The home entertainment market is growing, but connected devices like multi-room and streaming loudspeakers are increasingly replacing traditional audio systems. Compromises in the acoustic quality are made to satisfy additional requirements such as smaller, lighter, and cheaper products. The number of smart speakers sold suggests that the customers accept speakers with lower acoustical quality for their daily use. Concepts like soundbars aim to achieve better spatial reproduction but try to stay visually unobtrusive. Thanks to the low visual profile flat panel loudspeakers give opportunities for invisible integration. This paper presents an objective acoustic comparison of four speaker categories: smart speaker, flat panel, soundbar, and studio monitor. The comparison reveals that recent technological advances could make flat panel loudspeakers an alternative.
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