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Some home theater equipment comes with the THX stamp of approval. The THX specifications were originally set forth by George Lucas of Star Wars fame, to ensure equipment met certain benchmarks. By meeting standards in faithful sound reproduction, wide dynamic range, distortion-free bass, and spaciousness, THX certified equipment guarantees a specific type of performance. Speakers designed for a THX home theater system must hit 105 dB with no distortion, and a THX subwoofer must have flat response down to 35 Hz.
When shopping for home theater speakers, it's a good idea to pick one brand, and stick to it. Ideally, your front, center, surround, and subwoofer speakers will all be from the same manufacturer, and of similar (if not identical) design. This will ensure a seamless transition from one speaker to the next as surround effects, or voices move around your virtual soundstage. The speakers will also have similar cosmetics, and will be easier to integrate into a room's decor.
Size matters to many people. The smaller the speaker, the easier it is to integrate into existing décor. Not everyone has a dedicated no-limit home theater to house big tower speakers and a monster subwoofer. With this in mind, most high-end speaker manufacturers offer smaller, spouse-friendly satellite / subwoofer speaker packages which give larger home theater systems a run for their money. These smaller speakers can be less sensitive to placement too, which gives you more options for locating them within a shared-space room.