Music is a big part of most peoples’ lives. To have the best experience though, you need to get high-quality speakers. In this article, we are reviewing the top 20 bookshelf speakers specifically.
Bookshelf speakers are still widely considered as one of the best mediums through which you can listen to your music or watch movies. Many of them also offer Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which makes them even easier to both use and set up. Many of these speakers also support the various streaming services that many people use.
It’s important to discern between active speakers, with built-in amplification, and passive models, which will need to be connected to a sound source. This list will focus mainly on active speakers, but there are also a few passive models as well. In the first half, we are going to cover premium models, while the last half is reserved for excellent budget speakers. So, whatever your price range, don’t be afraid to dive deep into the nuanced world of bookshelf speakers.
10 Best High-End Bookshelf Speakers
Ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, these are the top premium bookshelf speaker models available now.
We will start the list with this instant classic. The Edifier R1280DB is made out of black wood, which gives it an instantly recognizable look. These bookshelf speakers bring you an amazing, studio sound quality.
The sound can be finely tuned with bass and treble controls on the side of the main speaker. The R1280DB can also be enjoyed completely wirelessly thanks to embedded Bluetooth technology. Just connect it to an Android, PC, tablet, or iPhone.
On the back side, it has coaxial and optical inputs, which guarantee you a high-quality, lossless connection to your TV. RCA and AUX connections are available as well. These Bluetooth speakers are available in wood grain and black. They are absolutely amazing mid-range bookshelf speakers that will leave you quite satisfied.
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speaker
Next, we have ELAC’s uni-fi UB5, which are also high-quality mid-range speakers with astounding sound. They feature an unorthodox 3-way design that delivers crisper sound than the standard, 2-way designs. This audio solution also cuts down the price of speakers considerably.
The speakers’ frequency response range goes from 46 to 25,000 Hz. The sensitivity is set to 85 dB at 2.83 v/1m. For better imaging and performance, the speakers have a custom-designed concentric driver. The bass frequencies will send chills down your spine thanks to the high-quality aluminum woofer. Custom-designed binding posts are also there to make sure that your sound comes through the cables completely unaffected.
These come in at a price of around $475, which is a steal for speakers of this caliber. These are fantastic speakers designed to satisfy all audiophiles.
For more quality devices like this, check out our guide to the best tower speakers.
ELAC Debut 2.0
The guys at Elac further cement themselves at the top of our list with these bookshelf speakers. The Debut 2.0 is a completely redesigned and upgraded entry in widely successful Debut series. Here, we have premium speakers that are easily worth 2 times their price, which is about $275.
These 6.5-inch Aramid Fiber Woofers come with a vented pole piece. They feature a dual-flared front port and 1-inch cloth dome tweeter. The 2-way Bass Reflex brings out the most from those delicious low frequencies, and the wide-dispersion waveguide means that your music will hit your ears with crystal clear clarity.
ELAC started producing amazing audio products 90 years ago. Today, they help set the standard of quality, and these speakers certainly prove their strong reputation.
Our guide to the top PC gaming speakers offers some amazing devices for gamers. Be sure to browse them.
Polk Signature Series S15
Polk’s S15 bookshelf speakers are made to produce huge surround sound. To get this premium sound, the speakers feature a dynamic balance acoustic array. Both of the speakers have one Terylene tweeter dome and a 5.25-inch driver that bring out crystal vocals and deep bass. Mica-reinforced cones coupled with a massive ceramic motor bring out an exceptional sound, and the turbulence-smoothing diffuser guarantees that any type of distortion is kept to a minimum, giving you a truly cinematic experience.
For durability, these speakers include Conex fiber. They look stylish, but their design is also performance-oriented. The casing has a vinyl finish, and you can choose between two colors. For versatility, there are various setup combinations: rear, left-right, or surround. If you want excellent and slick-looking bookshelf speakers, look no further.
For some portable options, be sure to check out our list of the best-selling tailgate speaker.
Q Acoustics 3020i
Q Acoustics successfully combines stunning sound with smart design. For durability and support, the Q 3020i features P2P bracing. These speakers also offer a high-frequency driver unit, which lowers vibrations coming from the woofer, resulting in a sound that is remarkably clear and dispersed.
Compared to the previous series from Q Acoustics, this model is 25% taller and offers wider sound with deeper bass. Their structural integrity is improved by removing panel cutouts. These speakers are available in the following colors: carbon black, arctic white, English walnut and graphite gray.
Overall, Q Acoustics 3020i is another solid entry on our list. Your ears will thank you for getting them.
If you are looking for some affordable options for your PC, check out our guide to the top-rated computer speakers under $100.
Klipsch The Sixes Powered Monitor
Here we have a premium set of bookshelf speakers from Klipsch. The Sixes are a culmination of a century’s worth passion for sound. The speakers feature built-in amplifiers that are custom-engineered to provide you with stunning sound quality. They come equipped with an integrated phono pre-amp and Bluetooth technology. So, they can easily be connected to a television, computer, or turntable. On the back, there are also analog RCA and USB inputs.
These speakers are made out of real wood veneer and have high-quality copper knobs and switches. The Sixes also have 1-inch titanium tweeters on Tractrix horns for a precise sound. The woofers are 6.5 inches long and pack enhanced bass. There is also 24-bit decoding that will give you flawless high-resolution sound. You can also add an additional subwoofer. The Sixes are absolutely monstrous speakers that will impress everybody who has the good fortune to listen to them.
For the fans of smart tech, we have prepared our selection of the most popular smart speakers for home.
Audioengine’s HD6 Wireless Speakers
Audioengine’s HD6 speakers are high-quality wireless bookshelf speakers that come armed with massive sound. You can easily connect them to a PC, turntable, or television, and advanced Bluetooth (5.0) guarantees these speakers will also work with any app. Their full stereo sound is both warm and rich. The speakers feature premium analog dual-class A/B monolithic. The power output peak is set to 150 watts (75 watts per channel, 50-watt RMS).
The astounding sound is provided thanks to the 5.5-inch aramid woofers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters. On the back, there is a 3.5 mm mini-jack, SPDI, and RCA L/R input. The 24-bit decoding spec means you will be presented with absolutely flawless audio. All of the components are audiophile-grade.
You’ll also get an aluminum remote control. The HD6s are available in cherry, black, walnut and white. If we are going to Heaven after we die, we would not be surprised if God plays his tunes on these speakers.
Here are some of the top-quality multi-room speakers on the market. Check them out.
LS50 Wireless Powered Music System
At a price of about $2,200, the LS50Ws are for those of us with deeper pockets. They pack seriously pristine sound quality, which is usually associated with more elaborate sound systems. The LS50Ws will allow you to listen to your music wirelessly through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Spotify. Your experience can be customized further through a dedicated app. There are also USB, TOSLINK, and RCA inputs available.
These powered speakers feature a newly designed time-correcting DSP crossover, which lets high and low frequencies hit you at the exact right time. The sound dispersion is achieved through Uni-Q and is of very high quality, no matter the location. Uni-Q is combined with a 24-bit DAC and a 230-watt amplifier. If you are in need of more bass, the LS50Ws can output sound through the additional subwoofer. The speakers are available in the following color schemes: white/copper, titanium/red, and gloss black/blue. Overall, these are amazing bookshelf speakers that are well worth their price.
Kanto YU6 Powered Speakers
The first thing you notice when you play music through Kanto’s YU6s is that they are insanely loud. Remarkable sound comes from handcrafted MDF cabinets that are 10.7 inches tall and of acoustic grade. Crystal highs and balanced mids are delivered masterfully thanks to the 5.25-inch KEvlar drivers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters. Streaming is made easy with built-in Bluetooth that comes with Qualcomm aptX technology. The speakers also feature an integrated phono preamp and can easily connect to any turntable.
To conserve your power, the YU6 has automatic power-up and standby modes. The sound can be intricately balanced through the use of remote control or Bluetooth. On the back side, the YU6 features the following: RCA, AUX, and 2x TOSLINK inputs, phono/line switch, and a USB charge port for your phone.
They’re available in the following colors: matte/gloss white, gloss/matte black, gloss red, matte gray, and bamboo. These are elegantly designed premium speakers that will make you forget all of your worries, while sweet sounds massage your ears.
Paradigm Monitor SE Atom Bookshelf Loudspeaker
To conclude this first part of our list, we have Paradigm’s Monitor SE Atom bookshelf loudspeaker. They have a minimalistic but stylish design. The SE Atom features X-Pal dome tweeters that are made out of pure aluminum and have perforated phase-aligning lens. That is a fancy way of saying that the tweeters block out unwanted frequencies, leaving you with crystal clear sound.
The PPA lenses will also protect your tweeters from getting damaged. The speakers also have premium mineral-filled polypropylene cones that provide you with excellent bass and mid-frequencies.
The Monitor SE Atoms are available in matte black or gloss white. If you want to dip your toes in the world of high-end bookshelf speakers, these are a solid starting point.
You may also be interested in some of the best ceiling speakers from our list. Check them out.
10 Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers
Don’t have as much to pay? You don’t have to! Check out these 10 low-price, high-quality bookshelf speakers.
Polk Audio T15
The T15s are 100-watt bookshelf speakers from Polk Audio that combine premium sound quality with an affordable price. Well-balanced natural sound is produced thanks to the 1-inch tweeter and 5.25-inch driver that also features Dynamic Balance technology. The bass sound is massive and will make you want to throw a party just so others can hear their quality.
For the best performance, put the speakers in a small to medium-sized room and hear them work their magic. The speakers are also compatible with most AV receivers, so you can easily construct an amazing home theater experience. There is also keyhole slot for wall mounting.
Polk Audio is renowned for making great speakers that are accessible to anyone. Maybe its time to find out why.
In the category of budget speakers, Edifier’s R1280T is an absolute best seller. The first thing you will notice when you turn this speaker on is the amazing richness of its bass notes. You can credit that to a combination of a flared bass reflex port and a 4-inch bass driver. Distortion is limited with the help of Digital Signal Processing and Dynamic Range Control. These speakers can also be connected to multiple sources through dual RCA inputs. On the back, there is also an AUX connection.
Visually, these speakers are an interesting combination of old-school and modern aesthetics. And aside from them being bookshelf speakers, they are pretty popularly used with turntables as well. The sound can be customized to your liking through bass, volume, and treble dials, all of which are on the side of this active bookshelf speaker. Specific sounds can be adjusted from -6 to +6 dB.
To save your ears, the volume is automatically set to comfortable levels every time you turn on the speakers. The R1280Ts don’t feel like budget speakers at all. For a price of less than $100, these are a complete bargain.
For an enhanced TV experience, be sure to pick your favorite wireless speaker for TV from our list.
For the price of a mere $60, you can have the MB42 bookshelf speakers by Micca. It is important to note that these are passive speakers, though, which have to be used with a receiver or an amplifier. The woofers are made from woven carbon fibers, which give out deep bass, and high-quality sound with smooth treble is achieved thanks to the 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter. The sound is accurately reproduced with vocals are coming out with great clarity. An integrated driver is there to guarantee great sound dispersion.
The impedance of these speakers is 4-8 Ohms. The MB42 speakers have an excellent design, which blends very easily into any room. The dimension of the speaker is 9.5 (H) x 5.8 (W) x 6.5 (D) inches. These are ideal budget speakers if you need additional firepower for your home theater.
If you are also looking for the right outdoor waterproof Bluetooth speaker, be sure to browse our list of the best ones in the market.
Dayton Audio B452
Although the B452 speakers are small in size (4.5 x 5.5 x 6 inches), they pack big sound. They feature improved polypropylene cone woofers with a 4-layer voice coil that provides excellent sound balance. Combine it with a 5/8-inch Ferro polycarbonate tweeter, and you have surprisingly good sound.
Durability is achieved with a wood-composite cabinet that also minimizes distortion and unwanted resonance. The bass quality is solid, but the frequency response ranges from 85-20,000 Hz, which is a bit unsatisfying. The speakers do feature a built-in keyhole, which makes wall-mounting a walk in the park.
The B452s are available in black ebony with a pica vinyl finish, which easily blends it into any room. All in all, these are great budget speakers that you can get for the price of a dinner.
Here are some space-saving in-wall speakers you may be interested in. Check them out.
Dual Electronics LU43PB
Dual Electronics’ inexpensive but high-quality speakers project 3-way sound, which means they can be used in various outdoor and indoor settings without compromising the integrity of the sound. The LU43PWs provides you with 100 watts of power and 50 watts RNS. The frequency ranges from 100Hz to 20kHz, which is a bit on the low side. Great sound quality is provided, however, with 1-inch polypropylene cones and 3/4-inch tweeters.
These speakers can also be installed easily on walls or even the ceiling, and have a 120-degree range of motion. The LU43PWs also have a weather-resistant coating that makes them quite durable. The dimensions of these speakers are 8.25 inchs high x 5.25 inches wide x 5.25 inches deep. The nominal impedance goes from 4 to 6 ohms. The speakers are available in black and white. Overall, these are amazing speakers that offer more than their budget price would suggest.
The Micca COVO-S is another slick-looking budget speaker model. They are small, which makes them easy to put anywhere your heart desires, but the power of the sound remains impressive. You can thank the patented concentric driver design for that because it maintains amazing clarity, even through the crossover region (6 dB) between woofer and tweeter.
The 3-inch wool paper woofer has a cone design that provides amazing sound dispersion. Crystal clear treble is achieved with a 0.75 inch PEI dome tweeter, and smooth bass notes are amplified because of the ported enclosure. Distortion is nearly non-existent with these speakers. These are another great option that will work best in a medium or small-room setting. Be wary though, as they are not self-powered and require speaker wire and an amplifier.
Dayton Audio MK402
The engineers at Dayton Audio surprise us yet again with this pair of bookshelf speakers. Here we have smaller, 4-inch treated paper woofers that are particularly well optimized for low-frequencies, and the frequency range covers everything from 60Hz to 20,000 kHz. The 3/4-inch tweeter also offers wide audio dispersion and reproduces high frequencies with crystal clarity.
Visually, the MK402 features a slick, black, vinyl finish that is as cool as its durable. The geometric design of the cabinet adds additional punch to the sound. The speakers are compatible with most receivers thanks to the impedance of 4 ohms, and the dimensions of these speakers are 9.5 x 5.75 x 6.6 inches. All in all, this is a beautiful looking pair of speakers that will impress you with its abilities.
Micca ON3 3-Inch Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Micca strikes once again, with these stylish looking speakers. The ON3 powered bookshelf speakers offer rich sound that can be intricately controlled to fit all your music types. The 3-inch full-range driver has a fibrous paper cone and rubber inside. The high notes are improved, and distortion is reduced due to the combination of the voice coil, shorting ring, and a center cap. And your ultimate convenience is ensured thanks to the light remote control.
The driver suspension and enclosure port work together to provide bass frequencies down to 50 Hz. As icing on the cake, the ON3s also offer dual EQ profiles and DSP tone shaping on its advanced amplifier. The front grill of the speaker can be removed thanks to the magnetic attachment system if you are wanting another look. These speakers can easily work with tablets, projectors, computers, turntables, and televisions. So, these are cool little speakers that will leave you completely satisfied.
Pioneer’s SP-BS22-LR looks just like any regular speaker, but don’t let that fool you. They can handle 80 watts of power and have nominal impedance set to 6 ohms. The cabinets are curved and RF molded in order to reduce internal distortion and provide excellent durability. For improved bass, both speakers have a vented pole piece.
These 4-inch woofers pack a 1-inch high-quality soft dome tweeter that smooths higher frequencies to bring you a sonically pleasant experience. The crossover is comprised of 6 elements and is surprisingly complex. It blends the audio between tweeter and woofer and provides amazing accuracy. The front speaker grills can also be removed if you prefer to see the interior. The SP-BS22-LRs will leave you impressed and finally prove that you don’t need expensive speakers to get great sound.
Swans Speakers – M10B
Last but not least, we have the M10B model from Swans Speakers. These 3 matching speakers can be used both as a computer and bookshelf speakers. The cabinets are finished with high-quality lacquer. The 20-mm soft dome tweeters are here to provide clear sounding highs, and the 3-inch woofers give you warm mids.
On the front, there is a stylish volume knob that lights up in blue when the speakers are powered on. Brushed aluminum drivers guarantee a clean aesthetic and perfectly delivered sound. A subwoofer is also included to provide delicious bass sounds. These speakers have a frequency range of 120Hz to 20kHz, and the signal to noise ratio is greater than 88 dB. These speakers can easily be connected to numerous media devices. The M10Bs are available in black or white. They really are a great choice, considering the price.