We will be giving you insights into whether tower speakers are better than bookshelf speakers. In short, both have their advantages and disadvantages. We will be doing a direct comparison and you can use the information to see which speaker type will serve you better.
With this comparison, we hope it will help you to make a sound decision and so without further ado, let us start.
Tower Speakers Vs Bookshelf Speakers
When it comes to price points, it is more affordable to get a pair of high-quality bookshelf speakers than tower speakers of the same caliber. You will need speaker stands for the bookshelf speakers if you want them to perform optimally, this will jack up the overall costs though.
Other than needing a higher budget to own a pair of high-quality tower speakers, you will also need ample room space. Tower speakers take up more space than the bookshelf speakers as they need to be away from the side and rear walls to perform optimally. Bookshelf speakers take up lesser space and still need to be placed away from walls especially if they have rear-firing bass ports but not as much as tower speakers.
The amount of space needed to accommodate a pair of tower speakers usually meant they are more suitable to be used inside a medium or large-sized room. Whereas bookshelf speakers are mainly used inside small rooms and larger stand-mounters can be suitable for mid-sized listening rooms.
The larger cabinet size of the tower speakers allows them to have more speaker drivers. You can have 4 or more drivers in a tower speaker and these include a bass driver or two. Along with the size, tower speakers are able to deliver deeper and more powerful low frequencies than bookshelf speakers. The wider range also means a tower speaker can produce more realistic sounding instruments and provide a more accurate sonic performance. Bookshelf speakers generally are smaller in size but do take this as an advantage to deliver a more agile and tighter bass response.
Tower speakers are more capable of delivering a larger scale music presentation with more weight and presence. Bookshelf speakers on the other hand typically are unable to compete in this area. Though, there are impressive stand-mounters that could project a large soundstage that belies their size.
Bookshelf speakers need lesser amplifier power than tower speakers to be driven efficiently. This will give you more amp choices to go for and to choose the one that fits your budget. Since tower speakers would usually need higher amplifier power than bookshelf speakers, this means the amplifier you require would be more expensive. There are tower speakers which are designed to be very efficient and require little power to start singing. A good example will be the Omega Super 3 High Output XRS tower speakers.
Tower speakers are better for live concert playbacks as they are more efficient in filling the room with energy and presence. Bookshelf speakers are unable to compete in this area unless you include a subwoofer into the mix. You might want to read up on our blog post about Floorstanding Speakers vs Bookshelf Speakers with Subwoofer if you are thinking about getting a powered sub.
Bookshelf speakers are more versatile than tower speakers. You can choose to use bookshelf speakers as surround channels, wall-mount them, and more. Yes, you can use tower speakers as surround channels but their size makes them stand out and take up too much space. Having tower speakers surrounding the room can be unsightly. Bookshelf speakers are also an excellent choice for listeners who are planning to set up a desktop sound system. There are plenty of active bookshelf speaker models to pick from and you should be able to find some that suit your requirements.
Other than the comparisons mentioned earlier, when it comes to sound quality, it is rather difficult to judge whether a tower or bookshelf speaker is better. As the sound quality is subjective and will depend heavily on users’ taste. If you prefer weightier and more impactful bass performance, you can always add in an active subwoofer to supplement the low frequencies and this does make bookshelf speakers a viable option even for bass fanatics.
There are listeners who swore tower speakers are best for music playbacks and others might beg to differ. To make things easier for you, other than reading this blog post, you should also work out your requirements and current resources. Setting up a comfortable budget will immediately help to filter out speakers which don’t fit the bill. If you are planning to use an existing amplifier, you can check to see which type of speaker your amp is capable of driving. Another important aspect to look at will be the speakers’ sound signatures.
If sound quality and sonic performance are the more important criteria, then you should just audition a pair of bookshelf speakers and tower speakers within your price range. Based on the results, you should be able to decide which is better for you. Adding a subwoofer will make a difference, you should read up about our Bookshelf Speakers vs 2.1 article.