Speakers are by far the most diverse product in an audio or home theater system. They come in subwoofer and satellite combinations, tower type full range variety, bipole, dipole, bookshelf, outdoor speakers and all weather speakers. Speakers also come in many finishes. Some are glossy, extruded aluminum, or furniture quality in real wood finishes. Others are tall and narrow or flat to look in place on the wall next to a flat screen TV. To add to the confusion, the technical designs of speakers make them suited for specific rooms and musical tastes. Speakers must also be matched to the equipment and the other speakers in the system.
Floor standing speakers are typically larger than other speakers and are built to stand independently on the floor. Although all speakers perform the same basic function, floor speakers transmit a larger range of sounds and frequencies, including deep bass. Due to the overall design of floor standing speakers, they provide a greater level of energy efficiency than other speakers. Floor standing speakers that include a powered subwoofer are called powered towers. These types of speakers make best possible use of available floor space by combining the subwoofer in the speaker tower.
Floor standing speakers are an average of 3-4 feet in height. When you are choosing floor standing speakers, there are some important features to consider. Frequency response and power are critical when comparing speakers. These details are provided in all speaker specification sheets and are an excellent way to ensure you are truly comparing the correct information. Frequency response is the range of sounds that the speakers can produce. Compare this value between the different floor standing speakers that you are considering. The broader the range, the better the sound will be.
Bookshelf speakers are audio speakers that are compact and versatile, and ideal for fitting on a bookshelf, as the name implies. These types of speakers are more suited for use in smaller rooms or where lower volumes are necessary, for instance in an upstairs apartment where the walls are thinner or in a child's room. Bookshelf speakers are among the most versatile of all types of speakers and can come in a large variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
One advantage to bookshelf speakers is that two of them are all you really need to complete a basic and decent sounding audio system. Bookshelf speakers are generally made of the same components as most speakers, but these can vary greatly from model to model. The components are usually a tweeter, a woofer, housing, and wires for connecting them to a source, and better quality speakers will usually contain each of these. Some variables that affect the quality of the sound of these speakers are the frequency range and power output, which will be better with higher-end components. Some bookshelf speakers are also wireless for even greater portability.
In the world of home audio and entertainment, there are practically limitless options for the types of sound systems that can be used for a stereo or television system. A higher-end system will usually involve surround sound, where several speakers and a subwoofer are placed around the room to create audio that emanates from all around the listener. This is especially effective for movies, where the surround sound can be used to emulate effects within the movie and their position relative to the viewer.
In a surround sound system, it is very possible that one or several of the speakers involved are bookshelf speakers, which are ideal for this type of system because of the ease of mounting them to the wall or placing them in a variety of locations without too much hassle.
Satellite speakers are very compact and portable. You can place them on walls, ceilings, and on speaker stands or desktops. This type of speaker produces exceptional sound quality for such a small object. They take up very little floor space for convenience. These satellite speakers are the latest innovation in speaker designs. Satellite speakers are usually combined with a sub-woofer, for a more outstanding sound quality. Subwoofers are generally bigger in size compared to the satellite speakers, but they can be positioned in discreet places so as not to be hassle.
However due to its compactness, satellite speakers lacks deep bass quality. That is why satellite speakers are paired with subwoofers. Subwoofers make up for what is lacking in these small speakers. Together, they produce sound matching that of the more bigger speakers. Satellite speakers are ideal for surround sound systems. Even if you are using large speakers, it is better if you match with these tiny speakers. You can place these satellite speakers anywhere in the room to produce a much pristine surround sound quality.
Wireless music systems take music stored on your computer, or streamed live from the Internet, and allow you to enjoy it anywhere in your home. Since no wires are required, placement flexibility is unparalleled and there's no need to spend thousands of dollars on a custom installation. Sound quality ranges from very good to nearly flawless, depending on the device and the source. Setup and use are relatively easy. Install some software on your computer, put the hardware anywhere within reach of your router's Wi-Fi signal and you're in business.
Top-rated systems even have apps that simplify control -- assuming you have an Apple iOS (iPad 2, iPhone or iPod Touch) or Android mobile device. Among wireless music systems that draw the most praise from critics and users, Sonos offers the most expandability and flexibility. You can configure the system to send music to up to 32 locations in your home, with only one requiring a hardwired connection to your network router. Music can be drawn from your Windows or Mac computer, an attached networked storage device (external hard drive) or content providers on the Internet, such as Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, Napster, Rhapsody, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio and many more.
You can program your music selection using the Sonos software that runs on your computer or remotely via apps for Apple iOS or Android devices. The Sonos ecosystem includes powered speakers that provide music without the need for additional electronics, and Sonos players that interface with either your own speakers or a stereo/home theater system.