Are Bookshelf Speakers Good?

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Bookshelf speakers get their name for being small enough to fit on a shelf or bookcase, however they can still vary in their size and in their weight. They are larger than a portable speaker, but more compact than floor speakers. They deliver loud amplification and solid stereo sound for any room sized small or medium.

Likewise, they won’t give you the same room rumbling, ceiling shuddering bass that a full sized floor set of speakers will give you, but if you need a sound system for your office, your den, your bedroom, or even a medium-sized living area, they will be more than enough. 

If you want to pair them up with a home system, you can link them up to a subwoofer and amp up your listening experience that way, they won’t make you feel like you are in a movie theater, but... Close enough.

While Bluetooth speakers and headphones have made advancements in the last few years, nothing quite compares to a good speaker system that can deliver you tunes all day long with epic quality.

While they aren’t portable, this means they don’t suffer from battery life problems and since they’re ‘shelf sized’ you can fit them comfortably into your homes' ensemble. No need to completely rearrange your space to fit your speakers in, they're just big enough to give you what you want without requesting a whole home re-do.

Can I put bookshelf speakers on a bookshelf?

Realistically, you can put bookshelf speakers anywhere. They are small enough that you can put them on a table, shelf, cabinet, wherever really. However, you need to be mindful of what else is in the space you put the speakers in. If your shelf is enclosed then the sound from the speakers may resonate off of it.

You should also consider the make-up of the shelf, in the wall brackets and the like. If you do put your bookshelf speakers on a bookshelf, then you should try to aim the speaker towards the listeners ears. You can buy or even make foam wedges that will further decouple the speaker from the shelf and prevent any problems.

Doing this can help to prevent vibrating items on the shelf or transmission of the vibration from the soundwaves going to other speakers, which would yield some weird noise. Many people who do this will have the center speaker on a shelf with it angled towards the listeners ears.

A separate shelf for the center could isolate it from other speakers better. You just need to ensure that your speakers are at the very front of the shelf, hanging off very slightly. Any shelf that is in front of the drivers becomes a surface for sound to reflect off of.

The issues with placing bookshelf speakers on a bookshelf is that sound will typically resonate off of it, especially if it is enclosed. This does depend on the solidity of the material. A set-up like this could entirely change the sound emitting from that area.

Can I use bookshelf speakers with TV?

If you do not want a massive sound system hooked up to your TV, you can always use passive bookshelf speakers. However, if you do this you will need an AV receiver to hook them up to, sadly these AV receivers will probably cost about the same as your speakers did. But, if you are determined to get that good sound without having to sacrifice space in your home with big bulky speakers, or a surround sound system, then this can be a good sacrifice to make.

In comparison to simply buying a soundbar this is a more expensive option as you will have to buy both speakers and an AV receiver, but doing this has some stellar advantages.

You gain more flexibility to add to your system later on, if you wanted to add a center channel speaker, or a subwoofer, this is much more doable. And you will not be as easily tied into a brand ecosystem, you could mix and match up future speakers by different brands together, as every speaker will be able to communicate through the AV receiver.

The biggest advantage of using bookshelf speakers with an AV receiver for your TV system is that the audio quality will be better, and the positioning of these speakers will naturally make the sound system sound more immersive and more like a home cinema set up.

How do I choose bookshelf speakers?

So, maybe you have your heart set on getting a set of bookshelf speakers, but you may not understand all that high-tech jargon going on when you look at the product. You don’t have to, as long as you understand the basics, you can know what it is you are getting.

First of all take into consideration the hertz (Hz), if this number is low then you will get some heavy bass. Then consider Watts (W), the higher the number of the wattage, the greater an output you can expect to get from your speakers. This is very relevant when you are matching bookshelf speakers to an amplifier.

Also, consider Drivers, basic bookshelf speakers will have two woofers (these are the things that generate bass), and tweeters (these are the things that produce those higher frequency sounds). If you buy a speaker set with a third mid-range driver, it will produce a full-range of sound.

These things are all relevant to what you will get from your speaker, if you are setting up some bookshelf speakers to create a home cinema system, then you may want to ensure that your speakers have a third mid-range driver, so that you get full benefit of all the sound in the movies you watch.

If it is for music in your den, and you tend to listen to more heavy bass music, then you will want to have a lower Hertz number.

What are bookshelf speakers used for?

Bookshelf speakers are like any other home speaker, you can generally use them for whatever you want to, there are no hard or fast rules on what you must use them for. Some may use them for a sound system at barbecue parties, house parties, and just dancing on a rainy Sunday afternoon, whereas others may hook them up to the TV and create themselves a home cinema system. The possibilities are endless.

These speakers are meant to rest on a shelf, a table, or any other elevated surfaces… pretty much anywhere but the floor. They maximize sound for small to medium-sized spaces. Remember, just because they’re called ‘bookshelf speakers’, it does not mean that they must go on a bookshelf.

Some bookshelf speakers are geared up specifically for movie buffs and their home cinema set-ups, others are more geared up for music experience, taken to a godly level.

If you want to build yourself your own home theater system, then you can use bookshelf speakers. While you can take the charge and buy a more elaborate and specialty home theater set-up, that option is not for everybody, and many people may not want to dedicate to that kind of commitment, so in that case, bookshelf speakers are a fantastic option, and they are pretty interchangeable too, so there is always a plus side in that regard. 

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