Floor or Shelf Speakers, which one do you Choose?

More and more young people and not so young that when visiting the house of a friend or a relative, they discover that music is playing in the room with a spectacular sound, totally different from what they usually hear through their portable or mobile devices. It is as if they entered another dimension and let us not say if a movie is being projected in that room through an authentic audio and home theater system.

The next thing these visitors think is: I would like to have something like this, to look next for example at the pair of speaker columns that transmit the music, as well as the rest of the audio equipment and exclaim Woohh!

Well, for those people who have never had the opportunity to enter the world of stereo audio with a certain level of quality or a home cinema system “in condition”, we present these lines with very basic concepts if you like, but that can be useful to them when deciding to buy one of the fundamental elements of an audio and video system: The speakers.

The speakers must transmit good sound to us, but another important factor to consider is how they fit in with the decor and size of your room. With this in mind, loudspeakers are characterized by two main types of physical categories: floor speakers, also called floor-standing or column speakers, and bookshelf speakers, or also called monitors. However, within those two categories, there is great variation in terms of size and shape.

Bookshelf Speakers

Another common speaker design available is known as a bookshelf speaker. As the name suggests, these speakers are more compact than the ground speakers, and while some are small enough to fit on a shelf, most are larger, but can easily be placed on a table, on a stand, or even can be placed on a wall.

Bookshelf speakers often have a “box” design, but there are some that are just small cubes (Bose), or are spherical (Elipson Planet).

However, due to their size, and while some bookshelf speakers actually have better low-frequency response than might be expected, especially when watching movies, it is better to pair bookshelf speakers with a separate subwoofer to reach those frequencies. serious.

In the case of home theater, bookshelf speakers are used for front channels, for surround sound, and as overhead speakers, for example for Dolby Atmos effects, while a subwoofer is used strictly for bass.

Floor Speakers

Since the beginning of High-Fidelity stereo sound, floor speakers have been a favorite for serious music listening.

What makes floor standing speakers the preferred choice is that they do not need to be placed on a table or stand, and are large enough to house multiple speaker drivers, which may include a tweeter for high frequencies, midrange for dialogue and voices, and woofer for low frequencies.

Some column speakers may also include another passive radiator, or a front or rear door, which is used to extend the low-frequency output.

A speaker that includes that type of port is said to be a speaker with a Bass Reflex design. There are also some floor-standing speakers that include a built-in subwoofer, greatly extending low-frequency performance.

Center Channel Speakers

There is also a variation known as the center channel speaker. This type of speaker is most commonly used in a home theater speaker configuration.

The center speaker usually has a horizontal design. In other words, while floor standing speakers and a bookshelf are storing the speakers vertically (most often when the tweeter is up, and the center / woofer below the tweeter), the main channel speaker is usually with two medium speakers. Left and right, and Twitter in the middle.

The center speaker is absolutely essential to reproduce clearly and clearly the dialogues of the films, a critical parameter in the reproduction of any film.

This horizontal design allows the speaker to be placed on or under a TV or video projection screen, either on a bookshelf or on a wall.

So, what Type of Speaker Design is Best?

If you are interested in listening to stereo music with full-time dedication, consider the column speakers as a priority, as they generally provide a higher frequency range sound which is very important for listening to music without losing nuances, in this case provided by the notes of bass frequencies.

If you are interested in listening to stereo music, but do not have space for floor speakers, consider a set of speaker speakers for the left and right channels and, in your case, a subwoofer to fill the lowest frequencies.

For the setup of a home theater system, you have the option of using floor standing or bookshelf speakers for the front left and right channels, but also bookshelf speakers for the surround channels and of course consider a center channel speaker It can be placed above or below a TV or video projection screen for dialogue.

However, in the case of home theater, even if you are using foot speakers for the front left and right channels, it is recommended to add a subwoofer for the extremely low frequencies that are common in movies. However, an exception to this rule would be if you have front left and right channel speakers that have their own powered subwoofers built in.


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