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Elite Screens Spectrum vs. Spectrum 2

Comparing Elite Screens Spectrum vs. Spectrum 2

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Are you in the market for a retractable projector screen?

Elite Screens has been the number one manufacturer of high-quality screens for decades. Two of its best-selling, budget-friendly projector screens — Spectrum and Spectrum 2 — are the ideal solutions for anyone looking for ways to upgrade their home theater experience with a wall/ceiling type screen.

This article compares Elite Screens Spectrum vs Spectrum 2 to help you make the best choice.

Elite Screens Spectrum vs. Spectrum 2: Direct Comparison

  Spectrum Spectrum 2
Screen Material: MaxWhite 2, AcousticPro UHD, and AcousticPro 1080P2 MaxWhite FG
Gain Classification: 1.0 Gain, 1.1 Gain 1.1 Gain
Size Range: 84″ to 180″ Diagonal 91″ to 150″ Diagonal
Application: Wall or Ceiling Wall or Ceiling
Supported Formats: 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR
Aspect Ratio: 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10 4:3 and 16:9
Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years 2 Years
Front/Rear Projection: Front Front
Control System: 3-way wall UP/STOP/DOWN switch 3-way wall UP/STOP/DOWN switch
Short-Throw/Ultra-Short-Throw Capabilities: No No
Remote Control: IR Remote Optional IR Remote
Check Prices Online: Check Amazon  Check Amazon 

Elite Screens Spectrum vs. Spectrum 2: Features, Accessories, and More

Elite Screens is dedicated to providing its clients with feature-filled, high-quality products. Both the Spectrum and Spectrum 2 models are equipped with many excellent capabilities.

In this section, we’ll be looking at the features, accessories, and other capabilities of the two products to help you determine which screen to get for your home theater system.

Quick Summary:

  • Screen material
  • Size range
  • Short-throw and Ultra-short-throw capabilities
  • Control systems
  • Aspect ratio

Screen material

Projector screens are made from a variety of materials. For video projection to be effective, the projector needs to be capable of reflecting light as efficiently as possible to create bright and clear pictures.

Different screen materials have different gain classifications. “Gain” is used to measure the amount of light that a projector screen can reflect into a viewer’s field of vision.

The recommended amount of gain for a white matte screen, like the MaxWhite, is 1.0 gain. But if the projector you’re using doesn’t produce powerful enough light, a screen gain of 1.3 would be more effective.

Besides gain, there’s one other thing you need to consider when looking at projector screen materials: tension. Tension prevents the screen from developing wrinkles and folds during use. It also ensures that users get clear and crisp images when watching videos.

a projector screen in class room with projector and soundbars


The great thing about the Elite Screens Spectrum is that you can choose between three (3) screen materials: MaxWhite 2, AcousticPro UHD, and AcousticPro 1080P2. Each material has gained classes ranging from 1.0 to 1.1.

If you want to balance reflectivity with audio capabilities, the AcousticPro UHD and AcousticPro 1080P2 are both great choices. These screens were designed to allow sound waves to freely pass through them, so you can place the speakers directly behind the screen.

However, due to its non-tensioned body, the Spectrum screens are prone to wrinkling and folding, which can ruin a user’s experience. This is possibly the only downside to getting this projector screen material.

Spectrum 2

The Elite Screens Spectrum 2 comes with the latest MaxWhite FG screen material. What makes it special is its fiberglass backing that adds tension to the screen, making it less prone to wrinkles.

This bad boy has a gain class of 1.1 — which is pretty much on par with the Spectrum’s predecessor.

The Spectrum series is definitely our top choice, when it comes to variety. They’re also our go-to choice when it comes to sound transparency. However, if we’re talking about wrinkle resistance, we have to go with Spectrum 2.

Winner (Material Variety): Spectrum

Winner (Sound Transparency): Spectrum

Winner (Wrinkle Resistance): Spectrum 2

Size range

When it comes to finding the right projector screen, size also matters.

Projectors have varying output powers. If your projector output isn’t appropriate for the size of your screen, it can affect the way images show up.

Size may also influence the distance at which you sit from your screen. Larger screens may require you to sit far away for better viewing comfort. Smaller screens, on the other hand, may be more forgiving.

a big projector screen conference room


The Spectrum Series offers a variety of screen sizes, from 84″ to 180″ diagonal. This is great because it offers users more flexibility and choices for their home theater setup.

Spectrum 2

Unfortunately, the Spectrum 2 model doesn’t come with as many screen sizes, which is a lot of wasted space in most videophiles’ opinions.

Winner: Because the Spectrum Series has more size choices, we’re giving them the point for this round.

Short-throw and Ultra-short-throw capabilities

If you own a small space, making sure that your projector screen supports short-throw and ultra-short-throw is important. These formats allow projectors to deliver big-picture experiences in a limited amount of space.

Unfortunately, neither the Spectrum nor Spectrum 2 models support short-throw and ultra-short-throw formats.

Winner: No Winner (Tie)

Control systems

They may not be top-of-mind for customers when looking for projector screens but control systems are also an important factor to remember.

They determine how easily you can pull in and out your projector screen. Different types of control systems may also be more prone to hang-ups and other technical issues.

a projector screen in class room


Like most retractable screens, the Spectrum comes with a 3-way wall UP/STOP/DOWN switch. It also has an infrared remote that comes with the package.

Spectrum 2

The Spectrum has the same control system as the Spectrum. The only difference is that it doesn’t have an IR remote but you can order it separately from Elite Screens.

Winner: When you’re on a tight budget, you won’t want to spend extra money on a remote control. This is why we’re giving this round to Spectrum, for being the most convenient and complete.

Aspect ratio

You may remember the aspect ratio as two numbers separated by a colon (ex. 4:3). These numbers represent the proportional link between a projector screen’s width to its height.

To determine what aspect ratio you need at home, you first need to consider what type of videos you plan to watch.

The industry standard for aspect ratio is 4:3. This is typically what the projector screens at offices or school classrooms have. They’re great for HD content as well as business presentations.

Meanwhile, if you plan on watching 4K or 8K content, an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 16:10 would be ideal.

difference 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio


The Spectrum Series offers three (3) different aspect ratio classes: 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10. It can support 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR formats, making them a great choice for most home theaters and offices.

Spectrum 2

Spectrum 2 has two (2) available aspect ratio classes: 4:3 and 16:9. Like the Spectrum Series, it can also support 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR formats.

Winner: Tie

Final Recount

Spectrum: 5/7

Spectrum 2: 2/7

Elite Screens Spectrum vs. Spectrum 2: Pros and Cons

Products Pros Cons
  • Provides a myriad of screen material options for users
  • Supports 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR formats
  • Offers a wide range of screen sizes
  • Comes with a handy IR remote
  • Supports acoustic transparency for better video and audio sync
  • Has a good range of gain classifications
  • Is much more prone to wrinkling and folding
  • Doesn’t support short-throw and ultra-short-throw
Spectrum 2
  • Has a fiberglass backing, so it’s much less prone to wrinkling and folding
  • Supports 4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR formats
  • Has an ideal gain classification
  • Doesn’t have other choices for screen material
  • Doesn’t support short-throw and ultra-short-throw
  • Remote doesn’t come with the package

Final Verdict

Both screens are great budget-friendly options for anyone looking for an entry-level retractable projector screen. However, only one of them really stood out to us in terms of versatility, quality, and features: The Elite Screens Spectrum.

The Elite Screens Spectrum has a wider range of capabilities and choices than the Spectrum 2 — from screen material down to aspect ratio. You won’t have trouble adjusting your purchase to the specific requirements of your home theater setup.

Furthermore, you won’t have to go over your budget either, since the Spectrum Series already has everything you need out of the box e.g., remote, a durable casing, and more.

You may have to deal with the fact that the Spectrum is much more prone to wrinkling and creases. However, if you find a way to avoid wrinkling your projector screen, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

Of course, you’re free to try out the Spectrum 2 model, especially if you’re someone who can be a little carefree when it comes to projector screens. You may need to buy the IR remote separately, but at least you’ll have a sturdy fiberglass backing to keep creases away.

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