Last Updated on February 19, 2018 by Tim
If you’re looking for an audio system to grace your bookshelf, it can be hard to decide on the right one, particularly if you’re not familiar with all the terminology and specifications. It’s even more challenging when you’re on a budget. Fortunately, this guide will enlighten you on how to select the best bookshelf speaker whether it’s for your personal use, home office or for your business, plus all the recommended products listed below cost less than $500.
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500
Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers
Why we chose this product:
- It has more output with less energy, enhanced reliability, less distortion & large soundstage with well-defined imaging
- Reproduces localized & ambient sounds with limitless placement flexibility
- Has improved crossover frequencies for both on-axis & off-axis integration
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500, $400 and $300
1. Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers
The Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers is a two-way monitor type speaker which emits first-rate quality of sound. It makes use of a woofer, tweeter and mid-range driver, and with a power of 100 watts, it generates between 45 to 24,000 hertz and up to 95 decibels. Design-wise, this speaker comes in black, with vinyl material resembling wood and they look elegant whatever their background. At 12.3 x 8.5 x 15.4 inches, they’re also just the right bulk for any small to medium-sized room.
2. ELAC B6 Debut Series 6.5″ Bookshelf Speakers
Another excellent speaker is the B6 Debut Series 6.5″ Bookshelf Speakers from ELAC. This is a 2-way, bass reflex speaker and for a size of 8.5 x 14 x 10 inches, it’s quite powerful at 120 watts. It’s capable of yielding 44 to 20,000 Hz and 87 decibels. The cabinet is made of medium-density fiberboard while the surface is a simple but classy black vinyl design. The speaker is equipped with a tweeter and a mid/woofer. Music tech lovers will also recognize this speaker’s designer, expert Andrew Jones.
3. Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Dolby Atmos Add-on Speakers
The Pioneer brand has consistently made first-class quality devices, including speakers such as the Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Dolby Atmos Add-on Speakers. Sleek and stylish, this speaker is also compact and light. It’s one of the easiest to install and despite its diminutive size, it’s still capable of Dolby Atmos performance. Power is 80 watts and frequency range 180 Hz – 20,000 hertz with a maximum of 85 decibels. This speaker also utilizes exceptionally efficient tweeters and woofers and it’s designed to aim sound at the ceiling which will bounce down toward listeners for better amplification.
4. Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers
The Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers give out terrific sound and are at the same time durable and made to last. This two-way speaker is fitted with a woofer and a tweeter. Measuring 12 x 7.38 x 11.5 inches, it’s small enough to fit into your bookshelf but is able to produce brilliant sound. The frequency ranges from 60 to 26,000 Hz with a significant power of 125 watts and a noise sensitivity of 89 decibels. The housing is built of medium-density fiberboard and the finish is a beautiful wood veneer.
5. SONOS PLAY
A top favorite among users is the Sonos Play. As a wireless speaker with a measurement of 18.8 x 11.3 x 7.6 inches, it’s one of the most portable. It’s still able to emit crystal clear, precise sound, a pretty good performance from a wireless speaker. This speaker is well-equipped with tweeters, woofers and mid-range drivers and it conveniently streams from any of your devices. It’s also stylish and trendy and is a great upgrade to the décor in your room. Users gauged the frequency to be between 30 to 20,000 Hz and the sensitivity rating is more than 90 decibels.
6. Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speakers
When it comes to great sound, the Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speakers certainly delivers. This two-way speaker’s drivers include a tweeter and a woofer and it comes with a convenient remote control. At 7.8 x 7 x 10.8 inches, they’re sized just right but don’t use up a lot of space. Power is at 75 watts at maximum, with a frequency between 50 to 22,000 Hz and also a 95 decibels sensitivity rating. As for design, it looks simple, without any frills but attractive and well-built.
7. Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 Bookshelf Speaker
The Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 Bookshelf Speaker measures 12.3 x 8.5 x 15.4 inches, small enough to fit almost any space and it looks glossy and well-designed, perfectly able to complement any décor. The frequency is quite good, 47 to 30,000 Hz, and it’s capable of 200 watts of power and 90 decibels. Sound quality and precision are impressive thanks to the drivers which are complete with tweeters, mid-range drivers and woofers. This speaker also offers the convenient option of wall mounting.
– Speaker Parts
Different speaker parts are highly important in creating the right kind of sound. The drivers in the speaker are what actually generate sound. Most bookshelf speakers have at least a woofer and a tweeter and some of them also include a mid-range driver. Low pitch sounds come out of woofers and high pitch sounds from tweeters. The mid-range driver adds to the quality of sound since with it, woofers and tweeters are solely designated to the higher pitched and lower pitched tones. The speaker’s cabinet can also be made of different materials. Each material, usually plastic, wood or fiberboard, also affects sound differently.
– Power, frequency and loudness
The quality of sound a speaker produces can be measured by its power, frequency and loudness. Power is gauged by Watts. This tells us how much energy is converted from the speaker to the amplifier. Frequency or pitch, meanwhile, refers to how high or low the tones are and this is measured in Hertz. The higher the hertz, the higher the frequency and a lower hertz is correspondingly lower in pitch. The accuracy of the pitch created depends on the speaker’s drivers. Loudness is another important consideration for buyers and this is calculated in decibels. To give you an idea of how many decibels are tolerable for most people, a discussion in the office is usually 60 decibels loud and when music is played, it’s around 70 decibels. Anything higher than 70 decibels is already deemed significantly loud.
The speaker’s design and size should be considered as well. Your speaker needs to be a good fit for the space you intend to place it in. Larger, more powerful speakers will suit a larger room while smaller areas require more compact speakers. It would also be an added benefit if the speaker’s appearance enhances the décor of your room or office.