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Save More Space (and Money) With These 7 Best Bookshelf Speakers

Compact in size, big in sound performance.

Unless you are content with your built-in laptop or TV speakers, chances are you need a pair of bookshelf speakers for a better listening experience. Think of them as a form of sound enhancement no matter if you are using these speakers for music, movie or even video games.

Differences Between Bookshelf Speakers & Tower Speakers

Generally, there are two types of speakers available in the market. One of that is a bookshelf and the other one happens to be tower speakers a.k.a. floorstanding speakers. So, which one is right for you? Below are notes on differences between the two of them to help you decide whether bookshelf or tower speakers suit your respective needs.

Bookshelf Speakers

The most obvious benefit of bookshelf speakers is their compact form factors. This kind lets you easily place them atop the surface of furniture, namely on a table, desk or shelf. You can even mount them to a wall or set the speakers on speaker stands.

Given their lightweight build, that means you won’t have a problem shifting them around your room. Speaking of rooms, these speakers are suitable for those who live in a small or medium-sized space.

While you can use bookshelf speakers on their own, they are also versatile enough to be integrated as part of a home theatre system. For those who love a huge bass response regardless of listening to music or watching a movie, you can pair bookshelf speakers with a subwoofer.

Tower Speakers

As the name suggests, tower or floorstanding speakers are equivalent as a bigger brother to the more compact varieties (bookshelf speakers). They are generally bulky in sizes and  are designed to be placed on the floor. Because of their form factors, they are more suitable for larger rooms since these speakers take up a lot of floor space.

Not to mention, tower speakers come with a higher price tag than the bookshelf varieties. But even so, their cost is justified since tower speakers typically produce richer sound quality and have more audio depth.

Audiophiles who don’t mind splurging would prefer the tower varieties, given the speakers’ dedicated drivers that reproduce both low, mid and high frequencies. This, in turn, gives them the advantage of immersing full spectrum of sounds such as the beat of a drum in the background or the overlapped music of different instruments played in a song.

Now that you know the differences, here are some of the best bookshelf speakers we’d recommend to suit your respective needs and budgets.

Best overall bookshelf speakers
Elac B6.2 Debut 2.0
Check Elac B6.2 Debut 2.0 price below:
add_circle Affordable price
add_circle Good and sufficiently-balanced sound quality
add_circle Booming bass response
remove_circle The boxy, cabinet design looks somewhat mundane
remove_circle Lower volumes sounds are lacklustre

Beyond its well-built all-black speaker design lies a wealth of features, beginning with the all-new silk-dome tweeter capable of reproducing high frequencies up to 35,000 Hz. It has the advantages of wide-dispersion waveguides, which helps to control sound distribution in the room while enhancing the performance of a tweeter.

Its woofer cone is made from the robust 6.5-inch aramid fibre; a stiff material that responds fast and well enough to sound vibrations. This, in turn, offers listeners smooth highs and mid-range responses. The speaker also excels in its deep bass delivery, making it ideal for the likes of watching action films or listening to a loud rock anthem.

While the sound is good and reasonably balanced, the Elac B6.2 Debut 2.0 is far from perfect. This is particularly evident with the lower volumes, lacking the necessary depth and clarity when it comes to a certain genre of music, say soft ballad or acoustic rock. But given its overall affordable price point, it remains a value-for-money speaker worth considering for.

Best active, Bluetooth bookshelf speakers
Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2
Ruark Audio
Check Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 price below:
add_circle Compact design
add_circle Classy-looking finishes
add_circle Bluetooth aptX technology
add_circle Full-bodied bass & treble
remove_circle No built-in WiFi
remove_circle Only basic remote control

Available in the choice of classy Rich Walnut or Soft Grey finish, the UK-based Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 boasts a compact design that does not take up too much space regardless of putting them on a table, shelf or TV cabinet.

On the right side of the speaker, you’ll find a black knob on top for adjusting the volume and control three audio sources with 3 LED indicators for Bluetooth, analogue aux in and optical input. With Bluetooth audio, you can enjoy your music wirelessly with minimum latency issues, thanks to its aptX technology that gives you a rich CD-like quality.

Not to forget the combination of long-throw 75mm neodymium woofer and a 20mm dome neodymium tweeter enhance the overall sound distributed out of the speakers, which are surprisingly detailed and full-bodied in terms of bass and treble responses. Almost equivalent to hearing a pair of hi-fi speakers.

Whereas you get the benefit of Bluetooth in this speaker, it doesn’t come with a built-in WiFi. There’s a small remote as well, with basic but essential functions like volume control and Bluetooth button.

Best small bookshelf speakers
Dali Spektor 1 Bookshelf Speaker
Check Dali Spektor 1 Bookshelf Speaker price below:
add_circle Single-wired connectivity, less messy
add_circle Budget-friendly price
add_circle Surprisingly good build quality
add_circle Well-balanced sound
remove_circle Lower volume sounds can be improved further
remove_circle Voice clarity isn't the speaker's strongest suit

Small but mighty, the compact-sized DALI Spektor 1 is designed to fit most shelves and tabletops without taking up too much space. It only uses single-wired connectivity, meaning you don’t have to worry about messy or cluttered wires. 

Given the budget-friendly price point, they do not skimp on its build quality either, which is what many buyers may overlook when buying a speaker. For starters, the built is simple in design yet practically. An interesting fact is that wood-fibre speaker cones, are used specifically due to their overall rigidity. 

The wood-fibre cones are incorporated with paper material, which is a combination that does not only produce warmer but airy audio as well. This is also due to the fact that the material  combo ensures low resonance of the cone’s surface in order to produce clearer reproduction of audio instead of being absorbed completely.

Then, there’s the 21mm soft-dome tweeter capable of dispersing well-balanced sound even at a high-frequency level up to 26,000 Hz.

Best-sounding bookshelf speakers
Klipsch RP 600M
Check Klipsch RP 600M price below:
add_circle Reasonable price range
add_circle Klispch's Tractrix technology delivers clear audio with reduced sound distortion
add_circle Silky-smooth treble and sweet mids
add_circle Solid build quality
remove_circle Muddy and lacklustre bass response

For a pair of bookshelf speakers under the SGD1,000 range, the Klipsch RP 600M sure packs a punch in terms of its audio quality. That is, of course, if you can tolerate the slight muddy bass response. But otherwise, the rest of the speaker’s components such as the 1” horn-loaded titanium tweeter which is made with the brand’s Tractrix technology, offers crisp audio with minimum sound distortion.

If that’s not enough, this speaker produces smooth treble and sweet, yet evenly-controlled mids that sounds dynamic regardless of listening to rock, jazz or even live music. The build quality is equally solid, with well-constructed cabinet and elegant aesthetic available in the choice of walnut or black ebony finish.

They include magnetic grilles as well, which helps to keep your driver units and other audio components clean and dirt-free. These grilles are also removable if you do not need them. 

In general, reviewers find the speakers to be excellent in projecting loud sounds, but can be affected in its depth depending on whether the speakers are placed. 

Best bookshelf speakers for PC and gaming
Audioengine A5+
Check Audioengine A5+ price below:
add_circle Smooth highs, as well as impressive mids and lows
add_circle Well-balanced sound compared to other computer speakers
add_circle Punchy bass response
add_circle Good build quality
remove_circle Feels weighty for bookshelf speakers designed for PC/laptop
remove_circle Does not come with grille
remove_circle No built-in WiFi

Experience great audio with the Audioengine A5+, bookshelf speakers that are designed for PC or laptop regardless of watching movies or playing video games. The sound is well-balanced, which is a huge plus that distinguished the Audioengine A5+ from other computer speakers. Its highs are clear and silky-smooth without any tinny sounds while the mids and lows are equally impressive.

Audioengine also prides itself in custom-building their own audio components whenever necessary. This is evidently seen with their 20mm silk dome ferrofluid-cooled tweeters and 5-inch Kevlar woofers, both of which aids in delivering punchy and defined bass response. The build quality is quite good, with the cabinet design made from a rigid MDF material, which is a combination of real wood fibres and thick resin.

Although the Audioengine A5+ sports a sleek design that looks good on a desk or tabletop, the same cannot be said with its overall weight (7kg + 4.4 kg) which is quite bulky than your usual computer speakers.

In terms of connectivity, you’ll get multiple sources from 3.5mm to Bluetooth, with the latter allowing you to stream music wirelessly and that it has an aptX codec to help boost the audio quality.

Best budget bookshelf speakers -- great for TV too
Edifier R1280DB
Check Edifier R1280DB price below:
add_circle Bargain price
add_circle Excellent build quality
add_circle Impressive sound for its price range
add_circle Has Bluetooth connectivity
remove_circle The bundled remote looks cheap while the buttons aren't exactly intuitive

Tight on a budget? Here’s a pair of bookshelf speakers worth considering: the Edifier R1280DB. Don’t be quick to dismiss its bargain price tag as it actually packs a lot more goodies than you think.

Let’s start with the build quality. It’s made from solid MDF material with a wood-textured vinyl wrap commonly seen in hi-fi speaker varieties (you can also opt for an all-black finish). The speakers utilise front-firing bass port, meaning you can place them in any space, even tight ones.

Boasting a dual-driver unit with a 4-inch paper cone woofer and 13mm silk-dome tweeter, the sound is good enough at such a price point. There’s reasonable depth and warmth no matter if you are using the speaker for the PC or small/mid-sized TV. Connectivity-wise, it offers both analogue and digital inputs along with Bluetooth for those who prefer wireless music.

The Edifier R1280DB comes bundled with a small remote as well. It may come in handy but don’t expect much from it, given its less intuitive and mushy buttons.

Best bookshelf speakers for home theatre
SVS Prime Satellite Bookshelf Speakers
Check SVS Prime Satellite Bookshelf Speakers price below:
add_circle Punchy bass response
add_circle Crisp sound and vocal clarity for its price point
add_circle Compact design; suitable for both surfaces or wall mounts
add_circle Affordable price
remove_circle Not ideal for larger room

Looking to set up your own home theatre system without splurging a hefty sum for it? You might want to consider the SVS Prime Satellite bookshelf speakers, which boasts crystal-clear sound and amazing vocal clarity, thanks to the combination of 4.5-inch midrange woofer and 1-inch aluminium dome tweeter.

The bass response is just as full-bodied and tuneful, making it ideal for blasting loud music or watching action movies. In terms of its build quality, the SVS Prime Satellite is also well-to-do in the design division, matching its price range. Meanwhile the overall compact design means you can set the speakers easily on the shelf, tabletop or even mount them on the wall.

While it has the advantage of a home theatre-like speaker, keep in mind it may not sound as satisfying if you choose to place them in a larger room. But as long as you settle them in a small or mid-sized interior space, this speaker delivers a room-filling sound that is loud enough for most casual listeners or even audiophiles.

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