The center channel speaker is a necessary part of any home theater speaker system. It connects most other speakers in the system, providing a life-like center stage like the one you hear in cinemas.
If you want to experience a cinematic atmosphere in the comfort of your home, take a look at our list of 5 best low-profile center channel speakers.
If you’re someone who cares about room aesthetics, low-profile center channel speakers are ideal for you. They are thin, compact, and fit all kinds of differently styled rooms.
You won’t have to worry about bulky center channel speakers ruining the look if you go for one of these 5 best low-profile center channel speakers.
Our Top Picks
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How to Choose the Best Low-Profile Center Channel Speaker?
Did you know that more than 50% of movie dialogues go through your center channel speakers?
For extreme clarity and optimal loudness, you need to pick the best center channel speaker for your home theater.
It needs to pick up every possible sound, from crisp whispers to loud explosions and sound effects. So, what do you need to look for when choosing one?
The design: The ideal low-profile center channel speaker is a 2-way speaker with a horizontally aligned tweeter that allows clear sound dispersion aimed towards the listener. It should be compact and thin to be minimally visible in your living room.
The ideal sound: To have an ideal sound in your home movie theater, choose a central channel speaker with the best possible midrange reproduction. It doesn’t have to be thunderous – it just has to reproduce all the vocals loudly and clearly.
The Budget: Various center channel speakers are available at various prices. The low-profile ones can go from really affordable to very expensive. Naturally, those that are more expensive usually offer better performance, but that’s not always the case.
The plan: Believe it or not, you need to plan everything carefully when buying a center channel speaker. Besides the design and budget, you need to consider other elements of your home theater speaker system.
Your center channel speaker needs to be ‘’compatible’’ with the front and surround speakers to work properly.
When we say compatible, we are referring to tonal matching and timbre matching. It’s not like they are not going to work if they are not compatible but you will get much better performance and more coherent soundstage when they are. So, be cautious there!
Now that you’re aware of the most important things about low-profile center channel speakers, we can move on to our list of the best 6 low-profile center channel speakers we created for you.
We categorized them according to some of their distinctive features, so it would be easier for you to find exactly what you need.
Most Flexible Placement and Installation
Definitive Technology ProCenter 2000
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]
If you’re looking for a compact center channel speaker that you can mount on the wall above or below your TV, then Definitive Technology ProCenter 2000 is the right choice for you.
Even though it’s low profile, it produces high-quality sound at an affordable price. Listen to the clear dialogue in your theater room with this device.
Many experts claim that this center channel speaker is premium due to the high-quality components it’s made of.
We know that bass reproduction is not the most important thing for a center channel but If you love deep and powerful bass, you will be amazed by the ProCenter 2000.
The speaker has two 5 ½ -inch radiators for bass and two proprietary 5 ¼-inch BDSS drivers. It also has a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter that can provide you with detailed and dynamic highs.
Nobody has the patience for silent speakers that are not capable of producing high volume without distortion. This ProCenter 2000 center channel speaker has a maximum power output of 500 Watts and is designed to produce exceptionally loud sound with no distortion at all.
When it comes to the design, this device comes in black color, which is great because it can be well fitted into any kind of room. Its dimensions are 17×6.5×6.5 and it weighs 12 pounds. It contains magnetic shields protecting it from interference from other devices.
ProCenter 2000 is small enough so you can fit it anywhere you like. Unlike many other speakers of similar size, this speaker has an optimal mid-range response as it includes exclusive BDSS drivers. Enjoy the voice and sound clarity of a large speaker packed in this compact unit.
Even though its maximum output power is 500 Watts which is more than enough to fill your room with extraordinary sound, you can amplify it with recommended 10-250 Watts. ProCenter 2000’s nominal impendence is 4 to 8 ohms.
One of the best features of this center channel speaker is that it can be set up in multiple different places.
You can place it on the shelf, on a special holder that is sold separately, or mount it on the wall for an amazing atmosphere.
For an immersive home theater experience, you can pair this device with four Pro Monitor 1000 satellite speakers and ProSub 1000 Subwoofer.
- High-quality sound compared to its size
- 500 Watts max output power
- 42Hz – 30 kHz frequency response with 91dB efficiency
- Can be set up easily in various places
- Two BDSS drivers for improved sound quality
- The passive subwoofer is made out of low-quality materials
- Not ideal for sub-bass frequencies under 30Hz
The Thinnest Low-Profile Center Channel Speaker
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.6]
KEF T301c is one of the thinnest center channel speakers on the market as it’s only 1.25 inches deep. It comes in black and pure white/satin colors that will match any interior, staying out of sight but producing magnificent sound with a center stage effect.
Who doesn’t like classically beautiful center channel speakers that look so flawless and work even better?
If you have a modern flat-screen TV, why wouldn’t you want to match it with this beautiful slim center channel speaker that delivers remarkably clear sound?
Bring any movie-watching experience to a whole new level with KEF’s T301c. This version of the center speaker contains a remodeled 1-inch tweeter that provides exceptionally accurate sound reproduction, especially human voices and dialogs at higher volumes.
Just what you need to experience a fantastic movie-watching atmosphere.
You can mount the KEF T301c on a wall or place it on a TV stand, depending on your preferences. The maximum output power of this device is 300 Watts, while the sensitivity is 91dB when wall-mounted and 88dB if you place it on a floor stand.
The dimensions of this center channel speaker are 23.6 x 1.4 x 5.5 inches and it weighs only 4 pounds.
Many may bring its clarity to question as this device is only 1.25 inches deep. However, regardless of its thinness, KEF T301c delivers extraordinary clarity without distortion even at max volume.
This speaker is equipped with two twin-layer 4.5in bass/midrange drivers that minimize unwanted resonance and sound distortion.
The result of such a quality construction is a center channel speaker that provides you with loud and clear sound for both – music and voices.
- Beautifully designed to match any room style
- Super thin and low-profile design to keep up with your flat-screen TV and enable flexible installation
- The maximum output power of 300Watts and high sensitivity (88dB to 91dB)
- Can be placed on a floor stand or mounted on a wall
- Delivers exceptional sound, especially at high volumes
- Isn’t strong enough to endure hard bass at full volume
Best Bass Reproduction Under $100
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.6]
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1 is a compact center channel speaker that contains time lens technology and can produce powerful bass for all music and movie lovers. Due to its size and low-profile black glossy design, this device will be an ideal part of your home entertainment system.
Do you want a center speaker that doesn’t take up a lot of space and is easy to set up? Then you’ve found just the right speaker for your needs. With its deep and powerful bass, Polk Audio Blackstone TL1 is a compact speaker that provides your home entertainment system with high performance.
To achieve such a powerful sound, this center channel speaker uses two 2.5-inch drivers and a 0.5-inch silk dome tweeter.
Besides that, this device features a special kind of bass reflex port called an aperiodic tuned rear port that delivers extraordinarily strong bass whether you place it on the shelf or mount it on the wall.
Polk Audio Blackstone TL1 also caught our attention because of its unique and unusual shape. It comes in black and is slightly curved in the time lens technology manner.
Why is it like that? To provide you with a distortion-free sound and an amazing movie-watching experience, this device is designed to align the acoustic centers of the mid-bass and the tweeter.
This kind of design offers a magnificent sound experience.
However, a sole center channel speaker isn’t enough to create an immersive system for home entertainment purposes. To create your own 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 home theater system, you can include up to 8 TL1 satellite speakers and a subwoofer.
Choose the number of speakers according to the size of your room and the effect you want to achieve.
This 3.3-pound wall-mountable speaker delivers premium quality audio at an extremely affordable price. If you are looking for the clearest possible dialog clarity under $100, this is the right product for you.
- 125Watts maximum output power
- Can be combined with TL1 satellites and any 10in Polk subwoofer
- Affordable price for premium quality
- Unique curved design that minimizes sound distortion and increases bass production
- Compact and light so you can mount it on the wall
- Smooth sound and dialog for an enjoyable movie-watching experience
- Performs well only when combined with adequate bookshelf speakers – too powerful bookshelf speakers may overpower the center channel
- Some customers complained about the low-quality wires that come with this product – it’s recommended to buy higher-quality speaker wire on your own
Best Low-Profile Center Channel Speaker Under $100
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.1]
Yamaha NS-C210BL is an extremely affordable low-profile center channel speaker that delivers magnificent sound. As it’s table-mounted it matches any flat-screen TV perfectly.
Besides that, this compact device can produce bass and dialog that will sound just like in a movie theater.
This black Yamaha NS-C210BL is designed to provide you with maximum quality sound for this HD era, so you can peacefully enjoy the cinematic experience in your home. It maximizes the potential of High Definition devices, like your TV.
As we live in the HD era, this modern world requires adaptation. That’s why Yamaha created this center channel speaker that can live up to our expectations and loudly and clearly produce sound and voices from music and movies.
This center channel speaker uses modern aluminum woofers and balanced dome tweeters for extremely fast response and the most dynamic sound reproduction you have ever heard from a speaker in this class.
Sound speed matters, therefore Yamaha C210BL center channel speaker is equipped with dual 3 1/8-inch aluminum cone woofers.
The woofer diaphragm is made out of extremely stiff, but lightweight material that ensures high-speed cone movements for the so-called fast attack.
In addition to that, aluminum woofers contribute to a clean and distortion-free sound with great bass quality.
Just like all high-quality Yamaha products, C210BL is also equipped with 7/8-inch dome tweeters. The maximum output power of this center channel speaker is 80 Watts with a 6 ohms impedance.
This compact speaker is 5.2 inches tall, 13.4 inches wide, 4.2 inches deep, and weighs 4.4 pounds. If you want to build your home theater system around this center channel, it is advised to use the Yamaha NS-SW210 subwoofer, NS-F210 floor standers, and NS-B210 bookshelf speakers.
- Compact design that can fit into every room
- Provides you with enhanced sound coming from all of your HD sources
- Can be combined with other Yamaha products to create an immersive home theater system
- It’s equipped with aluminum cone woofers and a balanced dome tweeter for extraordinary sound and speed
- The device seems like it’s made out of low-quality material
- Lacks magnetic shielding
Best Low-Profile Center Channel Speaker Under $250
Klipsch Synergy Black Label C-200
Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.5]
If you’re looking for a lovely center channel speaker with amazing power output, then this 400W Klipsch Synergy C-200 is the right choice for you. It can be combined with other high-quality Klipsch speakers into the home theater system of your dreams.
This highly efficient 400W center channel produces more output and better sound while using less energy. It provides you with perfect harmony while listening to music or watching your favorite films and TV shows.
The sleek design and black vinyl finish make this Synergy C-200 perfect for modern as well as rustic homes. Combined with the other elements from the Synergy series, this speaker can elevate your movie-watching experience to a different level.
Just like many Klipsch’s floorstanding or bookshelf speakers, this center channel speaker also features the famous Tractrix Horn Technology which enables equal sound dispersion patterns and improved treble reproduction.
Klipsch Synergy C-200 is designed to produce every note, from low to high. Its frequency response is 82Hz to 23kHz (+/- 3db).
Its diaphragm tweeter is made out of aluminum which enables this speaker to produce slightly elevated but very detailed and dynamic highs. For bass fans, this Synergy C-200 speaker contains IMG woofers that provide you with an exceptional bass experience and midrange clarity.
Combine this center channel speaker with Klipsch’s Sub-120 subwoofer and you will get incredibly powerful bass in your home theater system.
You can also add two F-300 floor-standing speakers and two B-200 bookshelf speakers for an immersive theater experience in your home. Enjoy the dazzling sound with this Synergy set.
- Black, sleek, and low-profile design that fits most places and goes well with many different interior design styles
- Produces clear dialogs and strong bass
- The maximum output power of 400 Watts with an 82Hz-23kHz frequency response
- Combined with other components of the Klipsch Synergy Series, C-200 creates an immersive home theater experience you’ll love
- Has a Tractrix Horn and Linear sound dispersion for enhanced performance
- Ideal for any room size
- Even though it’s made out of durable material, this center channel speaker seems quite fragile
This concludes our list of the best 6 low-profile center channel speakers. We hope this guide helped you decide and find the best center channel speaker for your home theater system.
If you have any further doubts or questions, take a look at the section below, where some of the most common questions are answered and explained.
How to Correctly Set Up Your Low-Profile Center Channel Speaker?
Before you place your low-profile center channel speaker, you need to consider a few things. The place where you want to set up your center channel speaker is crucial for sound quality and performance.
Generally speaking, the best place to install your low-profile center channel speaker is directly beneath or above your TV. Some center channels can be wall-mounted while others can only be placed on a TV stand.
Connecting the speaker to the AV receiver is usually the easiest part. The most hassle-free type of connection is the banana plug but not all speakers are compatible with banana plugs. Some speakers accept only bare wires. Make sure to use the recommended wire AWG (usually 12-16).
Is a Center Channel Speaker a Necessity?
Well, in certain setups, having two floor-standing speakers is more than enough. However, if you want a real surround sound experience with the clearest possible dialog, a center channel speaker is a must.
Can I Use Any Speaker Instead of the Center Channel Speaker?
Theoretically, any speaker, except for the subwoofer, can replace the center channel speaker. However, the sound quality and dialog clarity will suffer if you don’t use a dedicated center channel.
One of the main reasons why you should opt for a center channel speaker, especially if it’s the low-profile one, is the aesthetical pleasure.
They can be wall-mounted above your TV or placed below it without ruining the whole atmosphere and vibe you’ve created in your room.
Can a Surround Sound System Function Without a Center Channel Speaker?
Not having a center channel speaker in your home theater setup can make a huge difference when it comes to sound quality and listening experience.
The sound effects, music, and dialogs that were supposed to be played through the center channel speaker, “split” to the left and right speakers, creating a completely different sound image.
How Can I Increase the Volume of My Center Channel Speaker?
Many people experience the issue of the dialogues not being loud enough, while the music and sound effects literally burst their eardrums. That can all be easily adjusted through the audio settings on your AV receiver or your Blu-ray player.
After the initial calibration, you can enter the advanced audio setting and raise the center channel level by a few dBs.
Some receivers and Blu-ray players also have the ‘dialog adjustment’ mode, which is basically a special EQ preset that elevates the midrange frequencies and prevents the bass from overwhelming the dialogs.