10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200

Dave Mostert
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Looking to buy a new bookshelf speaker? Are you intimidated by all the options available?

Don’t worry, by the time you finish reading this buyer’s guide, I’ll have you an expert.

NameCategoryProduct
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker SystemBest OverallSony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
Micca MB42 Bookshelf SpeakersBudget PickMicca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf SpeakersUpgrade PickEdifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

1. Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System

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Pros:

  • Great audio quality with powerful bass
  • They easily create a surround-sound environment
  • Compatible with wide range of devices
  • Sound performance is exceptional for its price
  • Each speaker weighs 5.3lbs

Cons:

  • The speakers have been known to die after a few months or years of usage
  • They get hot during play

The Sony SSCS5 3-way speaker is an affordable bookshelf speaker that comes with a well-built design and incredible audio quality. These speakers replace the iconic SS-MSP500, which were also really popular. The improved designs allow the speakers to perform better and last longer.

These 1.7" by 6.8" by 8" speakers offer excellent bass output and create a more immersive surround-sound environment when paired together. They're also great for surround sound systems because each speaker is fitted with two 3" mid-range woofers that make the bass sound full and controlled.

The horizontal driver helps in producing detailed mid-range frequencies. The speakers also feature a powerful dome tweeter that generates exceptional highs, completing the audio range. The speakers are also compatible with a variety of devices, including game consoles, CD players, MP3 players, TVs, etc.

2. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Good sound reproduction with crisp highs and lows
  • Driver and amplifier match up well
  • Low distortion from the cone tweeter
  • Can match up with any device with a 3.5 mm input
  • Connects to a wider variety of devices
  • Includes a remote control for hands-free operation

Cons:

  • Not portable
  • Only a single-point input for both audio and power
  • Volume control only adjusts the digital volume on connected devices
  • Speakers are height-adjustable, but stand is not
  • Extra-large size can be awkward

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice great sound, there’s a lot to like about these speaker systems from Edifier.

3. Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Stylish appearance
  • Can be used for bass and bookshelf speakers

Cons:

  • Bass is not too deep
  • May have some issues with connectivity

The RTI A1 speakers from Polk Audio are a cheap option for bookshelf speakers. They are a set of 2 speakers meaning that you can enjoy entertainment with clear and balanced sound.

Additionally, their 1-2.8kHz frequency response makes them more versatile and ideal for bass, bookshelf and surround systems, while also producing clear and rich dialogue and vocals. These speakers come with an 8-ohm impedance – so they are super easy to install and connect.

The sensitivity of 89dB helps to make them as efficient as possible, delivering high-end performance that keeps you happy.

4. Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Well-made cabinet
  • Promotes long-term listening
  • Enhanced mids
  • Adjustable bass and treble controls
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • The included remote could use an update
  • The speakers don’t offer a wired connection option

These speakers have a simple design making them ideal for those of you looking to save space. While the design is simple, they still sound great. Also, the wireless connectivity is compatible with any device, making this system ideal for entertainment systems.

The R1280DB are ideal for people who want great speakers to use in their home studio. However, if you are a small space kind of person, these speakers could be perfect for streaming your favorite tunes or listening to tunes from your favorite playlist.

In addition, the sturdy cabinets are able to handle some light banging around and can stand up to light and medium amounts of use. These speakers can be used for either outputting your music or sound via Bluetooth or from your choice of device via an optical cable.

5. Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Solid performance that’s perfect for a small room
  • Affordable for both high end and low end systems
  • Plenty of power
  • Decent bass response
  • Available in black or cherry
  • Award-winning speakers that come with a three-year warranty
  • Polk speakers are made in the USA
  • Can be used with the Polk subwoofer for an even better sound

Cons:

  • Might have trouble fitting these in tighter smaller rooms
  • Smaller drivers limits their potential in sound quality
  • Doesn’t fit well in large rooms

Intended for rooms with limited space, the Polk Audio TSI100 compact tower speaker is a great choice for TVs, mp3 players, game systems, and more. This affordable unit will certainly not disappoint.

The two-way design features round drivers that are perfect for crystal clear sound. The tweeters will prevent strain on higher-end frequencies, and the bass will be controlled and rich.

6. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Full rich sound without needing a subwoofer
  • Built in bluetooth and aux port
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Overall it does not have great bass
  • Some noise comes from the bass
  • Overall durability is not that good

170w Peak – (OS10) Tree Bark.

From Edifier is a really good pair of bookshelf speakers. They look great and are really easy to set up. Plus with the available aux and bluetooth capabilities, they are sure to meet the needs of most people.

When we received these speakers, we were immediately impressed with how well constructed they were. They are really heavy and feel sturdy. These speakers look as though they could take a little abuse. The front of the speakers has the controls on them with a bass knob, power knob and volume knob.

7. Klipsch R-14M 4-Inch Reference Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 8 / 10

Klipsch R-14M 4-Inch Reference Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • * Small size – ideal for saving space

After listening to all the bookshelf speakers within our price range, the clear winner was this brilliant pair from Klipsch. This product is a 2-way speaker – the bass woofer and mid-range woofer are each equipped with a 4.5-inch circular pneumatic horn that’s mated to a Klipsch Tractrix® horn. The horn shape is responsible for adding a warm resonance to the high-mids, resulting in an authentic, rich sound.

The pair offers a frequency response of 53Hz to 20kHz, with a peak spl of 89dB. Other than that, the speakers are magnetically shielded and use an unbalanced input with a 4-ohm impedance. When the speakers are shipped, they’re separated from each other, so there’s going to be some time required for the woofers to break in. After about three or four weeks, the speakers begin to sound their absolute best.

8. Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 8 / 10

Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers

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Pros:

  • Original speaker for audiophiles
  • Affordable
  • Pair of carbon fiber woofers
  • Excellent sound
  • Carbon tweeter

Cons:

  • Turntable-specific models are more expensive
  • Setting them up requires wiring
  • Included speaker wire isn’t heavyweight
  • Requires an amp or receiver

The MB42 speakers are best known to technicians and audiophiles a like for its high-quality sound. Taking into consideration how affordable they are, these speakers are great for apartments or for anyone on a budget. They are also ideal if you want to use them as a computer, TV soundbar, or for gaming.

For placement of the speakers you can place them on the stand the speakers come with, or you can wall mount them if your space allows.

With these speakers you will have no problem listening to your music even in larger rooms. The only downside to these speakers is that you must connect them to a receiver or an amplifier in order to listen using them.

9. Edifier R980T 4" Active Bookshelf Speakers

Our rating: 8 / 10

Edifier R980T 4" Active Bookshelf Speakers

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10. JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker

Our rating: 6 / 10

JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker

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Pros:

  • These are some of the best bookshelf speakers you can buy for home use
  • The price is reasonable for this JBL’s speaker
  • A bonus set of grilles is included with the package
  • The sound through these speakers is loud, clear and quite, good enough to fill even very large areas
  • The black design gives a great quality look
  • It gives full-range sound
  • These are incredibly versatile and will work well in a variety of setups, without being overwhelming by being too big
  • With an impedance of 6 Ohms, they are also able to play nice with amps
  • The build quality on these speakers is great and they are very sturdy
  • You’ll love the sound of these speakers. They have a great overall sound and will be perfect for listening to music and watching TV for any medium sized room

Cons:

  • It is not exactly a big bummer, but the speakers would have been better if they could be wall-mounted
  • The plastic piece that goes on top of the speaker to hide the wires attaches using screws, so if you want to keep a low profile look, you will have to make some modifications to these speakers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best bookshelf speakers for $100?

Frequency response is an important aspect you need to consider when choosing a new pair of bookshelf speakers. The frequency response of any speaker is the range of sound it can produce. You will often see the frequency response range on product (usually on speaker) specs, depicted in Hz.

So, what is important is finding the frequency range that will suit your needs. Most home audio speakers produce a frequency response between 20Hz to 20KHz. That range is mid-range and the most common for people shopping for speakers.

Generally, the better speakers on the market will also have a high-quality dynamical range. That means speakers will be capable of producing cleaner, and richer frequencies, and will do the job of replicating full range sounds well.

What Hi Fi Best Budget bookshelf speakers?

What are the best sounding bookshelf speakers?

While most bookshelf speakers are perfect for the average consumer, there are a few that have proven themselves in the audiophile world.

Some of the speakers we recommend are engineered by experts who have been in the audio industry for over 20 years. So, you can expect to hear many of the frequencies, tones, and textures in your favorite songs that you may have missed before.

Most of the speakers we recommend are famous for their detail, and they are ideal for picking out the tiny nuances of the musicians’ performances.

Of course, many people don’t want audiophile speakers—they just want speakers that sound great. We recommend Sony and Klipsch speakers for this purpose.

Keep in mind that, while the audiophile speakers recommended here are made with specific tones in mind, the budget speakers recommended are not.

What is the top 10 speaker brands?

The speaker market is somewhat dense. One could easily end up offering thousands of different possibilities, which unfortunately can be a bit overwhelming. Although most of these manufacturers may seem random and unfamiliar, they offer top of the line quality and expertise for the budget audiophile. If you are interested in a higher quality yet still affordable product category, it might be best to stick to a well-known brand such as Bose, Klipsch, and Polk Audio.

{1}. Pioneer S-XDA-7
{2}. Bose SoundTouch 30
{3}. Bose SoundTouch 20
{4}. Klipsch R-15M
{5}. Yamaha NS-iP80BL
{6}. JBL Contour S700
{7}. Energy Take Classic 5.1
{8}. Energy Take Classic 2.1
{9}. Infinity Primus 250P
{10}. Polk Audio TSi300

Conclusion

A good pair of bookshelf speakers are good value for money and can provide quality sound for the average consumer. After a good bit of research, we concluded that the Dayton Audio B652 is the best bookshelf speaker on the market today.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker SystemBest OverallSony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
Micca MB42 Bookshelf SpeakersBudget PickMicca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf SpeakersUpgrade PickEdifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers