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Speakers may have a nice cabinet but they don't all sound the same, and they definitely don't all sound good. In addition, some of them won't last very long under any intense usage. For the majority of applications, commercially built speaker enclosures are capable of providing excellent audio. There are several manufacturers that offer excellent products. In this industry the brand name means something. A product with an excellent reputation and critical acclaim is worth considering. An off-brand-one that you haven't heard of before and that has an unrealistically low price is rarely a good deal in the long run. There's a reason these products are inexpensive, and it's not that the manufacturers just aren't interested in making a profit-it's usually because the components are poorly constructed, lightweight, and unreliable.

A reputable manufacturer with an excellent track record in the industry will almost always provide a superior product, excellent technical support, and a respectable warranty. In system development, it is tempting to save money on speaker cabinets or components, so that there's extra money left for other less critical devices-that strategy is ill-advised. It should be the goal to build a system that will still sound excellent in 10 or 15 years, or more.

There is a relatively short list of audio equipment manufacturers that have been around for more than 10 years or so, and who have always offered products that consistently perform at or beyond expectations. These companies are constantly developing new technologies and designing products that address specific consumer needs. Most of the time a system is designed around a couple factors: budget and need. Established manufacturers realize that they need to fill several needs-they want you to spend your money on their product, whether you're spending a thousand dollars or a million. Therefore, they offer products in all price ranges. Companies such as JBL, EAW, Bose, Mackie, and Yamaha have developed trust in the industry because they answer needs with products that, although they're not always the least expensive, last a long time and provide consistently high-quality audio. There are a few manufacturers who take advantage of inexpensive foreign labor. It is common to find off brands that copy the design of an already successful product, and sell their version for half the cost of the original. These companies, who make their money from stealing the designs of others, provide a product that looks like the original and offers many of the same specifications; however, they don't typically offer good technical support, and their products are Inherently inferior--they're not manufactured to the same tolerances and standards as the original. The copies will not sound as good and over time will become a problem. Select a product brand you can depend on to function properly day after day, week after week, and year after year, purchase reputable equipment from a reputable audio professional.