Best Bookshelf Speakers

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For those looking to improve the sound quality of your home very easily, then a pair of bookshelf speakers can be an excellent addition. They can quickly transform your music listening experience, and they come without the price tag or weight of larger tower speakers. A good pair can even be used as an additional part of your home cinema experience too.

But, there are a lot of different options out there for those looking for bookshelf speakers, so which ones are the best? Well, we’re going to check out the top bookshelf speakers you can find out there right now. You can choose to just stick with a pair of bookshelf speakers, or you can match them up with more speakers if you want too.

Best Bookshelf Speakers

Q Acoustics 3020

Q Acoustics 3020 Bookshelf Speaker Pair (Graphite)
  • The medium sized 3020 bookshelf speakers benefit from the advanced, low distortion, wide dispersion Concentric Ring Dome tweeter; uprated crossover and improved low resonance cabinet
  • A large 5 inch drive unit with Aramid fiber/paper cone material, more commonly known as Kevlar, delivers an extended big bass response with fast dynamics a wonderfully open and realistic mid-range sound
  • The cabinet is made of 15mm MDF panels but with a double-layer 30mm top plate and similarly layered 24mm front baffle. This structure is then braced in specific places to control resonances

Most people looking for a set of bookshelf speakers will be after a mid sized pair that they can fit anywhere in their home. There aren’t many better options than these Q Acoustics 3020 speakers, which are pretty reasonably priced.

One of the most impressive things about these bookshelf speakers is their capabilities of delivering good bass. This is in part due to the large 5 inch drive unit, which helps the speakers deliver lower frequencies – many folks call the drive unit the heart of the speaker, and it’s where it really gets it’s power from.

Not only do these speakers perform well and sound very clear, but they’re also very nice to look at too. Q Acoustics generally do design some excellent looking speakers, finished in their own specific style. So, whether you decide to put them on a desk or elsewhere, you can be sure that they’re not going to get in the way.

Whilst it’ll probably take you a while to fully run these speakers in, they’re definitely some of the best performers out there on the current market. They’re going to be the perfect size for most people, they sound great and importantly, they’re very well priced for bookshelf speakers as well.

Cambridge Audio SX-50

Cambridge Audio SX-50 Bookshelf Speaker | 100 Watt Home Theater Compact Speaker Pair (Matte Black)
  • ✔ SOUND-FIRST DESIGN – The SX-50 speakers provide stunning sound for stereo and home theater in small to medium rooms. Cambridge Audio engineered the SX50 to deliver unrivaled performance for Hi-Fi sound filled with passion and detail.
  • ✔ COMPACT FOR EASIER PLACEMENT – Measuring only 8.9”H x 6.3”W x 9.4”D, the SX50 speakers give surprising and impressive clarity for full-bodied sound and warmth.
  • ✔ CUSTOM WOOFER FOR STRONGER BASS – The 5.25" mid-bass driver delivers smooth audio across frequencies, and the powerful, efficient woofer pumps deep bass with less draw on your amp.

Another pair that are very similar to the previously mentioned speakers are the SX-50’s, which are made by brand Cambridge Audio. If you’re looking for a strong and powerful sound, then these might be the right choice for you.

But their power isn’t all that these speakers actually offer, as there’s much more to them than just that. They also work very well in terms of clarity, and you’ll be able to hear your music clearly if you do decide to go with these speakers. They have a good solid build quality too, so there’s no need for you to worry about them falling apart any time soon.

One area where these speakers aren’t too hot is dealign with bass and lower frequencies – they have a frequency range between 50Hz – 22kHz, which means that they’re excellent at dealing with mid-range and higher frequencies. But, most of us aren’t looking for extremely bassy bookshelf speakers, and for many people they’ll provide another great option.

Dali Spektor 2

The Dali Spektor 2 bookshelf speakers are yet another good option, and the one area where they really cope well is with bass. If you’re looking for a set of bookshelf speakers that can cope with deeper sounds, then this set are probably right for you. Not only can they cope, but they deliver rich audio that’s great to listen too.

Along with the crisp and clear bass sounds, they’re also very good at delivering great trebles too. And if you pair them with the right amp, then you can play around and adjust them to your hearts content. Whilst they’re a little bass focussed, you can easily change this to suit your own preference.

When you consider the price of these speakers, you can easily see how much value they offer – they hold their own with much more expensive options that are currently out there. You don’t need to be an audiophile to appreciate a good pair of speakers like this, and they’re suitable all the way from beginner to the more advanced listener.

Edifier R1280T

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Not everyone has a few hundred to spend on a set of speakers. And if you want to keep your budget below £100, then you could consider looking at the Edifier R1280T’s. They manage to hold their own amongst more expensive models, even though they’re really an entry level pair.

As well as this, they also have very good connectivity too, with two easy to use AUX ports being place on the back of the speaker. This can help you to refrain from having to switch between different devices all the time, which can get a little annoying. There are also easy to use controls on the side of these speakers too, which allow you to easily change the bass and treble of the sound that they are delivering.

So whilst they’re not quite on par with some of the other models that I’ve listed here, this set of speakers are definitely up there with the top options if you’re on a tight budget. If you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on bookshelf speakers, then this set will definitely be a great fit. They’re finished with a standard wood colour as well, meaning that they’ll fit into the majority of colour schemes vert easily.

Polk Audio S15e

Polk Audio Signature S15E Haut-Parleur d'étagère stéréo HiFi pour Musique et Home cinéma, Haut-Parleur Passif, 20-100 W, 8 ohm, Haute résolution, 48 Hz - 40 kHz (Paire)
  • RICH & CRISP SOUND - Experience a room-filling sound with the Polk Audio S15e bookshelf speakers. Create your own home cinema sound system and enjoy your favourite movies, TV and music in the best audio quality.
  • HI-RES AUDIO - Equipped with a 1" high-resolution Terylene tweeter to perfectly reproduce high-resolution audio files. With this HiFi speaker it feels like you're right there in the studio or concert hall.
  • CLEAR & IMPACTFUL BASS - Featuring 5.25" low distortion cones & Power Port bass enhancing technology this speaker will provide you with clean & powerful bass tones for an elevated sound.

When it comes to good quality budget brands, Polk are one of the best options out there. This S15e bookshelf speakers are a pretty great purchase for those looking for a pair of speakers that are low to mid priced.

This speaker also uses 5.25” low distortion cones, which helps to keep the bass very clean and minimize any possible distortion that comes with a loud set of bookshelf speakers. They’ll work well with the majority of different amps out there, and they’re fairly compact so you should be able to place them pretty much anywhere too.

This set of speakers are available in a plain black design, and they’re best paired with a good subwoofer (Polk have a recommended one to go with them too). They’re designed to deliver a lifelike sound, which means that they’ll likely be as good for watching films through as they are for music. So if you want to improve the clarity of your sound system whilst adding some depth to it too, then the S15e are a great purchase.

Common Questions about Bookshelf Speakers

What are bookshelf speakers?

Whilst the name is sort of self explanatory, it’s often misunderstood. Though they are called as such, you don’t necessarily need to use bookshelf speakers on a bookshelf, though this is a perfectly suitable place for them. They’re typically a pair of relatively small speakers that are best placed on an elevated surface, so they’re perfectly fine to put on a table or a desk as well. They tend to have a good audio quality, better than most standard speakers out there.

Do bookshelf speakers need a subwoofer?

It can be difficult to know whether you should buy a subwoofer to match your bookshelf speakers. The answer to this question really is – it depends. If you’re looking for a complete audio solution, then you’re going to need to get a subwoofer to deal with the 20Hz frequencies, which bookshelf speakers can’t quite deal with. However, most of the options listed here should be able to deliver a good range of sound from low to high, so a subwoofer isn’t essential, but it would be nice to have.

What do you put under bookshelf speakers?

If you’re wondering what kind of surface you should put your bookshelf speakers on, then it’s recommended that you place them on some form of foam or rubber mattress. This is to isolate the speakers, and stop there from being any distracting vibrations.

Do bookshelf speakers sound better on stands?

The idea is that if you place your bookshelf speakers elevated off of the ground, then the sound from them is going to be able to travel to your ears better than if they were on the ground. This is why it’s a good idea to get stands for bookshelf speakers, or at least place them on some kind of table.

Are bookshelf speakers good?

One of the reasons bookshelf speakers end to be fairly expensive is that there’s a real focus on audio quality. Even the cheaper brands of this type of speaker tend to produce a good sound, with them coping better with lower frequencies than many smaller cheaper speakers out there. They definitely have their place if you’re looking to fill a small room with a good amount of sound.


Overall, it can pay to get a good pair of bookshelf speakers to improve the quality of sound in your home. They tend to be fairly priced, and they’re a powerful option when you consider their size too. If you don’t want to go ahead and get a full system or larger speakers that take up a ton of space, then opting for a pair of bookshelf’s is a wise decision.

Last update on 2022-07-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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