Q. I’m building a home theater system via the Internet. I’ve picked out a receiver (Onkyo TX-NR905) but I’m having a hard time getting a speaker system together. I’d like to keep it under $3K. What recommendations can you make? - Rueben, Portland OR
A. The receiver you purchased is relatively new, on the high-end side, and packed with the latest technologies, including THX. If you are looking for a THX surround speaker system, $3K is cutting it a little tight. For instance, the Klipsch THX 7.2 surround system is around $12,000 retail, but includes 2 sub-woofers, a sub-woofer amplifier and the 7 in-wall or free-standing floor speakers. This would work well with your system and sound awesome, especially if balanced and calibrated properly. Otherwise, you need to make your choice based on the quality of sound you want (wattage of speakers, quality, brand), how many speakers you want (5.1, 7.1, 7.2 or less), and how you want them to look and feel (in-wall/ceiling, free-standing, invisible, bookshelf or floor speakers). The latter is usually related to the size and shape of the room. Klipsch also has several “home theater” speaker systems from around $2,500-$3,500 in the Reference Series speakers. Atlantic Technologies offers THX Speakers in the $2,000/pair range, but doesn’t package the speakers together. Monster Cable also offers some THX speakers. Many companies do, you can check THX.com to see which ones are certified.
If you are not looking for THX certified speakers or sound, you can pretty much match up the speakers’ wattage power range, to your receivers’ wattage power output per channel. So if you have a 100W per channel receiver, you want to get something around 100W speakers, so they match as closely as possible (in the top 1/3 of speakers range). The next thing is matching aesthetics to the sound capability you want.
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