How to Choose Powered and Passive Bookshelf Speakers

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The speaker world is a different one, that’s for sure. If you aren’t an audiophile like some of us you could be feeling like you’re back in high school Spanish class. We know how difficult it can be if you don’t know much about bookshelf speakers, and that’s why we came up with this easy to follow guide.

Types of Bookshelf Speakers

First things first people, there are two different categories of bookshelf speakers, and this credible source explains it probably better than us to be honest. Now, to make things simple, the two categories are:

#1: Active

#2: Passive

Active bookshelf speakers are “powered.” This means you do not need to get an extra amp or receiver to “power” them up. Active speakers come ready-made, so to speak. Usually they have a subwoofer built in and can be plugged in right out of the box and ready to hook up to your phone via bluetooth.

Passive bookshelf speakers are “unpowered.” What you need to know right now is that if you are going to be buying passive bookshelf speakers, you will need to also buy an amp or receiver. Those aren’t cheap, but they are necessary. What happens is you hook your passive speakers up to the “power source,” which in this case would be your amp or receiver.

Now that you know the two categories, we can move on to what exactly to look for.

Room Size

Before we get into all the bells and whistles (SPECS) on bookshelf speakers, you need to know the size of your room where you plan to use them the most.

Bookshelf speakers aren’t made for bigger sized rooms. They are typically used for playing music in smaller rooms, or used as extra speakers for home theater, specifically surround sound.

If you are looking to power up your sound in a larger room, you should consider floor standing speakers, or “tower” speakers. Those are created specifically for large rooms.

Specific Specs

Ah, the specs! Everyone loves the “specs!” Well, not everyone because not all of us know what type of specs are important. Here’s the deal, speakers are whatever you make them out to be – that’s the cold-hard truth.

First spec up is the ohms. Ohms are measured for how loud these babies can get and how much juice they have behind them. That’s simple talk and we won’t get too technical with this article, so deal with it.

Next is the subwoofer and how strong it is. Subs can really help the sound of music or surround sound if they are good. Believe me when I say this – we all love a good subwoofer, even if you have no idea what it is.

Bright Sound

Bright sound refers to the “power” of the sound for whatever you are listening to. Some audiophiles love bright sound, while others loathe it. How do you know if you will like it? Well, try them out for starters, but if you want to know from me, then you will like bright sound if you love really loud and extra clear music.

Our Conclusion

You should, by now, understand what bookshelf speakers are and how to choose a good pair. If you do decide to invest in a great pair, you will most likely be making one of the greatest decisions in your life.

With that being said, be careful getting into the audiophile world, as it can be very addicting. We suggest one simple thing:

Understand what you want in terms of music or sound in general. Then, appreciate that sound and appreciate what you purchased. You don’t need to go out there and chase around the biggest, brightest and better sound. Sometimes there isn’t anything better. So, be careful, get something you really want and enjoy the heck out of it!

Turn Up the Volume

Bongo Speaker is back and better than ever before. We have years of experience in the audio, home theater and speaker world.

Let’s Pump Up the Volume

Turn it up a few notches. That’s right! There will be so much information coming straight at you.

From product review guides, to holiday gift ideas, our team will be working tirelessly to help solve your latest sound problems.

How Important is Sound?

We say this to everyone that asks us, but it’s as important as you want it to be.

Have an old speaker system that produces static sounds?

Time to get a new one. Period. In addition, not only a new one, a quality speaker system that will rock your world.

Good sound will touch your heart. It can get you out of your current funk and into a world of feeling liberating.

So, come back for more soon! We hope you do, because this ride is going to be one for the ages. Sit back, relax, kick your feet up and turn up the volume!