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How to Choose 5.1 Home Speakers and Subwoofers

A 5.1 home theater system is a combination of components that complement each other to bring you a stronger level of sound quality. This means that every movie, song, or video you listen to is clear, crisp, and lacks interference, with these speakers enhancing low and high notes to bring you detailed and immersive sound.

What Are the Types of Components?

When you're setting up a Polk home audio speaker system, there are a few components you'll need to create the sound quality you're looking for. A 5.1 system can be a mix of these components, or it can only include one or two of them for surround audio.

  • Speakers are essential when it comes to a home theater. These hook up to your television or to a receiver and amplify the sound as well as pick up all of the notes that you may not hear with your regular television speakers.
  • A soundbar is a type of speaker that takes its name from the fact that it looks like a long bar. These are space-saving models that typically sit directly in front of your TV on your entertainment or media center.
  • Subwoofers are a specific type of speaker that amplifies the low frequencies in sound, mainly bass. This can amp up bass-heavy music or just add drama to action movies or other content with lower notes.

How Do You Select a Subwoofer?

When you look at subs, you may notice that there are a couple of different types, so how do you know which one is right for your home theater?

  • These are categorized into two different types: active subwoofers (also called powered subwoofers) or passive subwoofers.
  • Active subs have their own built-in amplifier, so they don't need to be hooked up to an external or outside one.
  • A passive sub doesn't include an amp and requires installation to an external amplifier to create the full sound you desire. Though a passive sub can still sound impressive on its own and it's often more compact than an active design, you may get more power from an active model.

What Are Some Polk Systems to Consider?

When you hear the term 5.1 channel system, it signifies that there are at least five components in the system that work together to surround your space with audio. Most systems come with variations of specific speaker types, and Polk models are no exception.

  • The MagnFI MAX SR system is a 5.1 system that comes with a center channel speaker, soundbar, and surround-sound speakers. It's also Wi-Fi compatible.
  • Some models, like the SB1 Plus, only come with two components but still produce 5.1 audio. This model has a soundbar and a subwoofer.
  • For larger spaces that you want to fill with sound, consider a model like the RM6750. It offers a center channel speaker along with a subwoofer and surround-sound speakers.