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A Complete Guide To Different Types Of Speakers

Today’s market offers different types of speakers, from bookshelf speakers to sound bars and on-wall speakers. Besides, traditional loudspeakers have adapted and evolved over the years and are available in different sizes, shapes, and variations for various applications and decors. This post provides excellent insights into different types of speakers.

Types of Speakers by Location and Size

Tower Speakers

Also referred to as floor-standing speakers, tower speakers involve freestanding speakers that can be mounted to the wall or stand on the ground. These speakers have more bass and are large in size, allowing for outstanding performance capabilities. However, tower speakers require more space and are often used in home theater and surround sound systems.

Bookshelf Speakers

These are small speakers often placed on a stand or shelf and widely used in home audio systems. Bookshelf speakers are available with varying price ranges and quality and are the most common speaker type found in most homes. The small size makes it easier to place them near stereo systems or the TV, yet powerful enough to fill the space with sound.

In-ceiling and In-Wall Speakers

Unlike on-wall speakers, in-ceiling and in-wall speakers are an ideal option for appearance purposes. These speakers offer decent performance with a range of dispersion because of the omnidirectional design. Placed within the wall or ceiling, these speakers prevent clutter while enhancing the room’s overall look. However, installing in-ceiling and in-wall speakers requires a professional to navigate various installation hurdles.

Outdoor Speakers

Also called weatherproof speakers, outdoor speakers are placed outside in a sheltered space to prevent rain, snow, and exterior temperature damage. These speakers have matchless features that protect against water, humidity, UV rays, and other outdoor elements. Therefore, outdoor speakers can provide quality sound for several years under various outside conditions. However, this type of speaker can be pricey as they include a more complex design and additional features like metal grilles.

Portable Speakers

Portable speakers are often small speakers that play music from a phone or tablet. These cylindrical speakers have rechargeable batteries; you can carry them anywhere, like on trips, camping, and beach, to enjoy music away from bulky speakers. Portable speakers are ideal sound systems, especially when fitted with a built-in microphone for hands-free calls, a wireless connection, or an audio cable.

Soundbar Speakers

These are long bar speakers designed to improve the TV’s audio quality by enhancing sound depth and clarity. This speaker type features two small speakers in a single enclosure with inputs from a TV, cable box, game console, or Blu-ray player. Soundbar speakers are often installed below or on the TV to blend with the surroundings.

Types of Speakers by Application

Center Channel Speaker

Often paired with surround or regular stereo speakers, center channel speakers are situated in the middle of the living room to reproduce vocals and dialogues in the center of the movie scene. These speakers deliver all characters’ voices originating from a single direction with sound effects, other dialogues, and background music emanating from another speaker.

Surround Speakers

Sound speakers are usually in-ceiling or on-wall speakers designed to deliver a true surround sound effect from around. Instead of using two standard stereo speakers, this speaker type allows you to receive sound from around you and is ideal for watching movies. These speakers sit behind the listening area and come in different sizes and forms, including small satellites and bookshelf speakers.

Studio Monitor Speakers

Unlike surround speakers, studio monitor speakers reproduce sound accurately without adding color. These speakers are often found in recording studios to deliver a tone similar to a real thing, vital for engineers and audiophiles looking to hear music as recorded and produced. Typically, studio speakers include a flat frequency response for exceptional accuracy.

Type of Speaker by Connectivity

Wired Speakers

Wired speakers are the standard and most common speakers that use cables to connect to an audio source or power source. These speakers are usually linked to standard stereo speaker sets because most people lack surround systems.

Wireless Speakers

These include speakers that use wireless connectivity through RD, Bluetooth, or WiFi, meaning they only require a power outlet connection. Wireless speakers are more convenient because you connect audio sources wirelessly via a dedicated button or app. Most wireless speakers have multi-room support to hear the same sound in different rooms without connecting more cables.

Smart Speakers

Despite being wireless speakers, smart speakers include a built-in digital assistant like Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa. These speakers do more than standard speaker systems as they connect to WiFi and stream music through online services such as Apple Music and Spotify. Other smart speakers include Bluetooth if you don’t need to stream music.

Type of Speakers by Frequency Range

Subwoofer or Bass Speaker

Subwoofers include speakers that can play deep bass frequencies due to their big and bulky sizes to allow adequate airflow to produce lower tones. These speakers are ideal for music genres like jazz, rock, or pop that require accurate guitar sounds. Subwoofers often have a high-quality setup to deliver music with more depth.

Midrange Drivers

Also called midbass drivers, midrange drivers are speakers with a frequency range between tweeters and subwoofers. These speakers include up to 18 inches wide diaphragms, allowing them to produce vocals without assistance from other speakers. Capable of reproducing hard-hitting drum beats with adequate pressure, midrange speakers are crucial in any sound setup as they give the music its character and tone.


These high-end, high-pitched speakers produce the highest frequency of up to 20KHz. Tweeters are small and dome-shaped, delivering the sharpest sounds and crystal-clear volume from instruments like violins and cymbals. To achieve an enveloping surround effect, combine tweeters with midrange drivers for a multidimensional listening experience.

Bottom Line

With different types of speakers, getting the right speaker that meets your needs is crucial to getting clear and accurate sounds. A wireless speaker can come in handy when looking for comfort and connectivity, while high-end stereo speakers are perfect for an audiophile. For enhanced aesthetics and space-saving design, consider in-wall and on-wall speakers, which are slimmer.

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