What types of speakers are there?

Perhaps you’d want to boost the sound quality of your TV shows and movies. You probably want your favorite song to have the greatest possible sound. You do, after all, require speakers, but choosing the right ones for you might be a difficult chore. Finding a speaker that offers the right sound may be tough and time-consuming for even the most seasoned audiophile, but it can be practically impossible for the average person.

That is why we want to help you, and we review the different types of speakers and choose the most appropriate to accompany the clear image of your 4K television or listen to your favorite tracks on your music streaming service or to hear the callouts in your favorite online casino.

Not only are there financial concerns, but there are also a variety of speakers available, ranging from fantastic wireless ones that function via Wi-Fi to typically wired boxes of all shapes and sizes.

Floor-standing speakers

These speakers are meant to be put on the floor, as the name suggests. They’re also called “towers” since they frequently include numerous drivers and one or more tweeters, allowing them to cover a large frequency range. Modern floor-standing speakers come in a variety of sizes (depending on the size of the drivers), but they may also be found in slimmer forms.

You’ll see these types of speakers a lot in home theater setups, especially the more expensive ones. For many connoisseurs, they are still the best options for listening to music. Its price range is wide, and although you will find models for less than $100 (per speaker), you will see higher-end models that can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

Many of these floor-standing speakers cover enough frequency spectrum that they don’t need a subwoofer, but they will need to be larger for this reason. For most audio fans, you can choose between larger, subwoofer-less towers, or thinner (and shorter) towers along with a subwoofer that adds extra power at the lower frequencies.

In any case, floor-standing speakers are relatively heavy compared to other models and also tend to take up some space, which can make you uncomfortable if your home is not spacious enough.

Bookshelf speakers

As the name implies, bookshelf speakers require a bit of furniture to put the primary high frequencies at the level of your ears, like speaker stands or (you guessed it) a bookshelf. Most of these speakers have a main woofer approximately five inches in diameter, as well as a one-inch tweeter in a two-way configuration, although some, like ELAC’s Uni-fi UB5s, offer a trio of drivers in a crossover configuration. three-way. While they don’t typically have the same fidelity as a floor-standing speaker, you’ll still have plenty of good quality sound.

Unlike floor-standing versions, which may deliver enough bass to make the subwoofer unnecessary, most listeners will want to add a subwoofer to achieve a 2.1 configuration and better cover the frequency spectrum, especially while watching TV or movies. Although bookshelf speakers don’t require as much amplification as floor-standing speakers, you’ll still want to use a high-quality receiver or amplifier to get the best results. Despite their accessibility, shelf models will need your “wiring” skills, which may impose additional limits.

Speakers or bookshelf speakers are quite flexible. You can use them as part of a surround sound setup, use a pair of them in stereo, or again add a subwoofer for dynamic performance across the entire frequency range. The prices are also very flexible: you will find very decent speakers at $100 a pair, although if you want high-quality sound, you will have to spend about $500 or more.

Satellite Speakers (Surround)

Satellite (or surround) speakers are generally smaller than bookshelf ones, with about a four-inch woofer paired with a small tweeter, allowing them to easily fit on small stands, as well as mount directly to the wall. This makes them an excellent option if you are putting together a surround sound system in a room where the space is not very large. They are also ideal if you want to hide them or make them blend in with your decoration.

If they are small they do not bring bass, but the truth is that they are mainly used in surround sound systems and as such are often combined with a subwoofer and other speakers, such as bookshelf ones. And beware, they also require wiring, or what comes to the same thing, your skills to connect and then hide the cables.

As mentioned above, satellite speakers have many uses, and are great for home theater, but not so much for listening to music. The quality will depend on what you pay, although a decent pair of satellite speakers run in the $50 to $100 range, going up quickly from here.


Subwoofers (or subs) are an important part of any home theater system that deserves to be called that. They’re like the frosting on the cake of your listening area and the “.1” in your stereo or sound setup, engulfing you. A box-shaped speaker with a single driver (usually 8 to 16 inches in size), a bass port, and inbuilt amplification are common features of these speakers (though they come in other form factors, including dual-driver setups). Because almost all current subs are self-powered, they just need an RCA wire to receive a sound signal from your AV amplifier or receiver. They are frequently available in a wireless form in so-called soundbars.

Subwoofers only handle the bass load, reproducing the lowest frequencies in your audio signal (generally 0 to 250 Hz). As such, they are specialized in giving a very good bass response, and the best of them add a crucial layer to your sound system, whether in a full surround setup or 2.1 stereos.

Subwoofers in the $100 to $200 range are more than adequate, but if you have a discriminating ear, we recommend matching the quality of the rest of your system, since a high-performance subwoofer may speed up your listening experience across a wide range of applications

Surround sound system

A surround sound system, which uses a specially organized combination of the aforementioned speakers, is the greatest method to bring the thrill of a movie theater into your living room. The 5.1 configuration is the most basic, with six speakers: a center channel speaker for dialogue, a pair of left and right front speakers (usually a pair of speakers or standing speakers), a pair of surround speakers on the sides, at the back of the listening position (usually a pair of satellites or bookshelves), and, of course, a subwoofer.

However, the 5.1 configuration is just the beginning, as more modern configurations support multiple additional channels to create a more compelling surround sound immersion, including ‘height channels’ for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X content, which offers a third dimensional sound overload for a hemispherical effect.

To experience surround sound, in addition to the speakers, you will also need a multi-channel AV receiver. Fortunately, this is not impossible these days, as you can get a quality receiver with Atmos and DTS: X support for $500 or even less.

Atmos Speakers

As described above, the Atmos and DTS: X speakers add an added dimension to your surround sound setup for 3D sonic immersion. Generally, there are two types: ceiling-mounted speakers, and those that bounce sound off the ceiling.

This second plug-in type has become the most popular way to add Atmos to a surround sound setup, as they require no special installation or holes in the ceiling. Instead, a driver angled above the speaker simply bounces the sound directly off the ceiling. The most basic Atmos surround sound setup adds two Atmos speakers to a 5.1 system, represented as a 5.1.2 setup, which goes up from there. The price varies by model and design.

While many new speakers include Atmos drivers built into the top of the cabinet, those who already possess a surround system can pick from several additional Atmos speakers that can be added on top of their existing speakers. Before the music reaches your ears, it will bounce in the ceiling. Additional speakers are normally priced between $100 and $200, with prices increasing from there.

Powered Speakers

As the name implies, powered speakers (also called powered or active) come with built-in amplification, which means they don’t require a connection to an AV amplifier or receiver. They are available in a wide variety, both wired and wireless, and often include streaming via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for an all-in-one sound system. Speakers can sometimes have built-in access to streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. The wired versions are frequently used as computer sound systems, intended for gamers and movie and series lovers who spend a lot of time on their computers.

Powered speakers automatically add to the overall cost. However, depending on your requirements, you may still be able to get them for a reasonable price. You can acquire decent wired speakers for $100 to $200 if you only need them for your computer, with wireless speakers costing more.

On the downside, because each speaker takes electricity from an outlet, you’ll need to position them near outlets or use a lot of extension cables. If the system employs a single cable to deliver the signal and power to all of the other speakers, it is less of a concern.

As a result, most consumers avoid this sort of system since soundbars with satellite speakers and home theater systems provide almost identical benefits in a simpler form. On the other hand, if you need speakers for a gaming PC or if your home theater system is powered by a PC, it may be a decent choice.

Studio monitors speakers

These speakers, commonly referred to simply as monitors, are bigger than bookshelf speakers but smaller than floor-standing speakers. While they may be used as general-purpose speakers, they have a flatter signal response than the majority of the other speakers in this list, making them sound more accurate than the original recording. This is by design since they are intended to disclose problems in recordings to audio specialists, but it also means that they may not be the best speakers for unwinding and listening to music.

Studio monitors come in passive models – they require amplification – and also in self-powered versions. If you are looking for some to buy, you will see more of the latter. Studio monitors often only have connections for use with professional audio equipment, such as XLR and TRS, so you will need an audio interface to use them with your computer.

Outside of professional studios, musicians and lovers of home recordings make up the regular clientele for these speakers. A decent pair of monitors start at around $200 to $300 a pair, though prices rise quickly from there, with some going for several thousand dollars.


Soundbars are one of the most basic and practical home theater options available. Furthermore, they are precisely what their name implies: bar-shaped speakers. Soundbars are meant to sit beneath or in front of your television, and they may be wall-mounted for increased convenience due to their compact size and lightweight. High-end versions include even more complex features, including Dolby Atmos and DTS: X 3D audio technology.

Unless you have a lot of room, most soundbars come with a wireless subwoofer for enhanced bass, which you should choose unless you already have enough bass. Unless you buy a more costly soundbar with extra satellite speakers, soundbars aren’t as immersive as a complete surround sound system, and some of them, notably the lower-priced versions, aren’t designed for music listening.

Still, if you’re looking to upgrade your TV’s built-in speakers for a more immersive experience of your shows and movies, soundbars are a simple and affordable option, especially useful if you have limited space. While you will find models that cost over $1,000, there are also plenty of bars available for $100 or so, allowing them to fit virtually any budget.

These are the most common types of speakers. You can choose between the type of speakers that you like the most and, mainly, the one that best suits your needs, either for space or for the use that you are going to give it.