Looking for the best center channel speaker under $2000? Undoubtedly, it is an important part of any surround sound system and a true audiophile knows its significance. The Center channel speaker is a workhorse that reproduces the majority of the audio content.
I believe that it would be a disservice to yourself if you do not invest in a center speaker for an improved home theater experience.
There are plenty of center speakers by notable brands advertised to be the best in the game. If you are confused by endless options, the following list compiled by me will help you a great deal.
Best Center Channel Speaker Under 2000
- Best Overall: SVS Ultra Center Speaker
- Best Design: Klipsch Premiere RP-504C II Speaker
- Best Bass: KEF Q650c Center Channel Speaker
- Dialogues: Bowers & Wilkins HTM72 Center-Channel Loudspeaker
- Durability: Klipsch 1064562 RC-64 III Center Channel Speaker
- Sturdy: Polk Legend L400 Premium Center Channel Speaker
1. SVS Ultra Center Speaker
SVS is not new to making quality speakers and subwoofers. It comes close to earning a perfect 10 as I feel it offers better audio and more features than other devices at this price point.
When I hooked up the center speaker to the home theater, it felt like watching a movie in a home theater.
I was dazzled by the exceptional vocal reproduction and the stunning realism of certain sound effects.
I have rarely come across center speakers that sound this good across the spectrum. It sounds richer and more natural in nearly all aspects.
The speaker produces transparent sound effortlessly and improves the TV and movie-viewing experience.
The 3-way speaker features a 1″ dome tweeter, 4″ midrange driver, and dual 6.5″ woofers.
These wide-dispersion components produce accurate sound at all listening positions.
Importantly, the midrange driver focuses on reproducing the majority of the dialogue and stage sound effects.
The 4″ composite, glass-fiber cone midrange driver is vertically aligned and positioned in a sub-enclosure.
That’s where the magic lies, the midrange driver ensures that watching a movie does not feel strained without a hint of distortion.
Let me begin by saying that this thing is huge and bulkier. It weighs over 31 pounds, therefore, it needs a solid stand for placement.
Moreover, the ultra center cabinet design brings numerous sonic benefits, for instance, reduced standing waves and eliminates frequency range coloration.
I recently acquired a Klipsch R-52C as my Center Channel speaker to complement my SVS Ultra Towers for the Front Stage. While the Klipsch speaker performed adequately, it became apparent that it didn’t quite measure up to the Ultra Towers in terms of sensitivity and overall sound quality – quite surprising, isn’t it?
The distinction between these two speakers is quite pronounced, which is to be expected given the difference in their price points.
The Ultra Center speaker excels in every aspect, offering a richer and more natural vocal performance, particularly when enjoying movies with exceptional soundtracks.
It seamlessly integrates with my Ultra Towers, maintaining its composure even when pushed to its limits, and I have yet to detect any hint of distortion, regardless of the volume level.
- 3-way speaker for ultimate dialogue clarity and detail
- Sturdy construction
- 3-way crossover
- Good imaging and wide soundstage
- The treble response may seem a little metallic
2. Klipsch Premiere RP-504C II Speaker
I requested my friend to loan me these speakers for review. He was kind enough to agree and sent me the speaker immediately.
It is the largest center channel speaker in the RP lineup of the brand. Klipsch’s flagship center channel speaker brings significant driver improvements.
These changes translate to better dialogue reproduction and sound effects like explosions.
Before making it a part of my home theater, I did not know I was missing out on so much of the dialogue and audible range when listening to my favorite tracks. This beefy speaker offers clear sound quality with no vibrations.
It features an exclusive LST Titanium diaphragm tweeter and cerametallic woofers. These driver components ensure flawless dialogue reproduction with maximum efficiency.
Plus, the vented tweeter housing ensures cleaner high frequencies with no distortion.
The brand utilizes Tractrix geometry to produce tight bass and reduce port noise. The RP port ensures better air circulation and results in punchier bass.
The speaker is crafted from furniture-grade material for extra strength and sturdiness. Moreover, the cabinets are separated with an input panel to reduce vibrations.
The sound quality for a home theater setup is quite good, but its directionality becomes apparent, making it clear where the sound originates. I positioned the speaker just below my 130″ projector screen, and it’s somewhat unusual to have the dialogue so distinctly emanate from that specific direction. Ideally, using an acoustically transparent screen with speakers concealed behind it would resolve this issue, but I lack the space for such an arrangement.
Additionally, the interference patterns of sound waves on the sides are noticeable, even to those without extensive audio expertise. This can result in a drop in audio levels and quality if you’re not seated directly in front of it.
Nevertheless, I am satisfied with this purchase. The sound quality significantly enhances my experience with 5.1 movies, providing clear and improved dialogue. I may consider reducing the bass output from this speaker during action scenes to mitigate minor distortions.
- 90°x 90° tractrix horn for clearer dialogues
- Advanced design with numerous sonic benefits
- Detachable magnetic grilles
- Tractrix port for powerful port
- Viewers not sitting in the listening option may suffer from minor speech intelligibility issues
3. KEF Q650c Center Channel Speaker
It is one of the best-selling center channel speakers on Amazon, therefore, I wanted to test if it was worth the hype.
I had the pleasure of using this speaker and I know now why audiophiles are going crazy for it. It is an all-in-one solution for getting nearly perfect sound for movies, TV shows, and sports broadcasts.
Dialogue-intensive scenes will feel more captivating and precise after the addition of 650c.
KEF has rarely disappointed users with its speaker models thanks to its advanced technology. Similarly, this speaker also left me amazed with its cleaner dialogues and punchier bass.
The speaker has a 6.5″ Uni-Q Driver Array for reproducing crisper dialogues. The driver is strategically placed in the center to make the sound generated from a single-point source.
Further, it comes with dual 6.5″ bass drivers to boost clarity and generate powerful bass. The damped tweeter loading tube assists in reproducing smoother bass and treble frequencies.
I believe the manufacturer has put so much thought into designing the center speaker. It is not just designed to look sleek and stylish but to deliver cleaner sound, impressive bass, and reduced resonances.
I recently got the KEF Q650c center speaker for my home theater, and I’m really impressed with it. It looks great with its modern design and is well-made.
But what’s most impressive is how it sounds. The Q650c gives clear and detailed audio for all kinds of sounds, which makes it perfect for things like movies and TV shows with a lot of talking. It spreads the sound evenly around the room, so you don’t have to put it in a specific spot for it to sound good.
What really got my attention was how well it handled loud and intense sounds, like explosions in movies or powerful singing in live concerts. It did a great job.
In summary, I highly recommend the KEF Q650c center speaker if you want to improve your home theater. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s worth it because of its excellent sound and strong build quality.
- Exclusive Uni-Q Driver Array technology
- Exceptional dialogue reproduction
- 87 dB sensitivity rating
- Comes in satin black, white, and walnut finishes
- Speaker grilles are not included in the package
4. Bowers & Wilkins HTM72 Center-Channel Loudspeaker
It was my first time buying an audio device from Bowers & Wilkins, therefore, I was pretty concerned.
At first glance, it looks mighty and gives off high-end energy. When I first tested it, I was blown away by the superior dialogue clarity.
The difference was immediately noticeable, dialogues became super clean and clear. On the flip side, it is a heavier speaker which requires a solid stand or desk for placement.
When you combine cutting-edge acoustic technology with classic cabinet design, the results are nothing but astonishing.
It is more compact than the aforementioned speakers on the list, still, the speaker does not lack accuracy and clarity.
The speaker comes with a carbon dome tweeter which is a better performer than an aluminum double dome tweeter.
It also increases the frequency range to 47K Hz. This tweeter also contributes to making the dialogues shockingly clear with utmost precision and purity.
For better bass and midrange transparency, the speaker is equipped with a 5″ Continuum Cone Midrange/Bass driver.
Further, the rear-firing port allows for more natural bass production. The bass can be adjusted easily with a two-piece foam plug.
Bowers & Wilkins have packed elegance and performance in a compact box. There is nothing much negative to say about the speaker in terms of appearance. It looks premium and futuristic with a glossy finish and no visible bolts.
- Transparent audio and improved bass
- Clear and crisp dialogues and treble effects
- Ideal for smaller rooms
- Comes in multiple glossy finishes
- Weak grille magnets
5. Klipsch 1064562 RC-64 III Center Channel Speaker
I had the pleasure of hearing Klipsch 1064561 RC-64 III and it felt so real. While most people think it is overpriced, after listening to this beast perform, I believe the price hike is justified.
It is not the average, ordinary center speaker, producing bland sound. Handcrafted in the USA, it is thoughtfully designed for a legendary performance.
I find the audio quality of this speaker to be punchier and clearer. I played an action scene from my favorite movie and the sound effects and dialogue were super clear.
I do not want to go back and watch movies without a dedicated center channel speaker.
It comes with a Titanium compression driver and four 6.5″ cast basket cerametallic woofers.
The driver produces the high-frequency notes remarkably well while the woofer handles the low-end frequencies.
While it takes a nice chunk of space, the sound quality makes up for all its flaws.
90° x 90° tractrix horn with a circular horn throat is specifically designed to enhance imaging.
Crafted from compressed molded rubber, the Tractrix horn contributes to reducing harshness and adding detail.
Unlike other speakers on the list, it is hand-crafted from furniture-grade wood veneers for durability.
This thing is incredibly heavy, weighing over 50 pounds. I would not recommend it to buyers with limited space.
This represents a significant improvement over the RC-62. It offers impressive volume and clear dialogue, complemented by sufficient bass to enhance any movie experience. The veneer quality matches that of other Klipsch speakers, which may not be the best, but for my specific needs, it’s not a significant concern.
- Outstanding audio reproduction
- 99dB sensitivity ratings and 200 watts power handling
- Handcrafted in the USA
- 5-year warranty and 60-day money-back warranty
6. Polk Legend L400 Premium Center Channel Speaker
While it is a bit expensive, I would definitely recommend it to audiophiles looking to upgrade their sound system with the powerful model.
Once you have attached it to the system, the way you watch movies will change entirely. With this speaker, the experience feels so real as if watching the movie in a theater minus the crowd. The dialogue and stage sound effects clarity offered by this speaker is to die for.
The reason why it sounds so good is the high-quality driver components and their strategic placement inside the driver.
It is designed with a 1″ pinnacle ring radiator tweeter for generating clear high notes without any distortion.
It is placed vertically for wider dispersion. Moreover, the tweeter is designed for 2-channel music listening and multi-channel 3D audio.
Midrange is where most of the audio content lies. For a transparent midrange, the brand has manufactured turbine cones with foam core and molded Turbine geometry for a more natural and pure sound. It adds details, smoothness, and clarity to the midrange, vocals, and treble effects.
Furthermore, it features dual 6.5″ mid-woofers to extend and improve the low-end frequency and bass response. Dialogues and special sound effects are reproduced with unerring realism.
- Exceptional full-range sound
- Supports Dolby Atmos
- Sturdy cabinets and internal bracing
- Large footprint
How to Pick Right Center Channel Speaker?
While the center channel is not an absolute necessity for a sound system, it makes a huge difference. Once you have connected it with the existing setup, you would realize what you were missing out on.
With that said, it is extremely difficult to pick up as not many buyers know much about these speakers. Fret not, here are a few factors that you need to consider
Only a superior quality center channel will ensure superior dialogue reproduction. Generally, 3-way speakers have the ability to generate a full range of sound efficiently.
Tweeter, midrange, and woofer contribute to delivering natural sound and bass response. Moreover, the speaker should not have unwanted coloration and distortions at higher volumes.
The way a speaker is designed does not just have to do with the appearance but the sonic presentation as well.
Strategic placement of the components drivers has a huge impact on the acoustic characteristics.
Moreover, size is also important as center channel speakers occupy ample space. These devices tend to be heavier and do not offer much placement flexibility.
Center channel speakers are generally more expensive than bookshelf speakers and soundbars. However, it does not mean that you cannot get a superior quality unit within an affordable unit.
These speakers frequently go on sale, therefore, wait a bit to get a huge discount on the speaker you have been eying.
This concludes our guide for the best center channel speaker under $2000. Hopefully, you have found the right center speaker according to your needs and budgets. All the aforementioned speakers are reliable and good performers when it comes to improved dialogue delivery.
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.