Depending on your total budget and the priority you place on audio, your speaker budget may be between a few hundred and several thousand dollars. Remember, if you spend extra on a great receiver and go cheap on the speakers (or vice-versa!), you're essentially throwing away your money.
Klipsch HD 500 Compact 5.1 Home Theater System
If you refer back to the budget section, you'll see that I had receiver/speakers listed in one category. Within that amount, I'd probably spend 30-40% on the receiver and the rest on speakers.
You'll want to get a 5.1 system (at least). This means 5 speakers (front left and right, a center channel, and 2 surround speakers) and 1 subwoofer. While you don't need to have all speakers of the same brand, it's a good idea. It is especially important to have your front (left and right) speakers be from the same company as your center speaker.
The subwoofer is a critical part of the package. It will deliver the low end sound effects that will have your room rumbling! People that skip the sub don't know how much they're missing!
It's less critical to have the sub be of the same brand as your other speakers. Some subwoofer companies don't even sell regular speakers.
Speaker shopping tips
Here are some things to keep in mind when you go speaker shopping:
- Listen to several brands at the same volume to get a feel for the ones that appeal to you. Each company has its own unique sound.
- Your final purchase will be a compromise between price, sound, and size. While full size tower speakers in the front may sound the best, their SAF (spouse acceptance factor) may make them a prohibitive purchase.