Bookshelf Speakers for High End Audio? Absolutely!


What do you look for in good bookshelf speakers?

Bookshelf speakers aren’t going to offer a lot of bass. At least most of them won’t. Most people looking for these smaller speakers have aesthetic reasons for doing so. (not always)

But there are very easy ways to get satisfying bass performance out of them.

A subwoofer

active bookshelf speakers quad mini

Yes, yes, I know. Lots of music enthusiasts think that a subwoofer may as well be a swear word. But a well designed sub can easily mate well with a small speaker of equally high quality.


What are the advantages of smaller book shelf speakers? And know that small speakers do have advantages.

Why do they work better if placed on a stand and not on the shelf?

– They can sound better because of smaller cabinet surfaces.

– Have more placement options.

– Are less expensive than floorstanding speakers. (generally speaking)

Most consumers who are considering small bookshelf speakers for their home theater and have no intention of placing them on a shelf. High performance speakers like this are best used on dedicated speaker stands built for high end speakers.

But if you have a small receiver they could also be used for computer speakers. This is common if you want to get better performance than typical computer speakers offer.

In either case here is another possibility…

Active Bookshelf Speakers are easy to use and often perform better:

A speaker with active digital crossover and built in amplification built right into the speaker box design itself.

This means that all you need is to hook these speakers up to your computer analog outputs, home theater processor, or receiver RCA outputs.

No amplifiers are needed.

Active crossovers/ Line Level Speaker Crossovers:

The crossover stages are handled at line level within the speakers before the amplifier stages to lower the total system distortion.

Implementing a line level crossover stage eliminates heat distortion typical caused by the passive crossover network.

Passive crossovers cause phase shift, timing errors and other distortion artifacts.

Read more about active vs. passive crossover here.

Simply stated: everything sounds better coming through these speakers because of their cabinet and crossover topology.

What about the Speaker Cabinet of Small Speakers?

Thin and unbraced speaker cabinet panels will resonate.

Resonance sounds unnatural…

Getting a non resonant, heavy, thick, and well braced cabinet also increases the expense of good speakers.

There are not any cheap alternative available to making a superb cabinet unless you build speakers yourself. See our factory direct speakers plans here.

Please note:

The expense of these speakers may be higher than basic 2 way speakers for two reasons:

– Cabinet quality

– Built in amplifiers

You will not need any amplifiers so if you have extra amps you could sell them to recoup the cost.

You can sometimes drive these active speakers directly from your computer sound card possibly eliminating the receiver or sound processor saving even more money. (most sound-cards have adequate preamp output)

To see our custom speaker plans and book-shelf speakers go to our digital audio speaker page.
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