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What Makes High-End Speakers “High-End”?

Two high-end speakers and a subwoofer in a home.

How to Spot Quality Audio  

If you’re a music enthusiast who’s thinking about upgrading your sound system, you may be wondering which speakers are “the best.” Is there a noticeable difference in speakers with a higher price tag—and is that difference worth it? 

In short, yes. There is an undeniable difference between low-grade and high-end speakers. In fact, we invite you to visit our showroom in Bellevue, WA, and hear the brilliance for yourself! But until then, we’ll explain in this blog post what makes some speakers “high-end” and how you can find premium speakers. 

SEE ALSO: Whole-House Audio: How Does It Work? 

High-End Listening 

It’s not always easy to describe audio in writing, but we’ll do our best. When you own high-end speakers, music and film scores will sound more rich and detailed than ever. High-end audio strives to replicate sound waves as accurately as possible so that music sounds like it did when first recorded in the studio. If you close your eyes, it will sound like the performance is really happening in your house. Low-end speakers sound like listening to a recording; high-end speakers sound like the real deal. 

High-end speakers sound better because they can more accurately produce low, mid, and high-range sound frequencies and preserve the timber of each instrument and voice. On low-end speakers, some sound frequencies may overpower others, causing you to lose musical details. 

How to Spot Hi-Fi Speakers 

How do you know if a speaker really is high-end? Look for these signs: 

  • Larger size: In general, high-end speakers tend to be larger, due to the stronger sound created by a larger surface area and bigger drivers. Floorstanding speakers typically include a large subwoofer, mid-range driver, and a tweeter, which is hard to fit in a small device. 
  • Stronger materials: Cones within speaker drivers need to be flexible but rigid. Low-end speakers often use plastic or even paper for the cones. High-end audio will use stronger materials like glass, clay, and even diamond, Kevlar, or beryllium. More durable materials are less likely to cause sound distortion.
  • Custom design: Many low-end speakers use off-the-shelf drivers which can compromise the audio performance. The best speakers come from brands that build their own parts or work with suppliers to develop customized pieces. 

Complete the Recipe for High-End Audio 

Even if you have all the ingredients for high-end listening, the last few steps can tamper with the overall experience. Owning a pair of premium speakers won’t matter much if you don’t have a quality amplifier or high-resolution music sources. 

We recommend playing music on a quality turntable, CD player, or with lossless digital files. And then there’s the room you’re playing the speakers in. Be sure to address the room’s acoustics and place the speakers in an optimal location— or reach out to our home audio company for guidance. With the right equipment, media, and placement, you can hear your favorite records like it’s for the first time again. 


Elite Automation is an audio-video integration company based in the Bellevue, WA, area. If you’re curious about high-end audio, visit us or contact us here to learn more! 

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