Best Bookshelf Speakers

Steve Scott

You can settle for your computer speakers or a cheap Bluetooth speaker, but that might not be enough for some people. Those who appreciate good sound might want to take the sound of their music to the next level.

Those who do should absolutely invest in a good set of bookshelf speakers. Whether you are watching a movie or playing music for a party, a set of bookshelf speakers can bring your sound to life in a big way.

Bookshelf speakers allow you to hear each note in beautiful, detailed quality. A pair of bookshelf speakers might be all you need, or they could be just be a cog in an extensive music setup.

Most speakers will have inputs that allow you to connect other components to them, like subwoofers. Either way, a pair of bookshelf speakers are a great place to start and are the foundation to any setup.

There is a huge range of bookshelf speakers out there, almost an overwhelming amount. While many high-end bookshelf speakers can be easily higher than $500, there are many options out there for much less that still work very well, even for under $100. To help you narrow down your search a little, here is our list of the best bookshelf speakers out there today.

If you are unfamiliar with what to look for when shopping for bookshelf speakers, definitely make sure to check out the buying guide at the bottom of the article to see the top factors you should be paying attention to when scanning the different speakers.

Best Bookshelf Speakers - Fill Your Room with Stereo Sound

  • Self-Powered/Active
  • Woven Aramid-Fiber woofer
  • 1” silk dome tweeter
  • 6-½” aramid-fiber woofer
  • Frequency Response: 44Hz - 35000Hz
  • Power Input - 120 Watts
  • Dimensions:10.6 x 7.7 x 14.8 in 
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 bookshelf speakers

PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Nice aesthetics
  • Low price
  • Designed by Andrew Jones

CONS

  • Not the easiest to use
  • Big size

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Review

For those looking for a great mix of performance and price, the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 speakers offer a great option to look at. These speakers use their 1” silk dome tweeter for crisp high-notes, while making use of its 6½” aramid-fiber woofer for some nice mids and a deep bass.

WIth a frequency response rate of 44Hz - 35,000Hz, you can be sure that the ELAC B6.2 speakers will deliver the sound you need.

The Debut B6.2s are the follow up to the fan favorite Debut 2.0 B6 speakers. The biggest driving force behind why these speakers sound so good is because of the man behind the design, Andrew Jones, who is a long-time designer of famous speakers at companies like KEP, Infinity, Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, and Pioneer.

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers Side

Mr. Jones was certainly able to make the most in the design of this pair of $250 speakers. The Debut 6.2’s great sound quality could easily place them in a higher price range. 

As for the aesthetic, the Debut B6.2s have a nice, classic look to them. They have a classy black ash vinyl finish and a removable speaker cover. These speakers are definitely on the bigger size, with their dimensions being 10.6 x 7.7 x 14.8 in.

One good aspect of being so big is that they are able to put out a little bit more bass than other speakers at their price range. You might be able to skip adding a sub when buying these speakers.

Famous speaker designer, Andrew Jones, has certainly done a great job designing a solid pair of bookshelf speakers at a price far lower than he normally designs for. At $300, you can get a pair of classy looking speakers with sound that hits far above its price range.

Key Features

  • Self-powered
  • 1” titanium-loaded tweeters with tractrix horns
  • 6.5” woofers with a ported enclosure
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Connections: 3.5mm, digital optical, USB digital audio, RCA output for a sub
  • Weight: 33.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 16.8 in
Klipsch The Sixes speakers

PROS

  • Wireless, self-powered speakers
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Remote included
  • Beautiful designed

CONS

  • Expensive

Klipsch The Sixes Review

If you are looking to add a little luxury to your living space, the Klipsch “The Sixes” speakers would be a great option for you. The Sixes speakers feature high-quality materials, including real wood cabinets and copper knobs and switches.

The whole design is typical Klipsch style. As for the audio quality, these speakers put out a very dynamic and punchy sound that is certainly worth its price.

While Klipsch is usually known for their exceptional passive speakers, their Sixes speakers are fully self-powered, meaning you don’t need an amplifier to power it. They have a 1-inch titanium tweeter that is used with a Klipsch Tractrix Horn to lower distortion and improve the efficiency of the speaker.

The result is very crisp, detailed high frequency notes. The Sixes also features 6.5-inch woofers, which is able to produce that dynamic, punchy sound I mentioned earlier. It might not be enough bass for everyone’s liking, so you might be inclined to add a subwoofer. 

Klipsch The Sixes Back

One of the features that sets the Klipsch “The Sixes” speakers apart from the rest is the amount of connection options they have.

Connection options for these speakers also include RCA inputs, 3.5mm, RCA subwoofer output jack, optical digital audio input, USB, and even Bluetooth. This suite of connection options makes for a very user-friendly experience. 

While the price of the Klipsch “The Sixes” speakers is higher than many on this list, the audio quality and usability of these speakers is as well. It’s a bit of a bummer that these speakers don’t have more bass at the price that they go for, but the fact that you have the option to add a subwoofer is great.

These beautifully-designed speakers would be a great pick alone or even as part of a larger set

Key Features

  • Self-Powered
  • 80 watt power handling
  • Nominal impedance: 6 ohms
  • 4” Structured Surface Woofer
  • 1” High Efficiency Soft Dome Tweeter
  • 6 Element Soft Dome Tweeter
  • Weight: 9.13 lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 7.1 x 12.6 in
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers

PROS

  • Affordable price
  • Crisp, high-frequency notes
  • Designed by Andrew Jones

CONS

  • Lower sensitivity
  • Not enough bass by themselves

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Review

The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers offer a very unique combination: being designed by Andrew Jones and being under $100. While the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers may not have the most exciting design or have the most powerful sound, the sound quality seems like it should be way above its price.

It’s certainly one of the best bookshelf speakers you can get for under $150. 

The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers features a 1-inch high efficiency soft dome tweeter and a 4-inch structured surface woofer. The highs and the mids on these Pioneer speakers sound very clear and lively. The quality of the mids, especially, sound like they should be on speakers far more expensive than these.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers front

Where the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers begin to suffer is in the power of their sound because of their small size. They have a hard time filling up large rooms, so it is best to keep these speakers in small offices and bedrooms. These speakers also don’t have a big enough woofer to produce much bass. Consider adding a sub.

As for the design, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers aren’t the most exciting. They feature a glossy black vinyl with black tweeters and woofers. It won’t excite the eyes, but it also will be a very subtle addition to any room.

While these speakers wouldn’t be the best option as your stand-alone home theater speakers, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers would be perfect in small rooms or even as an addition to your current sound system. With beautiful high and mid notes, you certainly get a lot for your money.

Key Features

  • Self-Powered
  • Remote control
  • MDF wood build finished with wood effect vinyl
  • 2 AUX plug-ins
Edifier R1280T speakers

PROS

  • Attractive design
  • Strong sound
  • 2 AUX connections is convinient

CONS

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Fixed power cable

Edifier R1280T Review

Currently listed as the #1 best selling bookshelf speaker on Amazon.com, the Edifier R1280T speakers offer a simple, yet high-quality listening experience for a low price. These speakers are very small in stature and are pretty light for bookshelf speakers, weighing only 10.8 pounds, making them a great option for an upgrade to your desktop speakers.

These speakers offer a very straight-forward, no-frills experience. It offers a dedicated tweeter and a 4-inch woofer with about 42 watts of power. The sound quality is good, especially for the price, but those who like extremely detailed sound or heavy bass may be disappointed.

The Edifier RT1280T speakers offer a great option for bookshelf speakers under $100. They are number one on Amazon for a reason. For more options to upgrade your desktop speakers, check out this list of the .

The power is also not enough to fill up many big rooms, but they work well in offices. The Edifier R1280T speakers have bass, treble, and volume controls on the right speaker, which you can adjust with the remote as well.

The connection options for the Edifier RT1280Ts are also pretty spartan. They feature two RCA audio jacks (3.5mm), which is nice for plugging two devices in at once. One nice feature is that Edifier provides you the cables in the box, so you don’t have to buy extra ones.

The Edifier RT1280T speakers may lack fancy connection options like Bluetooth, but they are perfect for just hooking up your laptop or phone for some great music.

The Edifier RT1280T speakers offer a great option for bookshelf speakers under $100. They are number one on Amazon for a reason. For more options to upgrade your desktop speakers, check out this list of the best computer speakers.

Edifier R1280T Volume

5. Best Bluetooth: Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Key Features

  • Self-Powered
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Wood finish
  • 2 AUX inputs
  • Bass driver: 4-inch
  • Treble driver: 19mm silk dome
  • Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 9.75 in
  • Weight: 14.55 lbs
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Nice design
  • Good balance in sound
  • Bluetooth speakers

CONS

  • Lacks optical, phono, and USB connections

Edifier R1700BT Review

For those looking for bookshelf speakers with Bluetooth connection at a low price, check out the Edifier R1700BT. These speakers offer a classy design that would fit in many different spaces while not standing out too much.

As for sound quality, the Edifier R1700BTs offers crisp highs, a good amount of depth, and very natural sounds. With two AUX connections and Bluetooth, it makes it very easy to plug in many different devices. 

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers Back

The Edifier R1700BT speakers offer a very fun, easy-listening sound. Both speakers feature a .75-inch tweeter and a 4-inch driver. Its trebles are warm and clear, while the mid notes have good definition. It doesn’t have a lot of bass, but you can add a subwoofer if you would like more depth.

You can control the bass, treble, and volume on the right speaker or with the remote control. The Edifier R1700BTs are pretty small and lightweight, so they are easy to bring around to any room you need. The combination of their size and Bluetooth connections makes them very versatile speakers. 

Those looking for good bookshelf speakers for their bedrooms, offices, or as an addition to their home theater setup can find a good option in the R1700BTs. If you are building a new home theater, check out our list of the best projectors to get you started.

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers Volume

6. Best Design Budget Speakers: Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers

Key Features

  • Passive Speakers
  • Balanced Woven carbon fiber woofer
  • Silk dome tweeter
  • Frequency Response: 60Hz - 20kHz
  • Power handling: 75 watts
  • Weight: 9.3lbs
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.8 x 9.5 in
Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers

PROS

  • Good performance for the price 
  • Nice compact design

CONS

  • Small size leads to lower sound quality
  • Amp needed for power

Micca MB42X Review

Micca is a name that is all over the budget speaker market. For a pair of budget speakers with great design, decent performance, and a very low price, check out Micca’s MB42X speakers.

These speakers have a compact size, making them easy to fit in many different rooms. They have a matte black finish with soft, rounded edges. It gives them a very classic and well-built look, which is rare for budget speakers.

Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers Front

SInce the Micca MB42X speakers are small, they have a hard time producing enough sound to fill up a big room. In smaller rooms they work great, though, especially for speakers that are under $100.

Please keep in mind that these speakers are passive, so you will need to have an amp and an audio source to power them (both of which are not included). 

Overall, the Micca MB42Xs are a good option for budget bookshelf speakers. If you are looking for some budget speakers that look great in your space and sound pretty decent, then the Micca MB42Xs will be the way to go.

Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers Back

7. Best Budget Vinyl Speakers: Klipsch R-15PM

Key Features

  • Self-powered/Active
  • Connections: 1 RCA phono level input, 1 USB, 1 digital optical, 3.5mm mini jack, sub out
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
  • Remote included
  • Frequency Response: 62Hz - 24kHz
  • Weight: 10.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 7 x 12.5 in
Klipsch R-15PM Speakers

PROS

  • Great sound
  • Phono input for vinyl users
  • Easy to use
  • Includes a remote

CONS

  • Could use a sub for deeper bass

Klipsch R-15PM Review

Featuring the classic Klipsch black and copper design, the Klipsch R-15PMs are self-powered speakers that feature a stunning design with fantastic sound. Like many Klipsch speakers, they feature a wide variety of connection options, including even a phono input for turntables.

That’s a huge plus for vinyl owners, who oftentimes have a hard option finding bookshelf speakers they can plug directly into. It also has Bluetooth, 3.5mm (Aux), USB, and digital optical connections. These great speakers for desktops, game consoles, home theaters, or just for your phone. 

Klipsch R-15PM Speakers With A Remote

The Klipsch R-15PM has a 1-inch aluminum diaphragm compression driver, a 90 degree by 90 degree square Tractrix Horn, and a 5.25” copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer.

Its Frequency Response is 62Hz - 24kHz, so it’s able to handle a wide variety of sounds with clarity. These speakers offer decent bass on their own, but those who want more have the option of adding a sub to these.

The price of the Klipsch R-15PMs is middle-of-the-road for bookshelf speakers, but the experience is top-notch. With a wealth of connection options, a beautiful design, and clear sound, the R-15PMs offer a great choice for desktop speaker upgrades or for filling up your living room with beautiful music.

Klipsch R-15PM Speakers Back

Bookshelf Speakers: Buying Guide

Bookshelf speakers come in a very wide range of price and features. Just because one speaker is more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Depending on your needs, you could do just fine with a pair of bookshelf speakers under $100.

If you are a hardcore audiophile, though, and are looking for speakers that give you ultimate control over your sound, then you will have to spend more. But don’t worry, audiophiles, the higher-end speakers worth it. 

Whether you are getting your first pair of bookshelf speakers or adding another piece to your massive music setup, it’s important to keep the same major factors in mind when shopping. Here is a bookshelf speaker buying guide to help guide you on your buyer journey.

ELAC B62 NEW2-way bookshelf speakers

Active vs. Passive

While some speakers can operate by themselves, other speakers require an amplifier or an audio source to operate. These speakers are called Passive Speakers.

If you don’t want to spend extra money on an amp, then make sure to look for active, or self-powered, speakers. Active speakers are often all-in-one experiences, offering a lot of connection options for you to plug your devices directly into the speaker. They are often a little more expensive than passive speakers.

Listening Style

Not every speaker sounds the same, so the speakers you pick should match your listening style. Some speakers might be better at delivering lively, clear sounds, while others may be better at delivering a dynamic, punchy experience.

If you are an audiophile, you might want a very detailed sound, while more casual listeners will be ok with a more laid-back experience. Take a look at each speakers’ review to see what their sound profile is like. It might even be a good idea to take a trip to your nearest speaker store and listen to the same song on a few different types of speakers to see which is your favorite.

Q-Acoustics 3020i Speakers

Those who like a lot of bass should keep in mind that bookshelf speakers often times have a hard time producing a lot of bass by themselves. Be prepared to buy a subwoofer to get that wall-shaking bass you are looking for.

Connection Options

What will you be using these speakers for? Many speakers offer a wide variety of options for connecting devices, but not all of them do. Here is a list of connection options to keep in mind while shopping:

  • Bluetooth: connecting phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles 
  • Optical: TV, game consoles
  • Audio Sub Out: Connecting a subwoofer
  • Phono: Vinyl
  • 3.5mm: phones, tablets, laptops
  • USB: computers
Fremont Bookshelf Speakers

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions that people have when buying bookshelf speakers:

Are bookshelf speakers good for home theater?

Bookshelf speakers would be a great upgrade over your normal TV speakers. They often have fantastic sound and can deliver mid to high frequency notes with great clarity. If you are going to buy bookshelf speakers for your home theater setup, you might want to add a sub as well to get a little extra “oomph” in the deeper sounds. That will really help you feel those crazy explosions happening in the movie.

How do I connect my bookshelf speakers to my TV?

You can connect bookshelf speakers to your TV provided that they have an optical-in cable or Bluetooth connection.

Can bookshelf speakers be used as surround speakers?

Yes, they can be used for surround sound. Bookshelf speakers can make for great rear speakers in a surround sound setup, especially if you sit close to the back wall when you watch TV.

There are many bookshelf speakers with wireless connectivity too, so that would mean less cables for you to string around your room.

Sources:
  1. Christensson, P., Speakers Definition, February 27th 2019
  2. WikiHow, How to Wire Speakers, March 29th 2019
  3. Barry Fox, A Hundred Years of Stereo: Fifty of Hi-Fi, December 31st 1981

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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