Designed to sit on a table, shelf or elevated surface, bookshelf speakers are rarely used on the floor. In small to medium spaces, they can maximize sound and deliver an enjoyable experience.
The problem is that there are hundreds of products to choose from, and with the wrong information, it can be very difficult to find the best bookshelf speakers for your needs. Some products are specifically engineered for movie lovers, and other products work best for people who love music or gaming.
By purchasing and using bookshelf speakers, you can get amazing sound from a set of low-key speakers. Before choosing a particular product, it’s important to know the differences between powered monitors and bookshelf speakers. Since these products have many similarities, it’s easy to get confused when considering the differences.
Powered speakers have amplification built into the design, and with the built-in amplifier, powered monitors eliminate the need for an extra component. In many cases, bookshelf speakers are preferred because they’re small and less expensive than some of the alternatives.
They can also fit into tighter spaces, and if you want guests to hear sound but don’t want them to see where it’s coming from, bookshelf speakers are easy to hide in a bookshelf or similar space. Before deciding on a particular product, you must know what to look for.
Compare The Best Bookshelf Speakers 2018 With This Handy Comparison Guide
|Bookshelf Speakers - Image||Make / Model of Bookshelf Speaker||Features||Price||Rating|
|ELAC B6 Debut Series 6.5" Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones (Pair)||BEST UNDER $500||- Custom Drivers|
- Woven Aramid-Fiber Woofer
- Deep-Spheroid Custom Waveguide
- Intricate Crossover
|$$||4.6 out of 5|
|Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers Black (Pair)||- Tractrix® Horn technology|
- Cerametallic woofer cones
- Titanium tweeter
|$$||4.7 out of 5|
|KEF Q300B Bookshelf Loudspeakers Black Ash (Pair)||- 6.5 inch point-source Uni-Q driver array|
- 2 inch voice coil to ensure impressive and distortion-free low frequency handling.
|$$||4.6 out of 5|
|Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers||OUR STAR CHOICE - BEST UNDER $200||- Bluetooth: Pair your phone, tablet or computer|
- Switch input sources, control volume and mute/unmute at your figure tips.
|$||4.7 out of 5|
|Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker (Pair)||Fills small to medium rooms with powerful, lifelike performances||$||4.6 out of 5|
|Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Cherry)||- 5.25-inch dynamic balance bilaminate composite woofer|
- Frequency response: 53Hz - 25kHz
|$||4.7 out of 5|
|Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers||- Woven carbon fiber woofer |
- Dimensions: 9.5″ (H) x 5.8″ (W) x 6.5″ (D)
- Neutral and accurate sound signature with excellent vocal clarity
|$||4.5 out of 5|
|Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers Pair Black||CHEAP AND CHEERFUL||Sensitivity: 89dB 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance polymer composite woofer||$||4.6 out of 5|
|Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers||Natural sound reproduction from 13mm silk dome tweeter and 4 inch full range unit||$||4.7 out of 5|
|Fluance AV5 Powerful & Dynamic Two-way Bookshelf Speakers||BEST SELLER||High performance soft dome tweeters provide accurate high frequency response; Powerful 5 inch polymer-treated midrange drivers for delivering a rich, clear, room filling experience||$||4.2 out of 5|
Things to Consider Before Buying A Set Of Bookshelf Speakers
It’s quite common for bookshelf speakers to be used as part of a home theater, but they can be just as useful as standalone additions. A lot of people aren’t ready to commit to a home theater because it can be very expensive, and if this describes your situation, then a set of high-quality bookshelf speakers serves as an inexpensive way to add some powerful sound to your home or apartment.
The specifications for these products can be difficult to understand, you need a basic understanding of the different features to find the ideal product for you. When shopping for bookshelf speakers, you’ll notice that many products have a hertz rating.
The speakers with the lowest hertz rating will produce the strongest, heaviest bass. The wattage is another important feature to consider, and in almost every situation, more wattage is better because it allows the speakers to produce clear sound. If you like your music and movies loud, then a higher wattage is essential.
The third feature to consider is the driver, and you’ll find that most bookshelf speakers have at least two. These products are commonly designed with a driver for bass and high-frequency sounds. One driver handles the bass, and the other handles the high-frequency sounds.
Cabinet Size and Material
The shell that holds the components is called the cabinet, and bookshelf speakers can have cabinets made from fiberboard, wood or metal.
Since different materials produce different sounds, it’s important to pay attention the material used. For the best results, it’s a good idea to choose speakers that have a hardwood cabinet because it tends to produce the best sound.
Most bookshelf speakers are designed to be small, and the total size of each speaker is important. Not too long ago, bigger was almost always better, but due to technological improvements, many smaller speakers can produce better sound than larger products.
The materials and components have the greatest impact on sound quality, and it’s best to consider products with heavier components. Despite the name, bookshelf speakers don’t have to be used on a bookshelf, and they’re commonly placed on a tabletop or computer desk.
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500
The ELAC B6 Debut Series speakers are high-end products, and for better sound, they come with custom drivers and have an intricate crossover. These speakers are made with a woven aramid-fiber woofer, and they have a deep-spheroid custom waveguide.
With high-end components, these speakers produce powerful sound and deliver smooth high-frequency sounds. They’re capable of extended lows, uncolored mid-range sounds and superior imaging.
The cabinet design is engineered for optimal sound, and the aramid fiber dramatically improves the sound from the woofer. For a longer lifespan, the cabinet of each speaker is made of thick MDF material and comes with a textured vinyl finish.
With a sophisticated crossover, these speakers are good at blending the sound from the drivers, and to open the door for several different connections, they have five-way, gold-plated binding posts.
The Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series loudspeakers are quite popular, and for lifelike sound, each speaker is equipped with Tractrix Horn technology. These speakers use less power to deliver more sound, and they’re engineered to reduce distortion.
The Klipsch RB-61 II speakers are designed with high-quality drivers, and with a new crossover system, they produce better sound than many of the competing products. Each speaker is made with black metallic finish baffles and cerametallic woofers.
Unlike some of the alternatives, these speakers are equipped with WDST technology, which is why they’re able to reproduce ambient and localized sounds. To prevent distortion, the woofers are treated with aluminum, and the titanium tweeters are made to produce lifelike sound.
If you’re not on a tight budget, you might want to consider the KEF Q300B bookshelf speakers. They’re commonly used as part of a home theater, but they can be just as enjoyable as standalone speakers.
These products come with a 5.5-inch, point-source Uni-Q drive array, and they can accurately provide a dispersed soundstage, which travels throughout the room.
The driver array works well for reproducing sounds, and since it features new aluminum cone technology, it produces heavy bass while managing high-frequency sounds.
Depending on your needs, these speakers can be used alone, but they sound much better as a pair. The KEF Q300B bookshelf loudspeakers are engineered to provide spacious, precise and powerful sound.
Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
The Edifier R1700BT bookshelf speakers are capable of a Bluetooth connection, which makes them compatible with computers, tablets and smartphones. The wireless connection can be used with Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices.
With two AUX inputs, these speakers offer a convenient wired connection, and they can be connected to devices that have a 3.5mm headphone output. The Edifier R1700BT speakers come with a remote control, and each speaker has a cabinet made of high-quality MDF wood material.
The vinyl finish can blend in with any type of décor, and the MDF cabinet offers reliable sound quality. With convenient control knobs, it’s easy to adjust the bass and treble, and a simple dial allows you to adjust the volume level.
The Klipsch R-15M are smaller speakers, but they’re powerful enough for big sound. Each speaker is designed to produce enough sound to fill small to medium rooms, and despite having a minimalistic appearance, they feature 90×90 Tractrix Horn technology.
The linear travel suspension delivers big sound, and the tweeter is designed to minimize distortion. Each speaker is designed with a graphite IMG woofer and produces a powerful low-frequency response. The spun copper woofer is made with IMG, and although the woofers are very light, they produce a significant amount of bass.
A rear-firing port minimizes turbulence with a flared design, and for maximum connection flexibility, the Klipsch R-15M bookshelf speakers have five-way binding posts.
The Polk Audio TSi100 speakers are high-performance products, and they’re designed with a single one-inch polymer composite balance dome tweeter. The frequency response for these speakers is between 53Hz to 25kHz, and each speaker has a 5.25-inch bilaminate composite woofer.
The recommended amplification for these speakers is between 20 to 100 watts, and they’re engineered to deliver wide-dispersion sound. With built-in crossovers and Mylar bypass capacitors, they provide great highs and heavy lows. The technology that is built into each speaker creates lifelike sound, and the exterior will match almost any décor.
Bookshelf Speakers Under $100
The Micca MB42 speakers are affordable on a small budget, and for stronger bass, they’re made with a woven carbon fiber woofer. They have high-performance silk dome tweeters, which deliver accurate imaging and smooth treble.
The ported enclosure offers a powerful bass response and produces minimal sound distortion. The Micca MB42 speakers are known for excellent vocal clarity, and they produce an accurate sound signature.
With a compact, classic design, these speakers are easy to hide within the décor of any room, and since they come equipped with five-way binding posts, they’re easy to connect to speaker wire.
A simple, sophisticated design makes these speakers easy on the eyes, and the four-inch carbon fiber woofer delivers enough bass to shake the walls.
The Polk Audio T15 bookshelf speakers offer superior music performance, and they’re commonly used as powerful additions to a home theater system. These products are also great for gaming and music.
With wide-dispersion tweeters and drivers, these speakers offer high-quality sound, and for reduced distortion, the enclosures are made with magnetic shielding. The speakers are sonically matched and designed to perform in a synergistic way.
The tweeter in each speaker is made of polymer composite material and delivers a balanced, lush landscape. The Polk Audio T15 bookshelf speakers are easy to mount with a keyhole slot.
The Edifier R1280T speakers come with two convenient AUX inputs and can be connected to a wide range of devices. They can simultaneously connect to two different devices using the AUX inputs, and the 13mm silk dome tweeter inside of each speaker delivers studio sound quality.
A four-inch, full-range unit handles a large portion of the sound, and since these products come with a remote control, they can be adjusted from a distance.
The side of the main speakers has controls for the bass and treble, and the enclosure is made of thick MDF wood. The exterior is made from vinyl and looks like real wood.
The Fluance AV5 speakers are engineered with premium components, and although they’re not very large, they’re capable of producing big sound. The Fluance AV5 speakers have high-performance tweeters, and they can be used as part of a home theater system or standalone products.
The cabinet for each speaker is made of durable MDF material and helps to amplify the effects of the bass. The high-quality cabinet material also reduces sound distortion and cabinet resonance.
The built-in dome tweeters handle high-frequency sounds, and the five-inch mid-range drivers handle the rest. With premium components, these speakers are made for superior audio reproduction and natural sound.