What are Bookshelf Speakers?

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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Bookshelf speakers are audio speakers that are compact and versatile, and ideal for fitting on a bookshelf, as the name implies. These types of speakers are more suited for use in smaller rooms or where lower volumes are necessary, for instance in an upstairs apartment where the walls are thinner or in a child’s room. Bookshelf speakers are among the most versatile of all types of speakers and can come in a large variety of shapes, colors and sizes. One advantage to bookshelf speakers is that two of them are all you really need to complete a basic and decent sounding audio system.

Bookshelf speakers are generally made of the same components as most speakers, but these can vary greatly from model to model. The components are usually a tweeter, a woofer, housing, and wires for connecting them to a source, and better quality speakers will usually contain each of these. Some variables that affect the quality of the sound of these speakers are the frequency range and power output, which will be better with higher-end components. Some bookshelf speakers are also wireless for even greater portability.


In the world of home audio and entertainment, there are practically limitless options for the types of sound systems that can be used for a stereo or television system. A higher-end system will usually involve surround sound, where several speakers and a subwoofer are placed around the room to create audio that emanates from all around the listener. This is especially effective for movies, where the surround sound can be used to emulate effects within the movie and their position relative to the viewer. In a surround sound system, it is very possible that one or several of the speakers involved are bookshelf speakers, which are ideal for this type of system because of the ease of mounting them to the wall or placing them in a variety of locations without too much hassle.



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