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 the best bookshelf speakers come in.
The best 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 the best 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 2021, just in time for you to consider for any holiday gift giving you may be in the market for over the next few weeks. After all, there’s no better time to go all-in on a speaker system than now.
1. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
OVER 10,000 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. Ultimately, these are some of the best bookshelf speakers — and they sound just as good as they look.
2. Sonos Play:1
Not your typical bookshelf speaker, the Sonos Play:1 is a small yet powerful option that uses your home WiFi network to wirelessly connect to your devices. Pair two Sonos Play:1s 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 these as surround sound speakers. These handy Sonos speakers provide a lot of audio versatility for your home.
3. Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
Sony has dominated the audio space for years on end, so don’t be so shocked that their SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver is one of the best bookshelf speakers known to man. This speaker provides a room-filling, booming sound that’s ideal for at-home jam sessions and vibey parties alike. They provide energy the same way live performances do, so much so that if you close your eyes, you’ll be able to imagine your favorite musician playing live on stage in front of you. The speaker provides total clarity when spilling sound into rooms with a 3-way, 3-driver system for dynamic, hi-res audio. You’ll become obsessed with these after your very first listen.
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. Presonus Eris E3.5-3.5″ Near Field Studio Monitor
These are some of the most highest-rated bookshelf speakers on Amazon. At just under $100, these speakers are an affordable option to keep anywhere in your home that provides an impressive bass response and uber accurate sound. They are created with a studio-quality performance so essentially you’ll be hearing audio the same way professionals do. The speakers come in a set of two and are relatively tiny, so you can even place them next to your computer or laptop for some extra sound.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Read More: The Best Speakers for Every Situation
8. Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
We. Love. Marshall. Although the Stanmore II wireless Bluetooth speaker technically isn’t your typical bookshelf speaker, we had to sneak it in here. This effortlessly handsome speaker can sit right on your shelf, desk or next to your record player for an impeccable sound unlike any other. It connects to Bluetooth for easy listening and adds the perfect amount of volume for rooms both big and small.
9. Dali Spektor 1 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.
Read More: The Best Portable Speakers
10. Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
The Yamaha NS-6490 is a 3-way speaker system that has a frequency response of 45 Hz – 23 kHz for accurate, crystal clear sound. These speakers have a stellar base and will have your house booming at maximum volume. The mid-range on these is also super warm and active to keep your ears excited and ready for the next beat. Not only are these speakers excellent for music, but reviewers on Amazon also say they make great additions to your TV sound system.
11. JBL Studio 530 Bookshelf Speakers
If you’re looking for a set of bookshelf speakers that are subtle in their appearance, you may want to not consider the JBL Studio 530s, as they have a rather distinctive look. However, what they may lack in style, they more than make up for in substance. The large, great-sounding tone produced by the 530 covers the full sound spectrum, resulting in an energetic yet polished sound.
12. 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.
13. 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 fulfill 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.
14. Fluance Ai61 Bookshelf Speakers
Fluance’s Ai61 speakers work exceedingly well with their line of turntables, but you’ll also get a lot of value out of them as speakers for your TV or Bluetooth devices as well. Easy to set up and connect (either through speaker wire, RCA, USB, or Optical outputs), they offer a nearly all-in-one solution for your home audio needs. Plus, the all-black version we’ve shown here is a staggeringly impressive piece that will fit in your existing setup with ease.