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Best Bookshelf Speakers for A Discreet Sound Experience

  1. Neat Ultimatum Bookshelf Speaker
  2. Dynaudio Bookshelf Speaker
  3. DALI Epicon 2 Bookshelf Speaker
  4. Sonus Faber Cremona Bookshelf Speaker
  5. Tannoy Reveal 502 Bookshelf Speaker
  6. BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers
  7. Wharfedale Diamond 121 Bookshelf Speakers
  8. EB Acoustics EB1 Bookshelf Speakers
  9. Acoustic Energy 301 Bookshelf Speakers
  10. Buyer's Guide

If you’re a consumer that is looking to get the full experience from your home theater system, or looking to add to your current set up, you should consider a pair of high fidelity bookshelf speakers. A pair of bookshelf speakers can be a great addition to your home theater system, but can also double as studio monitors in your recording setup. Bookshelf speakers can serve as your standalone sonic source in your home theater setup or play a support role in 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups.

In home theater setups with a .1 means that they include an LFE channel (A channel that is dedicated to only the subwoofer to reproduce low end), so your bookshelf speakers are used to provide detailed highs, full mid-range, and some low end information. In a standalone situation you would be looking for your bookshelf speakers to reproduce all sonic information highs, mids, and lows (to the best of their ability). Which is why I have populated these lists with bookshelf speakers that show versatility and strengths in both additional support and standalone situations.

No matter the purpose of the speaker it is always difficult looking through an endless variety of manufacturers, designs, prices and engineering advances. I have compiled the following lists of speakers focused on versatility; to suit the taste of audio professionals and consumers alike. Checkout our top picks for best bookshelf speakers in 2022.

Best Bookshelf Speakers Worth Considering in 2022

best bookshelf speakers

Neat Ultimatum Bookshelf Speaker - Best Bookshelf Speaker Overall

Neat's Ultimatum XLS are gonna cost you around $10,000 a pair but you get so much from this speaker that you will only be interested in this speaker if you seek what your home system was missing. Neat brings the XLS with five drive units, which is a little unconventional but the XLS generate a sound quality that is unparalleled in this price range. With the two EMIT tweeters isolated from the mid/bass for "bleed" prevention, Neat takes the design a step farther by designing the enclosures inside the cabinet to enhance driver performance. This makes the low end immersive, with your eyes closed listening to these speakers its easy to imagine they're twice the size. The XLS have superior sound quality and design and with that comes another thing you may not take into account — speaker stands. Most high end bookshelf speakers come with dedicated stands that in some cases help the way your speakers sound. The XLS have dedicated stands that cost around $1,500 a pair, so you would want to factor in space and replacement costs.

best bookshelf speaker

Dynaudio Bookshelf Speaker - Runner Up

The Dynaudio Confidence C1s come in at around $4,000 its a price well worth the sound. They have an amazing confident sound no matter how complex the music, the C1s find a balance between the mixes that through other speakers sound muddy. This is thanks to the C1s exceptional bass performance, they use the sound remains full but still has a solid punch. Though the C1s can provide a well defined bass no matter how well produced or bass heavy a song is, they also shine in total with the tweeter, mid range and slim cabinet design. The C1s feature Dynaudios Esotar tweeter, a mid/bass driver with aluminum voice coil, and the highest quality crossover. When looking into getting the C1s you should not stray from an quality amplifier to get the full performance from these speakers.

DALI Epicon 2 Bookshelf Speaker - Honorable Mention

When discussing top of the line speakers its not a question of if the name DALI is gonna come up it's when. DALI brings us the Epicon 2s, at nearly $8,000 a pair they deliver the sonic quality DALI is known for. Don't be fooled by the design; though they lack some of the flash of similar priced speakers. The Epicons have an incredibly curved cabinet to reduce vibrations and reduce standing waves. When it comes to Performance the Epicons have a lot to offer, from the incredible vocal clarity, to the warmth of the mid range, or the always defined bass. Which is a testament to the DALIs Linear Drive Magnet system; which cancels out four distortion factors in the drive motor system.

best loud bookshelf speaker

Sonus Faber Cremona Bookshelf Speaker - Consider

The Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor Ms come in at around $5,500 a pair which is well worth it when looking for a set of the best Italian made speakers around. Generally it's not often you find a speaker that is as aesthetically pleasing as the sound, yet the Auditors manage to do just that. They have a Lute shaped designed cabinet, designed to amplify certain waves to generate better bass response as well as reduce phase cancellation. The newly designed tweeter and; an Improved model of the mid/bass driver that Sonus used in previous speakers. The Auditors have a small size but a full sound thanks to the controlled stereo image and some substantial bass, and the listenability at high playback levels. Though the Auditors shine they also can be picky about placement avoid the wall and bookshelf and invest in a nice amp to pair.

Tannoy Reveal 502 Bookshelf Speaker - Best High End Bookshelf Speakers

Tannoy brings us the Definition DC8s, coming in at around $1800 a piece they offer the signature Tannoy quality as well as a size and sound that is precise. The sound is no fluke, upon first inspection you'll see that the tweeter is inside of a bass/mid cone a dual concentric design Tannoy is known for. This trademark design from Tannoy that they believe "creates a more precise, coherent sound." Which is apparent when listening to complex music; like classical. The DC8s effortlessly organizes the elements and delivering them in a concise manner. The curved cabinet for better phase cancellation, as well as the Wide-band tweeter that extend the reach of the speakers high frequencies and delivers a more detailed sound. Audiophile grade silver copper coated conductors for grounding, paired with Deep Cryogenic treated straight path crossovers; make the DC8s as controlled as they are concise.

BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers - Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers

BIC America has been around for sometimes and though not always the first name that comes to mind when considering speakers. The DV62si model from BIC America comes in at around $120 a pair you can see styling is not of major appeal, but these speakers are contenders with speakers three times the price. The DV62sis feature a 6 1/2-inch poly/graphite woofer which delivers a tight concise bass response, as well as a long throw. The patented Venturi design found on the rear, extends the low end. The custom designed poly dome tweeters deliver an excited high end that paired with the design of the cabinet eliminates bleed between drivers.

Wharfedale Diamond 121 Bookshelf Speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 121 Bookshelf Speakers - Best Mid Range Bookshelf Speakers

Wharfedale has brought us the latest in the Diamond series, for around $380 a pair you can have a great pair of bookshelf speakers. The Diamond 121s have a stylish design that comes in seven different finishes to suit any home decor. Aside from impressive styling options the 121s also feature an exquisite sound thanks to some re-engineering. Featuring a newly designed 13cm driver made from woven kevlar, also a blended dust cap to better enhance crossover smoothness. Additionally the tweeters are surrounded by a deep wave guide, also cabinets with slot ported designing to make position even more effortless.

EB Acoustics EB1 Bookshelf Speakers

EB Acoustics EB1 Bookshelf Speakers - Best Mid Range Bookshelf Speakers

Though most people have never heard of EB Acoustics, they probably are some of the best speakers that you have never heard. The design is a step beyond for this price point, the EB1s feature a composite wood material wrapped in real-wood veneer. Also the EB1s cabinet has rounded edges, a design that eliminates phase in the cabinet. With a sound that is as immersive and uncolored as the EB1s everything seems to playback effortlessly.

Acoustic Energy 301 Bookshelf Speakers

Acoustic Energy 301 Bookshelf Speakers - Best Mid Range Bookshelf Speakers

Acoustic Energy brings us the 301, a great looking and sounding speaker to rival popular names at this price point. A two way ported design, that comes in a black or white finish. The front port is positioned to reduce air turbulence, making position even more manageable. The 301s offer a detailed stereo image as well as seamless playback, with crisp attention to detail.

Buyer's Guide

Bookshelf speakers are designed to provide outstanding sound quality. These speakers are small, compact, and an excellent addition to a hi-fi system. In this guide, we will walk you through some important factors you should consider to choose the best bookshelf speakers for your place.

What Factors Should You Consider When Purchasing the Best Bookshelf Speakers?

Wired or Wireless

The first decision you need to make is whether you want wired or wireless speakers. Wired speakers require to be connected to an external amplifier. The amp will transmit the audio signals to your bookshelf speakers and provide power to them to play the audio. Besides, they are quite messy because you have to deal with a lot of wires. However, the external stereo amp boosts the sound quality significantly that you cannot achieve from a wireless speaker. The speakers that need a separate amplifier are also referred to as passive speakers.

Wireless speakers, on the other hand, have integrated amps. Thus, you only have to connect them to a power supply and your mobile device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to play your favorite music. These speakers also have an array of wired connections, enabling you to connect a separate DAC, a turntable, and more. The speakers that have internal amplifiers are also called active speakers.

Sound Quality

Though the sound quality of bookshelf speakers is exceptionally high, they come with one limitation due to their small size. These speakers have only two drivers - tweeter for high frequencies and an all-range driver to control the mids as well as bass. Thus, they don’t possess the power to produce thumping bass.

If you are fond of music that doesn’t stress on bass, like jazz, classical, or folk, bookshelf speakers are ideal for you. However, to enjoy bass-heavy music on these speakers, you have to connect them to a subwoofer. The icing on the cake is that wired and wireless speakers are compatible with additional subwoofers.

Matching Speakers to the Amp

This applies specifically to wired or passive speakers. If your interest has inclined toward wireless or active speakers, skip this section. The amp you connect to the speakers should provide a proper amount of power as failing to do so can deteriorate the sound quality or risk damaging the equipment.

However, you can overcome this issue and ensure excellent sound quality by matching the impedance (Ω) of your speakers and amplifier. For this purpose, all you have to do is match speakers of 8Ω with an amp of 8Ω and speakers of 4Ω with an amp of 4Ω to produce great sound quality. Generally, you can plug a pair of higher-impedance speakers into an amplifier of a lower impedance. However, connecting a pair of lower impedance to a higher-impedance amp is never recommended.


Sensitivity is a measure of the number of decibels delivered when a particular level of power is passed through a speaker. While playing music, anything below 86 decibels is low, 87-95 decibels is considered the average volume, and volume above 95 decibels is quite high.

Different speaker manufacturers have different methods of measuring sensitivity, making it difficult to compare the products of different brands. However, this general measure can help you determine the loudness of speakers and invest in the one that is suitable for the music type you prefer.

Build Quality

Before purchasing bookshelf speakers, make sure to look for certain elements that can make or break their sound quality. Never fall for the aesthetics of the speakers because everything that glitters is not gold. You should determine the weight and heft of the speakers along with high-quality binding posts to store the cables in the back. Besides, ensure the speakers you choose have nicely rounded corners that resist chipping and a magnetic grille attached to them.

HiFi or Home Theater

One of the best characteristics of bookshelf speakers is that they can perform two tasks. Besides playing high-quality music, they also have the ability to serve as a part of a surround sound system.

Nowadays, many home theater systems incorporate a pair of bookshelf speakers because they are easier to carry and cover less space. What’s more, they can do various roles like front speakers, height speakers, and more. Thus, bookshelf speakers are the best option if you put together a surround system to take the sound environment at your place to the next level.


Bookshelf speakers are available at various price ranges in the market. The best thing about these speakers is that you can purchase an excellent pair for a small outlay. While the high-cost speakers come with more features and better sound quality, the affordable speakers also promise to provide high-quality audio. Besides, you can find a plethora of bookshelf speaker models at just about any cost you care to name. All you need to do is decide the brand, visit your nearby store and purchase the best pair that suits your budget as well as preferences.

Final Words

When it comes it purchasing bookshelf speakers, there is no one size fits all scenario. You have to bear many factors in mind and compare the specifications and budget of some models to get your hands on the best bookshelf speakers.

Bookshelf Speaker FAQ

Q: Should I place my bookshelf speakers on stands?

A: Ideally, yes. If you put your speakers on stands, the tweeter will sit at the ear level, the speaker will be placed on a stable surface for safety purposes, and the speaker cabinet will be free to display the sonic signature. However, it is not recommended to place bookshelf speakers in a closed cabinet or an enclosed bookshelf.

Q: Is a subwoofer necessary for bookshelf speakers?

A: No, a subwoofer is not necessary for bookshelf speakers. However, if you like bass-heavy music, then connecting speakers to a subwoofer is not a bad idea.

Q: Are bookshelf speakers considered full-range speakers?

A: No, bookshelf speakers are not full-range speakers. To be considered full-range, a speaker should have a midrange driver, subwoofer, and a tweeter. Since bookshelf speakers already have midrange drivers and tweeters, connecting them to a subwoofer can deliver a full-range experience.

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