Great sound is not just about ohms and watts; it is about creating a sensation that runs through your body and creates a dynamic sensory experience that makes you want more.
Before you start choosing, you should look at your room, as its size will help you determine how much power and which speakers you may need. A large room will require more power and potentially more channels, while a smaller room will only accommodate two speakers and a subwoofer.
Bookshelf or Compact speakers are often chosen for their small size, which allows for more “discreet” integration into your interior. Most are designed to sit on legs for ideal placement at ear height. These models are designed to be installed on a shelf without disturbing their reproduction of low frequencies. Their vent is thus very often frontal, or their load closed.
Manufacturers today use extremely sophisticated tools to design enclosures that are both compact and very linear. While this translates into sometimes-modest performance, the improved power handling allows for very comfortable listening in domestic use. Compared to column speakers, compacts cannot produce the same volume of low frequencies. Depending on the listening room, the use of a subwoofer may be considered.
Placing in small rooms
If you live in a very small space, a bookshelf speaker, which can be mounted on a stand, on/against a wall, or recessed into a wall, would be well suited to your small space. Often in rental units, you do not have as much flexibility in placing the speakers, especially if you are not allowed to make a hole in the wall or ceiling to install the speakers. In addition, you may not want or need a ton of power, given the limited space and proximity to neighbors.
Manufactured with the same care as the large format columns, the bookshelves consist of a tweeter for the highs and a wideband speaker that will cover the mid and low frequencies. This wideband loudspeaker will give a different, even more striking proximity effect. However, it will not be able to reproduce the same extreme bass as a dedicated column woofer. Placed in a small room, this will be an advantage as the room can better contain the bass input from a bookshelf speaker. In a large room, on the other hand, adding a subwoofer may be beneficial in addition to adding a more felt presence.