Home theater vs regular speakers
September 21, 2023 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Is there any difference between front left and right speakers from a home theater (e.g. 5.1) system and regular bookshelf speakers? If I take only the front left and right speakers from a 5.1 home theater system, can I use them as regular audio speakers (assuming I have an amp and power connected properly) and have it sound normal for playing music?
posted by roaring beast to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They might not be tuned for as much low end as a pair of bookshelf speakers, since they're expected to be used with a subwoofer, but there generally shouldn't be much difference. People often go the other way - going from 2.1 to 5.1 by adding more speakers to an existing stereo setup.
posted by sagc at 8:16 PM on September 21

Best answer: Yeah subwoofer aside, the left and right should be the best speakers of a home theater setup (or they're all the same), and should be fine for regular stereo listening. In fact if you play stereo content (e.g. music, or lots of television) through a home theater receiver, it's totally normal for it to only use those two speakers. Though it's also not unreasonable for it to do a half dozen other more complicated things.
posted by aubilenon at 12:27 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you mean the little cubey boy kind of speakers like come in Bose systems, they're actively designed to be used with a (notional) subwoofer and are designed to never have sound lower than 200hz (or whatever) run through them. You might well find them unacceptable used alone due to their lack of bass, and there's some real chance of breaking the drivers if you try to pump full-spectrum sound at loud volume through them.

Other sets include basically standard bookshelf speakers as their mains. This can include cheap sets -- the Monoprice set appears to be "reverse-engineered" Paradigm Atoms (ie Monoprice contacted the factory building them and asked for a rebadged fourth shift).
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:30 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]

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