How to Choose Between Big-Box and In-Wall Speakers

How to Choose Between Big-Box and In-Wall Speakers

Whole-home audio is the gold standard for all modern homes. Highly scalable and customized to match your home’s acoustics and your personal needs, the result is an attractive and incredibly realistic reproduction of sound. However, there’s a few options to consider, including choosing between big-box or in-wall speakers. Here’s some differences between them that can help you decide which meets your needs.

Freestanding Speakers Are Still the Most Common

Freestanding, or big-box, speakers are what most people are familiar with. From compact cubes to massive towers, they can be matched to your décor and volume needs. They can be easily moved around and are relatively simple to install. The downside is that they take up room, and with today’s surround sound theater systems, can take up significant floor space and add to the sense of clutter.

Until recently, most homeowners opted for freestanding speakers as the default choice. The wide variety and simplicity of placement make them a reasonable option if floor space isn’t an issue.

In-Wall Speakers Have Come a Long Way, But Still Need Professional Installation

In-wall speaker systems have traditionally been used by commercial customers who prioritized floor space over deep, harmonious sound. That’s changed recently – almost every high-end, luxury home is using in-wall speakers, which has both substantially increased the quality while reducing the cost.

With home theaters becoming very common, in-wall popularity has skyrocketed. Not only do they free up floor space and prevent accidents to speakers and wiring, their quality now rivals most big box speakers, and they’ve experienced an explosion in use.

However, they are far more complex to wire and install; most people would be ill-advised to attempt it themselves. Yet they are the go-to tech these days, since a good home theater needs careful cable management and precisely calculated speaker placement for a fully faithful surround sound experience.

Either way, most people do choose professional installation for modern audio systems. With so many connected devices, multi-room zones and true theater sound, it’s somewhat unrealistic for the average person to create an attractive system with a dynamic range and rich sound that matches the acoustic environment.

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