Center channel speakers are the most important part of an audio/home theater setup as they do most of the job. They are responsible for producing most of the dialogue and on-screen action sounds when it comes to movies.
A good center channel speaker is much more important than the surround speakers. But with the market flooded with tons of center channel speakers, it will be hard to choose the right one for you. But worry not as you have come to the right place. This article features the best center channel speakers you can buy right now.
Elevate your home theater experience to the next level with the best center channel speaker for crystal clear dialogues, loud boomy explosions, and thumpy punches.
|Top 5 Best Center Channel Speakers||Features|
|Yamaha NS-C210BL Center Channel Speaker||Excellent compatibility|
Versatile, sleek and compact design
|Klipsch RP-250C Center Channel Speaker||Natural sounding dialogue and robust sound effects|
Portable as it is lightweight
|Pioneer SP-C22 Center Channel Speaker||Great for small spaces|
High-quality sound output
Awesome value for money
|Polk Audio T30 Center Channel Speaker||Audiophile quality sound|
Full and rich audio
Excellent value for money
|Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000||Compact, lightweight, and easy to use|
Crystal clear dialogue and great sounding bass
Features bass radiators for a richer bass tone
Recommended Read: Best Floor Standing Speakers Under $1000
Top 5 Best Center Channel Speakers
The Yamaha NS-CS210BL is an awesome center channel speaker. It is designed so that you can fit it anywhere. At just 5.2 x 13.4 x 4.2 inches, this is one of the most compact center channel speakers you can get right now. And the Yamaha NS-C210BL looks sleek and elegant as well, it will always look good, no matter where you place it.
The Yamaha NS-C210BL doesn’t feature on this list just for its but also for its excellent audio quality, especially when you factor in the price. All this is possible thanks to a ⅞-inch balanced dome tweet, a two-way bass-reflex center speaker, and cone-based aluminum woofers. All of these work in tandem to provide clear, fast, and high-quality audio output.
Overall, the sleek design doesn’t distract you from the viewing experience but at the same time looks good and fits the surroundings. The speaker can handle high-definition input sources like Blu-rays and FLAC files so that you can enjoy the full dynamic sound. And the price makes it an awesome deal.
Klipsch has been in the home entertainment space for a long time now. Their longevity has allowed them to innovate and churn out some of the best speakers for home audio entertainment. They have excellent center channel speakers, tower speakers, subwoofers, and more. The Klipsch R-25C is testament to Klipsch’s popularity and expertise.
The Klipsch R-25C is not the cheapest center channel speaker on this list but at the same time the price is warranted as the sound, design, and build quality is top-notch. Klipsch knows how to make speakers and they surely have made an excellent center channel speaker with the R-25C.
The dual 5.25 inch spun copper cerametallic woofers on either side of the 1-inch Aluminum horn-loaded tweeter produce powerful, life-like sounds that can fill your entire room with ease. The sound quality is just excellent, and by the time you complete your audio system, you wouldn’t notice it separately, but you will be glad you added it.
The Klipsch R-25C might not be the cheapest center channel speaker, but it still offers excellent value. If you love Klipsch’s trademark design, then you would love the design of the R-25Cs as well. And the sound is just breathtaking, you can’t go wrong with this one in any way.
Pioneer is known more for its automotive entertainment products than its home entertainment lineup. This makes people overlook some excellent speakers from Pioneer that are aimed at home audio enthusiasts like me. The Pioneer SP-C22 is one such awesome speaker that does not receive the love or attention it deserves.
The Pioneer SP-C22 is not as compact as the Yamaha NS-C210BL but it makes up for this as it can fill even larger rooms with sound. At 18.12 x 8.45 x 7.12 inches, the Pioneer SP-C22 is noticeable in size, but its sleek, minimalistic design means it will look good and fit your decor well regardless of the size.
The Pioneer SP-C22 features dual 4-inch subwoofers that are situated on either side of the single 1-inch high-efficiency soft dome tweeter. As a whole, the SP-C22 can handle 90 watts of peak power allowing it to fill large rooms with sound.
The simple curved design along with high sound output make this one of the best center channel speakers. It is also the cheapest speaker on this list making it an absolute steal. The Pioneer SP-C22 should be on top of your list of center channel speakers, especially if you are constrained by budget.
Polk Audio T30 Center Channel Speaker
Just like Klipsch, Polk has been in the home audio entertainment game for a long time now. They are one of the biggest brands when it comes to setting up a full-fledged audio system setup for your home. The Polk Audio T30 center channel speaker will be an excellent addition to your home audio setup if it’s missing one.
The Polk Audio T30 is surprisingly affordable but it doesn’t compromise on anything to achieve this cost. It features dual 5.25-inch bass drivers and a single 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Using Dynamic Balance technology, the T30 can reproduce sounds accurately and free of any distortion even at high volumes.
The Polk Audio T30 has excellent sound reproduction, with crisp highs, deep lows, and clear mids. The T30 especially shines when it comes to dialogue, with probably the clearest dialogue rendition in this list. It is also easy to use, with just one input cable and an intuitive setup process.
For the price, I doubt you can find any center channel speaker that matches the audio output of the Polk Audio T30. It is a complete package with a simple yet beautiful design that will fit any home. This is one of the best center channel speakers you can buy and for its price, it might be THE BEST center channel speaker you can get.
Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000
Definitive Technology may not be as huge as a brand like Polk, Klipsch, and more, but they definitively (see what I did there) know how to make some good speakers. The Definitive Technology ProCenter 100 is one of the best center speakers you can buy right now.
The ProCenter 1000 is a compact little center speaker that outperforms its size and cost when compared to the competition. At 10.5 x 5 x 5 inches, it is one of the smallest speaker center channel speakers and the smallest speaker in this list yet, it outperforms all the other speakers on this list.
The ProCenter 1000 benefits from two 4.5-Inch Cast basket drivers that are coupled with two passive bass radiators along with a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter. These high-quality drivers not only improve the sound quality but also widen the soundstage thanks to the passive bass radiators. The passive bass radiators also add a ton of oomph to the sound quality.
The ProCenter 1000 is one of the best center channel speakers when it comes to sound quality output. It further benefits from a minimal, sleek, and compact design making it a worthy addition to any household if you have the budget for it. It is one of the more complete center channel speakers you can get.
Sony SS CS8
Sony is by far one of the most famous brands in audio equipment and other electronics, no matter what you are looking for, be it a home theatre setup, headphones, even wireless surround sound and professional equipment, Sony definitely has an option for you.
For many years now Sony has been offering great sound systems for movies and music.
The Sony SS CS8 is not only very pocket friendly at less than 150 USD but is also a good compact speaker with simple design features, its housing is made of wood that blends with most interiors well and is versatile if pairing it with other speakers.
This 2 way speaker features two 4 inch Mica-reinforced woofers and a single polyester tweeter. An easily removal fabric grille protects the drivers.
The speaker can take up to 145 Watts of power (Max). The impedance level is rated at 6 Ω with sensitivity at 86 decibels.
The Sony SS CS8 does well with midrange reproduction, vocals are super clear and treble is constant.
|Maximum input power||145 Watts|
|Impedance rating||6 ohms|
|Speaker System||2 way, 3 driver system|
|Frequency Response||55 Hz to 25 kHz|
|Dimensions (w h d)||16.93 x 5.75 x 8.66 in|
Micca MB 42X-C
Known for its affordability, good looks and pretty good sound, its one to think about if you’re on a budget.
It’s a nice compact speaker with a removable magnetic grille, its simple and elegant design comes with a black vinyl finish.
The casing houses two 4 inch woofers made of carbon fiber and a single .75 inch silk dome tweeter.
On the rear there is a set of 5-Way posts and a bass reflex port.
The MB 42X-C can handle a good 100 Watts per channel, Sensitivity rating is at 86 decibels and the frequency response is between 60 Hz and 20 kHz.
This Micca center speaker has a well-balanced, quite neutral sound profile. Sound reproduction is precise with clear vocals. Sound is delivered best when placed in the center below or above the TV.
|Maximum input power||100 Watts|
|Impedance rating||4-8 ohms|
|Frequency Response||60 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Dimensions (w h d)||15 x 5.3 x 7.1 in|
Cerwin Vega SL45C
This speaker is one to consider especially if you’re not on a strict budget and looking for something really good.
The Cerwin Vega comes with a Quad setup of 5.25 inch woofers that are placed 2 on each side, these drive the mids and lows and are paired with a 1 inch soft dome for the highs.
The Sl 45C is quite retro in terms of looks going with a more traditional design, definitely not the most sleek compared to others out there. It has a reinforced structure in view of the internal brace that helps strengthen the housing while also eliminating unnecessary resonance.
With the SL 45C you get excellent audio quality most notably with vocals and dialogue, which is what center speakers are all about.
|Maximum input power||300 Watts|
|Impedance rating||8 ohms|
|Frequency Response||55 Hz to 26 kHz|
|Dimensions (w h d)||27.58 x 6.52 x 7|
How to choose a center channel speaker
Deciding on your budget is the first step, Center speakers are generally reasonably priced, but the better the sound quality you are looking for the higher the price, this is mostly due to the quality and design of the components that go into the speaker. Center speakers can cost between 100 USD and 1000 plus USD so choose based on your budget.
Depending on the DVR you use, and if or not you have front left and front right speakers already, finding the most compatible center speaker is important, because when sounds bounce from one speaker to the other the process should go smoothly, that way no difference between sounds from different speakers can be felt. This provides a deeper more immersive atmosphere.
The size and its looks are also important, make sure to match correctly with your other speakers and décor. Size of the room you plan to setup in is also important as some speakers do well in small rooms and not big ones, so bigger the room better the speaker you will need.
And finally Sound. Look for the quality you expect within your budget. Check all the different parameters such as the frequency response, the power input, the impedance rating, sensitivity levels and driver quality. The better the power input and other factors, the better the speaker and the experience of sounds and music you get to enjoy.
So knowing what you need and the amount your willing to spend will make choosing easier.
Are center speakers good for music?
Unfortunately, they are not. Some center channel speakers may sound good for music, but they are mostly designed and developed to offer the best dialogue quality and for on-screen actions like explosions, fight sequences, and more.
Is a bigger center speaker better?
Yes, the bigger the better, but this may not always be true. For example, the Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 is one of the best sounding center channel speakers, yet it comes in a compact package. So there is more to sound quality than just size.
Where should I put my center speaker?
The placement of a center channel speaker is vital. Always place your center channel speaker below and as close as possible to the screen. If it is placed on an entertainment cabinet, make sure it is placed flush along the edge of the cabinet. This will prevent sound lobing which can impact sound quality.
Center channel speakers can make or break your home audio setup. A good center channel speaker is a must if you want the best audio/home theatre experience at home.
You can choose from the best center channel speakers based on your preference. There are compact center channel speakers, the Yamaha NS-C210BL, and there are high-quality center channel speakers like the Klipsch R-25C. And then there’s the best center channel speaker for the money, the Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000.
In the end, it all boils down to your preferences and budget, but all of the above are excellent products worth their asking price. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
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I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.
Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.