Are you skeptical about what you would get as options for bookshelf speakers on a low-budget? Well, not to worry as technological advancement has made it possible to still get on budget bookshelf speakers that will sound great. Due to the high level of competing brands bookshelf speaker’s manufacturers now provide higher value speakers for most categories.
So even if you are a high end, mid-range and low-end here is the catch. Unbelievable but there are bookshelf speakers with excellent features at the right price under $200 for your offices and homes. Now, let’s explore some of the best ever bookshelf speaker at $200 or below. We also consider what to look out for in a shelf speaker before making a purchase decision.
A Quick Look at The Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Bookshelf Speaker
1. Frequency Response - If you ever want to enjoy excellent sound quality from your bookshelf speaker then pay attention to the frequency. The frequency response is what determines the sound range any speaker can produce. When selecting go for a bookshelf speaker with the ability to produce extremely high and low sounds. The sound output should be such that the natural and surround sound remains clear and balanced without distortion.
Good bookshelf speakers should offer you a balanced response frequency of 45 to about 20,000 Hertz. Of course, at room tempo, you might not require that loud sound. But the higher frequency helps you achieve a balanced three-dimensional musical experience.
2. Impedance - When you experience low power supply, the impedance helps to ensure you enjoy efficient and steady sound quality. Impedance could be measured using ohms. Once you have a higher ohm you tend to have more dynamic sound volumes. The only issues are that with a higher ohm, you would require an alternate external source of power. Or you might need an amplifier to effectively take care of the speakers’ power.
3. Sound Volume Sensitivity - To measure or check the sensitivity of sound or volume it would mostly be measured in decibels (dB). Therefore, the bookshelf speaker’s sensitivity has to do with the speaker performance in terms of delivering a specified loudness. The loudness in line with a specific voltage level is an indicator of how many decibels (dB) speaker possesses. You also refer to the loudness in terms of volume level and that helps identify the volume’s performance and balance. However, most standard bookshelf speakers have higher volumes strong enough to ensure an exciting musical experience.
Also, when purchasing listen for the rhythmic pacing to see ascertain how the speaker sounds. You need to know if the sound comes out as fast, dragging or agrees with the music tempo.
4. Portability - For a bookshelf, of course, the idea is that it should be quite sizeable to fit into your bookshelf. You need to look out for what fits into your shelf perfectly. Most speakers are compact but you would find some larger sizes in the market. Standard-sized bookshelf speakers weight between 0.16 ounces to about 14 pounds. So, you shouldn’t have much stress carrying the speaker in the case of an outdoor event.
5. Power Stability - Each speaker has its capabilities to handle power and it should definitely be of concern to you when purchasing. But a 25W power output could be considered well enough for a bookshelf speaker. You can also use an amplifier to aid power, sound quality, and stability. The more your speaker’s power rating the fewer sound losses you experience and the more volume you can reach.
6. Stylish design and durability - Whatever you need in terms of stylishness and external looks your primary focus should be durability and anti-shock properties. Bookshelf speakers with a feel of solidness and excellent body structure usually offer good sound. Be sure the speaker can handle scratches, falls and more with a solid base.
7. Control and Auxiliary Functions - The more features you desire for a bookshelf speaker the pricier it might become. The good news, however, is that you still enjoy some excellent functionalities to allow for a pleasant music experience. Control and sound features could include the number of ports, Bluetooth capabilities, LED-light, auxiliary input and output, remote control, etc.
If you want to dig a little deeper and know more about home audio, then you can check out this extensive guide from DigitalTrends.
Review of The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
Now that you know about the things you need to look for when buying best bookshelf speakers, it's time for the actual reviews. I hope it will be much easier for you to choose one afterwards.
The Klipsch R-14M offer you a stable speaker with above the basic requirements to enjoy a great music experience. If seeking a bookshelf speaker to serve a medium to small sized room music needs then you can find that in the Klipsch R-14M speaker.
Whatever the angle within your room you can enjoy an excellent sound performance. The 1-inch aluminum suspension and linear travel tweeter that comes horn-loaded helps deliver sensational sounds. So what you get is clear mid to high tone sound plus super-fast frequency response. With such sturdy 4-inches IMG woofers and well-structured copper winding it guarantees excellent bass output for an exciting listening.
If looking forward to a stylish feel or more for aesthetics well I’m afraid the Klipsch R-14M might appear a bit too plain. The choice of a plain black body might not strike the chord for some but for sturdiness and durability, the R-14M definitely gets a pass. With the choice of a polymer veneer housed in a brushed colored body, the Klipsch R-14M offers an excellent deal for your bookshelf speaker.
It has a dimension of 9.75 height x 5.88 widths and a 7.5 inches depth and an average weight of 1.6 ounces. That means you should have no problem fitting it into an average-sized bookshelf or moving around when the need arises. The speaker houses as much as six ports on the front panel to the sides. Meaning, you can easily operate the R-14M speaker plus its multiple functions to create the sound performance and balance you seek.
The Edifier R1700BT presents you a truly sleek, stylish and innovative bookshelf speaker as just the deal for you. It boasts of some of the key functionalities that even the advanced 21st-century speakers possess. From external looks to an intelligent internal sound structure you get more than just an under $200 value in an Edifier R1700BT.
The Edifier R1700BT is fitted with a powerful 4 inches woofer that guarantees exciting bass sounds for even metal and heavy rock tracks. To ensure efficiency the 66watts RMS power supply helps to ensure steady sound output without interference. The bass driver woofers carry 33W channel each having a distortion level of 0.5%. This technological device in part makes provision for a remote to help control the volume or mute the sound when necessary. On the right speaker also you find three knobs to adjust sound quality and output. So depending on the interest or the type of song you can adjust the volume, treble, and bass for optimal performance. Also, the dual Aux function makes it possible to connect 3.5mm jack connections. Most standard sound connections globally rely on 3.5mm jack connections so it’s an excellent addition to the speaker.
Another reason to get excited with this speaker is the Bluetooth functionality. With the Bluetooth feature, you can play tracks even with your smartphones, tablet, laptop, and PC. You can connect easily with Windows, MacOS or iOS, and Android devices. You can also connect with 2-pairs of analog RCA joined together as simultaneous input sources. The power options of RMS 15W x 2 and 18W x 2 and > 85dBA signal to sound ratio helps for better sound performance. The Edifier R1700BT dimensions include 8.4” x 9.1” x 9.9”. And an average weight of 14.55lbs makes for easy mobility and placing on a shelf.
Quite a lot of bookshelf speaker usually adopt simple body designs but not the Edifier R1700BT. It offers aesthetic and smart look to give the speaker an interesting feel. The Edifier R1700BT offers a stylish design using a lovely MDF wood and walnut vinyl finishing with an elaborate touch of red. The mounts measures about 25 cm high then lean backward to 10 degrees. The external structure provides an exquisite design and mounts to guarantee sturdiness as you mount on a shelf, laptop table, and TV mount. The R1700BT is today’s response to a stylish music experience. The use of multiple features makes it a delight. Some of the features include remote control, Bluetooth technology, 3.5 mm jack, multiple sound controls, multiple input, and access, etc.
If the first impression truly matters then I think the JBL Arena should make a positive first impression. With the solid looks and well-built body design what comes to mind first would be the sturdy, durable feel of the JBL Arena. The next thing becomes how much sound quality can one get in the JBL Arena 120 2-way wall-mountable bookshelf speaker? Let’s find out!
JBL is a company with a global reputation and several years of experience in producing a wide variety of electronic systems. It is notable for its dynamic speakers including the exquisite M2 Master Reference Monitor. So now let’s explore the JBL Arena 120. The 5.5-inch woofer designed stylishly helps bring out clean quality sound to ensure pleasurable sound experience. The woofer in addition to the 25mm dome tweeter gives you an exciting movie, gaming TV viewing, and music experience. The incorporation of a multi-channel system plus surround speaker all helps ensure a balanced sound quality.
Parts of what makes the Arena 120 a must-have includes the single-phased wire speaker and the crossover frequency range of 2.5 kHz. Also, you have the 18 dB for each octave, 8 ohms impedance, 86 decibels sensitivity at 1 watt per meter. With a frequency response of 100 Hz and 40 kHz with amplified power rate of 20 to 100 watts for each channel, you get higher sound levels.
The choice of the 5.5 wall mount gives a lot of freedom to do more. With such flexibility, you can adjust the position of the speaker and to accentuate the sound effect. Though, an all-black affair, the JBL Arena 120 has a modern cabinet looks and panel with well-defined angles. The choice of a matte black wooden surface gives it a very fine look. Making the edges in front slightly round helps remove that box-like feeling. Also, the chrome-structured cloth grille at the edges helps project the sound better plus adds to the aesthetics.
One other plus for the JBL Arena is its solid base and 5.5 inches wall mount. With such feature, it gives you the option to fit the top of your table or wall-mount considering the average weight of 17.42 pounds. The dimensions 8.6 x 18.5 x 16.5 inches makes it possible to fits into a mid-sized shelf if need be.
The TSi100 is an innovative and advanced technological design developed through the aid of John Hopkins University. And the result of the partnership is the 2-way dynamic sound system with awesome performance and at a low price.
The bass sound is just as strong and really comes through without any help. You can really expect to get great sounds with these speakers. Vinyl lovers are going to love these speakers especially. The highs and lows are crisp and clear.
The maximum input power for these speakers is 130 W, which is a better rating than you'll find in general with these kinds of speakers. These are speakers that really excel in terms of their frequency response range and their sound quality in general.
These speakers come with wires that are really easy to install and to put together. These are speakers that you can store anywhere. They're equipped with banana plug compatible speaker posts. These are speakers that should be easy for you to use and easy for you to own.
The Edifier R1280T offers a bold and daring attempt at producing a low-end bookshelf speaker with such exceptional features. The Edifier Company has been in the business of producing sound systems and accessories for over two decades now. It tries to afford low-end clients ample opportunity to enjoy excellent sound without breaking the bank. And that makes it an audacious effort considering the price and what’s obtainable in the market for even higher prices.
For a beginner or mid-range speaker, the Edifier R1280T offers a seamless and punchy sound performance with a deep bass feel. So, be assured that your office or living room experience definitely is bound to be a wow experience. So many factors make the Edifier R1280T a sound factory of some sort. With such high caliber, 4 inches units and 13mm dome tweeter the sound experience is extraordinary. Other accessories that make for improved sound quality are the 2-time auxiliary input that connects properly to the 3.5mm headphones and the dual RCA outputs. The aux allows for up to two aux connections wirelessly. The remote control and three knobs of treble, volume and bass give you a balanced sound performance anytime.
Edifiers always offer stylish and unique designs, to add to the ambiance and aesthetics of your home or office. The Edifier R1280T therefore incorporates an elegant MDF wood-grain with vinyl styled finishing accentuating the looks around your residence. The grilled chrome front plus black cloth and curved edges add to give it a more classy touch.
The dimensions include a 6.9 x 9.5 x 5.8 inches. The speaker weighs approximately 11 pounds making it relatively portable and fit for your bookshelf. Almost everything is plug n play to allow easy control of the sound system. The remote control and other control knobs are strategically positioned to give you the best sound performance well under $200.
A casual look at the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR what you see is just a plain everyday bookshelf speaker. But wait till you explore the sound capabilities especially for an under $200 speaker then you did appreciate it more. Pioneer by Andrew Jones who designs sound speakers for high-end customers now surprisingly considers excellent quality but now for low-end clients.
The Pioneer SP-BS22 has 6 ohms nominal impedance, a 4inches surface woofer that gives an amplified bass response. The soft dome tweeter allows for high-frequency response with volume manipulations high and low. You achieve better sound accuracy with the 6 elements complex crossover blending the woofer and tweeter. Incorporating the 800 watts power adding to the 6 ohms impedance helps recreate the sound experience upwards. The curved cabinets using RF molds helps maintain sound performance.
Pioneer SP-BS22, however, has the basic speaker edges which look pretty ordinary. But the sturdiness of the base at least ensures little or no vibrations or slips to affect sound quality. The speaker edges are a bit too pronounced but woody-grain touch helps give it a touch of elegance. The well-fitted woofers at the rear all help to keep the sound coming through.
With an 8.4 x 7.1 x 12.6 inches dimension the speaker should fit perfectly to an averagely sized shelf. And the 9.13 pounds weight shouldn’t be too heavy to carry if the need arises.
Several factors will make the MB42 bookshelf speaker an interesting buy besides the really cheap attraction. One of it is the several key features and sound performance included for such value. You should, in fact, wonder if the price is for real. But here, you have the Micca MB42 speaker!
Several factors help increase the soundstage and ensure sound output for the MB42. First the woofer has a nice-looking 4-inch carbon fiber and the silk dome measuring 0.75 inches. Next crossover filtering capacitor on the tweeter plus frequency response of 60Hz to 20kHz and 85 dB to 1 watts per meter. Again, the 75 watts per channel, the impedance of 4-8 ohms all add to ensure a solid bass, treble accompaniment, and a reliable power supply.
The MB42 offers a compact design with rounded edges to increase the beauty. The choice of faux wood finishing and vinyl works give the speaker a touch of good looks. More emphasis though seems to be on the sound quality than overall external look but with sturdiness still an important consideration.
It has a wall-mount feature plus bookshelf option. The speaker weighs 0.16 ounces and dimensions 6.5 x 5.8 x 935 inches. And that guarantees a compact speaker with easy shelving or use outdoors.
If sampling on how to get the best bookshelf speaker under 200 then understand first that the list is endless. Today’s technology has made it possible for even low-end speakers to carry exciting sound performance. But whether you are an audiophile, gamer, or just a regular music lover you can’t go wrong purchasing any of the above. However, you still need to consider what your interest and specs would be to get the best experience from your bookshelf speaker purchase. Enjoy your music!