaker has been designed for use with a state-of-the-art home theater system. The silk-dome tweeter and driver units coordinate perfectly for delivering the full spectrum of bass, treble, mid-ranges, highs, and lows. Two balanced carbon-fiber woofers minimize low midrange distortion, thereby enabling you to hear movie dialogues and music with crystal-clear clarity.
- Niche enclosure facilitates reproduction of bass notes with minimal distortion
- Excellent frequency range: 60Hz-20kHz
- 86dB sensitivity rating means you can hear the same quality of audio anywhere in the room
- Carbon fiber construction of woofer helps promote resonant bass
- The simple yet graceful profile typified by fabric grille, smoothed bevels, and curved edges match any décor
- The innovative design facilitates critical crossover coverage
- Five-way binding posts allow for across-the-board wire connectivity alternatives
- The lightweight cabinet tends to throb at high volumes
- You’ll need to use an EQ for correcting the dips in the 128Hz-800Hz range
- You’ll also have to buy a subwoofer for getting the most out of this center channel speaker
4. Cerwin-Vega SL-45C Quad 5 1/4″ Center Channel Speaker
For optimizing the use of your home theater system, the Cerwin-Vega SL-45C Quad Center Channel Speaker is your best bet. The updated design of the SL-45C with quad woofer driver configuration delivers amazing midrange clarity. You bet you’ll be able to listen to every dialogue in a movie and every word of a song.
The Cerwin Vega SL-45C has an incredible aesthetic appeal. The center channel speaker’s compacted design lets you position the unit comfortably inside your TV cabinet. It has eight SL series models.
- Equipped with Cerwin Vega’s signature soft dome quad woofer driver
- Quad 5-1/4 speaker drivers deliver crisp and clear vocals
- Bass ports on the speaker’s backside allow for separate connectivity of channel speakers
- Wide frequency response range: 55Hz-26Hz
- Sophisticated design with detachable grille
- 89dB sensitivity implies your eardrums pick the full range of audio notes
- Can be conveniently paired with major brands of home theater systems
- Facilitates customized audio set up
- The sizeable center channel speaker needs sufficient space for positioning it
- The AV cabinet shelf shows signs of sagging after some time
5. Klipsch RP-25C Center Channel Speaker
The Klipsch RP-25C center channel speaker perfectly epitomizes the passions of the company founder, Paul W. Klipsch, an eccentric genius. Paul always wanted that his products should deliver the best possible home audio experience. The R-25C comes with the patented 90 X 90 Tractrix Horn Technology that collaborates with the aluminum tweeter for reproducing topnotch audio.
The tweeter exploits improved imaging and potent dynamics for producing realistic audio. The LTS tweeter helps minimize distortion resulting in high-decibel performance. The copper-threaded injection molded graphite (IMG) woofer deploys very low-frequency response with reduced distortion and cone breakup.
The dual 5-way binding post connectors facilitate bi-amping and bi-wiring. Put, this feature allows you to make the most of the channel speakers of your home theater system.
- Elaborate 1” aluminum Linear Travel Suspension horned tweeter for perfect sound reproduction
- Dual 5.25-inch powerful IMG woofers for a mesmerizing audio experience
- Black polymerized cabinet frame enhances the center channel speaker’s appeal
- Dual 5-way binding post connectors helps in bi-amping and bi-wiring
- Comes with 90 x 90 Tractrix Horn for enhanced frequency response
- Cermetallic and copper spun woofers remain in service for years on end
- The removable grille that remains tethered to powerful magnets
- Weighing about 21 pounds, this center channel speaker tends to be quite heavy
- Your AV cabinet should be spacious for housing the central channel speaker
- You’ll also need to have a large room for enjoying the audio effects of the speakers
6. Yamaha NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker
If you’re looking for a multipurpose center channel speaker, then go for the Yamaha NS-C21. The innovative design of the NS-C210BL lets you pair the center channel speaker with sophisticated home theater systems and simple stereophonic speakers. You’ll have an unparalleled experience viewing motion pictures or enjoying numbers of your choice vocalists.
The receptive dome tweeters together with the superior aluminum woofers facilitate the production of premium audio from HD sound equipment. The NS-C210 has the capability of reproducing the entire audio spectrum, including booming basses, uplifting trebles, meds, highs, and lows. The elegance of the NS-C210 BL implies that the center channel speaker can sync with the décor of your home.
- Across-the-board compatibility: Can be paired with several HD devices including Blu-Ray DVD and home theater system
- Aluminum cone diaphragm of woofers facilitates uber-fast response thereby optimizing supreme quality audio reproduction
- 2-way bass-receptive center channel speaker
- Balanced dome tweeter
- Intelligent design allows full reproduction of HD sound from a wide range of audio sources
- The sophisticated finishing (black and three other color choices) syncs with a variety of decors
- The slim and compact design corresponds with the profile of LCD and LED TVs
- You will have to buy a separate subwoofer for listening to audio frequencies under 100z
- Not suitable for setting up in a large room
- Poor reproduction of low bass notes
7. JBL Studio 235C Dual 6.5 Inch 2-Way Center Channel Loudspeaker
Don’t look any further than the Studio 235C Central Channel Loudspeaker for an unprecedented gaming or movie viewing experience. Grouped under the 10-piece JBL Studio 2 Loudspeaker Series, the 235C center channel speaker delivers acoustics that audiophiles crave for. The dual 6.5” PolyPlas drivers crispy bass and resonating vocals that fill every nook and cranny of the listening area.
- CMMD Lite high-frequency driver belts out topnotch surround sound acoustics
- The dual PolyPlas 6.5” drivers deploy unparalleled midrange power and accuracy
- HDI waveguide generates an all-encompassing soundstage typified by pinpoint imaging
- The digital-age design accentuates the décor of the surroundings where the center channel speaker is installed
- The sleek design of the cabinetry contributes towards the high-profile performance of the center channel speaker
- This center channel speaker exploits advancements made in sound research by JBL Labs for reflecting pure cinematic and stereophonic sound
- At 31 lbs, the JBL Studio 235C center channel speaker is quite heavy
- As it’s a 2-way speaker, it may not be suitable for a high-end home theater system
8. Polk Audio Signature S35 Center Channel Speaker (6 Drivers)
The S35 American Signature Hi-Fi Home Theater Slim Center Speaker symbolizes the high quality that Polk Audio Signature Series Speakers stand for. With the Polk Audio Signature S35, you experience surround sound audio and cinematic acoustics right in your drawing room. The interplay of a suite of versatile features including precise crossovers, and ‘Dynamic Balance’ facilitated the acoustic arrangement, lets you fully enjoy TV programs, music, and movies.
The anti-diffraction magnetic framework and singular Power Port bass boosting technology enable power-packed performance. Threshold support of 40 kHz makes possible the reproduction of state-of-the-art high-resolution audio formats.
- Arresting and eye-catching profile perfectly gels with the interiors of any listening environment
- The uber-slim, 4-inch tall center speaker has built-in terylene tweeter dome and six tweeters for balanced acoustic reproduction
- Polk’s signature power port technology offers profound bass response with minimal distortion, thanks to the turbulence-blunting diffuser
- The speaker is compatible with 2.0, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 7.1, and 9.1 home theater systems
- The compact profile of the center channel speaker means it can go into nooks and crannies easily
- The design of the speaker has been inspired by top-of-the-line acoustic guitars exemplified by the detailing and smoothed edges
- This center-channel speaker tends to be bulky and heavy
- You’ll need to install the speaker in a spacious room if you want to get the most out of it
9. JBL Arena 125C 2-Way Dual 5.5-Inch Center Channel Loudspeaker
The JBL Arena 125C 2-Way Dual 5.5-Inch Center Channel Loudspeaker perfectly blends good looks with functionality. The speaker can also be easily paired with the audio system of a large number of vehicles. The HDI (high definition imaging) waveguide technology together with the twin poly cellulose woofers delivers top-class audio.
- Modern-day cabinet design imparts a sleek and sophisticated look to the center channel speaker
- 1-inch soft dome tweeter reproduces powerful, clean, and crisp highs
- HDI waveguide technology in consonance with the dual polycellulose speakers enables the delivery of HD sound
- The dual woofers and the rear-firing optimized ports of the 2-way center channel speaker work together to reflect realistic surround sound
- The crossover coverage is below par as the JBL Arena 125C is a 2-way center channel speaker
- With dimensions of 10.4” X 24.5”x 6.3”, 125C is a tad lengthy: Positioning the speaker inside a TV cabinet could be an issue
10. Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Home Audio Center Channel Speaker
The Andrew Jones designed SP-C22 Center Channel Speaker resonates 50% of the dialogues and the soundtrack of movies. The dual woofers embedded inside the cabinet play a key role in boosting vocal performance.
The perfect curvature of the cabinet with a firm cabinet wall alleviates static sound waves, leading to superlative performance — the sleek and robust cabinet grilles accord thorough protection to the drivers. The SP-C22 makes optimal use of 6-element, premium quality crossove.
- Designed by world-famous engineer Andrew Jones: high-quality, 3D surround sound
- 1-inch soft dome tweeter and dual 4-inch woofers come together for delivering the best quality of audio
- Built-in 6-element versatile crossover
- Bi-wired center channel speaker
- Magnetic shielding
- Curved cabinetry facilitates the reduction of standing waves
- The broad profile of the center channel speaker means the same cannot be placed atop a bookshelf or inside the TV cabinet
After reviewing the above products, it becomes evident that you will have to consider all important factors before making a purchase. Cost is certainly one of those, but quality should also be one of the main criteria.
If you are searching for a high-end channel speaker, the best option among the above list is JBL Arena 125C 2-Way. However, if you are searching for an affordable speaker that meets almost all the required parameters, then Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker and Klipsch RP-25C Center Channel Speaker can be a good choice.