Hiding your speakers used to be all the rage. Companies would boast about how they produced the slimmest, most hard-to-find speakers possible. They would advertise their speakers as being virtually invisible. Those companies that didn’t market slim speakers would market their speakers as blending in with their surroundings. You will have noticed this effect if you’ve ever seen speakers from the 1970s. They were big and clunky, but oftentimes, they were panelled with faux wood or real wood. That was done so they would blend into the wall around you. The idea was to pick a speaker-box that matched your existing wood panelling. That way, no one would see them. Some even went so far as to create speakers that looked like books or other items. That was the past.
Speakers don’t need to be hidden anymore. Technology, creativity, and style have all progressed to a point that people are trying to figure out ways to display their speakers even more prominently. Because of the advent of new technologies and new speaker styles, many people are opting for interactive surround sound systems.
Surround sound is an idea that has existed since at least the 1940s. Walt Disney premiered one of the earliest surround sound experiences in the 1950s. It came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s when more and more people began to buy home movie systems. They wanted to recreate as closely as possible the movie theatre experience. However, as stated earlier, they tried their hardest to hide their speakers. This was actually for two different reasons. For one, the speakers themselves were not very attractive. Also, the speakers were all wired, so you had to make sure that you were hiding them and the wires. They were unattractive but they were also a tripping hazard.
Now, many hi-fi speakers are wireless. That means you can place them all over your home theatre without having to worry about hiding wires. In fact, you don’t even have to keep them next to your home theatre system at all. If, for example, you are having a party in the backyard, you might want to put them outside so people can hear them.
Speakers now come in a variety of wood finishes as well as metal and plastic. They are designed to be visually appealing as well as functional. Much work has been done to study the acoustics of different substances. Metals reflect the most sound but they also give a tinny and metallic quality to the sound. If you are not concerned about this or if you need the refraction more than anything, you should opt for a metal speaker. If you are looking for the warm tones that many people associate with the vinyl-era of music, you should opt for wood speakers. These speaker boxes reflect the roundest and most balanced sounds.
Tower speakers are also getting skinnier and skinnier so that they look like columns, instead of the clunky boxes they used to be. Many people actually choose to prominently display their speakers as living room accessories.