Which loudspeaker size is for me?

May 06, 2019

Which loudspeaker size is for me?

Don’t be fooled by the price tag, the difference between bookshelf and floorstanding loudspeakers is more than just money.

What are the physical differences?

Bookshelf Speakers

More often than not, bookshelf speakers are two-way loudspeakers designed for – you guessed it – shelf or stand placement. They’re smaller than floorstanders, require less amplification power, and are perfect for small to medium-sized listening spaces.

Floorstanding Speakers

Floorstanders can be anywhere from 2, 2.5 to 3-way loudspeakers that are freestanding by design – meaning they require no shelf or stand mount to support them. They’re quite a bit larger than bookshelf speakers, require greater amplification power, and are best suited to medium to large-sized listening spaces.

What are the listening differences?

Bookshelf Speakers

Beyond greater listening flexibility for small spaces, bookshelf speakers are known to image better than their floorstanding brethren. This means better instrument separation and a more dynamic soundstage (click here for info on imaging and soundstage). If these properties appeal to you, perhaps a set of bookshelf speakers is the better choice.

Floorstanding Speakers

Floorstanding speakers quite often provide greater soundstage, stronger room projection, and much deeper bass. With dedicated woofers for both bass and midrange, floorstanding speakers can deliver stronger presence from the lower and middle register. Perfect for those who prefer their music big on bass. If you like the lower register, maybe floorstanders are for you.



How do I know what is right for me?

Where am I putting my loudspeakers?

    • Do I have the room for floorstanding speakers? Will bookshelf speakers get lost in the large space I’m placing them?
    • (We provide a size guide for each of our speakers)

How powerful is my amplifier?

    • Check your amp against speaker specifications. Do I have the necessary grunt to power the speakers I want?

Do I have a greater preference for imaging or bass.

    • Do I prefer imaging or bass? (Click for more info) It’s not necessarily one or the other. But if Deep House and Hip Hop are your thing, floorstanders will deliver better at the low end. And imaging has less of an impact.

If in doubt, contact a professional.

    • If at the end of the day you’re still unsure, the best solution is to go to the source: Contact us at info@wharfedale.com.au