Why confine your favorite relaxing tunes to a certain space or room? Good music should be easy to access, on the go! That’s when the best bookshelf speakers can come to your rescue.
Bookshelf speakers are compact in size and can fit effortlessly in your bookshelves. In case you ever wondered how they got their name, this is the reason!
Before you simply pick the cheapest or most attractive ones, it’s important to think about some other factors. Maybe you’re looking for a stand-alone addition to your living room, or perhaps you want to enhance your home theatre system’s performance. Bookshelf speakers are ideal for either purpose. Let’s take a closer look at some considerations to keep in mind while shopping for bookshelf speakers.
Factors to Focus on When Buying Bookshelf Speakers
Price is the first thing most people look at when considering bookshelf speakers; on average, good ones go for about $200, although there are nice options under that price and plenty of excellent speakers that cost quite a bit more. Since you’ll want your speakers to last for at least a few years, be sure to keep the following factors in mind as well.
Be Aware of the Technicalities Involved
It is essential to understand the technical features of your bookshelf speakers before you make the purchase. Here are a few pointers you must focus on:
If you want to pair your bookshelf speakers with an amplifier, it is essential that you have an exact idea of the output provided. The higher the wattage of a speaker, the greater its output.
Hertz is inversely related to the bass. The higher the number, the less bass. You can always add a subwoofer if you want more bass.
A basic set of bookshelf speakers consists of two drivers – tweeters (which function by producing high-frequency sounds) and woofers (which are responsible for generating bass).
Every bookshelf speaker needs a place to call home! While you may prefer to house your bookshelf speakers on a bookshelf, you can also choose to place them on speaker stands or wall mounts.
Wherever you put your new speakers, try to placing them around ear level to achieve the best tonal balance. Consider whether you typically spend more time sitting down or standing up when determining how best to position your speakers.
Know Your Budget
There is an exhaustive range of bookshelf speakers available. From high-end speakers to the mid-range and affordable ones, there are lot many options that are capable of delivering a great value along with unbeatable sound quality and performance.
Before you zero in on a set of speakers, creating and sticking to a budget is critical. Your plans for using the speakers might help you decide just how much you’re willing to invest. Do you need bookshelf speakers just for listening to music? Or, do you want to enhance your experience while playing games and watching movies, too?
With factors like these in mind, you’ll find that it’s easier to choose a pair of speakers that’s affordable and in line with your other requirements.
Focus on What You Want
One good thing about bookshelf speakers is the fact that there’s a lot to choose from including size, style, design, and other technical aspects.
Size is important since you’re going to want them to fit in the space available. Most bookshelf speakers are around 24 inches tall and 13 inches wide, with some smaller and larger sizes available.
Other things to keep in mind is your preference for setting up your speakers. Do you prefer speakers with wired connections, or would you like wireless bookshelf speakers better? Is there a certain color or finish you prefer, or will just about anything work for you?
The Best Bookshelf Speakers under $200
With affordability, quality, and some other important factors in mind, here’s our shortlist of the best bookshelf speakers under $200.
Edifier R1280 T Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier speakers have a great reputation for being sturdy, highly flexible, and delivering a fantastic listening experience.
This pair of bookshelf speakers features a cool retro look. Combined with modern audio quality, they’re a favorite with people who value appearance as much as performance.
Edifier R1280T Bookshelf Speakers deliver plenty of bass and depth for pleasant soundscapes whether you’re listening to music, gaming, or watching movies. Affordable, robust, and versatile, this is a great choice for just about anyone.
- Easily personalize your listening experience by adjusting the treble, bass and volume dials
- Equipped with dual RCA inputs, so you can connect these bookshelf speakers to multiple audio devices
- Good balance of quality and affordability
- They allow you to adjust the volume on the go, all thanks to the versatile remote control
- Some users experience a bit of a learning curve when familiarizing themselves with adjustments, etc.
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
If you are looking to get the most out of your loudspeakers, it is essential that you choose the ones which are not only versatile but stable and great-sounding, too. Edifier R1700B Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers easily meet all of these requirements.
What makes these speakers stand out is that they offer Bluetooth connectivity, so they’re easy to pair with a variety of other devices.
The dials are conveniently located on the side of the speakers instead of on the back, so controlling is easy. Last but not least, they look fantastic.
- Easily control audio, bass, and treble
- Can be easily paired with your smartphone and other devices via Bluetooth
- Remote control included
- Disabling Bluetooth isn’t easy
- Some users report a drop in performance after a few months; however, there’s a 2-year warranty
Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers
If you are looking for a pair of speakers which not only deliver great performance but which are also meticulously designed, and look beautiful wherever they are placed, then Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers will definitely fulfill all your requirements.
Although these speakers are not self-powered and you need to connect them with a receiver or an amplifier to play music, they deliver a top-notch listening experience with good balance and beautiful clarity.
Proudly designed in the USA, Micca speakers feature silk dome tweeters for smooth treble and balanced woven carbon fiber woofers for rich bass output.
- Well-crafted with a durable build
- They deliver a rich-music experience with the perfect tonal balance
- Optimized 18dB crossover for the right output
- Takes some additional setup
- Some self-proclaimed audiophiles dislike these speakers
Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
If you are looking for traditional bookshelf speakers, consider Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Speakers: they sound great. The horn-loaded tweeter offers a classic appearance and produces clear, detailed highs while the copper woofer adds pleasing visual contrast and delivers punchy bass notes.
- Provide excellent audio performance
- Stereo receiver is not required
- Equipped with Bluetooth
- Attractive, contemporary design
- Sound quality might degrade a bit if they are positioned incorrectly
Yamaha NS-6490 Bookshelf Speakers
From playing multiple genres with full perfection to delivering a great range of mids, lows, and highs, these powerful Yamaha NS-6490 Bookshelf Speakers are outstanding.
Behind the protective covers, these speakers have a 3-way design that delivers deep, punchy bass notes, warm, pleasant midrange sounds, and bright, sparkling sounds in the high end. People tend to praise them for their sound while noting that appearance-wise, they’re a bit bland.
The takeaway? If you don’t mind basic black and you’re looking for awesome sound in all sorts of situations, these might be the best bookshelf speakers for your needs.
- 3-way speakers at an amazing price
- Each speaker consists of 3 drivers – woofer, midrange and tweeter which work together in harmony to deliver an outstandint musical experience
- Large size might make them a little difficult to place
Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker System
Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speakers get excellent marks for sound quality, plus they’re very easy to set up.
Equipped with a High-Resolution Audio, the speakers work by enhancing the audio sample rate per second and provide you with an almost live-music experience.
Additionally, these 3-driver speakers provide an unbeatable clarity along with 0.98 in tweeter and 0.75 in super-tweeter. Attractive wood cabinets and tapered faceplates complete the package. Not surprisingly, reviewers tend to appreciate these speakers for their sound as well as their looks. They get a great score for compact size too, easily fitting into tighter spaces.
- Quality components
- Great combination of good sound and attractive appearance
- A perfect pick for both music and AC multimedia needs
- Some people feel that there’s too much focus on treble and not enough bass
Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers combine innovative features with great pricing, making them some of the best speakers within $200.
Although they’re on the smaller side, these speakers have no trouble filling average-sized rooms with beautiful sound – and they’re perfect for space-conscious applications. Many users are surprised at the amount of bass they provide, and they’re impressed with the treble range as well.
- Ample bass without added subwoofer
- Attractive cherry finish
- Great sound at an entry-level price
- You’ll need an external amp if you want to connect to a PC
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
If you’re looking for a great upgrade for older conventional speakers Pioneer SP-BS22 Bookshelf Speakers might be ideal.
Whether you use them as standalone stereo speakers or pair them with your home theater system, you’ll appreciate the quality sound they deliver.
Users are often very surprised at the quality of these speakers considering the entry-level price point. At the same time, Pioneer has an outstanding reputation!
- Low power consumption despite ample volume
- Robust, attractive design
- RF molded curved cabinets to eliminate internal standing waves
- Soft dome tweeter which reproduces smooth high frequency even at high volume levels
- A little bit bass-ey, not as much treble as some users prefer
So, which are the best bookshelf speakers under $200?
For basic listening and great pricing, Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers, Klipsch R41M and Polk Audio TSi 1000 are top picks.
If you are more into looks you’ll probably like Edifier R1280T speakers best. For all-around good performance, we recommend Sony SSCS5 and Yamaha NS6490 Bookshelf Speakers.
Whatever your listening preferences, budget, and style, we hope that our review helped you find the best bookshelf speakers for your space. Happy shopping – and happy listening!