Best bookshelf speakers under 500

Bookshelf speaker is a compact loudspeaker that is usually placed on a raised surface for example bookshelves, and generally used for home audio applications as in home theatre. If you prefer something for music production use, check out this article. In the past, high quality home speakers like advent (now defunct), acoustic research etc. used to be very large in size having separately enclosed chambers for amplifier, digital signal processors etc. But in the early 1960s, some manufacturers started making more expensive, compact high fidelity speakers, with the added advantage of being easy to port. With increased usage of speakers and availability of various speakers in market, it has become difficult for consumers to make a choice for the appropriate speakers that can prove best for them. Speaker technology has improved a great deal over the years. Maybe you’re starting from scratch or thinking of replacing an old pair of speakers, there are some key attributes or qualities that you need to look in for the best bookshelf speakers under 500. Bookshelf speakers deliver great performance and come in a wide variety of sizes, most of them being small enough to fit in a cabinet or shelf. Their performance reaches to summit in a small to medium-sized rooms or for music-only listening systems in a den or bedroom. They need to be connected via a cable, which might be a hassle in some cases. If you prefer wireless speakers, check this article out: Best Wireless Speakers

Before choosing the right speakers you need to look at the cabinet design, which holds speakers in place.  Cabinets can have a huge impact on the sound created by the speaker, since the amount of space and air behind the speaker helps determine the movement and sound coming out of the woofer(s).There are typically two types of enclosures:

  1. Acoustic Suspension: It is type of a cabinet in which speaker is held in a sealed box to provide tight and precise bass response.
  2. Bass Reflex: It is a type of enclosure that includes a tuned port. Bass reflex designs are more power-efficient than acoustic suspension designs; they’ll play louder than an acoustic suspension speaker when driven with the same amplifier power.


Another important specification that we need to look for while choosing the speaker is driver material. Speaker cones can be made from a variety of materials, such as metals, papers, plastics, rubbers, or some combination of materials i.e. alloys, each of them having their own sonic properties. While choosing materials for woofer and cones, manufacturers look for making a good balance between light weight (for better movement) and strength (for clearer sound without distortion).

Some of other important specs related to sound and speakers are as follows:

  1. Frequency Response: Human ear is capable of hearing sound with frequency ranging from 20 to 20000 Hz. A speaker’s frequency response indicates how much of this range can be reproduced.
  2. Impedance: It is the load value (in ohms) that the speakers present to the amplifier. Low-impedance speakers (4 ohms or less) can cause problems with receivers or amplifiers that are not designed to deliver large amounts of current.
  3. Sensitivity: A sensitivity rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power into volume (loudness). The higher the rating, the louder the speakers will play with a given amount of amplifier power.
  4. Wiring: Some speakers include dual sets of wire terminals. Speakers with dual sets of terminals work fine when used with a single set of speaker cables.
  5. Terminal Types: We have below two types of terminal
  6. Spring Clip Terminals are usually found on lower-priced speakers.
  7. Binding Post Terminals are a more versatile type of speaker jack, often found on higher-quality speakers and receivers, and on most amplifiers.
  8. Cable: The quality of cables makes a huge difference. Cheap cables will allow the signal to distort, especially over longer runs, causing your sound to lose dynamics.
  9. Placement: It is important to look at the material of flooring at which you are placing your speaker on. An uneven surface may produce vibrations. If your floors are made of hardwood, vinyl, stone, or any other flat material, then look for padded feet to come with your speakers or stands. Remember that your room may also have an effect on your speakers’ sound. Just because a pair of speaker sounds great in your friend’s home, may sound different in your room.


Moving on after looking at the specs that one need to look for (specified above), while choosing a speaker, the most important thing that matters is price. Yes, as we all know money matters. So let us look at the some of the popular and affordable bookshelf speakers under $500.



1. Polk Audio TSx 220B Bookshelf Speaker

best bookshelf speakers
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If we have to define these speakers in one line then we can say that these speakers have rich, realistic sound in a compact, unobtrusive case at a fair price. Yes, these speakers emit a very premium and clear sound and come at an affordable price of around $500 and this smooth and clear sound comes with solid, controlled bass response. The bass is very good, especially considering the size of the speakers. RMS power range of amplifiers is 125 watts.

They weigh a bit heavy around 14kg. These speakers provide clear, crisp, great base, perfect imaging. You can put them either on floor next to furniture and drapes, or above the floor on a hard shelf and book case, it all sounds great. However, if you like heavy metal with booming, distorted bass, these are not for you.  Frequency response is from 42Hz to 25 kHz so if you like a lot of low end bass output from your speakers, you might want to add a sub-woofer. You can use them as a pair, without sub or surround. All in all you can recommend these speakers for anyone who likes music. To check these speakers out, click on the button below

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2. JBL Studio 230 6.5-Inch, 2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker (Pair)

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These speakers come from JBL, a leading and renowned company in music and sound field.

These are awesome sounding bookshelf speakers that can deliver dance party sized sound on their own. The RMS power range of amplifiers is around 150 watts. Quality wise, wood grain finish is appreciable. They are powerful, and they are outstanding in bringing out details and subtleties (classical music) in audio recordings. These have very clear and crisp sound and were first launched in 2014.

Other speakers like the Infinity speakers have a bit more bass, but the highs and detail from the JBLs are superior. You can clearly hear low, mids and highs of a song and these speakers perform equally better when used alone instead of pair. One of the unique qualities of these speakers is that these JBLs produce a subwoofer effect all by themselves. So if we have you are willing to buy speakers at an affordable range, these speakers can be your go to option. To check these speakers out, click on the button below

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3. Cambridge Audio – SX-50 – Bookshelf Speakers

best bookshelf speakers under 300

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These are the impressive speakers for their small size. The power and sound quality of these small speakers is commendable. These speakers have an added advantage over other speakers. They weigh just around 3 kg compared to others which weigh almost around 8 to 10 kg. These speakers have an attractive finish and look beautiful on bookshelf because of their finish and small size. Bass is again impressive for the size, but if you a party freak, then to really shake the walls a subwoofer would be needed. The clarity of sound, soundstage all is commendable. They produce a very warm sound, with good soundstage and exceptionally clear vocals. The mother company is Cambridge audio itself and speakers are designed from the ground up by Cambridge Audio engineers in London. So to sum up you can say that these speakers offer immense hi-fi performance at a ridiculously reasonable price. The small size and weight again to say are added advantage over other speakers especially in case of home theatre. For more information about these speakers, click on the button below.

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