10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
In reality, we have done so many, the links can be hard to find if you're shopping with a budget in mind, so today's reviews have been limited to the 10 best bookshelf speakers under $200. We're no strangers to speaker reviews. To appeal to your various needs, we will review a range of passive and active speakers.
It probably goes without saying, but with no lack of choices on offer, the market for speakers is very competitive, so you may be pleasantly surprised at just what your money will get you in this day and age.
View The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
1. Polk Audio RTI A1
The first passive model to kick-start Polk Audio's upgraded RTI A series is the RTI A1. As well as a more elegant re-imagining of the cabinet style, they benefit from newly established Dynamic Balance cone drivers.
The pair is housed in an all-wood (MDF) enclosure that enhances bass tenfold with a Power Port Plus enhancement to the design portion of Polks proprietary power port technology. Through optimal ventilation, it eliminates distortion risk.
They are fantastic floor-standing speakers which are generously fitted with improved cone drivers, combined with a dedicated tweeter (so technically not a bookshelf pair). The dynamic balance drivers are a composite, polymer/mineral mix and measure 5.25 inches. Thanks to the heat sink of their magnets, they have a dynamic frequency response, crossover smoothly and the 1-inch silk/polymer dome tweeter handles extremely well.
The magnets are neodymium, and in order to retain a cool temp at high frequencies, the backs use a low viscosity ferro-fluid. They have a recommended 20-125 watt amplification per channel.
- + Enclosure with wood.
- + free of resonance.
- + Class 2-way.
Why We Liked It:They are very well crafted and hot from the best-selling series of Polks, they even come in a variety of finishes.
2. Edifier R1280T
Given their price tag, the Edifier R1280T package is packed with some pretty premium design features that offer a bit of an advantage over similarly priced bookshelf-sized speakers. They are a heartily built powered speaker package, with a variety of drivers, connections and controls in the active speaker configuration. In order to provide maximum bass, totally free of distortion, the enclosure features a bass reflex port correctly measured by the folks at Edifier.
The bass driver is 4" and the silk dome tweeter is just 13mm, providing seamless smooth audio with crisp highs and an overall full range depth between them and their high-quality crossover circuitry." With customizable crossover digital signal processing, the tone controls allow you to shape your audio preference by micro-adjusting the treble and bass elements. They can also be remotely controlled and at the touch of a button, muted. When they are powered up, the volume level still resets to a comfortable level.
To connect to multiple devices at once, they have a dual RCA input. They are wooden and about them they have a touch of class.
+ Port of Bass reflex.
+ Ups with multi-hook.
+ Price affordable.
Why We Liked It:- Wood composition in a speaker cabinets is often best for bass, this pair has flexible connections and allows for simultaneous use, so if you want to hold a turntable hooked up, they are a nice package.
3. Sony SSCS5 3-way
This fabulous 3-way class bookshelf speaker system from Sony is another very versatile model with exceptional drivers and rich acoustics. A rigid Mica Reinforced Cellular woofer, tweeter, and super-tweeter make up the set-up.
The woofer measures 5.2" and, thanks to its mica-cellular diaphragm, strongly boosts low-end frequencies." The tweeter is 0.98" and 0.75" is the newly integrated super-tweeter and has a very large directional radius. Each is composite in nature, has correct acoustic tuning and guarantees vocal description. Sound-absorbing felt is used to reduce rear sound noise. They feature streamlined crossover components and they are essentially more pristine than ever with these upgrades.
The design of the cabinet is very sturdy, ported and made exclusively from wood to dampen unwanted vibrations. They manage a maximum of 100 watts recommended and are priced affordably.
+ Genius 3-way system in class.
+ Integrated Super-tweeter for improved high frequency range.
+ system of 100 watts.
Why We Liked It:The MRC woofer cones are extremely robust, which ensures that they will not deteriorate as easily as a paper cone model. Some fantastic changes are included in this new package.
4. Edifier R1280DB
Next up is a powered pair with Edifier integrated Bluetooth communication. They have basically taken some of their best-selling models and equipped them with a new update. They are now fitted with optical, coaxial, and wireless input mod cons.
Simple access side panel controls located on the active speaker feature these controlled bookshelf speakers, giving users equalisation and volume control. It can be managed through its remote as well. The dedicated bass driver is a 4-inch composite cone woofer that works smoothly in combination with its crossover 13mm silk dome tweeter to provide natural and high-def studio audio quality.
Thanks to their expert circuitry, they have a broad frequency response and low impedance. They have a peak RMS of a combined 42 watts.
+ Inputs that are optical and coaxial.
+ Enclosure calibrated expertly.
Why We Liked It :For a price that won't lighten your pocket too freely, they put Edifier's expert audio to the forefront of modern wireless technology.
5. Klipsch R-14M
Over to see what Klipsch has on offer. From their Reference bookshelf collection, we have reviewed many models that produce wonderful models. Some high-end design tools are included, such as their patented 90 x 90 Tractrix Horn technology. In terms of their extended high-frequency response, which gives their aluminium Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeter an advantage over rivals. The method of LTS helps eliminate any distortion.
Copper spun injection moulded graphite is the dedicated 4" woofer, which handles incredibly well with very little breakup and zero distortion. They have some of the best audio in their class when combined with the LTS tweeter and advanced crossover technology. They manage a peak RS of about 90watts per speaker.
The enclosure features a ported rear-fire configuration that is flared to further reduce unnecessary noise.
It is a polished black polymer veneer.
+ 180 watts.
+ Tweeter with Tractrix horn LTS.
+ High quality fabrication.
Why We Liked It:Compared to most in their class and price range, the Klipsch reference series offers excellent value for money that they are packed full of advanced manufacturing features.
6. Edifier R1700BT
If the wattage of the first edifier Bluetooth pair we looked at seemed a little poor for your needs, then the next step in their sequence is this package. They feature all the other set's top-notch design elements, but instead of 42, they manage a combined peak RMS of 66 watts.
They are active driven speaker pairs and with their extra strength they have a much larger stature to go with. Again the bass driver is 4" and constructed with an innovative blend of composite materials that have been studied, tested and tested. To retain the same desirable clarity at a higher power output, the tweeter has gone from 13m in size to 19mm.
To ensure nominal distortion, they have sophisticated digital signal processing and Dynamic Range Control protocols in place. The enclosure is all wood to dampen resonance and has a front-facing bass reflex port that is flared to refresh you and offers an ideal bass response that is emphasised.
The set's active speaker has conveniently placed dials for both tone control and volume, giving users the ability to shape their audio mix equalisation (treble and bass).
+ A dedicated tweeter and woofer.
+ sixty-six watts.
+ Priced fairly.
+ Connectivity wireless.
Why We Liked It :They are quick to use, Bluetooth pairing can be set up and reset, and they are a fantastic pair of speakers in terms of quality audio, even without the Bluetooth capability.
7. JBL Arena B15
This excellent collection of affordable surround speakers from the JBLs Arena series will be another versatile option. They are 2-way classes and are made from premium materials. The cone of the bass driver is made of robust and highly sensitive polycellulose. They measure 5.5 inches and incorporate waveguide technology developed for their iconic JBL M2 Master reference mic, patented by JBL High Definition Imaging.
A 25mm soft dome tweeter joins the woofers to effectively deliver a large frequency response between the two. The crossover circuitry is high quality and provides room-filling, well-balanced full-range sound between the two speakers. They are affordably priced and are part of the JBLs Arena scheme, but most configurations would be compatible.
A centre channel L/C/R and a dedicated subwoofer hook these guys up with 2-floor standing options for the best dynamic surround sound.
- + Compact one.
- Set of + Surround.
- + Materials Premium.
Why We Liked It:The JBL Arena series makes for a fantastic surround device, the bass on these guys alone is a little on the weaker side, but with their tiny footsteps, combined with a sub they are amazing, that should be predicted.
8. Polk Audio TSi100
Now for a peek at the Polk Audios Tsi line entry-level model, which shares more than just its trendy good looks with its Lsi series top of the line.
They are a fully fitted pair in the 2-way grouping. Given their 5.25" size, their woofers offer super wide dispersion, they are dynamic balance drivers and have a bi-laminate blended composition." They are combined with a dynamic balance tweeter with a one-inch silk polymer. Even though we consider the low end a little weaker than others, they have a strong frequency response. This is because they are intended to be part of a larger device set-up exclusively.
The manage a comfortable 20-100 Watts per channel and are priced at a level that makes it accessible to purchase the entire set-up rather than a pipe dream. For a dedicated home audio buff, this is an excellent option.
- Watts of +200.
- + Elevated results.
- + Incomparable value in their class for money.
Why We Liked It :They are arguably one of the best sounding passive bookshelf speakers on the market usually costing far more with versions matching their concept.
9. Micca MB42
In our penultimate spot, a lovely looking, passive pair is seated. They are very competitively priced and designed to last with components of high quality. Classical black with soft bevels and rounded corners is a fairly lightweight style with a trendy look.
They feature a fantastic woven carbon fibre cone woofer, which is only 4" wide, seated in a rubber surround to improve the output of bass response. In the quest to produce distortion-free bass, the ported enclosure also assists. The higher frequencies are controlled by the high-performance 0.75" silk-dome tweeter, which has a crossover filtering capacitor."
These bad boys incorporate some very high-quality components, considering their low price. Their enclosure is covered in wood-grain vinyl and is 9.5" tall, with a footprint of only 5.8" X 6.5 "to save space." They have a fair frequency response and 75 watts of power control each.
- + Slight and lightweight.
- + 150 watts per couple.
- + Developed in the USA.
- + Low cost.
Why We Liked It -:Although these are certainly not a high-end range, the majority of similarly priced passive versions, and even some higher priced contenders, outperform them.
10. Edifier R980T
We take a brief look at the low end of the Edifier bookshelf powered speaker series before we move on to our buyers' guide. Although we have obviously looked at the other Edifiers at the end, this collection makes for an obvious battle for the title of the best low-priced bookshelf speaker.
To go with their price tag, they have a small size but resonate with a much larger presence and depth.
Edifier understands what they do and even their cheapest designs integrate their analysis. This package features an advanced flared bass reflex port to counter small size amplification issues that are common. The flare, calibrated for its compact nature, helps to achieve optimum bass efficiency.
A 4-inch bass driver and a 13mm tweeter are supplied for each speaker. They cope with 24 watts of combined peak RMS capacity.
They are classically elegant, their all-wood architecture accentuates a more natural level of acoustic sound and deadens noise-free audio unwanted vibration.
- + Compact one.
- + Low cost.
- + All timber.
Why We Liked It :With excellent circuitry and the highest quality budget parts, they are well rounded. Other Edifier speakers rely on tech advances, all of which are a great cheap speaker collection.
Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 Buying Guide
What to look for in Bookshelf Speakers under $200?
We need to learn a bit more about how they work to distinguish the significant features from the fluff in order to know what to look for in a speaker.
By translating the electromagnetic waves it absorbs into sound-waves, a speaker operates. They need a stiff cone driven by a voice coil to do this. Inside a magnetic field, the cone lies. The coil pushes and pulls the cone when a current is applied, and this is what generates the waves.
Speakers typically consist of various types of high-pressure and lower-pressure drivers to cope with both the higher and lower frequencies to which they would be exposed.
The size of the enclosure, the design and the materials used for construction are critical because the performance of the drivers can be drastically affected. In the wrong enclosure, the best drivers can sound bad, and a decent enclosure will tenfold enhance a cheap speaker.
This is because the sound waves projected forward must be isolated from those at the rear so that they do not cancel each other so that they are out of step with each other, giving a bad bass response. A bass reflex design over a closed box design is used to tackle this head on most speaker enclosures.
Often referred to as ported or vented boxes or even reflex ports, bass reflex enclosures. They simply use a hole with a tube or pipe portion to ensure a consistent intake of fresh air. To resolve a myth; they can potentially be louder than an enclosed enclosure if they are constructed correctly.
The equation for determining the best size of the enclosure for the drivers in question is complex and takes into account the size of the driver's diaphragm, the weight of the components, the mechanical resistance, the inductance of the voice, the air volume and much more.
It has stronger acoustics and also dampens vibrations that can inhibit the clarity of the audio. Wood is often preferable to plastic. With high decibels or low notes, plastic speakers appear to rattle.
So what we've found, probably, if you've followed us you'll have worked out that we're looking for wooden, ported enclosures with a 2-way if not 3-way class at least. If you are going to shop for a passive pair, if they are going to be a standalone package, we would say try 3 ways. If you purchase a passive pair to add to your setup or develop a new system from scratch 2, it is likely to be satisfactory as the other speakers are more tuned to particular sections of the frequency spectrum.
Bookshelf speakers are usually intended to be left and right and when seated, set at about ear level. Some have a little lacklustre low end, as we have been showcasing bookshelf models in this article, so if you like your bass thumping, you may need to think about a dedicated subwoofer.
It is unreasonable to have unrealistic standards below the $200 dollar mark that some of the top manufacturers are managing to include some premium design specs and technology in their lower-priced lines, which is evident with the items we have looked at from Polk Audio and Edifier.
Where to buy budget bookshelf speakers under $200?
You needn't leave your bed to shop for the best budget bookshelf speakers with the electronic industry booming, and the world at our fingertips. There are quite a range of models on the market, so you shouldn't have a problem sniffing out a package that does the trick with your newfound knowledge of bookshelf speakers. On Amazon.com, all of the ones we have checked are available and we have connected each one to make it even easier for you.
Can you get good cheap bookshelf speakers?
We'd like to think the ones we've been reviewing here speak for themselves but yes, in short. As we said, the electronics industry is changing and developing constantly. The producers are still fighting for the end result of this is that these days, customers get a lot of ore their cash than was ever possible before.
The online market has a more open credibility and a great deal of pressure on businesses to please their customer base. Fortunately for you this ensures that if you know what you are looking for and appreciate the jargon you are looking at inside the product specs, you will find a lot of shopping for most audio items.
We are confident that at this price level, those we have picked to write about are the cream of the crop. Their components and audio quality are unmatched by several items out there that are similarly priced. Of course, for anything a little more pristine, the real audiophiles out there may want to consider parting with a little more money.
Decide what you use your bookshelf speakers for, think about your power and usage requirements. You will start narrowing down accordingly when you know whether you are shopping for an active or passive pair.
Of course, it was critical in today's article budget, but most of those we looked at today are right around the centre of our budget constraints. We would suggest the Micca MB42 pair as our lowest priced passive collection of bookshelf speakers if cash is of concern to you.
If you still look for the best your money can buy while shopping on a small budget, compare what is available so that you understand whether your offer is a bargain. Before you purchase your pair of budget bookshelf speakers, we trust our buyers' guide has given you plenty to consider.
Try to go for a name you know when shopping on a smaller budget. Top brands can also provide cheaper alternatives without compensating for quality, as smaller businesses often need to
Did You Know?
In the early 1950s, the first speaker design was invented and created, and since then the way it works has changed very little.