Ben is a writer, musician, and former studio engineer from the UK. His two major passions in life are music and writing, so naturally, he chose a combination of both as his career. Besides writing about instruments, music, and music equipment, he also used to work in recording studios in the East of England. He produced music that has been played on BBC radio and even ran a record label where some of the music he produced was played on MTV. As a self-proclaimed audiophile, Ben emerged himself in the world of music from quite an early age.
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In this article, we’re looking at the best bookshelf speakers available in 2023. Bookshelf speakers are called this because of where they (usually) stand, on your bookshelf! This gives you some idea of what they look like and where you can put them, but they can be used as studio monitors or placed elsewhere in your home.
There are lots of designs of bookshelf speaker, and different features including wired and wireless. If you want some high-fidelity speakers for your home then we’ve provided a list of great options at a variety of price points.
Here are the best bookshelf speakers 2023:
- Klipsch R-41M
- Yamaha NS-6490
- Edifier R1700BT
- Micca OoO
- Klipsch RP-600M
- Edifier P12
- Edifier S1000DB
- Polk Audio T15
- Polk Audio OWM5
- PreSonus Eris E3.5
1. Klipsch R-41M
The best overall bookshelf speakers
If you are looking for bookshelf speakers, it won’t take long until you see Klipsch models recommended. They have a big range and some cleverly designed speakers, including the R-41M.
These are the best-sounding bookshelf speakers available at a reasonable price, and they also have plenty of power, meaning we’ve named them the best bookshelf speakers overall.
Klipsch technology continues to impress, and a lot of the innovations the brand has made can be seen in this set of speakers.
The MDF casing is pretty standard for a speaker of this price point, but it does a good job of reducing vibrations, so you avoid any annoying buzzes. It looks good too, with modern grills and exposed fasteners. It suits most types of decor.
|Image credit: Klipsch Check Price on Amazon|| |
All things considered, value for money and quality Klipsch features, this is probably the most well-rounded option for bookshelf speakers. If you don’t mind combining with an amp, the R-41M is a good choice.
2. Yamaha NS-6490
Great speakers for bass
Yamaha’s range of speakers is very popular. Many of their products are great for a well-rounded sound and build quality. The NS-6490 speakers are some of the best bookshelf speakers for bass. The sound is not top-rated when compared to audiophile models, but for most home listening it is superb.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Price on Amazon|| |
For the money, they offer plenty of sound quality. Yamaha is a brand you can trust and their speakers are high standard. This model isn’t the top audiophile model of speakers, but they are great for most casual listeners and music or film lovers.
3. Edifier R1700BT
The best active bookshelf speakers
If you don’t want the extra hassle of anamplifier, active speakers are a great choice. The Edifier R1700BT are anexample of great active speakers. They aren’t the most powerful, but they’re finefor filling an average sized room with audio. Plus, you don’t have to hook themup to an amplifier.
Edifier specialize in bookshelf speakers. You get a lot of tech features for your money and reliable audio at a price point that doesn’t break the bank. The compatibility means these speakers are good for the modern user.
|Image credit: Edifier Check Price on Amazon|| |
Lots of modern models of bookshelf speakers are including features like Bluetooth. Edifier are doing it very well, and though these aren’t high-end speakers for recording studios and the like, they’re perfect for home listening. For a simple setup, it is worth considering the Edifier R1700BT.
4. Micca OoO
The best compact bookshelf speakers
The Micca OoO bookshelf speakers aren’t made by a brand that is a household name. That doesn’t mean they don’t offer quality, though. These are some popular, small, compact bookshelf speakers, ideal if you are short on space.
If you’re looking for speakers that don’t take up precious space in a small room or apartment, the OoO speakers prove you don’t have to sacrifice quality.
These speakers are not only small, but lightweight and flexible. You can install them wherever you want, and they can be used horizontally or vertically depending which suits. You can also get mounting kits to mount these speakers on the wall. They can be added to 7.1 and 5.1 surround setups.
|Image credit: Micca Check Price on Amazon|| |
Size is possibly a consideration when you are looking to buy bookshelf speakers, but you don’t have to compromise with products like the OoO from Micca.
5. Klipsch RP-600M
The best audiophile speakers
The ‘best’ bookshelf speakers can mean many different things, depending on your budget and what you need. However, if you’re looking for the best-sounding bookshelf speakers, it is hard to look beyond the Klipsch RP-600M.
These are top-quality speakers and you can see this from the build quality. Only the best materials are used, and this is reflected with amazing acoustics and crystal clear audio.
|Image credit: Klipsch Check Price on Amazon|| |
If you are in the market for the very best when it comes to audio clarity and build quality, these bookshelf speakers should get the sea of approval even from audiophiles. The Klipsch RP-600M are impressively made speakers.
6. Edifier P12
The best budget speakers for wall mounting
The P12 is another option from Edifier. The brand makes some great speakers for a budget price, and these are available for under $100. They’re one of the best budget options out of all the bookshelf speaker reviews we’ve created. Another thing we really like is the fact they can be wall mounted with such ease.
I know, why call them bookshelf speakers if you’re going to wall mount them? The term ‘bookshelf’ has just become a category of speaker really, wherever you use them.
|Image credit: Edifier Check Price on Amazon|| |
These bookshelf speakers do a good job at a low price. They aren’t ultra high-end or exceptionally clear, you wouldn’t use them to mix and produce a number one album. However, for casual home listening and easy mounting, the Edifier P12 bookshelf speakers are a respectable option. They’re some of the best budget bookshelf speakers available.
7. Edifier S1000DB
Good active speakers for audiophiles
Audiophiles need convenience, too! If you want high-quality audio, but you don’t want the extra hassle of incorporating an amp into your setup, the S1000DB powered speakers could be the answer for you.
These speakers look classy and have some high-end features, all at the under $500 price point. These speakers are reliable and have some modern features to suit modern devices and listeners. Use them wirelessly or connect to your sound system for high-fidelity listening.
|Image credit: Edifier Check Price on Amazon|| |
If you are looking for modern features and connectivity, excellent audio response and plenty of power, these speakers could be for you. The larger woofers give plenty of punch. Though they’re a bit more expensive than some of the other options on the market, the Edifier S1000DB bookshelf speakers offer a lot for the price.
8. Polk Audio T15
An affordable option
The Polk T15s are the most affordable on our list of top 10 bookshelf speakers. They aren’t the most elite product on the list, but if you are looking for bookshelf speakers on a budget, these might be a good option.
They can be used as their standardconfiguration for a L/R speaker system, or you can integrate them with otherspeakers to create a 5.1 audio setup. These bookshelf speakers aren’t just goodfor music, they work for home cinemas too, all at a great price.
In spite of being a cheaper option, they still have a fair bit of power, and some decent, modern features.
|Image credit: Polk Audio Check Price on Amazon|| |
If you are looking for a cheaper option, you’ll be pleased to know you can find bookshelf speakers like this that don’t cost a huge amount. The Polk Audio T15 are cheap, but that doesn’t make them low-quality.
9. Polk Audio OWM5
The best curved bookshelf speaker
Another option from the Polk brand, and one of the most flexible speakers on the list. They are sold as single speakers, rather than a pair. Be aware of this before you make your purchase.
The curved design means 9 different placement options and mounting angles. Mount them horizontally, vertically and even in the corners of your room, great for people who are short of space.
As well as being good for music, these speakers are popular for gamers and for mounting around the room as part of a theater setup. Surround sound audio can be achieved with multiple Polk speakers.
|Image credit: Polk Audio Check Price on Crutchfield|| |
If you are looking for a home theater setup, these bookshelf speakers are great. They mount flexibly in a lot of different spaces and can make part of a surround sound system.
10. PreSonus Eris E3.5
The best speakers for acoustic tuning
PreSonus is another brand that has grown a lot in recent years, and the Eris E3.5 speakers are primarily designed as a set of studio monitors. They’re suitable for producing or listening to music in high detail. However, there’s nothing to stop you from using these as bookshelf speakers.
They’re not the most powerful speakers you’ll ever come across, PreSonus make bigger speakers for this, but the E3.5 are compact and do a good job of reproducing music and audio from films or games.
|Image credit: PreSonus Check Price on Amazon|| |
All things considered, for the money, these speakers are fantastic. If you don’t need a big, booming sound, then the Eris E3.5 from PreSonus could be a top option.
A quick look around the electronics section of a store, online or offline, will show you just how many companies are making bookshelf speakers. This means lots of choice, and lots of different features. Decide on what you need from speakers and how much space you have for them before purchasing.
Our list shows 10 of the very best options for bookshelf speakers, with a variety of active/passive speakers as well as many different sizes and prices. There’s bound to be something to suit your needs.
Most notably there is a difference in the frequency response in each set of speakers. The Ai41 have a frequency response of 35Hz-20kHz (DSP Enhanced), while the Ai61 measures at 32Hz-20kHz (DSP Enhanced). That difference means that the Ai61 produce more low-end bass frequencies than the Ai41.What is the difference between Ai61 and Ai41? ›
Most notably there is a difference in the frequency response in each set of speakers. The Ai41 have a frequency response of 35Hz-20kHz (DSP Enhanced), while the Ai61 measures at 32Hz-20kHz (DSP Enhanced). That difference means that the Ai61 produce more low-end bass frequencies than the Ai41.Are speakers better today than 20 years ago? ›
A modern speaker is a device that has been in production for less than 20 years. That means that they are more energy-efficient and have better power handling capabilities than vintage speakers, making them ideal for use in outdoor or car audio applications.How long should bookshelf speakers last? ›
Depending on the materials they're made of and the environmental conditions of where the equipment is used, high-quality speakers typically last up to 40-50 years before showing any signs of damage.Are expensive bookshelf speakers worth it? ›
In general, the most expensive speakers are only worth it if you are working in audio production and listening to extremely high-quality media. Even then, the space you are in will play a huge role in audio quality. Click here to learn about the key differences between home theater surround sound and hifi systems.Are old speakers worth keeping? ›
Some older speakers were designed so well that they still outperform a good portion of speakers from even today; while others were made from lesser materials which meant they didn't last very long. There was a wide variance in the durability of these speakers, even more so than today.What is the average lifespan of a speaker? ›
Mid-range speakers usually last for one to three years if they are used in moderation. High-quality speakers can last for three or more years and, in some cases, a lifetime! It all depends on how often they're used and how well they're maintained.Do speakers go bad if not used? ›
Loudspeakers will not deteriorate from not being used any more than they would if they were in use.How do I choose a bookshelf speaker? ›
Bigger speakers don't equal better sound. What they do equal, more often than most, is more volume. A larger size means more room for amplification circuitry, if the speaker is active, and it also means larger drivers. If you value volume, then you may want to look at a larger bookshelf speaker.
The general rule is to put bookshelf speakers at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions, angling them towards your preferred listening position. The tweeters should be at ear-level for optimal performance.
Many audiophiles who love music that is small in scale (like a jazz quartet) love great bookshelf speakers. Their smaller size can make them seem to disappear more than a tower, giving you a great three-dimensional sound stage when you get them on stands away from your walls.Which brand speaker is best? ›
|Best Speaker Brands In India||Best Speaker In India||Speaker Price|
|Sony||Sony SRS-XG300 X-Series Speaker||Rs 27,914|
|JBL||JBL Flip 6||Rs 11,949|
|Bose||Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker||Rs 15,900|
|Harman Kardon||Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7||Rs 17,999|
This proves that not all bookshelf speakers are created equal, and that with the right design and quality components, a standalone subwoofer is not necessarily required to achieve the ultimate audio experience. With all that said, many bookshelf speaker systems are certainly functional without a subwoofer.How much should I spend on a good sound system? ›
If you plan to invest in a home audio system, expect to spend about $4,000 to $6,000. These costs vary depending on the components you choose to install. For instance, if you only install the speakers and wiring systems, you may end up spending as little as $2,000 to $3,000.How do I know if my speakers are good? ›
The best speakers recreate sound very accurately. In other words, they don't color the sound by changing it. Ideally, you hear a sound—a trumpet run, a monologue, a gunshot—as it was intended by whoever recorded it. Unfortunately, no speaker is perfect, but the best ones come awfully close.Do speakers lose quality over time? ›
Loudspeakers eventually wear out due to mechanical wear, particularly in the surround/suspension that connects the cone/diaphragm to the basket/housing. Environmental factors can wear out the speaker with enough time and exposure. Extended high-level audio signals can wear out electrical components.Does replacing stock speakers make a difference? ›
Upgrading Your Stock Car Audio Speakers Can Drastically Improve Sound & Performance. Replacing your stock speakers with aftermarket, high performance car audio speakers is the #1 way to get better sound from a car stereo.How much is a good speaker? ›
Beginner Keynote Speakers: Free. Intermediate Keynote Speakers: $500-$1,500. Established Keynote Speakers: $1,500-$5,000. Advanced-Level Keynote Speakers: $5,000-$25,000.Are old or new speakers better? ›
Newer speaker systems feature much higher wattage, enabling them to be played at higher decibels without sacrificing quality. This deviates greatly from your old speaker set, which may start to shake or stutter when played at loud volumes. Speaker systems are now increasingly more efficient than ever before.Do new speakers sound better? ›
The answer to the question of whether upgrading your speakers will make your stereo sound better is a resounding yes.
The first thing you'll probably notice is that the sound is distorted or that there is a change in the frequency response. Speakers that experience sudden drops in volume have no balance between the left and right speakers, or crackles are all indications that the speakers are worn out.What specs should I look for in bookshelf speakers? ›
Specifications of Bookshelf Speakers
For bookshelf speakers, a frequency response of 50 Hz to 20 kHz is considered ideal. Power Handling: Sometimes called “power,” it is the amount of power in watts a speaker can handle before it becomes damaged. The average bookshelf speaker can take an average of 50 watts of power.
Try to get about 4 feet of separation for bookshelf speakers or 8 feet for floorstanding speakers. If your speakers are too close, sounds will blend together and become muddy. If they are too far apart, there will be a gap between the two halves of the stereo image (more on this later).What is the best height for bookshelf speakers? ›
However a typical rule of thumb is that your ears should be approximately level or slightly below the speaker's reference point or listening axis - generally midway between the tweeter and woofer for two-way designs, or tweeter and midrange for three-way designs.What is a good wattage for bookshelf speakers? ›
Much depends on your listening habits and your speaker's efficiency. If you like loud uncompressed music and your speakers are 90dB efficient, 200 Watts is likely plenty of power for you. If you only listen to light classical, jazz and don't expect them to rock the house, 50 Watts is adequate.Should you mount bookshelf speakers on the wall? ›
For the best possible sound, put 'em on speaker stands. That's ideal, but if you need to mount the speakers on a wall bracket, high up or low down, that's OK too. So only as a last resort should you even think about putting any speaker on a bookshelf.Do bookshelf speaker stands make a difference? ›
Much more than simply a bit of furniture to raise your speakers to the correct height, stands play an incredibly significant role on the overall sound quality, providing your speakers of choice with the perfect environment to operate. The difference in sound clarity and accuracy can truly be night and day.Are speakers better on the floor or on stands? ›
DO recognize audio speakers are most effective at ear-level. If you're a stickler for sound, the floor is not the best place for them. If your speakers are small enough, consider placing them on a desk, shelf or console. DON'T ever put your speakers directly on the floor.Are tower speakers always better than bookshelf? ›
The bigger size of tower speakers allows them to move more air through the drivers than desktop or bookshelf speakers, which generally allows them to produce deeper, more impactful bass than standalone bookshelf speakers. Towers generally have more woofer drivers as well, which creates even more bass.Should I angle bookshelf speakers? ›
One of the golden rules of High Fidelity regards the loudspeakers positioning in relation to the listening position. Bookshelf loudspeakers should be oriented at 10 and 10, angling them towards the preferred listening position.
The good news is your speakers will absolutely sound better after the initial break-in period. In fact, you may want to take care of this step right away so you are more quickly able to enjoy your speakers at their best. Your speakers contain several moving parts but prior to use, they've never actually moved before.Will new speakers sound better? ›
Quality. The main argument against replacing speakers is cost, but installing direct replacement aftermarket speakers can be a great way to bump up your sound quality without breaking the bank. Although it can get expensive, if you upgrade to component speakers, you'll enjoy an improvement in sound quality.What makes the best speakers the best? ›
The best speakers recreate sound very accurately. In other words, they don't color the sound by changing it. Ideally, you hear a sound—a trumpet run, a monologue, a gunshot—as it was intended by whoever recorded it. Unfortunately, no speaker is perfect, but the best ones come awfully close.Which type of speakers are best? ›
- Philips Speakers.
- Zebronics Speakers.
- Sony Speakers.
- JBL Speakers.
- boAt Speakers.
- Bose Speakers.
- Xiaomi Speakers.
A blown speaker can have damage that can be heard with some mechanical movement. If you gently tap on the cone of the speaker it should have a firm drum like sound. If you hear a rattling sound (like a loose snare drum), this is an indicator of a bad speaker.How long should you break in speakers? ›
Be patient. It can 20-30 hours for new speakers to break in and reach their full potential. Don't be discouraged if they don't sound perfect from the start - give them some time and they'll eventually reach that point.How do you store speakers long term? ›
Temperature should be stable (between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit), and relative humidity should be between 25 and 45 percent, with minimal fluctuation on a daily basis. Circulation and ventilation should be encouraged in your storage space, and the space should be kept dark when not being accessed.Will replacing speakers make them louder? ›
These speakers highlight the typical scenario that happens when someone upgrades to a speaker solution that offers smoother frequency response and more bandwidth. The audio system will sound better, but isn't as efficient. When provided with the power they need, the better speakers can play louder.Can too much volume damage speakers? ›
Playing music/audio too loud may cause damage to speakers due to excess heat in the drivers or even mechanical failure of the driver suspension. Speakers have power ratings that, when exceeded (by increasing the amplifier/volume control), will burn/melt the driver coil and damage the speaker.Why put foam in a speaker box? ›
Acoustic foam in speaker enclosures dampens the standing sound waves in the cabinet in the form of resonance. A more uniform response from the peaks and dips formed through the standing waves is best for typical undersized enclosures. Increasing enclosure effective air volume makes the improved bass quality the lowest.
Reduced Ambient Noise
One of the primary reasons why music sounds better at night is because there is generally less ambient noise. During the day, there are numerous sounds and distractions, such as traffic, construction work, and people talking, that can disrupt our listening experience.
One of the most common problems when it comes to getting clear sound from your speakers is that the volume levels are set too high or low. This can be easily fixed by simply adjusting the volume levels on your speaker system. If the problem persists, then there might be something wrong with your speaker system itself.