21 Bookshelf Speakers for Your Entertainment System - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 05-21-2008, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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21 Bookshelf Speakers for Your Entertainment System
By Dennis Barker
Modest price and compact size make bookshelf speakers a great option for your home theater or stereo setup.

Because of their compact cabinets, bookshelf speakers can be placed where towers or floor-standing speakers cannot. According to Polk Audio, the name bookshelf' is unfortunate, since most such designs perform best when placed upon rigid stands, rather than tucked inside pieces of furniture. While bookshelf-type speakers are more placement-friendly than larger speakers, the small enclosures are more rigid and produce less sonically degrading box resonance' than all but the best towers. While they can certainly be placed on a bookshelf (as the name implies), in many instances they are now placed on stands today.

A clear advantage to bookshelf-type speakers are their modest price and size. Bookshelf speakers fit rooms and budgets that cannot accommodate a pair of towers. The small, solid cabinets are both versatile-able to excel in bookcases, atop shelves or hung on walls-and provide excellent midrange clarity. It should be noted that many speakers use air tunnels or ports to improve efficiency and bass output. However, if you plan to place your speakers against a wall or inside a cabinet, choose a model whose port is located on the front panel, with the drivers.

On the other hand, an argument can be made that reduced cabinet volume and driver surface area limit the dynamic and bass frequency range of bookshelf speakers. This can also compromise power handling and efficiency. Are you measuring the prowess of your system by the size of your speakers? However, with smaller speakers come smaller drivers especially woofers. To overcome this potential handicap, a subwoofer may be needed to add additional oomph to the sound.

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