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7 Reasons to Buy a Pair of Bookshelf Speakers Today (and Which Are Best)

bookshelf speakers

7 Reasons to Buy a Pair of Bookshelf Speakers Today (and Which Are Best)

Key Points

  • Bookshelf speakers are perfect for medium-sized rooms and can fit effortlessly without taking up too much space.
  • Bookshelf speakers are portable and can be easily moved around your home, making them more versatile than surround sound or tower speakers.
  • Despite their size, bookshelf speakers have excellent sound quality and can be used as part of a home theater kit as well as for playing music.

Bookshelf speakers can instantly enhance the entertainment experience in just about any room. Since they are small enough to fit on a bookshelf, you can place them in more cramped locations, while still enjoying a dynamic, stereo sound.

You shouldn’t be fooled by their smaller stature. Bookshelf speakers provide big noise in a small package. But should you even bother with them? Perhaps you’re weighing the pros and cons, between bookshelf speakers and something like a soundbar or surround sound system.

If you’re wondering if bookshelf speakers are a good idea for your home audio setup, you’ve come to the right place. Today’s article will break down the best reasons to stop thinking about it and just buy a pair of bookshelf speakers already. Let’s get into it!

Reason #1: They’re Perfect for Medium-Sized Rooms

Medium-sized rooms love bookshelf speakers. The way they’re designed allows them to fit in a decently sized room effortlessly without taking up too much space.

Some bookshelf speakers can also be mounted to a wall, giving you even more value for your purchase. They can complement your decor without taking up too much space and provide excellent entertainment in the process.

If you live in an apartment, and not a single-family home, bookshelf speakers are still a great fit. While they often are capable of getting loud enough to annoy your neighbors, you can still keep the volume at a minimum and enjoy the great sound quality.

bookshelf speakers are perfect for small rooms
Bookshelf speakers are ideal for small to medium-sized rooms, given their compact form factor.

Reason #2: The Host with the Most

Imagine inviting your friends over and showing off a sweet pair of bookshelf speakers. Even your family would appreciate them over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, playing some jolly holiday tunes.

Bookshelf speakers are wonderful for hosts who love to entertain guests. Whether you’re hosting friends or family, know that your bookshelf speakers will be the talk of the town.

You can use them to stream music, movies, or anything else you’d like.

Hosting events at your home can be extremely fulfilling, especially if you know that you have tried to do the most in terms of entertainment. Think about it – would you rather go to a party with music or without?

A bookshelf speaker is a simple upgrade from a Google Home or Alexa, but it will make all the difference in your next event.

Reason #3: You Need a Budget Option

Sure, you can spend a boatload of money on bookshelf speakers if you really wanted to. But there is also a wide range of budget options. You can easily find one or a pair for under $100.

Plus, technology has advanced so much that even lower-budget bookshelf speakers can produce high-quality sound.

The best way to find good bookshelf speakers, even on a budget, is to look into the model and brand. You can get a lot of helpful information from Amazon reviews.

Reason #4: They’re Portable

The shelf you normally house your bookshelf speakers on does not need to be their permanent home. You can move bookshelf speakers anywhere in your home.

They’re extremely portable, often fitting effortlessly in new spots. You can connect their speakers to cd players, multimedia stations, record players, and more. Plus, you might the place the speakers “live” every few months or years when your interior design goals change.

Ok, they might not be as portable as soundbars or wireless Bluetooth speakers. But they are still more portable than surround sound or tower speakers.

Reason #5: You Need Something for Your Home Theater System

Home theater systems are fantastic upgrades for any home. You can create an impressive home theater quickly and easily, just by hooking some audio up to your TV.

You can create anything you want in your home theater space. Lots of enthusiasts enjoy a good set of bookshelf speakers to really soup up their home theater system and for good reason.

Their compact design means they’ll slot right into place next to your DVD and Blu-Ray collection. Many brands also go all out on creating unique designs for their speakers, so you can even enjoy them as a standalone decoration. Which brings us to the next reason.

Bookshelf speakers in home theater
Bookshelf speakers fit right into any home theater system.

Reason #6: You Like Unique Designs

Today’s market has several unique designs for bookshelf speakers. They can fit any aesthetic and complement any space. It all just depends on what you’re looking for.

Whether you need something simple or intricate, there is a bookshelf speaker or speaker set out there for you. The upgrade in bookshelf speaker design quality has been amazing to witness. The absence of many cables has made it possible to create impressive minimalist aesthetics.

And conversely, maximalists can also find something that suits them. There are bookshelf speakers that replicate guitar amplifiers, like the classic Marshall.

Reason #7: They Add Flair to Your Shelving Units

You would hope that since they are called bookshelf speakers, they make your bookshelf look better. And you would be right!

Bookshelf speakers are most commonly housed on surfaces like entertainment centers. If you already have these kinds of systems, you’re in luck!

These speakers are among the most customizable on the market. You can do almost anything with them, and the limits or possibilities are truly up to you. Picking out a pair of bookshelf speakers awakens your inner interior designer.

What Are the Best Bookshelf Speakers?

So, if you want to get in on the bookshelf speaker craze, which ones should you even look at? There are so many out there; knowing you’re getting the best can be almost impossible.

These are some of the best finds we’ve gathered after checking out the reviews and awards for best bookshelf speakers.

JBL 100 Classic

JBL is well-known for making some of the best soundbars you can get, but they also know how to make an impressive bookshelf speaker.

While prestigious, the JBL 100 Classic transports us back to a simpler time. Originally known as the JBL 100, these speakers might have been your parents’ or grandparents’ favorites, and for plenty of good reasons.

Now, the JBL 100 Classics are an upgraded version of the well-known and well-loved JBL 100. They embrace the classic design of the 1970s model while enhancing the audio quality to match modern standards.

If you’re into vintage sounds or collecting vinyl, this system could be your perfect match. It’s a dynamic duo that exceeds expectations every time.

There are fewer things that are more fascinating than the manufacturer’s ability to combine old sound design with new. 

This set is a bit on the steeper side in terms of budget, coming in at about $4,000. However, if you have the extra change to spare, it’s well worth it for the quality you’re buying.

Fluance Ai40

This self-powered speaker is sealed instead of ported, making it stand out from its peers immediately. Sonically, it’s clear and doesn’t have too much bass boom, which is a major determining factor for many people.

It’s a bit smaller, weighing in with a 1-inch silk dome tweeter and a 5-inch woven glass fiber composite woofer. They would do well in small-to-medium-sized rooms.

Fluance Ai41 Powered 2-Way 2.0 Stereo Bookshelf Speakers
$249.99
  • 5-inch drivers
  • 90-watt amplifier
  • Compatible with TV, PC, Phone
  • Subwoofer output
  • RCA and optical inputs or connect via Bluetooth 5.0
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 11:57 pm GMT

Despite their size, though, the sound can travel far, especially when you purchase the Ai40 as a pair instead of a single speaker. Keep this in mind when you’re making purchasing decisions, as well as determining where to place them in your home.

They come with BlueTooth, which is a major plus if you want to stream music to your speakers wirelessly. The best part is the Ai40 won’t set you back too far financially. This is an option that sits at under $500. You can sometimes find a pair of Ai40 speakers as low as $250.

Klipsch RP 600M

The Klipsich RP 600M won the Audiophiliac Speaker of the Year Award. Sure, that might have been back in 2018. But it’s no secret why that still holds true today; the reasonable price range and dynamic sound quality make it hard to beat.

This is another under-$500 option that can take your sound system to the next level. We’re not just saying that. Reviewers have been raving about this system for the last few years now.

Its stylish design will impress your guests upon first glance, and they’ll be completely won over by the sound quality. They use the same cutting-edge technology that was crowned by the floor version of the 600M model.

Budget-Friendly Alternative
Klipsch RP-600M Bookshelf Speakers
$349.00
  • 6.5-inch spun copper cerametallic woofers
  • Bass reflex through rear-firing Tractrix port
  • Dual-binding posts for bi-wire/bi-amp
  • 1-inch titanium vented tweeter with hybrid Tractrix horn
  • 100W max output power
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 02:09 am GMT

The bass is one of their strong points. The driver design means that they put out a nice, smooth bass response with most songs’ mediums. You don’t get too much punch or rumble out of them.

Q Acoustic Concept 3000

These stylish speakers are perfect for LP collectors. Their “format agnostic” sound is just as good as that of their analog.

They aren’t necessarily budget-friendly, costing around $5,000 from most retailers. However, they make up for the investment with their level of quality.

Their tensegrity ensures that they will stand tall regardless of where you place them. The stable tripod won’t wiggle or wave, even if you have the sound playing at a loud volume.

They feature a P2P cabinet that will eliminate unwanted energy by reducing distortion. This element also ensures the longevity of the speaker’s shelf-life by protecting it from too much wear and tear.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Edition

Wharfedale has been crafting top-of-the-line products since its conception in 1932. As a pioneer in their craft, they know how to manufacture otherworldly products.

These speakers take listeners back to 1980s UK rock and roll, while still holding up in the modern era. You can get a pair of these for just under $1,000.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary (Red Mahogany)
$999.00
  • Bass driver: 6.5"
  • Tweeter: 1" soft dome
  • Mounted on a rigid diecast chassis
  • Ultra-coherent, seamless sonics 
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/08/2024 11:57 pm GMT

The 85th Anniversary edition of the brand’s most famous speakers insinuates that Wharfedale still has a lot of life ahead of itself. They will continue to innovate and change with the times, instead of being left behind by them.

They are hand-veneered in Mahogany, creating an elegant appearance to compliment the smooth sound. But despite the traditional exterior, these speakers will sound more like they are from this age than the 1980s.

How to Pick the Best Bookshelf Speakers

The best bookshelf speakers for you will depend on a number of varying needs. So, how do you figure out what to look for and how to pick out the best ones for your tastes?

Budget

The first factor you should consider when buying a set of bookshelf speakers is your budget. Bookshelf speakers can start at as little as a few hundred dollars and can go up to as much as several thousand dollars.

But you might not think about budget that much if you’re buying with the hopes that your speakers last a lifetime. And the good news is that bookshelf speakers tend to last a long time. This is especially true of the self-aware luxury brands who tend to put more into their products because they know they have a hefty price tag.

You can spend a lot of money on bookshelf speakers, so don’t just assume that a high price tag equates to solid build quality. Do thorough research on your speakers and brand before buying them, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.

Aesthetics

There are so many different styles of bookshelf speakers that there’s bound to be at least one that fits your stylistic preferences. Bookshelf speakers have some of the most fascinating aesthetics.

No matter which ones you choose, they will at least look better than your average set of portable speakers. You can go to specific retailers if you’re looking for a certain vibe or color, but you should try to do some exploring.

Of course, style isn’t everything with bookshelf speakers. You want to ensure that sound quality, above anything else, is worth its weight in gold.

Space

bookshelf speaker with remote controller and smartphone on a TV stand
Bookshelf speakers don’t take up much space, so you’ll have no problem putting them next to your TV or on a bookshelf.

The space that you have is immensely important when choosing a bookshelf speaker. They’re usually portable, but some are bulkier and more difficult to move than others.

For example, it might be harder to move a bookshelf speaker that comes with a tripod. Or, if you have a smaller room, you might be working with just a few inches of clearance.

Take measurements of the space you want to put your speakers in and keep an eye out for the measurements when buying your speakers. Since size is one of the most important aspects of selecting a speaker system, manufacturers typically have it listed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bookshelf speakers worth it?

Bookshelf speakers can absolutely be worth it. You get what you pay for, so not all experiences will be the same. Still, it’s worth exploring to find good bookshelf speakers to enhance your space. They can truly transform the environment you’re in. Bookshelf speakers would be a wonderful addition to any home theater system.

Why do audiophiles prefer bookshelf speakers?

Audiophiles typically have better things to say about tower speakers. But bookshelf speakers often give a much better audio experience in a smaller space. So, if you like to listen at home or even in your bedroom, bookshelf speakers are ideal.

What is the difference between 3 and 2 way bookshelf speakers?

The number of “ways” a bookshelf speaker has is referring to the drivers, known as woofers and tweeters. A 3-way speaker will have 3, and a 2-way speaker will have 2. Aptly named, the tweeter is designated to high-frequency sounds. Its counterpart, the woofer, is designated to low-frequency sounds.

What is the best listening distance for bookshelf speakers?

This will vary based on the speaker you use, but 4 feet tends to be a good rule of thumb. Sitting too close to the speaker will make the sound get muddy, which is hugely unappealing. Sitting too far away will create a large gap between the two halves of the stereo image. The sound will be less full and resonant if you are too far away. Try to find a good in-between where the frequencies balance out.

Can bookshelf speakers sound as good as tower speakers?

Yes, absolutely! Bookshelf speakers are sometimes preferred over tower speakers because of the experience they provide. Even though tower speakers are often preferred by most audiophiles due to better bass extension, it will depend on your own personal preference and experience. But there are tons of amazing bookshelf speakers that might make you completely switch from tower speakers permanently.

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