So you have $1000 to spend on a center channel speaker? Well, I would say that’s a pretty decent amount. Therefore, you can get a pretty decent center channel speaker as well.
However, there is one thing you need to keep in mind, the high price is no guarantee that the speaker is good for the job.
You have to be super careful as there would be a lot of options. Almost every speaker would seem promising enough.
If the speaker you purchase is not compatible with the left, or right speaker and has a crisp clear sound, it would be of no use.
Therefore, make a thoughtful purchase. I have tried a lot of center channel speakers, and here are the few that I found worth shortlisting.
Center Channel Speaker Under $1000
- Compact – Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-504C II Speaker
- Handsome – KEF Q650c Center Channel Speaker
- 2-way – Bowers & Wilkins 2-Way Gloss Black Speaker
- Economical – KEF Q250c Center Channel Speaker
- Hi-Res Certified – Polk Audio R350 Hi-Res Certified Speaker
- Versatile – Polk Audio R400 Dolby Atmos & Imax Certified Speaker
1. Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-504C II Speaker
Klipsch is my favorite speaker brand and this is the best center channel speaker it has ever invented. Therefore, I decided to give this speaker the top position. Here are a few reasons that made the speaker worthy of this position.
Sound quality – I purchased this center channel speaker after hearing it in my best friend’s home theater.
The sound of this center channel speaker is phenomenal. It’s just as clear and crisp as the sound of the center channel speaker should be.
Above all, it does not take much time to break in. I only had to give it an hour or so, the speakers were ready to serve me.
Construction – Upon noticing this bookshelf speaker thoroughly, I concluded that it is constructed from some high-quality material.
The speaker comes back in a furniture-grade cabinet and has a cerametallic woofer and titanium tweeter.
The cerametallic woofer contributes to delivering crystal clear dialogues and the titanium tweeter ensures less distortion.
Perfect size – I purchased this speaker without checking the dimensions as I fell in love with its “perfectly” clear and crisp sound. Therefore, I kind of overlooked the size.
Most buyers have found it hard to adjust it into the space below the TV. However, I have not found the speaker too big to be hard to adjust.
- Comes from a well-known brand
- Removable grills
- Produce clear, crisp, and dynamic sound
- Not so impressive design
2. KEF Q650c Center Channel Speaker
KEF has rewarded us with some worth purchasing and using speakers. All the speakers from this brand are durable and have phenomenal sound. This one is just no exception.
Looks and sounds great – What “actually” made my purchase and try these speakers is the exceptional sound and the unique design.
I loved the fact that this speaker did not make me compromise on the looks or sound. The sound of this center channel speaker is clear and tight. I have noticed that the speaker focuses on great detail as well.
Aluminum dome tweeter – The aluminum dome tweeter makes the center channel speaker “absolutely” worth trying. Aluminum is known to be the best tweeter material.
I have noticed all the speakers with aluminum tweeters handle higher volumes and reach higher volumes.
Multiple placement options – This speaker offers several incredible placement options. Like typical center channel speakers, this one has to be placed under the screen as well. However, you can place it on the table, AV or speaker stand, shelf, or any flat surface.
For the first few days, I kept the speaker on the floor as I had no suitable stand. The speaker served me well. However, now I have bought the stand, the sound quality has just gotten so much better.
- Has gold-plated binding post terminals
- Comes with rubber self-adhesive feet
- Delivers cleaner and punchier bass
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Does not come with magnetic grills
3. Bowers & Wilkins 2-Way Gloss Black Speaker
Bowers and Wilkins is a luxury speaker brand. This speaker brand rules home theater owners, studio professionals, and recording artists’ hearts with HiFi loud and home cinema speakers.
Compact – What I love the most about this speaker is the compact design. Even though there is a lot of space under my screen. However, still there is no harm in having space for other things. Since this center channel speaker has a lot of space, my home theater looks better whenever this is on.
2-way design – I have found this center channel speaker 2-way. By 2-way I mean, it has both a tweeter and a woofer. The biggest advantage of having both a tweeter and woofer is that the speaker handles both low and high-frequency sounds better than the other case.
Suitability – The thing that I must not conceal from you is that it is suitable only for small spaces. Hate it or not, the speaker is inadequate for bigger needs. However, most home theaters are usually small. Therefore, I do not consider it a con at all.
- Smooth and surprisingly clear
- Has natural bass
- Super small-space friendly
- Lacks FST driver
4. KEF Q250c Center Channel Speaker
This is another KEF Center channel speaker that I truly admire for so many reasons. Therefore, I had to recommend it as well.
This speaker has all the qualities the home theater owners usually look for. Here are a few.
Type – If you often read my post, chances are you might already know I prefer passive speakers.
This one also happens to be a passive speaker. That’s the major reason why I was willing to try it.
The passive speaker does make you go through the struggle of finding a suitable amplifier. However, they are still a good option because these speakers can easily be upgraded.
Uni-Q sound – Almost every center channel speaker from this brand is claimed to have a uni-Q sound.
To be honest, before trying multiple speakers I had doubts. However, now I’m convinced that these speakers truly have what the company claims.
To put the speaker’s sound to the test, I compared it with almost every center channel speaker I have at the moment.
This and the rest of the KEF speakers dispersed the sound more evenly throughout the room. Therefore, if you truly want to enjoy a movie sitting anywhere in the room but in front, I would suggest you shortlist this and the above-mentioned KEF speaker.
Economical – The other most promising thing about this speaker is that it’s super economical.
The other speaker having the same clarity and well-dispersed sound are not that cheap.
It’s a good option for people who do not have much to spend on the speaker but can not compromise on the quality either.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Creates precise and captivating dialogues
- Available in three different finishes
- Delivers punchier bass
- The grills have to be purchased separately
5. Polk Audio R350 Hi-Res Certified Speaker
Polk Audio is emerging as a reliable speaker brand. For quite some time now, this speaker brand has only been launching some high-end speakers at economical prices. Therefore, you should take advantage of that.
Clear – Just as the home theater speakers should be, I have tried and found this “absolutely” clear and detail focused. Whenever I connect this speaker to my home theater, I do not turn on the subtitles.
The reason is the sound is already so clear, you do not need any aid to understand the dialogue.
Versatile – The company claims that this speaker can be used as a center channel speaker as well as the right or left speaker in the home theater.
I have not tried it yet but would recommend you purchase and try it. I have a feeling that it would not disappoint as a right or left speaker as well.
Multiple placement options – I’m recently into trying different speaker placements. The major reason is I’m organizing my home theater. Therefore, I have experimented with almost every speaker I own.
This Polk Audio speaker worked fine mounted on the wall and placed on the shelf and table. The speaker’s performance remained unaffected.
- Delivers high-end response
- Comes with large 5-way binding posts
- Clear and crisp
- Hi-Res certified
- Comes only in basic colors
6. Polk Audio R400 Dolby Atmos & Imax Certified Speaker
The last one on this post is another Polk Audio Center channel speaker. This is the hottest-selling speaker at the moment. Therefore, I had to give it a try. Here is what I liked the most about this center channel speaker.
Pinnacle ring radiator tweeter – The company brags about giving this center channel speaker a pinnacle ring radiator tweeter. This was a new thing for me as I had only tried speakers with aluminum, silk, and titanium tweeters.
Like every center channel speaker out there, this one also took some time to break in. Once the required period passed, I could “totally” feel the difference these tweeters have made.
The sound quality of the center channel speaker was ultra-clear and crisp. I did not notice any distortion or unwanted coloration as well. This made me fall in love with this speaker immediately.
Sleek and stylish design – The sleek and stylish design has also pushed me to recommend this center channel speaker.
It comes in 3 different finishes, and the speaker looks handsome in all of them. I chose to get the speaker with a walnut finish, I rate its looks 9/10.
Deep impactful bass – Bass is not a necessity for center channel speakers. However, if the center channel speaker comes with good bass, it can be used for other purposes such as music and gaming as well.
Since this center channel speaker delivers impactful bass, I do not limit its use to movies only.
- Can be placed on shelves, tables, as well as stand
- Does not make you compromise on anything; neither looks nor sound
- Comes with integrated rubber feet
- Not so compact
How to Find Right Center Channel Speaker Under $1000?
It’s pretty easy to find a good center channel speaker for under $1000. There are a lot of options. However, you do not have to “just” find a good brand. There are several things you need to pay attention to.
Otherwise, the center channel speaker would not be of any use. Since I have bought and used hundreds of center channel speakers, here is what I would suggest you pay attention to.
Firstly, judge the center channel speaker solely by price. You have to shortlist the top-rated center channel speakers for under $1000.
You would not have difficulty finding a good center channel speaker. All the best center channel speakers I have owned did not cost more than $800.
Your second biggest concern should be to find options that are compatible with your left and right speakers.
All the front speakers have to be more or less of the same size, if possible from the same brand and series.
Otherwise, the sound would not be well-matched. Therefore, I would suggest you not complicate things.
Shortlist and consider the best center channel speaker of the same brand and series. You would not have any compatibility issues.
The sound of the speaker, whether it’s a center channel speaker or not, has to be perfect. Therefore, you have to figure out what the speaker you are planning to purchase sounds like.
The center channel speaker has to be more clear than all the other types of speakers available out there.
If the center channel speaker does not have clear and realistic sound, watching movies would be no fun.
Most home theater owners fail to understand that they have to double-check the material the speaker is made of.
It leaves the biggest impact on the sound of the speaker. For example, the tweeter is usually made of silk or metal.
Both silk and metal are good for the job, it’s just a matter of your preference.
The center channel speaker with silk tweeter has the smoothest sound. Whereas, the speaker having a metal tweeter has a bright sonic signature.
Judging the speaker by the size of the driver is also super important. It influences the sound quality of the center channel speaker.
The bigger the size of the driver, the clearer the sound. Therefore, to get a clearer sound, give preference to speakers with bigger drivers.
Under the screen, the center channel speakers can be mounted in many ways. There are a few speakers that can be placed on a table or shelf, some need a stand.
I have noticed some recent models give you more options. They can be mounted in any way possible. I can not figure out what’s suitable for you, know your need and find something accordingly.
The center channel speaker usually has two or four woofers. Some speakers have more woofers as well but that is rare. A center channel speaker with two woofers can be decent but I would suggest you give preference to the four-woofers model.
Lastly try finding out what the speakers come with besides the owner manual. You need to know in advance what accessories it brings and whether it is backed by two to three or even five years warranty or not.
Cian has 7 years of experience in the musical instruments industry. His press and research articles are published in many well-known journals. Cian is part of our product testing team so he knows the criteria for the best products. Here at sound keen cian covers how to set up instruments and selection criteria for new products.