A bookshelf speaker is basically any speaker that can fit onto a bookshelf right? Well, the answer to that is both yes and no. You need to know exactly why you should buy a bookshelf speaker, and what it has to offer in terms of sound output and connectivity.
Normally, bookshelf speakers may include mono or stereo channel output depending on their respective designs and prices. A bookshelf speaker can either be a “one-box” solution for all your audio needs, or it can be a part of a multi-speaker setup such as a 5.1 or 7.1 channel home theater system.
Cheap Bookshelf Speakers – under $100: What to look for?
The most common design for a bookshelf speaker is like this- a tweeter on the top, along with a subwoofer beneath it. The tweeter is responsible for producing frequencies between the mid and high range, while the subwoofer handles all of the bass. Some premium bookshelf speakers pack a dual-tweeter setup, with one tweeter dedicated to mid-range frequencies, and the other one dedicated to the high-end frequencies. While purchasing a bookshelf speaker, you also need to pay attention to stuff like frequency range, impedance, output power, etc. Ported speakers offer much more resonance and a wider soundstage than non-ported or closed designs.
Take a look at the following speakers to get an idea of which bookshelf speaker to buy under the range of 100 dollars. We have selected these speakers on the basis of their specifications, design, and customer feedback.
Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker
If you want solid build quality, soft dome tweeters, a decent woofer, and removable front grill, all for about 50 bucks, then no bookshelf speaker on the market beats the Dayton B652 in these aspects. The Ebony Pica vinyl finish looks excellent in any environment, while the small size allows it to fit into even the most crowded of places, be it your bookshelf or your computer desk. The clarity as well as detail are both pretty commendable for a speaker this cheap. And the bass is just enough to enjoy movies, games, and music without having to shell out hundreds of dollars on an expensive surround sound system.
The MB42 from Micca features high quality speakers at a very affordable price. The woofer cone is manufactured from woven carbon fiber, while the tweeter dome is made from silk. The bass response is transient and deep, while the highs are clear and powerful. The enclosure is ported, meaning that the sound signature is pretty neutral, yet has a lot of power to it. Bass distortion is nearly zero, while vocals sound extremely crisp and well defined, even at really low volumes.
This is a dynamic full range speaker. That means, the tweeter and woofer are fused into one unit, with the same axis. The result is a compact design that provides plenty of audio output despite being so small. The woofers use light aluminum cones to activate faster and more precise response. This bookshelf speaker is designed to produce the full HD sound range, and has an extremely impressive frequency response range of 75 Hz- 35 KHz. This is by far the best frequency response on this bookshelf speakers under $100 list, and allows this speaker to playback HD audio with incredible clarity. Sensitivity is 86 dB, while the RMS input power is 40 W.
Boston Acoustics Classic II CS23
Boston acoustics never fail to impress with their amazing audio quality, even when they manufacture a sub-100 dollar speaker. The soft dome Kortec tweeter delivers crisp dialogue while the Deep Channel Design (DCD) delivers plenty of bass that feels like it is being emitted from an actual dedicated subwoofer. Frequency response is pretty good, ranging between 120 Hz, to 25 KHz. This bookshelf speaker features a two-way 3.5” woofer, as well as MagnaGuard magnetic shielding to minimize distortion and noise. This magnetic shielding becomes really useful if you plan on placing this speaker near your television set.
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
This Polk Audio bookshelf uses special tweeters as well as exclusive Dynamic Balance drivers from Boston to deliver wide response along with low distortion. The speakers are sonically matched to work together in a synchronized manner so as to deliver a balanced and delay-free audio experience across all speakers. The 0.75” silk + polymer composite tweeter is equipped with a neodymium magnet, and it delivers an incredible sound experience, that consists of fuller midranges, along with rich, detailed high tones. The large 5.25” subwoofer pumps out heart-thumping bass and is actually pretty good for small-medium sized rooms. If you hook this speaker up with a decent amplifier, you’ll literally be “blown” away by the bass getting pumped out of this speaker. It is a shame they couldn’t make this ported design.
The Edifier R1280T Bookshelf Speaker
These are actually studio monitor speakers, meaning that they excel at producing neutral, balanced audio without any standout frequencies o overpowering tones. Basically, they produce the exact same sound that was recorded in the studio, i.e. “natural” sound. The 13 mm silk dome tweeter excels at reproducing mid-high range frequencies, and really begins to show its worth when you listen to dialogues or music. The powerful 4” full range unit delivers an amazing soundstage with plenty of bass and treble on all volume levels, thanks to the more than adequate 42W of RMS power. And yes, the wooden enclosure for this speaker is ported, meaning that the bass is deeper, and the low frequencies resonate much better.