Update 2017: The best bookshelf speakers under $500 (2017) for most listeners is the Fluance XL7S. (Read the in-depth reviews below.)
3 Best bookshelf speaker reviews
XL7S boasts of high performance both sound and appearance wise. Users found their experience with XL7S “mind-boggling and surreal”. From the apt design to impeccable finishing, from the clarity to the perfect sound imaging, this offer couldn’t have been better.
These speakers are light in weight as compared to its contenders. These speakers have clear and detailed sound quality and are considered as a fair trade for the money. For someone who wants to renew their sound system on an average budget, Fluance XL7S are just the speakers for them.
The sound quality is even better when these speakers are used in a sound proof room to give even more detailed high and low notes, so make a mental note to check this one out. The congenial blend of powerful, energetic sound and user-friendly design makes these speakers one of the best pairs around that can be yours.
BIC America DV62si
BIC America has seemed to maintain their quality of products and continued to offer its best. Though a non-conventional brand, the DV62si has been recommended by many of the customers, praising it for the high sound quality and commending it for the efficient build whose rotting down shouldn’t worry you for a couple of years. The dynamic frequency range is noteworthy.
Customers with a tight budget were surprised at how well the speakers worked that too without additional woofers and have commented: “Very good range and linearity. Detailed, accurate and amazing bass for the size” . Such good reviews of sound quality and that too with such affordability definitely makes it one of a kind.
Polk Audio T15
Its convenient size and solid wooden structure seemed to make it a popular choice among customers. It’s well-built glossy exterior and compact size together with its insubstantial weight makes it blend well with the room’s interior and customers particularly seem to enjoy the fact that along with the option of placing it on a table top, it can also be mounted on a wall enabled by the integrated keyholes at the back.
One factor which won the customers hearts the most is perhaps its nice packaging, the box and the foam which protects from damaging and scratches when transported through loaders on bumpy roads. Most users attest to the fact that for someone with a budget, these speakers are a preferable choice with no compromise on sound quality. Thus, this is a good choice to go for!
Things to consider before purchase
You need to take into consideration several points before making any real purchase decision to make your choice the one which works best for you. Some of these pointers include the size of the speaker, its voltage sensitivity, its power handling and the frequency range it can play which are discussed as follows:
1. Speaker Size and Number
Though bookshelf speakers come in all sizes and shapes, the ones most commonly found a range between 15 to 60 centimeters tall. You should consider the size of the room you are looking forward to placing in the speakers before making the purchase, as you would want the sound imaging to be perfect. When it comes to bookshelf speakers, it does not always mean that the bigger the size, the better speaker in terms of quality. To the extent to which technology has evolved, it is no wonder that better quality and smart features can be packed in compact-sized speakers as well.
Another critical factor in choosing your speakers is how loud you like to listen and how a given speaker performs at that level. Living in an apartment with thin walls, music may be played on your system at low levels much of the time. Some speakers sound surprisingly “alive” at low volume while others need to be played loud to get going. Some speakers start sounding grainy and tight at higher volumes and distortion is sensed. A well-designed and aptly chosen speaker will sound good at both low and high volumes.
3. Speaker Frequency Range
It refers to the varying degrees of sounds which a speaker can produce. A good bookshelf speaker should be capable of producing sounds of varying frequencies, hence the inbuilt combination woofers and tweeters, which replicate sounds as naturally as possible. It will be able to produce low basses and very high frequencies. Though unlike the fully response speakers, most bookshelf speakers are made with restricted frequency response and are capable of reaching 45-20,000 Hz.
4. Speaker Power Handling
Power handling refers to the amount of current that can flow through a speaker without it getting damaged. If the amplifier is attached to the speakers, the power rating for both the speaker and the amplifier should be close to identical. Beware of using amplification that is too high or low, to avoid damaging either of the gadgets.
5. Voltage Sensitivity
Voltage sensitivity correlates with the level of loudness achieved when a particular voltage is passed through the speaker. Without amplifiers, common bookshelf speakers have an efficiency of at least 86 decibels. Higher voltage efficiency is recommended when speakers are used in combination with amplifiers.
6. Speaker Accessories
As a bookshelf doesn’t cover the sides and back of the speaker exposing it to the threat of damage, speaker stands are better equipped than a bookshelf to hold bookshelf speakers and an added advantage is the fact, that speaker stands reflect more sophistication and enhance the outlook of the speakers. Stands also come in a variety with some having rubber grips to stand on hard floors and carpeting. Additionally, wall mounts are suitable for those users who don’t want their speakers on stands and they come in a variety: stationary, adjustable and mounted shelves protruding from the walls.
Other Excellent Bookshelf Speakers Under $500
Polk Audio RTI A1
The Polk Audio RTI A1 is the best bookshelf speaker under $500. Made of fine Cherry wood with an impeccable finish. The RTI A1 is an elegant choice and can be placed anywhere to beautify the room. The customers found the overall unit to be solid and not overly heavy or bulky and easily placeable on the bookshelf and commending the quality materials made it quite sturdy and apart from that the “curvy” finish has a sonic function.
The sound quality also received many appraisals from the customers who commented on the remarkable clarity, timbre and soundstage and positive feedback on high and low volumes. Given the luxurious look, the price was somewhat astonishingly cheap for the customers, found it to be a good investment.
Cambridge – Aero 2
With the conventional look of the speakers, you may be inclined to pass this option. But don’t be fooled! The Aero 2 (though old school!) is an amazing investment and surely makes up for the lack in looks by producing music of splendid quality. The frequency and bass of the speakers are remarkable.
The customers have stated that the imaging is precise and the sound staging is spacious. The mid-range is also said to be amazing. Some have even considered it to be a “perfect fit”. Given the good price and commendable sound quality this opportunity should not be wasted.
Wharfedale – Diamond 10.2
For a brand to stay afloat in the market for so long as to celebrate their 80th anniversary, anyone would agree that it is quite a feat. With such a repute, it can unarguably be said that Wharfedale speakers are a whole packaged deal. Fantastic sound system. Efficient design. Good bass. User-friendly mechanics.
The soft dome of woven textile is engineered specifically to handle sounds of varying frequencies and to relay them clearly. Heightened realism and instrumental accuracy is guaranteed. Additionally, customers have given positive reviews on the friendly customer service of Wharfedale.
NHT Classic Two
NHT’s Classic line is a refinement and extension of their respected and successful Super Audio speakers. Customers with limited space though hesitant due to their concerns over the sound quality were delighted to be proved wrong as they witnessed drop-dead accurate midrange and detailed highs.
Many customers set it up as their main speakers and were not let down by the experience. In terms of the modern lines of their design and the dimension and definition are inherent in their engineering, NHT makes a bold, impressive statement with the Classic Two.
The Classic Two can be placed on your entertainment cabinet, or can be mounted on your wall using the optional wall-mount brackets. Though they look like bookshelf speakers, but the kind of high-end sound that is produced will get you under the impression that you’re listening to a full response frequency speaker.
JBL L820 4 way speakers
JBL is a 70 – Year Company which is well known in the department of audio electronics and has set a benchmark for other retailers. The L820 is surely a treat for the audiophiles out there. It has proved itself as a worthwhile investment with a heavy build and customers are reported to have said that they hype up the room as wall mounted speakers! With the quality of bass and coherency, the L820 is a delight for the customers. The detail and refined sound and the mid-range are the highlights of this appliance.
Where else would you find such 4-way speakers and that too at this cost?
Things we liked or disliked of bookshelf speakers:
- Slick design
- Extraordinary durability
- Advanced technology
- Easy to operate mechanism
- Guarantees real Home -Theater entertainment
- Economical High-Power speakers with better-enhanced sound quality than tower speakers
- Loud bass
- Wireless streaming
- Safer to use than other speakers
- Slightly high-pitched interface system
- Some lack Bluetooth connectivity
- Some speakers need to be connected by wires
- Some may need additional woofers and tweeters
Expectations from your speakers
Expect your choice of speakers to provide you with the best quality of sound that would make your experience entirely worthwhile and are also going to last a few years without a hitch.
As you would be making a decent investment in these speakers, it is best that you do a bit of your homework on your end and set up a fixed budget so that your purchase won’t set you back on a few months of your salary. Pay significant consideration to the specifications of the speakers according to their voltage sensitivity, frequency range and power handling.
Also take note of the fact that your speakers are hazard protected and do not blow up on slight power shortages while you doze off.
There you have it! An all you need to know guide about some of the top speakers that you can find in any tech market. Bookshelf speakers are among some of the most popular speakers in the tech market and more compact than other species of speakers.
When purchasing bookshelf speakers, some of the factors that you must go through include the number of sets you need, a frequency range or response, voltage sensitivity and power handling. For maximum output, you should consider using bookshelf speakers in combinations with wall mounts or speaker stands.
Your experience with movies and music is never going to be the same once you use these bookshelf speakers. Your purchase would make your family room or any room for that matter not only attractive and sightly, but it is also guaranteed to make it more entertaining as well and that’s a promise all of the above-stated suggestions are sure to keep!
What do you think is the best bookshelf speaker under $500 of 2017? Leave your comment below!