Ask any layman, a 'zilch-tech', the definition of a speaker, chances are they would immediately conjure an image of pitiful pocket-sized Bluetooth speakers, or the familiar monstrosities they find in rock concerts. While that thought may not seem far from reality, it does fail to highlight the sheer variations of speakers out there, the 'in-betweens.' The fact that there are speakers available in the market that can cost more than a car may seem surprising to the ill-informed, but a real aficionado knows that that's just a small price to pay for sonic bliss.
When buying speakers, give some thought to it, as opposed to an impulse-purchase, it can prove to be a well-made investment in the near future. Assuming you manage to land your hands on a good pair of speakers, and they are taken care of properly, they can last longer than most cars. And only when you get a decent pair will you appreciate what you had missed till then.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
First of all, consider your connectivity preferences. If you are one of those people who hate pesky wires and love all things wireless, Bluetooth speakers are the way to go. The best thing about them is that they now come in various sizes to choose from. Do keep in mind though that no wireless solution would ever provide the same pristine quality you would get from wired speakers.
SCOUTING THE MARKET
The local market is mostly flooded with speakers meant to be used with personal computers, which usually consist of two or more small 'satellites', coupled with a big subwoofer. Sure, some of them are actually quite nice, but they can never hold a candle to a proper bookshelf or floor standing passive speaker and amplifier combo. This particular combination is quite pricey and can be difficult to locate.
Another probable option for Hi-Fi enthusiasts is active bookshelf or floor standing speakers, which have their amps built in, making a separate amp unnecessary. If coupled with a separate subwoofer, their performance and sound quality can truly be unbelievable.
When shopping for speakers, make sure to get speakers with wood cabinets as they always provide the best sound.
IDENTIFYING THE NEED
If the primary use for your upcoming purchase is to turn the room into a theatre for movies and intensive gaming, a multichannel speaker system is highly suggested. This will be a good investment in the long run, as the immersion it would offer in these situations will be unparalleled. If, on the other hand, your preference is on music alone, a stereo or two speaker system would be a much wiser move because a stereo setup is the best choice for music.
Even if you were to spend thousands and thousands more on choice equipment, it would all be money down the drain if your audio source is rubbish. Playing low quality mp3 songs ripped from YouTube through a poor quality player or sound card is an absolute no-no as no speaker, irrespective of its quality and price, can salvage the damage. If you want crisp sound, playing high quality 'lossless' files with a good sound source is the way to go.
A speaker of a decent quality can cost anything between Tk 10,000 and Tk 60,000. There are some hidden gems out there, which sound better than their pricing would lead you to believe, but more on that later.
Do not be fooled with Watt ratings. A bigger speaker driver is generally better than something small boasting 300-400 plus Watts. A bigger driver translates to 'more' of the sound rather than just the volume of it- something no small driver will ever be able to deliver.
CONSIDER YOUR ROOM
Depending on the furniture in your room, you can even choose speakers that will actually accentuate the décor, along with providing good sound. Go minimalist with gadgets that can blend in inconspicuously or go classic with large floor standing speakers draped in a rosewood finish. You could go further by gluing the wires to the wall in an artistic way.
MAKING THE RIGHT TOUCH-UPS
You can also consider investing in things like thicker, better cables that allow better signal transmissions, and speaker spikes to keep the speakers off the floor, leading to less sound travelling to your neighbours downstairs. A lifesaver for those living in apartments!
LS SUGGESTS -
For games and movies
F&D F3800X 5.1 (Tk 8,000)
F&D F6000U 5.1 (Tk 11,000)
Microlab FC-861 5.1 (Tk 11,200)
Sony DAV-TZ140 5.1 (Tk 13,000)
Logitech Z906 5.1 (Tk 34,000)
Sony BDV-N9200W 5.1 (Tk 62,500)
F&D T-400X (Tk 12,500)
Edifier R2700 (Tk 40,000)
F&D T60X (Tk 12,500)
Microlab Solo 9C (Tk 17,500)
Corsair SP 2500 (Tk 27,000)
For the average
Microlab M-200 Bluetooth NFC Speaker (Tk 5,000)
Microlab M-600 (Tk 3,650)
Microlab FC 530 (Tk 6,300)
All of these speakers can be found in BCS Computer City and the electronics section of Multiplan Centre. If you are looking for some rare bookshelf speakers, browse through the Stadium Market.
By Intisab Shahriyar
Disclaimer: Prices may vary depending on market changes.