As technology advances rapidly, there have been more and more improvements in the home theater system and its many components.
One such device that has seen constant innovation is the bookshelf speaker that you may be using to enhance your audio experience.
Bookshelf speakers are different from other speakers as they aren’t meant to be kept on the floor. Instead, they can be kept on your tables, shelves or any other surface that has some elevation.
Perfect for any small or medium-sized rooms, bookshelf speakers are great to take your listening experience to the next level and if you are looking for the best bookshelf speakers under 200, this lineup is for you!
If you still don’t have the budget and want a bookshelf stereo system instead, I highly recommend reading our post on those.
Quick List: Top 10 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 in 2021
- JBL Arena 120 Black 2-Way 5.5-Inch Bookshelf Loudspeakers
- Klipsch R-14M Bookshelf Speakers
- Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers
- Cerwin-Vega SL-5M 5 ¼-inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker
- Polk Audio Signature Series S10 Bookshelf Speakers
- Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
- Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers
- BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers
- Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
- Polk Monitor XT20 Bookshelf speakers
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 Reviews
For all those of you who were in a hurry and just wanted an overview of our top choices, the quick list above is for you!
If you are looking for greater detail about each of the products that have made it into our lineup of the best bookshelf speakers under $200, we have put together brief reviews of our top 9 products.
While there are some common features among these, there are tons of factors that can be used to differentiate between them too. The best option for you, however, will depend on your individual needs and requirements. The buying guide at the end might help you narrow those down to make your decision.
1. BL Arena 120 Black 2-Way 5.5-Inch Bookshelf Loudspeakers
- 1-inch (25mm) soft dome tweeter provides clean, powerful highs
- 5.5-inch (140mm) polycellulose woofer brings room-filling JBL sound to all your music, TV shows, movies, and console gaming
- Integrated wall-mount solution for flexible installation and system configuration
JBL has made a name for itself in the speaker category and with the Arena 120s, they are taking out the tops spot in our lineup of the best bookshelf speakers under 200 price range.
The emphasis isn’t on giving you a very attractive set up that takes the attention away from everything else in your room. Instead, they have focused on giving you a product that blends well with the surroundings and gives you superior performance in terms of sound quality.
The Arena 120’s are constructed to give you multiple placement options, including any flat, elevated surface like a table or shelf, or can be mounted on a wall with the help of the included mechanism.
While many bookshelf speakers tend to give you trouble with the volume, you can expect a fun and power-packed performance from the JBL Arenas. Having said that, there are a bunch of things that could be better, for example, the details and the clarity which can you can lose out on as the volume increases.
- You can easily mount these speakers on a wall or simply place them on a stand or a bookshelf.
- The size is small enough for the speakers to stay out of your way while providing you all the benefits.
- The audio performance guaranteed by the JBL Arena 120 speakers is one of the best when it comes to this price range.
- The overall tonal balance is very impressive with the mid-range complementing lower frequencies brilliantly.
- The company has not placed much emphasis on detailing and that comes through when you look at the overall build.
- You will need to invest in a subwoofer for music if you want the best possible performance out of these speakers, as they lack a little depth as standalone speakers.
2. Klipsch R-14M Bookshelf Speakers Review
- Fills small to medium rooms with powerful, lifelike performances
- 1" aluminum linear travel Suspension horn-loaded tweeter
- 4" copper-spun high-output img woofer
Founded by the genius Paul W. Klipsch, the company has been one of the industry leaders when it comes to providing you with the best possible home audio experience.
With the R-14M bookshelf speakers, you do not have to worry about finding space to adjust your sound system into any random corner. Even though these are extremely well-designed speakers, they are relatively small and light, which makes them ideal for any corner of the room.
This is an outdoor-type speaker that uses the company’s signature 90×90 Tractrix Horn technology in combination with an aluminum tweeter.
With a large frequency response range, the speakers have an 8-ohm impedance and a sensitivity of 90dB. This is combined with the ability to handle power up to 50 watts RMS and 200 watts peak.
The R-14M’s come with a rear-firing port as well as a flared design to minimize the turbulence that is common at low frequencies.
- These speakers are so beautifully designed that you may be tempted to make them the centerpiece of the room.
- They provide you with an extremely well-balanced performance across different ranges.
- This product features the company’s signature Tractrix Horn technology.
- The Klipsch R-14M Bookshelf Speakers come with a five-year warranty so that you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong.
- These are one of the smaller bookshelf speakers in the category, which can make them slightly inconvenient if you are looking for something sturdy.
- The audio output isn’t the most powerful when it comes to larger rooms and even some medium-sized rooms.
3. Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers Review
- DIGITAL / ANALOG INPUTS – RCA/Aux for PC turntables etc Optical/Coaxial for lossless connection Bluetooth for convenience
- BLUETOOTH V4 0 - Latest wireless technology for playing from phones tablets or laptops
If you are looking for a good pair of bookshelf speakers for less than $200, you cannot overlook the Edifier R1850DB, one of the company’s best selling products when it comes to the category of bookshelf speakers.
This is a compact, yet powerful product ideal for people who want good sound but not a bulky set of speakers to find a home for.
Simply designed with clean lines and one uniform color, the R1850DB gives you control over the bass, treble, volume, as well as the toggle inputs through the rear panel. While the speakers come with additional grills, it is your call whether or not you want to install the grill.
These are active speakers that come with a tweeter and a mid-range driver. The frequency response is also fairly high — 60Hz to 20kHz. With both digital as well as analog inputs, you get a lot of freedom in choosing how you want to control your speakers.
The Bluetooth integration is a welcome addition, especially in the time of the smartphone.
- It is equipped with both a tweeter and a mid-range driver to enhance your listening experience each time.
- This is an active speaker with 6ohm impedance and an impressive frequency range.
- This is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, which means you can control the sound from your smart devices.
- Additionally, it comes with a separate remote controller for more flexibility and convenience in control.
- This doesn’t have the newest Bluetooth version, which may be a put off for some of the audio geeks out there.
- If you are looking for a large-ish speaker, this may not be the best idea as it can be fairly small in size.
4. Cerwin-Vega SL-5M 5 ¼-inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Review
- 2-way system design
- Efficient 5 1/4" driver for clarity and punch
- 1" soft dome tweeter for crisp highs
With over 50 years of experience in the industry, Cerwin-Vega products have been designed to give you the best experience regardless of the purpose for which you are using the speakers.
Unbelievably light and available at a great price, the SL-5M bookshelf speakers are two-way system design speakers that come with an interesting red and black body along with a removable grille.
The speakers come with a 5¼ inch low-end driver so that you can be assured of great clarity and a powerful punch each time. A soft dome tweeter works with this to give you crisp high notes that can elevate your overall listening experience. In addition to this, the bass reflex cabinet helps in enhancing the low notes.
To get the best performance out of these bookshelf speakers, it is recommended that you invest in an amplifier with power between 30 watts and 60 watts.
- If you are looking for a set of bookshelf speakers that don’t take up too much space and give you great performance in a compact size, this is a good option.
- Weighing just 6.6 pounds, the speakers are very light and portable.
- The cabinet is designed to give you extended lows that are supplemented with crisp high notes.
- The speakers offer 8-ohm impedance and an 85dB peak sensitivity for a great overall performance.
- If you are into orchestra music, you may not find the performance of these speakers to be up your alley.
- You might need to invest in an amplifier to get the best performance out of this product.
5. Polk Audio Signature Series S10 Bookshelf Speakers Review
- HI-RES BOOKSHELF that deliver BIG, RELIABLE SURROUND SOUND — Featuring Dynamic Balance acoustic array, these full-range passive speakers have a 4" driver and a 1" Terylene tweeter dome that produces...
While Polk Audio has been a name synonymous with good sound quality, the company has outdone itself with the Signature series that aims to get the big sound value to your living room without burning a huge hole in your pocket.
This is a highly versatile speaker that can be used as a satellite speaker, surround speaker or a rear speaker, depending on what home theater configuration you find most convenient.
The S10’s are not just very light in terms of weight — at just about 6 pounds — they are also very compact in terms of dimensions — 6.1 inches x 5.4 inches x 8.4 inches.
The speakers come with a high-resolution terylene tweeter and low distortion polypropylene cones for clear bass. They also have one of the largest frequency response ranges on this list and come with the option of wall mounting if you don’t want them lying around on tables and shelves.
- These are very light and compact, weighing just about 6 pounds, which makes them very convenient to place around the house and use.
- They comes with screws that can be used to mount it on walls, increasing the versatility of use.
- The bass that is delivered by the product is very clean and clear with crisp high notes for a better listening experience.
- This Polk Audio speaker offers three different functions — satellite, rear or surround speaker — for all your different requirements.
- The sound quality can seem a little synthetic when you are listening to acoustic tones.
- You cannot expect the same level of sound that some of the more expensive speakers offer.
6. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers Review
- BLUETOOTH CONNECTION - Pair your phone, tablet or computer for a true hassle free wireless experience, perfect for any iOS, Android, MacOS or Windows device.
- 2 x AUX INPUT - Convenient connection to any device that has a 3.5mm headphone output or dual RCA output. Connect to two devices via AUX at the same time, no plugging and switching needed.
Another set of speakers by Edifier to make it to the list because of their superior performance within the said budget are the Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth bookshelf speakers.
This product gives you the perfect combination of flexibility in performance and high-quality audio, which works great for all those of you who don’t want to invest in a separate amplifier to work in tandem with the speakers.
A definite plus point of these speakers is the Bluetooth support, which has come about to be an essential part of any good set of speakers.
The company has taken a bold move when it comes to the design of these speakers, as they have tried to combine the classic styles with a fun, wooden touch. The only issue that arises is the strength and clarity of the bass, but that is a common issue with many bookshelf speakers in this price category.
- This is one of the best-looking pairs of bookshelf speakers that have made their way onto this list.
- They are Bluetooth enabled so that you can control their functionality from your smartphones.
- In terms of sound, the Edifier R1700BT’s offer a good balance across the range.
- The product offers a decent wattage with a good frequency range and two AUX inputs.
- The lower end of the spectrum is relatively weaker than what others offer.
- The Bluetooth connection can really act up in some instances, making it seem a little flimsy.
7. Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers Review
- Recommended amplification: 20 100 (watts/ch)
- Equipped with one 5.25 inch dynamic balance bilaminate composite woofer
- Equipped with one 1 inch silk/polymer composite dynamic balance dome tweeters
Another Polk Audio product that has made it to the list is the TSi100. These speakers are not just easy on your pocket, they are also capable of giving you sound quality that can match some of the more expensive speakers in the category.
The bookshelf speakers are very simply designed so that they can blend into any surroundings but the highs and the mids delivered by the speakers are particularly impressive, so much so that it can even make up for the slightly disappointing bass quality.
Many relatively cheaper speakers have issues with delivering a good punch when it comes to bass response, mostly because of the internal construction, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be a good deal.
The main reason why this Polk Audio model has made it to the list is because it offers incredibly superior performance when compared to other speakers in the same range.
- This is one of the most affordable bookshelf speakers in this category, which can help you cut some costs without a major decline in quality.
- The product has a very high-frequency response range so that you don’t have to risk missing out on any tones because of a lack of range.
- They come with dynamic balance composite woofers and dome tweeters.
- The TSi100’s aren’t bulky, which makes them much more convenient to use than some of the other heavier speakers in the same category.
- The bass is overall quite underwhelming, which can be a deal-breaker for those of you who want strong bass. You can work your way around this by ensuring that the speakers are placed against a wall.
- The company hasn’t put too much emphasis on the detailing of the product, which makes it relatively plain.
8. BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers Review
- 6.5" poly graphite woofer
- 0.75" soft dome tweeter
- Video-shielded, 2-way, Venturi-tuned vent bookshelf speakers
While many people don’t even realize how good the BIC America bookshelf speakers are in terms of performance, the DV62si comes with a great set of transducers, in addition to a high-quality cabinet and a good amount of power.
As one of the most affordable options on this list, it is difficult to go wrong with this BIC America product, as it doesn’t give you the issues with the bass that are common for cheaper speakers.
While you may need to do some manual EQing to get the best possible performance out of these speakers — as the high tones maybe a little too bright — the overall performance is quite robust and really packs a punch.
At this price point, it is a fantastic option for those of you who don’t want to spend too much.
- These speakers are not just good to look at; they also give you great performance when it comes to the audio output.
- The build is rock solid, which means you don’t have to worry about any flimsy material being used for your bookshelf speakers.
- They are magnetically shielded to eliminate — or at least reduce significantly — the distortion that can happen if the speakers are placed close to a TV or computer.
- The BIC America speakers have a 90dB sensitivity, which is on the higher side when compared to a lot of other options on this list.
- The overall build of these bookshelf speakers is a little bulky, which means it can be inconvenient to move these around.
- The tweeters can be too bright and you may need to get down to some ‘EQing’ in order to achieve the best possible sound.
9. Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Review
- These 3 way speakers can be added anywhere in your home component sound system front or rear speakers, even as auxiliary speakers for another room
- Each speaker enclosure has 3 drivers: An 8 woofer/ a 4 midrange/ a 0.75 dome tweeter that work together to provide an 45Hz to 23Khz frequency response range
- Magnetically shielded to suit home theater applications
The last option on our lineup is the Yamaha NS-6490, a set of 3-way bookshelf speakers that can work well for people who are not interested in the smaller and more compact options on the list.
Let’s first get that out of the way — weighing close to 30 pounds, these are the largest speakers on this list and may be considered a little too large for your bookshelf! Keeping that aside, these are well-constructed speakers that come equipped with a high-range tweeter, a mid-range tweeter, along with a powerful 8-inch subwoofer.
With a frequency response range between 43 Hz to 23 kHz, this Yamaha product can handle up to 70 watts of continuous power, which makes this one of the more powerful bookshelf speakers.
- This is one of the most affordable options you can turn to if you are looking for a good set of bookshelf speakers.
- They are magnetically shielded to limit any distortions that your speakers may be prone to.
- The Yamaha speakers are constructed to include three different drivers — woofers, tweeters and mid-range drivers.
- They are very stylishly designed and give the aesthetic appeal of one of the more conventional sets of speakers.
- The main drawback of purchasing these speakers is that they can get a little bulky and heavy, especially in comparison to some others on the list.
- The overall build is not very impressive, which takes away from an otherwise decent set of speakers that can help fulfill your home theater needs.
- You may need to invest in an amplifier to get the best possible performance.
10. Polk Monitor XT20 Speakers Review
- COMPACT BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIR - Enjoy lifelike sound from movies, games & music with Polk Monitor XT20 that features a 1" Tweeter & a 6.5" Dynamically Balanced Woofer for rich, clear audio and open,...
- PREMIUM BUILD QUALITY AND MODERN DESIGN - An upgrade to the critically acclaimed Monitor series, the Polk Monitor XT series features latest innovations in affordable, great sounding speakers, and...
- HIGH RESOLUTION SOUND FROM ALL INPUTS - Monitor XT20's 4- & 8-Ohm compatibility delivers Dolby Atmos & DTS:X surround sound from your favorite sources, including online streaming via Apple Music,...
The Polk XT20 speakers are an excellent choice for many reasons. They deliver crystal-clear sound, have a first-class build quality and modern speaker design, and they are Dolby Atmos certified and truly distribute home theater quality sound.
✔ What we like: High quality sound and compact design
❌ What we don’t like: Speakers too large to fit on a bookshelf
👌 Standout Features:
- Attractive modern speakers
- First rate cabinet materials
- Compact speaker design
- Part of Polk Monitor XT speaker series
- Intense bass and powerful sound
I have to admit that I am really a huge fan of the Polk Monitor XT20 speakers for so many different reasons. But if I had to pick my absolute favorite, I’m going to choose the fact that they deliver high resolution sound from every input. I mean if you’re going to buy speakers, they have to deliver on all levels as far as the sound is concerned. And these speakers provide a surround sound quality experience like I’ve never heard before with the exception of being in the movie theater.
I also like the compact design even though I’m going to mention a slight negative about this in the next paragraph. These speakers are small enough that they can fit right next to your TV, you can put them on top of a separate stand, or you can stick them in the corners of your room to create a surround sound atmosphere. But ultimately the speakers are small enough and compact enough that you can put them just about anywhere.
And here’s where things get a little tricky. I said you can put them just about anywhere, but I do not believe they are great fit for the top of a bookshelf. These speakers weigh 12 pounds each which makes them relatively heavy. And they are bulky enough that they really wouldn’t fit that well on a bookshelf in my opinion. If one or more were ever to fall off the shelf, it could seriously hurt someone if it landed on top of them.
All in all, I believe the Polk Monitor XT20 speakers are the perfect fit for anyone looking to experience high quality audio and surround sound quality entertainment from the comfort of their own home. The speaker cabinets are stunning and very sturdy and well built, the bass booms out of these speakers, and they’re very easy to connect using two simple wires and nothing more.
What to Expect from Top Bookshelf Speakers Under $200
Many people are apprehensive about buying cheaper bookshelf speakers, as they feel like they may be compromising on the quality of sound and the construction of the speakers, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
There are many different good quality bookshelf speakers available for purchase right now, which will not just give you great audio that elevates your entire movie watching or music experience, but also look great when you place them on any elevated surface around the room.
Here are some of the things that you can expect from the best bookshelf speakers less than 200:
When it comes to bookshelf speakers, it is recommended that you do not try to place them in rooms that are very large, as they may not be as effective as you’d like in such a setting.
On the other hand, if you are looking to augment the sound of your existing home theater system or simply improve the audio of the music that you are listening to in a small or a medium-sized room, bookshelf speakers — especially the ones that come in the $200-range — can be a great option to consider.
The usual trend is that the speakers you buy for about $100 will be less powerful than the ones you purchase for $200, but power isn’t limitless and when you go beyond this category, you may not notice as large a difference in performance which would be able to justify the jump in prices.
Within the $200 range as well, there may be different ways in which the power is being handled. For example, some of the products on the list may have a more complex element crossover, which may give you a better transition between frequency ranges. Of course, if you move into the sub-$500 and $500-$1000 price range for bookshelf speakers, your options open up even more.
While some of you may feel that $200 is a high price to pay for a pair of bookshelf speakers when there are tons of cheap options available for purchase, the quality of sound in these models is not comparable to the cheaper alternatives.
One of the most common techniques that manufacturers use to mask the issues that a product may have is increasing the amount of bass to an uncomfortable extent. With the $200 options, the emphasis is on the delivery of good trebles and lively mids, so that you aren’t overwhelmed by overbearing bass.
Your bookshelf speakers are not going to be hidden from the view of most people visiting your home, so it is always recommended that you pick a style that sits well with your personal aesthetics. For example, some people prefer that their speakers simply blend into the background wherever they are placed, bringing no attention to themselves.
On the other hand, some prefer to accentuate the overall look of their room with stylishly designed speakers that act like conversation starters themselves. Within the $200 range and the products listed above, you will be able to find something that works for each of you.
While this is becoming less of an issue with the newer models of bookshelf speakers, you need to confirm whether or not an amplifier is required with them.
Most people just look at the wattage and frequency, whereas looking at the impedance can give you a great insight into whether or not you’d need an amplifier. If it stands at up to 4 ohms, you are good to go, but as and when the number doubles, you will need to bring in a suitable amplifier to get the best performance. On this list, you may be able to find options from both categories.
Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 That Work For You!
After going through all the different options you will notice that there is something for everyone in our lineup of the best bookshelf speakers under 200! Choosing the right set of bookshelf speakers for yourself doesn’t involve just picking up any random product and trying it out.
You can look at a number of different factors like the frequency range, wattage, price, aesthetic appeal and so on before zeroing on the option that suits your personal requirements in the best possible manner.
This list is a great place to start when you are confused about what are some of the market leaders when it comes to bookshelf speakers and which ones give you great quality and a bunch of different features within the price range.
From here, you can build upon your knowledge to assess what works for you and what doesn’t!
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Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.