Choosing between a front height speaker and a surround back is not easy. However, knowing some simple facts about both can get you through this dilemma.
So which one should you pick: front height speakers vs surround back?
Front height speakers and surround backs differ mostly in position, quality, and dimension. Surround backs are part of the sound system and cover big areas. But fall behind in terms of sound quality. On the other hand, front height speakers, though a bit pricey, adds a height dimension to your listening experience. But home theatre processors don’t always support front heights.
These facts are all you need to know about front height speakers and surround backs.
But if you’ve got time, find out more about their features and what makes them unique!
Shall we begin?
- What Are Front Height Speakers and Surround Backs?
- Front Height Speakers Vs Surround Back: Quick Comparison
- Detailed Comparison of Front Height Speakers Vs Surround Back
- What We Think: Our Verdict
What Are Front Height Speakers and Surround Backs?
Front height speakers and surround back speakers are a part of this surround sound system. While the front height speakers cover the front of your 360 degrees setup.
The surround backs make sure you don’t skip a beat. Front heights deliver all the sound details and dialogues.
On the other hand, surround backs deliver sharp background music with no dialogues.
Buying a front height speaker not only adds to your system. But its sound also takes you to a whole different level.
There are some other major drawbacks. Hence, you need to think before you spend your money.
Now that you know what a front-height speaker will bring to your sound system. Here are some of our top choices of front height speakers-
- For an overall great front speaker you can opt for Polk Audio OWM3 speakers.
- I’ve found the Klipshe Synergy Black Label speaker to be quite versatile.
Now, what are surround back speakers?
Surround back speakers are a part of a 5 speaker surround system or a 7 speaker surround system. Though they are the rear part of the 360 degrees sound system, without them your experience is incomplete. But you don’t always need them.
The main differences between front height speakers and surround backs depend on their placement, capacity, quality, and function.
All these basic features make front heights and surround backs different. Some of these features include-
- Sound Quality
But just as 15 and 18 inches subwoofers, these two have their own ups and downs.
What’s more, these ups and downs of front presence vs surround backs will help you choose whether or not you want the additional speakers or not.
Front Height Speakers Vs Surround Back: Quick Comparison
Here’s a quick comparison of front height speakers and surround backs of a sound system.
Through this comparison, you’ll be able to find out all of their unique features. Along with the role they play in completing a system.
|Front Height Speaker||Surround Back Speaker|
|Adds a height dimension||Adds dimension to the back|
|Not supported by all home theatre processor||Supported by all home theatre processor|
|Front heights are used all the time||Surround backs are the least used speakers|
|No compromise on quality||Quantity over quality|
|Requires a lot of wire connection||Doesn’t require a lot of wire connections|
But wait! Before you go check out this graph for a detailed overview of the topic:
Now, lets get into the details!
Detailed Comparison of Front Height Speakers Vs Surround Back
If you are new to the surrounding sound concept, don’t worry. Here’s a brief overview of what you’re getting into-
Typically, a surround sound system has five speakers (in some cases seven speakers). They are the right, left, and front speakers.
These are the main speakers of the system.
Apart from these, two rear surround speakers are also included along with the central channel.
In a seven-speaker setup, there are usually two more speakers in the back. And both the systems include a subwoofer.
All of the mentioned speakers are placed around the listener forming a 360-degree surrounding sound experience.
As the name suggests, front height speakers are mounted on the wall or. This adds a height dimension to your already 360 degrees sound experience.
Once your front height speaker placement is done, you’ll noticeably have a better movie experience than with just a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup.
As we can see from the tweet of Audio Source, front height speakers are ideal if you want to go all out for the ultimate sound experience.
If you want a full-on movie marathon with your friends or family on a lazy Saturday night, the rear speakers will not make you regret it.
A 5.1 or a 7.1 surround system is not complete without the rear speakers. Without them, you’ll not have a 360-degree surround sound system.
However, sometimes rear speakers of Logitech might malfunction. But troubleshooting them isn’t so hard though!
Winner: Front Height Speaker
If you have a big space that you want to turn into an amazing home theatre, then you’re on the right track. Big spaces require more speakers to get the best sound experience.
The maximum room size for front heights is 20ft x 15ft. In this case, the front-height speakers enhance the overall listening experience.
You don’t need all five/seven speakers for a home theatre setup, especially if the room size isn’t adequate. Using rear speakers might be overkill in small rooms.
And that’s because the walls reflect sound waves and thus too many interfering sound waves might not give you the best experience.
Surround speakers are a must if you have a large room!
Because three speakers will not be able to cover the area and your home theatre experience will not be up to the mark.
So for surround back speaker placement, considering the room size is also essential. The maximum space for a home theatre is 20ft x 15 ft.
Think about your room capacity before you go ahead and buy the speakers.
Winner: Front Height Speakers
One of the best things about a front-height speaker is that the installation process is super easy. All you have to keep in mind is the angle of setting the front-height speaker.
So how to fix the front height speaker placement?
The front heights should be set at a 45-degree angle facing the listener. Another important thing about speaker placement is putting it at the appropriate height. Suppose your listening position is 13 feet away from the speakers. Your front heights should be placed 14 inches up the wall.
Installing the rear speakers are comparatively a little more difficult than that of front heights.
Now, where should rear surround speakers be placed?
Rear surround back speakers should be placed at 135-150 degrees off-axis and relative to the seating position.
Out of all the speakers in a surround system, rear speakers are the least used. Because the surround backs only cover the background music and music effects.
Even though they are least used there have been a few complaints about Logitech rear speakers.
What’s more, it doesn’t play dialogues at all! So it’s mostly just sitting on your floor without playing any audio most of the time.
Winner: Front Height Speaker
You’ll also need to look out for some of the drawbacks of the front height speakers. You don’t have anything to worry about if these problems don’t bother you.
This is a problem many have faced. Front height speakers are not always supported by the home theatre processors.
It would be best if you check the processor compatibility before buying a pair.
Whereas most devices are compatible with surround back speakers.
Winner: Surround Back Speakers
Budget And Quantity
If your processor does not support front heights, you can replace it with the one that does. And you can bet new processors don’t come cheap.
But only replacing the processor will not work. You’ll also have to change the amplifier as well.
Now, why would you spend all that money? Especially when you can have a perfectly functional five-speaker sound system.
Surprised? It’s true that the more rear speakers you add the better the listening experience, though it depends on the room capacity or the audio quality (blu ray audio or SACD).
As the rear speakers only reflect the background music and effects, quality doesn’t matter.
Since you’re now aware of how valuable a surround-back can be. Following is a list of recommendations for the best surround back speakers-
- Polk SR2 Wireless Surround Sound Speakers
- Fluance Elite High Definition 2-Way Bipolar Surround Speakers
Winner: Surround Back Speaker
The Wire Situation
More speakers mean more wires. If you don’t want extra wires running around your floor, then avoid adding the two front heights.
You might ask yourself at this moment, “Do I need front height speakers?” The answer to this question is completely your preference.
If you’ve considered all the pros and cons, then ask yourself, “Do I need surround sound speakers?” We promise you’ll have the answer!
Winner: Surround Back Speaker
What We Think: Our Verdict
Both the front height and surround back speakers enhance your listening experience. But choosing any one of them is not easy. A lot of factors come into play.
Such as, if you want to add a height dimension to your audio setup, front height speakers will be the right choice for you.
It also provides the best audio experience in large rooms.
On the contrary, surround-back speakers add dimension to the back of the listener. Although it’s the least used speaker in the system, surround backs provide the complete 360 degrees setup experience.
It’s ideal for large areas, the quality of some of the speakers has to improve.
So ultimately choosing the right speaker for your setup depends on the area, budget, capacity, and the room’s use.
How high should front surround speakers be?
One to two feet long! Usually, this is the ideal height, but a lot of people prefer ceiling speakers. But that totally depends on how you want your audio dimension to be.
Can I use front height speakers as surrounds?
Yes, you can! But it depends on the type of speakers you have. You can easily replace the surround speaker with the front speaker by interchanging the chords of the AV receiver. However, the sound quality might decline.
Which speaker is the most important in surround sound?
Center channel speaker! No surround system is properly complete without a center channel speaker. Almost 60% of the sounds are produced from the center channel. But in any home theatre setup, front heights and surround backs add the most dimensions. And thus, improves the audio experience.
By now your confusion regarding surround back and front height speakers must be over! Both of the speakers are essential for your sound experience.
Plus, both of them can reduce your budget to a great extent! So all you have to do is be smart when choosing between front height speakers vs surround back.
So which speaker are you going for? Let us know by commenting below!
Until next time!