Bookshelf speakers are designed to give that extra touch of quality to a stereo or home cinema system. They come in many styles, and finding the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 is not going to be an easy task. There are good brands and shall we say, not so good brands.
The whole concept is that they are positioned in an elevated position, hence the name. They are not really designed to be placed on the floor. The design of bookshelf speakers is to maximize the sound by placing them at normal ear height.
Having them at that height affects the way they work and, therefore, the way they sound. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent system these days. There are plenty of good manufacturers offering quality products.
So, let’s take a look at the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 and find the perfect pair for you…
Top 10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 On The Market 2021 Reviews
1 Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
There aren’t many companies in the world where you just the utterance of the name says so much. But that is the case with Sony. Established as one of the worlds leading suppliers of consumer and professional audio, they are an exceptional organization.
They tend to design no-frills speakers, and the SSCS5 is a good example. They are relatively small at 13 inches by 7 by 9 inches, and they are also a good weight for a bookshelf. Each cabinet weighs just less than ten pounds.
The interesting thing about the cabinets is that they are not made from the usual MDF fiberboard. These are made from solid wood. They have an inner frame design that is very solid. The design and materials used mean that the cabinets tend to absorb any unwanted resonance or vibration.
They are a three-way designed cabinet with a five and a quarter-inch foam reinforced woofer. There is also a soft dome one-inch tweeter, and the final piece in the sound jigsaw is the ¾” super tweeter. It makes for not only great sound staging but delivers a 100-watt output. The sound extends over a range from 53hZ to 50kHz.
The sound is right at the front of the design process with these speakers. The super tweeter has a powerful magnet with aluminum wiring that is copper coated. This delivers high frequencies not usually produced by speakers in this price range. The bass-reflex rear-firing, centrally-placed bass port helps to deliver a powerful bottom end.
Powerful and with good frequency coverage, these speakers are typical Sony quality. They punch weigh above their weight at this price point. The three-way system delivers a great sound using a well-defined crossover system. The natural wood adds to the style. They have a removable front fascia.
An excellent set of speakers and certainly must be considered to be one of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 currently on the market.
- Very high quality build with real wood and internal frame.
- Great sound and wide frequency coverage with a three-way system
- At the price point, we can see nothing.
2 Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk is a well-established audio company that has a big reputation for its speakers. They are often very powerful and have rugged hard-wearing designs. They are also known to be affordable and cost-effective speakers. This pair is a little over our threshold, but so close that they are worth including.
They have an interesting design in that the sides have a very slight curve. This is not just for aesthetic reasons, it reduces any resonance in the side panels. They are made of MDF fiberboard and not real wood, as we have seen written. MDF tough is a reasonable material for the construction due to its density.
Inside the cabinet is a 5 and a quarter-inch polymer cone woofer. There is also a one-inch silk dome tweeter. On the rear, a bass port.
High frequencies are crisp and sharp, and the mids are also clear. The bass is probably the surprising tins being very prominent. It doesn’t, however, cross over the mids.
Although it has principally designed for the bookshelf, the speakers can be easily wall mounted. This might though, cause a problem with the rear bass port and affecting its sound.
If we are to be critical, they do look a little outdated in their design. The curved sides of the cabinets help a little, but still, they look rather old-fashioned. This is good for those that prefer that kind of design. Again, to be honest, we would rather see that than have some of the new designs that do go over the top somewhat.
They are a decent set of speakers and have some positive points. Possibly given their performance levels, there are other speakers a bit cheaper.
- Plain and simple design.
- Decent sound with good low-frequency sound.
- A bit expensive for what they are.
3 Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speaker
Edifier was established in 1996 in Beijing and initially served only the Chinese market. They have since expanded their operations and now have a worldwide customer base. At the current time, they are one of the leading manufacturers of audio equipment in China. And they have a wide range of quality speakers and the R1280T is a good example.
They are a good size for bookshelf speakers measuring 9.2 inches by 5.7 by 7.7 inches and have an attractive wood veneer on the sides. The speakers have an MDF fiberboard construction. The removable grilles are a cloth material finished in gray that adds a simple but impressive style.
Each speaker has a four-inch woofer and a half-inch silk dome tweeter. To improve the movement of air in the cabinet, there is a front-facing port that lets the drivers operate to their best efficiency. It also means you haven’t got problems placing them close to a wall.
They have a decent power rating of 40 watts RMS. On the rear two aux inputs, power switch and a 3.5mm headphone output. The right speaker is powered and feeds the speaker on the left.
There is a connecting cable that is supplied, plus it comes with a very basic remote control unit that communicates with the right speaker through an IR sensor. The remote doesn’t do anything spectacular. It adjusts the volume up and down or mutes. However, that is enough to be able to give you basic control from your chair.
A nice design feature is the control panel offering volume, bass, and treble controls. They have been given detents to indicate halfway on the dial. These are recessed into the side of the powered cabinet and not visible from the front, and easy to reach and use.
The sound is not surprisingly very good. Edifier is well-known for quality sound from their speakers. On the neutral settings, the balances are good, but there is plenty of scope to add extra bass or high frequencies if you wish.
These are impressive speakers at a very affordable price, making them one of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 on the market.
- Well-built with an attractive design.
- Good sound with front-facing port and remote control.
- Some may want more power.
4 Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
The R1280DB are very similar to the R1280T we have just looked at. In fact, the spec is almost the same. They are the same size at 5.75 inches by 9.5in by 7 inches and have a similar MDF fiberboard build quality. The veneered side panels and removable front gray speaker grille continues the likeness.
Like the 1280T, this also has a four-inch woofer and a half-inch dome tweeter. They produce 40 watts of power RMS and have a frequency range of 55Hz-20KHz. The same recessed volume, bass and treble control panel on the speaker cabinet.
However, the remote control is a little different, and here lies the difference between these speakers and the 1280T. The D and the B in the title may well stand for Digital and Bluetooth.
These speakers are Bluetooth compatible. Pairing them up to your phone or tablet, you can now enjoy your music without the need for wires. They work with both IOS and Android devices. There are also Optical and Coaxial inputs that offer connection to the majority of computers and laptops. The sound, of course, is the same high quality.
Interestingly, Edifier has given you the option of basically the same speaker system with Bluetooth capability. There are some people that do not want or need Bluetooth connection. The ‘T’ version is, therefore, for them. Those that see it as an advantage, which most will we think, will go for these speakers.
The price-point has very little difference, and so these speakers represent great value for money.
- Quality build and good sound.
- Bluetooth connection and a very affordable price.
- Like the ‘T; series, some may want more power.
5 Klipsch R-14M 4-Inch Reference Bookshelf Speakers
We are not surprised Klipsch is included in the list to find the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200. We have reviewed a number of their products before, and they always produce a quality product.
For us, it is the design that is the most impressive thing. The performance of the speakers is good, might not always be the best. But the Klipsch speakers are not hard to recognize with their distinctive look. We think most would recognize the copper woofer and horn design. It is a simple but eye-catching design without being too outrageous.
The cabinet itself is a polymer plastic construction with a brushed black finish. Using a polymer plastic reduces the weight. For bookshelf speakers, that can be important. They weigh just 14 pounds. They are designed to be bookshelf speakers and at 9.75 inches by 5,88 inches by 7.5 inches, and they are a nice size.
The design of the cabinets is aimed towards a good sound. The 90 x 90 Tractrix horn with its aluminum tweeter develops an impressive high-frequency response. There is a four-inch copper-spun woofer. These are IMG woofers, Injection Moulded Graphite, that deliver a powerful bottom end. This is helped by the rear-firing port.
They are a well-made speaker system with good features. They are probably best used in a small to mid-sized room. The overall power rating of 50 watts for the pair is not that high.
It might be important to mention that these speakers are not only good with stereo systems. They will also perform well as part of a home cinema system. One thing to be aware of is not to place them too close to a wall. The rear-firing bass port will be affected unless it has a clear sound exit.
Price-wise they are at the top end of the scale.
- Typical great visual design from Klipsch.
- Good sound and quality build.
- Some are just going to want more power.
6 JBL Arena B15
Well-known for their speakers for many years, JBL used to be rather a status symbol for a guitar amp. These days they still produce quality speakers but more for the home consumer market. They are one of the audio companies bought up by Harman international, who are themselves a subsidiary of Samsung in South Korea.
They are an interesting design and with the front grilles on look quite ordinary. Take off the all-black grilles, however, and it reveals an anything but ordinary look. Perhaps the first thing you notice is the five and a half inch polycellulose woofer, which dominates the cabinet. Above it, a one-inch soft-dome tweeter in a horn design. Together they deliver a very powerful 100 watts of power.
It is quite a loud sound but maybe doesn’t quite possess great quality. The high frequencies are quite nice. Crisp and sharp, although at volume, they do tend to dominate a little. The mids are acceptable at a medium level volume but tended to get a little crowded by the highs when you crank it up a bit. The bottom end though, is rather weak, and given the driver size, that is surprising.
If you are considering this setup for a home movie system, you may well find you need a sub. We are certainly not saying the bass is inaudible. For music, it will be satisfactory unless you require a heavy bass sound.
The cabinets themselves are made from plastic and given a wood-grained effect. This gives them a very neutral look when the grilles are in place. Some will prefer that. They are a little larger than some at 8.58 inches by 18.5 by 16.5 inches. If you are using it on a bookshelf, they are not lightweight, weighing just under 18 pounds.
They have a wall-mounting system built-in to the back of the cabinet. For those wishing to place them on the wall rather than a bookshelf, it is an easy fit. They will function as either a standard bookshelf speaker or in a home cinema environment. But we remind you of our comments regarding the bass.
These speakers are made in China. And at the price point, they are a reasonable buy and will deliver a decent sound for entry-level speakers.
- Nicely made with a decent sound.
- Affordable option.
- Low frequencies are not so good.
7 Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk has produced with their TSi 100 speakers a very affordable speaker system. For a bookshelf design, they are a nice compact size at 10 inches by 7 by 11 inches. And as they only weigh ten pounds, they are ideal. They also provide fittings should you want to mount them on the wall.
They have a very basic design and look good whether the front grille is on or off. And they are a two-way backported design, so ideally, the sound will benefit from not being placed close to the wall or any rear obstruction.
With the front grilles removed, the visuals are quite attractive. The main attention will be the five and a quarter inch composite woofer. It is fitted in the cabinet with a rubber surround. Above it a one-inch silk and polymer dome tweeter. Together they will give an output of about 30 watts RMS.
That doesn’t sound very much and for a large room probably isn’t enough. But for a smaller room that is adequate. They have a frequency response of 53Hz to 25kHz. The connections are gold-plated to ensure they do not corrode and provide secure connectivity.
They probably are not the best speakers that Polk produces but are good value for the money. They are well-built and have an attractive design with front grilles off or on.
- Very affordable speaker system with a good sound.
- Nice design.
- Unlikely to be loud enough for some.
8 Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Home Audio Bookshelf Loudspeakers
We don’t think we need to spend too much time introducing Pioneer to everyone. For years they have been one of the most recognizable and respected manufacturers of home audio. They began producing sound systems for the home back in 1937 and have since become a worldwide brand. In terms of producing quality speakers, they probably know what they are doing.
These are a special set of speakers as they were designed by British speaker cabinet design expert Andrew Jones. He was the senior designer for Pioneer for many years but has since moved on. These are one of his designs.
For bookshelf speakers, they pack a punch with 80 watts of output. They use a relatively small four-inch driver with over-sized magnets. This is supported by a one-inch soft-dome tweeter. But as is the case will speakers one of the critical areas in producing a sound of real quality is in the design of the crossovers.
You would normally expect a speaker’s crossover system to produce two or three separate signals from one input source. This will separate the frequencies and then deliver them to the relevant output source, the woofer or tweeter.
However, in this speaker design, there are a rather complex six separations. This will inevitably produce a far more defined sound. And so it is. The sound of these speakers places them in a far higher price point bracket. Many, looking at the price point, will consider them budget speakers. Not really the case. They have real quality.
The curved design of the cabinets is not an aesthetic extra either. The curved shape helps to rid the cabinet of any standing waves. This will produce a clearer uncluttered sound.
The speakers are a compact size measuring 8.4 inches by 7.1 by 12.6 inches. They have an accentuated grain pattern on the finish. They can be used with the grille of or on and have mountings for the wall if desired. A very good pair of speakers and at the price must be a contender for Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
- Very well designed and perform to a high level.
- Very affordable.
- Some may not like the finish on the cabinets.
9 BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers
This speaker system from BIC is a very simple design. It is very understated in many ways and doesn’t get your attention at all. Not a bad thing in many respects. For a speaker designed for the bookshelf, it is not what you might call compact or lightweight. It measures 8.9 inches by 14.8 by 9.1 inches, and they weigh 15 pounds. Not really going to be suitable for wall mounting.
The cabinet is very basic in its design with a removable front grille. When taken off, they reveal the six and a half-inch graphite woofer. The three-quarter-inch soft-dome tweeter is Ferrofluid cooled. It also has a rear bass port.
They have a decent frequency response of 43 to 20,000 Hz. This is quite wide and will accommodate a decent depth on the bass as well as handling the high frequencies well.
The good low-frequency response and the generally wide frequency range have added values. They are of course suitable for stereo systems, but that frequency range suggests they will also work well for home cinema.
They have a plain black laminated finish that is designed to accent an imitation wood grain. That is nothing to write home about. But sometimes a very understated design is preferred to fit with the decor in a home.
Very much a budget speaker system, it is set at a very affordable price point and has a good sound. This makes it an option to consider if you want a plainer design.
- Good build and frequency range.
- Very affordable.
- Some may not like the cabinet design.
10 Fluance Signature Series HiFi Two-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers
Fluance is a Canadian online-only company that is new to the audio market. Nevertheless, they have made quite an impact since they formed in 1999. They are known for the quality of the sound of their speakers. And given the quality of the design and materials, this is no surprise. This easily makes Signature series from Fluance one of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200.
The cabinet has nothing specific to comment on, just an MDF fiberboard body with a nice glossy black finish to the front. They have a removable magnetic front grille, and underneath, it reveals an interesting layout.
A five-inch midrange woofer that is made from a glass fiber with a black dome center. It has a soft rubber surround to absorb movement. The soft yellow color seems to add a little bit of design chic and is very attractive. There is a neodymium tweeter that captures clarity with the high frequencies. The tweeter is ferrofluid cooled. Either side of the tweeter are bass ports that are dual tuned.
The cabinets are very well made crafted to produce a distortion-free sound. The rear of the cabinets only has connection terminals for speakers using banana plugs. If you want to wall hang them, there is a mount built-in. They have a power rating of 120 watts and a frequency response of 60hz – 20khz.
Designed as bookshelf speakers, they have a compact build measuring 12.8 inches by 7.87 by 8.22 inches and are quite lightweight, with each speaker weighing less than ten pounds.
But it is the sound that really gets your attention. These speakers punch well above their weight in terms of performance and deliver a great sound across the frequencies. So good is it that these speakers will sit comfortably in a stereo system. Or even in a home cinema setup.
These speakers are excellent in just about every respect. And even though they are at the top of the price range, worth every penny.
- Nice design and built with very good materials.
- Great sound at an affordable price.
- None at all really
Want To Spend A Little More?
No problem at all, the more you spend, the better quality you will get, so please take a look at our reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers under 500 Dollars.
It might also be well worth checking out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best In Ceiling Speakers, the Best Studio Monitor Speakers, and the Best In Wall Speakers on the market.
So, What’re The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200?
It is never easy making a choice when you are confronted by so many good products. Speakers are even more difficult in many ways because there are quite a few issues involved.
They will be in your home, so you want them to look nice, but you also want a good sound. A wall mounting option might also be a useful extra. We think that a bass port is a good asset. But a rear-firing port means you have to be careful where you place them.
We have therefore decided that for us the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 are the….
Nice design and a great sound and just about everything we would want.