Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500 with Excellent Sound

Eric Chan

If you're listening to or playing music in a small or medium-sized room, then a bookshelf speaker might be the best option for you. Bookshelf speakers come in a wide range of prices depending on a number of factors, including the brand. Luckily, for people who are on a tight budget, there are some of the best bookshelf speakers Under $500 that have excellent sound quality.

When these speakers are linked to the right receiver, they produce great sounds. Unfortunately, while some options have built-in receivers (active speakers), others have no built-in receiver (passive speakers), and this means you need a receiver to drive them.

However, it can be difficult to determine the best bookshelf speaker with the wide range of options available. To make the search process for you, we have provided a review of the five best bookshelf speakers under $500, their pros and cons, as well as a few factors you need to consider before buying the best bookshelf speaker.

5 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500

1. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (Pair)
  • New tweeter with Wide-dispersion waveguide
  • New Woven Aramid-Fiber woofer. Sensitivity: 87db at 2.83v/1m
  • New cabinets for easier placement.Crossover Frequency: 2200Hz
  • Frequency Response: 44Hz – 35000Hz
  • Nominal Impedance- 6 Ohms. Max Power Input- 120 Watts

The ELAC Debut 2.0 Speakers boasts peak power of 120 watts per speaker and a frequency response that ranges between 44Hz and 35,000Hz. It features a 6.5-inch aramid fiber woofer and a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter.

They are made from MDF, and the cabinets are of great quality and beautiful black brushed vinyl wrap. They are passive with a nominal impedance of eight ohms and have five-way standard binding posts. They give a sufficient punch in lower bass and excellent detail of upper-level bass, which is not overdone to the point that it is distorted.

Moreover, the vocal projection and clarity are outstanding for such an inexpensive and small speaker. These Elac Speakers also produce sweet and crisp highs without falling apart, even with high volumes. They have a weight of 16.3 lbs and measure 10.6 x 7.7 x 14.8 inches. It also comes with a three-year guarantee.


  • Great value for money
  • High performance at all volumes
  • Great audio quality and projection
  • Wide dispersion waveguide
  • Easier placement
  • Crisp highs
  • Three-year warranty
  • Clean tight bass


  • The cabinet design is not the best.

2. Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Speaker System

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers - Near-Field...
  • BLUETOOTH CONNECTION - Pair your phone, tablet or computer for a true hassle free wireless...
  • OPTICAL INPUT - Enjoy lossless digital connection from your TV, TV Box, DVD/blu-ray...
  • 2 X LINE-IN INPUT - Convenient connection to any device that has a 3.5mm headphone output...
  • REMOTE CONTROL - switch input sources, control volume and choose digital sound processing...
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY - Guaranteed high quality and reliability with hassle-free parts and labor...

The Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Speakers features a 5-inch alloy woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. It weighs 22lbs and measures 9.5 inches x 11.25 inches x 7.5 inches. It also includes an optical connection and two RCA. Furthermore, there are two auxiliary inputs plus bass, volume, and treble controls.

These speakers have a frequency response of between 55Hz to 20,000Hz, and the RMS is 60 watts per speaker. They have modern connectivity with wired connections that allow you to easily plug into your electronic device or simply use the wireless Bluetooth alternative.

The Edifier Speakers are active, which means that they won't need a separate receiver. They are made of an MDF with a wood stain finish and come with good quality detachable grills. They also have an un-colored sound, and with their power output, they're best used in a small-sized studio.


  • Great build quality
  • Well balanced and quality sound
  • Modern connectivity
  • Tight bass and quality audio
  • Two-year warranty
  • Hassle-free wireless experience and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Easy and convenient connection to any device


  • When the grills are off, the speaker won't look that good.

3. Pioneer Andrew Jones Home Audio Bookshelf Loudspeakers

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Home Audio Bookshelf Loudspeakers (Set...
  • ANDREW JONES. From speaker designer Andrew Jones comes a collection of speakers that bring...
  • HOME LISTENING. Whether you use them as stereo speakers or part of a multi-channel home...
  • CURVED DESIGN. These speakers utilize a true curved cabinet design. Not only aesthetically...
  • FEEL THE BASS. A structured surface over the 4-inch woofer with oversized magnets improves...
  • TWEETER. To widen the sweet spot of the 1-inch High Efficiency Soft Dome tweeter, we’ve...

Another great bookshelf speaker is the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Home Audio Bookshelf Loudspeakers. It features a 4-inch structured surface woofer and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. The peak power is about 80 watts per speaker, and the frequency response is between 55Hz and 20,000Hz.

These speakers have a crossover frequency of 3,000 Hz and a nominal impedance of six ohms. They feature an MDF wood-stained finish with the great build quality. The complex six-component crossover between bass, trebles, and mids is outstanding and super smooth. This helps it to generate a detailed and well-balanced sound across all frequencies.

The four-inch bass driver is great and will get down to the lower bass notes, although it may not be as good as units with larger speakers. Furthermore, it doesn't have an audible mid-bass hump that would affect and degrade the clarity of the sound. The unit weighs approximately 91lbs and measures 8.45 x 7.13 x 12.55 inches.


  • Good value for money
  • Great clarity at all volumes
  • Complex crossover system
  • A true curved cabinet design
  • Oversized magnets to improve the bass accuracy and rigidity
  • Vented pole piece to improve the bass response


  • The grills don't do much to improve the sound

4. Klipsch R P-500M Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RP-500M Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) (Ebony)
  • 1” titanium lts vented tweeter with hybrid tractrix Horn
  • 5.25" Spun copper cerametallic woofers
  • Bass-reflex via rear-firing tractrix port
  • Premium scratch-resistant finish
  • Strong, flexible removable magnetic grille

The Klipsch RP-500M Speakers has an RMS with 75 watts per speaker and a peak power of 300 watts per speaker. It features a 5.25-inch Cerametalic cone woofer and a 1-inch titanium tweeter with a Hybrid Tractrix Horn. Moreover, at the rear, you will find a bass-reflex tractrix port.

The speakers have a frequency response between 48Hz-25,000Hz and plenty of volumes, making them perfect for far-field listening in bigger rooms. They are well designed and well made with a horn-shaped tweeter cone and copper spun woofers that make them look great.

The Klipsch RP-500M produces a thumping and powerful bass with a little distortion, especially at higher volumes. This is because of the Tractrix horn-shaped port that directs airflow in and out of the speakers to give maximum performance. They weigh 12lbs each and measure 68.11 x 94.88 x 135.04 inches.


  • Five years warranty
  • Powerful output
  • High build quality
  • Lower bass distorted at higher volumes
  • Great sound quality
  • Flexible and removable magnetic grille
  • Scratch-resistant finish


  • The lower and mids are not the best

5. Triangle Borea BR03 HiFi Bookshelf Set of Speakers

triangle Borea BR03 Hi-Fi Bookshelf Speakers (Black Ash, Pair)
  • High-Quality Drivers: A bookshelf design to be placed on a dedicated stand (S02 or S04),...
  • Frequency Response: The vocal range keeps all its intensity and the low frequencies their...
  • Design: This size is especially recommended for dedicated listeners looking for the...
  • Benefits: From the very first notes, the BR03 impresses with its energy, delivery of deep...
  • Ideal Space: The speakers are perfect for rooms ranging from 15 to 30m2

Although the Triangle Borea Hi-Fi Bookshelf Pair of Speakers might be a bit expensive, there is a great option if you don't mind extra for the incredible and detailed sound they give. The speakers feature a 6.5-inch midrange or bass driver and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter to deliver powerful highs.

Every cabinet has two front-firing ports, which may not have any sonic advantages over the single one, but it adds a nice touch to the aesthetic. They have a tonal balance and accuracy similar to ELAC Debut 2.0 but with a superior separation and a bigger sound stage.

They also have a stunning design with the Triangle’s unique cabinet reinforcement system and 20mm MDF panels that provide top-notch construction quality. If you can spend extra to get high-quality and premium speakers, you won't be disappointed by this amazing speaker.


  • Attractive design
  • The front-firing ports provide flexibility
  • Amazing neutrality and clarity
  • Punchy bass
  • Clear mid-range
  • Great sound quality


  • Expensive

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Bookshelf Speaker

1. Wired Vs. Wireless

With wired speakers, you need to connect them to an amp using wires. They are the oldest design, and it may be a hassle to use them because of the wires, but they are known to give the best sound output. On the other hand, wireless speakers have a built-in amp which means once you connect them to a power supply, they are good to go.

Wireless speakers are considered more convenient because the hassle of dealing with wires is eliminated. However, some bookshelf speakers may not have a wireless connection. For a basic system, a wired speaker will also work great.

2. Amplifier

While most speakers in our guide are passive, there are others that are active. Passive speakers mean that you need to pair them using the appropriate amplifier. To determine if the amp is matching to a speaker, you need to check the wattage.

For example, has a wattage range of 30-120 watts, then it is important to find an amplifier with a similar wattage range. Matching the impedance will also come in handy, but it is not necessary. As long as you can match the power output, then you'll be good to go.

3. Stands and Placement

A bookshelf speaker needs to be elevations, although some manufacturers might have strict measures on where and how to place the speakers. However, some people might not have the technical knowledge on the placement and angles technicalities.

Some speakers will have stands that come at an extra cost. Most people will want just to place the speakers then switch them on. Luckily, there are some manufacturers who have acknowledged that and made speakers that you can place on a coffee table, actual bookshelf, or an elevated place and still have decent sound quality.

However, you need to consider the size of the best bookshelf speakers under $500 because when it is too large, it might be unable to fit on your shelves or table. It is crucial to also provide them with a space that is away from the wall, especially when using it with a rear port.

4. Power and Frequency Response

Although it is important to choose models that are more fitting to a specific room, you can also choose a speaker based on its power ratings and frequency range.

5. Purpose

The purpose of the speaker will determine the specs and features you need to find. For example, if you're in search of a speaker that would light up your home with music, then choosing a full-range speaker is recommended. On the other hand, if you're in search of a speaker to watch a movie with, then one with great bass sounds will come in handy.

6. Sound Quality

With their small size, these speakers can have a limited number of drivers(circular speakers on the front) that actually create sound. Most of the speakers have not more than two, where one is for higher frequencies, and the other one is an all-range driver that handles the bass and mids.

Generally, the sound quality of these speakers is high, but you need to find one that is exceptionally high, with little to no distortion. Although some speakers may not have an excellent, they are a great option for people who are on a budget.

7. Durability

The durability of the speakers is quite important because you don't want to spend a lot of money buying every other month. It is recommended to choose a speaker with a great feel and solid build quality, which in turn delivers a great sound. Ensure that the speaker doesn't come scratched or with dents. A good speaker should be able to stand firmly on the ground without any shakes or wobbles.

8. Design and Size

It is important to think about the design to be able to determine whether it will be able to fit in your preferred space. While most of these speakers are compact, there are still ones that are larger than usual. However, if you have a large or spacious area, choosing a small-sized speaker may not be enough.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Bookshelf Speakers

1. Which is the best speaker under $500?

The best speaker under 500 is the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers. It boasts a peak power of 120 watts per speaker and a frequency response that ranges between 44Hz and 35,000Hz. Moreover, features a 6.5-inch aramid fiber woofer and a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, with great build quality.

The complex six-component crossover between bass, trebles, and mids is outstanding and super smooth. This helps it to generate a detailed and well-balanced sound across all frequencies.

2. Are bookshelf speakers good?

Bookshelf speakers are a great way to transform an ordinary sound into a home theatre and multimedia experience. They are intended to be placed on a raised surface, and the place that the speaker is set can affect the type of sound produced.

3. Will I need an external amplifier for my speakers?

There are two types of speakers that include active and passive speakers. Passive speakers will need an external amp, while active powered speakers have an inbuilt amp and are designed to be directly placed to the mains. 

Leave a Comment