A bookshelf speaker is an important piece of a great audio setup that helps you enjoy your favorite music or show to the fullest. However, budget is always a concern when looking for a good piece of kit that provides top-notch sound quality.
To help you get started on choosing a good bookshelf speaker, we’ve compiled reviews some of the best bookshelf speakers under $500 available today that will surely guide you in selecting the right product.
Our Top Picks:
- Klipsch RP-500M
- Sony SSCS5
- ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2
- Polk Signature Elite ES15
- Edifier S2000MKIII
- KEF Q350
- Klipsch R-51PM
- Q Acoustics 3020i
- Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500
- How to Choose the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500?
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500
1. Klipsch RP-500M
The RP-500M comes with a detachable, high-quality grille that can be easily removed and cleaned. This means you won’t have to worry about dust and grime getting in the way of your listening experience.
It features an impressive combination of a 1” titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with a Hybrid Tractrix Horn, along with 5.25” Spun Copper Cerametallic Woofers that are built to be as light as possible. This combination delivers a ton of power without losing any of the clarity.
The Klipsch RP-500M speaker also comes with a premium scratch-resistant finish, which makes it durable enough to withstand years of use. The magnetic grille is designed to make installation and removal a breeze – simply remove it and it’s ready to go.
The RP-500M offers a warm, natural sound and a nice, clean presentation. You can enjoy listening to your favorite songs, music videos, and more, without the need for an amplifier.
2. Sony SSCS5
The SSCS5 features a three-way, three-driver system with 5.12” woofers, 1” tweeters, and a super tweeter that can accurately reproduce high-frequency sounds for an expansive soundstage.
The speakers are optimized to deliver clear, crisp sound, so you can experience the music, movies, and games in their full glory. With a 100 W maximum input power, these speakers will give you plenty of volumes when you play your favorite tunes.
They’re made from durable materials that are sure to last for years to come. They come with Dolby Atmos enabled speakers that let you experience 3D surround sound. You can pair them up with the SACS9 subwoofer to create a robust home theater setup.
3. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2
The ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speaker is a great way to add some serious audio to your home. With a maximum power output of 120 watts, these speakers are capable of handling large amounts of power and delivering excellent sound quality.
The Debut 2.0 B6.2 speakers feature a front-firing port which helps to reduce problems associated with having the speakers close to the back wall. This will make them easier to place in a room, as they won’t have to be moved around too much.
They also have a 1″ soft dome tweeter, which extends the frequency response out to 35kHz, while a tighter weave pattern on their aramid fiber woofer delivers smoother high-frequency response while still delivering clean tight bass.
They’re built with internal bracing to reduce cabinet vibration, and they have a frequency response of 44Hz – 35000Hz.
4. Polk Signature Elite ES15
Because of its low price, this compact home theater bookshelf speaker is a great buy. You get a pair of high-quality speakers for less than $500, which is extremely rare. It’s also built to last, so you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years.
It features a 1″ Terylene tweeter and a 5.25″ woofer for room-filling sound with deep bass and crystal clear highs. These are the speakers that can make a difference when watching movies or listening to music.
Polk’s patented Power Port Technology is also included, which delivers 3dB louder bass output than conventional ported speakers while minimizing turbulence and distortion so you don’t miss any detail in your movies, music, or games.
If you’re looking for a speaker that also looks good, the Signature Elite series is ideal. Its elegant and classy design will complement any home décor, no matter where you place it. For a true cinematic experience, you can even use it as a center channel or surround speaker.
It’s also simple to set up and use, and its compact design allows it to fit into any space in your home.
5. Edifier S2000MKIII
This speaker has a sleek and stylish design that makes it appear to be a high-end product. It also has an OLED display that clearly shows the current EQ mode as well as the input.
The speaker is made of wood veneer, which gives it a premium appearance, and the knobs are made of metal, which gives it a professional appearance.
It has an intelligent feature that automatically adjusts the volume on startup, protecting both the speaker and the listener from high frequencies.
It includes a remote control that allows you to adjust the volume, change the input, and turn the device on and off. The remote control is also clear, so you can see which button you’re pressing.
The S2000MKIII has excellent sound quality, with excellent bass and treble, and it can easily handle music loud enough to be played at a party or other large gathering. It’s also simple to use and lasts a long time.
For anyone looking for the best bookshelf speaker under $500 that will last for years, we recommend the Edifier S2000MKIII.
6. KEF Q350
The KEF Q350 is an excellent bookshelf speaker for audiophiles priced under $500. It is a very high-quality speaker that is designed to last for many years. The design is simple and elegant, with no unnecessary frills or embellishments.
The speaker has a lovely, neutral tone, and it works well with a wide range of music, including classical, jazz, hip hop, and rock.
The KEF Q350 is a dynamic speaker that will meet the needs of any audiophile. Its Unit-Q driver array provides a powerful performance.
The cabinet stands 10.5″ tall and weighs only 4 pounds, making it light enough to move around your room. The tweeter loading tube is a nice addition that helps to smooth out the highs and lows.
7. Klipsch R-51PM
The Klipsch R-51PM is a small Form-Factor music Monster that includes integrated power and Bluetooth wireless technology. It is one of the best-sounding monitors on the market, capable of filling any room with rich, deep, and powerful bass.
It’s made of high-quality materials and is designed to work with any type of audio equipment.
It has a dedicated source selection, track controls, and play/pause buttons, making it extremely user-friendly.
The Klipsch R-51PM is compatible with all major headphone brands, including Sennheiser, Sony, Bose, JVC, Panasonic, and many others.
It also has an integrated phono pre-amp, digital optical, analog RCA, and USB inputs, allowing you to connect and listen to music through any other audio equipment you own.
It’s ideal for anyone looking for a versatile monitor that’s simple to use, inexpensive, and has excellent sound quality.
8. Q Acoustics 3020i
The Q Acoustics 3020i is designed to deliver a wide sound dispersion with deep bass and crisp highs, making it ideal for any type of music.
The larger cabinet gives the speaker a more spacious feel while also allowing you to hear deeper bass, making it ideal for music. It also has an improved bracing system that uses computer-aided placement of internal bracing to keep the enclosure extra quiet.
They’re strong and durable because they’re made of anodized aluminum, and they have a new low-profile binding post that accepts 4mm (0.16 in) banana plugs, which are popular among audiophiles.
They’re also incredibly simple to put together, as they come with everything you need to mount them to a wall or stand.
Buy the Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers if you want a great pair of bookshelf speakers with great performance. You will not be let down.
How to Choose the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500?
Bookshelf speakers can play a vital role in your home theater setup. They offer great sound quality at a reasonable price, and they can even be used as stand-alone speakers for your television or computer.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when shopping for a bookshelf speaker:
The output power of a bookshelf speaker will determine how loud it can be, and how well it will play high-volume songs. The higher the output power, the louder the speaker will play.
Some bookshelf speakers have an output power of around 80 to 100 watts, while others have up to 300 watts. The latter will play at a higher volume than the former.
A bookshelf speaker with a lower output power will sound much louder than a speaker with higher output power. This is because the higher the output power, the better the bass response.
The input sensitivity of a bookshelf speaker is measured in decibels (dB). A higher input sensitivity means more accurate sound reproduction. However, a high input sensitivity can also mean more distortion and noise. A good bookshelf speaker should be able to deliver an input sensitivity of at least 70 dB.
Voice Coil Material
The voice coil material of a bookshelf speaker is important because it determines how much bass it can produce. A bookshelf speaker with a heavy voice coil material will produce more bass than a speaker with a lighter voice coil material.
A good bookshelf speaker should be able to produce a maximum of 15 to 20 Hz of bass, and a maximum of 60 to 80 Hz of sub-bass.
The speaker impedance of a bookshelf speaker is measured in ohms. The higher the impedance, the better the bass response. However, a higher impedance means less power is delivered to the speaker, so it may not be able to play at the same volume as a speaker with a lower impedance.
A good bookshelf speaker should have an impedance of 4 to 8 ohms.
Are Bookshelf Speakers Good for Surround Sound?
Yes, bookshelf speakers can be used for surround sound!
Bookshelf speakers are multipurpose and can be used for a 2.1 or 2.0 stereo system, as well as a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. In order to use them in a surround sound setup, you need to choose the right size bookshelf speakers and also make sure that you have the proper amount of them for your room.
Can Bookshelf Speakers Be Used As Front Speakers?
Yes, bookshelf speakers can be used as front speakers. However, it’s not recommended to use bookshelf speakers as front speakers because they are not designed to work as front speakers.
Bookshelf speakers are designed to work in a pair and they are best used as rear speakers in a home theater system. Bookshelf speakers are usually small and have a limited frequency range. They can create a surround effect but cannot reproduce the sound of the front channels by themselves fully.
Using bookshelf speakers for front channels will improve your surround sound but it won’t be loud enough for your home theater setup. The difference between using bookshelf speakers and using proper front channels is very noticeable and you shouldn’t do that if you want to experience real surround sound at home.
If you really want to use them as front channels, make sure that your bookshelf speakers don’t need an amplifier to work properly because most of them do. Also, make sure that there is no sound distortion when playing music or watching movies with these speakers.
Do Bookshelf Speakers Sound Better than Soundbar?
Bookshelf speakers will always sound better than a soundbar. Soundbars are great at what they do, but the design of the enclosure will never be able to match the sound quality of a full speaker system.
Bookshelves have bigger and better drivers, plus they have a cabinet that reflects the sound from the back of the driver and gives you more bass response. They can also be positioned for optimal stereo imaging, whereas a soundbar is designed to be placed on or under your TV and will not give you that same experience.
The difference between a loudspeaker and a soundbar is basically like the difference between a bicycle and a car. They both provide ways to get around but with very different designs, sizes, power sources, and experiences.
So these are the 8 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500 . We hope that this list has helped you in deciding which bookshelf speaker is the best for you or if you have a specific price-range, what speakers are within that price range.