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:
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:
SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers
10.9 x 8.5 x 15"
Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker
17 x 7.3 x 15"
Definitive Technology D11 Demand Series Bookshelf Speakers
12.5 x 7.3 x 13"
Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers
8 x 18 x15.7"
Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
6.9 x 11.4 x 10"
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.