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On the High Fidelity market we currently find a huge range of Hi-Fi speakers. For an audiophile listening, we distinguish two types of speakers: the bookshelf (or compact or monitor) and the tower that have different characteristic. But how can you make a choice between bookshelf and tower speakers? To help you, maPlatine.com gives you some advices for you to make the best choice following your needs.
When you want to install a Hi-Fi system, you have to define before the way the elements will be placed, where they will be placed and be aware of its size.
Indeed, regarding to the Hi-Fi speakers, you must know how size you want them. For example, if you looking for a small-size system or a format easier to set in a room, bookshelf speakers may be the best choice.
These are smaller than tower speakers and thus are easier to place. It allows speakers to be placed over a furniture or speaker stands that remain less “visually” bulky than tower speakers. Beware of their misleading name: no audiophile will advise you to place them in on bookshelf, because this can “compress” the sound.
For the best listening, it is also recommended to have the speaker tweeter at the listener’s ear level. Choosing a monitor speaker will make this easier since, as we said before, it is easier to adapt and adjust its placement as precisely as possible.
Another important criteria to make a choice between bookshelf and tower speakers: the size of your listening room. Indeed, depending on this, a kind of speakers will be more adapted than the other.
If your listening room is quite small (less than 30m²), the most recommended model is the bookshelf speaker. For example, the Q Acoustic 3010i NEW speakers give excellent result in a room of 15 m². In a small room, a tower speaker is not advisable because it will not be able to express its full potential.
If you have a relatively large room, i.e. more than 30 m², choosing tower speakers seems more evident because of their larger size. This enables to occupy all the space when listening.
However, in this case, a compact speaker can also perfectly fit. As example, a pair of Focal Sopra 1 bookshelf speakers will give as good results as some tower speakers in a room of 40 m²!
Following the desired restitution, the choice of Hi-Fi speakers can be different. In terms of the speakers’ size, that will play a major role in the sound restitution: more the Hi-Fi speaker is large, the mare coloration can occur.
A smaller bookshelf speaker will offer a less colored restitution. Thanks to its small size, this kind of speakers also offers a more detailed sound, as it is the case for the Monitor Audio Bronze 2 bookshelf speakers. So if you are looking for this sound restitution, the bookshelf speaker can be perfect for you!
However, if you are looking for bass or a wider sound stage, the tower speaker will certainly be a better choice, such as the Balthus 90 model from Davis Acoustics. This kind of Hi-Fi speakers often distills a more intense and immersive sound. Do you worry about the colored restitution caused by the large size of a tower speaker? Do not worry, tower speakers manufacturers currently use technologies to avoid this phenomena as much as possible.
To show the full potential of your pair of Hi-Fi speakers, you must check that your Hi-Fi equipment, such as the amplifier, have enough power to “drive” it.
Following the power offered by the amp, this can gives you an indication about the kind of Hi-Fi speakers you must choose. In theory, and following the range, a bookshelf speaker will require less power than a tower speaker.
You must know that most of the integrated amplifiers available today on the market, can be associated to a huge choice of Hi-Fi speakers, bookshelf or tower.
For example, the Speaker Box 5 bookshelf speakers made by Pro-Ject will required at least 10 Watts of power, meanwhile tower speakers as the Chorus 726 tower speakers from Focal require at least 40 Watts!
To make your choice between bookshelf and tower speakers, we recommend you to always check the technical data provided the Hi-Fi speakers manufacturers.
The budget remains an important element for your final choice, for any Hi-Fi equipment. There are important price gaps between the models of Hi-Fi speakers.
The bookshelf speakers are the more compact ones and have less speakers. They require less material to manufacture. This has an impact of the price. For a similar range, compact speakers will be less expensive than tower models. As it is the case for the Monitor range from Monitor Audio or even the Aria range offered by the French manufacturer Focal.
Some tower speakers are less expensive than bookshelf speakers. Because of the materials and technologies used from the manufacturer. The price of a pair of Hi-Fi speakers can differ from few hundred euros to many thousands euros, no matter the format selected!
In the budget determined for a pair of Hi-Fi speakers, you must think about the options that can be added. Indeed, bookshelf speakers can be associated to speaker stands to optimize the sound, but this will have an additional cost. For the tower speakers, stands are not necessary. Most of the tower speakers are delivered by series with isolation spikes. But if they do not, you can add some to limit ground vibration and at a low price. This can be taken into account in the choice between bookshelf and tower speakers.
We hope that these advices will allow you to make a choice between bookshelf speakers and tower speakers. If you would like further information, do not hesitate to contact our technicians by phone (0 810 810 121) or our contact form.
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