How to Choose The Right Bookshelf Speakers


Achieving clean and surround sound is not an easy task, especially when it comes to the acoustics of a budget segment. High-quality systems allow you to transmit sound with maximum detail, in a balanced way to reproduce high, medium and low frequencies. What bookshelf speakers exist, and how to choose the right equipment for home use?

How to Choose Bookshelf Speakers

Acoustic system is a device for reproducing sound, consisting of an amplifier, several emitters (most often dynamic) and electric filters for separation between the loud bookshelf speakers of the reproduced frequency range. The optimum spectrum for mid-range and high-end bookshelf speakers is considered to be the frequency from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

This allows you to produce tangible “springy” bass and crystal clear vocals. Of course, the performance of the frequency range can not fully reflect the sound quality. For this there is an amplitude-frequency characteristic.

There are two main types of acoustic systems – active and passive. Active speakers, in addition to the crossover and dynamics, contain a built-in power amplifier inside the case. This makes them more versatile and compact compared to passive component systems. The active acoustics of a closed type can include not only the sound source, but also the player, the preprocessing console, and even the whole instrument.

This allows you to quickly set up and assemble equipment. However, active systems are poorly suited for large halls and clubs, because they concentrate sound in one particular place.

Passive acoustics needs a separate amplifier, and in some cases a crossover. It will not be convenient for small halls or clubs, because it takes a lot of space. But such equipment copes better with the creation of a sound atmosphere in large rooms. Another advantage is the even distribution of power, which reduces the risk of overheating of amplifiers.



polk-audio-lsi9-bookshelf-speakersDo not be tempted to install speakers in the corners of the room. The level of the bass may increase, but at the same time the rhythm, transparency of sound and detail in the low-frequency range deteriorate.


Experiment with a turn. It depends on the model, but for good bookshelf speakers, a slight inward reversal stabilizes the stereo panorama. Do not overdo it – otherwise the sound stage will decrease.


Much depends on the room, but ideally the speaker is better to have no closer than a couple of meters from each other and a meter from the side and rear walls.


Ensure maximum bookshelf speaker distance from other system components. Any vibration is bad for the sound.

Besides the fact that you connect the speakers and wait for the necessary time, you face another important problem – to find the right place and position for them. Do not take the time for this: small changes in the geometry of the arrangement can seriously change the sound balance.

When you place the speakers close to the back wall, you will get more powerful bass; if you move them away from the walls, the stereo panorama will become more convincing.

You need to find a balance, not a compromise, and the speakers with the rear port of the phase inverter (i.e., emitting a sound back) are more sensitive to the installation close to the rear wall. But in any case, do not put them in a corner, even if this option seems more convenient: plump and uneven bass spoil the whole impression.

The stereo angle is strongly influenced by the bookshelf speaker angle. Most require a small orientation inward towards the position of the listener, which should be located at the same distance from the speakers in order to achieve the best focus. Models of some manufacturers (for example, DALI) reversal is not required. Specify in the user manual the distances recommended for your model of speakers from each other and from the walls, but do not be afraid to experiment – in your room they may behave slightly differently than in other places.

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