The best central channel speakers are essential to movies and TV shows were dialogue becomes a tool to improve realism
The improvements on the realism of the visual arts always comes hand in hand with the sound, and this is not different for home theater systems, that are often adapting to fit the new advancements on digital reproduction. Likewise, complex and robust home theaters are an investment that all Blu-ray users must adopt to make it worth their acquisitions, and it includes a central channel speaker that will add a lot to the realism of dialogues on the screen.
Central channel speakers are designed to concentrate the dialogues that happen in a movie or TV show at the center of the audio system, right below or above the TV screen, depending on how you prefer to implement it. They work with 5.1 and 7.1 stereo systems that are adapted to run Dolby Digital Plus, That is something important to emphasize since this set of speakers won’t work well with inferior sets or Dolby technologies. You could match it with the great 2.1 speakers and it would end up working flawed as this kind of system doesn’t have the technology to move the sound.
But what does it means to move the sound?
Well, the central channel will have the job to reproduce dialogues as characters are in scene, performing that dialogue. But what happens when one of them comes off, moving to a place in scene that is off limits of the screen and the other character is still in focus? The ultimate technologies perform a transition of dialogue tracks to the speaker correspondent to the side where that character left the scene in focus – character B goes to the kitchen and we keep seeing the character A in the living room. They keep talking, but now we hear B talking from the left channel as the kitchen is left-sided from the scene.
When the stereo system is not a 5.1 at least and doesn’t include the Dolby Digital Plus, this kind of realism simply becomes flawed as we keep hearing B talking from the center. Also, is important to note that this is also something that not all movies with Dolby Plus include, regarding how the post-production of the movie happened to compress it in digital media. Some may not have the care to edit the digital audio to fit that kind of realism, so this is also a matter of what kind of movie or TV show you are watching. High-tech sci-fi picture will probably implement that kind of realism, while your favorite contemporary, low-budged drama show most likely will not.
After all this prerequisites, just acquiring some of the best central channel speakers won’t be enough to make it work well if you don’t design well how you will implement the speakers. Is often recommended to do not place the central channel speaker inside enclosed structures like a rack, neither too close to the ground. Also, there are many models that are designed with deep boxed enclosures, just like regular speakers. They are not actually the best for dialogues, as men will sound like some scary ogres and woman like they are trapped inside a box. The “trapped inside a box” also will be the result for men anyway but, in a nut shell, remember that voices are not as deep that they require deep acoustics boxes and that is not to say that all central channel speakers with a box enclosure are bad, just avoid the ones that are too deep.