Even if many might not realize it, bookshelf speakers have started with a bad reputation. They first appeared in the 1960 and everyone looked at just like they did for regular small speakers. At that time, small speakers had the reputation of delivering poor sound quality while large, floor-standing speakers were considered to be significantly superior.
Bookshelf speakers changed all that. These compact loudspeakers are being sold as consumer-grade high fidelity speakers that can pack a heavy punch in a small form factor. Over time, technical improvements decreased manufacturing costs while sound quality kept on improving. Today they are part of a separate category of speakers and do not mix with other types of speakers of the same size due to how they are made and the quality they deliver. In general, they come in pairs, but they can be part of a larger home theater system along with a subwoofer or smaller speakers. As the name states, they are intended to be placed on raised surfaces and not directly on the floor due to the acoustics of the enclosure and the type of driver users.
Best Bookshelf Speakers in 2021
For our list, we selected 10 different bookshelf speakers out of hundreds of different models. Their design might seem similar, but there are some key differences between them in terms of frequency response, power output and the enclosure. To keep things short let’s jump right to our list of the top 10 best bookshelf speakers in 2021 reviews.
Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10.Pioneer Bookshelf Loudspeakers Andrew Jones Designed SP-BS22-LR
Check price on Amazon These bookshelf speakers from Pioneer are not only pleasant to look at, but these also come with a reasonable price tag. You can use these to enhance your home theater system or as stereo speakers and expect quality audio all the time. In fact, these speakers can handle a total of 90 watts, and they can deliver superb sound quality and a wide frequency response no matter what the source is.
Among the other great features, you will love about these speakers include a 6-element crossover, a 1-inch soft dome tweeter with outstanding efficiency, and a 4-inch structured surface woofer. Just set it up anywhere you want in your room, connect it to your audio source, and be impressed by the audio quality it offers.
What you have to realize about these speakers is their sensitivity to the mounting height. So, be sure to try different heights for the stand to achieve the finest sound quality depending on the location you are planning to set the speakers up.
9.Sony 5 1/4 Inch Bookshelf Speakers SS-B1000
Check price on Amazon A powerful pair of speakers comes your way with this Sony bookshelf speakers. The SS-B1000 offers 120 watts of power, along with a brilliant design for both the tweeter and woofer. For the size of these speakers, you will not believe how great the sound quality is, despite the absence of a wall-pounding booming bass. These should suffice if you like to fill up the room with good music to keep you and your guests entertained.
On the other hand, if you really want to make the most out of these speakers, it may be worth spending a few more dollars on a subwoofer. This should help you achieve a surround sound quality for an exceptional music listening experience.
8.Dayton Audio 6 1/2-Inch Two-Way Bookshelf Speaker B652
Check price on Amazon This 2-way pair of bookshelf speakers from Dayton Audio is designed for use in a smaller space whether it is in your dorm room, office or apartment. Lightweight and compact, these speakers are just 12-inch tall, yet they boast of a nice quality sound to satisfy your need for great music playing in your indoor space.
You will love the fact that when set at a reasonable volume level, there is no rattling, buzzing, or distorted audio to worry about. Installing these speakers is also easy as there are mounting features including the removable grill, key-hole terminal, and the speaker terminals with a quick-connect design.
But keep in mind that these are simply average, middle-of-the-road kind of speakers, in terms of the audio quality they can produce. There is nothing jaw-dropping about their performance, but for the price you pay, these speakers are worth it.
7.Micca Bookshelf Speakers MB42
Check price on Amazon For decent speakers that will not cause you to break the bank, the Micca bookshelf speakers should be a good choice to consider. These offer an impactful bass because of the woofer with woven carbon fiber, along with the high efficiency silk dome tweeter that gives you a smooth treble. The neutral sound signature of the speaker offers an accurate and superb vocal clarity. So, combined with the excellent features, audio quality, and the classy design of the speakers, this is indeed a practical buy for an avid music lover.
It is worth noting that you will need to use an amplifier with the speakers. However, this is not included in the package, but you can always use an existing amplifier or your home theater receiver without a problem.
6.ELAC B6 6.5-Inch Debut Series Bookshelf Speakers
Check price on Amazon These speakers come with a custom-designed woofer made with aramid fiber that enhances the damping characteristics, as compared with what plastic drivers or conventional paper can offer. The cabinet is also well-built with a glossy vinyl finish and thick MDF exterior walls for optimum strength.
As for the tweeter, there is a deep spheroid design that boosts directivity control while shielding the dome tweeter from the diffraction modes of the cabinet. Lastly, the 5-way gold plated binding posts offer multiple connectivity options to choose from.
When it comes to the appearance, it looks rather simple and nothing out of the ordinary. The workmanship is also average, so you cannot expect to be wowed by these speakers.
5.Yamaha 3-Way Black Finish Bookshelf Speakers NS-6490
Check price on Amazon Yamaha never fails to impress with its sophisticated and luxurious finish, as what you can observe with these bookshelf speakers. But it is not just the appearance that will wow you, but also the build and features on the inside. There are three drivers in the speaker enclosure, which lead to a superior sound output with a frequency response range of 45Hz up to 23kHz.
As there is a magnetic shield to the speakers, you should be able to use these near your TV without any interruptions or distortions to the sound.
Unfortunately, you cannot expect much from this unit if you play a poorly mixed track as it cannot transform the sound into something highly impressive. Also, the midrange is nothing special, unlike with other brands of bookshelf speakers in the same price range.
4.Klipsch 4-Inch Bookshelf Speakers R-14M
Check price on Amazon At 4 inches in height, these speakers can fit easily in your room or any cramped space without a hassle. But even with a small size, you can expect a good audio quality from these bookshelf speakers, thanks to the IMG high output copper-spun woofer for an excellent low frequency response and a 1-inch linear travel suspension tweeter that can reduce the distortion.
There is also the rear-firing port to match the drivers and cabinet while minimizing turbulence such as buzzing and rattling even at very low frequencies.
While these are inexpensive bookshelf speakers, there is nothing extraordinary about the speakers. They serve their purpose well, but these will not suffice to satisfy an audiophile because of the weak bass quality.
3.JBL Bookshelf Speakers Loft 40
Check price on Amazon You will love the slim profile of these speakers, yet without compromising the sound quality. You can set up your multi-channel surround sound entertainment system or a two-channel stereo with these speakers because of the quality sound they offer. You can count on this unit to handle a maximum of 125 watts while ensuring an accurate signal using the Straight Line Signal Path that minimizes alteration from the source. Just as how much you will love the looks of these speakers, the sound quality is equally impressive with an extended bass and accurate vocal clarity.
If you only need a pair of speakers for your home theater, then this product should suffice. But you will need a subwoofer if you plan on using the unit as a front primary surround sound component.
2.Cerwin Vega Two-Way Bookshelf Speakers SL5M
Check price on Amazon Compact and versatile, these speakers are good for a variety of audio applications whether you need these as your main speakers for a home theater or surround sound rear speakers. It can handle as much as 125 watts to ensure you of a clear audio. Plus, with a stunning cabinet to house all the great components of these speakers, you can easily set it up on your desk while complementing your interior space.
When used for your games and movies, these speakers are satisfactory. But if you are planning on listening to orchestra music with this unit, you may have to use speakers with sealed enclosures packed with large woofers.
1.Edifier Wooden Enclosure Bookshelf Speakers R1280T
Check price on Amazon The exterior of these speakers is rather impressive with an elegant wood finish, which should look good on your desk whether at home or in the office. There is a remote control included, so you can easily adjust the volume. However, you can control the treble and bass settings on the side of the speaker. Connecting two devices at the same time is also made possible as there are 2 AUX inputs, and this eliminates the need to plug and switch.
In terms of the sound, the treble and mids are clear enough, but the bass lacks that power you can expect from a subwoofer. There is also a slightly hollow ring that you can detect when listening to the notes.
There are several key elements that need to be looked at when selecting a pair of bookshelf speakers. First of all, it is the frequency response determines how the bass sounds. Second of all the power will determine how loud they are. All the models on our list have wooden enclosures which help a lot with the acoustics. Only one pair of bookshelf speakers have a plastic enclosure. Other than that all of them are well made, deliver excellent sound and decent pricing.