Best Bookshelf Speaker Reviews 2020/2021 – Stereo Speaker Sets For Every Budget
Best Bookshelf Speaker Reviews 2020/2021 – Stereo Speaker Sets For Every Budget
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The Best Bookshelf Speakers of 2021 deliver accurate and powerful accurate audio performance and bring the realistic legendary sound similar to one in movie theaters, concert halls, and recording studios and to your living room, home office, or bedroom.

These speakers are designed to look good in every room. They are inspired by top-of-the-line designs and word with today’s most advanced and stylish televisions and electronic components and go with the perfect union of great sound and contemporary beauty.

Enjoy listening to your favorite jams with these affordable shelf speakers that feature wide-dispersion woofers and tweeters for thrilling sound that keeps you rocking.

These durably-constructed speaker systems will refresh your appreciation for your music collection.

Enjoy your favorite music in any room of the house with quality sound from these great speakers for the bookshelf.

Best Bookshelf Speakers In Different Price Ranges

There are few who do not enjoy music, and from the ones that do, pretty much everyone loves it clear and loud. This is where high quality best bookshelf speakers come in. These are usually small and compact so they can fit right into your bookshelf. But, they also provide sound much greater than their sizes.

A lot of factors need to be taken in before buying a bookshelf speaker. The easiest way to do this is by heading to a store and checking the sound quality, but one might not always have the time for it.

You may order off of a website where you will have to choose one from hundreds simply by the specifications. This invites in a lot of technical and unfamiliar terms that will surely confuse you.

Things like impedance and woofer size play an integral part in telling you what to expect from a particular speaker. This article breaks down this crucial information.

Thus, you can know more about what you are buying and can make the right choice depending on your needs. It also lists some of the best bookshelf speakers you can score for a very reasonable amount of money.

Best Affordable Bookshelf Speakers

The best affordable bookshelf speakers offer legendary sound, classic look, exceptional quality, and value. Small bookshelf speakers can provide big sound.

These models may not be large, but they are packed with a high-resolution audio punch. They deliver high-resolution audio, so you hear the music just as it was recorded.

Check out the table below if you want to find out more about the best cheap bookshelf speakers.

[table id=1 /]

Gadgets in this price group provide an excellent foundation for a multi-channel home theater system or a stereo-only music system.

These best inexpensive bookshelf speakers would suitably fill out your home theater with surround sound, enliven your dorm or apartment with music, or provide a gentle background ambiance in your bedroom or studio.

[table id=7 /]

Sony SSCS5

Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair) - BlackCHECK CURRENT PRICE

When trying to find the best bookshelf speaker that is currently available in the marketplace, one of the most important things that should be taken into account would be a brand name, as it will be indicative of the quality.

As the SSCS5 model is made by Sony, you can be confident that this will be an option that will not lead to frustration.

When it comes to technical specifications, this can also be classified as a winner within the product category. It has an impedance of 6 ohms, a frequency response of 80 to 50,000 hertz, and 100-watt maximum output power.

Based on the bookshelf speakers reviews shared by those who have used such in the past, it is exceptional with regards to durability. Even after several years of use, you can expect the product to be still functional, and most importantly, the audio output to be still superior. This benefit is most probably because it is made by a highly-trusted brand.

Even in spite of the affordable price tag, you can anticipate that quality is never compensated. This is unlike in the case of other cheaper models wherein you can expect the quality and functionality to be inferior as well.

This pair of bookshelf speakers will undoubtedly provide great value for your money. Even if the technology that is found in such is said to be traditional, you can expect for it to perform better or at par with the newer options that you will be confronted with.

Klipsch R-15M

Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker (Pair)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The founder of the Klipsch, Paul W. Klipsch was an inventor and an engineer. He was a definite genius for creating this masterpiece of a speaker that is loved by audiophiles all around.

The Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker primarily attracts customers with its beautiful black exterior. There is also a hint of shiny copper that compliments the black background and goes all sorts of interiors. The speaker gives off a classy and elegant vibe, all the while being super-efficient at its job.

It leaves very little footprint, a great product for the environment conscious people. It is a great option of minimalists due to its compact design. Though the delivery of sound is anything but simple.

Although the small size is deceiving to the eye, the woofer is more than powerful than you would imagine. This is especially clear once you turn this little box on and hear it for yourself.

Despite the size, it packs a punch of sound to the point that it will not even require a sub-woofer. Since it is small, the bass is not as loud. Though it is more accurate and to the point, which a lot of people prefer to the loud bass without clarity.

These pairs of Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker are a great upgrade over any other ones. You may be rest assured to hear sounds and nuances you had not been able to beforehand which will help you achieve a new experience in the world of sounds.

The driver is a 5.25”, but despite that, the low-end extensions perform well. There is no shrillness, but the audios actually sound pretty massive.

It will, however, take a while for the sound to get better. Right away, you might not feel the punch with these speakers. But after a few uses once you give it some time, you will surely see the difference and be glad of the purchase.

A small con is that the low ends are not fully pronounced but it is nothing a good subwoofer could not solve. But, if you are okay with a normal range at a reasonable price, this pair is a great choice.

Klipsch Synergy B20

Klipsch has never stopped to amaze me. Their Synergy series has brought a lot of meaning to what a quality delivery is like, speakers with excellent accents and exceptional state of performance are what they’re aiming to deliver.

Now another revolutionary speaker has been born – the Klipsch B20 Synergy Bookshelf Loudspeakers, a mid-level speaker that can bring you to above standard performance.


The range that Klipsch Synergy B-20 Bookshelf Loudspeaker produces can never be disappointing. Instead, it’s a more satisfying and a perfect, exceptional speaker in a very affordable package.

And you know what? These speakers solved a lot of things in my little music/movie room because it’s like producing a nicely blend audio that could make you really appreciate the sound.

And what about movies? Well, if you’re talking about the surround sound, this is the speaker to get, cheap, and yet it maximizes the output quality that you could find on other high-end surround speakers.

You will get the maximum detail in a maximum quality; Klipsch delivers digital audio that every one of us would love to experience.

But that’s not all. This speaker offers not only a winning delivery performance but a look and a style perfectly fashioned as a décor in my hub that comes with a black ash finish with titanium accents. What a beauty it is.

It is terrific to have something that cost less, yet brings the level of performance into what quality is defined. You could do no wrong with this kind of speaker system whether you’re a typical man or even a musical–movie person like me.

This third generation bookshelf speakers model provides features that satisfy every occasion.

When you buy a pair of B20s, you may also want to look into the Klipsch Synergy C-1 Center Channel speaker and a subwoofer.


  • Stylish design for bookshelf placement
  • 5.25″ woofer and one 0.75″aluminum dome tweeter
  • Unique Tractrix Horn technology
  • Power handling: 75 w nominal / 300 w peak
  • Frequency response range: 62Hz – 23kHz +/-3dB
  • Sensitivity: 92.5dB @ 2.83 volts/1 meter
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Crossover frequency: 2250Hz
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 7 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds

When talking about the Klipsch Synergy B20 speaker set, the first thing that would come to mind is the fact that they are bookshelf speakers.

While specified to fit in a tight space with other objects, this compact commodity has better sound quality than other speakers of the same or larger heights. Unnecessary treble from noises are filtered, and the resulting presentation is crisp and clear, a fact adored by all users of these marvelous units.

The tiniest detail in the sound full of different voices and noises can be heard perfectly, even letting the ears pick up on a specific noise without too much hassle. The sound control is excellent as well, because most rooms where these speakers would be used are medium-sized, and in that amount of space, just an average level of volume is enough to liven up the whole atmosphere.

They can contain their own sound too, which means they are perfect for residential usage. The only notable disadvantage that could come with using the B20 speakers would be relying on a sub-woofer to make the quality of the audio presentation indeed reach its maximum potential. Otherwise, these are just about the best speakers anyone could ask for in their size.

Best Midlevel Bookshelf Speakers

These are great for use where high-quality audio is needed.

These speakers are built for value and sound quality, boasted with a stylish look that complements today’s flat-screen technology. They produce rich and warm sounds making your music and movies sound their best.

These systems deliver everything from the softest whisper to the most intense action with unbelievable clarity. Experience the power, detail, and emotion of all your favorite movies and music with these shelf speaker systems.

Pioneer SP-BS22A-LR

If you are looking for a pair in the affordable category, you should also check out Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed 4CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Just like in the case of the model from Sony that has been mentioned above, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed speakers have gained its popularity because of its reasonable price point. It serves as proof that excellent speakers do not always have to punch holes in the pocket as they can be made affordable.

More than its affordable price, many people have opted for this model because of the true curved cabinet design. This makes it a visually-appealing item in any entertainment room or to anywhere it is intended to be placed. Its design does not only make it appealing but also contributes to the reduction of standing sound waves for better output.

It is equipped with soft dome tweeter with high efficiency. If you are unfamiliar with such, it is basically the one that is responsible for the ability to play louder audio in the absence of using too much power. This technology has been specially developed by Pioneer to set its product apart from others within the competitive landscape.

Aside from the tweeter, another important feature that should be given emphasis would be the 6-element high-quality crossover, which has been also specially designed by the manufacturer. This will provide you with the guarantee of the highest quality of audio, different from what you can expect with the models that make use of inferior crossovers.

Lastly, it is also integrated with a woofer that is known for improving bass accuracy and rigidity. It is very seldom that you will be able to find a model that is made in order to deliver the highest level of accuracy when it comes to bass response.

If the crisp and powerful sound of SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers will inspire you to expand your setup, the Pioneer SW-8MK2 powered subwoofer and SP-FS52 floor-standing loudspeakers will be a great addition to your home cinema system.

Yamaha NS-333

Yamaha NS-333 2-Way Bass Reflex Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The Yamaha NS333 has been specifically designed to mimic the effect of home theatre. Yamaha as a brand is very well known for their gadgets and have held up the quality for ages.

This pair of speakers from them is no exception to it. They have some of the best quality audio devices you will get your hands on.

Yamaha is dedicated to a Natural Sound philosophy, which creates sounds without interventions or alterations with artifacts and coloration. This is possible due to the use of best components and manufacturing practices. Any user will be able to guarantee this philosophy; the products definitely live up to the hype.

The high quality audio playback is as natural as it can get, thanks to the customs, beliefs, and techniques of Yamaha. There are no additions or subtractions of the sounds or tones. So, you get to hear exactly what the original sounded like. Be prepared for an authentic experience!

The highs are bright, and not brittle at all. The mids are open and warm without any muddle with beautiful staging. The lows are pretty tight and deep which will compliment most sorts of music and audios.

A common problem with many speakers is that the sound gets distorted at high volumes. This is a problem you will not come across with this pair. Even at very high volumes, there is no strain and the sounds come out just as smoothly. So you can crank up the volume without worrying about losing the playback quality.

One of the cons includes the fact that these speakers will need subwoofers if they are to be used for home theatre purposes. Needless to say, you need to pay more for the optional subwoofer.

According to feedback, these speakers are very power hungry. Without the right equipment, you will not be able to get these to work up to their greatest potential. If you do decide to invest in this equipment to pair with the main speakers, it will give you one of the best audio experiences you could hope for, and the investment will be worth it.

Edifier R2000 DB

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers - Near-Field Studio Monitors - Optical Input - 120 Watts RMS - BlackCHECK CURRENT PRICE

These Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers come with Bluetooth technology. This is a feature not available with most other models in this list, making it one of a kind. If wireless is how you like to go, keep this model on your checklist.

First of all these speakers are known to be super flexible. Why? They not only serve as a home theatre as they can be used with computers and gaming consoles as well.

High gloss piano finish is what describes the outlook of these super sleek speakers. Such an exterior goes well with a majority of modern interiors.

Users love everything about this set, right from the start where you have to set it up. It is fairly easy and professionals are not needed.

The build quality is great as well, very sturdy with great finishes. Some users had been skeptic of using these in their bedrooms, but they did not disappoint.

One of the pluses of this model is that this comes with a built-in amplifier. Buying it will enable you to the save cost of getting an extra one for your desired sounds.

The pricing definitely puts one off at first. But, after a good trial, you will find that even though this is not priced as highly, it has high-end attributes. It surely performs like a high-end speaker, and according to some users, is even better than a high-end one.

Users were blown away by the sound quality. From the range of it, to the beautiful crystal clear sound reproduction, pretty much everything is on target.

One can crank this up to real high volumes and the sounds will still not feel distorted or broken, but will be just as clear. But according to purchasers, you will not even have to turn this up to the full volume to get the best out of it as the volumes go real high.

The highs and lows can be heard clearly and have the right balance to them without either distorting away. The base is warm and gives you a full and rich audio experience.

What Is Next?

I am working on reviews of several other bookshelf speaker models I consider adding to my reviews:

  • KEF Q300
  • JBL 306P MkII
  • KEF LS50 wireless speakers

Some of these models fall into the category of best bookshelf speakers under 300, but couple of them will set the base (pun intended) for higher price category review.

Polk Audio RTI A3

The Polk Audio RTI A3 is a pair of speakers with a wooden exterior in cherry. What catches attention at first is the beautiful exterior material that oozes with warmth tones, and the woofer.

The tweeter and air-port found at the front also compliment the wood. Also, they give the speakers an expensive and classy look at an average price. For anyone who wants their speaker to not only sound good but look good as well, this should definitely be on the list.

Polk is a brand known to be very durable and well performing with their devices. That includes the speakers as well. Most of the buyers are users who were looking for an upgraded and long-lasting model.

Looking into what users of this newer model had to say, most of the user reviews are positive. These speakers can easily compete with some of the biggest brands in the market.

Let us come to the main part, which is the audio quality in these Polk Audio RTI A3 Bookshelf Speakers. The bass is very rich instead of being too overpowering and loud which most people do not seem to favor.

The tonal quality is clear and crisp, giving any user the feel of being at an actual concert. You can now experience concert music from the comfort of your own living room.

Some people may consider bookshelf speakers to be of a lesser breed than standing speakers. This one surpasses even stand speakers in performance. And, when paired with the price, users really cannot get enough of it.

Cons include the fact that some users prefer this as computer speakers instead. This is mainly because they feel it has low responses and no high-end fidelity. And this might not suit their living rooms.

Another piece of advice is to have your measurements done right. This is because these are larger in real life than they look in pictures. So, the wrong measurements can have you sending these back and going through a lot of trouble. Take measurements beforehand, and enjoy these speakers hassle free.

Best Expensive Bookshelf Speakers

The Polk Audio RTI A3 are some of the options that you might find when you are looking for a product within this price range. They have enclosures free from resonance to make sure of high-quality audio and also Power port technology for the reduction of noise.

JBL also has loudspeakers at this price point, which has been liked by many of its users because of the incorporation of 1-inch pure titanium dome tweeter that is credited for the maximum frequency of the speaker. It also comes with aluminum waveguides for the improved dispersion of audio.

The speaker from Audioengine is another option that is worth taking into consideration. Even in spite of the compact size of this model, it has the ability to deliver high quality performance to any room at which it is placed. Also, in spite of its size, this model comes with commendable bass response.

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Q Acoustics 3020

Q Acoustics 3020 Bookshelf Speaker Pair (Graphite)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The Q Acoustics 3020 Bookshelf Speakers are marketed as the “The natural choice for small and medium-sized rooms” and it is exactly what it says. At a very compact and tiny size, this one will blow you away with its up-there features and a heap of love from the users in their reviews.

The 2-in-1-ring dome tweeter is responsible for the clear and open sounds. Though the size may put you off at first, its performance will not. All in all, what you get with this pair is a three-dimensional sound stage with precise sounds.

The bass on this is more on the precise side and less on the loud side. It is more about the impact, which is decent. It allows you to clearly hear most of frequencies without it getting distorted at higher volumes. Experimenting with sounds gets easier with this as every different tone is clear.

The speakers are small in size and specifically designed for smaller to medium rooms. Hence, the power of the bass is limited to that.

Using this in a larger room will not make it perform like it is supposed to. Users can, however, add in subwoofers if they feel the need to increase the woofer power. Some users have said that after switching to this pair of Q Acoustics 3020 Bookshelf Speakers they can now hear tones and sounds that they previously could not with their older models and speakers, and that they could not be happier with the investment.

The design is another feature that customers love about this model. It has a very high-end feel to it even though it is not priced like one. The striking graphite tones go with many different interiors and look very contemporary.

The budget is a definite win here given the great features and qualities and users seem to think so as well. Super clean sound, a great build, quality exterior materials are some of the things this pair sums up to. This is in addition to the most flawless natural sounds that will make you want more.

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (Pair)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The ELAC Debut 2.0 by Andrew Jones sports a beautiful classic black design. It is mainly popular for its great performance for its size. The B6.2 bookshelf speakers are compact in size, making it convenient to keep in small spaces.

This upgraded version of the original speakers has been widely loved by buyers. Unsurprisingly, they are considered to be better than the previous versions. While the original ones had to be placed in specific places to get the best sounds out of them, these do not. They can be kept anywhere and one would still enjoy the same quality of sound.

The tweeter is more resolving than before. And so is the bass that is punchier and has more depth to it.

It has a nice balance to it, which makes the sounds precise while loud. The sounds are clear and users have had a resolving experience with it.

The highs and midranges are good on this passive speaker, and the efficiency is also loved. Many practicing musicians have also given this a thumbs-up for the quality. They say that it is definitely up to the mark even though it is not a high-end or pricey machine.

There are no noticeable distortions, regardless of the type of sounds playing. Used in theatrical films to music shows, its performance has been fairly great.

The main pro of this speaker is that the sound is super clear. Indeed, the quality of the sound is no less than extremely expensive models.

The highs are not too crisp that they will hurt the ears. The lows are not too soft, as they are balanced perfectly with the highs.

There are some cons to it. These speakers do not support Bluetooth, so one has to keep that in mind while buying it. These speakers are made for traditional speaker use. So, they need to be manually connected with a cord to operate. To use Bluetooth though, all you have to do is get a Bluetooth adapter.

The speakers also need a good amount of power to give out its best performance. You may try pairing it with a vintage amp or using a turntable as suggested by some users.

Klipsch RB-61 II

Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers, Black (Pair)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

If budget is never an issue, this will prove to be an unrivalled choice. This is commonly chosen by those who are ready to spend more rather than settle with the cheaper models. As it is expensive, you can be guaranteed that its build quality will also be superior, as proven by many others who have held their hands into such.

The Klipsch RB-61 II model is already the fifth version within the product line. This means that it has the same trusted technology that has been known for many years while making sure that there are improvements done in order to address the past issues and to keep on innovating to match the other models from the competitive landscape.

One of the most advanced technologies integrated into this model is known as the Tractrix Horn Technology, which is exclusive to the manufacturer. The latter is the one that is responsible for power, precision, and clarity, which are three of the most important things in replicating high-quality audio.

When it comes to appearance, this model is sure to be not a disappointment as well. It has ash woodgrain vinyl veneer finish, which is sure to captivate the attention of anyone who will be able to see the speaker. This also makes it easy to be matched with any décor.

Klipsch speakers, including this one, are built on what are known to be their four pillars: wide dynamic range, high efficiency with low distortion, flat frequency response, and controlled directivity. These pillars make sure that this model will be one of the best you could ever have.

Audioengine A5+

Audioengine A5+ (Plus) Powered Speaker | Desktop Monitor Speakers Computer Sound System | 150W Premium Powered Bookshelf Stereo Speakers Pair, AUX Audio, RCA Inputs/Outputs, Remote Control (Bamboo)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Audioengine A5+ is another option that can prove to be perfect for those who do not care about how much they spend, as long as they are sure that the best quality is enjoyed. It may be shocking in terms of price, but the benefit would be its reliability and build quality.

This an active speaker set. That means it has an amplifier built in, so you just need a source of music to plug in.

While many of the models available are complicated in terms of operations, this model is different in the sense that its use will be a piece of cake. You do not have to be a genius to figure out how you can make the most out of it. The buttons are conveniently placed so that they can be easily accessed when adjustments should be made.

Versatility is one more thing that creates a difference in this model. It is known for more than just being a high-quality speaker. For instance, it has a USB port that can charge your gadget. It also comes with a headphone jack and connections to your computer, which can be also linked with ease as there will be no software or driver requirement.

Many of its users also find delight in the fact that it comes with a small size, making it efficient with the amount of space that is consumed. In spite of its sleek profile, however, power is never sacrificed. It comes with a powerful bass that creates a punch, regardless of whether the speaker is used in high or low volume.

If you are familiar with the A5 model, this is an upgrade from such. This is an improvement of the earlier mentioned, as a response to the problems that have been apparent. With this, you can be confident that this is an investment that you will not regret. While it can prove to be expensive, there is no doubt that this is one of the best.

Polk Audio RTI A1

Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Black)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

As you try to make a well-informed choice on the best that is available, do not forget to take into consideration the design. The Polk Audio RTI A1 speaker features asymmetric cabinet, which is known for the ability to combat vibration. In return, it delivers clearer sound output.

This product is replete in terms of proprietary technology that makes it stand out from the rest of the options that are available. One good example of such technology is known as the Dynamic Balance. This is basically the one that minimizes distortion and resonances that can have a negative impact on the sound that is being reproduced.

Another innovative technology that is worth noting is the laser measurement technology that is used by the motor of the speaker. With such, the performance remains to be consistent, regardless if it is going to be used in high or low volumes.

This Polk Audio speaker is also packed with Acoustic Resonance Control. This innovation is attributed to the suppression of cabinet resonance that can potentially cause distortion. The outcome would be sound that is characterized by clarity and being natural.

Before this speaker is released in the market, which is also the case in other Polk products, it has been rigorously tested to be assured that it passes the highest standards of quality. For instance, it has undergone drop testing to make sure that it will be unsurpassed when it comes to durability.

In many of the opinions shared by its users, beauty, performance, and value sum up the things that can be expected from such. This is a good choice if you want one that has pleasing aesthetics, promising in terms of audio quality, and most importantly, will not hurt from a financial standpoint.

Best High End Bookshelf Speakers

Although the shelf speaker sets within this price range are more expensive compared to the others, they can prove to be the ideal choice if you are looking for an enhanced entertainment experience.

Every dollar spent will prove to be worth it with the quality of sound that it produces. Many of models in this price range can be named among the best bookshelf speakers available on the market right now.

KEF Q350

KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Black)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The speaker system KEF Q350 (a replacement for the legendary Q300R), for instance, features innovative bass technologies that will surely be able to make sounds that will be heaven for your ears.

To add, it also comes with Uni-Q Driver, a patented innovation to the manufacturer, which allows sound to be dispersed on a much wider scale.

A good speaker of such is its exclusive design, which makes the system look a sophisticated addition to any room.

More reviews of best high end bookshelf speakers are coming soon!

A Quick Guide Of The Types of Speaker Drivers and Cones

As you begin your search for the perfect speakers in the market, one of the things that should be given emphasis would be the drivers or cones. They are critical in making sure that the speakers will deliver superior audio quality as they are basically responsible for the production of sound waves from electrical energy.

In the case of bookshelf speakers, you can expect two drivers: tweeter and woofer. The tweeter handles the high end sound requirements, which can be up to 20 kilohertz. On the other hand, the woofer handles the bass end, which is commonly 40 to 100 Hertz.

There are also 3-way speakers, which integrate midrange drivers in order to handle midrange frequencies. For full-range speakers, on the other hand, the low, mid, and high sounds are sourced from a single driver. If you are buying a full-range speaker, I highly recommend that you do not settle with cheaper models as they are often inferior in terms of quality.

Most Important Characteristics of Speakers

It is critical to have an understanding of the technical specifications that are found in the best shelf speakers.

By having an understanding of such, it will be easier for you to make sure that you are going to end up choosing a model that can prove to be suitable for your requirements.

The following are some of the specifications that should be taken into account.

Passive vs Active

Unlike passive speakers, active speakers do not need extra amplifiers or AV receivers. They are built-in and can be plugged in directly for the job. Some even come with microphone pre-amplifiers.

Passive speakers need separate powered mixers. These mixers need to be connected to the speaker. They also have to be of similar power ratings and impedance.

Active speakers are great for those who do not like to carry much. On the other hand, passive ones are a better option for ones who want more flexibility. Also, it is easier to customize with passive speakers by changing components.

Woofer Diameter

The woofer diameter of a speaker depends a lot on the user’s preferences. The larger the woofer is, the more bass it would produce. But if users decide to settle for a smaller woofer, they might have to add in subwoofers later on if they want a louder bass.

You should also check the speaker dimensions to see if it fits in the desired location where you want to keep the speaker. Listening to check the sound is the best option. This is because two 3” woofers will not give, as much as a 6” one, even though it seems as if it should.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a speaker will be basically indicative of the range of sounds that can be produced. The better choice would be one that is able to deliver extreme lows and highs in a way that sounds to be natural.

If you are looking at the higher end models within the product category, your emphasis should be on accurate bass. On the other hand, if you are looking at more affordable models, extended high-frequency response should be your priority. The perfect choice is a speaker with balanced frequencies.

With the bookshelf speakers, most of them range from 45 to 20,000 Hertz.


Speaker impedance is an crucial factor while choosing both speakers and amplifiers. Also known as the resistance, it tells us how much current is being drawn from your amplifier. The lower the impedance is, the lower is the restriction, meaning more current can flow.

As current flow increases, the amp would need more power. So, low impedance means your amplifier has to take a higher load.

High-end amps have wider ranges from 4 to 16 ohms. They can also support speakers with different impedance levels. It is not always wise to go for the lowest resistance though, as a lot of amplifiers will not support it.

Most of the great bookshelf speakers have an impedance of 8 ohms. Other speakers normally have an impedance of 4, 6, or 16 ohms.

Basically speaking, the impedance dictates the electrical resistant encounter that comes across the speaker driver.

It is critical to know the impedance of the speakers that you have to easily match it with an amplifier to reduce the possibility of having distorted sound.


As the sensitivity rating of a speaker increases, the loudness increases as well. In other words, sensitivity measures the effectiveness of the speaker’s ability to convert the input power to the audible sound.

The average sensitivity found in speakers is around 88dB. Speakers with sensitivity below 84db deliver poor sounds. And, best speakers with a range above 92dB deliver a better quality of sound.

Like in the case of impedance, it is important to pay attention to voltage sensitivity to find the right amplifiers for the speakers.

This will be indicative of the loudness of the output within a specified voltage. The voltage sensitivity is normally expressed as X dB per X V input.

For bookshelf speakers, 86 dB will prove to be enough since it is intended for smaller amplifiers.

Power Handling

This specification is expressed in watts and will provide you with knowledge of the amount of power that can be handled by the speakers.

The important thing to do is to first check the output of the amplifier to know what can most probably be the right choice.

Should I Add A Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is a critical addition for the purpose of the reproduction of extremely low bass frequencies. It is a good addition for bookshelf speakers because of its ability to create superior mids and highs, and in the end, guaranteeing fuller output.

Some of you might not be able to appreciate the importance of being able to reach lower frequencies, such as 50 hertz or below. In reality, however, it is very important in order to achieve full-range, which explains why you might want to consider getting a subwoofer.

By adding the subwoofer, you will also be able to enjoy the accuracy and power of bass delivery. With this, you will have a more immersive listening experience, whether you are watching a movie, playing a game, listening to music, or doing other things that are possible with your speaker system.

If you have a pair of bookshelf speakers or considering buying one, you will surely not regret having a subwoofer as well. Based on my experience, as well as that of many others, it takes entertainment to a higher level.


I am currently working on a list of questions that will give some clarity about multiple topics.

Q: Can bookshelf speakers be used as front speakers?
A: Yes! Especially together with the subwoofer

Q: How high should bookshelf speakers be?
A: They should be set up at your ear level using speaker stands or floor plinths. That is because the human ear is capable of precisely locating the position of high-frequency sound sources. If you set up the speakers too close to the floor, the soundstage will be depressed.

Q: What are the differences between 4 ohm and 8 ohm bookshelf speakers?
A: Coming soon!

Q: Which brand offers white bookshelf speakers?
A: KEF Q350 and Audioengine A5+ mentioned above are available in white finish. More coming soon!


A thorough check-up of important factors, followed by skimming through models you can opt for is what will help you to decide on your best bookshelf speakers set for your budget. While all of these are best bookshelf speakers, they are very different at the same time.

From the frequency response curves to the woofer sizes to the designs, a lot comes into play when you decide to invest in a machine.

So take your time deciding on what you really need, the size of your space where you will use your speaker and the kinds of audios you will be listening to the most. A little research and you are good to go!

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