Best Center Channel Speaker

What Is CNET’s Top Pick for the Best Center Channel Speaker? Finding the Ultimate Center Channel Speaker: CNET’s Top Picks

Finding the Ultimate Center Channel Speaker: CNET’s Top Picks

In the world of home audio, the center channel speaker plays a crucial role in delivering clear and immersive sound for your home theater system. When you’re on the hunt for the best center channel speaker, it’s only natural to turn to trusted sources for expert recommendations. CNET, renowned for its in-depth tech reviews, is one such source. In this article, we’ll dive into CNET’s top picks for the best center channel speakers and explore the features and qualities that set them apart.

best center channel speaker cnet

Best Center Channel Speaker
BrandPolk Audio
Model NameTL1
Speaker TypeCenter Channel
Connectivity TechnologyAuxiliary
Recommended Uses For ProductHome Theater

About this item

  • CREATES A SOUNDSTAGE COMPARABLE TO ANY LARGE SYSTEM. Features two (2) 2.5″ drivers, a 0.5″ silk dome tweeter & injection molded cones. The APERIODIC-TUNED REAR PORT delivers bass extension and boosts the audio on a shelf or mounted against the wall
  • UNIQUE CURVED SHAPE BASED ON “TIME LENS TECHNOLOGY” – It is specially designed to align the acoustic centers of the tweeter and mid-bass in the same plane, reducing diffraction & distortions, and ensuring the right sounds reach you at the same time
  • BUILD YOUR OWN 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 HOME THEATER SYSTEM – According to you room size & requirements, create an immersive surround sound system by adding four to eight satellite speakers and a subwoofer of your choice to this center channel
  • EASY TO CONNECT AND OPERATE – No matter how you choose to set it up, the center channel easily connects to a receiver, just like any other speaker
  • POLK’S UNMATCHED QUALITY AT A SURPRISINGLY LOW PRICE. With this value-priced center channel, you can now enjoy premium audio, expert engineering, solid construction, and a spectacular theater experience right at home
Best Center Channel Speaker

Why Does the Center Channel Speaker Matter?

Before we delve into CNET’s recommendations, it’s essential to understand the importance of the center channel speaker. In a typical home theater setup, this speaker is responsible for reproducing dialogue and central sound elements. It anchors the voices and effects to the screen, providing a seamless and immersive audio experience. The right center channel speaker can make the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary home theater experience.

Klipsch RP-450C: A CNET Favorite

CNET’s experts have consistently lauded the Klipsch RP-450C as a top choice for the best center channel speaker. This speaker boasts a host of features that make it a standout option.

Key Features:

  • Tractrix Horn Technology: The RP-450C features Klipsch’s signature Tractrix horn-loaded technology, which enhances sound dispersion and reduces distortion. This ensures that every word and sound is crystal clear.
  • Cerametallic Woofer: The speaker’s cerametallic woofer is lightweight yet rigid, delivering exceptional low-frequency response. It’s perfect for conveying the deep rumble of explosions or the subtle nuances of a whispered conversation.
  • Highly Efficient Design: Klipsch has designed the RP-450C to be highly efficient, meaning it can produce exceptional sound even with less power. This is an energy-efficient choice that doesn’t sacrifice performance.
Best Center Channel Speaker

The KEF LS50 Collection: Precision and Elegance

For those seeking a combination of aesthetics and sonic excellence, CNET has highlighted the KEF LS50 collection, known for its precision and elegance.

Key Features:

  • Uni-Q Driver Array: The LS50 center channel speaker features KEF’s patented Uni-Q driver array, which places the tweeter in the acoustic center of the midrange cone. This technology results in a detailed and three-dimensional soundstage.
  • Beautiful Design: The LS50’s sleek and modern design not only complements your home theater setup but also serves as a conversation piece. It’s a blend of art and audio engineering.
  • High-Resolution Audio: KEF has engineered the LS50 collection to deliver high-resolution audio, ensuring that you catch every subtle note and vocal inflection in your favorite movies and music.

Bowers & Wilkins HTM Series: Unparalleled Clarity

Another top pick by CNET is the Bowers & Wilkins HTM series, known for its unparalleled clarity and audio fidelity.

Key Features:

  • Diamond Dome Tweeter: The HTM series utilizes Bowers & Wilkins’ diamond dome tweeter technology, resulting in crisp and lifelike high-frequency reproduction. Dialogue is delivered with unmatched clarity.
  • Matrix Bracing: The speaker’s internal matrix bracing minimizes cabinet resonance, preserving the integrity of the audio signal. You’ll experience sound as it was intended by the creators.
  • Elegant Finish: Bowers & Wilkins pays meticulous attention to the finish and build quality of their speakers. The HTM series is a testament to their commitment to craftsmanship.


When it comes to finding the best center channel speaker, CNET’s recommendations hold a significant weight in the world of audio enthusiasts. The Klipsch RP-450C, KEF LS50 collection, and Bowers & Wilkins HTM series are just a few of the top options to consider. Each of these speakers offers unique qualities, ensuring that your home theater experience is nothing short of extraordinary.

In your quest for the perfect center channel speaker, you can trust CNET’s expertise and these top-rated options to deliver audio that truly shines in your home theater setup. Explore the details, compare the features, and choose the one that aligns with your preferences and requirements. With the right center channel speaker, you’ll be well on your way to an audio experience that elevates your home entertainment to new heights.

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