Power and Frequency
The more powerful your device is, the higher volume it can reach without loss of quality. Most have a power rating, but it can be tricky to ascertain what kind will work best in a particular room based purely on this metric. As a ballpark guide for those who want a really decent speaker, aim for 25W and above and consider using an amplifier to improve the quality of the sound.
By contrast, frequency refers to sound range. Quality speakers will produce sound in the range of 20-20,000 Hz – the same range as the human ear.
An option with wireless or Bluetooth connectivity can be a great option for those who enjoy listening to music and using music streaming services. Wireless-speakers can be connected with your devices – laptop, smartphone, tablet – and play seamless music at a much higher quality than you will be able to achieve with built-in device speakers. Being wireless, your device doesn’t have to be physically tethered to the speaker, so you’re free to carry it around as usual.
Speaker-docks are a speaker designed to work with a smartphone or MP3 player. You can simply mount your device onto the dock and it will amplify the sound through the speakers. If you buy a speaker-dock you must make sure it’s compatible with the specific device that you have, as they are not all the same.
Where you decide to place your speaker can impact the sound quality that you get. Variables such as room size and hard/soft furnishings will affect the acoustics, so this should be something that you think about before making your purchase.
If you have a small room, go for smaller models with minimal bass. If the room is large, consider bigger speakers and perhaps a sound-bar to maximise surround sound.
Bear in mind that soft furnishings will absorb sound, whereas hard furnishings disperse it and bounce it around. A room with lots of soft furnishings therefore needs more powerful speakers than one with a lot of hard furniture made from wood or metal.
How you plan on using your speakers will impact which type is the best option for you. Before buying, think about what you are going to use the speaker for, and plan accordingly.
For those who simply want to listen to music with a better quality of sound, then one or two will likely be perfectly adequate. For extra oomph, an additional subwoofer may also be worth considering. If you want the full surround sound experience, then aim for a complete set including speakers, subwoofer and additional sound-bar.
What sort of speakers are you looking for and what experience do you want from them? Let us know your views in the comments below.