Our experts also all agreed on the best way of housing your speakers.
How important are speaker stands? Can't I just place the speaker on a bookcase shelf?
"The problem with putting a speaker on a bookshelf is that it's going to interact with everything around it. Speakers like room to breathe, and putting them inside an open box means the sound from the drivers is going to interact with the surfaces of the box, which will change the sound. If your speaker is rear ported like many are, then the port on the back of the speaker is going to interact with the shelf system, rather than operate in free air as it should," says Harding.
"Speaker stands are not simply a fashion accessory for the speakers that sit on them. They are a crucial element in the design of the system. The speaker can only perform at its best if it is held rigidly in place. Any movement of the speaker cabinet will result in blurred images and smudged detail," says Quilter.
"In essence, a set of good quality speaker stands will be a better option for your satellite speakers. Determining which one is right for your speakers will depend on the size of the speaker box and the position of the tweeter on the speaker. Always make sure that the tweeter is at ear level and positioned so that it is directed at the listener," says Lewis.
Interestingly, our experts disagreed on the most important question of all. Does size matter? Two of our experts, Paul Quilter and Gareth Lewis, are of the opinion that it does.
"It matters in determining the size of the speakers in relation to the size of the room you are using. For example, large speakers in a small room will sound boxed in, with unwanted reflections off the ceilings. Conversely, small speakers in a large room can sound tinny, with a general lack of full-range dynamics.
"Room size aside, generally if you are looking for a big, full-range sound then you would be looking at the larger driver speaker models. Basic physics restricts the lower frequency limit that a speaker can produce. Tiny drivers physically cannot produce a distortion-free low bass note at a decent listening level. In many cases, this is overcome by adding a sub woofer. In short, speaker choice should be determined by room size, as well as your music and/or home theatre requirements," says Lewis.
And finally, What emerging trends do you believe will impact on the way people interact with their audiovisual systems?
"Distributing sound around the home is now becoming very popular, as is the ability to store music on a central music server accessible from all over the house. This raises issues as to quality of sound, ease of use, and control. Trends such as incorporating the amplifiers and remote control receivers into the speakers are becoming standard overseas. This reduces complexity and clutter, which is very desirable in an increasingly technology-driven and rushed lifestyle," says Quilter.