A bookshelf speaker is a small and portable loudspeaker which is sold for customer-friendly home audio applications. It is mostly used as part of a shelf stereo pair or a home theater package, one which is small in size and mostly kept on a raised surface like a bookshelf.
The concept of bookshelf speakers is relatively new but people have widely started using them. They started being recognized due to the compact size, portability and the ability to save a lot of space as it can be placed literally in the smallest places.
So if you are looking for speaker that has outstanding sound quality, aesthetic appeal, and compact size, then bookshelf speakers is the best choice for you.
In this article I have reviewed the 10 best bookshelf speakers under 500 with its features, pros and cons. Check them out and choose the one that perfectly fits your expectation. Now without wasting time lets move on to the product list.
- 10 BEST BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS UNDER 500 REVIEW
- 1) Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair)
- 2) Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speaker Finish
- 3) AUDIOENGINE A5 PLUS - BEST BASS RESPONSE BOOKSHELF SPEAKER
- 4) EDIFIER S1000DB - BEST AUDIOPHILE SPEAKER UNDER 500
- 5) Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeaker
- 6) MACKIE 3-INCH (CR3-X) - BEST BOOKSHELF STUDIO MONITORS UNDER $500
- 7) ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
- 8) Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speaker with 4-Inch Woofer and Silk Tweeter
- 9) Polk Audio RTI A3 Bookshelf Speaker
- 10) Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeaker
- Buying guide for best bookshelf speakers under 500$
10 BEST BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS UNDER 500 REVIEW
1) Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair)
If you have decided to go for a branded bookshelf speaker, then this Sony SSCS5 is our strong recommendation. This speaker has been the best, in terms of sound quality and durability. And you can experience a cinematic sound innovation just at the comfort of your home.
I bet you will fall in love with the speaker's small black finish that easily blends with most contemporary interiors. Apart from this, the compact bookshelf design makes the speakers not just compact but also space-efficient. So you can install it in tight spots without much effort. The faceplate edges are tapered a bit so that edge diffraction is avoided and you get a clear and natural soundstage. So in terms of design, it has scored well.
Not only this, the ported and all-wood enclosures are dedicatedly designed for resonant acoustics. Both the internal and external components are best known for their durability.
The 3-driver bookshelf speakers have a rigid 5.12 in MRC woofer for dynamic bass, 0.98 inch tweeter, and 0.75inch super-tweeter that gives you an immersive sound. With high-resolution audio, you get the chance to listen to your favorite digital music collection in superior sound quality. If you are a fan of bass, then you can take advantage of the speaker as it incorporates a 5.12 in the woofer for deep and stable bass.
This bookshelf speaker is recommended to connect and use with computers, televisions, and DVD players. The maximum input power required to run this speaker is 100W, so plug it and get the real audio experience.
OVERALL: The Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System is a perfect speaker system for compact places. This best bookshelf speaker under 500 is a versatile speaker system enough to deliver a real audio experience with a wide soundstage.
The sound quality is so good that you can feel the energy of the actual performance irrespective of any place you have placed it. So you don't need any special listening room or set up to use these bookshelf speakers. Recommended!
What We Liked
2) Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speaker Finish
Upgrade your current 5.1 home theater speakers to a 7.1-Channel surround sound system by adding a pair of Yamaha NS-6490 bookshelf speakers. The NS-6490 bookshelf speaker was designed to be in compact size with the capability to deliver a full, clear, and tight sound response. So if you are an audiophile or home entertainment enthusiasts looking for a high end bookshelf speaker, then we recommended you Yamaha NS-6490 speaker.
Yamaha always tries to keep its design look classy and modern. But this one is a bit different. So in terms of design, these speakers resemble vintage speakers. If you prefer an ancient touch in your speakers, then you will like this best vintage speakers under $500.
The speaker's cabinets are made up of solid materials, which makes them quite durable and make lasts for a long time. Overall, the appearance looks boxy, and if you are worried about space constraints, then you are good to go with this speaker set.
Most bookshelf speakers come with a frequency range of 60 to 70 Hz, but the NS6490 stands out by offering a response range of 45Hz to 23Khz, which is quite impressive. The 3-way design gives you a nice crossover to the subwoofer driver, and you get to experience a wide range of bass frequencies.
Meanwhile, the tweeter and the mid-woofer works in improvising the highs and lows of the speakers. The 3-way design outperforms the 2-way speaker. Also, the high frequencies offer warm, sweet music with much detail. So for the budget offered, I can't complain much about the sound quality.
OVERALL: If you are looking to invest in bookshelf speakers because of space constraints, then consider Yamaha which is also the best home speakers under 500 that can fill sound to the whole room. You don't need to spend extra to maintain the bass sound, and this speaker brings the right balance between convenience and performance.
What We Liked
3) AUDIOENGINE A5 PLUS - BEST BASS RESPONSE BOOKSHELF SPEAKER
Here we bring you the Audioengine A5 Plus bookshelf speakers that provide clear, full, and powerful audio that fills any room.
This company has made efforts to upgrade the quality of its speakers for you to enjoy the best quality music. When compared to its previous edition Audioengine A5, this one comes with Bluetooth 4.0 aptX HD wireless capability, and 24-bit DAC presents low noise and low distortion. Since it provides high-quality bass and music quality, this is one of the best speakers under 500 dollars.
If you are ready to shed some cash for the best bookshelf speaker to enhance your audio listening experience, we have got you covered with this amazing piece of audio listening equipment. Now let's take a look at the design and sound quality of these speakers.
Made of bamboo exteriors, this has a classy look with an amazing design and specifications. The rounded edges of the wireless speakers offer a bookshelf look by measuring 7.0 inches wide and 10.8 inches high. In the left speaker, you will find a volume knob, a receiver with remote control. This volume knob works perfectly when paired with mobile device volume controls. Each speaker's bottom panel consists of foam rubber coverings that can keep them stable.
In terms of connectivity, the back panel of the speaker has a ton of connectivities. You can take advantage of the 3.5mm input and the USB connection to charge the portable device and also to connect to external devices like receivers or amplifiers. Since it is a full-size speaker terminal, you can connect speaker cables with the banana plugs, Bluetooth antenna, and RCA inputs and outputs.
The plus symbol in the name tells you that the cabinet has a new port system and a heat sink on the rear whose work is not just to improve the overall sound but to deliver crystal clear sound even at high volume. We really liked the mirror-image design where you don't need to differentiate which speaker is left or right. These two-way powered speakers under 500 feature a 3/4 silk dome tweeter with Neodymium magnets which means they can help produce more sound.
We really appreciate the fact that Audioengine has designed its own drivers for its speakers rather than using generic parts. So this contributes to delivering great consistent sound. Also, it easily matches with the woofer and tweeter with an analog dual-class A/B monolithic amp that is designed specifically for these drivers. This is an amazing tech as the amp will know what kind of load their amp will receive.
OVERALL: If you want a good-looking and high-quality wireless speaker system with some advanced features like a companion app or voice assistance, then this speaker is worth giving a shot.
What We Liked
4) EDIFIER S1000DB - BEST AUDIOPHILE SPEAKER UNDER 500
The S1000DB offers a much more superior feel than other Edifier bookshelf speakers. These best bookshelf speakers under 500 for musicare the perfect kind of speakers for gaming PCs and consoles. The Edifier S1000DB is one of the most visually appealing sets of speakers among the visually stagnant area as compared to other brands. This is absolutely perfect for adding to your television set for superior sound for movies, shows, and sports.
Edifier speakers usually come with a simplistic yet attractive design. The only change in the design in this version is the sloping front design which is a change from the usual bland designs. By giving some angle to the design, the overall projection and spread of the sound have improved.
Talking about the material, the top, front, and back are made of composite material, whereas the sides are made of MDF, and it is covered with natural wood vinyl. These are quite big in size and are ported in the back, so they cannot be placed close to the wall as it will alter the dispersal of the sound.
The main reason this best hifi speakers under 500 got its place in this list is because of its amazing sound quality. This speaker has a 5.5-inch woofer that is capable of giving you a deep bass sound and also produces a powerful mid-range. By utilizing the digital sound processing technology, you get a stunning 120 watts RMS and a frequency range of 48Hz to 20KHz.
The 5.5-inch drivers give a very low-frequency deep bass sound with the help of the rear port. Adding to this, the tweeters deliver some crisp and clear highs. Overall, their sound quality is pretty decent for the price offered.
The back panel of the speakers is equipped with a number of connectivity ports using which you can connect your PC, TV, or any other sources of audio through the AUX, RCA, or coaxial. Not only that, but you can also tune the volume, bass, and treble to adjust the exact settings you enjoy.
OVERALL: These bookshelf speakers offer so much that you would easily mistake them for a high-priced product. The build quality is decent and quite heavy. The control is basic and is efficient. Though the controls are basic, they are present on the rear side of the speakers, and so it isn't much convenient for manual adjustments. However, you can take advantage of the remote control system. One of the best audiophile speakers under 500
What We Liked
5) Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series Bookshelf Loudspeaker
Klipsch speakers are widely renowned for their wide and enhanced soundstage and great sonic purity. It was founded in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, who believed the following four principles to be the foundation for any great speaker producing great sound.
They are high efficiency speakers with low distortion, controlled directivity, flat frequency response, and lastly, wide dynamic range. He believed these principles have and will be the foundation for precise sound. For TV shows, movies, these speakers sound way more realistic than normal TV speakers.
Also, this brand is known for manufacturing high-range budget speakers. So if you are an entry-level hobbyist who is interested in buying the best bookshelf speakers, then this could be your ideal choice.
Talking about the design, it has a very stylish yet discreet design that is perfect for those who prefer minimalist aesthetics. The RB-61 has a folded edge to produce smoother mids and tighter bass. The aluminum cones present helps in dampening the unwanted vibrations and distortion. And the dual five-way binding posts help you bi-amp or bi-wire these bookshelf speakers for improved performance.
One of the best features of this speaker is its dynamics and overall warm sound. The fully defined sound provides a balance in a way that you will start enjoying the tunes. Whether you prefer jazz or heavy metal, you will love listening to these speakers. Almost all Klipsch speakers are equipped with horn technology.
That said, this loudspeaker consists of a tractrix horn that helps in boosting the tweeter and gives highs a real edge. Overall, this is a budget pick that is worth looking at. So check it out now!
6) MACKIE 3-INCH (CR3-X) - BEST BOOKSHELF STUDIO MONITORS UNDER $500
The Mackie CR3-X 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors provide studio-quality sound built for multimedia entertainment with only superior, high-performance components.
This best bookshelf speakers under 500 features convenient front-panel controls, and they deliver professional sound quality. These are renowned and sophisticated for work, play and everything in between.
You can quickly change from video editing to music listening in no time. These monitors make you a multi-tasker who appreciates premium sound.
What We Liked
7) ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
Improving on the original Debut B6 speaker with accolades from the global press and awards from industry professionals-was not an easy task. But frequently improvement is what we do at ELAC, and the Debut B6.2 raise for performance higher than ever before. It has started at many times its price.
It comes with a newly developed woofer with a weave pattern on the aramid fiber woofer which provides you more smoother high frequency response at the same time delivering clean tight bass. Not only this, it has also got a newly developed tweeter that combines a wide-roll surround and extends the frequency response out to 35KHz. Overall, this loudspeakers is perfect for all audiophiles who is looking for a compact bookshelves speakers.
What We Liked
8) Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speaker with 4-Inch Woofer and Silk Tweeter
The Micca RB42 bookshelf speaker boasts music in a great package. With curiously robust bass output and a silky smooth sound signature, it does justice to all music genres from jazz to hip-hop. Designed and groomed in dark wood pattern with perfect curves and lines, you can boast about its looks anywhere. The tweeter is made of the popular Micca’s 0.75-inch silk dome design which uses a high efficiency neodymium magnet and a form-cut bezel for the driver spacing.
It comes with a 4-inch woofer which is built on a heavy steel frame and magnet structure. It also has a coated pressed paper cone with concave dust cap, rubber surround and a vented pole piece.
This is one of the top bookshelf speakers under 500 which is recommended by many audiophiles and is renowned as a great speaker. Experience its best performance today.
What We Liked
9) Polk Audio RTI A3 Bookshelf Speaker
The Polk Audio RTI A3 Cherry Bookshelf Speaker is a beautiful looking, cherry red bookshelf speaker. This best bookshelf speakers under 500 has incorporated the latest Dynamic Balance Cone drivers and 1 inch tweeters with a very decent and elegant restyling of the cabinets keeping the technology and new styles in mind.
As we know the standards of Polk Audio, this speaker keeps up the performance to classic Polk. And if you are an audiophile , this bookshelf speakers for music requires your attention today. You can gran it not just for its beautiful looks but also for its amazing sounds. You will love the details and design which is very soothing and pleases you visually.
What We Liked
10) Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeaker
Pioneer, a company which is slowly and steadily taking its place in the market, is leading in production of speakers and electronic gadgets. These best bookshelf speakers under 500 delivers high quality compact and versatile speakers are designed by Andrew Jones and deliver premium, sophisticated sound quality in your comfortable living room.
What We Liked
Buying guide for best bookshelf speakers under 500$
If you want to get the best output, then you need to pair these speakers with either a receiver or an amplifier. So you can ensure that the right amount of power is delivered. Some speakers require a range of 30 to 100W output to deliver a decent sound quality. Also, if you choose amps or receivers based on different brands, then you need to fine-tune the components to work as expected.
Room and acoustics
Not all bookshelf speakers would sound appropriately in every type of room. So check your room and acoustics, and then choose the ideal speakers that might work for your room. For example, small speakers might work well for a normal-sized room, and the same speakers might sound weak for a large room.
Meanwhile, large speakers in a small room will sound overwhelming. So it is recommended to measure your room dimensions and also remember your carpets, furniture, present in the room will also absorb some sound. With these in mind, choose the best part. Apart from this, you must also check whether the place you are intended to place the speakers are secure enough.
On the connectivity front, check whether the bookshelf speakers can support a wide variety of devices easily. So to ensure this, check the number of ports the speakers come with.
If you are investing in a product without checking the warranty, then you are taking a huge risk. No matter if it is a budget pick or an expensive one, you need to check the warranty so that you get the idea that this speaker would work until the warranty period at least.
With that said, you need to be clear about one factor, which is, when you get the speakers, you need to increase the sound gradually and not increase the volume out of the box. It might damage the speakers easily.
This is the last factor we want you to consider, and it is mostly subjective. Though we can't say that new brands don't perform well, we can at least highlight that branded bookshelf speakers have some guarantee that they would come to a long life.
Also, reputed brands got popular only because they have won the hearts of millions of customers. So if you are choosing the best bookshelf speakers, consider choosing the branded one.
1. Are bookshelf speakers better than soundbars?
Compared to soundbars, bookshelf speakers have better sound quality but are a bit expensive and harder to set up than soundbars.
2. Do I need a subwoofer for my bookshelf speakers?
It depends on your choice. In most cases, the woofers on the bookshelf speakers would deliver ample bass for home listening, but if you prefer an enhanced home theater audio, you can add a subwoofer.
3. How should I place my bookshelf speakers?
Both the bookshelf speakers should be placed at an equal distance from the side walls, like 2 to 3 feet from the rear wall. Apart from this, you must identify the sweet spot, the ideal listening position of your room where the sound is balanced perfectly, and then place your speakers there.
4. Can passive speakers be used wirelessly?
Though passive speakers have wires between the amp and speakers, you can also connect the passive speakers wirelessly. You can stream music wirelessly to your receiver, provided it is equipped with wireless capabilities.
A very obvious advantage of bookshelf speakers is their compact size which makes it super easy to set them on a table, mount them to a wall or just simply place them on your beloved shelf.
Bookshelf speakers are great alternatives to huge speakers which occupy a lot of space and do not provide satisfactory sound quality. These portable speakers are highly used and recommended. The above mentioned list of best bookshelf speakers under 500 is a great list for your research.
Hey, this is Stefan. I am a blogger. Do what you love is my motto, and since I have a great love for writing and technology, I am a content writer and mostly concentrate on reviewing different types of products in the market for you.