If you are looking for the best bookshelf speakers for music listening, you’re in the right place.
We’ve selected the best bookshelf speakers from budget to premium options that deliver superb sound quality and quality construction. These bookshelf speakers have crisp stereo sound with vibrant details and vocals, so you can appreciate the finer details in your music.
Furthermore, these bookshelf speakers are constructed from solid wood or MDF cabinets that look super sleek and blend in naturally into your home audio setup. They are ideal for bookshelf placements and blend in nicely to home interior décor.
Be sure to check out our top picks for the best bookshelf speakers below!
Not sure what to choose? Our editors highly recommend the Edifier R1700BT (the best budget option) and the KEF LS50 (for audiophile sound performance).
View the Best Bookshelf Speakers in 2020 below
#1 Best Bookshelf Speakers of all time: Edifier R1700BT
Sound Quality: Crisp and powerful full range with distortion mitigation
Number of drivers: 2 (tweeter and bass drivers on each speaker)
What we liked: Dual AUX input option
View full specs: Edifier R1700BT Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1700BT are hands down some of the best bookshelf speakers that can be utilized as an active near-field studio monitor in a 2.0 setup. Each speaker is composed of a 19-millimetre dome tweeter and a 4-inch bass driver complemented by a front-facing bass reflex port. It can deliver a high sustained energy output of 66 watts RMS.
We really enjoyed listening to the Edifier R1700BT speakers. They can produce a loud 66 watts RMS of power, and have very good stereo separation between the right and left speaker channels. The stereo details are crisp and very clear, and music performances sounded well-balanced. These speakers do have some bass response through its bass reflex port, and sounds good enough without overwhelming the midrange frequencies. They can handle almost any variety of music genre that you throw at them including rock, hip-hop and classical music. These are high-fideltiy bookshelf speakers that are designed to reproduce sound exactly as the artists intended them to be heard.
The Edifier R1700BT has built in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) to deliver the best sounding dynamics and prevent possible distortion at all times. It is equipped with Bluetooth so mobile audio-playing devices such as smartphones can pair with it wirelessly. This speaker is compatible with any Apple, Android or Windows device. We did not experience any dips in sound quality while streaming music through Bluetooth.
The Edifier R1700BT provides two AUX input options namely the 3.5mm and the dual RCA so two devices can connect wired to the speaker at the same time. It has intuitive control dials as well as a remote controller to manage the volume, adjust the frequency gain and switch between input sources. This speaker uses a 5-pin cable to connect to the passive speaker. The enclosure is made of the solid MDF (medium density fibreboard) and finished with the walnut wood effect vinyl.
The Verdict? The Edifier R1700BT deserves the top spot as the best bookshelf speakers of all time because of their combination of sound quality, loudness and quality design. They deliver extremely good value for money and are tried and tested bookshelf speakers that never fail to deliver quality sound performance. These bookshelf speakers produce very good quality sound with crystal clear highs, detailed midranges and deep bass response, which makes these speakers an ideal set of bookshelf speakers for music listening.
#2 Best High-End Bookshelf Speakers: KEF LS50
Sound Quality: Adequately loud full range supporting high-quality audio reproduction
Number of drivers: 1 co-axial woofer on each speaker
What we liked: Full range frequency from a single point source
View full specs: KEF LS50 Bookshelf Speakers
The KEF LS50 are some of the best bookshelf speakers designed for audiophiles with high-end specs. It contains the 5.25-inch Uni-Q driver developed by KEF, which is capable of reproducing frequencies as low as 40Hz. This driver integrates both the midrange and the treble units on the same space by adding a neodymium-iron-boron magnet inside the voice coil of the bass unit and thus conveying the full range frequency from a single point source. This speaker is furthermore matched with a built-in 192kHz/24bit DAC (digital to analogue converter) and a 230-watt amplifier.
The sound quality that we got from the KEF LS50 is simply out of this world. The level of detail and soundstage reproduced from these stereo speakers is incredibly accurate and spacious, and delivers great stereo separation. You can clearly hear each detail from the left and right speaker channels exactly where they are supposed to originate from – the highs and midranges are crystal clear and well-defined, and the bass has a solid low-end presence that makes it very formidable. The sound quality that you get with the KEF LS50 is full-range with dynamic sound response at every frequency level. The result is that you get nothing short of high-fidelity sound with a wide and spacious soundstage which feels extremely enjoyable to listen to.
The KEF LS50 is capable of a dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Its Wi-Fi module supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands. This speaker can output to another subwoofer for additional bass while it maintains the effective frequency response range within the +/-3db gain measured from the 85db/1m sound pressure level.
Media devices can also connect wired to the speaker via an asynchronous USB connection, a digital (TOSLINK) input or an RCA analogue input. This speaker as well as the connected subwoofer can be controlled using a mobile application available to both iOS and Android. It comes in titanium grey/red, gloss black/blue and gloss white/copper design.
The Verdict? The KEF LS50 have some of the best sound performance we have ever heard from a pair of bookshelf speakers. These high-end bookshelf speakers can produce realistic soundstage with plenty of details with crisp highs, detailed midranges and very good bass performance. You can practically hear every single detail in all frequency ranges clearly; the speakers produce high-fidelity sound performance with practically zero distortion at high volume levels. You also get great soundstage and music separation between both channels, and you can pick up details in the music which you may not have noticed before. If you want to upgrade your existing bookshelf speakers to a high-end system, go for the KEF LS50 speakers.
#3 Best Bookshelf Speakers under $500: Audioengine A5
Sound Quality: Excellent volume and clarity across the full range
Number of drivers: 1 woofer and 1 tweeter on each
What we liked: Superb analogue electronics and connections
View full specs: Audioengine A5 Classic Bookshelf Speakers
The Audioengine A5+ Classic is a pair of powered bookshelf speakers. It has the custom 5-inch aramid fibre woofer, a 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter and a built-in analogue amplifier inside a precision-tuned and hand-crafted cabinet. This speaker is supplied with a solid aluminium remote control. The MDF (medium density fibreboard) housing has the natural bamboo finish.
The sound quality from the Audioengine A5 is crystal clear and smooth with very little distortion. These speakers have natural sound reproduction and you can hear the details in the music clearly. The separation between both left and right channels is also detailed and clear, and you can practically pick out every detail in your music with distinct clarity. What we liked about these speakers is how natural the sound comes across – it has nice highs, clear midranges and good low-end bass that has sonic presence. They can reproduce music exactly as the artists intended them to be heard, and deliver a near-listening field experience that is very satisfying to listen to.
The Audioengine A5+ speaker has a total peak power output of 75 watts per channel with 50 watts of sustained RMS. Its signal-to-noise ratio is greater than 95 decibels. The total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) is less then 0.05 percent at all power settings. Its frequency response is 50Hz to 22kHz within +/-1.5dB. The crosstalk frequency manifests at -50 decibels.
We like that this bookshelf speaker has multiple input options including a 3.5mm stereo mini jack input, a USB charging port, stereo RCA input and output and a voltage selector. It works with turntable with preamps, smartphones, computers, televisions with analogue output, optical disc players, video game consoles and many others. This speaker uses the 16AWG wire to connect the main speaker to the passive one.
The Verdict? The Audioengine A5 are some of the best bookself speakers you can get under $500 that delivers quality sound performance. They are made from bamboo wood and has a sparkling sound quality with natural sound reproduction. The sound coming from these speakers feels natural and warm, with distinctly good highs and clean midranges. The bass also punches deep and tight but does not overwhelm the midrange frequencies. They have high-fidelity sound performance with vocal clarity, so you’ll be able to hear every single detail in the music with clarity. They also have good vocal presence which helps to elevate instrumental and orchestra performances.
#4 Best Bookshelf Speakers under $1000: KEF Q150
Sound Quality: Substantial clarity of the full range at a single source point
Number of drivers: Woofer and tweeter array
What we liked: 3-dimensional sound image from one Uni-Q assembly
View full specs: KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers
The KEF Q150 are some of the best bookshelf speakers designed with high volume output and crystal clear clarity. It features an improved 5.25-inch Uni-Q driver array smoothing out treble frequencies.
These bookshelf speakers come with a Uni-Q driver which places the tweeter in the acoustic centre of the midrange cone, conveying the full range frequency from a single point source and as close as possible. This results into a more detailed, more accurate three-dimensional sound image dispersed evenly throughout the listening room. This ultra-wide dispersion is further enhanced by the proprietary “tangerine” waveguide over the tweeter dome.
The crossovers have been redesigned to add the new low-distortion inductor, which produces a cleaner and more accurate bass. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) design includes the moving of the port to the back in order to reduce the audibility of a port leaking midrange while minimizing turbulence during high levels of the bass.
The internal architecture has been redesigned as well to reduce internal resonances improving the overall audio clarity. The nominal impedance of the KEF Q150 is 8 ohms. It features a new cabinet build and is available in matte black and white vinyl finishes.
Overall, the KEF Q150 are some of the best bookshelf speakers for high-performance audio and we highly recommend them.
#5 Best Bookshelf Speakers under $200: Fluance Signature Series
Sound Quality: Immersive full range with high fidelity reproduction
Number of drivers: 1 woofer, 1 tweeter on each speaker
What we liked: Powerful 30 to 120 watts RMS
View full specs: Fluance Signature Series Bookshelf Speakers
This Fluance Signature Series are some of the best bookshelf speakers for Hi-Fi stereo sound. It uses the ultra-high-end neodymium tweeters to reproduce the high frequencies with greater clarity and a truly immersive surround sound. The pointed dome of the midrange driver makes sound waves travel directly from the centre of the woven glass fibre cone in order to achieve a more enhanced soundstage.
The woven glass fibre cone is rigid and lightweight achieving the optimal linear movement of the soundwaves with precision and clarity even while performing on the highest volume levels.
The cabinets are precisely crafted with engineered wood to make it acoustically inert and consequently allow the flow of warm, distortion-free sound. These speakers cannot only be utilized as bookshelf or front speakers, they are also designed as surround sound drivers to be placed beside or behind the listener.
This Fluance Signature Series speaker features an integrated wall-mounting bracket through its keyhole slots. The set includes sound isolation pads and two magnetic front grills aside from the full lifetime parts and labour direct warranty.
If you are looking for a set of high-end bookshelf speakers with a wooden exterior, go for the Fluance Signature Series speakers.
#6 Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers: Polk Signature Series S15
Sound Quality: Clean and clear full range from bass to treble
Number of drivers: 1 woofer, 1 tweeter
What we liked: 40kHz hi-res audio file reproduction
View full specs: Polk Signature Series S15 Bookshelf Speakers
The Polk Signature Series S15 are some of the best bookshelf speakers optimized for home theatre surround sound and premium music listening session. It supports at the minimum 40kHz of the latest high-resolution audio file encoding with improved audio extension.
This speaker features the Dynamic Balance designed acoustic array that includes the 5.25-inch driver with the mica-reinforced polypropylene cones with butyl rubber surrounds and a 1-inch high-resolution Terylene tweeter. It utilizes massive ceramic motor structures and high-temperature Conex fibre spiders resulting to exceptional transducing efficiency, clean and clear bass, better linearity, lower distortion and greater durability.
The Polk Signature Series S15 also offers the Powerport technological design that enhances the delivery of the deeper bass while minimizing possible turbulent distortion for a rich full range sound. The edges of the housing are rounded enabling sonic flow.
This speaker set can stand alone as an all-inclusive complete stereo or be expanded by adding two S50 tower speakers, an S35 centre channel and a subwoofer for a 5.1 or a 7.1-channel home theatre surround sound system. It includes a detachable anti-diffracting magnetic grille.
#7 Best Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers: Edifier R1850DB
Sound Quality: Full range tones with >1% of Total Harmonic Distortion
Number of drivers: 1 subwoofer, 1 tweeter
What we liked: Bluetooth and several wired analogue and digital connections
View full specs: Edifier R1850DB Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1850DB are some of the best bookshelf speakers you can find with good bass. It has the ported 4-inch subwoofer for the low end and midrange tones and a 9-mm silk dome tweeter for the high end. This speaker also comes with a built-in amplifier. It can be utilized as a near-field 2.0 studio monitors.
This Edifier R1850DB grants treble and bass control and input source switching using the control dials on the rear panel. It offers both digital and analogue inputs such as the RCA and AUX for PCs and turntables, Optical or Coaxial cables for lossless connections and Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless convenience in playing songs from smartphones, tablets and laptops. This speaker has a subwoofer line out to add a dedicated low-end driver to the 2.0-channel setup.
The Edifier R1850DB is supplied with a remote controller that can also be used to control the playing of the tracks from Bluetooth-connected devices. The speaker housing is made of MDF (medium density fibreboard) material in a high gloss black finish. It is furnished with a removable front grill.
#8 Best Bookshelf Speakers for Audiophiles: Klipsch R-15M
Sound Quality: Full range with great bass distinction and crisp high end
Number of drivers: 1 woofer, 1 tweeter
What we liked: Natural-sounding with Tractrix Horn technology
View full specs: Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers
The Klipsch R-15M are some of the best bookshelf speakers designed for full-range sound reproduction and near-field listening. It has dual 5.25-inch woofers made with the exceptionally light yet rigid copper-spun high output IMG (injection moulded graphite) material. This material improves the low frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. This speaker also has the Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeter that minimizes distortion.
The Klipsch R-15M features the proprietary 90×90 Tractrix Horn technology mated with the aluminium tweeter for an enhanced imaging and powerful dynamics of the high-end frequency. It has a rear-firing port that is matched with the drivers and the cabinet design minimizing turbulence brought about the lowest frequencies. Its optimal sensitivity is 94 decibels at 2.83 volt per minute.
This pair of speakers can fill small to medium rooms with powerful, life-like audio performance. It can be configured to act as the left, centre, right or surround in a multi-channel surround sound system. The Klipsch R-15M offers the 5-way binding posts for a very flexible speaker to speaker connection. It has a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet of 12.5 (H) by 7 (W) by 8.11 (D) inches.
#9 Best Powered Bookshelf Speakers: ELAC B6 Debut 2.0
Sound Quality: Great bass with a very high treble frequency
Number of drivers: 1 woofer, 1 tweeter
What we liked: Front-firing port and a durable housing.
View full specs: ELAC B6 Debut 2.0 Bookshelf Speakers
The ELAC Debut 2.0 B6 are some of the best bookshelf speakers you can find on a budget. It features the newly-developed 1-inch cloth soft-dome tweeter incorporating a wide-roll surround, which extends its frequency response to 35kHz. The tweeter also has a wide-dispersion waveguide. The 6.5-inch woofer is made of the tighter weave aramid-fibre in order to provide smoother high frequency while delivering clean tight bass.
The sensitivity rating of this speaker is 87 decibels at 2.83 volts per minute. Its frequency response is from 44Hz to 35kHz. The crossover frequency is at 2.2kHz. The nominal impedance is 6 ohms. Its maximum power input is up to 120 watts.
Furthermore, the ELAC Debut has the 2-way bass reflex type of enclosure with front-firing ports for easy placement of the cabinet even when positioned close to a wall. The MDF (medium density fibreboard) house has an internal bracing to reduce cabinet vibration and minimize its influence on the overall sound quality.
This speaker comes with a 5-way metal binding posts and a detachable grill. It measures 7.69 (W) by 14.76 (H) by 10.55 (D) inches.
#10 Best Bookshelf Speakers for Vinyl: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Sound Quality: True bass and high-efficiency treble tones
Number of drivers: 1 woofer, 1 tweeter
What we liked: 6-element complex crossover
View full specs: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR are some of the best bookshelf speakers with high-efficiency acosutic drivers. It is equipped with a 4-inch woofer that has a structured surface. The woofer utilizes oversized magnets to improve rigidity and bass accuracy.
This speaker also includes a vented pole piece that improves bass response. It has the 1-inch soft dome tweeter with a custom-engineered wave guide increasing tweeter efficiency by playing it in high intensity with less power consumption.
The drivers utilize a 6-element complex crossover instead of a single capacitor and inductor allowing the speaker to play louder across a wide frequency range with less power. These speakers can handle 80 watts of energy input over a wide frequency response. They can be expanded to be a part of a multi-channel home theatre surround sound system.
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR has a true curved cabinet design reducing standing sound waves inside the cabinet that results into a high-performance audio quality. It comes with a removable sound grill to protect the drivers. This speaker was designed by the professional speaker engineer, Andrew Jones.