Want to own a center channel speaker but don’t think you can afford it? Well, if you can manage to save $500 you can get a pretty decent center channel speaker. However, generally, the center channel speakers are expensive, and most of the $500 options would not be worthy of consideration.
Therefore, you have to be super careful. Here is the few best center channel speaker under $500.
Center Channel Speaker Under $500
- Reliable: ProCenter 2000 Center Channel Speaker
- Powerful: Klipsch RP-404C Center Channel Speaker
- Hi-Res Audio Certified: Polk Audio Signature Center Channel Speaker
- Versatile: JBL Studio 2-Way 4-inch Center Channel Speaker
- More detailed: Klipsch RC-62 II Center Channel Speaker
1. ProCenter 2000 Center Channel Speaker
Generally, it’s pretty hard to find a good brand offering a center channel speaker at such a low rate. However, you have got lucky the USA’s premium speaker brand has introduced one at such a low rate.
I would not lie, this was the first center channel speaker I ever bought. To be honest, this speaker had my heart immediately.
At that time, I had never heard a center channel speaker delivering dialogue. I found them 100x clearer than the regular speakers. However, years later when I used hundreds of center channel speakers, I’m still a fan.
I find this speaker still more clear than most speakers I have used of the same price. I would not say they are better than every center channel speaker out there.
If I’m asked how clear these speakers are I would say as clear as you don’t need subtitles to understand the dialogues.
Since I have been using these speakers for years, I have tried them at both the lowest and highest volumes.
At the highest volume, most center channel speakers begin to lack clarity. However, this speaker is an exception.
Even after years of using and abusing, this speaker does not lose clarity either at a lower or a higher level.
Moreover, these speakers support wired connections. To be honest, I like Bluetooth speakers, they are easier to connect. However, for me, the center channel speakers have to be wired.
It is because the center channel speakers have to be connected to multiple speakers. Connecting several speakers to one confuses me a bit.
- Noticeably clear and balanced sound
- Zero distortion
- Small size
- Warmth in the sound
- Wedged shape
2. Klipsch RP-404C Center Channel Speaker
Klipsch is also a leading brand that has been serving us for more than 50 years. The speakers produced by this brand are super durable and have great sound. Therefore, we can trust Klipsch even with our eyes closed.
I don’t own this Klipsch center channel speaker but have seen my best friend next door using them for the last two years.
We often watch movies together on weekends at his place. Therefore, I’m well aware of how good and forgiving this speaker is.
To be honest, until my friend and I were watching romcoms, I thought this center channel speaker was okay. However, when I got a chance to watch an action movie, my view changed.
This speaker is so clear that I could feel every move and the gunshots in the chest. Now that I’m reviewing the speaker I have found one of the buyers has claimed the same.
He felt the gunshots in his chest as well. Therefore, this speaker would not go wrong for you as well.
Just like the above-mentioned center channel speaker, this one is also clear at it’s lowest and loudest volume.
Besides the clarity of the sound, I love its modern somewhat premium look. The scratch-resistant mirror-like finish makes this speaker look more expensive.
When I saw this center channel speaker for the first time, I could not even imagine it could be this cheap.
Even when my friend told me that he bought it for under $500, it took me some time to process and believe him.
- Powerful bass
- Lightweight design
- Clear, detailed, and lifelike sound
- Removable magnetic grills
- A little loud
3. Polk Audio Signature Center Channel Speaker
Polk Audio was known for manufacturing the best automobile speakers. However, it has upgraded and started manufacturing and offering all kinds of speakers. People who never get a chance to try other Polk Audio speakers should know that they are equally worthy of consideration.
So, I bought this Polk Audio speaker when I was trying different center channel speakers to find a perfect one for my home theater.
Honestly, the search is still going on as the criteria for a center channel speaker for my home theater is pretty tough to meet. However, while searching I found some “really” worth considering yet economical center channel speakers.
This Polk Audio Hi-Res audio certified center channel speaker is one of them.
This company claims that this speaker allows you to hear more details in the music and dialogue.
Before connecting it to my home theater, I had doubts as this is a cheap deal. However, this speaker blew my mind with the crisp sound, clearly defined highs and lows, and outstanding bass.
There is one thing that I would not like to conceal from you is that its installation was a hard nut to crack.
I tried all possible ways to adjust it to the space but all my efforts go in vain. In the end, I had a call to a professional and get it mounted on the wall. ‘Even if you do not mount this speaker on the wall, you still have to invest in a good speaker stand.
That can cost you around $20 to $30. However, if you are fine with spending money on the installation, this Polk Audio speaker is one good option.
The speakers look great. If I have to rate the appearance I would give this speaker 9/10. It looks bold but has a bit classic touch. Therefore, it can blend into any kind of environment without any hassle.
- The classic low-profile design
- Full-range crisp sound and well-defined highs and lows
- Walnut finish
- 5-year warranty
- Require a stand to be mounted
4. JBL Studio 2-Way 4-inch Center Channel Speaker
The JBL speakers are not just known for their unique and modern designs. They remain the talk of the town because of the good sound quality as well. Since the center channel speaker has to have good sound quality, a brand such as JBL should be looked up to.
This is the only JBL center channel speaker I own at the moment. Unlike the above-mentioned, this has been with me for two or three months. The said speaker won my heart in such a short time.
This is one of the few speakers that I do not like mainly because of the sound. It looks great, supports wired connections, and is pretty durable.
When it comes to sound, the speaker has the most realistic but clear sound. The string music does not sound good in this speaker. However, I’m not a fan of string music so it worked for me.
If you like listening to string music on speaker, I would recommend you pick some other option from this list.
Fortunately, this speaker does not require much space and you making space for a new speaker is now an issue for me.
I have not measured it but it looks like the speaker has around a 4-inch driver. It did not make me declutter(ugh, I hate decluttering), and the speaker would not require it from you as well.
- Outstanding bass and treble
- Comes from a well-known brand
- Small size
- Cleanest sound and adequate bass
- Not great for music
5. Klipsch RC-62 II Center Channel Speaker
Since Klipsch is one of my favorite economical speaker brands, I can not help but add another speaker to this list. This center channel speaker is just as good as the above-mentioned one. Here are a few reasons why.
Last but not least, the Klipsch speaker is a good option for people who want the design and sound to be perfect.
To test the speaker, I played the same movie I had already watched with a few of the above-mentioned speakers. To be honest, I was able to hear even the tiniest details that I never knew existed.
The sound appears more natural and the highs and lows are balanced. This made me fall head over heels in love with this center channel speaker.
However, there is one thing that I do not like about this speaker. It’s heavy and bulky. It does not suit the individual who frequently shifts the place or experiments with speakers.
It would take much of your space and you would need help to install the speaker to perfection. The rest of the speaker is great. It would surely make movies so much, as I did for me.
- Ample bass
- Natural fuller sound
- No distortion
- Bulky design
How to Find Right Center Channel Speaker Under $500?
To be honest, it’s pretty hard (but not impossible) to find a center channel speaker under $500. It is because such speakers are usually expensive.
If you go for a well-trusted brand, you would have to pay more. However, if you choose the least-known brand, you have to judge the center channel speaker very carefully.
Otherwise, your hard-earned $500 would be wasted. While searching for a center channel speaker for your home theater, here are the few things you need to look for.
Since you strictly want to get a center channel speaker under $500, you first have to judge it by price. Therefore, make sure the options you shortlist are under $500 as well.
Now, how would you find such affordable yet high-quality center channel speakers online? There are two ways: search “best center channel speakers under $500” on Amazon and Google.
Amazon would directly show you the options. Whereas, on Google, you have to read the guides and find a suitable option.
Whether it’s a central channel or any other speaker, the most important feature to look for in a speaker is the sound quality. The speakers are mainly brought to improve the sound quality. Therefore, if it fails to deliver high-quality sound, what’s the use?
The sound quality of the center channel speaker depends on a few things. The subwoofers, tweeter built, and embedded technology. However, you can also judge it by wattage and the size of the driver.
The driver has to be bigger, the bigger the better. Moreover, the center channel speaker should be at least 200 watts. Besides that, you have to read the product description and the customer reviews to know whether the speakers have decent sound or not.
As you know the center channel speaker has to be connected to other speakers to fulfill the need. Therefore, you can not afford to overlook the compatibility factor.
When you already have a home theater setup or center channel placement on point, double-checking the compatibility becomes even more important.
If the compatibility is not bothered, you would experience sound distortion, delays, and harmonic infrequencies. So, before hitting the place an order button, make sure this sound equipment is compatible with the speakers you own or planning to get.
Pro Tip: Purchase the center channel and the supporting speakers from one brand. The compatibility issue would not arise at all.
Size and design
Knowing the size of the speaker is not any less important. You need to know to figure out whether you have sufficient space or not. Moreover, it is also required to know to determine the perfect frequency response.
Usually, the center channel speakers under $500 do not have very impressive designs.
Almost all center channel speakers under $500 I have come across have a rectangular design, round or sharp edges, and a glossy piano finish.
Since you are looking for an affordable center channel speaker, you would not get to see many impressive designs. I would hate to say this but you have to compromise on the looks.
The ideal frequency response for every center channel speaker is different. You have to take the size of the speaker into account to find out the ideal frequency response.
However, as per the experts, the center channel speaker with a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz is good for the job.
When buying a center channel speaker, the impedance must have to be lower. If the impedance is high, the distortion would occur. The lower the impedance the more efficiently it allows the electric signal.
The impedance of the speaker is measured in ohms. Generally, the impedance of center channel speakers is 4, 6, or 8 ohms. For almost every center channel speaker, a 4-ohm impedance is sufficient.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure the center channel speakers you place an order backed back by a one or two-year warranty. Just in case anything happens, you can get it fixed without spending more money.
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.