With bookshelf speakers, you often have to worry about more than just the raw specs of the speaker itself. With the amount of variation that is possible in speaker design, it can often get quite confusing for new customers or inexperienced users, since two similarly priced bookshelf speakers can vary greatly in terms of both constructions as well as performance.
Also, the costlier speaker isn’t always the better one on terms of audio quality. Extra costs may be justified by reasons other than sheer sound quality, such as features, looks, construction materials, brand, etc.
While purchasing a new bookshelf speaker in the sub-200 dollar range, you need to pay attention to certain details such as frequency range, impedance, mean input power, number of channels, etc. Also, check if the enclosure is sealed or ported. Ported enclosures generally offer greater bass and a wider, more natural soundstage. That said, here are the best bookshelf speakers under 200 dollars for you. Select on the basis of overall features and pay special attention to the pros and cons before finalizing your choice.
Klipsch R-14M Bookshelf Speaker
With its aluminum suspension enabled tweeter, the R-14M delivers extremely snappy audio with super-fast response and extra clear mid-high tones. The 4” IMG woofer delivers tons of chest-thumping bass due to its thick copper winding. With the 6 ports located along the sides of the front panel of the enclosure (front ported), this little bookshelf speaker outputs plenty of chest-pounding bass and the entire assembly is housed inside a brushed black colored polymer veneer cabinet. This compact sub-200 dollar bookshelf speaker is intended only for small-medium sized rooms.
BIC America DV62si
BIC America is known to manufacture quality speakers, and their legendary audio clarity exists across all of their speakers, even the relatively cheap ones. The DV62si features a 6.5” woofer that uses a special 6.5” polymer graphite woofer that is both lightweight and flexible so as to deliver the resonance that is needed to bounce low frequencies out of the speaker. The 90dB sensitivity allows you to crank up that volume until your windows start shaking. This speaker is recommended for use with amplifiers capable of pushing 10-150W per channel, and the 6.5” woofer could definitely use some power. Bass is ultra-deep and powerful, while the 0.75” tweeter makes mid-high tones sound crystal clear.
The 3-way design on this Yamaha bookshelf speaker employs a dedicated high-range tweeter, a separate mid-range tweeter, and a powerful 8” subwoofer. Yes, that thing is gigantic by bookshelf speaker standards. The NS-6490 is capable of accurately reproducing frequencies between 43 Hz to 23 KHz. This speaker is also capable of handling up to 70 W of continuous power, and all of the interiors are magnetically shielded to prevent interference from external magnetic sources. The black satin grill cloth is both aesthetically pleasing, as well as audio-transparent.
M-Audio AV42 Compact Studio Monitor Speakers
These are rated as studio monitor speakers, but in reality they don’t have the necessary sound quality or depth to fulfill that role. Yes, they are still pretty good, but you should use these as desktop computer speakers or as gaming speakers instead of using them to sample studio grade songs and playlists. The bass is lacking and the midranges sound tinny, while the highs are slightly distorted. These speakers sport a 4” woofer with a built-in A/B type amplifier that outputs 20 W per channel. The biggest selling point of these speakers is the included RCA connectivity which lets you hook it up with gaming systems, tablets, computers, etc.
Polk Audio TSi100
The Polk Audio TSi100 bookshelf speakers represents that elusive sweet spot between price and audio quality. There are cheaper speakers out there, while there are also better sounding speakers available for a slightly higher price. So why should you buy this one? Because the TSi100 sounds miles better than speakers that cost only a few bucks less. And, it actually sounds pretty good even when compared to speakers that cost 30-50% more. The secret to the TSi100’s insane audio quality lies in the silk-polymer 1” tweeter that is fed by a powerful internal amp to generate incredibly clear midranges with surprisingly bright highs. The bass is provided by a 5.25” bi-laminate woofer.
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
With the Edifier R1700BT you get a little bit of everything at a surprisingly reasonable sub-200 dollar price. There is a built-in Bluetooth support so that you can easily setup and configure this speaker in a multi-room or multi-speaker setup. Then you can listen to your favorite bass-heavy rock and metal tracks on the powerful 4” woofer that is fed by 66 watts of continuous power. Dual AUX inputs allow you to connect 3.5 mm jacks to this speaker. The housing is made of MDF, and is covered with a really classic walnut finish that gives the entire speaker a very premium look which will blend in with the rest of your home décor perfectly.
Fluance Signature Series HiFi Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers
Featuring premium materials, a front-ported design, and neodymium tweeters, the Fluance Signature Series HiFi is one of the best sounding bookshelf speakers under $200 that we have ever seen. The main reason why this speaker sounds so good is the incredible amount of detail that went into the design and placement of the speakers themselves. The neodymium magnet, high-quality copper winding, and a special pointed design on the midrange dome, help with the release sound waves in a focused manner. Sound waves are emanated right from the center of the woven glass fiber cone, and the cabinet is crafted from special audio-grade wood in order to prevent unwanted resonance, resulting in less distortion and noise.
JBL ES20 Bookshelf Speaker
Pro: Magnetic shielding makes speakers safe to place right next to the TV or display
Con: You will need to pair them with a subwoofer if you are looking for something with well rendered low frequency sounds
Up your Bass: With a 25 – 240 watts amplifier range, you could not have asked for a more capable bookshelf speaker set to suit all your music, gaming and general home entertainment needs. And when you turn on the bass, you will be surprised that such a deceptively small speaker can ring out with such an all pervading bellow. It may not be exactly what you call window rattling bass but it will move you without creating too much of a racket.
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed
Out-of-the-Box Concept: Affordable yet versatile, this set of bookshelf speakers will transform your home entertainment experience. At the heart of this somewhat inscrutable set of speakers is the DNA of Pioneer audio heritage going back over 70 years. This is a truly smart speaker system, a truly out-of-the-box concept. It includes a crossover speaker capable of breaking audio input to whatever range you feel comfortable with, be that high, low or mid-range. Pioneer uses a revolutionary 6-component modulation system to ensure the highest fidelity of the crossover. The relatively diminutive speaker also carries a complement of Pioneer’s inspired sound engineering. It improves rigidity of the output while still ensuring true bass performance.
Cerwin Vega XD5 Active Studio Monitors
Turn your PC Alive: These are bookshelf speakers designed for use with a PC but which will work appreciably well with other forms of home electronics. That said, you have got to love the way it is easy to switch from PC as audio source to your portable devices such as the iPod or your smartphone. If you are working in a room with plenty of other electronic devices there is no need to worry about interference as these speakers include magnetic shielding. Also, you can use them as studio monitors.
Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Add-on Speaker designed by Andrew Jones for Dolby Atmos
Take your Home Entertainment to Next Level: These are designed to be add-on speakers for the Dolby Atmos surround sound home theater system, these innovative speaker sets still do a wonderful job of it on their own. The main appeal for these speakers’ performance has to be the smooth and airy soundstage. The components and finishing are all top notch, a certain indicator that the manufacturer is serious about quality control as well.
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 Bookshelf Speaker
Top of the Line Audio Technology in a Compact Package: This is a single but very capable speaker to adorn your bookshelf and offer soothing notes when you need them and blasting bass if that is what turns your fancy. Even if the speaker is compact, even unobtrusive to some, it packages the same sort of technology you are likely to get in a top of the line home theater system.