Satellite speakers are a smaller alternative to bookshelf speakers and generally used in 5.1 speaker packages and may also be used as rear speakers with your choice of bookshelf speakers or floorstanders and centre speaker as the front speakers. If you already have a 5.1 speaker package, you can also add another pair of satellite speakers to this to go from 5.1 to 7.1 channels or even to 9.1 channels of home cinema sound, if your AV receiver supports this.
Satellite speakers are generally used in home cinema speaker packages, 2.1 speaker systems and as compact speakers in a stereo system. Make no mistake though, unlike cheaper "plasticky" satellite speaker packages on the market, we sell a carefully selected range which look small but sound BIG. Many satellite speakers here also have matching speaker stands and/or wall or ceiling brackets available.
Although they can be used for music, satellite speakers are generally better for movies and AV use, unless you use them with a suitable subwoofer, as larger hi-fi bookshelf speakers can offer better bass response. Indeed, many high-end AV speaker systems select full-size speakers as they can deliver the best soundstage possible, Satellite Speakers are a good choice if space is limited due to their compact dimensions and if you want something more discrete. It is possible to wall mount bookshelf or typical AV speakers, it is much easier and less of a DIY task to accommodate a satellite speaker, thanks to their compact size, and the fact that they tend to be designed specifically to wall mount.
Some speakers are fully adjustable, and can even be mounted to the ceiling, giving you even more flexibility in terms of speaker placement. Due to being so easy to accommodate, Satellite speakers are often the choice of the music or movie lover who wants a full hi-fi or AV system, but does not want the associated large, bulky boxes and full-sized speakers. They are also ideal for situations where a typical speaker setup might be unsightly and affect minimalist décor or design. As they are much more compact, these types of speakers enable some users to discreetly install them into their existing décor.
Satellite speakers are ideally used as part of an AV Home Cinema System, though they can also perform capably as a stereo system or compact lifestyle system. Unlike other speakers, satellites have to compromise the frequency range they can deliver in order to remain compact. Therefore, they are ideally used in a system with a subwoofer, which can counteract the lack of bass delivered by the speakers, and deliver a full range and coherent overall sound. This is not always the case, as some models are designed to be compact, while still retaining the performance of a full size speaker. Such speakers will be designed to be large and thin rather than compact overall, allowing for larger drivers and thus more bass performance.
Due to their compact dimensions, some users like to use satellite speakers, with or without a subwoofer, to create a desktop computer audio system or a lifestyle system for situations where space is tight, although as we said, for music they will always sound better with a matching subwoofer. Many surround sound speaker systems include a full set of satellite speakers – everything you need to be up and running. However, some users may want to add additional speakers, replace broken speakers or add a newer model to an ageing system. While they tend to come in pairs, they are also available singly, enabling even more customisability and particularly useful where a satellite is to be used as a centre speaker.