Not everyone has the room, or the budget for a full audio system to maximize the audio from their 65-inch TV. Unfortunately, the standard TV speakers inside of those new TVs are generally trash. There just isn’t enough room inside a slim designed TV to add speakers that can actually make a difference. So, you don’t have enough room for a huge system, but your TV speakers aren’t up to par, where should you turn? That’s where bookshelf speakers come in.
Bookshelf speakers generally aren’t as simple to add to a system as a soundbar, but many are more affordable and designed to add an air of sophistication, elegance and style to your home. They are powerful enough to stand alone as your sole source of audio, or you can add them to an existing system to beef up what you’ve got.
If you are looking to add a pair of bookshelf speakers, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Unless the speakers are self-powered, they will need to be connected to an AV receiver
- Check to see what connections are available — only a handful connect via Bluetooth or optical, while most have posts for speaker wire or RCA cable inputs
- With a pair of bookshelf speakers and an AV receiver, you can also add more speakers later
Even though they take a little more effort than plugging in a soundbar to your TV, the benefits of bookshelf speakers exceed what most soundbars can offer, starting from a true stereo experience to bigger woofers that can produce a more full sound.
We’ve arranged our recommendations in order from least expensive to most, but no matter what your budget is, you’re going to fall upon a great pair of bookshelf speakers that will take not only your sound quality to a new level but also your home’s decor.
Here are our recommendations for the best bookshelf speakers for sale in 2020.
1. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
OVER 6,000 5-STAR REVIEWS
These elegant speakers instantly raise the bar on your home entertainment center’s audio quality without having to spend a fortune. You connect them to your TV or home entertainment center via speaker cable (you’ll need an AV receiver), or by using RCA connections. You can dial them in using the convenient bass, treble and volume knobs located on the side of the speaker or with the included remote. This pair of bookshelf speakers sound as good as they look.
2. Sonos One SL
Not your typical bookshelf speaker, the Sonos One SL uses your home WiFi network to wirelessly connect to your devices. Or if you have Apple devices you typically stream music from, you can use Apple Airplay to quickly connect. Pair two Sonos Ones together and link them for stereo sound. These work great as bookshelf speakers or you can link them with a Sonos Playbar, Playbase or Beam and use the One SLs as surround sound speakers. These handy Sonos speakers provide a lot of audio versatility for your home.
3. Pioneer SP-BS22 Andrew Jones Bookshelf Loudspeakers
Andrew Jones is a respected speaker designer who set out to create an affordable and great-sounding pair of speakers. And that’s exactly what the Pioneer SP-BS22 achieves. You’ll want to connect these to an AV receiver since the only connectors are two binding posts on the back. The black wood and black mesh enclosure admittedly don’t scream style, but the sound quality is clean with a substantial amount of bass response considering they only have 4-inch woofers. This pair is a solid investment especially considering the sound quality you get for the price.
4. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
Another speaker created by Andrew Jones, this pair of ELAC bookshelf speakers sports a 6.5-inch woofer that provides plenty of bass response paired with a 1-inch cloth twitter that produces high tones that shine with clarity. With the inclusion of a 6.5-inch woofer, these speakers are a little bigger than most, and are only available in black. That being said, if black will match your décor, you’re getting a hell of a set of bookshelf speakers for under $300.
5. Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
An excellent choice for not only a great sounding pair of bookshelf speakers, but ones that look fantastic inside of your home. Rounded edges give them a much more modern look (and also prevent dreaded chipping). On the back are two binding posts that are built with more durability than spring loaded posts providing a more solid connection. Above all else, these sound great with plenty of detail and clarity, but also prominent bass response thanks to the 5-inch woofers.
6. Klipsch R-51PM Powered Bookshelf Speakers
With a wide variety of connectivity, including Bluetooth, RCA and optical, we aren’t surprised to see that this pair of speakers sports 4.6 stars and over 470 ratings on Amazon. Great for referencing music, or connecting to your AV receiver for loud and clear audio for your home entertainment center, these are every bit as versatile as The Sixes, but you save about $100. With or without the receiver, this pair of bookshelf speakers are a fan favorite.
7. Dali Spektor 2 Bookshelf Speakers
A great looking pair of speakers with or without the front grille attached, but ultimately, it’s the sound quality that’s the best attribute. Vocal clarity and a wide soundscape make the speakers sound like they are bigger than they really are. They are powerful enough to stand alone as the only speakers for your home entertainment system, or you can easily add them to your existing system. Regardless, you’ll be pleased if you make this addition.
8. Klipsch The Sixes
The Sixes provide a few more features compared to less expensive bookshelf speakers, like a plethora of other connectivity options highlighted by an optical in and Bluetooth connectivity. Beyond connectivity, the Walnut Veneer with gold plating along the bottom border scream style and elegance. Inside the great looking enclosure are 6.5-inch woofers and a 1-inch titanium tweeter with Tractix horns. Needless to say, these little speakers thump, but also shine with clarity. An exceptional choice for mid-tier bookshelf speakers.
9. KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers
The KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers strike the right balance between a classic and modern-looking design. Available in black, white and walnut, you’ll be able to find a color that will match your decor. Remove the grille and expose the uniquely-designed 6.5 Uni-Q drivers that pack a punch, but are also so detailed, you might hear new sounds in your favorite songs that you didn’t even know were there. This pair is a pricey endeavor, but will reinvigorate your favorite songs and movie scores.
10. Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Anniversary Edition
These Bower & Wilkins 600 Series speakers aren’t messing around. These speakers have upgraded capacitors found in higher-end B&W speakers that breathe new life into this Anniversary Edition pair of speakers. They get loud enough and are powerful enough to fulfil your audio needs for your whole entertainment center. They are punchy, clear, but don’t compromise on clarity. Worth the price tag? We easily say, yes.