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Q&A: Comparing In-Wall vs. Freestanding Home Theater Speakers

A luxury home theater with Bang and Olufsen speakers.

What Home Theater Speakers Are Right for Your Home? 

Once you’ve upgraded to surround sound, there’s no going back. Suddenly, you can hear everything clearly and balanced—dialogue is clear, sound effects are impactful, and you don’t have to raise and lower the volume constantly. 

Whether you’re building a luxury home theater, upgrading a media room, or want surround sound in the living room, you’ve got plenty of options. In this guide, we’ll walk you through in-wall and freestanding speaker options, answering commonly asked questions from our customers in Hypoluxo, FL. 

SEE ALSO: All In The Details: Project Spotlight On A Florida Home Theater Installation

What Types of Speakers Can I Install? 

Surround sound systems typically feature at least five speakers and a subwoofer. These five speakers include a center channel speaker placed below or behind the screen and two pairs of left/right speakers. For even more immersion and power, you can add additional speakers and subwoofers. 

As for speaker models, most can be broken down into two categories: in-wall or freestanding. In-wall speakers are installed within your theater’s walls or ceilings, finished with a discreet speaker grille flush to the surface. Alternatively, freestanding speakers include floor-standing or bookshelf speakers that may be positioned around the room. 

What Are the Benefits & Drawbacks of In-Wall Speakers? 

In-wall theater speakers will create a more streamlined, minimal appearance in your theater, much like commercial theaters. If you want less clutter in your home theater, hidden audio makes a good choice—especially for homes with children or pets that could bump into floorstanding speakers. 

However, installing in-wall speakers requires a much more intentional design. Surround sound speakers should be positioned at ear level, which can be challenging in some room setups. While some people claim that sound quality is compromised with architectural audio, it’s simply not true when you choose quality speakers from brands like JBL Synthesis (more on that below). 

What About Freestanding Speakers? 

Are freestanding speakers cheaper than in-wall audio? Well, not necessarily. It’s true that freestanding speakers will require fewer installation costs, but the actual price will depend on the audio quality you want and your budget. 

What about sound quality? As we’ve said, you can get darn good in-wall speakers. But a freestanding subwoofer may bring that extra ‘oomph’ for more powerful bass. 

Homeowners who want audio at the forefront may prefer having their speakers on display. Plus, many freestanding speakers are designed with beautiful aesthetics to elevate your room’s interior. 

What Brands Should I Consider? 

If you want to revel in the appearance of high-end audio, let us point you to Bang & Olufsen’s home theater speakers. These floorstanding speakers and soundbars are beautifully constructed with materials including oak, walnut, bronze, aluminum, and customizable fabrics. B&O’s speakers are built to last decades while complementing your theater space.  

As for architectural speakers, the JBL Synthesis line provides professional-quality sound installed neatly within your walls or ceilings. These speakers’ compression drivers are what set them apart from other audio options on the market. 

Where Can I Get Home Theater Audio In South Florida? 

With First Priority Audio! We install premium audio for luxury home theaters, whole-home audio systems, and more. Contact us here to discuss your project or to ask us any questions! 

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