When it comes to your surround sound or home theater system, the quality of your speakers can really make or break the overall experience. Good quality speakers are one of, if not, the most important components when it comes to your home theater and surround sound system.
You need to take action from the very beginning in order to make sure that you are not getting substandard speakers for your entertainment system whether your surround sound system is going to be used for your television viewing, home theater, music enjoyment, or to enhance your gaming experience on your personal computer the quality of the speakers will have a huge impact on how much you enjoy your system.
The problem is that most people do not even know where to begin when it comes to selecting and purchasing speakers. There are a few guidelines you can follow when making your decisions about speakers that will help you make better buying decisions in order to get higher quality speakers (budget allowing of course, though I recommend putting off the purchase until you can save up enough rather than purchasing inferior quality because it is within your price range).
There are many different types of speaker systems. Speakers that have received THX certification are generally your top of the line speakers. They will have very little distortion and a nice clear sound. If you can get your hands on a set of these and they fit within your budget constraints I highly recommend going with speakers that are THX certified. The sound, however should be the ultimate deciding factor when selecting speakers and quite frankly you will have to hear the sound for yourself in order to decide which sound you prefer.
Speakers, like anything are always a matter of preference. You can hear many different speakers and some people find that they all sound alike while others feel that the amount of distortion in some is simply unbearable and still others simply blame poor quality music on the sounds they hear in the speakers. The fact is that there are different determinations for quality and everyone has their own preferences and things that are important to them when listening to music and things that they feel can be sacrificed. I happen to be a bit of a sound snob so sacrifice isn't a word I like to hear when it comes to sound quality.
There are some things you can do in order to insure that you are getting a good quality set of speakers for your surround sound system. First, you should listen and make sure that the high sounds do not seem distorted or as though they were being made inside a tin can. You should also check that the midrange sounds are clear and resonant. You should also make sure that the speakers are not trying to do the job of the subwoofer, it is there for a reason and has a job-other speakers in the set shouldn't be trying to do it (if they are, it typically indicates problems with the subwoofer). Blend is important in a set of speakers. You do not want one speaker overpowering the others. If the music sounds too shrill or the middle range notes are overpowering, this is probably not the system for your needs.
It is recommended that you try the sound systems you are considering with different types of music and mediums (particularly if you will be using your surround sound system for a home theater or gaming system in addition to music). I always recommend the first 10 minutes of the movie Top Gun to check out sound when it comes to home theaters. You should also bring a copy of your favorite CD (as that is what you will probably listen to most on your system) and perhaps a few other CDs that show a variety. Listen to how different sounds are made on the system and choose according to the best overall system in order to have the most adaptability within your surround sound system.