Bookshelf/Rear Speaker

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Bookshelf speakers are small enough to fit on a bookshelf yet powerful enough to pump out audio for music and other entertainment. If you're shopping for the best bookshelf speakers for your needs, check out these answers to some common questions.

What are the advantages of bookshelf speakers?

Compact and lightweight, bookshelf speakers can be placed on a bookshelf, table, speaker stand, or any other raised surface to project sound at ear level. For small- to medium-sized spaces, these speakers can stand alone to blast your favourite one-hit wonders playlist or top 40 tunes in clarity. For a living room or home theatre, bookshelf speakers can act as rear speakers for your home entertainment setup, adding another dimension of sound to movies, TV shows, and video games.

Why are bookshelf speakers great for rear speakers or a surround sound experience?

When integrated into your home theatre setup, bookshelf speakers make ideal rear speakers, as they can be mounted to a back wall or placed on a speaker stand. When facing each other, bookshelf speakers can create high-quality sound that replicates cinematic surround sound.

What should I look for before buying a bookshelf speaker?

When searching for the best bookshelf speakers for your needs, consider the following technical specs.

Frequency response

Frequency response, measured in hertz, indicates the range of sound the speakers can play, a common range being 20Hz to 20kHz. On the bottom end of the spectrum, a lower hertz rating means the speakers are capable of producing heavier bass.

Power capability

Power capability, measured in watts, shows the maximum sound intensity the speakers can handle. Match the power capacity of the speakers with your amplifier.


Sensitivity, measured in decibels, tells you the pressure level of the speaker. The higher the sensitivity, the louder the speaker.


Generally, bookshelf speakers will have at least 2 drivers: woofers for bass and tweeters for high-frequency sounds. Some rear speakers also have a mid-range driver, allowing them to produce a fuller spectrum of sound.

Want more info about bookshelf speakers? Check out one of our resources:

Home Audio Speakers Buying Guide

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