Floorstanding Speakers Vs Bookshelf With Subwoofer Which Setup Is Better

Floorstanding Speakers Vs Bookshelf With Subwoofer, Which Setup Is Better?

Oh man am I going to have a hard time picking a winner between Floorstanding speakers vs bookshelf with subwoofer! We have looked at a ton of different speakers here on the site and I have had an awesome time putting them through their paces. Today I thought I would try and force myself to pick a winner between a set of floorstanding speakers and a set of bookshelf speakers with a subwoofer. Even as I am writing the intro, I have no clue how this thing is going to go, but by the end, I will give you my honest opinion of what I personally prefer as well as give you a few tips to help you make your own decision.

A Conversation About Floorstanding Speakers

I thought that I would start with floorstanding speakers. We have reviewed many different floorstanding speakers at all ends of the pricing spectrum. There is no denying that a set of floorstanding speakers can look epic.

Klipsch R-610F Floorstanding Home Speaker, Pair

Just take a look at these Klipsch R-610F Floorstanding Home Speakers there is no way you can convince me that these do not look super cool. Floorstanding speakers have that standout quality that I think is cool.

Due to having that extra size over a set of bookshelf speakers, floorstanding speakers tend to have better base. This, of course, is on a case-by-case basis, but the extra size does tend to give them more room for the boom if you know what I am saying.

Jamo S 809 Floorstanding Dolby Atmos Ready Speakers Black, Pair - Bundle with S 83 CEN Center Speaker Black, S 801 Bookshelf Speakers Black Pair, J 10 SUB 300W 10" Subwoofer, Black

If you really want the wow factor when it comes to sound, you can get many surround sound setups like this Jamo S 809 Floorstanding Dolby Atmos Ready Speakers Black which as well as two floorstanding speakers has the subwoofer and the rear speakers too.

In terms of having a home theatre. I think it depends on the type. If you have a large TV, then having a set of floorstanding speakers next to it can really look cool (in my opinion). However, if you have gone all in on your home theatre and have a projector and a screen, I am not sure you would want speakers that are seen quite so easily. To be honest this is all personal preference.

The Pros:

  • Floorstanding speakers look cool
  • They tend to have deeper base
  • Usually, they can perform at louder volumes
  • They can look very elegant, cool, or old-school depending on the type

The Cons:

  • They do take up a lot more space
  • You are usually looking at a few hundred bucks and there are not many cheap options

A Conversation About Bookshelf Speakers With A Subwoofer

We have a ton of awesome bookshelf speakers for you to check out, but I do know for a fact that many people prefer bookshelf speakers to floorstanding ones.

Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Speaker and Subwoofer 2.1 Speaker System Bluetooth v4.1 aptX Wireless Sound for Computer Rooms, Living Rooms and Dens

You can get some really cool-looking bookshelf speakers with subwoofer such as this fantastic Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Speaker and Subwoofer. This is a great example of how even though they are much smaller in size, bookshelf speakers can still wow you with their design.  Bookshelf speakers are very popular as they are much more compact in size. If you have an entertainment center, for example, it is much more likely that a pair of these will fit in it. They are also handy as if floor or shelf space is a premium in your house, you can put many of them on the wall.

The reason that I have lumped in a subwoofer with the bookshelf speakers is that I feel due to their compact size, unless you pay a lot of money they tend to lack that raw bass. A subwoofer though takes care of all of this for you.

Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers - S2000MK3 Near-Field Active Tri-Amped 130w Studio Monitor Speakers for Audiophiles with Wireless, Line-in and Optical Input

Bookshelf speakers can actually be very high end. These Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers for example are known to produce fantastic base, but they do cost around 300 bucks.

The form factor of bookshelf speakers cannot be overlooked. Even when you take the subwoofer into the equation, these take up far less space than a set of floorstanding speakers. If you have a home theatre, having a set of these hanging on the wall is far less eye-catching than a giant set of floorstanding speakers next to your screen.

The Pros:

  • You can usually find cheaper bookshelf speakers
  • A subwoofer can make up for the lack of bass
  • They are great if you do not have a ton of space
  • You can get some really cool and funky looking designs

The Cons:

  • They do tend to lack the raw power of larger speakers
  • I personally feel a subwoofer is pretty much a must if you go for bookshelf speakers

Everybody Has A Price

Ok, so we have looked at what I think about floorstanding speakers vs bookshelf speakers with subwoofer, but I also want to take a moment to talk about pricing. The pricing for speakers is all over the place! To give you an example of this in regards to floorstanding speakers. We have a guide on the best floorstanding speakers under $5000 and also another guide on the best floorstanding speakers under $300 as you can see these are at every end of the pricing spectrum.

If you are on a tighter budget, bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer are probably the way you want to go.

BESTISAN Powered Subwoofer, Bestisan 6.5’’ Bluetooth Home Audio Subwoofer Sub, Deep Bass Response in Compact Design, Easy Setup with Home Theater Systems/TV/Speakers/PC/Tablet/Phone/DVD, 2021 Model
Bookshelf Speakers, BESTISAN Powered Bluetooth 5.0 Home Audio Bookshelf Speakers, 4 inch Near Field Speaker with Deep Bass Response, Studio Monitor with 2 Auxiliary Line Input 50W - Black-2021 Model

For example, you can get this BESTIAN 6.5’’ Bluetooth Home Audio Subwoofer and then buy a set of BESTIAN Bookshelf Speakers and you looking at spending around 150 bucks! I am sure if you shopped around, you could get very close to that 100 bucks mark for a set of bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer. The point I am trying to make is that speakers can be very expensive, but there are some great deals out there and some fantastic budget options for you too.

Space Over Money

I helped a friend of mine set up a home theatre a couple of years back in his attic. It was not so much the budget, but more the space he had to work with that was the issue.

Klipsch RP-280FA Floorstanding Speaker with Built-In Dolby Atmos Height Channel - Each (Cherry Vinyl)

He really wanted these Klipsch RP-280FA Floorstanding Speaker which look so cool with their cherry design. The problem was as it was an attic, the sides of the room were sloped and these speakers simply would not fit in the space he wanted them which was next to the TV. They could have fit, but he also wanted at least a 65-inch TV. So, he had to decide how he best wanted to use the space he had.

Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker Package (Black)

In the end, he went for this Harman Kardon HKTS 16BQ 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker Package which is a home theatre system that uses bookshelf style speakers. While there may be a set of speakers that you think are really cool. At the end of the day, you also have to consider how they will look in the area you are going to have them.

What Do I Think Is Best?

To me, it all boils down to space. If you have the space then without a doubt, I would suggest that you go for floorstanding speakers. Do not get me wrong, I have used some amazing bookshelf speakers over the years. Floorstanding speakers are my personal favorite, but if you do not have the space for them or even if they are in a small room, they can standout like a sore thumb. Before you even consider what your budget for your speakers is, make sure you have a good think about the space you have to play around with first.

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