Floor standing speakers or bookshelf speakers

Hi; First of all that’s for all the advice you guys have given me these last few weeks - much appreciated. I’m still wrestling with one decision I need to make (obviously an important one).
I’m wondering if bookshelf speakers can be as good as floor standers at the same price. In particular the ProAc DT8 or Harberth 40th edition (which actually cost £400 more). I listened to both and the range and depth of the ProAc’s were I felt more better. Is it just the space issue that drives people to spend £2k + bookshelf speakers compared to floor standers. Any help would be appreciated. I’ll run them with a Naim Atom. Thanks guys.

It wouldn’t be the size issue that would steer me away from the Harbeth, it would be how effectively the Atom would drive them, they look as if they need some serious power at 6 ohm/83.5 dB sensitivity. If you’re looking at bookshelf perhaps better looking at Proac DB1’s or PMC, easier speakers to drive.
Although I see Harbeth site suggesting 15W is OK, guess they know better than me.

I think that room matching has to be a big factor. I have a small room, wanted floorstanders because they look impressive and have a rich full range response, but was ultimately disappointed because they were just too much for my space. Indeed, after a series of mid priced bookshelf units, I am more than happy. My bookshelf speakers have enough bass for the room, and they are agile as well. Another factor is the sound that you are after, and how the speakers complement the rest of the system. I would recommend a home demo, if possible. That stopped me buying a pair of floorstanders that sounded great in the shop, but boomy and bloated at home.

Most so-called “bookshelf” speakers are used on stands, when to all intents and purposes they take up the same space as a floorstander of similar width and depth, so the size aspect is irrelevant. True bookshelf speakers, designed either for back-to-wall, or “soffit mounting” with front baffle flush with the the spines of books, LPs, CDs etc are quite a different matter.

As a generalisation floorstanders tend to be able to do deeper bass, due to the laws if physics, but for the same quality of sound they are likely to cost quite a bit more because getting deeper bass to sound right Is more demanding on the design. I don’t know the speakers you cite, but if I had £2k to spend on speakers I’d be looking secondhand, or end of range ex-dem to maximise buying power.

Another consideration is that different speakers can sound very different from one another, even at the same price point - which is true even with much more expensive speakers, so it is important to hear them, ideally in your own room, to be sure you like their character. On one occasion I auditioned 12 or 13 pairs of speakers all in the £2.5-3k price bracket in today’s money. All but 3 I abandoned on the first track, sounding absolutely awful to me. One lasted longer, maybe 10-15 mins, with only two sounding good, needing detailed evaluation.

years ago I had a home demo of a number of floor standers and bookshelf speakers (harbeth,neat,pmc and kudos) and I had no initial constraints as far as room size was concerned. In fact as a rookie I was quite convinced that the floor standers would be better because they were bigger! It became apparent to me that the book shelfs were just faster and more engaging to me. That combined with the other half thinking that they were less imposing in the space sealed the deal. Those first book shelfs were kudos C10 with at the time 202/200 and I loved them so much that I traded them for the Super 10s now with 282/250. I am sure used C10s could be had for 2k - that’s not bad for access to possibly the best tweeter money can buy - the seas crescendo.

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