Best Bookshelf Speakers under $100 – Premium Sound at a Great Value

Best Bookshelf Speakers under $100 – Premium Sound at a Great Value
Edited By Jones

Budget Speakers have always had a higher market in the Audio industry. Primarily because most customers prefer price over sound quality. True audiophiles, however, aim for quality more than cost.

However, if a particular speaker set attains fantastic audio quality while flashing a low price tag, it rocks the market. Today we’ll look at 10 such Bookshelf speakers. These speakers maintain high-quality standards, and they all cost under a mere $100.

I satisfy both budget and audiophilic customers. Bookshelf speakers usually are an attachment craved by those who value sound quality. Being an addition to ones kept the system, or a separate independent system gives bookshelf speakers versatility.

The sound quality in such speakers is imperative because no one would invest in bookshelf speakers unless they cared about a reliable response being delivered to them.

There are many options for these speakers in today's market; hence, the review for the best Bookshelf speakers currently available.

In a Hurry? The Test Winner Product

Edifier R1280T
Why is it better?
  • Dual RCA Input
  • Precise Control
  • Reliable Performance
Ratting
92%
Durability
92%
Sound Quality
90%
Bass Quality
88%
Material Quality
92%

Top 10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $100 in 2019

Rank
Image
Name
Product Name
Ratting/Shops
Ratting
Shops
#1
Infinity P153 Primus

Rich sound and an MMD bass driver gives a good solid performance.

#2
Yamaha NS-B210BL

Brilliant in design and frequency response, gives am HD performance.

#3
Polk Audio T15

Dynamic clear sound with a modern design in a small size.

#4
Monoprice MP-65RT

Cheapest in its category and still has professional features.

#5
Klipsch R-14M

A design marvel with a solid bass, warranty and durability.

#6
Edifier R1280T

Good in bass, design, handling, ease of setup and overall sound performance.

#7
Sony SSCS5

Best in bass, because of the sony tech it houses, it becomes a very good product.

#8
Micca MB42X

Best Passive bookshelf speakers with a good casing and a smooth natural sound.

#9
Dayton Audio B652

At a throwaway price but do not compromise on professional standards.

#10
Fluance AV5

Compact, easy to fit into small spaces and has a loud sound.

1. Infinity P153 Primus

Infinity P153 Primus
Ratting
76 %
Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 5.35-inch
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: MMD Driver
  • Tweeter: 0.75-inch

Warm and rich, the sound of Infinity’s Primus P153 is. With its Metal Matrix Diaphragm (MMD) driver technology and low-resonance enclosure, you’ll hear music exactly as it was recorded.

The Primus P153 produces sparkling high frequencies and detailed midrange from any type of music, at any volume level. And for a compact bookshelf speaker, the bass might just surprise you.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the lifelike vocal tracks, sophisticated percussion, and robust instruments that envelop and excite you.

The Primus P153 features Infinity’s exclusive Metal Matrix Diaphragm (“MMD” for short) driver technology in both the 0-75-inch tweeter and 5.25-inch woofer.

These MMD drivers consist of a stiff aluminum core, anodized on both sides for increased strength and rigidity. The result is a speedy, extremely accurate response, giving you distinctly cleaner, more realistic sound, even at higher volume levels.

The speakers also feature acoustic waveguides for the tweeters. This creates a more uniform dispersion of high frequencies and, in some cases, a “more immersive” experience. With all this technology, the Infinity P153 Primus can deliver very low distortion avoiding unwanted resonances. The result, excellent sonic experience.

Pros
  • Low distortion
  • Smooth sound
  • Good at low frequencies

Cons
  • Heavier than other options

2

Yamaha NS-B210BL

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, bookshelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes
  • Warranty: yes
  • Special features: Dynamic tweeter and light aluminuim woofer cones
  • Tweeter: Yes

This beauty by Yamaha is a design marvel. A subtle plain black MDFcabinet allows the NS-B210BL to blend into most settings. Its portable size helps with this too.

Specs-wise, this is a dynamic full-range speaker. That means the tweeter and woofer are fused into one unit, with the same axis.

The result is a compact design that provides plenty of audio output despite being so small. The woofers use light aluminum cones to activate the faster and more precise response.

These woofers allow the bass to have a deep tone touch without compromising on the sound clarity. This bookshelf speaker is designed to produce the full HD sound range and has an extremely impressive frequency response range of 75 Hz- 35 kHz.

This is by far the best frequency response on this bookshelf speakers under $100 list and allows this speaker to playback HD audio with incredible clarity. Sensitivity is 86 dB, while the RMS input power is 40 W.

Pros
  • Acoustic suspension
  • Smooth sound
  • Wide frequency range
  • Best frequency response
  • Sound is clear and natural

Cons
  • Distortion
  • No connectivity options
  • A bit plain for most settings
  • The bass is rather flat and lacks that certain kick

3

Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: Wall mount
  • Tweeter: Yes

If we are talking about respected brands for this market segment, we have to talk about Polk Audio. The Polk Audio company, based out of Baltimore, has created this versatile and reliable system: the T15.

This Polk Audio bookshelf uses special tweeters as well as exclusive Dynamic Balance drivers from Boston audio to deliver wide response along with low distortion.

The speakers are sonically matched to work together in a synchronized manner to deliver a balanced and delay-free audio experience across all speakers.

They have a bass reflex enclosure design. The tuned port is on the front, and it’s engineered with Polk’s proprietary Dynamic Balance technology.

This gives them an outstanding balance between crossover frequencies. That’s pretty much the same principle that many studio monitors use: bass reflex enclosure design and front tuned ports.

It has a box made of MDF, which brings a good look, low resonance, and low weight. They can be placed on a shelf or a wall using the wall mount provided.

The Polk T15 has a good frequency range that goes from the 20 kHz on highs and can go down to 60Hz for lows, which is pretty decent for such speakers.

Pros
  • Magnetic grill
  • Smooth sound
  • Sound is clear and natural

Cons
  • Flat sound, lacks bass
  • No connectivity options
  • A rather less dynamic design

4

Monoprice MP-65RT

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: Planar Tweeter, two channel
  • Tweeter: yes

For those who want a two-channel system on a very tight budget, we present the Monoprice MP-65RT, priced at $50 a pair.

While their big selling point is the planar tweeter which gives the speaker a clear high volume response, but the real star of the show is the woofer for having such well-controlled high-frequency behavior in the absence of any low-pass filter.

This is exactly what one would hope to see in an ultra-low-cost speaker where the lack of a true crossover circuit is a given.

The treble is a bit more noticeable because of the tweeter, but it happens at such a high frequency that it is not very bothersome.

The MP-65RT produces an amazingly vivid soundstage considering its price. The MP-65RT speakers would be a high entry point into good sound for those who want a starter system for two-channel music.

They would also be an excellent choice for those who want much better sound from their TV sets without spending a lot of money. They are bright and detailed, and they surprised me by how good such a modest design and construction could sound.

Pros
  • Priced at $50
  • Smooth sound
  • A decent two channel overall response

Cons
  • Treble overshadows the bass
  • No connectivity options
  • The design is rather plain compared to its competitors

5

Klipsch R-14M

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 4-inch
  • Warranty: Yes
  • Special features: Tractrix horn, IMG woofer
  • Tweeter: 1-inch

Klipsch, an iconic American audio manufacturer, has designed a remarkable pair of copper and black bookshelf speakers that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you fire them up.

The small, versatile speakers are built with one-inch aluminum linear travel suspension horn-loaded tweeters and a copper high-output IMG woofer.

These speakers rock the Klipsch signature look; the bold black and copper look, complimented with the subtly placed Klipsch logo on the front.

The set features a pair of speakers, each with a 4-inch copper-colored IMG woofer. The height of each speaker is 9.75-inches, the width; 5.88-inches, and the depth is 7.5-inches.

So that the set doesn’t too much space and is easy to fit into entertainment setups with limited space. A proprietary 90×90 Tractrix Horn pairs with the tweeter for crystal clear high-end response, resulting in a dynamic and natural sound.

Meanwhile, copper-spun Injection Molded Graphite woofer minimizes cone breakup and distortion, creating the remarkable low-frequency response.

Together they produce speaker efficiency and clean sound unrivaled in its price range. This is all packed in a black polymer veneer cabinet with a rear-firing port with five-way binding posts, so it’s ideal for connection flexibility that will work with your setup.

Pros
  • Bold Design
  • Deep bass
  • Wide frequency range
  • Sound is clear and natural
  • 5 yearwarranty

Cons
  • A faulty low frequency response
  • No connectivity options
  • Built for small rooms
  • No audio amplification

6

Edifier R1280T

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 4-inch
  • Warranty: yes
  • Special features: Wooden finish
  • Tweeter: 1.25-inch

These best-selling bookshelf speakers evoke a retro feel with their classic wood finish, but the sound quality is very modern.

The combination of grained walnut brown wood and a smart grey speaker grill look great in any room, while the two sets of RCA inputs and easy aux setup make for a flexible option for any sound system A 4-inch woofer on each speaker serves the purpose of giving a solid bass to the listener.

Paired with this is a 1.25-inch tweeter is placed on the speaker to allow the speaker to handle high volumes. This, paired with the woofers, gives the Edifier R1280T a solid frequency response.

The active speaker comes with a built-in tone control that can adjust treble and bass from -6 to +6db. A remote gives control over volume from across the room, while 100-240v full range voltage input makes it easy to listen.

Sound is amazing for the price, thanks to 42 watts RMS power 13mm silk dome tweeters and a four-inch full range woofer. Because you can use this incredible pair of speakers on their own or as part of a larger audio set-up, they are ideal for just about anyone but the most discerning audiophiles.

Pros
  • Solid bass
  • Dynamic wooden design
  • Wide frequency range
  • Best overall
  • Sound is clear and natural yet high in bass

Cons
  • Distortion
  • No connectivity options
  • Subpar accessories

7

Sony SSCS5

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 5.25-inch
  • Warranty: Yes
  • Special features: Foam Woofer, Sony super tweeter
  • Tweeter: 0.75-inch

The undisputed king of bass, of course, a Sony speaker would be in the list. The forerunner of deep end frequencies, the Sony SSCS5 is a beast at a low price.

From a design angle, the speakers have the signature bold Sony look with front-facing subwoofers and tweeters, removable grills and a solid variable color MDF case.

They feature a three-way, three-speaker bass-reflex system that stays in harmony with your room, whatever its layout may be. The speakers are constructed with foamed mica woofer diaphragms that deliver supple sound and balance low weight with the powerful and deep bass response from a 5.25-inch foam woofer.

The woofer is complemented with a one-inch polyester main tweeter and a 0.75-inch Sony Super Tweeter. The super tweeter delivers ultra-responsive high-frequency audio up to 50kHz.

The speakers have a 100-watt max input power that delivers clear and powerful audio. This speaker system incorporates Sony’s newly developed 5.12 in woofer for deep, stable bass.

Utilizing a foamed mica-cellular diaphragm, it produces both powerful bass and the finer detail required for clear vocals and dialog in the mid-range. Making it the Best speaker in this range, with complete dominance on all factors.

Pros
  • Best in Bass
  • Dynamic wooden design
  • Wide frequency range
  • Sony Super tweeter
  • Sound is clear and natural yet high in bass

Cons
Installation discs do not work

  • Limited low-frequency response

8

Micca MB42X

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 4-inch
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: Silk dome tweeter
  • Tweeter: 0.75-inch

The MB42 from Micca features high-quality speakers at a very affordable price. The woofer cone is manufactured from woven carbon fiber, while the tweeter dome is made from silk.

The bass response is transient and deep, while the highs are clear and powerful. The enclosure is ported, meaning that the sound signature is pretty neutral, yet has a lot of power to it.

Bass distortion is nearly zero, while vocals sound extraordinarily crisp and well defined, even at really low volumes. Passive speakers usually require an amplifier or stereo receiver, but if you are ready to build a complete audio center, these budget bookshelf speakers are a great option.

The speakers are built in a ported enclosure that balances a four-inch woven carbon fiber woofer with a .75-inch silk dome tweeter.

They also contain a 12dB crossover and baffle step compensation, creating a balanced and dynamic sound that faithfully reproduces highs and lows.

The tweeters and woofers are housed in the classic back polymer casing with a removable grill. The sophisticated design looks great in any room, while the frequency response of 60Hz-20kHz and impedance of 4-8 ohms sounds great.

Pros
  • Best Passive bookshelf speakers
  • Wide frequency range
  • Sound is clear and natural yet high in bass

Cons
  • You can find speakers with better-looking materials in the same price range

9

Dayton Audio B652

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 6.5-inch
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: Polypropylene woofer
  • Tweeter: 1-inch

The Dayton B652 instantly catches the eye of buyers due to its ridiculously low price tag of $49. This low, low priced speaker measures 11.8 inches high, making it rather portable. Design wise the speaker is a little low budget, but the price tag makes up for it.

The Ebony Pica vinyl finish looks excellent in any environment, while the small size allows it to fit into even the most crowded of places, be it your bookshelf or your computer desk. The speaker has a 6.5-inch polypropylene woofer that’s a good deal more extensive than what you’ll find in most budget speakers.

The rather large subwoofer adds the option of a high bass to the overall response of the speaker, adding a great deep soothing bass to the lower frequency region. Along with the subwoofer, instead of a dome tweeter, the B652-AIR boasts an air motion transformer tweeter.

This flat, 1-inch square tweeter promises clearer, lower-distortion sound than many dome tweeters can manage. The pairing of the square air motion tweeter with the polypropylene woofer allows the speaker to perform on the level of all other high-end speakers.

Pros
  • Solid bass
  • Best in lowest price
  • Ridiculously low price
  • Sound is clear and natural yet high in bass

Cons
  • Only fit for small rooms
  • No amplification
  • No connectivity options

10

Fluance AV5

Features

  • Speakers: Dual, shelf
  • Subwoofer: Yes, 5-inch
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Special features: N/A
  • Tweeter: 1-inch

The AV5 is a mid-range speaker that is fit for small compact spaces for people with more concentration on the look as compared to sound quality.

This speaker has Bookshelf speaker configuration for full-range sound in any application, including front main or home theater, surround sound speakers. With premium components that ensure serious performance, a natural sound, and superior audio reproduction.

The speaker contains high-performance soft dome 1-inch tweeters provide an accurate high-frequency response; coupled with some powerful 5-inch polymer-treated midrange drivers for delivering a rich, clear, room-filling experience.

Design-wise the AV5 is a beautiful creation, with a meticulously-crafted audio-grade MDF wood cabinet that significantly reduces cabinet resonance and distortion.

It also has tuned bass ports for controlled low-frequency response and improved efficiency. A very marketable feature of the AV5 is the industry-leading full lifetime parts and labor manufacturer’s direct warranty with lifetime customer support.

All these features make the AV5 a great attraction to those who look for a long term solid investment which gives a decent sound response.

Pros
  • Dynamic wooden design
  • Sound is clear and natural

Cons
  • Flat bass
  • No connectivity options
  • Midrange response is too loud

Buyers guide

One thing this series of reviews has taught us is that when the budget gets low, the priorities of the engineers for what a loudspeaker should do becomes starker since the design trade-offs become more severe. How much should be invested in the crossover circuit? How much should be invested in the drivers? Or the cabinet? Designers have to carefully weigh the benefits of investing in any one of these areas since they are operating on such a slim components budget.

However, because the engineering trade-offs become so sharp, designers have to focus on just getting a few essential area rights, and this gives each speaker its strength, so the distinct advantages and disadvantages that each of these speakers has is more clear.

That isn’t quite the case at higher price points where the differences between the same classes of speakers are not as distinct. The bottom line here is that just because you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a sound system doesn’t mean you can’t have good sound. Buyers have to decide on what aspect of sound quality and setup is most important to them, although that is true of speaker systems of any price range.

While none of these speakers are flawless, they all accomplish what they set out to do through resourceful engineering. With some care and a little bit of homework, a very nice audio setup can be had for an extremely modest sum. After carefully judging all the bookshelf speakers in the price range selected by us, it can be fairly said that our research can help you in deciding on what to invest your funds in. All the reviewed speakers are great in their sense and are all worth the splurge, but let’s arrange them into categories.

 

Price

If you want to go easy on your wallets, and still have classy audio, then the Monoprice MP-65RT and the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker are just what you are looking for. Priced at a mere $50, these speakers give professional-level sound quality and are excellent entry-level speakers for beginning audiophiles.

Bass

If you want Bass, then Sony has got you, with the punchiest bass and excellent performance; otherwise, the Sony SSCS5 is an excellent investment both quality-wise and budget-wise.

If you prefer to design more than audio quality, then the sets by Polk, Klipsch and Edifier become your primary attraction, with up to date, bold designs, this list provides you with a wide design range to choose from.

Overall good Purchase

The Klipsch R14M gets a special mention due to its impressive overall performance, the solid bass and the prevalence in design and blend between modern and classic, this speaker is a must buy, but even with all its specs, it is still not the best overall speaker in the current pool we have.

The best speaker in this list

If the overall best speaker is to be chosen from this list, we would recommend the Edifier 1280T. Although the Edifier R1280T might not be very competitive in sound-related aspects entirely, its small space compatible size, bold yet flexible design and ease of setup make it worth buying.

Along with the international warranty and the great post-sale service, the basic specs give it the edge it needs over the other speakers. The Edifier R1280T’s frequency response is a big pro for the product because it gives a well-balanced range of sound.

Along with the sound, the bass and treble modification feature only adds to its value. The minimalistic design and interface make the speaker easy to use and set up. It can be perfect for someone who requires simplicity above anything else. For someone on a restricted budget, with more eye for design rather than sound quality, the R1280T is the best bookshelf speaker, and a must buy.

Jones

Editor on Electro Guide. I am responsible for maintaining, designing, or managing posts on Electro Guide. I am work very strictly on the content of a website, while another is in charge of the operation.

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