Best Bookshelf Speakers 2018 : Reviews and Buying Guide
When it comes to home audio speakers, the bookshelf speakers are some of the most preferred speakers and tend to complement your system. One good reason to get your hands on a bookshelf speaker is that you can use them as both main and surrounds. You practically place the speakers anywhere, from perching then on your bookshelves to hanging them on walls. Bookshelf speakers offer more versatility than any other speakers for home entertainment. Thanks to that, bookshelf speakers are very pricey and needs to be chosen will adequate information at hand and awareness of your specific need. Some of the best bookshelf speakers might not appear in the most-bought or most-popular list.
Best Bookshelf Speakers 2018 Buying Guide
What to Look For When Choosing Bookshelf Speakers
The advantages of owning bookshelf speakers are pretty evident, but there are several criteria involved when selecting the best bookshelf speakers for your home or office. You might have a different procedure of choosing the right equipment but there is a handful of common purchase decision that you need to take care of, and we can’t recommend them enough. We thought we’d share with you the information that we took into consideration while building this list of top bookshelf speakers. Here’s how we choose the speakers listed in our post.
Design: The design of a speaker should be able to enhance the sound effect of the speaker. For a fact, we know that the bass-reflex speakers often employ rearward movements that help them create additional bass. The size and enclosure of the speaker can make a great difference in the sound they produce. Sealed/enclosed speakers typically produce less bass response.
Drivers: A couple of other things that goes into producing great music include driver material and construction. The individual sound transducers that are found inside the enclosure of the speaker are called drivers of the speakers. Ideally, most bookshelf speakers come with single low-frequency driver that produces bass along high-frequency for the upper ranges. Larger drivers can produce lower bass, and alternatively smaller ones produce higher bass, so use choose the one you like.
Voltage Sensibility: You need to really gauge this carefully if you want to match up between an amplifier and speaker. Our testers looked into how loud the speakers will play at a given voltage. The measurement is usually expressed as X dB per X V inputs, and the commonly desired decibel ranks at least 86 dB. This is something we looked into while deciding what speakers would feature in our exclusive list of best bookshelf speakers.
Power: Expressed in watts, the power handling capacity tells us how much power the speaker can handle. We saw what output are intended amplifier has and have accordingly matched it with the selected speakers.
Affordability: This is something that we certainly kept in mind. While choosing the top bookshelf speakers, we tried to balance out the price and the offered features, and I’d say we’ve been much successful at the job. There some bookshelf that’ll surely burn a hole in your pocket.
Service & Support: One significant buying procedure that most people skip looking into in the customer support of the brand. All consumer products are not perfect. There is various support needed in various avenues of the product to buy. The bookshelf speakers we have chosen don’t just belong some of the best brands, but the brands are known for their customer service.
Best Bookshelf Speakers Reviews
#1 SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers : Best high end bookshelf speakers
This is one company that believes that everyone should be having world-class audio experience. They make devices that practically refute the notion that exceptional sound equipment is expensive. The SVS products are made out of a fusion of leading cutting edge technology, exhaustive real-world testing, a never ending passion for audio excellence along with precision engineering.
Of the dozens of bookshelf speakers that we tested, SVS’ Ultra Bookshelf Speakers tops our list in terms of the sound quality, performance, and the design that makes it an ideal bookshelf speaker. With Ultra Bookshelf SVS lives up to that esteemed legacy! Handsomely designed with a swept back profile and striking edges, the Ultra Bookshelf is one heck of a buy. It’s probably worth mentioning that in terms of design, the bookshelf draws cue from the magnificent flagship Ultra Tower.
Available in two premium options – real black oak veneer finishes (our personal favorite) and grade piano gloss black. Needless to say the bookshelves look stunning and with its upscale décor. The speakers offer SoundMatch Crossover Network, UltraSonic Drivers that promises extreme performance as well as uncompromised fidelity. The drivers tend to utilize finest of materials and the best of features that ensures high-quality sound as well as performance.
SoundMatch Crossover Network intelligently designed that comes with 2-way crossover features with air–core inductors, premium–grade capacitors, and heavy–trace printed circuit boards to ensure pure signal transmission. The speaker comes with a composite glass–fiber cone that offers excellent mass ration for improving sensitivity. A vented voice coil helps minimize air compression artifacts at high drive levels. There's an aluminum shorting ring that helps reduce gap inductance, improve high-frequency response, as well as lower distortion.
- The bookshelf offers excellent sound stage, excellent bass. The sound comes really clean, and we'd say it's worth every penny you spent on the bookshelf speaker.
- You can treat it as home theater speakers or stereo speakers with crisp perfection.
- The price could be an issue here. Although we believe the speaker is worth every penny spent but it really is for those, who have deep pockets.
- The price could be an issue here. Although we believe the speaker is worth every penny spent but it really is for those, who have deep pockets.
Verdict: We have had the chance to check out several pairs of high ends speakers and this, by far has been the best bookshelf speaker under $1000 range. What we primarily liked is the powerful sound along with clarity.
#2 KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers : Best Small Bookshelf Speaker
Raymond Cooke, the founder of KEF once said: "Of all art, music is the most indefinable and the most expressive, the most insubstantial and the most immediate, the most transitory and the most imperishable." Cooke, an ex-BBC Electrical Engineer, established the company back in 1961. The company is known for making the some of the best speakers in the market. For decades KEF has honed their knowledge and skill that went into producing speakers with the help of new innovative technologies.
It is the pioneering inventiveness of KEF loudspeakers has landed the KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers on our list of best bookshelf speakers. The byline for this particular KEF product is “good things come in small packages, and we concur.” The Q100 prominent features include point-source Uni-Q driver array, which is manufactured in a way that delivers three-dimensional soundstage. The speaker's 5.25-inch Uni-Q driver array handles frequencies between 49Hz to 40kHz from a single source. The driver extends the frequency spectrum and keeps the stereo image balanced, which is why you get to hear the same sound clearly no matter where you place the device.
The speakers have the power to envelope any room where they are placed at. The Q100 comes in pair and is available in the four color options. There are Black Oak, Rosewood, White, and American Walnut for you to choose from. At a foot tall, the speaker is perfect as a bookshelf loudspeaker. It’s not too big and therefore fits in easily the small areas in your home.
The Uni-Q driver array of the bookshelf speakers’ offer clean and fast midrange response owing to the braced aluminum alloy cone that comes along with KEF’s Z-flex that smoothens the transaction in the front panel. KEF has developed their own flagship Blade, and this particular bookshelf speaker boasts large dome tweeter that provides increased sensitivity and distortion-free power handling.
- The Q100 sounds warm yet balanced. For such a small driver and speaker, the bass is surprisingly tight and present.
- The minor nitpick we noticed was that we had these gold plated banana plugs that don’t fully insert with the speaker’s terminals.
Verdict: It’s the best bang for a buck. One of our most recommended high-end bookshelf speaker in our list of top bookshelf speakers. They provide effortless, spacious, high-resolution sound without sounding too intense.
Founded in 1983 by Franco Serblin, the Italian manufacturer is popular for making products like handcrafted speakers, headphones, and other high-end audio equipment. Currently, the Sonus Faber is owned by Fine Sounds Group (is one of the several audio brands owned by the Group). Besides the Chameleon B Bookshelf Speaker, some of Faber’s most well-known products include Venere floor speakers, Chameleon T floor-standing tower speakers, Pryma luxury headphones, Aida tower speakers, among others. The company’s most popular line of speakers is the Aida that sells approximately for $120,000.
The Sonus Faber Chameleon B Bookshelf Speaker landed third is the list of top bookshelf speaker for ample reasons. Their inspiration of making this particular piece of beauty is innovation, unattainable level of customization as well as innovations of a different level. We really liked the overall design, it’s simple, clean lines and we’d just like to mention that the cabinet with rounded corners and slightly trapezoidal shape. The really recall to mind the company’s early speaker models, and it seems to have a nostalgic effect on speaker geeks.
This particular bookshelf speaker is made of three speakers that offer avenues with optimal solutions or for creating a multichannel system that helps in creating a number of listening experiences. The leather, driver flange comes with aluminum trims along with side walls with exchangeable side panels because of the system of pins. It also allows simple removal and replacement.
The attention to detail is fantastic. Digging a bit deep into the Chameleon cabinets are covered with leather, and the best part is that tits done by hand. The side panels have perfect structure and specifically designed to hold them. The panels also help reduce vibration while enhancing the acoustic performance.
We checked extensively and really liked the quality of the bookshelves that goes to say that the quality control process is extremely strict that basically promises quality products. The Sonus Faber Chameleon B Bookshelf Speaker isn’t just a speaker but a style statement.
- The bookshelf speaker offers music that doesn’t just deliver refined sound but also delivers a grand scale. We even like the package that the speakers come in.
- The price could be a burn, but the Sonus Faber Chameleon B Bookshelf Speaker is cheaper that say, KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers or SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers.
Verdict: This particular bookshelf speaker oozes class and is probably the most stylish of all the speaker on our list of best bookshelf speakers. It offers the perfect balance between the sound and its aesthetically pleasing appearance. So it’s pleasing to the eye as it is to the ear.
The company behind this particular bookshelf speaker is responsible for building the most innovative audio gear. The products are known for working seamlessly, and everything is custom designed and built to seek perfection. The companies have been at it for 36 years and are some of the most celebrated equipment when it comes to audio and consumer electronics. Co-founders Dave Evans and Brady Bargenquast are known for making products that people would not just die to get their hands on, but would remember, and therefore a legacy will be established.
First things first, the Audioengine HD6 Powered Bookshelf Speaker System comes in three color options for you to choose from, those are Cherry, Black, and Walnut. When we ordered the speaker, we were offered to options to get it with or without expert setup. It’s probably worth explaining that if you choose to get the speaker with an expert setup, you basically rid yourself of hassles like heavy lifting, or even fumbling with tiny parts and all other sorts of complex instructions. The expert will make sure that they take care of everything crucial, ensuring that your product goes through all safety inspections, a lot of which are largely unknown to us.
Now let us get down to why exactly has the Audioengine HD6 Powered Bookshelf Speaker System landed on our list of top bookshelf speakers. The piece of equipment comes with a built-in class A/B monoblock power amplifiers along with inputs that include analog (RCA and mini-jack) and also optical that comes with Advanced Bluetooth aptX. It’s made of audiophile-grade components and comes with furniture finishes and magnetic grilles; also let’s not forget the solid aluminum remote control which is our personal favorite.
For this particular bookshelf speaker, the one thing that packs a punch is the built-in amplifiers that come along with digital and analog inputs. The company’s flagship device is basically very easy to set up. Although we’ll still recommend you to go with an expert, the speaker is simple to use, designed for everyone to loves to listen to music.
- The lower-end stuff of the speakers really performs well largely owing to the all-new woofers that have die-cast aluminum frames.
- We also really like the new silk dome tweeters which have been upgraded to smoother, superior stereo separation and further extended highs.
- Our testers, unfortunately, found the bass muddy and felt that the treble was over emphasized.
Verdict: The cons that we’ve just mentioned is the only factor that made us push the bookshelf speakers down the list. For anyone looking for ways to streamline and modernize their second music system, the Audioengine HD6 Powered Bookshelf Speaker System is a great choice.
Best Bookshelf Speaker under $500
Wharfedale is one the most prominent names when it comes to making audio equipment. Founded back in 1932, Wharfedale is currently part of the International Audio Group and best known for loudspeakers. Gilbert Briggs was the founder of Wharfedale and is considered as a pioneer as well as respected throughout the world. The company has previously manufactured televisions, DVD players, set-top boxes and Hi-Fi players but since 2008, the company been only dedicated to making and selling audio equipment. Over the years, the Wharfedale has done pioneering work in hi-fi reproduction and have had an attitude of endless pursuit for better sound quality, and these are largely driven by the founding bodies love for live music.
First off, let us just tell you that the Wharfedale Diamond 220 is an award-winning bookshelf speaker. That could be reason enough for the piece of equipment to have landed on our list of best bookshelf speakers. Our testers took a hard look into their award-winning performance that offers wide-open sound. The speaker sports a layered cabinet construction and we really liked the high-quality finish.
Sold in pairs, the Wharfedale - Diamond 220 comes in four color options namely, black, walnut, rosewood, and white. We personally each one of these except for the white one and its worth mentioning that the speaker offers a frequency response of 45Hz - 24kHz. Wharfedale Diamond 220 Bookshelf Speakers are some of the greatest speakers we have had the chance to test. It offers sublime transparency, incredibly balanced and plays with pinpoint accuracy. The loudspeaker produces sounds that are airy, open, musical, clear, and more natural that most of the loudspeakers that we tested. Under its refined tone, one can hear the sheer instrumental naturalism, along with taunt focused soundstages and lifelike vocal reproduction and crackerjack musicality.
The speaker features a 5.1-inch bass driver that basically ensures a rich and moreover a controlled bottom-end performance that comes along with soft-dome treble spoils from where comes smooth and supple high.
- One of the best things about this particular speaker is the price tag that makes it one of the cheapest bookshelf loudspeakers in our list. Wharfedale Diamond 220 is definitely a budget buy.
- The speaker is bulky and for anyone wanting a more stylish bookshelf speaker should really give this a skip.
Verdict: While the speaker is worth the money, cutting down the bulk will make the speaker aesthetically pleasing. The speaker is very well balanced even in it low volumes. Listening to the sound the speaker produces truly is a magical experience.
The Klipsch Audio Technologies is often referred to as "Klipsch Speakers" or "Klipsch Group, Inc.". Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., the American loudspeaker company, was founded in 1946. The company is known for making loudspeaker enclosures and drivers, along with complete loudspeakers for high fidelity, high-end sound system, personal computers as well as public address application. As you can see, the company has been in the business for a long while and established a legacy of incredible speakers that includes La Scala, Belle Klipsch, Cornwall, Chorus, ProMedia, Heresy, Forte, Quartet, Legend, and Reference.
Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf speaker is one of the best bookshelf speakers that we are come across in out hut of the best ones in the market. The speaker utilizes Tractrix Horn technology that provides lifelike sound, with improved reliability, uses less energy but produces more output, reduces distortion with well-defined imaging and large soundstage. The bookshelf speaker features rigid yet light Cerametallic woofer cones that are made of aluminum to prevent distortion.
The speaker employs a titanium tweeter with linear travel suspension-trickle-down technology, which comes from the company's flagship. It helps in creating open, natural sound. It makes you feel that you are on the set of a film or at a studio with artist recording live. The loudspeakers also employ something called the Exclusive Wide Dispersion Surround Technology (WDST) that ends up producing localized and ambient sounds that offer unlimited placement flexibility. The speaker sports enhanced crossover frequencies that tend to offer smoother On-axis and off-axis integration.
The Klipsch speakers are known for their amazing sonic purity and a wide-open soundstage. It offers little distortion from exceptionally efficient designs.
The Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeakers is the improved fifth generation Reference II speakers. It comes with re-engineered drivers throughout and comes combined with new crossover system that promises to capture the listener's complete attention and would certainly excite all your emotions. With improved cosmetics, era metallic woofers, black metallic finished baffles, and a new logo, Klipsch RB-61 II has redefined the look of "big sound" throughout the line.
- The Bookshelf speakers’ four design principles - controlled directivity, high efficiency with low distortion, wide dynamic range and frequency response has set the foundation for stunning powerful and precise sound that the speaker produces.
- Our testers have been trying their hands on a number of loudspeakers, and they were of the opinion that the base is really weak for a decent speaker.
Verdict: For anyone who likes mellow Bose sound, this bookshelf speaker may not be something that you’d like. The speaker can fill a medium-sized room with non-fatiguing sound and accurate outstanding sound reproduction. We would wholeheartedly recommend the speaker to our readers.
The company was founded back in the 1980 and is largely driven by their passion for music and, in their own words, honest reproduction, in the domestic environment. The primary objective that Dali swears by their primary objective which is to increase realism in the home entertainment sphere. Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries has an experience of over 30 years. They have spent an enormous amount of time honing their skill and building a global recognition focused on musical realism and sound integrity. Dali is on an eternal quest of creating what can be believed as the best products in the market, which is exactly why they have landed on our list of bets bookshelf speakers.
One of the first things that you'll notice about the Dali Zensor 1 bookshelf speaker is the clarity of the sound which is fantastic, to say the least. Don't get it wrong, it’s not the loudest speaker in our list but it certainly but it certainly knows how to deliver clarity, honest-to-god clarity. It isn’t some sort of hype or pretense, trust us on this one.
The bookshelf speaker sports fairly small drivers and can take up to 50W of power in one go. But you’ll have to make sure that the device matches well with your amp of choice. The piece of equipment offers a great combination of a beautiful 2.1 setup with a subwoofer. In all honesty, we can tell this is the best sound we have come across owing to a more pronounced bass extension to the material and not-to-mention the natural transparent audio character of the speaker.
The machine’s soft dome tweeter is something that we really really liked in all honesty our testers were full of praise for this one because as far as we’ve heard, it’s the secret to Dali’s signature sound which is more often than not, characterized by top frequencies which is sweet, to say the least. Now as for the design of the Dali – Zensor 1 Bookshelf Speaker comes with 6-litre cabinet, with a high-gloss lacquer finish that blends perfectly modern-day interior.
- There are several things that we liked about the speaker, for instance, the soundproof design, with rounded edges, with an integrated wall bracket that comes with a really awesome rear-mounted bass reflex port.
- The sound that the loudspeakers produce, despite their clarity, lack volume, so in case you want more sound, you will need to steer clear of this one. Take a look at the other speakers we mention in the list.
Verdict: The soundstage and clarity are quite unbelievable. It offers perfect voice separation and expensive instrument that helps in providing the best music experience we've had in a long while.
Pioneer Corporation is often referred to as only Pioneer. Founded by Nozomu Matsumoto in 1938, the company is based in Tokyo, Japan. The company had played a role in developing many if the firsts like the first detachable face car stereo and the first automotive Compact Disc player along with other technologies like interactive cable TV, Supertuner technology, Organic LED display (OLED), plasma display, DVD and DVD recording among other things. Pioneer is one company that believes in the power of sound and has a vision that the products they make should move the heart and touch the soul.
The Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73 Bookshelf Speakers is modern classic equipment that, if anything, is highly reliable. We really liked the design of the speaker which has an old-school charm and yet looks pretty innovative. It comes with an innovative triple-driver up-firing design which is why it is the model of our choice. The piece of equipment is known for delivering rounded and very powerful music that offer good depth and incredible details. The speaker is pretty easy to use which is great.
One of our favorite things about this particular bookshelf speaker is the fact that it supports Dolby Atmos driver. It basically makes the piece of equipment ideal for use in a home theater setup. One can use the device as front or height speakers that reflect the audio off the ceiling. The bookshelf speakers come in four trendy styles, and the price changes according to the style of bookshelf speaker you want. There are simple bookshelf loudspeaker, center channel speaker, floor standing loudspeaker and subwoofer for you to choose from.
The Pioneer Elite developed CST (Coherent Source Transducer) driver’s promises precise control as far as the sound directivity at all frequencies, and the speakers also come with Dolby-enabled top-firing concentric drivers. The speaker has a true 3-way speaker design and each one of them major frequency band that is basically represented with separate high-range, mid-range as well as low-frequency range.
- There is a good reason why the speaker has been all that music lovers could talk about the year it was launched. From our experience, the speakers produce fantastic sound while being used with the television and internet radio.
- Our testers found the treble a little harsh and overcooked and really is a drawback for the speaker, especially since, without this, this could’ve been an excellent choice.
Verdict: The speaker is by far one of our favorite and, of course, that is why it has landed on our list of top bookshelf speakers. As an audiophile, we’d definitely recommend you to get your hands on it. Just ask for a demo, and you won’t be disappointed.
Cambridge Audio was established properly in 1968 when the launched its iconic P40 amplifier and never looked back. From then on, they pursued one simple object that is to make audio equipment that can produce the nature sound everyone is in love with. The company proudly sells the unfiltered, unadulterated ‘British Sound’ which is different to what contemporaries in America like, basically, heavy bass in playback. It’s also different to its Asia brands that emphasize a mid-range mix top carry vocals. The Cambridge Audio is known for producing products with passion, products, and craftsmanship.
What we like in the Cambridge Aero 2 Bookshelf Speakers is the audiophile-grade sound for less. Our testers really liked this speaker, so much so that they insisted it should have a place in our list of best bookshelf speakers. The speakers work with a smart wireless system inside more traditional designs. One of the features that we really liked about the bookshelf speaker is its classic design which gives off an old school image which is very both refreshing and impressive, to tell the least.
In ways the, bookshelf speaker looks pretty average, but that really is the charm of it all. The innovation comes of Aero 2 comes in their two collective sleeves. Here we’d also like to mention the Balance Mode Radiator which is one of the most refreshing and innovative pieces of equipment that we have come across. The radiator basically handles far lower frequencies, unlike more radiators that tend to control the sparkly tops that are normally reserved for tweeters. The radiator handles are basically the key to the sound of the pair of bookshelf speakers.
The speaker primarily uses the BMR because its acts like the border between the main driver and the tweeter which is a fantastic crossover point of the speaker. The BMR here covers the frequency range from a much lower point that regular tweeter because of the mini speaker driver because after all the BMR isn’t a tweeter. This comes in handy because we already the human ear can easily pick up such frequency transitions only if they are quite high in the spectrum.
- What we really like about the Cambridge Aero 2 Bookshelf Speakers is that the piece of equipment optimized for an efficient bass response that effectively turns the speaker in a subwoofer.
- Although the durability of the bookshelf speaker is really good, there have any complained regarding the rubber around the woofer that we don’t think would last long.
Verdict: The Cambridge Aero 2 Bookshelf Speakers is a really good buy especially when you consider the price tag. The piece of equipment comes with a small tiny aero sound that basically produces a heavenly sound that tends to surround you throughout.
#10 ELAC B6 Debut Bookshelf Speakers : Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers
In 2016, Elac celebrated their 90th anniversary by introducing the Debut and Uni-Fi speaker series that has practically changed the way people listen to music and has a good future for the industry and the audio market. Over the past century, Elac has managed to build a heritage by primary focusing on making their products well and coming up with innovative ideas. Elac’s passion for music is fascinating even after all these years. Saying goes, Elac and innovation go hand-in-hand, as the company continually works on refining the features that they have invented as well as technologies that are popular in the market.
This particular bookshelf speaker is the last one of our recommended listed of best bookshelf speaker and is pretty awesome at what it does. The speaker offers custom drivers, woven Aramid-Fiber woofer, deep-Spheroid Custom Waveguide along with intricate crossover. This particular bookshelf speaker is made by Andrew Jones, and it produces jaw-dropping sound. It loudspeaker is naturally weighted with a smooth yet detailed top end, surprising solid with extended lows, uncolored mids as well as super imaging.
Check Also : Best Bookshelf speakers under $500
The particular speaker comes with superior built quality and custom designed drivers which are really key in delivering a true audiophile experience. The Aramid fiber offers a superior as well as a good strength-to-weight ratio and not-to-mention improved damping characteristics over conventional paper or plastic drivers, which is great to start with. This budget friendly speaker sports a new ELAC high-frequency driver that basically offers incredible features like the deep spheroid profile that ends up helping improve directivity control. It also helps shield the dome tweeter for the cabinet diffraction modes something that inherits in traditional box enclosures. The speaker offers way binding posts that when utilized allows a wide variety of connected possibility. What the gold plate does is basically applied for improved connectivity.
- The Debut B5 speaker sports tiny econo-box was spectacular, amazingly, stunningly, and comes at a great price.
- The speaker offers world class bass, but it often tends to subdue the voice in the song so hard to follow lyrics in some of the songs.
Verdict: The tower speaker is one of the most cherished speakers of our list. It produces tight, deep bass, extremely smooth highs decent lows and is overall a fantastic machine to lay your hands on.
When selecting a bookshelf speaker, there’s general rule of thumb that you should first off consider the amount you can shelve out. Most of the bookshelf speakers that we talk about here offer the best balance between audio quality and the size. The one’s we mentioned on our list of best bookshelf speakers 2018 are the year’s best and are practically suitable for any kind of setup.