Best Bookshelf Speakers

Updated September 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Klipsch The Fives
The Fives
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Tested Choice
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Powerful and innovative sound mixed with a compact design makes this an absolute favorite on our team.


The sound quality rivals speakers that are twice their price. Utilizes a dynamic bass to provide punchier bass without EQ adjustment. The style of the speakers themselves looks great with any set-up. Has a wide variety of connectivity options so it can work with almost any home theater system.


The included remote can be a bit finicky.

Best Bang for the Buck
Dual Electronics High Performance Indoor, Outdoor & Bookshelf Speakers
Dual Electronics
High Performance Indoor, Outdoor & Bookshelf Speakers
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Budget Friendly
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Speakers that have good-quality sound for a great price that are ideal for outdoor use as well.


Swivel brackets allow speakers to be hung with a wide range of motion. Decent sound quality for the price. Excellent weather resistance, so they're great to use as patio speakers. Utilizes Bluetooth to allow you to play music from anywhere in the house.


The wire connection is weak when compared to other options.

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M Bookshelf speakers
Reference Premiere RP-600M Bookshelf speakers
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Expert Recommended
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Large and powerful speakers with outstanding sound and low distortion.


Horn technology delivers a wide sweet spot and powerful, clear sound. Rear-firing horn produces clean, low-distortion bass. Handles 100 watts of power with a 400-watt peak. Grilles attach magnetically for ease of connection. Allows for bi-amping or bi-wiring.


Needs space for the best bass effect.

Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Powered Bookshelf Speakers
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Simple yet Solid
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Great sound quality and ideal for those looking for speakers for their turntable due to the RCA inputs.


Speakers feature 2 sets of RCA inputs. The 13mm silk dome tweeter provides studio sound quality. Comes with remote control, speaker wire, RCA to RCA cable, and AUX to RCA cable.


There's no stop on the volume knob to know when you've hit the maximum or minimum level.

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf speakers
Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf speakers
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Impressive Design
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Designer speakers with room-filling sound in taller, slimmer cabinets.


Silk dome tweeter with wide dispersion waveguide for an extended high-frequency response. Oversized magnets on aramid woofers for punch bass. Front-firing bass reflex port for flexible positioning against walls. Braced cabinets against resonance.


May need breaking-in time for best response.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best bookshelf speakers

Few things make as big a difference when watching movies, or listening to music, at home as a worthwhile set of speakers. Dialogue, action, suspense, soundtracks, or those soul-touching notes of your favorite songs are all amplified and enhanced by quality speakers.

For many buyers, bookshelf speakers are an ideal option. On their own, many models are capable of impressive sound quality, working well in situations where space is at a premium. In addition, bookshelf speakers are an excellent way to augment an existing sound system, improving the overall quality and covering audio dead spots.

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Depending on the construction material and how they are tuned, different speakers may sound better in different applications. For example, some speakers may sound better playing music, while others are be better suited for watching movies.

Key considerations

A major factor to bear in mind is whether a set of bookshelf speakers has built-in amplification. If you’re looking for a simple solution to your audio needs, you’ll want to buy a set of speakers with a built-in amplifier. If you already have a sound system set up — including a standalone amplifier — and are looking to improve it, speakers without amplification can save you some money while getting the job done.

The size of your speakers compared to the room they will be used in is another major consideration. For example, a small set of speakers may work perfectly well for playing background music in a home office, but fall woefully short in the living room when watching your favorite action movie. Similarly, speakers that would work well in that scenario may overwhelm a smaller room. Therefore, it’s important to match the speakers you want to buy with the room they will be used in.


When looking for a good set of bookshelf speakers, one of the main features you want to look for is the kind of material the internal components are made from. Few things will impact the quality of the sound as much as the construction materials.

For example, the stiffer the material used to create the woofers, the longer the speakers will last and the better they will sound. Polypropylene is commonly found in mid-range speakers, while aluminum and titanium are used in higher-end models. The same is true for the material surrounding the woofer. Cheaper models use foam or cloth, which breaks down and is susceptible to moisture and humidity. Rubber is a superior material used in more expensive models that, again, lasts longer and produces better sound.

Different speakers have different specifications, which will greatly impact their performance:


Take a look at the hertz rating of the speaker. Generally, the lower the number the better the speaker will be able to produce a deep bass sound.

Power or Watts

The higher this number, the more power the speaker will be able to handle, especially in shorter bursts. Some experts recommend using the maximum recommended wattage as the minimum wattage you should use when pairing your speakers with an amplifier. All too often, speakers are ruined by using too little power and compensating by playing the volume too loud, damaging the internal components.


Most speakers have two drivers: a tweeter to produce high-frequency sound and a woofer to deliver bass. Higher-quality speakers will have a third, mid-range driver and offer the best quality. That being said, you’ll be far better off buying a quality set of speakers with two drivers than a cheap set of speakers with three. The quality of the materials and the technology used to make the speakers will result in better sound than simply adding a third, cheap driver.



Basic speakers will have components made of cheaper materials, such as cloth or foam. They will also only have two drivers, limiting their range of sound. Speakers in this price range will be under $100.


Mid-range models will start to have higher quality materials in their components, such as woven Kevlar. In addition, some mid-range models — especially on the higher end of mid-range — will include a third driver. These models will range in price from $100 on up to $500.


Premium speakers will be made of the very best materials and the newest technologies. In addition, these speakers will often have enclosures that are designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. These speakers will range from $500 on up.


  • Contrary to their name, bookshelf speakers should not be put in an actual enclosed bookshelf. Doing so will cause the sound to resonate and echo off of the shelves. In fact, many bookshelf speakers sound best when placed a foot or two away from a wall or surface. Therefore, try to place the speakers on top of the bookshelf, on a dedicated stand or table.

  • Keep your bookshelf speakers at ear level. Having them too high or low will keep them from achieving tonal balance.

  • When placing your speakers, they should be placed at roughly the 10 and 2 o’clock position in the room, angled to cover the listening area.

  • Buy a set of speakers that fit with your design and decor. There are such a variety of shapes, sizes and exterior materials available that there’s no reason to settle for a set of speakers that stick out like a sore thumb in their surroundings.

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If you have sound quality issues, you may need to adjust the acoustics of the room. If you have hard surface floors, try placing an area rug. You may also try moving a couch or large chair closer to the middle of the room. Similarly, you may consider installing drapes over large sections of glass, such as French doors.


Q. Can I use bookshelf speakers outside, such as on my patio?

A. The short answer is it depends on the speaker. There are speakers designed to be water- and weather-resistant, making them an ideal option for outside activities. Even with this kind of speaker, however, it’s important to remember that they are weather resistant, not weatherproof. They should still be in a somewhat protected environment, such as a covered patio or gazebo.

Q. Can I connect multiple audio sources to the speakers?

A. Quite often the answer is yes. Many bookshelf speakers feature multiple inputs so you can connect more than one device.

Q. Can I buy bookshelf speakers with wireless support?

A. Absolutely. In fact, many manufacturers not only offer wireless support, but also tout their speakers as having lossless wireless support, guaranteeing your audio experience doesn’t suffer for the sake of convenience.

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