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Shattering Seven Myths About Speaker Technology

Apr 28, 2023

graphic of an outdoor deck chair with a speaker and a pair of wireless earbuds for relaxation


Audio transmission

Uses Bluetooth technology

Audio quality

Up to two channels of compressed audio (stereo)


Ideal for headphones, earbuds, and portable speakers

graphic of a home office improved with a speaker system


Audio transmission

Uses a standard Wi-Fi network

Audio quality

Up to two channels of high-definition audio (stereo)


Ideal for smart speakers, multiroom speakers, and speakers that expand soundbar-based systems

graphic of a home theater


Audio transmission

Creates a dedicated wireless network, specifically for the sound system

Audio quality

Up to eight channels of ultra high-definition uncompressed audio; supports Dolby Atmos®

Highest globally-recognized standard for wireless speaker systems


Ideal for true cinema surround-sound systems

Do you think you know everything about speaker technology? Do you have any misconceptions? Here, we will explore some common mistaken beliefs about speaker technology. Check these out if you are considering a new speaker purchase.

Myth #1: Good speakers should make EVERYTHING sound "realistic".

Good speakers make everything realistic for very well-recorded content in a good listening environment. However, good speakers are responsible for reproducing the content as it is provided, no matter what that content is. Poorly recorded content won't sound "better" with good speakers, and it will just sound as good as it can based on the quality of the recording.

Speakers can also not fix environmental constraints such as really "dead "or really "live" environments. If you have carpet all over your walls and ceilings and 100 people in the room, the sound will probably be somewhat dead or muffled. Suppose every surface in the room is covered with tile or wood. In that case, the environment will be very live, with many reflections and echoes. Yes, these two examples are extreme, but the examples show how much settings affect the sound. High-quality speakers in a good environment with well-recorded contact can render a realistic and immersive listening experience. In a separate blog, we discuss how to design your home theater; in another blog, we discuss how things like architectural elements affect your surround sound system. Check out those blogs so you know the right system for you and your home to create the best possible home entertainment experience based on your home design.

Myth #2: Bigger speakers are ALWAYS better.

Many assume that larger speakers produce better sound quality than smaller ones. However, the size of the speaker is not the only factor that determines its performance. Other factors, such as the materials used in the construction, the speaker's design, the drivers' quality, and the superiority of different components, are equally important. This misconception is simply false. When selecting a sound system, size does not always matter. Instead, consider industry certifications, such as WiSA, THX, and Dolby Atmos. Also, look for speakers that have won awards from respected industry professionals, such as CE Pro.

Myth #3: Wired speakers are always better than wireless speakers.

Wireless speakers are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience, ease of setup, and portability. Some early wireless technologies were more susceptible to interference from wireless networks, other wireless devices, and even objects, including people and animals. Additionally, sound quality and range were often limited. These issues helped foster the belief that wireless technologies were not reasonable solutions for home audio.

But wireless audio has come a long way. Some speakers and technologies can be great solutions with all of the performance and reliability of traditional systems. WiSA is the highest globally-recognized standard for wireless speaker systems without the previous problems associated with wireless speakers. So, look for WiSA-certified speakers if you want wireless speakers without the limitations.

Additionally, powered speakers have their power supply rather than sharing a single power supply in a common component, such as an AVR (Audio Video Receiver), with multiple other speakers. Since each speaker has its power supply, the amplifier will increase the dynamic performance of the entire system. Even better, each speaker and its electronics have been custom designed to work together. They will often provide better performance than separate components built by different manufacturers and connected using long wire runs.

Myth #4: More speakers always mean better sound quality.

The number of speakers does not always determine sound quality. A well-designed speaker system with fewer speakers can produce better sound quality than one with more speakers but with poor design and tuning. A great soundstage can be created with high-quality speakers properly positioned in front of you, accompanied by a well-designed subwoofer. Additional sonic immersion can be created by adding the dimension of depth by placing speakers behind you and the dimension of height by adding Dolby Atmos capable speakers. 5.1 (front left and right, front center, two rears, and one sub) is an excellent setup for immersive entertainment. If you want the height dimension, a 5.1.2 option will provide you with fully immersive, 360-degree sound. If you want added bass and extreme room shaking, a 5.2.2 option can be achieved by adding a second subwoofer. If you go beyond that, you spend a lot on extra, superfluous speakers.

Myth #5: Surround sound is only for movies.

Surround sound can enhance the audio experience for music as well as movies. Many music recordings, video games, and even sporting events are now produced in multi-channel audio, including Dolby Atmos, providing a more immersive and realistic listening experience.

In 2022, Americans an average of spent 3+ hours watching digital video and 7 hours on television daily! We also spend 3 hours and 50 minutes listening to music each day, plus another 1-3 hours gaming. That means you spend hours watching and listening to Dolby Atmos surround sound content each and every day. If anything, it's more meaningful to have a Dolby Atmos surround sound system at home than in the theater. You are missing out on what you already pay for if you do not have a Dolby Atmos surround sound system.

Myth #6: Placement of speakers does not matter.

Placing speakers near a wall or corner can increase the amount of low-energy in the listening environment. In some cases, this can add to the amount of bass heard by the listeners and be considered a good thing; in other situations, it can muddy the sound. We recommend trying multiple locations and finding the best for your environment and tastes. Everyone has different preferences.

Myth #7: Speakers with power cords shouldn't say they are "wireless".

Many speakers call themselves "wireless," requiring a power cord to supply their electronics with electricity. "Wireless" often refers to the audio signal, not the power. The audio signal is usually the more complicated connection. It was traditionally made by a long copper wire running the room's length and connecting a power component to the speaker, such as an audio/video receiver or AVR. This cord was unsightly and could even have degrading effects on signal quality. Making that connection wireless is a more convenient and aesthetically pleasing approach. The capabilities of today's wireless audio technologies remove the previous concerns regarding signal degradation. Also, if your home was built in the last several decades, you should have multiple power outlets per room, making locating speakers around the room simple. Each speaker having their own power supply is simply a better option when considering speaker performance. Refer to our earlier comments in the "Wired Speakers are Better than Wireless Speakers" section.

Enjoy the advancements.

So much has changed with speaker technology. Now you can easily create a great sounding system and enjoy an immense amount of great content with immersive audio soundtracks in your own home. Home is where you spend your time. Make it your sanctuary!

Meet Milan 5.1 from Platin Audio

Milan 5.1 fills your living room with beautiful sound—without compromising your space or your budget. Its ultra-compact wireless speakers surround you with multiple channels of high-definition audio for a cinema-style experience.

Platin Milan 5.1 system with one subwoofer, one center-channel speaker, two front speakers, two rear speakers, and SoundSend; all components are black

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