Bookshelf speakers have been around for quite some time. Although we don’t hear or see a lot of them these days, there’s no denying that there’s a massive market for these devices. Traditionally, bookshelf speakers only come with a woofer and a tweeter. The sound quality offered by both in tandem is what usually makes for a very good bookshelf speaker. Given that this is not something we find commonly in the wild, it’s important to get the best ones in the market right now. We’re going to help you narrow down your search to five of the best speakers you can find.
Best Bookshelf Speakers
|B&W (Bowers & Wilkins)||Bowers & Wilkins 686S2/B||858|
|Wharfedale||Wharfedale Diamond 220||299|
|Cambridge Audio||Cambridge Aero 2||Check Price|
This list will contain speakers of varying price ranges, so if you’re feeling generous and don’t mind spending upwards of $900 for these, we’ve got you covered. We’re also going to talk about a few speakers that are under budget, thus giving you a wider range of options. You can’t go wrong with either speakers really, and it’s all a matter of how much you’re willing to spend for a pair of bookshelf speakers. Be sure to have a closer look at all of them and pick the best one suited for your liking.
5 best bookshelf speakers in 2018
Cambridge is not a company known for its bookshelf speakers, but the company hits it out of the park with the Aero 2, thanks to the reasonable price tag as well as the audio performance, which can easily be compared to more expensive units. The speakers come with something known as Balanced Mode Radiator or BMR which helps with the frequency cross-over point between the woofer and the tweeter. This feature allows the woofer to be properly optimized (for deep bass), thus offering optimum audio performance out of the box. The resulting experience makes the woofer sound pretty much like a high-end subwoofer.
Mid and top frequencies play beautifully on these speakers, leaving little to no complaints from the customers and experts alike. The overall sound quality can be likened to that of a high-end speakers, which makes this one of our top picks on this list. The speakers come with 6.5” and 2.25” Radiator instead of a standard tweeter, which helps it deliver high-range audio. The speakers can be bought for just $249.99 on Amazon right now. Given the kind of features it packs, the price tag is definitely one of the key highlights here.
Klipsch is known for its high-quality audio accessories, and the RP-160M don’t disappoint thanks to the presence of decent hardware. Klipsch accessories are usually considered to be relatively expensive, as they should be given the quality they offer. These bookshelf speakers, however, are relatively cheaper compared to the other speakers on this list here. With a sensitivity of 96dB, the speakers are relatively loud compared to most modern day bookshelf speakers you will find. This factor alone makes it an exciting product on this list. The speaker can handle power of up to 400 watts. In addition to the audio credentials, the design of the speakers deserve a special mention as well. The gold and black design gives it a very retro look and feel, which is something that most desire from bookshelf speakers.
The audio performance of the Klipsch RP-160M will satisfy most users, regardless of their allegiance to a particular brand. When it comes to speakers and other audio peripherals, there’s not much better you can do than Klipsch. The same is true with these bookshelf speakers. The RP-160M can be bought in Cherry, Piano Black, Walnut, and Ebony colors, with Walnut being the cheapest option at $439. All models come with a Brushed Polymer Veneer Baffle Finish.
B&W is a company synonymous with high quality audio peripherals, and these bookshelf speakers are no different. Designed to target the audiophiles, this offering comes with a decent set of hardware and design combination to strike a chord with the loyalists. Naturally, these aren’t exactly cheap as you will have to shell out north of $800 for them. But if you’re looking for rich audio performance, money shouldn’t particularly be a concern. Talking about the speakers itself, it offers sensitivity of 85dB, which isn’t as good as the Klipsch speakers we talked about above, but should still get the job done. Besides, the B&W offering has other areas where it can make up for this factor. The simplistic design is worth a mention as well.
While these aren’t particularly the best speakers we can find for the price, the B&W 686S2/B is definitely up there with some of the best in the business. You will have to shell out $900 for these speakers, although it is mentioned that local retailer are offering the speakers at a much lower price. Be sure to keep a closer eye on stores near you for a good deal. If you can’t find it anywhere, Amazon is a good place to check.
These are slightly expensive speakers as well, and directed towards those enthusiasts who don’t mind shelling out a bit extra for bookshelf speakers. In terms of audio performance, the HD6 comes with built-in monoblock power amps of 75W each, audio inputs (RCA, Minijack, Optical) as well as aptX Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming. Overall, the Audioengine HD6 is a very appealing prospect, and the design offered by the manufacturer which is described as “retro forward” is quite something as well. The manufacturer is selling the speakers in Cherry, Walnut and Black, so there’s plenty of colors to choose from. You will have to shell out $599 for these speakers, which is slightly expensive but justified given the performance it offers.
These speakers are described simply as “Award winning”, which is testament to its quality and the performance it offers. The Wharfedale Diamond 220 comes with sensitivity of 85 dB, which is decent for any speakers. There’s a 5.15″ woofer and a 1″ tweeter on board here, so there’s nothing special to distinguish these units from the rest. When paired with a decent amplifier, the Wharfedale Diamond 220 can output some of the best sound that you would come across. Keeping this in mind, these speakers deserve a special mention on this list.
The design, however, might be a little too raw for true audiophiles, but that’s not necessarily a problem considering how it’s mostly a subjective opinion. Overall, we’re very impressed with the Wharfedale Diamond 220 and highly recommend these to anybody looking for a decent pair of bookshelf speakers. You will have to shell out $299 for these speakers, which isn’t much considering the prices of other speakers on this list. The Amazon listing currently offers these in a solitary Rosewood color option.