Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200 in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200 in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Bookshelf speakers can get pretty expensive for some of the high end options and really popular brands. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get decent studio sound quality from bookshelf speakers.

You can find great bookshelf speakers under 200 and there are actually quite a few options out there. Of course, there are a lot of great options for higher dollar amounts too but if you’re tied to a lower budget, you’re not just out of luck.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200 in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide
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Take a look at this guide to see our top picks for the best bookshelf speakers under 200 and more!

What to Look for in a Bookshelf Speaker

Before we start looking at the options, let’s take a moment to talk about what you might want to look for in bookshelf speakers in this price range. You can get great quality but you also need to be realistic about your expectations.

What to Expect From Speakers Under 200

Here’s the thing. Spending a little less doesn’t always mean that you have to sacrifice sound. It does mean that the materials may be less expensive or that you might not be able to get high quality audio in a huge space.

When it comes to speakers under 200 you simply want to look for clear sound. These are typically best suited to medium sized rooms and smaller. They can also build on the sound that you already have if you’re trying to improve your setup with other speakers already in place.

Power

As speakers get less expensive, the amount of power they operate with typically goes down. This means you shouldn’t expect the highest power from speakers under 200. On that same note, you should be able to get powered bookshelf speakers that have more power or better power than say $100 speakers.

It’s not always just the wattage number that will reflect the power of the speaker or the total listening experience. These more affordable speakers sometimes get creative so that you get high quality sound regardless of the power.

Look at how the speaker handles the power. How does the speaker transition or crossover in the frequency response range? Sometimes these work together to give you better sound with a lower amount of power.

It’s All About the Bass. Or Is It?

What to Expect From Speakers Under 200
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Ok – bass probably isn’t the only important element but let’s face it. Most people who purchase bookshelf speakers, or any speakers really, are concerned with the bass. It’s simply a part of the sound experience, right?

Here’s the thing. Heavy bass does not always mean a better speaker or even high quality sound. You will find that some of the bookshelf speakers under 200 make a habit of giving you heavy bass because impactful bass might cover up other sound issues in the audio setup.

You want the speakers to sound good on all levels and not just be heavy bass. You also don’t want to deal with unwanted vibrations because the only focus of the speakers is bass rather than total audio quality.

Of course, you want clear bass but you really want tonal balance and defined sound as well.

Overall Design

Finally, simply take a look at the overall design. You may notice things on the speaker that aren’t quite as snazzy as expensive speakers but they should still be built with nice quality that looks good. The rear panel doesn’t have to be fancy but you do want the part that everyone will be able to see to look nice.

Remember that these are designed to be bookshelf models and they need to look the part, right? They don’t have to be fancy or take up too much space but you also don’t want them to be tacky or downright ugly, right?

Many bookshelf speakers are designed to enhance a space but you will find that some of the less expensive surround speaker options are also just plain and simple (but still great).

The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200 Reviewed

Now – you know what you can count on in speakers in this price range. You might be surprised to find that there are really a lot of speaker options in this category. Of course, they are not all great bookshelf speakers but that’s where we come in.

We’ve sorted and researched through the options to try to narrow it down for you. We hope that you can find something here that will work for your needs. Take a look at our top picks below.

1. Best Overall: Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

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First up, we have our best overall choice from Edifier. These are a top-rated option on the market with 4.5 stars and more than 3,400 ratings on Amazon. They’re a popular choice and it’s really clear to see why. You have bookshelf speakers with style here. You can choose from basic black or get the wood grain if you really want the best bookshelf speakers under 200 with a classic look and awesome sound quality.

These are Bluetooth speakers active speakers so you can connect them however you like. The right speaker is the active speaker of the two and the combination gives you natural sound reproduction and a high range frequency response.

These do come with a remote control just to make it that much easier to enjoy. You will find a silk dome tweeter plus other sound additions, including a woofer to give you the best sound possible. These powered speakers provide digital signal processing as well, which is a nice addition. The rear firing port connects to optical and coaxial inputs.

What you get here is warm sound and dynamic range control. They make a great standalone option as powered speakers or added to your sound systems to enhance them. These are powerful bookshelf speakers and they look really great too.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Range: 10
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 21 watts each +21 RMS
Range: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 5.75 x 9.5 x 7 inches
Pros:
  • Bluetooth connection for versatile use
  • Great sound and classy style
  • Perfect for medium sized rooms
  • The sound waves are clear and concise
  • Comparable to expensive speakers in many ways
Cons:
  • The remote control is hard to read and use
  • Doesn’t always pick up soft sounds as well as better speakers

Why We Like It: This speaker pair stands out to us because it looks great and it works great. The dome tweeter adds the perfect sound. You can also easily pair these with your home theater system for an all around good sound. The power handling is phenomenal.

2. Budget Pick: Moukey Passive Speaker Bookshelf Pair

Moukey Passive Speaker Bookshelf Pair

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If you really want a good budget speaker, check out this option from Moukey. As far as the audio market is concerned, this is a great choice with plenty to offer for music or a home theater and everything in between. These sport 1-inch treble and a 5-inch bass extension in a dedicated subwoofer.

The combination allows you to get treble when you need it and bass when you need it for a wider frequency range. The midrange dome finishes off the main speaker setup to give you a quality listening experience. The frequency response really is impressive for the price of these best bookshelf speakers under 200.

There’s no rubber surround here. These speakers are placed into handcrafted wooden boxes that look great. From musical instruments to high definition movie experiences, you really can’t go wrong with these bookshelf speakers. These are small speakers compared to some but not really and they can easily cover a medium space.

The dome tweeter even has a little bit of gold accent to add a little something to the look. This aluminum tweeter sounds great. Finally, this company used advanced crossover components and dual RCA output to help really pull out the power in the sound.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Range: 10
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 100 Watts
Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 8.1 x 6.5 x 10.8 inches
Pros:
  • Dome tweeter has some added color to the piece
  • The wooden frames are handmade
  • Enhanced crossover components for more power
  • Mid range drivers provide clear frequency response
  • Passive speaker setup with impressive sound quality
Cons:
  • Since these are passive, you may need an amplifier to really enjoy them which can be an added cost

Why We Like It: These best bookshelf speakers under 200 stand out to us for the price and the overall quality. They’re passive so you get some added versatility options. These have an awesome frequency response range for the price and the sound is really nice.

3. Best Value: Klipsch R-41 M Powerful Bookshelf Speaker

Klipsch R-41 M Powerful Bookshelf Speaker

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The Klipsch bookshelf speakers are a really great pair equipped with dynamic balance drivers. If you want the best bang for your buck, this might be what you’re looking for. You can buy just the pair or you can get the pair plus 100 feet of wire, whatever you need.

The dome tweeter on these is not a silk dome tweeter but still a light and reliable material. The woofers have a very nice copper layer that really looks great on the speaker if you want something sleek and stylish for your space. It’s 4-inch spun cooper in an IMG woofer so it really doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

When you compare to other speakers, you will notice that these best bookshelf speakers have two active auxiliary speakers. Both of them have the same tweeters and woofers and a matching design overall. They are high power with a facing bass reflex port. They work great as a standalone or as part of a home theater.

The compatible crossover in the back helps you to really enhance the power with a maximum output of 200 watts. The sensitivity is really great at 90dB. Finally, that dome tweeter is a high resolution terylene tweeter with a 90 x 90 square Tractrix horn.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Range: 9
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 200 Watts
Range: 68 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 7.87 x 5.75 x 11.3 inches
Pros:
  • Listen to rich acoustics or hearty bass
  • Really great design that looks nice
  • Unique copper IMG woofers
  • Well-constructed tweeters
  • Phenomenal sound all around
Cons:
  • The box is really the only thing lacking and not made with the highest quality materials

Why We Like It: We like that these are sturdy and reliable. They have great style and really great sound with enhanced connections to give you some of the best power you will find in this price range. They’re an awesome value for the money.

4. Polk Audio Home Theater Bookshelf Speaker Pair

Polk Audio Home Theater Bookshelf Speaker Pair

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Polk Audio is a really popular brand in this price range. Their bookshelf speakers are simple but reliable and have more than 8,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.7 rating overall. These speakers offer a quality frequency range with an active speaker setup. They operate on a mid range driver and you get the exclusive Polk power port you won’t find on any other brand.

These really do offer superior sound that is immersive as surround sound. You can pair them with your theater setup or simply use them as bookshelf speakers instead. They do have a keyhole slot on the back so you can hang them on the wall if you want to.

That exclusive Polk audio port we talked about is gold-plated with a pair of 5-way binding posts. This connection gives you really nice sound. These don’t have anything super fancy or special to the style but they still look nice and the wood grain in black is sleek and modern.

The silk dome tweeter is .75 inches with a dynamic balance driver to perfect the bass and balance among the frequencies. These are compatible with AV receivers and even analog inputs. Basically, you will find the quality on these stands out in comparison to some of the best high end options out there.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Range: 10
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 100 Watts
Range: 60 Hz – 24 kHz
Impedance: 8 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 7.3 x 6.5 x 10.7 inches
Pros:
  • Polk Audio is impressive in many ways
  • Brand specific plug ins that are unique to Polk
  • Quality sound all around
  • Pairs well with home systems
  • Simple and spectacular all at the same time
Cons:
  • The bass has very little punchiness to it, leading to some tinny sounds

Why We Like It: We love a brand that takes ingenuity and thought to try to bring you something great for an even better price. Polk has done just that. These speakers are simple but work really well with good sound considering the price of the speakers

5. Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speakers

Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speakers

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Sony is a brand we all recognize and they’ve always made great products. These speakers are just another quality option from the brand and well worth taking a look at. It’s a 3-way speaker with a bass reflex system. The woofer is large with foamed mica. it also has a 1-inch polyester tweeter as part of the setup design.

These speakers are enhanced with the Sony super tweeter so that sound is immersive but also clear and concise. The sound reproduction has a heavy range compared to some of the other models and it really delivers on all counts.

Sony uses a crossover component design to help you get the most powerful sound. It’s a simple connection but it lends to quality to make maximum use of the power without giving up any of the quality of the sound. This is an impressive approach to really find the balance in the sound and it typically works well.

These speakers have lower impedance than the others with 6 ohms. The audio is clear and high resolution, which is the ultimate combination when you look at speakers in this price range, right? The design itself is simple and yet will look nice in any space.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 10
  • Range: 9
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 100 Watts
Range: 53 to 50,000 Hz
Impedance: 6 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 7 1/8 x 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches
Pros:
  • Sony super tweeter technology
  • Clear and concise sound
  • Crossover connections to get more out of the power
  • Simple design that will fit in anywhere
  • Easy to connect to full systems
Cons:
  • These speakers pair well with others but they sometimes cut out or skip on deep tones because of a more limited frequency range.

Why We Like It: This simple speakers system really works pretty nicely for the price. The connections are solid and the sound is great for the most part. We like the simple design and the quality noise plus the Sony touches that really bring the whole package together.

6. Bestisan Bookshelf Speakers Bluetooth Speakers

Bestisan Bookshelf Speakers Bluetooth Speakers

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Finally, we leave you with one last option for the best bookshelf speakers under 200. Bestisan is designed to give you sound just like if you were in the studio. It has RCA and auxiliary connections and it is Bluetooth compatible so you get just a little bit more versatility from the system. You can stream music without having to worry about connections, which is definitely nice.

These have a built-in 13 mm dome tweeter of silk. They have a classic wood grain framing that looks really great. You also get a remote so you can easily control your speakers using a remote and it’s super easy and convenient.

The best part about these is they are pretty easy to set up. You can connect easily and you can even pair them with other parts of a system, like a sound bar. It doesn’t matter what you are listening to or watching, you will have really nice sound and it’s super easy, which speaks for itself really.

Key Features (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest)

  • Power: 8
  • Range: 10
  • Size: 10
  • Connection: 10

Specs:

Power Output: 50 Watts
Range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
Impedance: 6 ohm
Speaker dimensions: 7 1/8 x 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches
Pros:
  • Wood grain style that looks great
  • Connects with Bluetooth
  • Very easy to work with
  • Very modern and nice
  • Remote control works well
Cons:
  • Some people had issues with the Bluetooth not always connecting to certain devices

Why We Like It: If you want something that costs less but sounds just as good as the big guys, this could be it. It has amazing sound for what it is. It’s pretty impressive in the sound department and it looks very nice too.

Buyer’s Guide

Buyer's Guide
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You’ve seen the options but how can you possibly choose right? What we do know about this set of choices is that they are all under $200. What you will find is that they all still have a lot of variation to them.

We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to try to help guide you. This is different from the “what to look for” we shared earlier but rather focused on things you will want to consider about your own needs before you buy.

Materials

When it comes to buying “cheap” speakers, you don’t want to give up quality for the price. Ultimately, this may mean that some of the basic materials used are cheaper but the end result is still good. However, you will want to watch the materials and the overall style of the speakers to make sure they fit what you’re looking for.

For example, some speakers have that wood grained finish. This looks nice in any space but it also doesn’t always match people’s decor or design styles. There are also a lot of black speakers and even different colors of speakers in some options.

Black speakers are pretty common and will usually pair with other equipment you might be using.

From there, you want to be sure that the materials used complement the design. If you can determine what the frame is made out of as well as things like the tweeters and woofers, this can be helpful to identify whether or not the materials are still good quality.

Connections

Another thing that you’re going to want to keep in mind is the connections that are provided with the speaker as well as what you may or may not be connecting to. If you plan to connect to an amplifier, a sound bar, or some other device, you want to be sure that it’s going to be compatible with the speakers that you choose.

Most of the time you can make things compatible by using the write cords and adapters but it’s still a good idea to check this out just to be certain. Not all speakers have the same types of connections or even the same connection design.

Take note of the connections and what you may need as it’s possible you will have to purchase additional cables to make things work as well.

Sizes and Dimensions

When you’re choosing your speakers, take note that you might need a specific size or something that fits into a specific space. You will notice that we shared the dimensions on each pair that we listed here. It’s up to you to make sure the speakers will fit into the space you’re planning for them.

There is no specific standard to speaker sizes so be sure to measure your space to ensure the speakers you choose are going to fit appropriately.

In addition to making sure the speaker dimensions will work for your space, you also need to make sure the speakers will work for the size of the room you use them in. We did mention earlier that speakers in this range are typically best for small to medium rooms but that is not always the perfect case.

Take note of the room you are filling with sound and check that against the ability of the speakers you’re considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Actually Get Good Cheap Bookshelf Speakers?

Yes!! You absolutely can. Now, if you compare speakers that are under $200 to speakers that are $600 you probably will notice a difference in overall sound but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good speakers for this price range. You can get cheap speakers that really do work very nicely.

Remember that purchasing on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice great sounds and reliable quality. It just means you may have to pay closer attention to be sure your sound needs are met!

What Are Bookshelf Speakers Used For?

These speakers are named such because they were designed to be put on a bookshelf – or a shelf of some kind. Many of them also can be hung on the walls. You certainly do not HAVE to put them on a bookshelf. They are designed to help maximize the sound of whatever you might be listening to. This is why some people use them with sound systems and some people use them just as a standalone.

Can You Lay Bookshelf Speakers on Their Side?

Generally speaking, bookshelf speakers are meant to be vertical when placed. While it might seem like no big deal, laying them on their side when they aren’t designed for that could actually have a negative impact on your sound.

If you do want speakers you can lay on their side, you will need to specifically look for speakers that are made for this type of setup. Bookshelf speakers are rarely made for this.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for finding speakers to fit your needs. Whether you have a tight budget or simply just don’t want to spend a ton of money on speakers, you can find some really great options in this price range.

Which speakers did you add to your cart?

Expert Tip

You can often improve sound by pairing speakers with an amplifier. For some of these, it’s not required but it might just give your sound a little something extra.

Did You Know?

Did you know that an improved connection can make a lot of difference for speakers with less power? If they have enhanced connection, you’re likely to improve the overall sound that you’re hearing.

Amazon Recommends:

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Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers – Hi-Res Audio with Deep Bass Response | Dolby and DTS Surround | Wall-Mountable| Pair, Black
  • GET SUPERIOR HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE WITH IMMERSIVE SURROUND SOUND –...
  • Use these wall-mountable bookshelf speakers as FRONT, LEFT-RIGHT...
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Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker Set of 2 Black
  • Single 4" spun-copper IMG woofer
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Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Stereo Active Near Field Monitors - Studio Monitor Speaker - Wooden Enclosure - 42 Watts RMS
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