Bookshelf Speaker vs Floor Standing Speakers

A quality speaker is essential for the home Hi-Fi system. Since there are countless speakers out there, it is difficult to decide which model would be the right fit. Plus, it is a long-term investment, therefore, it is best to study the market to find the right design.

Bookshelf speakers vs floor standing? Audiophiles are often seen arguing about the audio performance of these speakers. Both audio devices have created a lot of buzz, however, it is unfair to declare one better than the other. This guide will highlight the main differences to help you make a sound decision.

Bookshelf Speakers

bookshelf speaker

Bookshelf speakers are noticeably smaller and come in a rectangular box or sphere. These speakers have in-built drivers and a tweeter and can be coupled with a subwoofer. It produces louder, clearer, and superior sound than most speakers out there.

Moreover, it allows flexible placement, takes up less space, and blends in well with the interior. Owing to their smaller size and remarkable audio quality, most audiophiles recommend these speakers for the home theater setup.

Floorstanding Speakers

floor standing speaker

Floorstanding speakers are tall, mighty, and probably the first thing you will notice upon entering the room. These huge speakers take up space and make any place look stylish.

In addition, it produces a greater bass, rich sound, and has a wide acoustic range. Hence, it is well-suited for large music rooms and spacious apartments. Being tall and heavy, these speakers are not highly portable or can be transported outdoors.

Bookshelf Speaker vs Floor Standing

The main difference between the floor standing and bookshelf speakers is the size. In addition, these speakers differ from each other in other aspects including sound quality, budget, range, and space.

Interestingly, these speakers share more similarities than differences as both have optimized stereo sound and multi-channel systems. Let’s examine these audio devices and assess which performs better.

Stereo Sound Quality

Bookshelf and floor standing speakers are designed to produce stereo sound. As these speakers come in pairs, one speaker deals with the left channel of sound while the second one handles the right channel.

Although both devices are developed for audio, floorstanders crush bookshelf speakers in this category.

It is a complete stereo sound system delivering superior stereo output covering lows, mid-ranges, and highs.

In comparison, bookshelf speakers are not a strong contender for high-end stereo sound systems.

Most of these speakers are manufactured to be a part of a larger audio setup. It only excels in delivering bi-directional and mid-range sound, hence, does not offer enhanced listening.


As for acoustic range, floor standing speakers beat the bookshelf speakers. Since they are designed to be a complete sound system, these speakers cover wide ranges of sound including low, mid-range, and high. Further, the large build contains more components and delivers a well-rounded range for spacious rooms.

On the other hand, bookshelf speakers are intended to be a part of bigger sound systems to enhance sound quality. Plus, it covers the mid-range spectrum of sound well, therefore, does not have a wider range to play audio accurately.

Music Quality

Once again, the floor standing speaker takes the lead here with its wider acoustic range, stronger bass, and in-depth audio.

Floorstanders have larger components and cabinets, therefore, creating an illusion of a three-dimensional sound. It is a good match if you intend on having a magical, immersive, and dedicated stereo music listening experience.

In contrast, bookshelf speakers have a strong mid-range to produce solid sound. However, this audio device usually has less bass and cabinet coloration.

It does not have an inferior music quality, instead, handles complicated musical arrangements and higher frequencies better. Compared to a floorstander, it lacks greater bass, dynamics, and audio depth.


Floorstanders are tall and cumbersome, the size ranging from three to four feet in length. The size of these speakers is a concern for many audiophiles. It occupies a substantial space and can not be kept on furniture or a stand due to its weight and size.

Comparably, a bookshelf speaker packs serious quality in a compact package. Typically, these speakers are about 1 foot tall and are considered a more space-conscious option. There are a few extra-large, beefier bookshelf speakers that take up a decent amount of space.


Floorstanders are not the most aesthetically pleasing speakers out there. Their large size and heavy build often make them the least attractive audio device. While some manufacturers have tried to improve the visual design, there is still a long way to go.

Conversely, bookshelf speaker models have improved visual design. These compact speakers are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors.


It is a no-brainer that floorstanders have a significant footprint. It is not the right pick for audiophiles who lack square footage. Floor speakers are often eye-sore and similar to furniture items due to their tall and heavy construction.

The upside to getting a bookshelf speaker is that you can sort of hide them without rearranging the entire space. Smaller size allows flexible placement, it can be positioned on a small cabinet, desk, stand, or bookshelf.


While both speakers have the potential to be overly expensive or surprisingly affordable. Floorstanders are more expensive than compact bookshelf speakers. A good quality pair of bookshelf speakers are available for a few hundred dollars.

Bookshelf Speaker vs Floor Standing – Which one is Better?

Well, the answer depends on how you intend to use the sound system. If it is for a home theater, a bookshelf speaker would be the right match. Additionally, if you desire the best possible music quality, floor standing speakers are your best bet. Both speakers have their own pros and cons, pick the one that suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bookshelf speakers as good as floor standing speakers?

Floorstanding speakers have deeper bass production and slightly superior sound quality. Both types of speakers provide the best sound quality, therefore, the answer depends on the specific needs of the audiophile.

Are floor standing speakers louder than bookshelf?

Most floor-standing speakers have more sound and bass output than bookshelf speakers. Audiophiles can get deep, loud, room-shaking audio for a better listening experience.

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Cian has 7 years of experience in the musical instruments industry. His press and research articles are published in many well-known journals. Cian is part of our product testing team so he knows the criteria for the best products. Here at sound keen cian covers how to set up instruments and selection criteria for new products.

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