14 Different Types of Speakers: A Complete Overview

In an era dominated by multimedia, choosing the right type of speaker significantly enhances our audio experiences, from house parties to solitary melodies.

Before this blog, though I really enjoyed music and movies, I could only think of three or four common types of speakers: soundbar, bookshelf, or subwoofer. But as I learned more about speakers, I was surprised by their diversity. Whatever your needs are, there is a speaker to suit them.

This blog spotlights the fascinating world of speakers, emphasizing their importance and the key factors that guide their selection. Let’s take a deep dive into 14 different types of speakers, categorized by size, location, frequency range, and connectivity. A deeper understanding of each speaker type’s unique attributes encourages a more personalized and meaningful connection with sound.

Key Takeaways
By Size/Location:
1. Tower Speakers: Tall, visually striking floor-standing speakers.
2. Bookshelf Speakers: Fit on shelves, desks, or stands for smaller spaces.
3. Built-in Speakers: Integrated within devices (TVs, PCs, or laptops).
4. Soundbars: Sits below or in front of your TV for enhanced audio.
5. In-wall/In-ceiling: Installed directly into walls or ceilings.
6. Portable Speakers: Compact, battery-powered for on-the-go use.
7. Electrostatic Loudspeakers: High-end option with unique technology for better soundstage.
By Frequency:
1. Full-range: Produces entire range of audible frequencies.
2. Subwoofer/Bass: Delivers low-frequency sounds, typically below 200 Hz.
3. Midrange/Midbass: Handles frequencies between 200 Hz and 5 kHz.
4. Tweeters: Creates high-frequency sounds, typically above 5 kHz.
By Connectivity:
1. Wired: Requires physical connection to an audio source.
2. Wireless: Operates via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
3. Smart speakers: AI technology for voice commands and personalized responses.

7 Types of Speakers by Size and Location

Placement location may be the most common way to categorize a speaker. Speakers can be put on the floor, a bookshelf, or a wall or ceiling. Correspondingly, we have different types of speakers. Let’s learn about these!

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Tower Speaker

Types of speakers - Tower Speaker

Tower speakers, or floor-standing speakers, are designed to stand tall and make a visual statement while delivering powerful audio. These large speakers offer a full-range sound experience, with multiple drivers for crisp highs, detailed midrange, and impactful bass.

Tower speakers are perfect for spacious rooms or home theaters, where their size and power can truly shine. They often feature sleek designs and can enhance the aesthetics of any living space. Tower speakers are a great choice if you’re looking for an immersive listening experience with impressive audio output.

However, to me, tower speakers are a bit old-fashioned. They’re probably more suitable for people in their 50s and 60s (just my opinion 🙂). My dad’s favorite audio setup is a pair of passive tower speakers with an amplifier for listening to old music in the living room.

Bookshelf Speaker

Types of speakers - Bookshelf Speaker

Compact and versatile, bookshelf speakers are designed to fit on shelves, desks, or stands, making them suitable for smaller spaces or rooms with limited space.

Despite their small size, bookshelf speakers can produce remarkable sound quality. Focusing on accuracy and balance, they provide clear highs, detailed midrange, and decent bass. Bookshelf speakers come in two-way or three-way configurations and feature drivers, including tweeters, midrange, and woofer drivers.

Bookshelf speakers are popular for casual listeners, audiophiles, or anyone seeking a high-quality audio experience in a limited space.

Bookshelf speakers are my favorite ones. I even bought two pairs at home, one on the bookshelf in my working room and the other on the mini bar in the living room. I think it’s the compact yet attractive design that stands out the most. Despite the decent size, they are loud enough to fill my apartment space with impressive sound.

Built-in Speakers

Types of speakers - Built-in Speakers

TVs, PCs, and Laptops are three of the most common devices now equipped with built-in speakers. One of the key features of built-in speakers is their integration with the devices themselves. It means that users don’t need to worry about purchasing separate speakers or dealing with messy wiring. Built-in speakers make it easy for users to set up their devices and enjoy high-quality audio immediately.

Built-in speakers also offer a variety of strengths. For example, they allow users to enjoy clear and dynamic sound without spending extra money on external speakers.

One potential drawback of built-in speakers is that they may not offer the same sound quality as external speakers. While built-in speakers are convenient, they may not be the best option for audiophiles or those looking for a more robust sound experience. Additionally, the size and location of built-in speakers may limit the audio quality they produce.

Soundbars Speaker

Types of speakers - Soundbars Speaker

Soundbars are popular for those looking to upgrade their TV’s audio performance without investing in a full home theater system. These compact speaker systems sit below or in front of your TV and provide enhanced sound quality for movies, shows, and gaming.

Soundbars come in two-channel, three-channel, and five-channel options, with multiple speakers and built-in amplifiers delivering an immersive experience.

Soundbars can provide virtual surround sound and improved dialogue clarity, enhancing your viewing experience. These speakers could be easily connected to your TV or other devices, offering a convenient and space-saving way to upgrade TV audio and enhance your living room’s audio experience.

Honestly, to me, there are better choices than a soundbar when it comes to buying a speaker. I think they excel in news and movies more than music, while the design also gets along well with smart TVs.

If you want to choose the perfect soundbar, check out our blog about the best soundbars in the Philippines.

In-wall and In-ceiling Speaker

Types of speakers - In-wall Speaker

In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are made to blend seamlessly with your home decor. These speakers are installed directly into walls or ceilings, offering a clean and clutter-free look.

These speakers are commonly used for distributed audio, creating an immersive sound experience throughout your home. They can be a great option for multi-room setups or when you want sound without visible speakers.

With advancements in technology, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers now offer impressive sound quality and can be discreetly placed to enhance your audio environment.

Portable Speaker

Portable Speaker

Portable speakers are designed for on-the-go audio enjoyment. These compact, battery-powered speakers allow you to bring your music anywhere, whether to the beach, park, or a friend’s house.

Portable speakers are designed in many shapes and sizes, offering a wide range of sound quality and battery life. They often connect wirelessly to your devices via Bluetooth, making it convenient to stream music and enjoy your favorite tunes on the move.

Portable speakers, in my opinion, really take the music-listening experience to a new level. No longer limited to spaces like home or car, outdoor enthusiasts like me can now enjoy their favorite tunes anywhere. 

Since I got my JBL Go, camping and picnicking have been entirely different experiences, more enjoyable and more melodious.

Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Electrostatic loudspeakers utilize a unique technology that differs from traditional speaker designs. They feature a thin, electrically charged diaphragm suspended between two stators. As electrical signals pass through the stators, they interact with the diaphragm, producing sound.

Electrostatic speakers are known for their incredible detail, clarity, and transparency. They excel in reproducing high-frequency tones and offer a spacious soundstage.

Electrostatic loudspeakers are considered a high-end option and often appeal to audiophiles chasing the most accurate and realistic audio reproduction.


4 Types of Speakers by Frequency Range

Understanding the different types of speakers by frequency range can help you choose the right audio equipment for your specific needs. Let’s look closer at the four main types of speakers by frequency range.

Full-Range Speaker

Full-Range Speaker

Full-range speakers are designed to produce the entire range of audible frequencies, from lows to highs. They’re often used in budget sound systems or as replacements for factory-installed car speakers.

One of the key features of full-range speakers is their simplicity. They have a single driver reproducing the entire frequency range, making them easy to install and use.

Strengths of full-range speakers include their affordability, versatility, and compact size. They’re a great choice for everyday listening, whether you’re enjoying music, movies, or gaming. They can also be combined with other types of speakers for a more robust audio experience.

Subwoofer or Bass Speaker

Subwoofers or bass speakers are designed to produce low-frequency sounds, typically below 200 Hz. They’re commonly used in music and home theater systems to provide deep, powerful bass.

One of the key features of subwoofers is their size. They’re larger than other types of speakers, which allows them to move more air and produce deeper bass.

The strengths of subwoofers include their ability to enrich the listening experience by adding depth and impact to music and movies. They’re also great for those who enjoy bass-heavy genres like hip-hop or EDM. At every house party I’d attended, bass speakers played a key role in creating the atmosphere and helping everyone have fun.

Midrange/midbass Speaker

Midrange/midbass Speaker

Midrange/midbass speakers are designed to produce frequencies between 200 Hz and 5 kHz. They often combine with tweeters and woofers to create a full audio experience.

One of the key features of midrange/midbass speakers is their ability to reproduce speech and musical instruments with clarity.

Strengths of midrange/midbass speakers include their ability to B. They’re great for those who enjoy listening to music with many vocals or instrumental tracks.


Tweeters are designed to produce high-frequency sounds, typically above 5 kHz. They often combine with midrange/midbass speakers and subwoofers to create a full audio experience. One of the key features of tweeters is their ability to reproduce high-frequency sounds with clarity.

The strengths of tweeters include their ability to provide crisp and detailed sound reproduction. They’re a great choice for those who enjoy listening to music with many details, like classical music or jazz.

Understanding the different types of speakers by frequency range can help you choose the right audio equipment for your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for deep bass, clear vocals, or detailed highs, there’s a type of speaker designed to deliver the sound you’re looking for.


3 Types of Speakers by Connectivity

With technological advancements, there are now various types of speakers by connectivity available in the market – each with its unique set of features and strengths.

In this blog section, we’ll discuss three main types of speakers by connectivity, including wired speakers, wireless speakers, and smart speakers.

Wired Speaker

Wired Speaker

Wired speakers are the most traditional type of speaker we’ve used for decades. As the name suggests, these types of speakers require a physical connection to an audio source to function. They usually connect via a speaker cable to an amplifier or stereo system.

With a consistent and stable power supply, wired speakers offer a reliable audio experience without interruptions or connectivity issues. They deliver high-quality audio with minimal latency or distortion. Moreover, wired speakers usually work out cheaper than their wireless counterparts, making them a popular choice for those on a budget.

Wireless Speaker (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi)

Wireless Speaker

Wireless speakers are the most rapidly growing type of speakers by connectivity. They offer a more convenient audio experience by eliminating the need for cables or wires. There are two ways of wireless speakers: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth speakers usually operate within a shorter range – typically up to 30 feet – and require pairing with a compatible device. They’re portable, easy to use, and offer a hassle-free audio experience. Find out about the best Bluetooth speaker in the Philippines at our review blog here.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi speakers require a stable wireless connection and a compatible app to operate. As they operate through a reliable network, the range and audio quality are usually more consistent than Bluetooth speakers. Wi-Fi speakers are a popular choice for those who prefer a more versatile and comprehensive system for their home.

Smart Speaker

Smart Speaker

Smart speakers – and their voice assistants – like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant – can be the ultimate audio experience. These speakers are available in wired and wireless options, allowing you to listen to music, make calls, control smart home devices, and much more with voice commands.

Smart speakers come with impressive AI technology that can recognize and respond to voice commands, understand different accents, and personalize responses for each user. They also have many connectivity options and can integrate with other devices for a seamless audio experience.


How to Find the Right Types of Speakers for Your Needs

Finding the right types of speakers for your needs can greatly enhance your audio experience. To ensure you make the best choice, consider the following factors before making a choice.

Using Purposes

Understanding how you will primarily use the speakers will help you choose the best fit for your needs.

For example, if you plan on using the speakers for casual music listening or general multimedia purposes, full-range speakers may be a versatile and cost-effective option. On the other hand, if you’re a movie enthusiast seeking immersive sound, a combination of surround sound speakers and a subwoofer can enhance your cinematic experience.

By identifying your intended usage, you can narrow down the options and select speakers that excel in the areas that matter to you, whether delivering crisp vocals, deep bass, or high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Space Sizes

How to Find the Right Types of Speakers

When choosing among types of speakers, it’s important to consider the space size where they will be used.

Start by measuring the room’s dimensions or area where the speakers will be placed. For smaller spaces like bedrooms or offices, compact speakers like bookshelves or portable speakers may be suitable, as they provide sufficient sound without overwhelming the room.

In larger spaces like living rooms or home theaters, floor-standing or tower speakers are a better choice, as they offer more power and can fill the room with rich, immersive sound.

Matching the size of the speakers to the space ensures optimal audio distribution and a satisfying listening experience.

In my case, I found bookshelf speakers to be the perfect choice. Since I live in an apartment where each room is not very large, bookshelf speakers offer outstanding sound quality and a space-saving solution.

Speaker Placements

For indoor spaces, consider speakers that can be placed on shelves, stands, or wall-mounted to maximize floor space and provide optimal sound projection.

Due to the warm tropical climate, many Filipino homes have open floor plans and outdoor living areas. If you have an outdoor area where you plan to entertain or relax, weatherproof or outdoor speakers are a great option to withstand the elements.

Additionally, for a more immersive audio experience, consider speakers that offer surround sound capabilities, allowing you to place speakers strategically around the room to create a cinematic atmosphere.

Connectivity Preferences

How to Choose Right Speake

Considering your connectivity preferences is essential in selecting the right type of speaker that matches your audio experience and lifestyle.

First, identify how you plan to connect the speakers to your audio source. If you prefer a wireless setup, Bluetooth-enabled speakers allow for easy and convenient pairing with smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

If you prefer a wired connection, speakers equipped with an AUX or RCA jack can be connected directly to audio sources, such as a record player or a TV.

For more advanced setups, speakers with Wi-Fi or built-in smart assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant offer hands-free control. They could be easily integrated into your smart home system.



This post showcases 14 different types of speakers, from space-efficient bookshelf units to powerful floor-standing ones, alongside portable, wireless, and surround sound speakers. Various factors – space size, installation options, connectivity preferences, and your specific audio demands – are integral to your selection process.

Armed with this understanding, you’re ready to identify your individual needs, assess each speaker type’s strengths, and make an educated choice. Remember, the right speaker enhances your audio experiences, ensuring music, movies, and games sound as intended. Begin your exploration, and share your auditory journey with us in the comment section below.



Tony, an experienced engineer and tech enthusiast, brings his expertise to Hometoppicks, where he oversees the Electronics and Entertainment Equipment sections. With his hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge of the latest trends, Tony provides reliable product recommendations and valuable insights into cutting-edge tech. You can find more about him here.

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