Entertainment is an essential part of life in the modern world, and movies as well as music are the most common types of entertainment. Most people take entertainment seriously, which is why over the years more advanced types of equipment have come along to improve the quality of home audio systems. Possibly the most popular types of entertainment systems are home theatre systems and stereo sound systems, and the most important components of these systems are the speakers.
There are many types of speakers, and some of the most common ones are the wall-mounted and bookshelf speakers. These speakers are the ones that are mounted onto the wall or placed on a bookshelf to provide sound from a higher place. Anyone who wants to buy the right set of bookshelf or wall mounted speakers should know about their main components and the factors to consider when shopping for such devices. To make a wise purchase, it is also very helpful for buyers to know how to buy these speakers online, such as from sites like eBay.
Introduction to Bookshelf or Wall Mounted Speakers
In the beginning, the only type of high-quality speakers available were the regular floor-standing speakers. However, as sound equipment technology progressed, compact high-quality speakers emerged as well. Bookshelf speakers can easily fit on a shelf in a bookcase, and wall-mounted speakers can installed into a room’s walls. Over time, a different, smaller kind of compact speakers become popular too, the satellite speakers. However, since bookshelf and wall-mounted speakers give a better and more balanced audio output as opposed to satellite speakers, they remain popular for use in lower-end home theatre systems and for use by music lovers who do not want too many speakers in a particular space.
Components of Bookshelf or Wall Mounted Speakers
Bookshelf and wall-mounted speakers are mainly composed of three main structures, the cabinet, drivers, and the crossover network of the speaker. Occasionally, they may come with subwoofers for better sound quality, as the subwoofer can handle the very low bass notes, leaving the speakers just needing to handle the higher frequency sounds.
The cabinet is the casing that encloses the drivers and crossover network. It can be made of wood, metal, or fibreboard. While the cabinet may not seem like an important part of the speaker, it actually affects the sound produced, as the material it is made of makes the speaker produce a unique sound. Cabinets must be durable and sturdy so that they can absorb the driver’s vibration.
There are mainly two types of cabinets, the acoustic suspension enclosure and bass reflex enclosure. The first is a completely sealed enclosure that produces a deep bass as no air can escape from the enclosure. The second is more efficient output-wise as there is an opening in the enclosure where sound waves can escape from, resulting in louder sound. The bass reflex enclosure does have its drawbacks, though; while the sound is louder, the precision of the bass is less since sound can escape.
The drivers of a speaker, also knows as its cones, are the component of the speaker that produces sound waves from electricity. Generally, bookshelf or wall mounted speakers have a pair of drivers, a tweeter, and a woofer. The woofer produces the bass, while the tweeter produces the high frequency sounds. However, not all speakers have both a tweeter and subwoofer; and in this case you may need to buy another speaker with the missing component, or attach an external equivalent of the missing component so that you can enjoy the best sound quality from the speakers.
As for the drivers themselves, most speakers tend to produce midrange sounds, meaning frequencies that are in the middle range. There are also full-range speakers that include a tweeter, woofer, and midrange driver. Most of these kinds of speakers only need an additional subwoofer to be complete. Full-range speakers come in a wide variety of prices. However, buyers should be wary and not just impulsively buy the cheapest ones. The best full range speakers often come at a higher price.
Speaker Crossover Network
The crossover network is the component of a bookshelf or wall mounted speaker that helps it produce stereo-quality sound, as it divides the frequencies between the different drivers in the speaker. There are mainly two types of crossover networks. A speaker may have a two-way crossover if it has two speakers, or a three-way crossover if it has three speakers.
Things to Consider When Buying a Set of Bookshelf or Wall Mounted Speakers
Buying bookshelf or wall mounted speakers is not difficult if you plan the purchase properly. You need to take into consideration several things, including the size of the speaker you want, the frequency range it can play, its voltage sensitivity, and its power handling. Also, you should consider buying other accessories along with the speaker, such as speaker brackets for installing the wall mounted speakers.
Speaker Size and Number
Bookshelf and wall mounted speakers come in a range of sizes, but usually they are between 15 to 60 centimetres tall. Before you purchase the speakers, you should measure the amount of space you have available on the bookshelf or wall mount and purchase according to that. Also, you should remember that bigger does not always mean better when it comes to bookshelf or wall mounted speakers. The quality of these speakers depends largely on other factors, as technology has developed to a point where even smaller speakers can produce high-quality sound.
You should also decide on the number of speakers that you need to purchase. Usually, bookshelf speakers come in a set of two, known as the left and right speakers. Occasionally, buyers may want to purchase more than one set, especially when they are going to use it with a home theatre system.
Speaker Frequency Range or Frequency Response
This refers to the range of frequencies or sounds that can be produced by the speaker. As with all speakers, a good bookshelf or wall mounted speaker should have an inbuilt woofer and tweeter to be able to reproduce sounds of varying frequencies with accuracy. Of course, the bigger the range of frequencies a speaker can play, the higher its price will be. If you are on a budget, you may have to compromise by choosing between either a good bass or a good high frequency output, which you can decide based on your preferences.
Speaker Power Handling and Voltage Sensitivity
Most of the time, users of bookshelf or wall mounted speakers attach them to an amplifier. If you plan on doing the same, then you must look at the power handling (also known as wattage rating) of the speaker. The wattage rating of the speaker is the amount of voltage the speaker can take in and handle without getting damaged. You should ensure that this rating matches the one of the amplifier before using these two equipment together. If the amplifier has a higher rating than the speaker, the speaker might get damaged; and if the amplifier has a lower rating than the speaker, the sound might get distorted.
The voltage sensitivity of the speaker is the amount of loudness that a speaker produces when given a particular amount of voltage, which is usually displayed as decibels per volts. For bookshelf or wall mounted speakers, the recommended efficiency is at least 86 decibels, as a higher voltage sensitivity is preferable when speakers are used with an amplifier.
You may also want to buy accessories for the speaker such as bookshelf speaker stand, wall mounts, and audio speakers. A speaker stand is better for holding bookshelf speakers than the actual bookshelf, as it does not cover the sides and back of the speaker. Also, instead of purchasing the speakers on their own, you may want to buy them as part of a complete stereo system or home theatre system to ensure all speakers are of the same quality.
After considering all these aspects, you can then decide properly on the right bookshelf or wall mounted speakers. Once you have a rough idea of what you want, you can proceed to buy these speakers at locations such as sound equipment stores, the electronics department in supermarkets and hypermarkets, and also in online marketplaces like eBay.
Purchasing a Set of Bookshelf or Wall Mounted Speakers on eBay
eBay is an excellent place to purchase any type of electronic equipment, and it is no different with bookshelf or wall mounted speakers. If you want to shop for these speakers on eBay, the process is simple. Just go to the eBay home page, and look for the search bar. Type in the search terms that correspond to the product you are looking for, for example, "bookshelf speaker", and press ‘Enter’ or click ‘Search’. The product listing page will then appear, where you can take a look at the various speakers available for sale.
If any of the product listed catches your interest, then just click on its title to see more information about that item as provided by the seller. Look through the provided information and if you are happy with the item, then you can proceed to buy it. However, it is recommended that you look through at least several different listings and compare products before deciding on the bookshelf or wall mounted speakers that are right for your needs.
Bookshelf and wall mounted speakers are among the most popular types of speakers as they are versatile and compact compared to other types of speakers. Bookshelf and wall mounted speakers are often used in combination with stereo systems and home theatre systems, or on their own to just play music. These speakers have three main components, which are the cabinet, the drivers (or cones), and the crossover networks. Sometimes, additional components are used together with the speaker to produce a more wholesome sound. These additional components include subwoofers and amplifiers.
When purchasing bookshelf or wall mounted speakers, the things that you should take into account include the size of the set of bookshelf speakers, the number of sets that you need, frequency range or frequency response, voltage sensitivity, and power handling. You should also consider buying accessories, for example wall mounts or speaker stands, if you need them. After you have a basic idea of the specifications that are needed, you can proceed to buy the desired set of bookshelf or wall mounted speakers at any store selling them, such as eBay.