No surround sound speaker system would be complete without a reliable center channel speaker. These speakers are tasked with reproducing the dialogue in movies and the lyrics in the music being played. As far as watching movies, center channel speakers are also responsible for the music and sound effects you hear in a movie, which means that almost half the sounds you hear in a newer production will be played via the center channel speaker.
It is for this reason that you want to enrich your home cinema with the best center channel speaker, the type you can rely on to deliver nothing but the very best at all times. To do that, you want to first find out what the market has to offer. In order to give you a better idea of what’s out there, we put together a list of the ten best center channel speakers money can buy right now.
Also read: 10 Best In-Wall Speakers of 2020
Best Center Channel Speaker Reviews
#10 Polk S35 Classic Brown Walnut Slim Center Speaker
The S35 Classic Brown Walnut Slim Center Speaker from Polk is designed to enhance your movie watching and audio listening experience with the new acoustic array that comes with this premium quality speaker. Thanks to its 1-inch Terylene tweeter, it produces a high-frequency response that delivers the latest high-resolution audio files.
Equipped with 6 mica-reinforced polypropylene cones of 3 inches each, it produces clean, rich bass sounds with an enhanced midrange. Crafted with a slim, sleek design with a tall cabinet, this speaker can fit into small compact spaces with relative ease.
#9 Dayton Audio C452 Center Channel Speaker
Featuring two 4.5-inch poly cone woofers, the Dayton Audio C452 Center Channel Speaker produces enhanced bass response with low-end audio. Thanks to its 5/8th-inch polycarbonate tweeter, this speaker creates crystal clear crisp audio dialogues for TV and movies.
The speaker comes designed with a stylish MDF outer cabinet with a classy black textured finish along with a transparent black cloth grill that can be detached. Equipped with keyhole brackets and rubberized feet, this center channel speaker can either be mounted on the wall or placed on any shelf, cabinet or TV stand.
#8 ELAC Uni-fi UC5 Center Speaker
Featuring a premium quality black cabinet, the ELAC Uni-fi UC5 Center Speaker is designed to accentuate any room in your household. Including a 3-way design and construction, this center channel speaker comes equipped with a sophisticated crossover and a premium grade aluminum woofer.
With a frequency response ranging between 48 to 25,000 kHz, this speaker produces crystal clear, rich, audio sounds with crisp dialogues for TV and movies. Sturdy, compact in size and portable, this speaker comes with a heavy-duty base with reliable feet and can be placed on any surface or cabinet.
#7 Klipsch KC-25 Icon Center Speaker
Known for its power-packed performance, durability, and quality, the Klipsch KC-25 Icon Center Speaker features a versatile design that produces high-end output quality while preserving energy.
Designed and crafted with the exceptional ability to fill rooms with crystal clear, lifelike sound quality, this speaker delivers loud audio output with low distortion. Including 2, 5.25 inch powerful woofers, it comes with a 1-inch aluminum tweeter and boasts a modern, stylish design that will accentuate the elegance of any room.
#6 Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker
The Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker is a high-end audio system that includes a 3-speaker bass reflex feature. Equipped with an enhanced crossover componentry, this speaker produces clear, high quality sounds with exceptional bass response. With 145W of input power, it comes with a frequency response of 55 Hz to 25 kHz approximately.
The speaker also includes a heavy duty Foamed-Mica Cellular Reinforced Woofer that is 4 inches in size, along with a 1-inch main tweeter. Unlike others, this speaker comes equipped with the latest Wide Dispersion Super Tweeter that produces natural sounding vocals that will automatically enhance your listening and watching experience.
#5 Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker
The Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker is a single, premium grade product that is designed to deliver superior sound quality at a budget-friendly price.
Seen as one of the best-shielded center channels today, this speaker comes equipped with BDSS drivers, mid/bass, low-frequency radiators and a single aluminum dome tweeter that produces exceptional, crystal clear home theater sounds.
Enriched with a classic glossy black finish, this speaker is ultra-sleek and stylish and will accentuate any room it is placed in.
#4 Yamaha NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker
The Yamaha NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker is a powerful, premium quality device crafted to enhance the quality and dynamics of HD sounds. Designed and constructed with top-notch materials, the speaker features a sleek design that matches all flat-screen televisions.
Equipped with a 2-way bass reflex, it comes with a lightweight, stiff aluminum woofer cone that produces an ultra-fast response to each sound. Featuring a 7/8th-inch dome tweeter, these heavy-duty speakers deliver clean crisp sound quality with exceptional bass response.
#3 Klipsch R-25C Center Channel Speaker
Built with a brushed black, sturdy polymer veneer outer casing, the Klipsch R-25C Center Channel Speaker is a stylish gadget that will enhance the capabilities of any sound system while boosting the general aesthetics to an impressive standard.
Delivering crystal clear sound quality that is powerful and similar to life-like performances, this speaker comes with a two copper spun, high output IMG woofers that measure approximately 5.25 inches each.
Ideal for your living room space, this center channel speaker produces crisp movie dialogues with accurate imaging, leaving you with the best surround sound experience.
#2 Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker
The Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker is magnetically shielded and designed to produce high-definition, crystal clear sounds. Featuring 2 woofers measuring 4 inches each, it comes with a 1-inch soft dome tweeter and a 6 element inbuilt crossover.
Attractively designed, it comes in a full-size black cabinet that not only looks appealing but also enhances the audio output. With a frequency range of 55Hz to 20 kHz, this speaker comes equipped with two wired connections on the rear end.
#1 Micca MB42X-C Center Channel Speaker
Featuring a deluxe, elegant design and construction, the Micca MB42X-C Center Channel Speaker easily matches any kind of home décor and can be placed in any room. Equipped with two 4-inch woofers made from woven carbon fibers, it produces dynamic, powerful bass sounds with low distortion.
Thanks to its silk dome tweeter, it delivers exceptionally smooth treble and precise imaging. Given its compact, affordable, stylish, and dynamic design, it is bound to easily fit into any sound system without any limitations whatsoever.
Buying Guide – Best Center Channel Speakers
If you’re a home theater enthusiast who enjoys watching movies and TV shows, you are probably aware of how important it is to have the best center channel speaker to get a great surround sound experience. Consider the following things to buy the right-center speaker.
The first and foremost thing is to check the center speaker’s compatibility with other surround sound speakers. Different speakers have various ways of frequency reproduction. So, for smooth sound transmission, it’s better to go for the same manufacturer or company of other surround speakers that you already own. However, there are many versatile center channel speakers which perfectly blend with all other speakers.
When it comes to surround speakers, checking technical specifications before the purchase is important. The configuration ratio tells you about the number of drivers a center-surround speaker has: 3:1, 5:1, and 7:1. The first number indicates drivers while the second one signifies the presence of woofer. Drivers are classified based on the frequency sound range it can produce.
Some high-end center speakers also come with Bi-wire capability featuring 2 connector sets at the back; one of the woofers and other for the tweeter. These connectors are used for low and high-frequency drivers to deliver clean crisper sound with discrete lows and highs.
Most of the center speakers incorporate mid or mid-bass drivers and have a frequency response tailored to enhance vocals making them more intelligible. Our ears respond to frequencies that are between 20Hz to 20 kHz. Therefore, the frequency response of a center channel is to reproduce desirable frequencies in this range. Look for a speaker that doesn’t exceed this frequency range.
Being able to hear the dialogues clearly without sound effects overpowering them is a requirement for a good home theater system. Poor crossover implementation leads to incoherent unclear dialogues that are easily noticed. As compared to 2-way configuration, a 3-way center speaker has a better crossover which controls woofer, tweeter as well as a mid-range driver.
When there is low impedance, more power will be supplied by the amplifier. A voice coil is present to produce resistance. Always make sure to check the amp load, it should not be less than the speaker’s nominal impedance.
Size and placement
Ideally, the center channel speaker you buy should be identical to both left and right speakers. The reason for the 3 speakers to match is to keep the sound consistent throughout. A great practice is to step up a bigger center speaker if you can stay within the same model series from a brand.
Once you’ve got the best center channel speaker, it’s essential to position it properly in your room to get the best performance. You should place it as close as possible to the height of your ears; below or above the flat panel TV. A front projection system requires the speaker to be positioned under or above the screen angled down towards the seating area. Always position the tweeter at the same height of listener’s ears which is 38-42’’ off the ground.