Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: Premium Sound For Under A Grand

Bookshelf speakers strike the right balance by offering an excellent listening experience while saving up on space.

If you're shopping for a set of bookshelf speakers on a budget, we've got some good news:

The best bookshelf speakers under $1000 on this list deliver the best sound quality on the market.

Still, it's up to you to prioritize the features that matter most to you at this price range. We will help you have an easier time deciding, as we've reviewed every speaker and outlined its pros and cons.

Without further ado, let's dive right into it.

In a hurry? After 41 Hours of Research, We Recommend:

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
95/100
our score

Why it is better?

  • Unparalleled sound quality
  • Great frequency response
  • Effortless full-range sound
  • Stunning dynamics
  • Compact
  • Premium design

sourses
31

RESEARCHED SOURCES

711

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

41

hours researching

55

products compared

Last Updated: October 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best center channel speakers available for those who are interested in ramping the quality of their sound up. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best center channel speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 - Comparison Table

Before you read about the best bookshelf speakers out there, check out their most important characteristics here:

Product

Size

Power (RMS/Peak)

Frequency Range

Sensitivity

Our Rating

Current Price

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

ESVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

 10.9 x 8.5 x 15"

20/150 watts

45-32,000Hz

87 dB

95/100

Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker

Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker

 17 x 7.3 x 15"

100/150 watts

50-22,000 Hz

90 dB

91/100

Definitive Technology D11 Demand Series Bookshelf Speakers

 12.5 x 7.3 x 13"

30/150 watts

57-24,000 Hz

86 dB

92/100

Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers

 8 x 18 x15.7"

100/140 watts

45-25,000 Hz

96 dB

96/100

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

 6.9 x 11.4 x 10"

60/120 watts

55-20,000 Hz

85 dB

83/100

10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 - Detailed Reviews 

Let's be honest; $300 isn't a small amount of money. However, when you consider that bookshelf speaker prices go as high up as several thousand dollars, then it's pocket change.

Don't get me wrong; it'll still buy you a decent bookshelf speaker system. It's just that you'll have to do a bit of research to get to the best ones.

Luckily for you, I already did all the hard stuff - and now I bring you the very best speakers under $300, each covered in a detailed review.

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
Our Rating: 95/100

SVS has once again proved that they produce high-quality speakers - their SVS Ultra model earned the title of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000.

What launched this set of bookshelf speakers past competition was an incredibly balanced sound and impressive performance for the price range.

Let's break down the features. 

The Design

With its classic all-black design and a gloss finish, it's difficult to imagine an interior in which the SVS Ultra wouldn't merge happily.

If you dislike the luster of the Piano Gloss Black variant, you can get the Black Oak Veneer one that looks equally premium.

But what we liked the most about these speakers design-wise was how every detail is well-thought-out.

The front baffle of the cabinet has tapered edges (called chamfers) for minimal edge diffraction, while each cabinet features a separate sub-enclosure of the tweeter and the mid-bass driver for high performance.

Even the grille design is utilized with the purpose of maximizing acoustic transparency.

The Performance

The power rating of 150 watts doesn't sound overly impressive, but under $1000, you'd be hard-pressed to find a set of speakers with such a powerful sound and accurate bass production.

Its composite glass-fiber cone woofer construction combined with a 1-inch aluminum tweeter and 6.5-inch mid-bass drivers delivers a wonderfully rich tonal balance.

Even serious audiophiles will be happy with the 45-32,000 Hz frequency range, 87 dB sensitivity, and incredibly unveiled highs.

If you go with our top pick, paired with a surround system or solo, you're in for world-class performance.

Pros

  • Excellent power handling capabilities
  • Rich, detailed sound even at a low volume
  • Able to produce deep bass
  • A high-quality 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
Audioengine HD6 W
Our Rating: 91/100

Are you all about portability and ease of use?

Then the Audioengine's HD6 wireless bookshelf speaker is what you need.

With the possibility to connect via Bluetooth due to its stable Bluetooth antenna with the 100-foot range, and the remote control you get, you can easily use this pair of speakers with any devices or apps you wish.ґ

The Design

This pair of speakers has been given a classic makeover with attractive hand-built wood cabinets.

All the components were built with quality and versatility in mind. The mini-jack and RCA outputs are positioned well, and you can utilize these speakers in whichever system you wish.

You get a Bluetooth antenna, aluminum-cased remote control, a 4-meter speaker wire, and the power cord - pretty much everything you need to begin your listening experience right out of the box.

The Performance

You'll find that another Audioengine's set of speakers - the A5+ - made it to our list, but the HD6 offers a better sound quality due to the larger 1-inch tweeter and 5.5-inch woofer along with improved crossovers.

That, along with 90-dB sensitivity and 100-watt RMS rating, results in a controlled bass and a relatively wide, 50-22,000 Hz frequency response, making this speaker a bomb when it comes to mid-range wireless picks.

If the volume is turned up too high, you might experience some rumbling. But overall, the speakers will produce clean and consistent sound output.

Pros

  • Stable Bluetooth connectivity with a wide range
  • Excellent bass output
  • Compatible with virtually any device
  • 3-year warranty
  • You get a remote control

Cons

  • Slightly lacking in the highs (above 4000 Hz)
  • On the heavy side
Definitive Technology D11 Demand Series Bookshelf Speakers
Our Rating: 92/100

The Definitive Technology D11 delivers everything you want of a speaker in this price range - crystal-clear performance, powerful audio effects, and aesthetics.

You can use this pair of speakers as standalone speakers in a 2.0 channel system or a 2.1 channel system with a sub. But it also makes an excellent addition to your home theater system with an amplifier!

The Design

For those who love bold design, the silver and gloss black - or black and white color schemes, depending on the model you choose - and the oval passive bass radiator in each speaker are both futuristic and beautiful.

These are slightly above average bookshelf speakers size-wise, but considering that they're primarily made for home theaters, it shouldn't be a problem finding a suitable spot for them.

Also, there's an option to get the designated ST1 stands to raise the height of these speakers and keep them firmly in place.

The Performance

The 1'' aluminum dome tweeter in the solid aluminum baffle with 20/20-wave alignment lens translates to powerful sound with greater detail.

The frequency range is a bit limited at 57-24,000 Hz. However, the passive radiator is tuned to vibrate along with the main 6.5-inch woofer to reinforce the low-frequency tones without any distortion.

So, if you enjoy listening to Jazz, Classical, and Bossa Nova - or if you want to upgrade your movie-watching experience - you should go for this pair of speakers.

Pros

  • High-quality removable magnetic grilles
  • Comes with pre-installed jumper-straps and a cleaning cloth
  • Great low-frequency extension
  • Sturdy aluminum baffle
  • An integrated passive bass radiator

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Not the best for desktop speakers
Runner Up: Klipsch RB-51 II Bookshelf Speakers
Our Rating: 89/100

Klipsch is one of the most renowned brands in the world when it comes to speaker production, and their 600M Reference Premiere bookshelf speakers certainly lived up to the reputation.

Let's dissect all of the features you can expect if you add this pair of bookshelf speakers to your surround system.

The Design

The set of speakers comes in three equally attractive color schemes - Ebony, Piano Black, and Walnut. Of course, all of them are complemented with the trademark Klipsch orange highlights.

The removable magnetic grilles are strong and flexible, and Klipsch upgraded the horn anatomy to feature a compressed molded silicon face for protection and smoother frequency response.

Finally, the satin-painted baffles are scratch-resistant to ensure the maximum longevity of the speaker.

The Performance

Performance-wise, the 90x90 hybrid Tractrix horn and the rear-firing woofers perfectly match the cabinet, which results in minimal distortion at any frequency throughout the 45-25,000 Hz range. The 96-dB sensitivity is pretty impressive, too.

The sound is very dynamic, so you'll find that this speaker is excellent for a home theater system, even though there are some better picks when it comes to music.

It's worth mentioning that you can power up this pair of 100-watt speakers with any decent receiver or amp and get the maximum out of it because it has dual binding posts.

Pros

  • Innovative Tractrix horn
  • High-quality titanium LTS vented tweeter
  • Dual binding posts
  • Sturdy design
  • Features spun copper woofers

Cons

  • There are better mid-range picks for music
  • Slightly muddy bass
Best High-End Option: Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Our Rating: 83/100

If you want something cheap without skimping on sound quality, the Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth bookshelf speakers might be for you.

Keep reading to learn what you can get from this speaker that sits at the most affordable end of the market.

The Design

You can opt either for the classic all-black design or the wood finish one - both will blend in nicely with any interior.

Albeit the materials seemed a bit cheap at a glance, we've tested the durability of these speakers, and it was pretty satisfactory. You're also backed with a 2-year warranty.

A feature you'll rarely see at this price is the Bluetooth connection. That said, the Bluetooth range is not the best, and when you are a bit further away from the speaker, you will experience signal problems.

The Performance

The sound quality is excellent for the size and 60-watt RMS rating of the speakers. The bass is tight, whereas mids and highs are crisp, thanks to the 55-20,000 Hz frequency range.

There are intuitive knobs on the back of this active speaker you can use to adjust the bass and treble, which is a rare feature at this price point.

If you're not a super-picky audiophile, these will be good enough as an advanced pair of desktop or occasional party speakers because they are pretty loud.

Also, note that this speaker does not have a subwoofer line-out; you need a crossover to connect a subwoofer parallel to the speaker.

Pros

  • Great for light music
  • Bright and clear sound
  • Available in many colors
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Could use more bass
KEF Q350
Our Rating: 88/100

The KEF Q350 bookshelf speakers are one of the best models with the new-and-improved Uni-Q driver array in KEF's award-winning Q series.

Getting a pair of these will undoubtedly improve your gaming experience - but they're also an excellent pick for a home theater system.

The Design

If you're going for that modern and stylish vibe, the KEF Q350 will meet your expectations without any doubt.

They are available in Black, Walnut, and White variants, and the cabinet features the port at the back. That's one of the features that the manufacturers changed compared to the other models in their wildly successful Uni-Q driver array of speakers.

Also, note that the grill covers are purchased separately from the bookshelf speaker - if you choose to put them on, that is.

The Performance

The 5.25-inch Uni-Q driver with ultra-wide dispersion is the key element of this high-performance technology. Smoothing out treble frequencies provides more accurate bass and clear sound throughout the 51-28,000 Hz range.

It's excellent at accentuating side effects, dispersing them evenly throughout your room.

The repositioned port isn't there solely for aesthetical purposes, either - even though the front looks much better without it. Namely, it reduces unwanted internal resonance and the audibility of the midrange leakage through the port.

The 15-watt RMS rating seems a bit low compared to the other options I tested.

Pros

  • The high-quality Uni-Q driver array
  • Very dynamic
  • High sound clarity
  • Repositioned port
  • Has rubber feet at the bottom

Cons

  • There might be some better picks for music
  • Grilles are sold separately

7. Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speaker - Best Budget-Friendly Computer Speakers

Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speaker | Desktop Monitor Speaker
Our Rating: 84/100

Another Audioengine pick on our list, the Audioengine A5+, comes behind its sibling, the HD6, in terms of sound quality.

Still, there's a lot of advanced features to find in this model, so let's go over them - because they might be just what you need.

The Design

The Bamboo, Black, and White versions of the speakers will cater to anyone's taste.

But the real power of Audioengine's A5+ speakers lies in their versatility when it comes to connections:

Through the RCA or 3.5 mm input, you can connect any device directly to the speakers, and you can also go down the wireless path by using Bluetooth.

You'll get everything you need when you purchase a pair of these speakers, including the Bluetooth antenna, speaker wires, and a power supply cord. You even get a remote control and microfiber speaker bags.

The Performance

These speakers pack in plenty of sound detail, and you get decent sound quality with this slightly older 50-watt model.

Given its small dimensions, you'd expect these speakers to be limited in terms of bass weight. Still, the quality of the bass is pretty satisfactory - despite the somewhat limited 50-22,000 Hz range.

All in all, the A5+ bookshelf speakers certainly won't measure against today's class leaders, but it delivers solid sound quality on a budget.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Can be paired with a myriad of devices
  • Comes with a remote and storage bags
  • A handy quick mute button
  • Built-in amp
  • Very compact

Cons

  • There are better picks when it comes to the power of the sound
Polk Audio TSi200
Our Rating: 89/100

"Loud" isn't the first thing that would come to mind when you think about bookshelf speakers - but this model begs to differ.

Budget shoppers looking for the loudest bookshelf speakers should pay attention to the Polk Audio TSi200.

The Design

With these speakers, Polk Audio has stepped away from the standard design.

They have created a unique and stylish cabinet with glossy black top plates, pewter trim rings, and wood grain finishes.

A piece of advice is to be aware of the wall proximity because the enclosure is rear-ported, so you want to avoid any cable damage. There are also 5-way binding posts on the lower portion that are compatible with banana plugs and spades.

The Performance

Armed with the 1-inch silk/polymer Dynamic Balance soft dome tweeter and two 5.25-inch bi-laminate organic fiber cone woofers, these speakers achieve clean highs without distortion.

The dual mid-bass driver produces warm and rich sound regardless of the genre you decide to play. Plus, the low end goes low - well, for this type of speaker, anyway - with a 43-25,000 Hz range.

It's worth noting that all of the above applies to the home setting; these 20-watt speakers were not designed for outdoor party use.

Pros

  • Innovative design
  • Crisp and punchy buss
  • Sturdy construction
  • Excellent at loud volumes
  • High-quality soft dome tweeters

Cons

  • A bit of an unfortunate placement of the ports
Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speaker Pair
Our Rating: 88/100

Q Acoustics is an industry leader, famous for its speakers with excellent features and an affordable price.

They hit a home run with their 3020i bookshelf speakers, which are unrivaled with it comes to deep bass at below $1000.

The Design

Available in as many as four different color schemes - Arctic White, Carbon Black, English Walnut, and Graphite Gray - and with interesting round edges, the 3020i is bound to look good in any room.

The versatility does not stop there: 

They can sit on a shelf, or you can use them with floor stands. They also sport brand-new low-profile binding posts, which were designed for this model.

You get a bunch of accessories for free with this pair of speakers. It comes with two grilles, foam bungs, and a pair of handling gloves.

The Performance

The manufacturers have decided to increase the cabinet volume by 25% compared to their previous models, resulting in a larger scale sound and deeper bass.

What's more, they added mid-bass drivers and a high-performance frequency driver unit, which reduces the interference of the tweeter's performance.

All of this translates to an excellent soundstage with incredible accuracy. However, it has a somewhat limited lower-end range, clocking in at 64 Hz - but the highs go up to 30,000 Hz.

Pros

  • Produces full sound
  • Excellent bass quality
  • Can be positioned close to the wall due to low-profile binding posts
  • A portable design
  • Optimized mid-bass drivers

Cons

  • Not the best for home theater systems or large rooms
DALI SPEKTOR 2 - Bookshelf Speaker - Best for Larger Rooms
Our Rating: 85/100

The DALI SPEKTOR 2 is the perfected version of the DALI Zensor, one of the most popular speakers in DALI's line of products.

It packs a plethora of high-end features that brought these speakers to our list today. Let's dive into them.

The Design

At first glance, the DALI SPEKTOR 2 looks just like their predecessors, the DALI Zensor speakers. The wood structure on the sides of the cabinet adds to the authentic look without abandoning DALI's signature minimalism.

The perfect execution of all the elements means that vibration and rattle are eliminated, leaving you with a crisp sound.

It's always nice to know that manufacturers took that additional step and provided you with some extra features. With these speakers, you'll get rubber feet for added stability and a free wall bracket.

The Performance

Equipped with low-mass paper cones and a soft dome tweeter, this speaker delivers low coloration, wide dispersion, and an extended frequency response range of 54-26,000 Hz.

What's more, the wood reinforcement reduces the resonance of the surface, which results in the accurate performance of every detail.

Custom-built DALI drivers ensure that the signal loss is minimal.

Also, the DALI SPEKTOR 2, with its 25-watt RMS rating, is compatible with practically any amplifier out there, making it one of the best bargains in the sphere of bookshelf speakers.

Pros

  • Amplifier-friendly
  • Full-bodied, detailed sound
  • Good dynamic range
  • Midrange clarity
  • Ultra-lightweight weaved fabric on the tweeter

Cons

  • Not the best for small rooms
  • A lack of bass depth

How To Pick The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 For You?

Trying to find the right pair of bookshelf speakers that will deliver exactly what you're looking for can seem like a minefield.

That's why we've created a list of the important specs and features you should consider before purchasing. Essentially, they are a bunch of numbers - but we'll try to explain them in simple and plain terms.

You'll find the main specs for each of our picks in the chart above, at the beginning of the article, for quick reference.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity rating of the speakers - measured in dB - tells you how effective it is at balancing between the power and volume of the sound.

Or, in other words: 

The sensitivity of the speakers determines how loud your speakers will play depending on the amount of power they get.

Frequency Response

Frequency response will indicate the range of tones that your speakers can produce, stated in Hertz (Hz).

It usually consists of two numbers:

The lowest frequency number tells you how deep the bass goes, whereas the second stands for the upper limit of the tonal range, i.e., the high frequencies.

If your pair of speakers have a comprehensive frequency response, they will produce a full and rich sound.

Drivers

Usually, bookshelf speakers have two sets of drivers - woofers that account for bass and tweeters that produce high-frequency sounds. Sometimes, speakers will also have a third, mid-range driver, which results in a better and richer sound. A number of our picks come with this feature.

Power Handling

Power handling is basically the recommended power range that indicates how strong your amp should be. It consists of two numbers - the minimum (RMS) and the maximum wattage that your speakers can handle. It's crucial for passive speakers that you will connect to an amplifier.

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, you can decide between wired vs. wireless bookshelf speakers.

Some people are adamant that wireless connectivity can never match the stability of the wired connection, but there are no hard and fast rules here. If you get a wireless pick with a good Bluetooth range and a stable connection, you won't hear any delay or experience any problems with the wired connection whatsoever.

If not, all of the wireless speakers will also have a range of wired connections available.

Size & Weight

Bookshelf speakers are typically on the smaller side of the speakers, so size will not be the decisive factor here. Still, there's a couple of things to consider, like how heavy they are so that you know whether you can transport them more easily and where you can place them - especially if you're planning to keep them on a shelf.

We made sure to note if any of our picks are on the heavier side.

Impedance

Last but not least, we should mention impedance because you will most likely see it written next to the wattage. It's measured in ohms (Ω), and it usually ranges from 4 to 8 ohms.

Unless you want to delve deep into matching your bookshelf speakers and amps, you don't have to think about impedance. Even if you make a mismatch, nothing dramatic will happen.


Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000: FAQ

While at it, we figured we'd take some time to answer your most frequently asked questions about the best bookshelf speakers under $1000:

Q: What are the best bookshelf speakers under $1000?

A: The well-deserved title of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 goes to the SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers. They're an absolute steal for the money in terms of both sound quality, durability, and design.

Q: What are the best active bookshelf speakers?

A: The Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers are the best active bookshelf speakers under $1000. They deliver a detailed and accurate sound with a variety of smart and versatile features.

Q: What are bookshelf speakers best for?

A: Arguably, bookshelf speakers are best for any small or medium-sized space. You can rest them on a table, shelf, desk, or any other elevated surface - what's important is that they aren't on the floor - though you could always mount them on a stand if that's what you seek. Plus, you can use bookshelf speakers for music, computer, home theater, or any other purpose; you just need to find the right pick. That's why we've singled out a category for each of our best picks on the list.

After it's all said and done, we recommend:

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
95/100
our score

Why it is better?

  • Unparalleled sound quality
  • Great frequency response
  • Effortless full-range sound
  • Stunning dynamics
  • Compact
  • Premium design

Final Words

If your budget maxes out at $1000, the SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers are the best option.

Our pick for the best inexpensive bookshelf speakers features a stunning sound quality, premium design, and many features that usually come at a higher price point.

It exceeded our expectations on numerous fronts, and it's proof that you don't have to spend big on the best bookshelf speakers.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300 – Bang-For-Buck Picks For 2021

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300 - Bang-For-Buck Picks For 2021

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300 - Bang-For-Buck Picks For 2021

The advent of bookshelf speakers in the mid 20th century was nothing short of a revolution.

Suddenly, you could replace the bulky floorstanding mammoths with compact devices while retaining the audio quality. As it turns out, people still prefer bookshelf models over their bigger counterparts - and they usually fulfill the role of an all-purpose sound system.

Now, the word "all-purpose" is often a codeword for "mediocre." 

But, in truth, it boils down to the price. For slightly less than $300, you can get yourself a fantastic pair of bookshelf speakers that'll be equally enjoyable when listening to music or using them in your home theater.

If you're like most people, you'll want to get the best audio bang for your buck. That's where my list of the five best bookshelf speakers under $300 on the market jumps in.

Give it a read!

In a hurry? After 21 Hours of Research, We Recommend:

 ELAC Debut 2.0 B
93/100
our score

Why it is better?

  • High-quality sound; distortion-free
  •  Wide dispersion
  • Durable, well-built

sourses
24

RESEARCHED SOURCES

1005

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

21

hours researching

43

products compared

Last Updated: October 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best center channel speakers available for those who are interested in ramping the quality of their sound up. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best center channel speakers currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300: Comparison Chart

Product

Size

Direction

Power

Frequency Range

Our Rating

Current Price

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers

6.5 inch

Front-firing

120W

44Hz - 35kHz

93/100

Klipsch RB-51 II Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RB-51 II

5.25 inch

Front-firing

75W/300W

85dB

92/100

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R2000DB

5.25 inch

Front-firing

24W x 2 + 36W x 2

55Hz-20KHz

89/100

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

8 inch

Front-firing

70W/140W

45Hz - 23kHz

85/100

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 220

Wharfedale Diamond 220

Enter your text here...

5.1 inch

Front-firing

Front-firing

Enter your text here...

42W/100W

Enter your text here...

56Hz-20kHz

83/100