The basic principle is to use the speakers from the same series, or at least the same brand for a similar sonic signature.
Did I audition the surrounds?
I didn't see the point. Why? It's simple, surrounds are not meant to
draw attention to themselves. They are meant to spread out the sound and
envelop you in an ambience so you believe that you are immersed in the
I am a big fan of dipoles/bipoles for the complete HT experience. Some advocate monopoles or direct radiating speakers for pinpoint effects, but I believe in an immersive spread of sound.
More important than merely buying speakers is where you place them and there are other posts and articles online on this. The speakers should be 60-90 cm above your ears.
I have come from a pair of Eltax to PSB to
the MA. I like bipoles & dipoles. You can read up on the difference
and how they should be setup online.
A Guide to Bipolar, Dipolar, & Direct-Radiating Monopole Surround Speakers
What is dipole and bipole and how are they different?
Since I have a Monitor Audio setup, it was natural to get surround speakers from the same series.
I found that the smaller surrounds simply
do not give enough bass, and can't give that adequate surrounds
experience. I would pay more attention to type of drivers and are there
enough drivers to spread the sound out convincingly. Eg some of the
lower end speakers have one bass cone, and two tweeters like the MA
RXFX. But they also have a switch to give you the choice of dipole or
bipole. There is a hook behind so you can hang them easily.
you buy the Bronze or Silver will depend on your other speakers. The
ideal situation is to use similar drivers all round from the same
series. But if you are on a budget then you can consider the cheaper
ones, but understand their capability first and if their frequency
response will suffice. Even if you have a sub, the surrounds IMO should
be able to handle down to 100 or 80 Hz.
Other considerations are aesthetic, the RX comes in a nice gloss white, which fits my wall and decor.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.