Do not panic, do not freak out, I am here to help you about almost everything about speakers. Get ready to be confused, but a little reading over and over again and you will get it. without further ado, lets get started!
COMMON SPEAKER TERMS
Its very easy to get confused over terms, so here is a quick guide to what the terms stand for. (ch stands for channel)
5.1 ch system:
Home Theatre system. Also known as 5.1 ch Home Theatre system. Used primarily with televisions, but can also be hooked up to your CD player for a great surround sound music experience.
2.0 ch system:
These are desktop speakers, consisting of 2 speakers to be placed on either side of your computer monitor.
2.1 ch system:
These also include 2 desktop speakers, but also include a subwoofer to be placed under your desk to provide the deepest low-end bass.
Hi-Fi Component System:
These are absolutely common out there, and consist of a main CD player (which may include other functions such as bluetooth and Audio In) connected to 2 speakers, very often wooden cabinet speakers that utilise a bass reflex system. Some Hi-Fi Component Systems have CD players with built in Passive Radiators or subwoofer.
A Passive Radiator is a speaker that does not have the voice coil or magnet assembly of a normal acitve speaker. It is basically "passive". Bass reflex ports do the same thing, but their used in different situations. Check out wikipedia for more info on this in the link below.
A subwoofer enhances the lower frequency performance of a speaker system, but a poor quality crossover will result in overly boomy bass that overwhelms the other speakers. A crossover divides the frequencies to be sent to each speaker, such as the tweeters, mid-range drivers and also the subwoofer.
Now that we are done with all this, let us get on to knowing even more about what each speaker system is all about!
5.1 ch systems
A full, complete Home Theatre system consists of at least 4 surround speakers that contain the mid-range drivers and tweeters, a subwoofer that can be placed wherever you want, preferably on the floor, and a centre speaker to be placed right in front of the TV. Where majority of these systems fail is in the subwoofer that provides very boomy bass and this is not what we audiophiles want, we want deep, tight and controlled bass that does not reverberate and sound like a bad bloated bass speaker. The best speaker company is PSB, as the speakers they make are the best at any price, and some of their speaker systems are so good that they are better than speakers twice the price.
2.0 ch systems
These systems are just basically meant to improve the poor quality audio coming out of your personal computer. A mid- to higher-range set most of the time always includes tweeters to help improve high frequency response. Creative has been making very good mid- to high-range sets that have impressed at their individual price points, especially the Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II and the Creative Gigaworks T40 Series II.
2.1 ch systems
These systems are also meant to improve the audio quality coming out of your computer, with a subwoofer underneath your desk providing the low-end muscle. Once again, many of these sets fail as they are too bassy and overwhelm the mid- and high-range sound coming out of the 2 satellite speakers sitting on your desk. Creative once again makes a lot of good mid- to high-range 2.1 systems that continue to impress. Most subwoofers of 2.1 systems, even those really cheap ones, include a bass adjustment option.
Hi-Fi Component System
These are very common in many homes as the included CD player plus 2 speakers make it very easy for people to have a home audio set-up. They come in at various price points and many claim improvements to sound through the usage of various technologies the higher up the price ladder you go. The standard decent set comes with a well-designed wooden cabinet, a decently large speaker and a good bass-reflex system. Improvements on these that I so far have seen are passive radiators and subwoofers added to the main CD player itself.
Now, I am done with my guide and hope you all have benefited from it. see you in my next guide!