While size is one determining factor in selecting home speakers, the most important factors are personal preference in regard to sound, speaker type and the amplifier/receiver you’ll use to power your speakers. There is no objective rule of thumb because a wide range of speaker sizes can provide room-filling audio.
Ultimately, whether you choose small bookshelf or towering floorstanding speakers, choose those that fit your tastes, as much as they fit your room. That will ensure your long-term satisfaction.
If performance is your first criterion, either floorstanders or bookshelf speakers will generally fill the bill, because the speakers and enclosures are matched.
In instances where available space is a serious consideration, the floor space they’ll consume must be analyzed. For large rooms, floorstanding speakers are a good option, if they can be placed out of the room’s traffic flow. Some larger floorstanding stereo speakers present a tip-over risk, so keep this in mind if you have young children or pets. If you want unobtrusive speakers, bookshelf-style speakers are preferable, as they can be tucked away on a bookcase.
Satellite, or mini, speakers take up even less space, and can be mounted on stands, placed on bookcases or wall-mounted. In-Wall and in-ceiling speakers have advanced dramatically in recent years and can provide excellent sound. Most of these are paintable, so they blend seamlessly into the wall—and, of course, take up no space at all.
Small speakers, obviously, work well in small spaces. Bookshelf and mini speakers provide excellent stereo sound in a speaker that takes up virtually no space. They can be used as the basis for a compact stereo system, or combined with a mini-subwoofer to create an unobtrusive home theater system.
Again, no one size fits all…you can find room-filling performance in virtually any speaker, from the smallest mini-sized satellite to the tallest floorstanders. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal taste.