Top 10 Best Center Channel Speakers: Our Epic 2023 Reviews

Have you dreamed of having a home theater experience right in the comfort of your home? Well, your dream can be realized by investing in the best center channel speakers.

Center speakers act as the perfect link that balances the sound among all of your surround sound speakers. A center channel improves the sound quality in such a way that your whole listening experience is kicked up a notch. If you want sound quality, you’ll find it with a center channel speaker.

If we haven’t convinced you yet of the power of these speakers, considered this stat: Center channel speakers output about 70% of the sound mix in a movie or music. Now that we have your attention let’s check out our top 10 ranked center channel speakers.  sound experience.

Best Center Channel Speakers for 2023

 

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How We Came Up with the List of Top 10 Center Channel Speakers for 2023

In our quest to help you make the right purchase decisions, our team of experts embarked on a research and test journey in the crowded center channel speaker market to help you shop.

Everyone wants to get the best center channel speaker possible, but make sure to keep in mind your own personal speaker parameters. Are you looking for the highest quality? The loudest? The cheapest? The most compact? Keep your own factors in mind as you review our top 10 list. 

1. Polk Audio Signature S35– The Best Overall Center Channel Speaker

Polk Signature Elite ES35 Slim Center Channel Speaker - Hi-Res Audio Certified, Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Compatible, 1

The slim Polk audio signature S35 is designed in such a way that it brings a huge surround sound movie and music experience right into your home. This big boy has a very impressive feature list including a new and improved dynamic, balanced designed acoustic arrays, precision crossovers, high-res certification, an anti-diffraction grille, dual power port, and modern cabinet styling. With the Polk in your setup, get ready for your movies, music, and TV sound to be elevated beyond your imagination.

Polk Audio Signature S35 Key Highlights

  • A Dedicated Dual Power Port technology: These two power ports enable smooth airplay in the listening position. In addition, they provide a bigger surface area through an extended bass port. This helps eliminate any voice distortion and turbulence for a more musical, bigger, and deeper bass impact.
  • Enhanced Compatibility and Sensitivity: Polk audio signature S35 is compatible with many DTS and Dolby sound technologies. Its design reproduces sound that is clear, spacious, realistic, and enveloping, regardless of whether you are connecting it to your vintage rig or to a new digital processor.
  • High-Resolution Audio Performance: The s35 comes with a Terylene dome tweeter for delivering a detailed and clear high frequency of about 40 kHz.  This design ensures a realistic reproduction for both instruments and vocals, bringing about a high-resolution performance with impeccable audio quality.
  • Dynamic Balance Acoustic Array: The dynamic array ensures the S35 reproduces a sound that is full-range, rich, and clean regardless of what you are watching or listening to. To achieve this, the S35 maximizes the speaker’s mechanical and electro-acoustic system for improved geometry and a better selection of material.

Pros

  • Clear and present sound signature
  • Impressive detail, especially in dialogue
  • Very rich and solid bass response
  • Slim design allows for plenty of placement options
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Boominess with some voice ranges
  • It tends to strain at low frequencies

Our Verdict

Polk Audio Signature 35 is a definite keeper if you love quality and are not afraid to spend money.  Go for it!

2. Klipsch RP-250C– High on the Price Spectrum But Worth It

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-250C Center Channel Speaker - Ebony

Many people will recognize the Klipsch name. Klipsch has been a household name for the longest time, and it’s no surprise that it appears in our top 10. The RP-250C lets viewers and listeners feel engulfed completely in the sound with phenomenal music lyrics and clear dialogue. As an added plus, it blends with most room décor.

Klipsch RP-250C Key Highlights

  • Detachable Grills and a 90 X 90° Tractrix Horn: The square horn mouth works together with the circular horn throat to provide high-frequency response and extension, which in turn enhance the quality of images and dynamics. The tractrix horn comes with a one-inch tweeter that generates a sound that everyone wants to hear. A special feature of the RP-250C is its detachable grills, which are attached magnetically for installation and provide a refined look.
  • Dual Spun-Copper Cerametallic Woofers: The RP-250 features two rigid and lightweight woofers. It is also designed with dual linear travel suspension (LTS) to help eliminate distortion of the bass, making it more responsive. The LTS also facilitates a crystal clear midrange while offering the same level of perfection in the highs as is in the mid-range.
  • MDF Cabinet: The RP-250C comes with an elegant and modern MDF cabinet with polymer veneer baffling. This makes it more stable and also long-lasting.
  • New Tractrix Port and Dolby Atmos-Enabled: Klipsch RP-250C utilizes the Tractrix technology, which facilitates the seamless transfer of air within the cabinet, delivering the cleanest and most powerful low-frequency response. The featured Dolby Atmos technology ensures that this center speaker delivers great surround sound.

Pros

  • Very strong build and consequently high performance
  • Natural-sounding dialogue and robust sound effects
  • Elegant design for seamless integration into  any décor
  • Uses less power
  • Highly portable

Cons

Our Verdict

Klipsch is a trustworthy brand this Klipsch RP-250C model is one of the best center channel speakers on the market. It offers a great cinema performance with outstanding surround sound quality.

3. Pioneer Elite SP-EC73- The Best Floor Stander

Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 features circular bass drivers for a consistent sound signature. It comes in a small and refined cabinet for easy integration with other equipment. A unique feature in Elite SP-EC73 is the passive radiator that improves bass impact for the most commanding voices and sound effects. This beauty is one of the best in its category.

Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 Key Highlights

  • The Marvelous Concentric Driver: The coherent source transducer (CST) is the heart of this center speaker. This driver provides sound direction that is controlled at all frequencies, thus ensuring that that direct and reflected sound arrives at the listening position with identical timbre and timing. This is because the interference between the 1” tweeter placed at the center and midrange is dramatically reduced by the driver.
  • Attention to Details:  SP-EC73 details cut across from gold-plated connector to complex crossovers. From the floor-standing cabinet to the center speaker itself, its design is slightly curved on the sides to reduce standing waves experienced with other designs. The aforementioned CST driver is placed in its own compartment to isolate it from pressure waves in the main cabinet. It is attention to all of these details (and more!) that catapulted the SP-EC73 feature into our top 10 picks.
  • Fast, Tight, Low, and Dynamic Bass: A bass that is so tight, dynamic, and fast yet low is what makes this speaker stand out from the crowd. The aluminum woofer and the passive radiator with a large diameter vented pole help to eliminate unwanted noise resulting from turbulent air. The oversized neodymium magnet allows for great bass control as the long-throw voice coil controls power usage for more dynamic bass.
  • 5.1.4 Surround Sound System: SP-EC73, through its 5.1.4 surround sound system, offers a value-to-performance ratio that remains unbeaten.

Pros

  • The speaker is well-made and looks even more expensive it is
  • It supports Atmos and DTS: X applications
  • Deep and high treble bass
  • ​​​​Laser-like focus from coaxial driver array
  • Produces solid low bass extension

Cons

  • The speaker is so good that it can expose poorly recorded material

Our Verdict 

This pocket-friendly Pioneer Elite SP-EC73 is the perfect choice for deep bass fans, and its outstanding performance will definitely excite you.

4. Polk Audio CS10– Best Value

Polk Audio CS10 Center Channel Speaker (Single, Black)

The Polk Audio CS10, which is the most affordable on our list, provides quality and the best sound thanks to its high quality and efficient design. It produces crystal-clear audio and comes with a durable cabinet making it a valuable addition to your speaker system. It is also relatively easy to install and operate.

Polk Audio CS10 Key Highlights

  • Crystal-Clear Audio. The CS 10 includes two 5 ½ balance drivers and a one-inch dome tweeter for midrange and low frequencies. These two feature works together to provide crystal clear audio and a more realistic auditory experience.
  • High-Efficiency and Sleek Design: CS 10 has been designed with efficiency in mind, and it is compatible with a ton of electronics. Its user-friendly design makes it easy for you to get the desired sound with minimal effort and irrespective of the configuration that is put in place.
  • Made From High-Quality Materials: As mentioned earlier, CS 10 comes with a durable cabinet. This cabinet holds the CS 10 speaker in position, and it is made of the very best materials-MDF and ¾ inch baffles. These high-quality materials contribute to the rich and high-quality sound once everything is put in place.
  • Can Be Inverted: The unique angled top that is found in CS10 provides versatility in the orientation whereby you can use this speaker inverted underneath your TV. This is helpful, especially when operating in rooms with unforgiving layouts. Note that under these circumstances, the audio experience produced will be different from other orientations but still crystal clear.

Pros

  • Polk Audio CS10 has a wide frequency range and can play clear audio
  • The most affordable on our list
  • Prolific highs and high mids
  • Very lightweight and portable with multiple placement positions
  • Narrow baffle geometry resulting in a sleek-looking speaker

Cons

  • Clipping at extreme volumes
  • Lacks good, deep bass
  • ​​​Absence of midrange driver

Our Verdict

CS10 series of Polk Audio is, without a doubt, one of the best center speakers today. It boasts true value while still delivering beyond expectation.

Go for Polk Audio CS10 if you are working on a budget. You won’t be disappointed.

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5. Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000– The Most Compact

Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker (Single, Black)

Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 is relatively smaller in size, measuring 10.5 x 5 x 5 inches. This speaker is an ideal choice for people who prefer a compact setup without sacrificing impressive performance.

Definitive Technology Procenter 1000 Key Highlights

  • Bass Radiators For A Richer Bass Tone:  One of the features that make Procenter 1000 make a cut in our top 10 is the bass radiators which more than make up for the speaker’s small size. The radiators provide support to the dual woofers translating into a smooth and tight sonic ambiance. In addition, the two bass radiators produce a bass sound, and the outcome is a deep bass tone and a richer midrange.
  • Double Surround System:  The Procenter 1000 is designed to provide a double surround system setup. This double system and its balanced aspect bring about reverberation of sound matching that of other alternative and much bigger speakers.
  • Aluminum Dome Tweeter: The aluminum dome tweeter generates really good high frequencies, so high that it would be assumed that it’s being produced from a much bigger speaker.
  • BDSS Drivers: In addition to the two bass radiators, Definitive Technology Procenter 1000 features 2 BDSS drivers, which are similar to those used in ProMonitor satellites, which deliver not only loud and clear sound but also enhance tonal accuracy. This ensures that you will enjoy rich and lively sounds similar to that of bigger speakers.

Pros

  • Produces powerful and controlled audio
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Crystal clear dialogue and great-sounding bass
  • Features bass radiators for a richer bass tone
  • High-quality finish
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • High-end price
  • No specific crossover frequency is specified
  • Might generate some noise at low frequencies

Our Verdict

Definitive Technology Procenter 1000 is the perfect choice for heavy bass lovers. Don’t hesitate to try this compact and amazing Procenter 1000 if you come across one.

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6. Klipsch R-25C– Great  Design

Klipsch R-25C Center Channel Speaker

Do you love to watch movies with bass and midrange sound effects? Well, Klipsch has the solution for you. Klipsch audio series offers high-quality audio and Klipsch R-25C is no different. It is perfectly designed to fit on many shelves, particularly the one under your TV, making it highly portable. We think it is one of the best center channel speakers for an amazing home theater setup.

Klipsch R-25C Key Highlights

  • Linear Travel Suspension Technology: The Linear Travel Suspension tweeter has been incorporated into the system to enhance performance and minimize sound distortion, making any song or movie lively. In addition, this center channel provides versatility in that it offers multiple amping-up options to multiple home theater systems while being a high-quality product.
  • Cerametallic Woofers: An obvious feature of R-25C is the two cerametallic woofers, often covered by a removable grill. These two woofers are responsible for ensuring that the mids sound accurate and clear and the bass responsive.
  • Hybrid Horn and A Titanium Tweeter: These two work together to ensure that the higher frequencies do not overpower the bass or mid. They work to strike a balance in that the bass always sounds impressive, even on low notes.
  • Spun Copper IMG Woofer: The rigid and lightweight IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofers provide an improved low-frequency response with less cone breakup and distortion. These woofers can be paired with the tractrix horn, and the result is accelerated speaker performance.

Pros

  • Delivers detailed dialogue and accurate, lifelike sound
  • Versatile and high-quality terminals providing maximum connection flexibility
  • Adds a rich and refined look to your décor
  • Consumes less power
  • Solid build and placement options

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Suitable for small and medium rooms to the disadvantage of larger rooms
  • Not the best choice for Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio music

Our Verdict

Although ranked as a high-end price center channel speaker, Klipsch R-25C is a definite keeper if you’re looking for that beautiful, clean surround sound.

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7. Sony SSCS8– The Loudest

Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker - Black, 4 Bookshelf Speaker System

For many decades, Sony has been a powerhouse offering realistic sound when watching movies and listening to music. Sony SSCS8 is wallet-friendly, comes in a simple design, and offers a clear sound. Its cabinet blends with any interior. It is highly versatile when it comes to pairing with other speakers.

Sony SSCS8 Key Features

  • Mica-Reinforced Cellular Woofer: This built-in woofer provides for big bass response. In addition to the woofer, SSCS8 has three speakers in its cabinet case.  It is in these speakers that the bass operates. Additionally, its 2-way capability provides for multiple pairing options with other speakers and devices and placement positions.
  • Wooden Speaker Cabinet:  Its cabinet is meant to provide a natural sound vibration. The crossover network keeps the vibration isolated, and its bass reflex construction is designed to deliver optimized low-frequency sound. With a frequency response range of 55 Hz to 25 kHz, SSCS8 is able to handle a wide scope of movie soundtracks and music.
  • Additional Technologies: Running at an equivalent of 6 Ohm, SSCS8 reproduces sound that is natural and clear alongside the ability to incorporate additional technologies that provide more balance and additional power while minimizing distortion when it comes to the bass.
  • Compatibility with Other Speakers: Operating at a maximum power of 145W, the SSCS8 can be easily paired with other speakers with similar power level outputs. This versatile nature makes it easy for you to match other surround speakers. SSCS8 is lightweight at about 10 pounds.

Pros

  • Multiple installation positions
  • Natural sound vibration
  • Astounding  bass response
  • Great speaker at an affordable price
  • Impressive build quality

Cons

  • Too loud amp but manageable
  • Not appropriate for small rooms

Our Verdict

By incorporating additional technologies that work toward improving its performance to even greater heights, Sony SSCS8 has earned a spot in our top 10, and we would advise anyone to try it out and experience the amazing results. If you’re looking for big, big sound in your center channel speakers, we think the Sony SSCS8 is one of the best.

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8. Cerwin Vega SL45C– Best Design

Cerwin-Vega SL-45C Quad 5 1/4

The quality you experience from either listening to your favorite lyrics or catching up with your favorite TV series is defined by sound. Many people swear by this one, and indeed Cerwin Vega speakers have been in the lead worldwide for their excellent sound quality.

The new SL45C design has reinvented sound quality to excellent levels making it a perfect choice if you are planning to put up a new sound system or upgrade the existing one.

Cerwin Vega SL45C Key Highlights

  • High-Frequency Response: SL45C features five ¼ -inch drivers that enhance the clarity of vocals produced. It has an additional five bidding posts for simple and reliable installation. The 1-inch soft dome tweeter ensures crisps high by maintaining a clear high-frequency response.
  • Classical Design with Removable Grill: With its unique traditional design coming with a removable grill, SL45C is reinforced with an internal brace which helps to strengthen the cabinet structure as well as eliminating unwanted resonance noise.
  • Vocal Intelligibility and Clarity: Cerwin Vega SL45C has been engineered for vocal intelligibility and clarity. The tuned porting brought about by bass-reflex design helps to achieve a punchy and tighter bass response.
  • 8-Ohm Impedance: The SL45C 8-ohm impedance makes it compatible with almost all amplifiers and receivers, and it is suitable for movies, music, and TV.

Pros

  • Powerful bass tones that sound punchy and tight
  • Solid bass that fills the room with a mature performance at any given volume
  • SL45C delivers incredible midrange and supports sound effects at a whole new level
  • High-frequency response
  • Appealing design 

Cons

  • The high-frequency response is not as clear as compared with other center speakers

Our Verdict 

Cerwin Vega SL45C guarantees incredible value and excellent sound quality.

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9. MartinLogan Motion 8 Center Channel Speaker– Best Splurge

MartinLogan Motion 8 Center Channel Speaker (Piano Black, Each)

The elegant MartínLogan Motion 8 is designed to provide maximum performance and flexibility. This speaker can be mounted on the wall with its included special brackets.

This versatile speaker can be oriented either vertically and horizontally and can be joined with other Motion series speakers, such as the Motion 4. You can even use three Motion 8 speakers as your (L/C/R) speakers for a perfect front soundstage.

MartinLogan Motion 8 Key Highlights

  • Folded Motion Tweeter: Crafted with a large surface area, usually about eight times that of a 1-inch dome tweeter, the innovative Folded Motion Tweeter creates engulfing, clear, precise, and high dynamic sound.
  • Elegant Style: Designed to fit with any décor, it features elegant yet understated styling with a real-wood veneer finish, subtle curves, a signature perforated grille, piano black finish, and a flawless high-gloss.
  • Curved Design: Motion 8 has a curved design meaning that you can direct the sound toward the desired listening position. The curved nature also allows for multiple wall-mounting orientations, whether low or high on the wall.
  • Convenient Speaker Terminals: Motion 8 comes with push-style terminals with curved inserts, which direct the speaker’s wires into place effortlessly. These terminals have removable end cups made of rubber, allowing you to use banana plugs instead of using bare wire.

Pros

  • Highly versatile as you can mount it horizontally or vertically
  • Includes brackets for wall mounting
  • Elegantly curved cabinet
  • Powerful, compact bass technology
  • Exerts powerful bass without the need for amplifiers or extra subwoofers

Cons

  • Frequency range is less dynamic, especially in the low-end tones.
  • It sometimes fails to capture some high notes

Our Verdict

Martinlogan’s unique curved design provides maximum performance as well as its flexibility. You can’t go wrong with the MartinLogan Motion 8 Center Channel Speaker.

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10. Fluance Signature Series– Best Sound

Fluance Signature HiFi 2-Way Center Channel Speaker for Enhanced Dialogue and Vocals in Home Theater Surround Sound Systems - Natural Walnut (HFCW)

The Fluance Signature Series will provide you with that cinema sound that you have always longed for as you bid goodbye to that soft sound. This two-way center channel speaker is perfect for your movie and music experience as it delivers high-quality audio.

Fluance Signature Series Key Features

  • Focus on Sound Excellence: With sound excellence at the center stage, the Fluance Signature Series has measured, tested, and perfected every detail in order to reproduce the best audio details. This center channel has been a household name in home audio, boasting of the finest qualities ranging from ultra-high-end tweeters to the powerful midrange.
  • Intense Roars, Soft Whispers: The Fluance Signature Series center channel has been designed so that each and every detail of dialogue or vocals is heard, giving you a home theater experience that is just like being at the movies. As with other center channel speakers, the Fluance Series has been designed for easy placement above or below the projecting screen/TV.
  • Heightened, Fine Detail: The ultra-high-end Neodymium tweeters built in the Fluance Series generate high frequencies in quick succession but in a smooth and controlled manner. 
  • Midrange That Produces a Natural Warm Soundstage: This high-fidelity center channel ensures that every sound is heard just as the movie sound producers intended. This is made possible by the two midrange drivers. These drivers are woven with some rigid, lightweight glass fiber to provide for optimal linear movement, ensuring sonic clarity and precision irrespective of the volume levels.

Pros

  • Natural sound quality
  • Deliver powerful and accurate bass
  • Big speakers, less money
  • Audible compression at high volumes
  • No exposed fasteners for the drivers
  • Cabinet design reduces parallel surfaces

Cons

  • They sometimes strain to produce accurate midrange tones.
  • Not convenient for small rooms
  • Midrange tracks are slightly muddied at higher volumes

Our Verdict

The Fluance Signature Series will perfect the dialogue and vocals from that captivating monologue to those enchanting lyrics, ensuring that sound is experienced fully and as it was intended.

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Things to Consider When Buying Center Speakers

Budget

Generally, most center channel speakers are affordable. However, quality calls for commitment. Budgeting the right amount of money is essential before you make the purchase decision. The prices will vary depending on the brand and also the retailer. We want you to get the best sound possible on your budget.

Performance and Sound Quality

When choosing a center speaker, go for one with a wide frequency range. A wide range not only provides crystal clear sound to people that are at the center of the listening position but also to people that are not facing the speaker directly. 

Size and Style

The size and style of your center speaker should match that of your other surround sound speakers. You should try to look for similar mid-range and same frequency responses. This is important as it will provide a seamless transfer of sound from one speaker to the other.

Power Requirement

The amount of power required will depend on the size of the speaker setup as well as the quality of the system. Measured in ohms and decibels, a good center channel speaker will use the same amount of power as normal stereo speakers. So, make sure you factor in power requirements before you make the purchase.

Sensitivity

Center speakers with a high sensitivity rating naturally reproduce quality surround sound with less static noise. In addition, they consume less power as compared with the ones with a lower sensitivity. It makes sense, then, that the speaker’s sensitivity should be a major consideration for quality sound and saving power.

Usage

Whether it’s for gaming, playing music, or watching movies, single one out the center channel speaker that best serves your purpose.

Top 10 Best Center Channel Speakers FAQs

Q. What are center channel speakers for?

Answer: A center channel speaker provides balance between your right and left front speakers. These speakers improve audio output by making sound appear more natural across all speakers.

Q. When must I install a center channel speaker?

Answer: There are instances when installing a center channel speaker is a necessity rather than a luxury. For instance, if your system is set up in a large room such that speakers are spread apart, you will need a high-quality center channel speaker to eliminate holes in your sound. Without the speaker, you will notice some weakness in your center sound. Dialogue in your movies will sound fuzzy, and you will feel that something vital is lacking in your system’s audio output.

Q. What is the difference between a center channel speaker and a soundbar?

Answer: A center channel speaker functions as part of a bigger sound system. It works with right, left, center, and surround speakers to enhance your listening experience. Essentially, it is the heart of a home theater system. Most center channel speakers need an external amp or AV receiver.

On the other hand, a soundbar is a standalone speaker. The main aim of installing a soundbar is to improve the quality of your TV set. It works perfectly well without a power amp or AV receiver. You just need to connect it to the TV set.

Q. What are the most important things to look for in a center channel speaker?

Answer: A broad frequency response is the most essential feature in a center channel speaker. Make sure that the speaker can adequately reproduce vocals. Other considerations are the size, design, and look of the speaker. 

Q. How does a center channel speaker improve the movie experience?

Answer: If you love watching movies at home, you absolutely need to add a center channel speaker to your sound system. The speaker changes everything. It reproduces all dialogue, movie effects, and musical instruments more robustly and clearly to give you a better overall sound output.

Q. How high should a center channel speaker be?

Answer: The ideal placement for a center channel speaker is directly on-axis relative to the primary sitting position. Since the speaker balances the left and right speakers, placing it at a matching height makes sense. This height translates into at or near head level when seated. At this height, the center channel speaker will improve mid and high-frequency response and dialogue intelligibility.

Q. How do I check whether the center channel speaker is compatible with my home theater system?

Answer: Consider the brand of your right and left front speakers. Different brands have specific sound signatures, so you want a center channel speaker that will integrate with the existing speakers. Choosing the same manufacturer for the center channel speaker as for other speakers in the system is the best shot at achieving high compatibility. With the same manufacturer, you are assured of a smooth transition.

It’s noteworthy that some center channel speakers are quite versatile and will blend with other types of speakers just fine. Just be aware of this factor when making your purchase decision.

The Bottom Line

The center channel speaker is an audio speaker that enhances your sound at home, whether you are enjoying your favorite TV show, watching a movie, or playing music. It is normally positioned at the center of the action. Its varied technologies make it possible to produce a natural and balanced sound that will add to your home theater experience.

 
 
 
 
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