It is often complicated and confusing to buy and put together any sound system, especially determining what kind of speakers you want and if they will work with your setup. You will need to know how everything works together to get the best results.
Active bookshelf speakers don’t need an amp to work properly. However, passive bookshelf speakers do need an amp to work properly. Active bookshelf speakers have an amp already installed, passive speakers don’t. If a passive bookshelf speaker is used without an amp, it will be extremely quiet.
Going more in-depth, speakers are a rather complicated piece of technological equipment and it can be extremely frustrating to get them connected properly, placed in optimal places, and get the sound quality you are wanting from your new speakers.
What is a Bookshelf Speaker?
Bookshelf speakers are compact pairs of loudspeakers that are designed to sit on a raised surface such as an entertainment center, bookshelves, etc.
They are usually used for home entertainment and can be used to create a surround sound system for a home movie theater or surrounded music experience.
Bookshelf speakers are usually coupled with a variety of other speakers when used this way, but the majority of the time, they are used as the main speakers for a TV.
They aren’t usually used for monitor and desk sound systems, seeing as they are meant to generate more sound than you would want sitting at a desk.
A good pair of bookshelf speakers cost between $70 to $170. Usually, this changes based on what brand of bookshelf speaker you get and the quality of the speakers.
Are Bookshelf Speakers Better Than Soundbars
It largely depends on what you’re intending to use the speakers for.
Bookshelf speakers are widely popular when creating an entertainment center sound system, whereas soundbars are used more for things that don’t require the full setup.
Your budget also comes into play with this. Perhaps a soundbar is more affordable than a pair of bookshelf speakers are.
Not everyone can spend $70 to $170 on a pair of speakers. They may prefer a $40 sound system or soundbar, though there are soundbars that are just as expensive as a $170 bookshelf speaker.
As for the quality of the sound, bookshelf speakers usually have high sound quality, especially when paired with a subwoofer and amplifier.
- Usually, the amplifier is only needed for passive bookshelf speakers that don’t already incorporate what an amplifier does, and the subwoofer boosts the bass.
This would be ideal for a cinematic experience and a great sound system. However, a soundbar can be just as successful and enjoyable to listen from as a bookshelf speaker.
Before you purchase either one, test the soundbars or bookshelf speakers that you are interested in. Compare the sound quality that each produces and factor that into your decision.
How to Connect Bookshelf Speakers to a TV
When you connect bookshelf speakers to a tv, check first what kind of wires and cables you’ll need to accurately and properly connect your bookshelf speakers. You should find a row of RCA cable connections into the TV as well as your speaker. If you don’t, you will have to find a headphone jack and potentially an adapter.
If you’re still struggling, you’re most likely dealing with an issue on the TV settings and should investigate or troubleshoot using an online forum for that brand and model TV.
As for if you need an amp or a DAC, understanding what those are might be helpful before you decide if you need one. Most bookshelf speakers can function without one, but passive bookshelf speakers will need an amp.
An amp (short for amplifier) is something designed to help the sound translate well between the television and the speakers. A DAC does something similar, however, it isn’t used quite as often as an amp is.
DAC stands for Digital Analog Converter and basically what a DAC does is translate and convert audio into analog.
An amp amplifies the analog sounds and gets a crisper sound. DACs and amps are usually paired, as the DAC will convert and the amp amplifies it and then the sound goes to your headphones or speakers.
You will likely want an amp for your bookshelf speaker, especially if it isn’t incorporated already.
Many companies have incorporated amplifiers and DACs into their products so you don’t have to purchase them separately.
If you are wondering what you need to set up your new sound system, look at the instructions that will come included with the speakers. They will have a list of all the products you need.
Check out this YouTube video and take a look at some of the best bookshelf speakers of the year.
Do Smart TVs Have Audio Out
Depending on what brand smart TV you have, you’ll either have the RCA input cables, usually characterized by the red, white, and yellow-topped cables. Most smart TVs will have this, and if they don’t have that, they have an alternate way for you to connect speakers out with a headphone-type jack. You might need an adapter in some cases.
In most cases, you will be pleased to find the cables that you need are included. You may encounter a few technological troubles that shouldn’t be too hard to overcome and troubleshoot.
If it turns out that your smart TV doesn’t have an audio jack, it most likely is determined to be paired by a Bluetooth speaker and is reserved for that kind of setup.
Always check what you have before you buy any kind of speakers, and make sure they come with or can be bought with the additional cables you might need.
Most bookshelf speakers nowadays are extremely easy to set up. If you come across difficulties, you can always hire someone to install your bookshelf speakers.
Before you decide what speakers to purchase, set a budget and stick to it. You can find quality speakers for relatively low prices, but you need to know where to look. Test out speakers before you purchase them so you know that they produce quality sound to your preferences.