Investing in a good-quality pair of speakers can make the world of difference, and you often get what you pay for.
However, if you’re in the market for new speakers you might be curious to know: Are bigger speakers better?
In this article, I cover all things speakers, from whether small speakers sound as good as large to whether speaker size affects sound.
Keep reading to find out more.
Can small speakers sound as good as large?
Although small speakers might be more convenient to pack up and travel with if you’re in the market for new speakers you might be wondering: Can small speakers sound as good as large ones? The answer to this question is sometimes. That being said, excellent small speakers never come cheap, so your budget will ultimately determine how good the quality of your small speakers is.
Before you commit to buying speakers, you’ll want to establish the reason why you’re buying them. For instance, if your speakers are for general use or to travel with, then buying a pair of small speakers would probably suffice for these contexts.
That being said, if you ever plan on listening to loud music or plan on throwing a party with heavy bass, you’ll find that a speaker that is on the larger side is far superior to a smaller speaker. In this context, bigger speakers are bigger, louder, and better, and you’ll be able to tell the difference in the sound quality straight off the bat.
It is important to note that the smaller the speaker, the more dependent it will be on the sub. The majority of small speakers need to be used with a subwoofer to supply the bass, as the speakers themselves don't make it on their own. That being said, some of the space-saving pros of investing in smaller speakers for their compact size are sacrificed when you add the sub to the mix.
The sub can also make the setup more complex whilst increasing the chances of the speakers producing mediocre sound quality. Where you place the sub is more restricted in small speakers.
Typically speaking, the sub should be placed as close as possible to the front left or right speakers. Increasing the distance beyond 4 feet often results in a poor speaker-subwoofer blend, meaning that it will be obvious that all the bass is coming from a separate place to the speakers.
If you’re willing to spend a fair bit on a pair of speakers, then the smaller ones can produce decent sound quality. However, that being said, you get a lot more for your money when investing in a larger speaker. The fact that they don’t need to rely on a sub to produce the bass alone, alongside the quality of the bass and overall sound makes larger speakers superior in my opinion.
Does speaker size affect sound?
When it comes to investing in a good pair of speakers, size does matter, and you nearly always get what you pay for. Small speakers may have the upper hand in terms of their compact size, however, but bigger speakers are superior to small speakers in terms of performance and sound quality.
Big speakers are more powerful than small speakers. Bigger speakers produce a clearer, stronger, louder sound than small speakers are capable of, which largely comes down to their size. Smaller speakers are limited and somewhat hindered by the very advantage that they’re bought for - their size.
Small speakers are not able to produce a clear sound in every context simply due to their size. For instance, if you were hosting a party, you wouldn’t be able to achieve the sound that you’re looking for with a small speaker as their size limits them in terms of the power that they can produce.
These speakers often have difficulty with large sounds, such as an explosion in a film you’re watching, as well as sounds that are too low in pitch.
To compensate for this, then, small speakers are often accompanied by a separate subwoofer, which works to produce low-frequency sounds as an extra attachment to the speakers.
Smaller speakers generally don't have any problems producing medium to high pitch sounds. However, when a small speaker attempts to produce very low frequency sounds you'll hear a large amount of distortion in the sound and the general sound quality won’t be great.
That being said, big speakers, were specifically designed for large, loud sounds. They include a subwoofer within the speaker, which small speakers lack. The included subwoofer allows larger speakers to have a better frequency response than the smaller speakers with a subwoofer attached separately.
Frequency response is the range of bass, mids, and treble that a speaker can produce without distortion. When it comes to playing music through large speakers, there are generally fewer strained sounds and you won’t often feel like the speakers are struggling to play what you need them to.
If you’re looking to invest in speakers that will produce clearer, higher-quality sound, then buying a larger speaker is definitely worth the money. Not only is the sound quality better, but music also sounds better when it is played through larger speakers.
Subwoofers are intended for bass frequencies, but they still sound better through large, powerful speakers that are of good quality than through an attached subwoofer.
Which speaker you decide to invest in will depend on your budget and what you intend to use it for. Although big speakers are generally better, as they are more powerful and produce better sound quality, they are also more expensive than smaller speakers.
That being said, you often get what you pay for when it comes to speakers, and you will find that you’ll need to invest in higher quality small speakers for decent sound quality, anyway. Bearing this in mind, then, if you’re looking for an investment that is going to withstand the test of time, a big speaker could be the better choice.