If you’re looking for bookshelf speakers under $500, the market is usually flooded with many options. So to save you the time of sifting through those options, I’ve made a list of what I think are the best bookshelf speakers under $500 available today. I’ve tested many bookshelf speakers during my career. And therefore, have a pretty good idea on what makes them tick.
Audio bookshelf speakers are becoming more and more popular nowadays. This trend is only increasing and we can understand why: they look really nice to be kept in any room, they’re typically bigger than a computer and TV speakers, yet not as big as floor-standing speakers. Plus, they work better in smaller rooms, especially when you want to achieve that all important sound stage effect.
If you’re on a budget, but still want to wow your guests with your music, bookshelf speakers can give your home audio some oomph. These aren’t your parents’ bookshelf speakers; you don’t need to hide these bad boys behind a piece of furniture. These days they come in unique designs and futuristic colors, so they won’t take a backseat to the rest of your decor.
The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500 In 2022
1. Amazon Basics Bookshelf Speakers
Here we present to you the best bookshelf speaker under $100 from AmazonBasics. These are handsome and sturdy wooden speakers. They deliver powerful audio sound quality that rival speakers more than twice the price. The high-quality two-way acoustic design provides enhanced bass and clear treble. In addition, this pair features a 1/4″ AUX jack for easy connections to MP3 players, stereos, computers, TVs, DVD players and more. And because these are passive speakers that require an amp to drive them, you can enjoy premium sound at an affordable price.
Powerful Multimedia System
These bookshelf speakers have a 2-way acoustic design with a passive bass radiator. This feature enables them to deliver optimal sound, no matter what you’re listening to. Therefore, you can expect these speakers to cover all the frequencies you need. This includes everything from deep bass and crystal-clear highs. As a result of this, these bookshelf speakers make a perfect multimedia system for your home.
Extendable Bass Response
This AmazonBasics bookshelf speaker pair comes with a passive speaker. The passive speaker features a 5 inch composite paper cone woofer, a 0.75 inch silk dome tweeter, and a frequency response of 55 Hz to 20 kHz.
It’s easy to connect these speakers to a receiver or amplifier with standard RCA cables. They have an extended bass response. Thanks to a downward-firing port. As it makes them ideal for placing on shelves and other surfaces in your listening area. Best of all, these compact speakers are an incredible value.
Your computer or stereo system isn’t complete without these handsome bookshelf speakers. It’s because these attractive bookshelf speakers feature black wood grain accent panels. And a style that will easily blend into today’s modern home décor. Therefore, this makes these speakers look great on bookshelves and counters.
2. ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speaker
The Uni-fi UB5 gives you all the superb quality of high-end audio. Credit goes to its custom designed drivers. The speakers deliver crisp and accurate sound reproduction, a smooth response and excellent stereo imaging. They feature a true 3-way design with an aluminum woofer and soft dome midrange and tweeter. The Uni-fi driver system means there are no crossover parts to affect the purity of the sound, for clear and detailed audio. All features coupled with an aluminum woofer grants the UB5 the power to deliver astonishing sonic depth and power. Something that is otherwise unheard of in traditional bookshelf designs.
A Refined High-End Sound
This groundbreaking speaker is the first of its kind due to its innovative driver design. The concentric driver consists of a 1 inch soft dome tweeter and 4 inch aluminum midrange cone with waveguide enclosure. This results in a seamless flow of audio frequencies while producing outstanding fidelity across the entire frequency spectrum. In addition, its uniform directivity pattern ensures that your sound is correct at all times, with very little variation as you move around it.
Fill Your Home with Rich N’ Deep Bass
The Elac UB5 is the perfect bookshelf speaker to complete your home theater system. It has an aluminum woofer, enhanced crossover, and vents. Such features enable the UB5 to produce clear and balanced sound at any volume. Plus, the wide dispersion design means you can place it anywhere in the room without sacrificing bass.
Special circuitry reduces noise transfer between drivers so each driver only adds to the music, not subtracts. The flexibility of speaker wire connections (bi-wire, bi-amp and bi-amp/bi-wire units are available) provides optimal electron transfer. And MDF cabinets with integral bracing yield strong bass response while minimizing resonance.
3. Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
This speaker produces a stunning sound rivaling more expensive audiophile offerings. The R2000DB adds life to even the most simplistic tracks. It does this by delivering crisp highs and well-balanced mid-range and bass. Whether listening to music or TV/movies, the sound is crystal clear from its integrated high clarity silk dome tweeters, bass ported subwoofer, and two 1” silk dome full-range speakers. So, prepare to be astounded by the incredible sound of these bookshelf speakers. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity and a beautifully designed high gloss piano finish
The R2000DB bookshelf speakers wireless pairing will be so straightforward with the added instructions, you may even shed a tear of joy. It is merely that simple. Wireless integration helps you to effortlessly stream audio with Bluetooth aptitude. The piece of technology additionally consists of a USB port along with a built-in FM radio tuner. In this manner, it is possible to experience hi-tech functionality throughout audiophile sound quality.
Equal Sound Distribution
With their Dynamic Range Control and powered subwoofer, the Edifier R2000DB speakers will surprise you. Perfect for larger rooms, though equally at home in smaller settings. The R2000DB has a clear, loud sound and will fill your room with crystal-clear audio without breaking your budget. Enjoy these beautiful bookshelf speakers in your home theater setup or audiophile-grade rig.
A Lot Of Power On A Small Build
The R2000DB is a pair of high-performance desktop bookshelf loudspeakers with Bluetooth, optical and line input capability. Designed to solve the dilemma of choosing between a great 2.1 system and a full 5.1 system, the R2000DB is the best of both worlds. Enjoy your favorite albums on vinyl or CD in stunning, lossless stereo sound. Connect to any TV box, TV, receiver or computer via Bluetooth or optical for lossless transmission of digital audio up to 24-bit/96 kHz. Rock out at the highest sound levels without distortion thanks to Edifier’s superior quality driver unit design.
4. PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker
Welcome to PSB’s Imagine Mini bookshelf speakers. They are the best mini bookshelf speakers in the $200-$500 category. The Imagine Mini is our most cost-effective small speaker, for people who crave big sound. Yet despite their extraordinary value, they’re built to the same standards as our other models – including engineered cabinet construction, high-tech driver designs, a patented flared port and an internal bass reflex system that projects audio with remarkable power and clarity.
Produces Detailed Vocals
Your mini bookshelf speakers don’t have to be boring. Imagine your best sound instantly with PSB’s Imagine Mini Tower speakers. This compact two way speaker features a 5.25″ woofer and 1″ supertweeter. The Imagine Mini is so sleek you can place them anywhere in the room, like beside a computer monitor or even on top of the TV set itself. Enjoy detailed vocals and a wide spacious soundstage.
Perfect Blend of Form and Function
Tired of your computer speakers or TV sounding like “meh?” Get the PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker and experience the Wow! factor. These amazing speakers deliver detailed and exceptionally accurate sound. The Imagine Mini is compatible with any device with a headphone jack or minijack including cell phones, ipods, iMacs, etc… with headphone jacks.
Small Design for Tight Spaces
Designed to anchor your audio system, these speakers deliver a robust sound experience. They are built to complement any decor and can fit into your lifestyle with ease. Create an inspired soundscape in every corner of your home with the Imagine Mini Bookshelf Speaker from PSB Speakers.
5. House of Marley Get Together Duo Powerful Bookshelf Speakers
The Get Together Duo by House of Marley® is one pair of bookshelf speakers that can do it all — from producing a realistic virtual surround sound to pumping out deep and powerful bass.
These speakers deliver what musicians call the “sweet spot” frequency response, with clear and detailed midranges, extended highs, and robust lows that produce a soundstage so big, you feel like you’re at a live concert.
Each speaker’s full-range driver includes twin aluminum cones (one bass, one midrange) that deliver rich acoustics.
The Get Together Duos are crafted from bamboo, which is not only beautiful but also light, strong, and eco-friendly.
In addition, they come equipped with a USB connection so they can be charged directly from your computer or other USB port – no adapters required.
Play Any Genre From Hip Hop To Classic Rock
House of Marley Get Together Duo Powerful Bookshelf Speakers are a great way to add an extra touch to your home theater experience. The bookshelf speakers come with the guarantee of legendary sound quality, and it has been proven by thousands of users. There is an option for you to adjust the bass levels, if you need more or less bass. Buyers rated this speaker as five stars and highly recommended it to others.
Patented Bamboo Fusion Technology
The Get Together Bookshelf Speakers are made with a patented bamboo fusion technology that fuses bamboo fabric and silicone on the front and back panels. Thus, creating an exceptionally durable, high-quality look and feel. The durable bamboo construction is 100% sustainable-and 100% natural. And the speakers boost bass response for clear highs, complete mids, and powerful lows.
Take Them Anywhere With You
One word. Power. The Get Together Duo is a set of bookshelf Hi-Res, USB-C rechargeable speakers, so you can just unwind with your favorite song or album without having to plug them in, turning your house into a tiny concert hall. Monitor and control your music with the included 2.4 Ghz remote, or wirelessly connect your bluetooth devices using NFC. They sound and look great on the shelf or in landscape mode on your nightstand.
6. Bose 301-V Stereo Loudspeakers
These bookshelf speakers make it easy to set up your stereo. They enjoy a horizontal design that fits easily on shelves. And a spatial dispersion speaker lens gives you smooth high frequency.
The automatic protection circuitry cuts off power at the first sign of overload so you enjoy that great sound for years.
Bass reflex woofer systems extend deep bass response and long excursion woofers reveal details in the music for you to experience.
These Bose 301-V Stronic speakers feature removable grills, smooth high frequency reproduction, automatic protection circuitry and full range performance with a bass reflex design.
In addition, the larger cabinet size delivers a more powerful sound than bookshelf speakers of the past. The Bose 301-V Stereo Speaker system helps bring movies to life with lifelike clarity, thanks to its bass reflex design that actually enhances lower frequencies and its solid wooden MDF construction that ensures minimal resonance.
Perfect Speakers for Book Shelves & Racks
The Bose 301-V bookshelf speakers have been engineered to be the perfect fit for your bookshelf, with a sleek horizontal design that complements any decor. They are packed full of technologies and features to deliver detailed sound without the bulk of a big box speaker system. Including the patented Spatial Dispersion speaker lens and a bass reflex design.
Lifelike Audio Performance
With Bose’s innovative Bass Port geometric lens, these speakers provide an accurate soundstage with smooth high frequencies, sharp imaging, and a wide sweet spot. With a range of 250Hz – 20kHz to recreate realistic sounds whether you’re listening to music, playing games, watching movies or streaming Netflix.
The loudspeaker brings home the realism of instrumental and vocal music. Its Spatial Dispersion speaker lens provides wide horizontal coverage, so that you enjoy a more natural balance and clarity between instruments and voices. The smooth highs are delivered by a tweeter mounted in its own separate chamber, while the subwoofer output offers deep, clean bass.
Protection from Voltage Surge
Furthermore, these speakers are self-protected from damage by an Automatic Protection Circuit (APC) with a backlit power switch that enables you to see whether they’re on or off while at the same time ensuring they’re protected when they need to be turned off.
7. Audioengine A5+ Bookshelf Speakers
For a big impact at a small price, experience the pride of ownership that comes with owning a pair of AUDIOENGINE A5+s. These incredible bookshelf speakers are among the best in their class. Each features hand-crafted cabinets, real wood veneer finishes, and streamlined industrial design that will make any room in your home or office look more sophisticated. Plus, they deliver a high-performance sound that you can listen to for hours without fatigue.
Flagship-Powered Computer Speakers
When your ears are the judge, you want to get the best. The A5+ is designed in Seattle to be a great match for your computer or iPod/iPhone/iPad. Or any other music source with a 3.5mm line-level output. It features a two-way design because that’s what provides the most accurate and beautiful sound. And while it has some great new features, the A5 speakers are so popular. Because they feature attributes like hand-built cabinets and precision audio components.
Exceptional Sound Performance
Audioengine A5+ active speakers deliver the best balance of sound, style and value. They’re small enough to fit on a bookshelf or desk. But offer dramatically improved sound quality compared to computer speakers or most other powered speakers. The sound of these little guys is bigger than they are. They’ll fill a room with music, or they’ll add great background to gaming, TV, and movies.
The new adjustable, long-throw woofers with their high stiffness membrane and lightweight voice coil produce the deepest bass response. The silk dome tweeters are redesigned to deliver smooth, crisp highs up to 35kHz. The sound is fully matched across the speaker system. Therefore, resulting in the widest soundstage yet from an Audioengine powered monitor speaker. Every speaker is hand tuned during the final assembly to ensure our world-famous flat response curve.
8. Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
Seeking a set of bookshelf speakers for your home theater? The NS-6490 is the best bookshelf speaker you can own. This 3-way acoustic suspension sound system provides amazing mid and high range audio, and partnered with the gold cone woofer, delivers warm bass tones. The wide dispersion magnetic fluid tweeter creates a smooth, enhanced sound that makes any movie or music come to life in your living room.
Proven Professional Speakers
These 3-way acoustic suspension speakers are not just good – they’re great. And that’s because they’ve been engineered with Yamaha’s proprietary Advanced YST II (Yamaha Active Servo) technology. Based on proven professional speaker designs, this breakthrough technology has set a new standard for home audio. It allows you to get rich, detailed sound at high levels of volume and bass – even from bookshelf speakers!
Home Theater Surround Sound
This Yamaha bookshelf speaker system is a great choice for any home entertainment center. Where you can appreciate thunderous bass, clear midrange and smooth, high frequency response. They feature a rigid yet lightweight MDF construction in a compact vented enclosure, with an acoustically inert front plate that ensures smooth response regardless of how close the speaker is to the wall.
Bask In The Glow Of Sweat Sound
The rigidity of the box structure ensures smooth and stable sound output, even during high volume. A slight tilt to the design creates better low frequency sound efficiency. Both the woofer and midrange speaker feature responsive Dynamic Balance technology, resulting in higher overall system efficiency. The tweeter unit is mounted on an ampidal plate that eliminates unnecessary reflections while allowing the treble sounds to be projected further toward the center of your room. Both 1″ dome materials and metalized polyester tweeters offer smooth response, while providing clearer high pitch sounds.
Bookshelf Speakers Buying Guide & Tips
Bookshelf speakers are quite popular as they have a tiny form factor and can bring a lot of benefits to a small room. And with the boom in popularity for distributed audio systems, having a pair of bookshelf speakers has become common. Any keen listener will know very well that it is no easy job to choose the right pair of bookshelf speakers. Some brands make it so confusing with their product line ups that you end up getting confused over which one to buy.
Here’s our simple guide. We’ll help you understand the things that matter most when choosing bookcase speakers.
Wired vs Wireless
Wired bookshelf speakers have a bunch of advantages over the wireless models. Their sound quality is superior, they can be placed in a lot more places, and they are also cheaper than their wireless counterparts. For someone who wants to put up a bookshelf speaker in their living room or bedroom, they are the best choice.
Wireless bookshelf speakers do have some things going for them though. Their biggest advantage is that you can easily pair them with your smartphone or tablet and stream music or watch movies straight from it. For someone who is looking for something that can be used to watch movies while they are lying on the bed, it is the perfect option.
Wireless bookshelf speakers generally have less power output than their wired counterparts as well. If you want something that has a lot of bass and treble, then you should go for a wired model instead.
The importance of a bookshelf speaker’s sound quality is immense for a good music experience. For most people, the difference between a well-recorded song and a bad one tends to be in the details. This is why so many people prefer live music over recorded versions.
Tone and clarity are what make songs sound real and crisp. A great sound system can help you get that realness and crispness when listening to your favorite music on your iPod or computer.
To get the most out of the music you listen to, you need a good set of bookshelf speakers to get the best possible quality. With a good set of speakers, you can hear all the instruments clearly and distinguish each one from the others. You’ll be able to better pick out background noises such as cars or birds chirping in certain parts of the song, which can change everything about how you feel when you’re listening to it.
This is especially important if you listen to a lot of classical or jazz songs, where there are often quiet passages with just an instrument playing by itself. It’s not uncommon for those quiet parts to have intricate melodies that can be lost when played on low-quality speakers.
The size of the speaker cabinet is one of the most important factors in determining sound quality. A small speaker will be able to fill a room with sound, but it will lack bass and clarity. A large speaker will have great bass and clarity but may not be able to fill the room with sound.
The best option is to have a large speaker that can fill the room with sound, but this isn’t always possible due to space restrictions. Some people try to compensate for this by placing several speakers around their living room, but this approach rarely works because the speakers are too far apart to create a seamless sound.
Trying to create a seamless sound by placing many small speakers around a large room is also ineffective because it requires too much power from each speaker, which creates distortion and limits the volume levels. This results in an unsatisfactory listening experience that lacks bass and clarity.
One way to get around these problems is to invest in high-end bookshelf speakers instead of large floor standing speakers or several small speakers. Bookshelf speakers are small enough for you to place them near your couch or other area where you regularly listen to music, and they still offer the same quality as larger floor standing speakers at higher volumes without creating distortion or limiting your listening experience.
Tweeter & Woofer
Woofer and tweeter are the two separate drivers in the speaker.
Woofer is the large heavy driver that produces low frequency tones. A tweeter is a small light driver that produces high frequency tones. The woofer plays low frequencies and it helps us to feel the bass in the music. It is mainly used for listening to music like rock and pop.
Tweeter is a small lightweight speaker that has a soft smooth sound quality. It is mainly used for classical music or jazz.
The tweeter is placed at the bottom of the speaker cabinet. It helps us to hear high frequency tones and gives a nice effect on vocals and other instruments that emit high frequencies. In most cases, it is combined with a woofer to give a balanced sound effect in our headphones or earphones.
The woofer is placed in the middle of the speaker cabinet and it helps us to hear powerful low frequency tones that give a nice bass effect in music. To get an idea about how it works we can relate it to an example like if you place your hand on top of a speaker while playing music, you will be able to feel the vibration of the woofer against your hand.
The speaker wattage is another important thing to consider. You want to make sure that you’re getting a high quality sound system, so that you can hear all the little details in the music.
When it comes to speakers, a higher wattage rating means more power and better sound quality. For example, a 100-watt powered speaker will give you much better sound quality than a 60-watt speaker system.
When looking at the wattage rating of your speakers, also keep in mind the number of watts per channel. For example, a 6 x 9-inch amplifier with 100-watts is just as good as one with 300-watts if it has two channels and each channel outputs 50 watts. This is because you’ll have to hook up two speakers to each channel for stereo sound anyway, which would effectively halve the amount of watts per channel anyway.
To summarize, the best bookshelf speakers for most people are the ones that best fit their needs and budget. Different people have different preferences, so there is no “best” speaker in a broad sense. If you just need something to listen to some jazz or surf rock then any of the above should do just fine. Something else to consider is how much power you want to drive them with.