Floorstanders vs Bookshelf

Looking for a bit of advice on whether a bookshelf or floorstanding speaker would be better. My room is 13’ x 43 but we sit only about 10’ away for TV watching (we could probably move the couch back a foot or 2 really). I’ve had some Dali Menuets on the wall and was happy with them but I want to move them up to another room. I tried some Monitor Audio Silver 300 and I like them when I am further out in the room working out or playing with the kids. But sitting down I find them giving me a headache, even at low volume. I listened to some Elac Carina speaker and found them to be more relaxing in the bookshelf version. I didn’t get to try the FS version. Any recommendations on what would be a better fit? My amp is a lyngdorf 1120.


Here's a guess. When you talk about the Monitor Audio speakers and a headache, I notice that it has a metal (gold dome) tweeter. The Elac Carina has a ribbon tweeter and is more relaxing. I had similar issues and moved to an Ascend Acoustics ribbon based tower. It's much more relaxing.

In short, it may be a question of the kind of tweeter, and not monitor vs. tower.

Big space- Big speaker. Bookshelves cannot possibly move enough air for the volume of the room.

It depends on the speaker design.  If the drivers are too far apart they won’t have time to integrate properly at a distance of only 10 or 12’.  The best of both worlds may be a pair of monitors combined with two decent subs, and I’d guess your Lyngdorf might be a big help integrating them with its excellent room correction capabilities.  Hope this helps, and best of luck. 

I doubt this is a floorstanding versus book self issue. Given your space I think floorstand speakers are far more appropriate.


For an audio system ten feet is a long way. I have a very high end system and my triangle (typically the appropriate configuration) is 8 feet. Away from the wall is almost always better for speakers. 


As for the headaches. I would guess this is a combination of electronics and speakers. It is likely your source is noisy and full of high frequency hash… which is then amplified. You may not directly “hear” it… but this is the stuff of fatigue.

What are all your components.

I’ve had headaches with a couple speakers before. The Triangle Borea Br03 was the last one. I liked the sound but it just was debilitating headaches. The Monitor audio isn’t as bad but my ear drums feel like they are on fire, even at low level cymbals on these especially hurt. Anyways not sure I’ve had a bunch of concussions over the years so that might factor in.

my wife is more worried the floorstanders she is finding it too much compared to bookshelf when she wants to watch quietly from 10 feet away in the evening so I want to make sure that is ok.

My music isn’t great, it’s mostly iTunes purchases and cd rips from years ago in amp3 or loss less. My electronics are the Lyngdorf tdai-1120 amplifier, then to an LG c1 tv with an Apple TV if that matters. Speaker cables are svs cables also. 

she wants to watch quietly from 10 feet away in the evening 

Do what I do. A nice stereo with floorstanders and sub, then a soundbar when I don't want to be bombarded with a wall of sound. 


Well, honestly this is pretty budget gear… and typically if it fails… it fails with the result of a lot of high frequency hash.

The volume control should satisfy your wife if the sound does not have a lot of high frequency hash (women tend to be much more sensitive to this). Typically good quality electronics will get rid of the problem… but I think speakers would be your first best bet.

I would start by looking for higher quality floor standers. Like Totem, or Sonus Faber… not B&W. You want warm and punchy. But consider spending some money on them (like a couple grand). I think you are stuck between consumer and high fi.

Since your amp has a streamer… switch services to Qobuz. It is a audiophile service. Then you can be sure the in-ut is good. Apple is not great.

if all this fails… then you are going to have to upgrade the lyndorf.

so it is not a budget sytem (maybe for millionaires) it's a pretty cool amp. 

I used to have Monitor Audio Silver speakers, they were very cold sounding, precise but not warm. 

You could go for used, or demo speakers, floor standers tend to lose way more value than standmount - hence cheaper




Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum speakers use a ribbon type tweeter, I have the Gold 100 stand mounts and love them, no listening fatigue at all.

The room is only 13 feet wide.  We don't know where the system is located.

If it is at one end of the 43 feet dimension then the driven space is much less as viewed from the perspective of the listening seat.  This would be more so if the speakers were located on the 13 foot end wall.  While true 'bookshelf' speakers might be too small (think Goodmans Maxim, 10.5 inches high, a friend of mine had them in the 1960s, they sounded good with their backs tight against the wall), bigger stand mounted types could be fine.

I used to run proac tablette 10s with my TDAI3400

And a rel stentor III sub.

I'm now running Jern 14eh.


I got good milage with power conditioning and chaining a cisco2960 into an Etherregen in my set up. Apple tv can sound amazing , the 4k is more resolving than 4th gen IME.

I agree with @ghdprentice and the issue is electronics and value line speakers. 

The Integrated you are using may be heater suited for use with a higher quality speaker. Has nothing to do with FS or SM speakers it is the quality of the components that make up that speaker, crossovers, tweeter type and materials, cabinets and mid bass woofer…..

For dual use HT and 2.1 listening look at GoldenEar BRX, ML Motion Series or further up the ELAC or Monitor lines. Get them from a retailer that has 60 Day Returns. Find what works in your home and be happy. Better yet go back to Dali..

The bigger the box...the better the experience....Tekton speakers are very easy on the ears......I love the soundstage they throw and use a Schiit Loki to fine tune the sound for different recordings. Beautiful. My upgraded Pendragons were only $2500 delivered.

I designed and built my own speakers. Probably not near as nice as yours. Mine are 5cu,ft floor standers. 8 " 3 way, 4ft high. They sound great 10' away. But distanced 15ft apart. Helps the sound stage. Am not disappointed after hearing 4.5k speakers at a dealer. 

Consider getting on the list for a Philharmonic BMR standmount. Rather large for a standmount but an alternative that can give a floorstander presentation. Monitor Audio initially sounded great with me but threw so much at you at once it grew tiring as well.  I think it has something to do with the tweeter, the upper mids and high didn't have the required separation, dynamic shifts, etc.




I'm seriously considering either the Pendragons, Uruz or DI models from Tekton. I listen to mostly orchestral music and my ideal listening experience would be to have a set of speakers put me 15 rows back and dead center in Carnegie Hall.

In your opinion, would the Pendragons come close to doing that?

What upgrades did you purchase?

Thank you for any feedback.

All the best to you.


I maybe a bit late on this discussion. I heard Pendragons today at a friends. He has the Seas  version. I believe the hype, those things are nice. I own speakers at 20X his purchase price. Yes the are better, and they should be. I really enjoyed the a Tektons