Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 ~ Buying Guide for 2018

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Whether you want to throw a party, watch a movie or just listen to some music from the comfort of your own home, you need a quality system that produces clear sound. Investing in speakers is important business and when you consider the fact that the average set of speakers can cost you hundreds of dollars, it is even more important to make sure that you do not make any rushed decisions when you are shopping.

Before you buy a set of speakers, you need to know that speakers vary a lot in size, performance levels, quality and overall look and design. Much like any other product, manufacturers are forever trying to convince customers that their speakers are the best. As such, you need to do a lot of research before settling on a model and it is important to ask yourself a few questions before choosing a set. For starters, how big do you want the speakers to be? What devices do you plan to connect your speakers to? What purpose will the speakers be serving? Are they for your personal sound system or do you plan to use them for parties and family/friend gatherings? Once you have an idea of the exact features you are looking for, you can confidently shop for a quality set that will hopefully be good value for your money.

Choosing an appropriate set of speakers means saving a lot of time, hassle and money.

 Features to look out for in a good set of speakers

If you have never purchased speakers before, you might not be sure what to look for in a quality model. Even if you have purchased speakers before, it’s possible that you have some tough luck finding a good set and are looking for some advice on how to improve your decision making. Whether you are a rookie or professional speaker shopper, here are the key features that you absolutely have to consider before buying speakers:

Sound quality

When it comes to the sound quality of your speakers, it is more about personal taste than set standards. What appeals to you might not appeal to the next person and it is hard to pin point one specific model as having the best sound quality ever. As such, you need to take the time to test out speakers before you buy them so that you can decide for yourself if the sound quality lives up to your personal standards. You can try bringing personal CDs or a device like your iPod so that you can play some of your favorite music to get an idea of what it will sound like when you connect a specific set of speakers. It might sound like a time consuming task for some readers but it is worth taking the time to test speakers out if you want to make sure that you don’t regret your purchase when you get home.

Size

As mentioned earlier on, speakers come in different sizes. There are some speakers that are small enough to fit in your handbag while others require serious manpower to transport from one location to another. Knowing the exact size you are looking for will save you plenty of time when you are shopping. In addition to this, it’s important to remember that sizes does not automatically equate to good quality. For people looking to buy a speaker set for their home, a good set of bookshelf speakers should be a good fit.

Connectivity

Despite modern models being quite advanced in technology, not all types of speakers can connect to your devices such as your iPad, phone, PC, television or radio. Some speakers might produce high quality sound when they are connected to your radio and television but might not work so well when they are connected to your computer. If the store will allow you, it would be a great idea to connect your speakers to a few devices like your phone or iPod to see if they work before you pay for them.

Your personal space

Some speakers sound very loud and clear when they are in your personal bedroom but are much quieter when you move them to the living room. It’s also possible for some speakers to be far too loud for your bedroom but just loud enough for a spacious living room. Your décor can also interfere with the quality of sound with things like cushions and carpets potentially absorbing a lot of the speakers’ sound. All of this factors are important to keep in mind when you are buying your speakers.

Guru Review Club’s Top 5: Best bookshelf speakers under $200

We have done plenty of research and after carefully reviewing countless models, we have come up with a list of five to determine the best bookshelf speakers under 200. These five picks are considered to be the best on the market and regardless of which model you choose, you should find it to be well over subpar in terms of overall quality.

Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors - Studio Monitor Speaker - Wooden Enclosure - 42 Watts RMS

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The Edifier bookshelf speakers are a good combination of a retro design and modern technology. As long as you have an RCA or an AUX connection, you can connect these speakers to several of your personal devices including your television and your computer. The speakers come with two AUX inputs that you can use to connect two separate devices at the same time. They offer premium studio quality when it comes to sound and come with a remote control for convenient volume adjustment.

The two separate speakers are connected by a wire and the main, larger speaker comes with controls on its side for treble and bass adjustment. Not only do you get great sound quality when you buy these speakers but you also get a set with a wooden, classic finish that is guaranteed to fit in well with your modern décor. The speakers also come with two separate mesh grills with a silver finish but the final decision to keep the mesh on or off lies with you the customer. When you buy this set, you are guaranteed high reliability, sturdiness and quality thanks to the 2 year warranty that the manufacturers have placed on the product. It is worth noting that the warranty only applies to customers in Canada and the USA and not to those from countries outside those two regions.

Features we love
  • The wooden, retro design that fits in well with modern décor.
  • Dual RCA and AUX connections that allow you to plug in various devices that include cellphones, tablets, computers and so forth.
  • Two AUX inputs for connecting two devices at the same time.
  • Premium studio quality and portable remote control to adjust volume.
  • Treble and bass adjustment located on the main speaker.
  • Stylish mesh grills to cover the front of each speaker.
  • 2 year warranty for customers from Canada and the USA.



10Total Score
Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Modern with a retro touch, the Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers offer quality sound with a classic finish. Not only are they a stylish addition to your home but they are also compatible with several tech devices and even allow you to play music or movies from two separate devices at the same time.

Customer Reviews
10
Sound quality
10
Connectivity
10
Design
10
PROS
  • They have an incredibly stylish design that compliments the interior of your home.
  • They have two AUX inputs for plugging in two devices at the same time.
  • They come with a cool remote control that you can use to control volume.
  • 2 stylish mesh grills for covering the speakers.
  • High quality sound production.
CONS
  • Although the speakers come with an assuring 2 year warranty, it doesn’t apply to customers who live outside Canada and the US.


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Polk Audio Bookshelf Speakers

Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers, Pair, Black

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The Polk Audio speakers were designed with one main objective which is to be versatile. Not only do they work well when they are connected to basic devices such as your computer, they also offer quality sound production to compliment a home theatre system. They are fitted with quality tweeters and drivers which deliver little distortion and wide range of audio response for high quality performance. The two speakers are sonically paired and work very well together, despite each having to perform individual functions inside a well-integrated system.

The speakers have a cool, classic design that fits nicely with your home theater system and can be mounted to your wall using the keyhole lot. For enhanced sound quality, the insides of the speakers are well shielded to ensure that distortion is further reduced and that the audio produced is as clear as possible. If you are looking for a good set of speakers that produce quality sound then this pair might just be the right choice for you.

Features we love

  • Versatile design that supports home theatre and basic tech device audio.
  • Fitted tweeters and drivers for reduced audio distortion and quality response.
  • Sonically paired speaker set that are well-integrated in the sound system.
  • Cool design that looks good and fits in well with your home sound system.
  • Keyhole lot that allows for mounting on your wall.
  • Shielded interior for further reduction in audio distortion.


9.9Total Score
Summary: Polk Audio Bookshelf Speakers

Versatile, stylish and high in performance, this set of speakers is a good choice for people looking to enhance their home theater systems and enjoy the benefits of quality sound production. They can also be mounted to your wall for an added dose of style but regardless of what your preference is when it comes to décor, they still offer good quality audio and performance.

Customer Reviews
9.9
Sound quality
10
Connectivity
9.9
Design
9.8
PROS
  • Keyhole slot that can be used to mount the speakers to the wall.
  • Versatile connectivity that works well with home theater systems, phones, tablets and other tech devices.
  • Enhanced features that ensure quality reduction in audio distortion.
  • Dual speaker set that is sonically paired.
CONS
  • If you plan to use the speakers for bigger sound productions like parties, they are not the best option and don’t offer the exact audio quality that you would be looking for.


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Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf speakers

Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker (Pair)

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Compact but powerful, the Klipsch bookshelf speakers offer quality performance in a small, space conscious package. Do not let their size fool you, these speakers offer high quality performance that rivals many other bigger model speakers. You can use them for a wide variety of functions including surround sound. Despite their relatively small footprint, they produce enough sound to engulf you in your music and movies for hours at a time. They are designed with Tractrix Horn features that produce audio that sounds natural and clean and include an aluminum tweeter for strong sound dynamics.

The LTS tweeter controls the audio distortion while an IMG woofer lowers the frequency of response to further enhance the quality of sound production. When you pair the woofer and tweeter, you get an efficient speaker set that produces high quality sound for your listening pleasure. The speakers also have a rear-firing port that minimizes turbulence by matching to the drivers and cabinet and posts that bind 5 ways to allow for a more flexible connection to your devices.

Features we love

  • Small compact design that makes the speakers easy to carry around and fit into your general sound or theater system.
  • Powerful sound performance that offers features that include surround sound production.
  • Tractrix Horn features for natural and clean sound production.
  • LTS tweeter for reduced audio distortion.
  • IMG woofer for lowered response frequency and enhanced sound quality.
  • Rear-firing port for minimized turbulence.
  • 5-way posts for flexible connectivity.


9.8Total Score
Summary: Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers

Compact but incredibly powerful, this small speaker set is a good purchase if you value quality sound production that doesn’t take up too much space in your home. They are adequately featured and designed to reduce audio distortion and ensure that the sound produced is as clean and natural as possible.

Customer Reviews
9.8
Sound quality
10
Connectivity
9.7
Design
9.7
PROS
  • Sound production is quite powerful and high in quality.
  • Compact design makes the speakers space conscious.
  • Quality features that reduce the level of audio distortion for a clear sound.
  • They have a rear-firing port which reduces turbulence when the speakers are being used.
CONS
  • Despite being loud and quite powerful for their size, they tend to be drowned out by bigger speakers in more spacious rooms.
  • When you purchase the speakers, you are purchasing just the speakers as they don’t come with connection cables, an amp and other key accessories.


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Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers

Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers, Passive, Needs Amplifier or Receiver, Not for Use Directly with Turntable, 4-Inch Carbon Fiber Woofer and Silk Dome Tweeter (Black, Pair)

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Yet another example of powerful sound production in a small package, the Micca B42 Bookshelf Speakers may not take up a lot of space in your house but they still rival some larger models when it comes to producing quality sound. They have a handsome design that incorporates both natural and classic textures to provide a sleek finish that compliments any modern living room, theater or bedroom. They have perfectly balanced woofer that provides voice clarity and sound signature that makes them perfect for everything from home theaters to background sound production.

The quality silk tweeter provides quality imaging and treble while the drivers compliment the woofer to reduce the levels of audio distortion for clearer sound production. The Micca bookshelf speakers are quite versatile and can be connected to a wide range of devices that include your phone, computer, tablet and so much more. Although they produce quality sound, it is advised to steer clear of playing incredibly loud music so as to ensure the longevity of the speakers. The speakers come with an instruction manual which will help you assemble them, along with hex screws to aid with the process.

Features we love

  • Compact design that is space conscious.
  • Cool design that offers a classic finish with a touch of modernity.
  • Balanced woofer for voice clarity and sound signature.
  • Silk tweeter for quality imaging and treble.
  • Enclosed drivers for added audio distortion reduction.
  • Versatile design that accommodates various electronic devices.
  • Hex screws to help with assembling the speakers.


9.7Total Score
Summary: Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers

The Micca bookshelf speakers might be small but that is not to say that they don’t perform as well as other bigger models. They have a stylish design that includes natural as well as classic, modern textures to create the perfect set of speakers for your living room, home theater or bedroom.

Customer Reviews
9.7
Sound quality
9.7
Connectivity
9.5
Design
9.9
PROS
  • Small, compact and stylish design.
  • Quality sound production.
  • Versatile connectivity that accommodates devices such as phones, tablets, computers and iPads.
  • Comes with quality features that reduce sound distortion and ensure that clear and undisturbed audio is produced.
CONS
  • The size can be a disadvantage if you want speakers that produce high levels of volume.


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Edifier R980T Active Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R980T 4" Active Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Computer Speaker - Powered Studio Monitor (Pair)

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The R980T bookshelf speakers are an example of Edifier’s continued commitment to producing quality sound production devices. These speakers offer high performance in a stylish design that is made completely with wood to ensure that acoustic resonance is minimized for better quality sound. The reflex port is flared for maximum bass production and is enclosed in the wooden structure to guarantee rich, quality and detailed audio production.

When you purchase the speakers, you get wires and cables for connection. They also include 2 RCA inputs that allow you to connect two devices at once without having to switch them up. The Edifier speakers are quite versatile and can accommodate devices that include PC, radio, record player and television. You can use the knobs on the main speaker to control the bass and volume. Much like other Edifier speakers, you will receive a 2 year warranty when you purchase the R980T speakers but this warranty only applies to citizens of Canada and USA.

Features we love
  • Compact, stylish design with a complete wooden finish.
  • Flared reflex port for maximum bass production.
  • Wires and cables for connection that are included when you purchase the speakers.
  • 2 RCA inputs for connecting two devices at once without switching.
  • Versatile connectivity that accommodates PC, radio, TV and other electronic devices.
  • Knobs on the main speaker for bass and volume control.
  • 2 year warranty when you purchase the speakers.



9.6Total Score
Summary: Edifier R980T Active Bookshelf Speakers

Sleek, compact and sophisticated, these wooden speakers are simple yet powerful. They are a good fit for anyone looking to enjoy quality sound production without having to navigate tons of complex features that are difficult to understand.

Customer Reviews
9.6
Sound quality
9.4
Connectivity
9.4
Design
10
PROS
  • Stylish wooden design that adds to the richness and quality of the sound produced.
  • Comes with two RCA inputs so that you can connect a maximum of two devices at a time.
  • They connect with a lot of electronic devices and are quite versatile.
  • They are surprisingly good for listen to music using the Echo Dot.
CONS
  • Despite its stylish look, the design of the speakers feels quite cheap and flimsy and the wooden finish fades pretty quickly.
  • Overall, the volume is not enough to accommodate large spaces and so they are only really good for listen to music in small, intimate surroundings.


Conclusion

Finding the best bookshelf speakers under 200 is no easy feat but with plenty of research, patience and time, you can find a good quality set that will enhance your overall listening experience. In general, it is best to ensure that the set you choose not only looks good along with the rest of your décor and electronic devices but also, offers premium sound quality regardless of which room you are in and can accommodate various electronic devices. In addition to this, choosing speakers that require little effort to operate is also quite helpful as is opting for a sturdy design that won’t break down because of high volumes or anything else minor. Once you choose the best speakers to suit your needs, you can go ahead and enjoy your music and movies from the comfort of your home.

10 Total Score
Editor’s Choice

Modern with a retro touch, the Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers offer quality sound with a classic finish. Not only are they a stylish addition to your home but they are also compatible with several tech devices and even allow you to play music or movies from two separate devices at the same time.

Sound quality
10
Connectivity
10
Design
10
PROS
  • They have an incredibly stylish design that compliments the interior of your home.
  • They have two AUX inputs for plugging in two devices at the same time.
  • They come with a cool remote control that you can use to control volume.
  • 2 stylish mesh grills for covering the speakers.
  • High quality sound production.
CONS
  • Although the speakers come with an assuring 2 year warranty, it doesn’t apply to customers who live outside Canada and the US.
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Paul Davis

Paul Davis is the resident expert on Home & Tools for the Guru Review Club. Paul has over 15 years experience working for major retailers including The Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Paul has a passion for great products and always looking for the next best gadget for your home.

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