Bookshelf speakers are a favorite option for many turntable fans and listeners for confined, smaller speakers with all the bells and whistles of their floor standing counterparts. It can be difficult to find a pair that will not break the bank, but luckily for you, this article is going to break down the best way to go about finding new bookshelf speakers under $200.
A few things to keep in mind for each pair is the following:
- Ease of Connectivity
- Bluetooth Capability
Below, please take a moment to use the interactive guide to compare some of the best budget bookshelf speakers on the market against one another:
|JBL L52||Passive Speakers with Retro Design|
|Audioengine HD3||aptX Bluetooth connectivity|
|Edifier R1280DB||Powered Bookshelf Speakers w/Bluetooth|
|Edifier R1700BT||Bluetooth Powered Speakers|
|Kanto YU2||Built-in USB DAC|
|Kanto YU4||Integrated Bluetooth w/aptX Technology|
|Pioneer DM-40||Dual Inputs - RCA + AUX minijack|
|Dali Oberon 3||Optimized 7" Wood Fibre Cone Woofer|
|Elac Debut Reference||2-Way Bass Reflex Reference Speakers|
Caution: Bookshelf Speakers for This Price Are Tricky
Bookshelf speakers are a great way to get high quality audio for your turntable while keeping the space your turntable setup takes up to a minimum. Unfortunately, if you are on a budget, it can be hard to find bookshelf speakers that live up to their cost, no matter how cheap they may be. More than floor standing speakers, bookshelf speakers can be cheaply made and thrown together for a low price, but at a low quality as well.
There are a number of things that can go wrong with a bookshelf speaker. For one, the audio volume can be quite low on some poorly made speakers. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice volume with a pair of bookshelf speakers. Can you use them to power a concert hall? Maybe not. But you shouldn’t struggle to get to a reasonable volume to fill up a bedroom or office while worrying that the cabinet might explode from its vibrations.
Another issue to look out for is the fact that some bookshelf speakers can look good on the outside, but have terrible woofers and tweeters inside of them. Maybe the woofer, the part of the speaker that handles deep, low pitches, sounds good, but when you get up higher in octaves or pitches, they get lost, or worse, expanded into a treble-y mess. Vice versa, your highs might be fine, but down low, bass crackles and low pitches get lost in the mix.
These issues are common in some cheap, inexpensive bookshelf speakers. Luckily, the speakers on this list don’t have those issues, so use this list to find a great pair of speakers under $200.
The Best Turntable Speakers Under $200
Let’s begin with the Polk T15 speakers.
The DNA from Polk’s instant-classic Monitor Series loudspeakers are re-imagined for today’s audio lover in the Polk T15s. With one 0.75” silk dome tweeter, a 5.25” composite driver, and a performance tuned front-firing bass port, all engineered with Polk’s proprietary Dynamic Balance technology, sonic visions of brighter highs, a wide-open mid-range and surprising bass response are now a reality. The acoustically-inert, furniture-grade MDF cabinet construction also reduces resonance and distortion, so you get rich, detailed audio the way it’s meant to be heard, minus the muffled noise and rattled disruption inherent in low-quality, lesser-than audio equipment.
Designed to produce a wide dispersion sound, setting up your Polk T15 bookshelf speakers is super straightforward and easy no matter where you place them. You can even use them as front or rear speakers in your home audio setup, too. Their 5-way binding posts provide an array of secure wire-hookup options. Plus, they’re designed to work with all and every turntable you may already own or be on the market to purchase. Whether you’re settled in for some easy listening or you’ve got the music turned up, the T15 is performance tuned to enhance the experience no matter what mood you are in. That kind of dynamic listening is hard to come by, and mastered by the Polk T15s.
Cambridge Audio’s SX-60 bookshelf speaker offers impressive hi-fi performance at a highly affordable price. Superb sound quality makes these compact speakers ideal where space is an issue, particularly in smaller rooms. They also excel when used as satellite speakers in a serious surround system.
The SX-60 is designed from the ground up by Cambridge Audio’s engineers in London. It has a custom-designed 5″ driver, silk dome tweeter, and full range ported bass reflex design. Other components were hand picked by the engineering team and the final design was painstakingly voiced to provide the best possible sound quality.
Following Cambridge Audio’s “Sound First” design principles, the SX-60 is designed to sound truly superb at an unbeatable price. Cambridge Audio puts the money where it counts, and you’ll be able to hear the results!
A custom-designed bass driver with treated paper cone offers a smooth and even frequency response. Powerful and efficient woofer magnets deliver deep bass without putting stress on your amp. The silk dome tweeter combines a soft, smooth sound with high levels of detail. A dedicated foam damper behind the tweeter reduces reflections and increases soundstage depth for a truly spacious, room-filling experience where you can pick out every instrument. Precisely optimized crossovers give the smoothest and most linear response.
The SX-60’s rigid MDF cabinet has been modeled using CAD so that the speaker dimensions minimize standing waves, for a more precise bass response. Finished in black or dark walnut, the SX-60 is supplied with an attractive grille and power to rival any bookshelf speakers under $200.
Offering a whole new level of auditory freedom, the Fluance Ai40B Powered Bookshelf Speakers deliver rich, room-filling stereo sound. Designed for Serious Performance, these 2.0 active speakers pack a powerful punch.With an integrated 70W Class D amplifier, these active speakers deliver room-filling stereo sound that elevates your musical experience. The 1-inch silk dome tweeters and 5-inch high performance woven drivers produce crisp highs, balanced mids, and powerful deep bass, with stunning acoustic accuracy. Enjoy the elegance of a jazz performance or experience the raw power of a live rock concert, the Ai40B envelops you in detailed, crisp, and natural sound no matter what the genre.
Easily connect directly to your favorite audio source through RCA/Aux or Bluetooth aptX without the need for a separate amplifier or receiver, meaning these can function for more than just your turntable.The beautifully-crafted wood cabinet not only looks stunning, it is acoustically tuned to deliver precise, warm, and distortion-free sound that will transport you to your own personal nirvana. From the look to the sound of these speakers, the pricetag is the only thing nearly as great as the quality you get from the Fluance Ai40B Powered Two-Way 5″ 2.0 Bookshelf Speakers.
They’re tiny, but there’s plenty about them to like. Engineered to deliver conversation-starting bang-for-the-buck Dayton Audio’s B652 2-way bookshelf speakers are perfect for offices, dorm rooms, apartments, or any other living area. Measuring under 12′ tall, these small but mighty speakers will never overwhelm the decor in any room. The B652’s 2-way design features a 6-1/2′ polypropylene cone woofer and a 5/8′ polycarbonate ferrofluid-cooled dome tweeter to reproduce audio accurately from 70 to 20,000 Hz.
The B652’s solid, punchy low frequency performance is incredible for the price, and these speakers allow you to enjoy a sonic experience that rivals many high priced speaker systems. Installation features include quick-connect speaker terminals and keyhole hanger, and removable grill. With the Dayton Audio B652 6-1/2″ 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker, you can enjoy a lifetime of audio pleasure for the cost of a few dinners out. These compact, powerful speakers make a great addition to any living space and leave you with more than enough cash in your pocket for new records.
The R1280T powered bookshelf speakers has combined a retro look with a modern sense of audio quality. If you’re looking for affordable and versatile bookshelf speakers with uncompromising sound the R1280T bookshelf speakers is your go-to 2.0 speaker system. Featuring a 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port, this bookshelf speaker system delivers robust, rich bass notes that are full of presence and depth. The faithful sound production and performance of the R1280T are any audiophiles dream.
The R1280Ts allow you to customize your listening experience with the bass, treble and volume dials on the active bookshelf speaker. The quality sound produced from these bookshelf speakers deliver a precise booming midrange that tantalizes any reviewer. A compact sized handy remote control is included. You can adjust the volume and set the speakers to mute when needed without having to reach the speakers; power and perfection at your fingertips. The Edifier R1280T comes with built-in tone control at the side of the active speaker. Depending on the preference, you can make micro adjustments of treble and bass from -6 to +6 db. Digital volume control is automatically set to a comfortable level everytime the speakers are powered on.
The R1280T powered bookshelf speakers lets you connect to multiple audio devices using the dual RCA inputs. By looking at the back panel you can easily tell one of these is a passive speaker and one is an active speaker. The active speaker has two inputs located on the back, and the variety of cables included ensures our customer enjoy their music from most devices right out of the box. Check these out if you don’t mind spending the full $100. For the full cost, you get everything you could ever need from a bookshelf speaker.
Get power and versatility in a small package. The R-41M monitor speaker packs a mean punch even for its tiny size. It performs beautifully as a main audio source for turntables and doesn’t take up much space so that you can own the room without taking up too much of it. The R-41M features our proprietary 90×90 Tractrix Horn technology mated with an aluminum tweeter, for the most impressive high-end response and greater extension, enhanced imaging and powerful dynamics.
This creates the cleanest, most natural sound possible.
The Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeter minimizes distortion for enhanced, detailed performance while the copper-spun Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) woofer provides remarkable low frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. Pair together, it provides speaker efficiency highest in its class. The R-41M features a rear-firing port that is perfectly matched to the cabinet and drivers. This design is precisely flared to minimize turbulence even at the lowest frequencies. 5-way binding posts provide the maximum connection flexibility. Finished in a brushed black polymer veneer, the R-41M lets you hear what you’ve been missing. For any vinylhead, these speakers would be more than capable of providing an experience that blows its price tag out of the water.
For a new pair of bookshelf speakers under $200, this list provides you with a guide to some of the best on the market. Each is an option you can consider to be more than enough power and quality for any vinyl setup, whether it be in a bedroom, office, or small room in your home. There are not many cheaper bookshelf speakers that can surpass their price tag, but theses are options you should consider when you start looking for a pair of new speakers for your home or office. Happy spinning!
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