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9 Best Center Channel Speakers for Your Home Theater in 2023

Article By: Ava Olivia Published On: January 12, 2023 , Last updated on : January 15, 2023
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best center channel speaker

The center speaker for surround sound is one of the most important elements in a home theater. The best center channel speaker will make you feel like you are interacting with the character in real life even though it is on your screen. Besides movies, you can enhance the experience of listening to music with a center speaker for your home theater system.

Buying guide for the best center channel speakers for home theater

There are a lot of center channel speakers for home theaters on the market. However, the best center channel speaker for you will be the one that caters to your specific needs. As a result, you need to look for a couple of things to find the best center speaker for yourself.

Compatibility

First and foremost, the center channel speaker you have in mind needs to be compatible with the rest of the speakers in your home theater. For example, if you have a wireless system, you need to get a center channel speaker with wireless connectivity.

Dolby Atmos support

Dolby atmos support usually drives up the cost of any speakers. However, you can find some cheap center channel speakers that accommodate Dolby Atmos by foregoing other features. At the same time, you will find some expensive speakers that do not have Dolby Atmos support.

Sound quality

As you can guess, sound quality is directly proportional to the price tag of the speaker. The best center channel speaker for your specific home theater will be the one that has the best sound quality within your budget range.

Loudness

The loudness of the center channel speaker will come into play when you want to get the speaker for listening to music or for parties. However, if you simply want a center channel speaker for seeing movies in your home theater, loudness will not have much significance.


Polk Signature Elite ES35

Polk Signature Elite ES35

The Polk Signature Elite ES35 is the best center channel speaker for surround sound systems on the market if you can afford it. Not only does it have an outstanding sensitivity, but an amazing sound quality as well.
Klipsch R-52C

Klipsch R-52C

The Klipsch R-52C is the next best speaker if you are under a budget. Even though it is cheaper, it does not sacrifice quality to bring down its price point. Besides having superior sound quality, it also has a strong magnetic grill that enhances its durability.
Polk Audio T30

Polk Audio T30

If you are a fan of Polk but are under a strict budget, you can go for the Polk Audio T30. It has a natural and well-balanced sound. Polk is able to achieve this superior quality at this price point because of the brilliant tuning of their audio.
Sony SSCS8

Sony SSCS8

The Sony SSCS8 is one of the only center channel speakers that are both affordable and support Dolby Atmos at the same time. However, they had to sacrifice the bass quality of the speaker to accommodate it.
Klipsch RP-504C

Klipsch RP-504C

The Klipsch RP-504C is among the best home theater center channel speakers on the market. However, it comes later on our list because of its price-feature ratio. But if you can afford it, the Klipsch RP-504C is definitely the best you can get.
Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL

Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL

The Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL is perfect for people who prefer listing to music on their home theater system. This is because of its excellent two-way bass reflex feature, which significantly improves the quality of the songs.
Acoustic Audio Psc-43

Acoustic Audio Psc-43

The Acoustic Audio Psc-43 is the most affordable device on our list. However, it does not have the durability or sensitivity to bring you the speaker in this price range. They are able to achieve this by making the speaker more low profile.
Pioneer SP-C22

Pioneer SP-C22

The Pioneer SP-C22 is the best for people who like to keep their speakers out of sight. This is because it is able to perform just fine even when kept inside a cabinet. However, you need to spend a little extra to get an audio amplifier for it.
KEF T301C

KEF T301C

The KEF T301C gets rid of any unwanted resonance of sound from your surround sound system. Its sensitivity and sound quality are also outstanding. However, the lack of Dolby Atmos support in this price range hurts its ranking.

Best center channel speakers for home theater | Top 9 picks

The best center channel speakers for a home theater will have superior features to its competitors on the market. However, when we take their price tag and your budget into consideration, it gets a little complicated. To help you select a speaker for yourself, here are the best home theater center channel speaker reviews.

List of the best center channel speaker

  1. Polk Signature Elite ES35
  2. Klipsch R-52C
  3. Polk Audio T30
  4. Sony SSCS8
  5. Klipsch RP-504C
  6. Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL
  7. Acoustic Audio Psc-43
  8. Pioneer SP-C22
  9. KEF T301C

Polk Signature Elite ES35

1.Polk Signature Elite ES35Sensitivity: 89 dB

Dimensions: 24 x 6 x 4 inches

Dolby Atmos support: Yes

The Polk Signature Elite ES35 is the best all-rounder on the market for center channel speakers. Since you can connect it wirelessly or with wires if required, you can pretty much integrate it into any home theater system.

Besides being the only wireless center channel speaker, it also has some of the best features on the market. Not only does it support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X AVRs, but it also has a distortion-free and cleaner bass sound. It is the best Polk center channel speaker for home theater.

Pros:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Distortion-free and clearer bass
  • Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X AVRs
  • Elegant and classy look

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

The Polk Signature Elite ES35 has an elegant and classy look. It has a wood grain finish, so you can enhance the aesthetic of your furniture in your home theater. All these features, combined with the looks, make the Polk Signature Elite ES35 the best center channel speaker if you can afford it.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 9/10
Sound Quality: 10/10
Design: 10/10
Durability: 10/10

Klipsch R-52C

Klipsch R-52CSensitivity: 95 dB

Dimensions: 7.62 x 18.75 x 7.3 inches

Dolby Atmos support: No

If you are looking for the loudest center channel speaker on the market, the Klipsch R-52C is the one for you. Besides being loud, it is also the best Klipsch center speaker. That is relevant because Klipsch speakers dominate the market for the best center channel speakers.

The Klipsch R-52C has a sensitivity of 95 dB, which means it is very loud. However, its sound quality does not take a hit even if you hit max volume. Additionally, it has a high dynamic range, so you can make out the difference in loudness as you change the volume.

Pros:

  • Outstanding loud and clear sound
  • Strong magnetic grill
  • High dynamic range for different volumes

Cons:

  • Only works well when combined with other Klipsch speakers

The Klipsch R-52C is affordable as well, making it the best budget center channel speaker. However, the only drawback is that it only works well when the other speakers in the home theater system are also from Klipsch. Other than that, it is the best center channel speaker for your home theater if you are under a budget.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 10/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Durability: 10/10

Polk Audio T30

Polk Audio T30Sensitivity: 90 dB

Dimensions: 8.5 x 19 x 6.5 inches

Dolby Atmos support: Yes

The Polk Audio T30 is an affordable and loud center channel speaker that also comes with Dolby Atmos support. As a result, it is able to deliver crystal clear vocals from both movies and songs, making it the best center channel speaker for dialogue.

The Polk Audio T30 is able to produce a natural and well-balanced sound at the cost of customizability. This means that Polk has fined tuned the speaker to be able to produce a clear sound even though it is among the affordable speakers.

Pros:

  • Natural and well-balanced sound
  • Delivers crystal-clear vocals
  • Easy setup process

Cons:

  • Limited customization options

The Polk Audio T30 has an easy setup process, so you can easily integrate it with your home theater system and get it up and running out of the box. Its outstanding sound quality, loudness, and ease of setup combined make it the best center channel speaker for home theater.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 10/10
Sound Quality: 10/10
Design: 9/10
Durability: 9/10

Sony SSCS8

Sony SSCS8Sensitivity: 86 dB

Dimensions: 19.7 x 10.7 x 8.7 inches

Dolby Atmos support: Yes

The Sony SSCS8 is another affordable center channel speaker that supports Dolby Atmos. If you want an affordable center channel speaker specifically for watching movies in your home theater, this is the perfect speaker for you. Besides having a sleek and minimalistic design to fit your aesthetics, it also integrates and works well with speakers of other brands.

Pros:

  • Integrates and works well with any setup
  • Supports Dolby Atmos at an affordable price
  • Sleek and minimalistic design

Cons:

  • Bass quality could be better

While the Sony SSCS8 is great for movies, it underperforms when playing music. This is because Sony sacrificed bass quality to bring you this speaker at this price point. Other than that, it is one of the best center channel speakers for watching movies.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 9/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Durability: 9/10

Klipsch RP-504C

Klipsch RP-504CSensitivity: 97 dB

Dimensions: 11.4 x 31 x 6.8 inches

Dolby Atmos support: Yes

The Klipsch RP-504C is one of the most top rated center channel speakers and is rightfully so. If you can afford it and make space for it, the Klipsch RP-504C is, without a doubt, the best center channel speaker on the market. Besides having outstanding sound quality, it is able to produce that sound while consuming lower power at greater efficiency. So, it will help reduce your electricity bill.

Pros:

  • Lots of connection options for better compatibility
  • Better sound at lower power consumption
  • Furniture-grade finish

Cons:

  • Bulkier than its competitors’ speakers

The Klipsch RP-504C has a furniture-grade finish, so you can effortlessly add it to your home theater and enhance its aesthetics. However, it is a bit bulkier than other center speakers, so you need to ensure that you have space for it under your TV before buying it. It comes later on our list because of its price tag, which hurts its price-feature ratio.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 10/10
Sound Quality: 10/10
Design: 10/10
Durability: 9/10

Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL

Yamaha Audio NS-C210BLSensitivity: 86 dB

Dimensions: 5.2 x 13.4 x 4.2 inches

Dolby Atmos support: No

The Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL is perfect for people who want to listen to music with a surround sound system. This is because of its outstanding two-way bass reflex features that enhance your musical experience. Additionally, it enhances the sound of songs without clashing with other speakers in the home theater system.

Pros:

  • Outstanding two-way bass reflex speaker
  • Enhances sound without clashing with other speakers
  • Slim and compact enough to fit in tight spaces

Cons:

  • Design could be better

While the Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL is a small center channel speaker, so you can fit it in the tightest of shelves, it has a worn and grainy look. If looks do not matter to you, the Yamaha Audio NS-C210BL is one of the best center channel speakers you can get under a budget.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 9/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 8/10
Durability: 9/10

Acoustic Audio Psc-43

Acoustic Audio Psc-43Sensitivity: 89 dB

Dimensions: 14 x 5.8 x 4.4 inches

Dolby Atmos support: No

The Acoustic Audio Psc-43 is the best low profile center channel speaker for home theater on the market. By making the speaker more low profile, they are able to bring it down to a price point that other brands cannot beat. Additionally, it has seamless integration with other sound systems, so you can buy and add it to your system in a pinch.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with other sound systems
  • Better sensitivity than its competitors
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • The sound quality could be better

The Acoustic Audio Psc-43 is the most affordable center channel speaker, but that does not mean it is bad by any means. While they do sacrifice quality a bit to bring it to this price point, it still has better sensitivity than speakers that cost more than it.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 9/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Durability: 8/10

Pioneer SP-C22

Pioneer SP-C22Sensitivity: 88 dB

Dimensions: 8.45 x 18.13 x 7.13 inches

Dolby Atmos support: No

The Pioneer SP-C22 can play audio with a wider range of frequencies than its competitors. As a result, the sound produced by it remains smooth even at high volumes. Additionally, the sound produced by it sounds good even when you place the speaker inside a cabinet, which is its biggest selling point.

Pros:

  • Smooth sound, even in high volumes
  • Sounds good even when placed inside cabinets
  • Wider frequency range

Cons:

  • Requires an audio amplifier to work

The Pioneer SP-C22 is perfect for people who want to keep speakers away from sight since it works well inside cabinets. However, it requires an audio amplifier to be able to produce this exceptional sound, which will drive up your costs.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 9/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 8/10
Durability: 9/10

KEF T301C

KEF T301CSensitivity: 91 dB

Dimensions: 23.6 x 1.4 x 5.5 inches

Dolby Atmos support: No

The KEF T301C is the best center channel speaker for under $500. One of the biggest problems of any home theater with surround sound is unwanted resonance. This speaker is successfully able to remove any unwanted resonance thanks to its exceptional sound control. Additionally, it has outstanding sensitivity and sound quality.

Pros:

  • Can be placed on surfaces or mounted on walls
  • Removes any unwanted resonance
  • Outstanding sensitivity

Cons:

  • Competitors in this price range have Dolby Atmos support

The KEF T301C can be mounted on walls, so you can place it above or behind your TV if that is what you want. However, the biggest factor holding it back is the fact that it is a rather expensive center channel speaker, but it still does not support Dolby Atmos.

Quantitative Measurement

Loudness: 10/10
Sound Quality: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Durability: 9/10

Final verdict

The best center channel speaker will fulfill your specific home theater needs. For example, if you want a center channel speaker that you can connect to your system wirelessly, the Polk Signature Elite ES35 is the one for you. If you liked this list, check out our top picks for the best speaker for outdoor projectors and projectors for Apple TV 4K.

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