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8 Best Bookshelf Speakers in 2022 – Reviews and Buyers Guide

bookshelf speakers

Many speakers are available on the market today besides stereo speakers. You can look for a Hi-Fi system, a surround sound system, etc. However, they all demand a lot of space in the room. Having a proper space for big speakers in your room is a blessing, but bookshelf speakers will work just as fine. Most notably, when you do not have the space or the budget for a bigger home theater setup. These speakers are perfect for the small corners in your room, study table, or at the top of a bookshelf.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 500 – Reviews & Buyers Guide
Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

Bookshelf speakers are comparatively smaller but provide sound quality equal to high-end speakers. They are great for listening to your favorite great all-around songs while working or studying. Such speakers are pretty handy, and you can move them around your place according to your mood.

Since getting smaller-sized bookshelf speakers is becoming a priority, many companies constantly develop better designs. Yet, this quantity of choice might make things more difficult. So, if you plan to get a bookshelf speaker, we will help you make your decision.

What to Look For in a Bookshelf Speaker?

bookshelf speakers with quality sound
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

When you go out for bookshelf speaker shopping, expect to spend some time combing through everything. Many similar products are on offer, but that doesn’t mean they are the same. So, you should know how to select the quality ones. Here are some pointers that’ll ease up this process.

●    Sound Quality

Since bookshelf speakers are smaller, it is understandable that they have some limitations. But some companies produce exceptional quality speakers, ensuring excellent sound quality. So, while getting a bookshelf speaker, consider the sound quality and then get the one that matches your requirement and tastes.

●    Durability

Another essential factor is the product’s durability. Speakers are usually a long-term investment. Therefore, they should serve you for at least a few years. So, you should pay close attention to the longevity and durability of the product before making the final purchase.

●    Brand Reputation

Before trusting any brand, you should get familiar with its background. For this, feel free to consult some past users’ opinions. If there’s a history of positive feedback, it might be a trustworthy company.

●    Customer Service

Before settling for a brand, explore the limits of its customer support service first. They should be fast to answer your queries before the panic builds up too high. For this, there should be a dedicated team, preferably available 24/7. Reliable customer service should be your top priority before trusting a brand with your money. Otherwise, you can face technical issues without any solid solution.

●    Material

The material of the speakers should be high quality and shock-resistant to an extent. Also, look for rubber pads beneath the body to prevent slipping when on top of your shelf. At the same time, make sure that the wires of your speaker are strong enough to withstand a sudden minor shock. If you neglect those aspects, things might get dangerous. So, take your time and make your decision after deliberate research.

This article reviews the best overall bookshelf speakers for all budgets. If you have a specific price range in mind, take a look at these other articles below:

The 8 Best Bookshelf Speakers

To help you make the right decision on a good basis, we have jotted down a list of the best eight bookshelf speakers. These products have excellent quality and perform exceptionally in action. The reviews and ratings of these speakers are also amazing, which brought them to our attention. So, without further delay, let’s begin with our list.

1.   Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers – Best Overall

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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Edifier is a prominent name in the speakers and headphones industry. They create great products that satisfy any avid music fan. So, if you are a music lover, you must have already heard about this brand.

Today, we have Edifier Powered bookshelf speakers on the top of our list. It is an excellent addition to your setup due to its attributes. It provides a crisp audio output while taking up a small space on your desk or table. Also, these speakers are quite stylish and add value to the vibe of the whole room. If you want to get a speaker that looks good, then this is the option for you.

It is a versatile speaker that gives fantastic performance by keeping the sound quality as natural as possible. The Edifier bookshelf speakers provide precise control for the user to fine-tune the bass, volume, and treble according to their mood. Since every person has different priorities, Edifier provides customization features for their preferred audio experiences.

The speaker comes with a remote control so you can adjust the volume from a distance without much hassle. It also has a built-in autotune system in the active speaker. Plus, you can connect this speaker to multiple devices at one time with a dual RCA input.

This masterpiece is truly worth every penny at such an affordable price. It is an affordable and high-quality product that will enrich your home theater. Or it can be your perfect study or work partner as well.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 9
  • Brand repo: 9
  • Durability: 9
  • Customer service: 8
  • Material: 9

Product Specs

Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.5 x 5.8 inches
Warranty: 2 years
Material: Wood finish
Device Connection: 2 x AUX inputs
Pros
  • Small and stylish
  • Affordable
  • Speakers sound natural
  • Superb audio quality
  • Great material and finish
Cons
  • Short wires
  • No tech support

2.   Polk Audio T15 Home Theater Bookshelf SpeakersBest Budget Speakers

Polk Audio T15 Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers

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Another brand famous for its quality products, especially when it comes to speakers, is Polk. It is a well-known brand, which earned a reputation within a very short period. Hence, Polk’s Audio T15 bookshelf speakers will be a notable addition to your setup.

Furthermore, adding these speakers will result in a”home theater”-like experience for the listeners. In practice, it is difficult to identify that the music is coming only from bookshelf speakers. The speakers come with a 0.75-inch tweeter and 5.25 inches balance speaker drivers. 

It produces natural and well-balanced sound even at the lower frequencies. By investing in this speaker, you will create enjoyable audio surroundings. You can further enhance the system by adding a few compatible products. For example, feel free to combine it with other speakers from the Polk’s T series.

Since the brand strives to produce affordable products for the customers, these bookshelf speakers come at a reasonable price. Also, they are easy to install practically anywhere in the room.

Thanks to the latest technology, the bookshelf speakers by Polk have excellent audio quality for music, TV, and movies. As such, they provide a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a product you’ll have no trouble implementing or getting used to.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 9
  • Brand repo: 9
  • Durability: 8
  • Customer service: 9
  • Material: 8

Product Specs

Dimensions: 7.3 x 6.5 x 10.7 inches
Peak power handling: 100 watts
Driver size: 0.75 inches tweeter and 5.25 inches balance driver
Frequency range: 60Hz-24Hz
Pros
  • Clear sound
  • Reasonable price
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent customer service
Cons
  • Not the best choice for larger rooms

3.   Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker – Best Value for Money

Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker

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Klipsch outdid itself with the R-41 M bookshelf speakers for quality and versatility. The brand is popular for creating innovative products that add value to its users’ lives. They strive to provide great value as affordable as possible, thus earning a place among the best bookshelf speakers.

The speaker’s compact design allows for an effortless setup process. You can even mount these on your wall if you prefer. The speaker weighs only 7 pounds, so you can easily move it around.

Also, this elegant pair of speakers adds to the aesthetics of the whole room. On the other hand, this speaker is also good for high frequencies with the 90 x 90 tractix square horn technology. As a result, the sound will not seem artificial. Due to this technology, the listener can enjoy music with the appropriate clarity and texture.

A one-inch aluminum tweeter ensures no distortion in the sound, making it super smooth and enhanced. At the same time, it has a low-frequency response due to copper IMG woofers.

However, it needs a good quality speaker wire and other parts to shine. If you do not get those with the box, you should buy them separately and quickly connect everything.

In short, if you love music, you’ll love Klipsch’s extremely lightweight speakers. They are reliable if you value excellent sound quality and volume. Also, these speakers provide the option for controlling the bass and treble. By tinkering with those, you can adjust every aspect to sound great.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 8
  • Brand repo: 8
  • Durability: 9
  • Customer service: 8
  • Material: 7

Product Specs

Dimensions: 7.87 x 5.75 x 11.3 inches
Material: Textured vinyl
Power handling:200 watts
Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Physically beautiful
  • Sturdy build
  • Compact and lightweight
Cons
  • High-quality cables are needed to enhance the sound quality

4.   ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers

ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers

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ELAC is one of the oldest names among the best bookshelf speakers manufacturers. To this end, they’ve always followed suit with the latest tech. Due to never compromising on quality, ELAC remains one of the most lauded brands online. They have a huge line-up of debut 2.0 speakers, so you have a lot of variety when selecting a pair of ELAC bookshelf speakers.

This line-up became popular almost upon launching, as customers were quick to notice. The B5.2 pair has a front-facing port which is super convenient for speaker placement. Hence, you do not have to worry about putting the speaker against the wall. You can also get speaker stands and place this pair of speakers on them.

It has a newly developed one-inch soft-dome tweeter which helps in increasing the frequency response up to 35 kHz. The woofer has a clean and tight pattern that keeps the bass response clean even at high frequencies. Moreover, the speaker cabinet does not vibrate with loud sounds, which is why the sound quality remains top-notch.

ELAC truly fulfills the qualities of a good pair of speakers for the price. This speaker’s clear sound, bass quality, and mid-range are excellent. Since it checks all those boxes, there’s little doubt why it is such a popular product.

As a result, the ELAC bookshelf speakers offer an above-average sound quality. The speakers are also highly durable. Hence, they are easy to acquire, effortless to connect, and serve you for a long time.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 7
  • Brand repo: 9
  • Durability:  8
  • Customer service: 7
  • Material: 8

Product Specs

Dimensions: 7.09 x 13.43 x 9.21 inches
Frequency range: 46Hz to 35kHz
Material: Vinyl
Tweeter: one-inch soft-dome
Pros
  • Modern design
  • Amazing sound and bass response
  • Natural sound quality
  • No distortion
Cons
  • Tricky to tune
  • It needs an amplifier for the best results

5.   Triangle Borea BR03 Hi-Fi Bookshelf Speakers

Triangle Borea BR03 Hi-Fi Bookshelf Speakers

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Next up, the brand that we are going to discuss is Triangle. Triangle’s Hi-Fi pair of speakers is not inexpensive, but they are worth every penny. They are the kind that keeps you hooked for years and years without feeling the need for upgrades. The Hi-Fi speaker rattled the masses soon after the announcement, but was all the hype worth it? After testing it prudently, we can indeed confirm that question. Overall, it’s a great choice for your room’s physical space.

The fancy-looking pair of speakers looks quite at home whenever you decide to rest them. The color and the build of the speaker are very attractive, and guests are sure to take great interest in them. On a related note, the speaker weighs only one pound, so you can carry it around freely.

These Hi-Fi speakers by Triangle are perfect for any music lover who likes to listen closely. The Hi-Fi system enhances the entire experience via the clear signal output. It comes equipped with a 25mm EFS silk dome tweeter and 16 cm mid-range or bass driver to a great effect. You just have to tune them correctly and relax to your favorite tracks. So, learning how to utilize all options is important. Hence, you should give some adjustment period.

Thanks to the small dimensions, you can reposition the speakers as much as you want, just to find that perfect angle. You can even mount it on any flat surface since it’s so lightweight and compact.

All in all, this is a great pair if you can afford it. Once set, these speakers will change the way you perceive music or even watch TV shows and movies. On the same note, they won’t disappoint when it comes to YouTube videos and podcasts, too. In short, they’ll always be up to the task.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 8
  • Brand repo: 8
  • Durability: 8
  • Customer service: 9
  • Material: 8

Product Specs

Dimensions: 8.11 x 12.36 x 14.96 inches
Frequency range: 46 Hz to 22 kHz
Power handling: 100 watts
Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Clear and Irish sound delivery
  • Worth the price
  • Hi-Fi sound system
Cons
  • It lacks a bit of bass response

6.   AmazonBasics Bookshelf Speakers with Active Speakers

AmazonBasics Bookshelf Speakers with Active Speakers

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AmazonBasics is a favorite brand among music lovers and one that is yet to let them down. They create top-notch products with no notable shortcomings. Best of all, they tend to keep the low asking price as well. Throughout the years, Amazon Basics became synonyms with innovative ideas and high-end tech.

Thanks to the policy of thorough research and development, they are one of the pioneers in the industry. Even today, they don’t divert from this path. Hence, the active speakers from AmazonBasics are a classic balance of quality and good appearance.

The physically admirable pair of speakers portray the wooden craftsmanship with hints of black. The sleek design of the speakers looks modern while placed on your study table or display. The build quality is excellent, due to which the speakers do not vibrate even on loud volumes. For that, there is the one-inch tweeter that governs the overall sound.

However, these speakers are comparatively larger speakers. As a result, they are heavier too but provide better audio quality as well. Therefore, ensure to reserve enough space for this product.

These pairs of speakers have wireless connectivity, so you can use Bluetooth to pair them with your phone PC. You can do this even at a distance of up to 33 feet. On the other hand, the active speakers have a maximum power output of 80 watts.

With these speakers comes a remote control that you can use to adjust the settings from a distance. This tool adds to the overall convenience and efficacy of these items. As such, you can easily switch to using them as they become your favorite media peripheral.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 8
  • Brand repo: 8
  • Durability: 7
  • Customer service: 6
  • Material: 7

Product Specs

Dimensions: 7.66 x 10.59 x 13.46 inches
Weight:23 pounds
Power output: 80 watts
Material: Wood
Pros
  • Sleek and elegant design
  • Great active speakers
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Remote control
Cons
  • No volume level display

7.   Singing Wood T25 Passive Bookshelf Speakers

Singing Wood T25 Passive Bookshelf Speakers

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Next up, we have Singing Wood which has a wide range of audio gear that many enthusiasts search for. This brand doubles down on producing eye (and ear)-catching music devices for a great price. To that end, they always improve upon their previous offering. As a result, they often put up the best bookshelf speakers.

The T25 passive bookshelf speakers by Singing Wood are another great addition. Yet, since these are passive bookshelf speakers, you will need to attach modern amplifiers or receivers to use them. The speakers have a classic outlook that complements any bookshelf in good taste. The audio-grade MDF wood reduces the chances of vibration and cabinet resonance. Thus, you’ll hear every note clearly. Plus, there’s the built-in wall-mount feature, allowing you a ton of options when installing them.

Another noteworthy element is the four-inch bass driver. With it, you can quickly adjust the sound’s texture or experiment to your fancy. So, it is perfect when you put on some bass-heavy music. A high-quality 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter is also present in these speakers, and it helps produce correct frequency responses.

The fantastic customer service by Singing Wood is also a fan-favorite. It’s one of the reasons why people stick with the brand. Moreover, you also get a 24 monthly exchangeable warranty with two years service warranty.

Undoubtedly, these are some of the best bookshelf speakers available on the market. Also, they are compatible with most receivers, amplifiers, and Hi-Fi systems. Because of that, you are certain to find much use in this great product. Finally, you won’t need to break the bank when purchasing them.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 7
  • Brand repo: 7
  • Durability:  8
  • Customer service: 7
  • Material: 8

Product Specs

Dimensions: 5.2 x 7 x 8.9 inches
Weight:Wood
Warranty:1 year
Frequency response: 55Hz to 20kHz
Pros
  • Detailed and smooth tweeter
  • Natural sound
  • Strong build
  • Decent bass response
Cons
  • It needs an amplifier or receiver to function

8.   Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers Bookshelf

Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers Bookshelf

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Acoustic Audio produces some excellent speakers and related audio gear. It is a well-known brand that consistently evolves with the times. Hence, many cite it as their first choice.

For this list, we have the AA321B speakers from Acoustic Audio as one of the best bookshelf speakers. They pack a lot of power in their compact design and are also easy on the pocket. So, they might be the answer when you need new music devices on a budget.

Furthermore, these mountable wired speakers are an excellent choice for people who listen to music often. They are multipurpose speakers with various setups, great even for surround sound systems.

The build and material of these speakers are durable and long-lasting. Plus, there is the polypropylene full-range woofer that does much of the heavy lifting and also diverts attention. Therefore, you can easily pair these with any stereo system.

To get the maximum output, you need to use a good quality amplifier or receiver with these speakers. Either way, they won’t restrict your space since they are small and cute. In that way, they are a strong candidate for your next upgrade.

Ratings

  • Sound quality: 7
  • Brand repo: 8
  • Durability: 7
  • Customer service: 6
  • Material: 7

Product Specs

Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 4.5 inches
Frequency response: 150 Hz to 20kHz
Power: 200 watts
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Pros
  • Small size
  • Clear sound
  • Super affordable
  • Great overall performance
Cons
  • No cables included

Buying Guide

white bookshelf speaker
Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

In an expanding market, it might get time-consuming to find just the right product for you. Most notably, when it comes to widely used items like bookshelf speakers. However, there are a few things that you should always keep in mind. In other words, fundamental starting points. Utilizing them correctly is a learned skill, though. So, read on and find out how to stay “in-tune” with the best bookshelf speakers available today.

●    Wired or Wireless

Before going bookshelf speakers shopping, you should consider your requirements and comfort level. Once you understand your priorities, you will be able to decide whether you want wired speakers or wireless. Both speaker types are readily available on the market.

However, in any case, wireless speakers are much easier to operate than wired ones. You have to keep the speakers at a specific distance from the socket if they are wired, but you can put wireless speakers anywhere you like. Moreover, it is a huge plus point if the speakers have wireless connectivity too; they are super convenient to use.

●    Passive or Active Speakers

It depends on personal preference and budget regarding the right speaker type. Generally, if you can afford a separate amplifier, you may want to opt for passive speakers. Otherwise, look for an active type. According to statistics, people often settle for the latter due to its convenience.

●    Size

The size matters a lot when it comes to bookshelf speakers because you want to place them in a small space or corner. So, to get the perfect bookshelf speakers, you should look for small speakers with excellent audio quality. 

●    Audio Tests

Speakers have variable audio qualities, so it is always better to do the audio test in the store. So, take your time there and check a few tracks. While doing so, make sure to follow along and note if any background noise makes an appearance. Also, you should play audio according to your choice to test their real potential.

●    Cost

Though most bookshelf speakers do not cost an arm and a leg, some are quite expensive. When getting small-sized speakers, you do not want to spend too much money on them. So, you should inquire about the general price ranges of these speakers first. Next, set your budget accordingly before going out to purchase them. As evident by this guide, there are several affordable bookshelf speakers that you can go for.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Which are better: active or passive speakers?

An active speaker comes with a built-in amplifier, and you can instantly start using it without buying extra audio gear. Most people find it convenient due to this utility. On the other hand, passive speakers require an additional amplifier to really function. However, that setup might provide better results in the end. Yet, it’s the costlier and more time-consuming of the two.

Hence, an active speaker is the better option by itself. Also, it is reliable when it comes to good quality sound, most notably regarding the bass and frequency ranges. So, it is safe to say that you should get a pair of active speakers if you’re looking to save some bucks.

2.   Is a subwoofer necessary for bookshelf speakers?

No, bookshelf speakers will work perfectly fine without a subwoofer. However, adding a subwoofer to your bookshelf speakers will improve their output. Hence, a true audiophile would always look for a compatible subwoofer to bring it all together. So, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend.

3.  Do I need to place bookshelf speakers on the bookshelf only?

No, you are not bound to place your bookshelf speakers at any specific place. It depends on your mood and preference; position them wherever there’s enough space for it.

4.  Should I get a stand for my bookshelf speakers?

You can place your speakers on a stand if they have their design allows it in the first place. However, most speakers cannot be placed on any stand due to lack of support, meaning they might fall off. So, you should confirm this aspect before settling for a choice.

5.  Do bookshelf speakers have good bass?

It depends on the quality of the speakers in question. Every pair has a different bass level, so you should inquire about the bass range. This is yet another point you should focus on promptly.

Conclusion

Bookshelf speakers are an innovative product that combines quality and portability. Even if you have a small room, you can install them and enjoy some good hip hop or any other genre of your liking. Thus, not having much choice in that manner is not a handicap since there’s always a ton of options. When one has limited space, getting bookshelf speakers might be the only substitute to surround speakers.

This guide points to some of the best choices around. We’ve included trustworthy brands who like to improve and provide for their customers. So, by opting for any of these eight best bookshelf speakers, you can improve the vibe of your room.

To accommodate all tastes, this list holds items with various asking prices. In that way, you can easily select the one that matches your budget. Then, let us know which one comes up on top for you. We’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to sound off in the comments!

Expert Tip

Do not go for the most expensive bookshelf speakers because you can get a proper sound system for that same price instead. Instead, look for affordable and compact items that you can easily accommodate even in the kids’ room.

Did You Know?

Bookshelf speakers were first manufactured in 1975 by Spencer Hughes and Dudley Harwood. Since then, we have seen better and improved versions every day. However, the industry will not forget their contributions any time soon.

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How Far Apart Should Bookshelf Speakers Be – Beginner’s Guide

bookshelf speakers placed far apart

Getting the most out of your bookshelf speakers involves more than just having the best speakers in town. Even with great speakers, the way you place them in your living room or bedroom affects the sound output you’ll get from them.

Most people don’t know how to place their bookshelf speakers for the best experience. As a result, they get mediocre audio performance.

bookshelf speakers
Photo by Shakti Rajpurohit on Unsplash

This guide on how far apart should bookshelf speakers be has everything you need so you get the best audio output at home. In addition, you can apply them to any other speaker as well.

Follow this quick guide below to get started in 7 easy steps.

In This Guide:

  • Things to consider when setting up your bookshelf speakers
  • How far apart should bookshelf speakers be?
  • How to position your bookshelf speakers for the best sound output

Let’s take an in-depth look at these factors one after the other. In addition, you’ll see how they affect sound output.

Things to Consider When Setting up Your Bookshelf Speakers

pair of a bookshelf speakers setup without surplus space
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

You cannot talk of how far apart should bookshelf speakers be without considering certain things. Setting up your bookshelf speakers can be tricky. Also, without surplus space, you may get poor speaker performance.

As a result, check the following factors if you want the best audio out of your speakers.

●     Bookshelf Speaker Specs

Firstly, you must consider the specs when choosing a speaker, like the bass output, treble frequency, and sound volume. Check the reviews and see what people say about the speaker if you’re shopping online.

●     Size of Your Room and Space Available

Secondly, check how much space you have to spare. If you have a large living room or bedroom, you can place these bookshelf speakers anywhere. Since space isn’t a problem, answering the question “how far apart should bookshelf speakers be?” is not a big deal.

On the other hand, if there is little free space, you’d want to get the best sound output within the limits you can manage.

●     Room Setup and Arrangement

Thirdly, your room setup is another factor you should consider when setting up your bookshelf speakers. To get the best sound output, you should check the stuff in your room. The more things in your room, the more sound is reflected, which dampens the audio produced.

In addition, these objects affect what you hear from your speakers, and you may not get the best sound out of your bookshelf speakers.

●     The Angle Between the Bookshelf Speakers

The speakers’ angle also affects the sound output. If the angle is large, the sound will overlap less and give poor quality. Likewise, if there’s a slight angle between the two bookshelf speakers, the sound overlaps a lot and becomes muffled. This way, you may get more noise than music.

If you want the best out of your bookshelf speakers, you have to find a sweet spot between a wide angle and a slight angle. You’ll see how to get the best positioning below.

●     Distance Between the Speakers and Yourself

Finally, this is a significant factor affecting how good your sound is. Sound energy loses its quality as it travels through the air. Therefore, the farther the speakers are from yourself, the lower the sound quality you’ll get.

Ideally, the distance between your speakers and you should be minimal – but not too close, so the sounds from the two bookshelf speakers overlap a bit.

Now, you’ve seen what to watch out for when placing these speakers in your living room or bedroom. So, let’s go back to the original question – how far apart should bookshelf speakers be – in the next section.

How Far Apart Should Bookshelf Speakers Be?

bookshelf speakers placed 4 feet apart
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

The answer depends on the amount of space you have available. If space is not a problem, a distance of 4 feet between them gives the best audio output for most bookshelf speakers.

Therefore, bookshelf speakers should have a distance of 3 – 4 feet between them. If there’s enough space, make it 4 feet. On the other hand, if you’re tight on free room, the least distance you should be looking at is 3 feet.

However, getting the most outstanding value from your speakers requires some extra effort. There’s more involved than just giving them some space in between. The angle between the bookshelf speakers, their height, proximity to walls, and placement all come into play.

You’ll see how to use all these factors and get the best from your bookshelf speakers. When all these variables are combined, you’ll know just how far apart should bookshelf speakers be.

7 Steps to Position Your Bookshelf Speakers for the Best Sound Output

Black bookshelf speakers on a brown wooden console table
Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Here are the top 7 things you should consider when placing your bookshelf speakers. This way, you get the best music and multimedia output – even if you’re using a budget speaker. As stated earlier, buying premium bookshelf speakers doesn’t necessarily mean great audio.

1.   Bookshelf Speaker Placement

First, you have to choose where you sit while watching TV or listening to music. Next, place the bookshelf speakers so that they form a triangle. Make sure that the speakers are the same distance from you. Also, these lines should intersect at your sitting position; that is, you sit at the triangle’s tip.

2.   Distance Between Bookshelf Speakers

Second to speaker placement, the distance between the right and left speakers determines how well you’ll hear the sound from them. A length of 4 feet is the recommended maximum. Though, you can use 3 feet or 3.5 feet if you’re short on space.

3.   Speaker Height

You should also ensure the bookshelf speakers’ tweeters are at your ear level for the most immersive sounds. They are responsible for producing high-frequency treble sounds, and missing this step will reduce the sound quality.

Therefore, don’t forget about elevating the speakers, so the tweeters are about the level of your ears when sitting down.

4.   Distance From Walls

Echos and sound reflections dampen the audio quality. As a result, make sure your speakers are 2 – 3 feet away from the nearest walls. This way, echoes or reflections that may reduce the sound quality will be removed.

5.   The Angle Between the Speakers

You cannot talk about how far apart should bookshelf speakers be without considering the angle between the speakers.

The angle between the right and left speakers affects what sound reaches you. Face the speakers towards themselves, so you get the angle between 10 and 2 on the clock.

This moderate angle creates an overlap that blends both speakers’ music for better results.

For fantastic sound over a small area – for example, when listening to music alone – decrease the angle between the speakers. If you want greater sound volume over a wide area or need the sound to fill the room, increase the angle between the right and left speakers.

6.   Room Arrangement

Remove any object that stands in the way between your speaker and yourself. The fewer things blocking the speaker or present around it, the lower the sound reflection. As a result, you’ll have a greater audio output.

7.   Firm Support

Make sure these bookshelf speakers are on a secure platform. Do not use unstable surfaces as they tend to vibrate and ruin your audio experience. Moreover, unsteady surfaces may cause the speaker to fall and get damaged.

Wrapping Up

You’ve seen that many other things matter when it comes to how far apart should bookshelf speakers be. Each factor helps improve sound output and quality, and you should consider each point carefully.

Therefore, use this guide in rearranging your living room or bedroom. Finally, place your bookshelf speakers in the best way, so you get the highest audio quality possible.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $100 in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 100 in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers

When it comes to finding great bookshelf speakers, there are a ton of options out there. When it comes to finding cheap bookshelf speakers, it requires a little more care. Sure, you can find a ton of budget bookshelf speakers but you also want to make sure you’re getting decent sound quality even when you spend less.

While you will find there are many choices out there, you also need to know what to expect and what to specifically watch for. Remember spending a little less might mean the speakers don’t quite perform the same as some high-dollar options but it doesn’t mean they have to be terrible either.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 100 in 2021 - Reviews & Buyers
Photo by Max Ostwalt on Unsplash

We’ve got you covered! We’ve put together an intuitive guide that walks you through the things you should look for. We will walk you through some of the best budget bookshelf speakers on the market and share some tips for picking out your new speakers.

This article specifically reviews the best bookshelf speakers under $100. If you would like to explore options in other price ranges, take a look at our more comprehensive Best Bookshelf Speakers article.

Also Recommended: Best Budget Speakers for a Turntable

Let’s take a look!

How to Choose Budget Bookshelf Speakers

Let’s start by checking out some helpful insights for picking out the best budget bookshelf speakers. This part of our guide is simply designed to give you some great information. It’s meant to be informative so you know what to expect or look for in these speakers.

What to Expect from a Bookshelf Speaker Under $100

What to Expect from a Bookshelf Speaker Under $100
Photo by Hamza NOUASRIA on Unsplash

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? First, we have to keep in mind that these bookshelf speakers are not going to be top of the line. With that being said, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice sound quality.

If you compare your $100 speakers to some $600 speakers, you will probably notice a difference. However, you can still find really great quality in this dollar range. So remember that you might be more limited on the range, overall sound, or maybe even the setup but in the end, it should still sound good.

We believe that even budget choices should be good choices so the cheap bookshelf speakers you will find in our guide are going to bring you good, reliable sound and that’s really the point isn’t it?

Amplifier

The amplifier is perhaps the part of the speaker that really makes or breaks the sound. For bookshelf speakers under 100, you may have to add your own amplifier to the system when you get it all set up. If this is the case, be sure that you check for compatibility.

We recommend planning to combine with an amp anyway so be sure to check out what is required and what will or will not work with the systems that you choose. You may find that you don’t need an amplifier but if one is required, this is an added expense.

Passive speakers always need an amp so if you see this terminology, be prepared to add that to your cart as well.

Bass

Bass is a quality that some brands or companies just can’t seem to get right. This may not be significant to you but most people who have full surround sound or use bookshelf speakers are also looking for a good bass sound.

In bookshelf speakers under 100, you will probably end up with lighter bass but what you really want is bass that is clear and concise in sound. The quality of the bass might just be one of the most important qualities to keep a watchful eye out for.

The challenge is the compact box so the bass design has to be well thought out by the manufacturer. Some of them are able to make that happen better than others. You will find there are companies who work so hard to make sure they have a bass that they don’t make sure it’s good bass so just keep a watchful eye out for that!

Power

Finally, you will want to take note of the power. This can be a challenging category but there are two things to consider here.

The first is that the more power behind the music, the more the sound can spread and probably be clear and uniform to listen to.

The other thing is that some speakers are not made to handle heavy power so more power is not always great sound. If the power is too much for the speaker to really handle, you will end up with fuzzy sound or feedback.

So what you really want is appropriate power for the design rather than power overload. You also want high-quality power and a system that knows how to separate the power to create quality sound.

Look for good power but also check out what others are saying because this is the best way to know whether the power is really great for the overall design or not.

The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 100 Reviewed

Now that you’ve got some basic details, it’s time to dig into the options. We searched the market to try to find you the very best choices. Our goal was to bring you the best bookshelf speakers in this dollar range while still making sure you have a variety of choices.

We hope you can find something here that works for your needs.

1. Best Overall: Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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If you’re really looking for the best of the best cheap bookshelf speakers, take a look at these. Edifier have that really nice wood finish and they are highly-rated by users on Amazon. They’ve got more than 12,500 reviews to check out and still reach more than 4.5 stars so they must be doing something right!

This company uses high quality components to provide really great sound quality. You can adjust volumes and settings on the active speaker or use the included remote control. Edifier speakers bring the build quality and good frequency response to your home theater. The sound of these speakers is almost as great as if you were directly in the studio at the same time.

These best speakers are well balanced. You have RCA inputs and outputs. These are pretty close on the budget line but they are also well worth it if you can swing the cost. You can even connect to two devices at one time.

The four inch woofer paired with the silk dome tweeters is the perfect pair and with premium components, you get premium sound from the speaker. The bass response is nice and the performance is best in class for any room!

Specs:

Max Power Output: 42 watts
Frequency Response: 75 Hz to 18KHz
Woofer Size: 4 inches
Speaker Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.5 x 5.8 inches

Key Feature (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Bass: 9
  • Power: 10
  • Range: 9
  • Price: 9
  • Sound: 10
Pros:
  • Two drivers so you can connect two devices at once
  • One of the best bookshelf options on a budget
  • Nice wood look
  • Quality performance and design
  • Well balanced sound
Cons:
  • You won’t get really deep bass here but rather a quality bass driver for low frequencies

Why We Like It: When it comes to a budget option, you really can’t go wrong here. It’s made with quality materials and has nice features. The tweeter is perfect for rounding out the overall sound. If you want an awesome pick, this might be your best bet.

2. Budget Pick: Moukey Passive Bookshelf Speakers

Moukey Passive Bookshelf Speakers

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If you want lower prices without sacrificing performance, Moukey could be perfect for a tight budget. The power handling is nice and these really are top notch speakers. These have a copper rimmed four inch woofer for good bass response. It’s a passive speaker design so be prepared to add an amp or other connections to the right speaker for your sound.

The enclosure is wooden, which can be hard to find at a mid range price like this. The tweeters are one inch and your sound will be present in any room with good volume. These have built in crossover features to split up the audio signals and help deliver the best noise quality.

Each feature was well thought out to bring you a bit of quality at a low end price range. These can be wall mounted if you like as well. The wooden boxes are actually hand crafted and the quality is the top priority in making them.

If you set up these speakers wisely without overdoing the power, you will find they really do produce optimal sounds compared to some options out there. These are meant to be immersive with your noise needs and requirements so they are pretty versatile in how you use them as well.

Specs:

Max Power Output: 100 watts
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20KHz
Woofer Size: 4 inches
Speaker Dimensions: 8.1 x 10.8 x 6.5 inches

Key Feature (On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest)

  • Bass: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Range: 10
  • Price: 10
  • Sound: 10
Pros:
  • Mid range price with quality performance
  • Passive design for more versatility
  • The bass sounds great without being heavy
  • Easy to pair with other parts of your setup
  • Subwoofer is four inches and copper rimmed
Cons:
  • Passive style will require additional components for operation
  • The bass is inconsistent depending on the source

Why We Like It: We love great performance and when you look at the subwoofer and the tweeter pair here, you really get the best of both worlds. It’s also a perfect budget pick with outstanding quality that you can depend on.

3. Best Value: Polk Audio T15 Surround Speakers Bookshelf Style

Polk Audio T15 Surround Speakers Bookshelf Style

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Next up is a classic winner in the market, the Polk Audio T15. These are a really great value. The sound waves are smooth to perfection and you can use these as a surround speaker or some other function. These speakers sound really nice when connected and have a quality bass response as well.

Add to your home theater or simply set up the best bookshelf speaker for music listening. Let the sound waves call your name. Hi res audio has really never sounded so good. These even have RCA inputs that have a 5 way binding post and it’s gold plated.

The bass driver woofer is nearly 6 inches, measuring in at 5.75 inches. The tweeter is just under an inch. The rubber surround really helps to produce quality sound at the same time as you get reliable power handling. The result is an immersive home theater experience.

These mountable speakers use premium components and Polk Audio T15 is well known as the best speaker in this price range when you look at quality, sounds, and value as a whole.

Specs:

Max Power Output: 100 watts
Frequency Response: 60 Hz to 24KHz
Woofer Size: 5.75 inches
Speaker Dimensions: 7.3 x 6.5 x 10.7 inches

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

  • Bass: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Range: 9
  • Price: 10
  • Sound: 10
Pros:
  • Well known brand in the market with high rankings
  • Rubber surround swaddled in a wooden frame makes it very clear
  • The bass response is perfect for surround speakers
  • Versatile for a lot of different uses with volume and reliability
  • Pair with other home theater pieces or just enjoy music
Cons:
  • The bass can sometimes get a bit tinny because of the more limited range. It’s better at mid range

Why We Like It: We love being able to rely on a trusted brand and get the performance you deserve. If you want to deliver the best noise for any use, you really can’t go wrong on a budget with this particular speaker solution. It’s the best bang for your buck.

4. Bestisan Bookshelf Speakers with Bluetooth

Bestisan Bookshelf Speakers with Bluetooth

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You probably won’t recognize the name brand of these bookshelf speakers but that doesn’t take away from the sound quality that you can depend on. When it comes to the best bookshelf speakers, don’t overlook this option. They’re affordable, they’re reliable, and they sport a very nice wood look that stands out when it comes to style.

Bestisan is one of the few pairs in this price range that is an active speaker and offers you Bluetooth connectivity as well. The sound waves are gentle and balanced and your right speaker has controls that you can work with right on the speaker. You also get a remote control to keep it simple too.

You will find the sound is undistorted as these are powerful but not so powerful that they overload. They support three different sound modes, including music, dialogue, and movie and you get to set your preference for your use.

Use these wired or wireless, whatever works for you. The front firing bass port helps to control the range while still providing you with quality bass for your listening pleasures.

Specs:

Max Power Output: 50 watts
Frequency Response: 40 Hz to 20KHz
Woofer Size: 4 inches
Speaker Dimensions: 18.5 x 7.8 x 12 inches

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

  • Bass: 10
  • Power: 9
  • Range: 10
  • Price: 10
  • Sound: 10
Pros:
  • A great range to fully enjoy the power of the front firing bass port
  • Wooden style that looks nice anywhere
  • Bluetooth connectivity adds more versatility
  • Three sound modes
  • Comes with a remote or controls on the speaker itself
Cons:
  • The lower the sound, the more you lose quality

Why We Like It: We love to throw in a little something different. This has a great range, a good price, and overall nice sound. The performance is definitely there for a budget option and you can pair it with Bluetooth or other devices to customize the theater setup you prefer.

5. Micca MB42 Round Up Bookshelf Speakers

Micca MB42 Round Up Bookshelf Speakers

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Pair these beauties with any part of your home theater’s design and you won’t be disappointed. Micca have mid range responses, quality subwoofer and bass delivery, and a volume that lets you enjoy the music. Your tweeter and your woofer pair together to bring you a bit of performance in a simple design.

These simple black speakers can be used in any space. The pair is passive so you can perfect your space with amps and any other accessible additions to the overall setup. The drivers are perhaps the best feature here with silk down tweeter and crossover to add balance and quality bass to the performance.

The front gills are removable too so you can choose your style. If you want to show off the simple tweeter and woofer or if you want to make it more uniform by covering the drivers. The choice is totally yours, allowing you more versatility to plan and control your space.

This brand even allows you to have a home trial so you can test out the quality and performance and if you hate it, let them know. We don’t think you will though. The feature components are well rounded and the sound is bright all around.

Specs:

Max Power Output: 75 watts
Frequency Response: 60 Hz to 20KHz
Woofer Size: 4 inches
Speaker Dimensions: 9.5 x 5.8 x 6.5 inches

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

  • Bass: 9
  • Power:10
  • Range: 9
  • Price: 10
  • Sound: 9
Pros:
  • Leave the tweeter and woofer uncovered for a different look
  • Quality performance with bright sound
  • Pair with an amp or other theater pieces
  • Quality connections for easy use
  • The drivers bring balance and volume
Cons:
  • 60 Hz leaves bass notes a bit more limited but the tweeter helps to clear the sound
  • The overall build could be improved. Some of the parts don’t hold up as well

Why We Like It: It’s refreshing to present a variety of options and prices. The drivers and the tweeter on this help to feature reliable sound and it’s perfect when you pair it up. You get power in a more compact size than most other speakers in this mid range category.


Related Reviews:
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 Review
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500 Review


Bookshelf Speaker Buyer’s Guide

Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels
Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Now that you’ve seen your options, we want to give you some helpful details to choose bookshelf speakers that meet your needs. These details are focused on things you want to be sure to consider before you buy a bookshelf speaker. Keep in mind, some of these will be personal preferences but hopefully, they can help you make an informed decision.

Sound Quality

Why is that you want to buy a new bookshelf speaker set? Our guess is you want to enhance your listening experience? Correct us if we’re wrong but the overall goal is typically to produce the best noise to enjoy.

If it doesn’t improve the listening, it’s probably not really worth your money or your efforts. With that in mind, for this dollar range, you also need to be prepared to learn ways to make it even better. This may be the addition of a good amp or even connection to a full theater system.

All of it requires drivers that are built to bring balanced sound from the high notes to the low notes.

Bass quality can be really hard to find here. The lower the frequencies, the better this will be but there is certainly no guarantee that it can still pick up each of those notes in detail. This is where it can be helpful to see what others have to say before you buy.

What are Bookshelf Speakers Used For?

These simple speakers have a specific purpose. They can sometimes be used as standalone but other times they require other connections. This is where active and passive come into play but we will touch on that more in a moment.

These are meant to be hung on a wall, set on a bookshelf (hence the name bookshelf speaker), or be placed elsewhere. It is typically recommended that you don’t place them on the floor as this could impede sound.

The goal of a bookshelf speaker is basically to maximize the sound in a specific area. They work best as mids so in small to medium sized spaces is where you will notice the best auditory improvements.

Active Vs. Passive

Does it really matter whether you go with active or passive? Well yes and no is the answer here. You see, there are certain requirements and differences between the two so you just need to be familiar with those to really get the best noise results from your setup.

Here’s the primary difference. Passive speakers require other connections to power them. In this case, you need to plan to add an amp and potentially some other pieces to really make the most of it. They won’t work without at least an amp to connect and pair with so keep that in mind. It could mean an additional cost if you don’t already have one on hand.

Active speakers can function on their own. They just need a source for the sounds they produce. Whether that means hooking up to a stereo, a TV, or some other setup is totally up to you. Some of them even have Bluetooth or something along those lines so you can just stream from your music app on your phone if you want to.

Compatibility

You’re always going to want to make sure that the various components and parts and pieces are all compatible.

This is simple for people who know exactly what to look for but it might require some additional effort on your part if you aren’t familiar with the connections and details like that.

Always check out your connections to be sure that they can be paired together. RCA, auxiliary, things like that. Your speakers really won’t do you any good if you can’t sync them up right? A lot of the newer models have 5-way plugs so they are more compatible or can be adapted easily enough if needed.

What you don’t want is to end up with something that you can’t make work so check out the plugs and the compatibility with what you plan to add or what you already have. This will just help the connection process go much more smoothly in the end.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some of these common questions and answers for some more useful information.

Can Bookshelf Speakers be Used as Front Speakers?

Yes, they can be used as front speakers. What you want to be aware of is that the bass and overall sound results are not necessarily as purposed when you use them as front speakers. Bookshelf speaker options typically work the best when used as a part of the overall picture but they can easily stand alone, be used as front speakers, or serve in another capacity as well.

Do You Need Your Bookshelf Speakers to Have Bluetooth or Not?

Bluetooth is not required and you will actually find that many of them don’t have Bluetooth compatibility. Bluetooth can simplify your setup and make connections easier or more versatile but you can also connect with wires and generally not have a lot of issues.

Whether or not you choose to have Bluetooth is really going to be a matter of personal preference. If you want a wireless connection, you will want either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but if you aren’t picky and you just want a good setup, you don’t have to search for this element.

Do You Need a Separate Subwoofer?

Bookshelf speakers are created with both a subwoofer and a tweeter already built into them. They are not necessarily the only solution to this type of device though. What you will find is that sometimes the bass is lacking or simply doesn’t pull in the lowest notes on a bookshelf speaker.

This is where a separate subwoofer could come in handy but the good news is that you don’t have to use one to get reliable soundbites from the speakers.

Conclusion

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for finding a reliable set of bookshelf speakers under $100. There are some really great options out there but you always want to make sure the quality is still reliable, even with the dollar range that we are reviewing.

We’d love to hear about your home setup!

Expert Tip

Plan your setup before you purchase so you can check for drivers, connections, and any additional parts or features that you will need to add to the design. Think of all of the parts to make your setup work the best.

Did You Know?

Bookshelf speakers shouldn’t be on the ground if you really want to make the most of their provisions. They work best in an elevated position as the floor could impede their output. Hang them on the wall, set them on a shelf, use them on a bookshelf like they were designed for. It’s up to you but make sure they are off the floor!

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Stereo Active Near Field Monitors - Studio Monitor Speaker - Wooden Enclosure - 42 Watts RMS
  • 2 x AUX INPUT - Convenient connection to any device that has a 3.5mm...
  • STUDIO SOUND QUALITY - Natural sound reproduction from 13mm silk dome...
Bestseller No. 2
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair) - Black
  • Bookshelf speaker with Hi-Res Audio perfect for your home theater or...
  • Amplify your movie, music, and gaming experience with a speaker that...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker Set of 2 Black
  • Single 4" spun-copper IMG woofer
  • 1" aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn