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Bookshelf Speakers

Bookshelf speakers are an excellent alternative to floorstanding speakers for smaller rooms or if you want something aesthetically smaller. In many cases they are an excellent choice for accurate sound and many studios use bookshelf sized speakers for monitoring. We prefer to call them "stand mount" rather than "bookshelf" though as they will generally sound better on dedicated speaker stands and to avoid a "boomy" sound in smaller spaces, you can control bass response by choice of stands. All speakers here are passive and require a suitable hi-fi amplifier. While we usually recommend this type of system (hi-fi separates and passive speakers) for the very best sound quality, we also sell excellent wireless and active speakers. All prices include free mainland UK delivery and our full 30 day money back guarantee incase you change your mind, so buy with confidence.

Traditionally, floorstanding loudspeakers have been considered the ultimate to hifi with bookshelf speakers being largely perceived as too lightweight or compact to compete with their larger counterparts. However, the past 20 years has seen a drastic improvement in manufacturing and miniaturisation techniques so these standmount speakers can compete with floorstanders adding their own advantages as well.

Bookshelf speakers typically have more attack and rhythm than floorstanding models so they are more suited to complex tracks and rhythmic music. This is often viewed as a compromise between the weight and dynamics of a floorstanding speaker and the musicality possible with a bookshelf speaker.

Driver design and material is a crucial when selecting a bookshelf speaker. There are various materials of drivers from Kevlar to paper – the top distinction being metallic or non-metallic drivers. A metal driver, typically aluminium, benefits from accuracy and precision. However, some listeners may describe this as "bright" or "analytical". Non-metallic drivers generally feature more engaging musicality and warmth at the expense of the absolute precision of a metal driver.

Tweeter design also hugely impacts the sound signature. Typically, entry-level and mid-range models incorporate a dome-shaped tweeter while higher-end speakers use a ribbon tweeter incorporating a diaphragm of stretched metallic ribbon. This delivers more lucid and broadly-dispersed highs, for better imaging and soundstage.

Most configurations employ a main bass/mid frequency driver paired with a separate tweeter handling high frequencies. However, some manufacturers choose to house the tweeter in the centre of the main driver to improve dispersion and imaging and make positioning easier and more versatile.

Bookshelf speakers are more appropriately known as standmount speakers as they virtually always sound better on a dedicated speaker stand. These stands are ideal to position the speakers at the optimal listening height with the tweeters at ear level from the usual seating position. This achieves best imaging and ensure coherency and integration between the woofer and tweeter. Dedicated stands also add weight and authority to enhance bass extension. Many stands are fillable, allowing you to add weight and mass and further tweak the bass performance of your speakers. Base spikes ensure isolation from the floor and stop unwanted resonance from degrading the sound of your speakers.

Don't forget to buy a suitable pair of speaker stands and good speaker cable as well! Call or e-mail us if you need any further help in choosing your new pair of speakers.

Bookshelf Speakers

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