Originally Posted by Hifisound
If a subwoofer (or 2) is to be used, should one still buy floorstander / 3 way speakers or are bookshelf / 2 way speakers fine ?
Some time ago the answer would be easy, but we are now in the era of floorstanding speakers with 2" woofers! :-(
The actual requirement is not a one-size-fits-all thing.
The main speakers must have enough bass extension so that there is good soundstaging over the audible range and a smooth merge with the sound that comes from the subwoofer(s).
That is the combination of many things with the room's acoustics and layout being a critical component. I can conceive of needing floorstanding speakers to accomplish that, even though it is a goal that can often be met with bookshelf speakers.
I can't even tell you a one-size-fits-all crossover frequency, although 80 Hz works for a lot of people.
Also should one stick pro-audio speakers to be assured of greater neutrality ?
In this day and age, with system performance being set by automated adjustment facilities such as Audyssey, speakers that are colored but have smooth response both on and off axis can be brought into congruence electronically.
Again the field of pro audio speakers is a mixed bag because strictly speaking it includes both studio monitors and sound reinforcement (SR) speakers. Just to muddy the waters further, being a SR speaker is not a guarantee of bad design and lots of ugly coloration. Some of them sound good in a home audio setting.
Are pro-audio speakers suitable only for nearfield listening?
Not necessarily. One of my favorite pro audio speakers for home use (many sucessful recommendations) is the Behringer B2031A. It has the following built-in adjustments:
Flick a few switches and it transforms itself from a near field speaker to a speaker for use in a large room, even in free space outdoors.