MTM Design as Center Channel - Should I Be Worried? | Arendal Sound

MTM Design as Center Channel – Should I Be Worried?

From time to time there is concern online about the MTM design as a center channel. Like any speaker, there are benefits and compromises. Let’s go over why we chose the tried and true MTM design for our center channels. 


The Ideal 

An ideal center channel will have the same driver layout and orientation as the front left and right speakers. This is because the frequency response will be perfectly identical across all three speakers. But, as a compromise, you would have to raise your screen as well as deal with the not-so-great looks of a vertical center channel. 

In the horizontal position, the center channel naturally tucks under your screen. Till about 20% off-axis It will basically sound identical to the left and right monitor speakers. Above that, the difference is so subtle any perceived differences could be a cognitive bias. 
Keeping the same speaker for the front three-channel will ensure the same timbre and dynamic capabilities.

Still, Why Not Add a Dedicated Midrange Driver?

Well, doing so would lower the output and dynamics of the center channel. Sure, the speaker would measure better, but it wouldn’t sound the same as the left/right channels. That is a compromise that we aren’t really comfortable with.

How Big Is Your Bubble? 

We all know that the MLP is the single best seat in your room for critical listening. Be that as it may, most family and friends aren’t critical listeners and have no problem sitting outside of the sweet spot. In fact, sitting too close to the front left/right channel has a much larger impact on the immersive experience. Hopefully, this puts a new perspective on MTM design concerns. 


If the off-axis response is very crucial to you, you could use our bookshelf variants or use the center in the vertical orientation.