Most of us love to listen to music, and we definitely will enjoy quality surround sound while we are busy doing stuff around the house. In these cases, having the best bookshelf speakers comes quite handy.

A bookshelf speaker is definitely better than any iPod or streaming audio dock. They are relatively bigger in size, which means that they can produce greater sound range than those portable speakers. Moreover, most of these speakers look stylish and classy, which make them an ideal addition to your decorations.

Aside from these, bookshelf speakers serve different applications. You can have these set hanging around with home theaters and mini-movie houses, and you can expect to still use them for listening to music and other musical applications.

There are a lot of bookshelf speakers out there. However, some of them may just hurt your pocket and your ears. This is the reason why we picked five of the best bookshelf speakers out there for this review. We also tested them with the presence of several audio technicians and experts to ensure their quality!

How to Choose a Bookshelf Speaker

When choosing a bookshelf speaker, there are some important considerations that you have to take.

Process of Manufacturing

The first thing that you should know is the process of constructing a speaker. Each brand or manufacturers have different ways of creating speakers.

Therefore, you can conclude that one speaker is distinct from the other. Most of the time, manufacturers take different choices in configuring their speakers. These “styles” drastically affects the sound output of a speaker.

Peculiarly, some designers just create their speakers based on their preference. Some follow the preferences of their users. Others consider the cost as the top priority on construction.

Drivers

Most of the speakers that we tried have a “two-way” design. It is quite rare for us to see bookshelf speakers that have a “three-way” feature, such as of the Yamaha NS-6490. A two-way design includes two drivers: the bass driver (popularly known as a woofer) and a tweeter driver. The reason why two-way designs are popular among manufacturers is because they only require small space. Hence, this is an ideal setup for a bookshelf speaker.

Usually, a two-way design utilizes a crossover method which separates the incoming signals into two different paths. The first one goes to the tweeter, and the other one is to the bass/ midrange driver.

On the other hand, a three-way design is a complete separation between the tweeter, bass, and midrange drivers. Of course, you can also see the two-and-half-way design which uses only one tweeter but has two woofers.

In choosing the best setup for you, always consider the number of drivers. The more drivers your bookshelf speakers have, the better are their audio outputs. Aside from that, using separate drivers optimizes the frequency range of the speaker. This helps in preventing inter-modular distortion. It is a sickness you often notice to low-quality speakers, in which a single driver is producing two different tones at the same time.

The Trade-Off of a Three-Way Design

When you opt of a speaker with a three-way design, expect that it will be relatively expensive. A three-way design uses a more complicated crossover than the two-way and two-and-half-way setup. Furthermore, a more sophisticated crossover scheme means that it is more costly to create. The small nuances in the part variances can create those tiny details and differences in sound. This is the reason why three-way speakers can give off crisp and clean audio output.

Moreover, making a three-way speaker is always a challenge for manufacturers and designers. Creating a seamless integration between separate drivers is indeed meticulous and time-consuming, thus adding to the cost.

Materials

Most of the speaker manufacturers today create their drivers from different materials. Nothing is really similar in the world of audio components, especially when it comes to bookshelf speakers. However, you should know that the choice of materials drastically affects the quality of sound.

You should also know that there is no such thing as “best material” for a speaker’s driver. Each material has a set of advantages and disadvantages. However, a good integration compensates for these flaws. Moreover, most audio experts give utmost priority to the quality of the voicing of the speakers rather than the technology itself.

For tweeters, the usual materials used are soft domes (a combination of silk, cloth material, and metals such as aluminum. Many people think that metallic tweeters produce harsher sounds than the soft domes. We like to believe that too. However, you should know that the harshness is only a result of the overall design of the speaker, not the choice of materials.

Obviously, a metallic dome will always be stiffer than the soft, silky dome. This model can’t produce high-frequency sounds. Also, you can expect that a metal dome can give unwanted resonance and distortions.

Of course, there are still other materials used to construct a tweeter. Such of these are titanium, diamond-based materials, and beryllium. These materials are somehow one step closer to the ideal constitution of a tweeter. Not too stiff but not too light also. In short, it has a balance between high-frequency sounds and resonance. These speakers are in existence today. However, expect that they have steep prices.

The Cabinet

The cabinet of the speaker also contributes to its overall quality. You should choose a speaker that weighs heavy. If you put a cheap speaker and an expensive speaker side by side, you will notice that the pricey one is heavier than the other. Usually, those inexpensive bookshelf speakers use thin materials in its cabinet, therefore making it susceptible to resonance.

On the other hand, the ideal cabinet should be static and compact as possible. This type of construction stops the vibration from reaching the drivers, which is the usual cause of distortion. The worst bookshelf speakers produce inaudible sounds because their cabinets are shaking.

There are three cabinet designs that you can choose: Ported, rear-ported, and sealed.

  • Sealed – Have no openings
  • Ported (Front or rear) – Have a port access so that you can add bass response

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Product

Price

Rating

Sound Appeal 6.5″ Premium Bookshelf Speakers  $  4.2/5
Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers  $$  4.6/5
  Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers  $$  4.6/5
  Dayton Audio Bookshelf Speakers  $$  4.2/5
  Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers  $$$  4.5/5
  Klipsch R-14M Reference Bookshelf Monitor Speakers  $$  4.5/5
  Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers  $$$  4.7/5
  Theater Solutions B1 Bookshelf Speakers  $  4.7/5
  Acoustic Audio RW-SP3 Bookshelf Speakers  $  4.3/5
  LONPOO W73 Bookshelf Speakers  $$  4.9/5

5 Best Bookshelf Speakers to Choose From

6.5″ Premium Bookshelf Speakers by Sound Appeal

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, this product from the Sound Appeal has certainly what it takes to make music as if it is played live. The SA-VF6.5S guarantees its user a long-lasting performance, thanks to its excellent construction and craftsmanship. It has ferrofluid tweeters and butyl rubber surrounds that ensure that these speakers can last up to 10 years and more!

You will not feel any shame of displaying these speakers also. The SA-VF6.5S has a classy wood grain cabinet design that perfectly fits into molded grill. Aside from that, its grille fabric adds to its style and elegance.

However, appearance and performance are not the only important aspects of a bookshelf speaker. Good thing, the SA-VF6.5S is so good in producing quality audio that it can make you feel that you are in a live concert. Its injection-molded woofer will certainly strike your senses will powerful basses and smoothly clear vocals. Moreover, it has slotted port tube to ensure that the bass will be deep but never boomy.

You will also love the dome tweeters of SA-VF6.5S (made from customized pure silk) which gives off crispy and clear highs–both off and on the axis. This feature will certainly allure you without sensing any brightness. All in all, these components of SA-VF6.5S can envelop you to a realistic sound experience.

Pros:

  • Guaranteed long performance (More than ten years)
  • Quality Audio Output (clear, crisp, and not boomy)
  • Good exterior design; ideal for display
  • Compact, sturdy, and innovative components

Cons:

  • Several users reported defective speakers when they ordered this product

Summary:

Of course, you will never worry about the quality of these speakers. Sound Appeal guaranteed that this audio device could give you high-end outputs without being too expensive. It is a by-product of quality engineering, which you can see from its components such as the injection-molded polypropylene cones (instead of paper cones).

Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers

One of the problems you will encounter when choosing a bookshelf speaker is its design. You will somehow worry if such appearance will blend into your house decorations. Good thing, the Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers don’t have such issue. It has a gorgeous style and classic exteriors, perfectly matched by its natural textures. These feats ensure that wherever you place these speakers, it will certainly fit.

When it comes to audio quality, the Micca MB42 is not a regrettable choice. It produces clear vocal quality and perfectly balanced sound signature, which are all ideal for different occasions. You can use it either for generating an excellent home theater experience or for soothing background music.

The technical design of Micca MB42 apparently starts from its drivers. These drivers thread correctly in the important crossover and overlapping regions of the speakers. Specifically, the drivers are inside a ported enclosure so that it can extend the responsiveness of bass with only little distortion.

Moreover, this speaker has an integration of silk dome tweeter and woofer (made from woven carbon fiber) for enhanced audio output. The silk dome tweeter is responsible for precise imaging and fine trebles. On the other hand, the woofer improves the transience and impact of bass.

Also, you will love the 5-way binding posts of the Micca MB42. It gives you excellent speaker-to-wire connectivity options. You won’t have any troubles on finding the perfect spot for this speaker because it got all the connectivity settings you need!

Pros:

  • Carbon fiber woofer gives off an impactful bass
  • Quality bass response with low distortion
  • Ideal for home theater and office usage
  • Compact and classy design; can blend into any home decorations
  • Produces clear vocals and accurate sound signature

Cons:

  • Few users find the bass lacks power

Summary

The Micca MB42 has certainly what it takes to become a quality addition to your audio devices at home. It produces excellent sound output, with clear clarity and vocal distinction. Moreover, it is ideal for different settings, which makes it a versatile speaker.

Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers

Another option that you should consider seriously is the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers. These speakers possess all the qualities that you want from an audio component–clear, crisp, and no crappy sounds. Specifically, you will love the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers if you are looking an excellent addition to your home theater appliances.

These speakers use the exclusive technology from Polk Audio called the Dynamic Balance Drivers and Tweeters. These components enable these speakers to deliver extended response bass with low distortion. Also, the rubber-made drivers guarantee its user a lifetime performance, with its quality not depreciating.

Moreover, the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers have enclosures made from magnetic shields. This feature effectively prevents distortions from other video sources. Other than that, it also gives off clear audio quality to this device.

Both the speakers complement each other, specifically in a manner of synergy. Each of them performs different functions at the same time, thus enhancing their balance and integration. As a whole, the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers produces crisp and immersive audio, which ideal for home or office usage.

The Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers also use the 89dB 5-1/4 inches woofer (made from Dynamic Balance Polymers) and the 3/4 inch composite tweeter (with neodymium magnet). These two improves the lush and balance of the audio quality of these bookshelf speakers.

Pros:

  • Produces wide and dispersed sounds which ideal for large homes
  • Have a 5-way binding post that enables secure hook-up connections
  • Dynamic Balance Technology improves the clarity and balance of the audio
  • Quality acoustics and impactful bass

Cons:

  • Low end drowns and lackluster highs are not as good as other Polk Audio products

Summary:

Overall, the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers is a pretty decent set of speakers. Even those are not audiophiles will certainly love the quality of its sound output. It produces reverberating audio, with distinct balance. It is not too loud as a speaker, but it can certainly give the drop that you need.

Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker

If you are looking for an audio speaker that is good for any indoor applications, then try opting for Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker. It can deliver “clear as the day” sounds which are ideal for offices, apartments, dormitories, and any other living areas. What you will certainly love about these speakers is that they are not bulky. With only a size of under 12 inches, you can fit this device anywhere you want perfectly.

However, do not underestimate the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker just because it is smaller than the other products. This product can overwhelm your interiors with powerful sounds and superb performance!

The Dayton Audio B652 has a 6-and-1/2-inch polypropylene cone woofer. This is quite small for a woofer, but as we said earlier, this bad boy can still deliver powerful full-of-punch bass output. Aside from that, it has a 5/8-inch dome tweeter (made from polycarbonate ferrofluid) that can replicate the audio input, as long as it is in the 70 to 20,000 Hz range.

Furthermore, these speakers have Dayton Audio subwoofer which improves the quality of the bass’ low frequency. When it comes to installation, the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker won’t give you a problem. It has a keyhole hanger and quick-connect speaker terminals. Moreover, its grill is completely removable for easier setup.

When you purchase this product, it also comes with 20 AWG speaker cables and a very handy non-marking feet! Moreover, the manufacturers indicated that the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker is compatible with amplifiers for 4-8 ohm speakers.

Pros:

  • Small in size, can fit snugly in any part of your interiors
  • Powerful, punchy bass with low frequency due its woofer
  • Dome tweeter can replicate sounds up to 20,000 HZ
  • Sturdy and compact construction; easy to install

Cons:

  • Some users find these speakers only ideal for home theater experience and not for musical purposes

Summary

The Dayton Audio B652 is certainly a set of speakers that you will love to have. It has quality audio output and excellent construction, which guarantees long lasting performance. But even for these features, you can expect that this product is not as expensive as you think.

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

There is a reason why the adage “last but not the least” lives on until today. One thing that could prove that is the Yamaha NS-6490. In the ranks of the best bookshelf speakers, this one possesses some of the best aesthetics and audio output. Those who have this set already guaranteed that it is a product worth your money.

One of the greatest features of Yamaha NS-6490 is its versatility. It is a great addition to your household’s sound components. You can use it an auxiliary speaker, rear speaker, or a system front!

Each of the speakers of the Yamaha NS-649 has three drivers, specifically the 8-inch woofer, a 4-inch midrange, and a 0.75-inch dome tweeter. All of these three works together to give you excellent audio output that ranges from 45 Hz to 23 kHz frequency response. Therefore, you can expect that these speakers can deliver quality bass output, without compromising the crisp and clarity of vocals.

Moreover, each channel has a peak amplifier power of 140 watts. This is already pretty strong for medium-sized bookshelf speaker!

The Yamaha NS-649 is ideal for home applications due to this magnetic shield feature. Its aesthetics is an integration of satin black grille and semi-metallic interface that would certainly appeal to your eyes.

Pros:

  • Physical appearance is modern and stylish; ideal as a home decor
  • Usable as an auxiliary speaker, system front, and rear speaker
  • Strong amplifier power; can reach up to 140 watts
  • Produces balance between bass and vocal clarity

Cons:

  • Some users find its bass output on the least side of the spectrum

Summary:

Specifically, the Yamaha NS-6490 is definitely one of the best bookshelf speakers that we tried. It is versatile and usable to almost any audio applications. It gives off clear and crisp vocals which are perfect for home theaters and musical purposes. Although the bass of these speakers is not good as the others, its overall performance is still superbly satisfying.

Final Verdict

Nothing can really beat the pleasure of listening to quality sounds. While you are inside your home, one of the best pleasures that you can get is to hear reverberating, heaven-descent sounds. They can uplift your mood whether you are just relaxing or doing some household errands. If you own a home theater, it should have a quality audio component to enhance your watching experience.

In these occasions, having a good set of bookshelf speakers can make the difference. They can make the normal sound into the extraordinary. They are not irritating to the ears and can just immerse you to whatever you are listening. Although this is an optional appliance, a bookshelf speaker may come into a necessity when you are studying music, and you need a clear audio output to identify different sound ranges.

The brands of bookshelf speakers we featured in this article are just to the thousands of brands out there. However, we find these five to be exceptional because of the quality of their performance. They also last longer than those common brands of bookshelf speakers.

Furthermore, we chose them because of their appearance. We want a speaker that is not only good to the ears, but to the eyes as well. You are putting them on your general living areas, so it is an essential rule that they should look appealing.

We know that you have other options in your mind, but we are firmly advising you to try any of these products that we mentioned. We have them tested by expert audio technicians to examine their quality. The results? All of these products are more than satisfying! Aside from that, these set of bookshelf speakers is not too expensive as you think. They won’t hurt your budget compared to buying those low-quality speakers that break after several uses.