Guide to Bookshelf Speakers

Speakers are an important part of any entertainment system, so if you’re building your own, speakers are a must-have. But if your room doesn’t have enough space, bookshelf speakers are your most realistic option as they can easily fill the room with sounds.

Bookshelf speakers are speakers that are meant to rest on a shelf, table or another elevated surface, such as a bookshelf. It’s a compact loudspeaker that is generally sold for consumer-grade home audio applications. For medium-sized to small-sized rooms, a bookshelf speaker is the second best thing (next to larger, floor-standing speakers). Bookshelf speakers are also used as surround sound speakers to deliver sounds with dynamic bass and full-range clarity.

Here are some great bookshelf speaker options you can find:


Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Polk Audio RTi A1
Q Acoustics 3020
KEF Q150
Edifier R1280T
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
ELAC B6.2 Debut 2.0
Klipsch RP-160M
Edifier R1700BT
Sonos One
Sony SSCS5 

1. Polk Audio RTi A1

Polk Audio RTi A1 is a bookshelf speaker that has a gorgeous-looking cabinet and provides high-quality sounds. This speaker produces a natural and detailed mid and high-range sounds and excellent bass extension through its 1-inch dome tweeter and 5 ¼-inch dynamic cone driver. The deep and full low-end sounds are clean and rich, as produced by Polk’s Power Port technology that makes the heavier bass sound. This technology also reduces port noise or chuffing. This speaker is flexible and can be used as part of a home surround sound system or as front end speakers for a TV or computer. It even comes with a built-in cooling mechanism to prevent over-heating. The compact size and attractive finish of this speaker is another great thing to like, and this speaker is available in black or cherry red.

2. Q Acoustics 3020

Offering great quality, superb detail, and soundstage, Q Acoustics 3020 is worth your money. This pair of speakers are well-designed, compact and gives a great deal of clarity. Though it’s small, each of the speakers delivers big bass response with fast dynamic, and accurate vocals with realistic mid-range. These babies can play louder even with less powerful receivers and amplifiers. The rounded-corner design of the speaker makes it fit for most spaces. It is available in four different finishes: gloss white, black, American walnut and graphite, so whatever your interior design style is, there’s a Q Acoustics 3020 that will suit your décor.

3. Edifier R1280T

A best-selling bookshelf speaker, Edifier R1280T is well-reviewed by its buyers and users. The first thing you’ll notice about it is the retro vibe the classic wood finish gives, but its sound quality is super modern. It delivers rich bass notes full of depth, making it perfect for a surround sound home system. This speaker comes with a built-in tone control that can easily adjust treble and bass from -6 to +6db. It is powered and comes with a pair of AUX inputs, so you don’t need a separate amplifier. The sound itself is great, thanks to it’s 13 mm silk dome tweeters and 4-inch full range woofer. It even comes with a remote control for easy volume and setting adjustment. If you want Bluetooth connectivity, the Edifier R1700BT is its upgraded version.

4. KEF Q150

KEF Q150 is another popular bookshelf speaker because it offers crystal clarity and rich detail when it comes to sounds. It’s a step up in sound quality with a smooth and clear upper register, offering some of the most transparent and organic sound coming from a bookshelf speaker. It features KEF’s amazing Blade speakers – a two-way, concentrically-mounted tweeter and woofer combo aimed at linear frequency perfection. The sound it creates is distinctive, with deep and powerful bass and a warm and fluid mid-range. The front port has been moved to the back to reduce internal resonances and to make sound clearer. This speaker is available in sleek, matte black and white vinyl finishes.

5. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

If you’re on a tight budget but you want a great pair of speakers, check out Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. It offers superb sound at a bargain price. At first look, they are not very high in appeal, but these deliver great value. Its 4-inch woofer with oversized magnets and vented pole piece offers improved bass response and its 1-inch soft dome tweeters have smooth production of high frequency sounds even at high volumes. It’s lightweight, portable and available in a classic black design. Having the Pioneer name, you can be assured that this speaker carries remarkable sound quality.

6. ELAC B6.2 Debut 2.0

The ELAC B6.2 Debut 2.0 is an improvement of its predecessor, the Debut B6. The Debut B6 was a favorite for its great performance comparable to the Q Acoustics 3020. The ELAC B6.2 Debut 2.0 has an improved build and clearer sound quality. It features a new tweeter with a wide-dispersion waveguide and a new woven Aramid-fiber woofer. The cabinets were redesigned to allow placement near a wall with its front-facing bass port. The mid-bass is also better defined. The great deal about this speaker is it also cost less than other speakers with the same enveloping sound. However, it has a bigger and boxier design compared to most of its competitors.

7. Klipsch RP-160M

Klipsch has a signature sound due to its horn loudspeaker, and the RP-160M bookshelf speakers are a great option to try that time-tested performance in a more compact device. These speakers are efficient and deliver big and powerful sounds. The Hybrid Tractrix Horn embedded in this device improves high-frequency response. The compressed molded rubber construction of this speaker further adds to the high-frequency damping that enhances detail, resulting in a crystal clear sound. Another feature to like is the Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) titanium tweeter that ensures a detailed performance. On the outside, it has an elegant design available in four finishes such as cherry, ebony, walnut and piano black.

8. Edifier R1700BT

Here’s a Bluetooth bookshelf speaker to consider. The Edifier R1700BT lets you play music with a hassle-free, wireless experience. This speaker is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 streaming compatible with any Android, iOS, Windows or Mac device. It also comes with two AUX inputs so you can connect other wired devices. It produces a warm, rich and detailed midrange and treble, and the dynamics are pleasantly fluid. Even at quieter volumes, you can hear basslines thumping. Overall, it produces a smooth and enthusiastic sound. The build of this speaker is sleek and elegant, with a classic wood finish made of high-quality MDF that looks lovely.  

9. Sonos One

The Sonos One speaker is a smart speaker that can fit in your bookshelf. Smart speakers generally don’t sound as clear and powerful as traditional speakers as they were created as assistants first and speakers second. But out of the many smart speakers in the market, Sonos One offers an excellent balance of intelligence, good audio performance, price, and style. This speaker is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This speaker has a two-driver setup similar to most traditional bookshelf speakers. It’s small, but it sounds a lot bigger than it looks. It offers a full-range sound with clear treble, midrange, and bass. The bass is impressively deep. It’s also equipped with a TruePlay feature that lets you manually adjust the equalizer through an app.

10. Sony SSCS5 

If you want to fill your room with an immersive audio experience with using speakers, the Sony SSCS5 is the one to pick. This speaker boasts impressive bass, thanks to its three-way, three-speaker bass-reflex system that delivers real audio experience and expansive soundstage. These speakers are equipped with foamed mica woofer diaphragms that produce supple sounds. Its 5 ¼-inch foam woofer balances low weight sounds with powerful and deep bass response and its ¾-inch Sony Super Tweeter delivers very responsive high-frequency audio that is clear and powerful. The speaker is enclosed with a strong, all-wood cabinet design.