Everyone loves music, and it’s been called the one universal language we all share. Many people are amazed, however, at how drastically different their favorite music sounds after moving from cheap speakers to a hi-fi speaker setup. This also holds true when it comes to television, movies, and gaming. The overall entertainment value is upped when every little bump, thump, and rumble is felt.
Some people are wholly content with built-in laptop/TV speakers and cheap earbuds. If, on the other hand, you’re seeking a clearer, higher-quality experience this article is for you. It’s intended to serve as a guide for buyers looking for the best bookshelf speakers on the market. If you’re looking for a great set of budget earbuds, look here.
There’s no shortage of high-quality speakers available whether you’re upgrading your home entertainment center or starting a new one. To help sort the noise, we must first consider the following:
Prospective buyers are often taken aback by the vast number of speakers available on the market. Admittedly, the buying experience becomes even more intimidating when they discover the vast number of brands and models – some of which are good, others not so much.
Generally speaking, speakers fall into one of the following categories: monitors, P/A, sound bar, portable, satellite, floor-standing, wall/ceiling mount, and bookshelf. Each category is catered to a particular use case. For example, floor-standing speakers tend to be catered toward home theaters, while portable speakers are best suited for on-the-go situations such as picnics.
When it comes to overall home entertainment, however, bookshelf speakers reign supreme in terms of quality, ease-of-use, and usefulness.
Entry-level buyers are often surprised to find out how many seemingly insignificant variables impact a speaker’s sonic qualities. Your layout, as well as common household items such as rugs, couches, and bookshelves, play a role in a room’s acoustics.
As a general rule, large speakers don’t sound all too great in small rooms because the bouncing sound waves can interfere with each other resulting in a “muddy” tonal quality. The inverse holds true for small speakers in a large room.
Next, you should consider some of the specs you’re after. A few things to keep in mind include the type of amplifier, driver size, input types, output types, power output, frequency range, impendence, and lastly whether the speaker is active or passive.
Lastly, you’ll want to dwell on a few personal preferences. For example, are you after aesthetic value as well, or does sound quality far supersede looks? How do you feel about the tonal coloration added by some amplifiers? Do you prefer a clearer, unadulterated listening experience, or is the warmth and color furnished by some amplifiers preferable?
Also, you should consider what your speakers will primarily be used for. That is, will they be added to your entertainment system to enhance your home theater, or more often used to listen to music? Are you going to stream your beautiful singing voice with one of these microphones? Will you primarily listen to a genre that’s heavily reliant on the mid & high frequencies such as classical or jazz – or bass-laden, lower frequency music like techno, dubstep, or hip-hop?
Best Bookshelf Speakers
|Audioengine HD3 Wireless Speaker | Desktop Monitor Speakers | Home Music System aptX HD Bluetooth,...||Check at Amazon|
|ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (Pair)||Check at Amazon|
|Edifier S1000DB Audiophile Active Bookshelf Speakers||Check at Amazon|
|Polk Monitor XT15 Pair of Bookshelf or Surround Speakers - Hi-Res Audio Certified, Dolby Atmos &...||Check at Amazon|
|Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker Set of 2 Black||Check at Amazon|
|Polk Signature Elite ES10 Surround Loudspeaker - Hi-Res Audio Certified, Dolby Atmos & DTS:X...||Check at Amazon|
|Audioengine A2+ Plus Wireless Speaker Bluetooth | Desktop Monitor Speakers | Home Music System aptX...||Check at Amazon|
|Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers - Active Near-Field Studio Monitors - Powered Speakers...||Check at Amazon|
|Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair) - Black||Check at Amazon|
|Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers 400 Watts Black Bookshelf Pair||Check at Amazon|
Last update on 2022-01-09 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
The Best Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers Overall
Audioengine is an American-based speaker company that designs award-winning speakers for demanding music enthusiast. Anyone seeking a superior listening experience will find the company’s HD3 line of bookshelf speakers to be a suitable match.
The sound-quality purist who is reading this will cringe after finding out the HD3 are wireless. History has shown us that hi-fi and wireless usually don’t fit together. Audioengine, however, dared to challenge this notion and embarked on the task of engineering a wireless speaker that could match the sound quality produced by wires. What they’ve come up with is a new line of audiophile-grade wireless speakers designed for desktop and living room environments.
Housed within the HD3 is a class A/B dual analog monolithic amp that supplies the boost that the 2.75-inch Kevlar woofers need in order to stand out. Atop the woofer of each speaker is a 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter. As far as output, each speaker has an RMS of 15W and peaks at 30W per channel for a total of 60W peak power.
In addition to streaming your music wirelessly, Audioengine has also furnished users with wired, digital, and analog connections. To see other highly acclaimed Bluetooth speakers, click here.
- Built-in headphone jack
- Wireless, digital, and analog connections
- 24-bit DAC
- Multiple colors available
- Price isn’t friendly to entry-level consumers
ELAC B6.2 Debut
Great Bookshelf Speakers for General Usage
ELAC has been around since the 1920’s. Over the years they’ve produced many highly acclaimed speakers and speaker technologies, but nothing has been more universally loved than their “Debut” series of speakers.
As amazing as the original Debut series was, ELAC decide to abandon the “if it ain’t broke” philosophy and improve upon an already beloved speaker series. After years of toiling away, ELAC finally unveiled the Debut 2.0 series in March 2018. Of the lot, the ELAC B6.2 already stands out as a leading bookshelf speaker.
One of the first things many speaker enthusiasts will notice is the neo-retro design. It’s quite apparent that Andrew Jones, the designer, was heavily influenced by old British manufacturers like Wharfedale.
The front of the B6.2 boasts a 1-inch silk dome tweeter, 6.5-inch Aramid-Fiber woofer, and a bass port, which was omitted from the original.
Considering the speaker’s 44Hz – 35Hz response range and 87dB sensitivity, it’s best suited for medium-size rooms.
- Built on a great legacy
- Price point
- Users report mild tonal coloration and shaping
Excellent Sounding Bookshelf Speakers
Many see the S1000DB from Edifier as the beautiful swan swimming among the ugly (or at least bland) ducklings. Whereas a lot of bookshelf speakers are boring, or otherwise monotonous, the S1000DB is a speaker that you can proudly parade.
Granted, how a speaker looks is far less important than how it sounds; nevertheless, when manufacturers take time to skillfully craft a speaker that’s as visually stimulating as the S1000DB, it’s worth mention.
Looks aside, the sound quality of the Edifier S1000DB is equally impressive. Embedded into each speaker is proprietary DSP technology that allows the pair to produce clean, articulate sound at 120 RMS. There’s also a state-of-the-art aptX Bluetooth, which greatly enhances audio quality and improves latency issues that often plague wireless technology.
- Gorgeous design
- High-quality sound and build
- Price is too high for some
Polk Monitor XT15
Great Performance at a Reasonable Price
Polk Monitor XT15 is another high-quality bookshelf speaker that is bringing an excellent audio experience, in an affordable package.
These speakers bring great versatility and support online streaming from Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, and similar services, as well as both Dolby Atmos & DTS:X surround sound. Equally importantly, they have excellent build quality and a compact build that makes them suitable for any location.
Polk Monitor XT15 also feature hi-res audio-certified Terylene dome 1” tweeters and 5.25″ Dynamically Balanced Woofer that are the key reasons for its great audio performance. To clarify, audio is rich and clear, with a punchy bass, which brings enough push for any movie lover or audiophile.
These speakers are easy to use, and they come with a five-year warranty. Moreover, they are compatible with four-ohm and eight-ohm outputs, and they provide a frequency response between 48 Hz and 40000 Hz, which should be enough for most users.
All in all, they are affordable, great-performing, and feature-rich, which ultimately makes them an exquisite option, and one of the best bookshelf speakers out there.
- Excellent build quality
- Dolby Atmos & DTS:X surround sound support
- Streaming capability
- Easy setup
- Reasonably priced
Perfect for Home & Studio Settings
Klipsch is well-known for its high-end monitor speakers, which is why no one would dare doubt the sound quality on anything they support. The R-41M speakers are ideal for a home setting because they integrate well with any interior design and look impressive regardless of their location.
The exposed fasteners and the removable magnetic grill combine perfectly with the wood grain vinyl case that is scratch-resistant and textured. So, if you’re looking for a speaker that will deliver fantastic audios and impress your guests, this is the perfect solution!
With one single 4″ spun-copper Injection Molded Graphite woofer, 1” aluminum Linear Travel Suspension tweeter, and a 90×90 square Tractrix Horn, the speaker can reach an impressive 68Hz -21kHz frequency range.
They are also loud without being overpowering and minimize any distortions for detailed performances. Thus, you’ll be able to hear new notes in your favorite tunes, and your home theater setting will provide new experiences and emotions.
- Perfect for home theaters & other settings
- High-end sound quality
- Impressive design
- Solid build
- Gorgeous case
- Decent bass presence
- No fit for a large room
- They need power for max volume
- There is a bit of a mid scoop
Polk Signature Elite ES10
More Excellence from Polk
Polk is recognized as a brand that produces great audio devices, and Polk Signature Elite ES10 bookshelf speakers are no exception to that rule. These are compact and affordable speakers, made for true audio devotees, looking for great-value-for-money devices, which these speakers are.
In other words, Polk Signature Elite ES10 deliver clear and rich audio and powerful bass, everything due to the 1″ Terylene Tweeter, 4″ polypropylene Dynamic Balance Woofer and the special Power Port, responsible for enhanced bass. Moreover, these speakers support four-ohm and eight-ohm outputs and are fully compatible with a variety of streaming services. Therefore, you will have no trouble listening to your favorite tunes from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and many others.
In addition, these speakers also support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and are capable of handling up to 100W of power output. Their frequency response is between 78 Hz and 40000 Hz, while its looks are in the class with the best bookshelf speakers out there.
In short, they are exactly what you need, if the combination of the reasonable price and great sound is what you are primarily looking for.
- Classy looking
- Five-year warranty
- Excellent performance
Audioengine A2+ Wireless
Top-notch Bookshelf Speakers for Computer Users
The A2+ is a hand-built, audiophile-quality speaker from the Audioengine. These spacious-sounding speakers provide professional grade audio at a very affordable price point.
Audioengine designed the A2+ to be the best bookshelf speaker for people streaming music from smart devices and computers. The company’s state-of-the-art DAC technology allows music purist to stream ultra-high quality music files via USB. With a frequency response of 50Hz-22kHz, the A2+ have no trouble hitting those low tones, however, the company smartly furnished an RCA output to connect a subwoofer.
All in all, considering the affordability, excellent sound, and overall build-quality, these speakers must be added to serious shortlist for those who use a laptop, including a low-budget yet excellent one.
- Price point
- Sound quality
- Caters almost exclusively to computer users
The Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1700BT is sold as a lower cost alternative to the S1000DB also covered on this list. At price of $150 for the pair, the deep price cuts don’t mean a tremendous sacrifice in terms of sound quality. In fact, many who have double-blind tested both the S1000DB and its $150 kin will tell you it’s not easy to tell which is the more advanced system.
When the removable grille is absent from the front panel, you’ll see the .75-inch dome tweeter and 4-inch bass. Overall, the R1700BT is ideal for anyone looking to improve the quality of their TV, computer, or gaming experience.
Out of the box, these speakers come with everything for you to start enjoying them upon arrival.
- Entry-level friendly
- Highly adaptable
- None, considering this price point
Enjoy Room-filling Sound & Uncompromised Quality
The Sony SSCS5 is a 3-driver speaker with an impedance of 6 Ohm and sound reproduction that can reach 50kHz. The three drivers combine in a beautiful symphony of technologies, as follows:
- one 5.12” foamed-mica cellular reinforced woofer for powerful bass notes and room-filling sound experience. The diaphragm also helps reproduce the finer details for clear dialogue and vocals.
- one 1-inch polyester main tweeter, for a more authentic sound.
- one 0.75-inches super tweeter for immersive sound staging.
As a result, the sound is clear and powerful while the soundstage is expansive and energetic. In addition, the speaker is fitted with High-Resolution audio technology, which can deliver better-than-CD quality. In addition, the super tweeters are specially designed to provide wider directionality regardless of the position of the speakers.
Each speaker is lined with sound-absorbing felt, to eliminate any rear sound pressure from the tweeters and keep the vocals as close to natural as possible. Also, the tapered faceplate edges help eliminate the unnecessary noise from the cabinetry.
Lastly, the all-wood enclosure is perfect for resonant acoustics, even when you’re driving the bass to the maximum.
- Solid all-wood cabinetry
- Three different drivers
- Impressive Hi-Res audio quality
- Easy to install & integrate into a room
- Natural dialogue and vocals
- The bass response is rather light
- Best used in a large room
Acoustic Audio AA321B
A Solid Sound at a Low Cost
Acoustic Audio AA321B is a simple, easy-to-use speaker that brings only the basics. It doesn’t offer fancy features, support for streaming services, or bring compatibility with the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. On the contrary, they are cheap, simple, and they offer a very good audio experience for the price.
To be exact, they have a frequency response between 150 Hz and 20000 Hz, and support eight-ohm output. Moreover, they support up to 200W of power output per speaker and feature a solid ABS build. In addition, they are fitted with Spring Loaded Wire Terminals and offer mounting brackets, for easy installation.
Long story short, they are practical, affordable, and solid-performing, which makes them one of the better deals out there, as well as one of the best bookshelf speakers available.
- Solid audio
- Easy mounting
- Simplicity of use
- Not the best mounting parts
- No streaming support