Although there is a common widespread misleading belief that good speakers can only come at a high-end luxury price I am going to refute it for good. In addition to that, I am going to show you some great best bookshelf speakers under 500 options. However, if you are still doubting about the budget you’d like to spend, welcome to our general best bookshelf speakers review.
The brands represented in the review have budget models to compete with high-end speakers. Whether you have your own venue or just need good house speakers I’ve got you covered. So prepare for an eargasm and keep on reading.
First of all, you have to decide whether you want your speakers to be powered or passive. The difference is in the features and the construction. Both speakers should be connected to the power source or have a battery. They also require a line-level signal feed.
When using passive speakers you have to connect them to an audio amplifier or mixer. Moreover, you need to have additional amplifier speaker cables for the connection. So passive bookshelf speakers under 500 are a good option if you have the additional equipment to run them. I suggest to use them only if you have the skills and knowledge to connect the receiver and the speakers properly.
Another choice is powered bookshelf speakers under 500. The installation is much easier and faster because they do not require a mixer or an amplifier because they have it built in. That is a single major difference you should remember.
No matter if you’re looking for active or passive options I have some best bookshelf speakers under 500 reviews for you to make your choice easier. You have a variety of brands and features to keep your options open and find the most suitable product.
Best bookshelf speakers under 500 reviews: find the perfect one
Powered Bookshelf Speakers Review
Edifier S1000DB – Some Serious Style
I really liked that these active speakers come with a full two-year warranty. Coaxial, optical and AUX inputs are available making these speakers applicable for most devices. The back console has tuners for the volume, tuner, and bass, very convenient.
A 5.5-inch subwoofer together with a Digital Stereo Processing technology delivers up to 120 watts sound. The manufacturer advertises these speakers as a universal solution for gaming consoles, PCs, and TVs. 19-inch cable comes in a package.
The aptX audio codec compresses audio signal without any quality loss. It works in combination with Bluetooth allowing you to listen to music without any gaps in the stream. There no breakups according to my test.
- Wooden panels look very stylish. They will look really cool in your living room or office.
- Bluetooth is available. The option allows you to play music from your phone.
- Speakers come with a very convenient remote.
- It is quite bulky, 7.9×13.3×11.5in and 18 pounds in weight.
- Reports on fast dying remote batteries are very common.
DALI Zensor 1: Small But Mighty
This one has gotten numerous outlet and tech media awards. Dali Zencor 1 is super cool and sleek for the $350 price. The sound is just amazing to listen to thanks to the soft dome tweet with a vented voice coil.
The rounded edges on the panels are meant to minimize the distortion. The 5.25-inch subwoofer has 4 layer voice coils. But enough of the technical details I do not want to bore you. What you get is a great sound from two small active speakers.
The glossy black front and the matte black side and back panels are very stylish and their minimalistic style will be appropriate in any room for any occasion. Definitely, one of the best bookshelf speakers under $500 for me although missing on some basics like Bluetooth.
- The sound is amazing with many cool technologies you’ll love.
- Super affordable especially for the perks included.
- Very lightweight only about 10 pounds.
- No remote, which might be inconvenient.
- No Bluetooth although a powered unit should have one I believe.
- The tweeter covers are super soft and can get easily damaged during the transportation etc.
Kanto YU6: Totally Versatile
You’re going to love the 200W class D amplifier in these active speakers. YU6 also boasts of 1-inch silk tweeters and 5.25-inch drivers. However, this is still pretty modest comparing to the competitor models.
Everything is foreseen, you have Subwoofer output, optical inputs and even a USB charger input so you can charge your phone while streaming music with the Bluetooth. Qualcomm aptX technology shrinks the audio streaming file without changing the quality. So you know there will be no skipping beats.
- The remote control is available. You get to control the input, tone, balance, and volume.
- Different color MDF panels allow you to pick your favorite color or the one that would fit your room the best.
- The warranty is short, check the options from the seller of your choice.
Edifier S2000pro – An Eye Candy
These powered speakers are a real wet dream of every audiophile, for around $340 you get to enjoy flat diaphragm tweeters as well as 5.5-inch subwoofers. The subwoofers are made with aluminum for a better crisper sound.
16-foot cable connector comes in the package as well as a remote. RCA, XLR inputs together with an optical or coaxial connection. Play around with 4 Equalizer settings: Vocal, Classic, Dynamic, and Motion.
Get this one if you want to wow your friends, neighbors, and family as the unit is very advanced. Of course, not everyone needs all the available options and buttons though.
- The two-year complete warranty which is rare among competitors.
- A remote included. Besides volume and sound buttons you can also pick an input etc.
- Bluetooth option available together with an aptX decoder. This takes wireless streaming quality to the next level so you know there will be no distortions in the sound.
- The wood grain is actually screen printed thus not real.
- It is non-returnable so even if the unit comes damaged you will have to ask for the warranty service.
Passive Bookshelf Speakers Review
ELAC Uni-fi UB5: All About The Innovations
Elac boasts of an innovative 3-way design. High, mid and low frequencies are controlled by three separate drivers. This way manufacturers have managed to create different drivers each tailored to its frequency.
The aluminum subwoofer is combined with an extended magnet. This makes it produce a cleaner and crisper deep bass frequency. 1-inch soft dome tweeter with an aluminum cone allow more natural and undistorted sound.
Although all the goodness comes at a price as these speakers are really power consuming. They probably gonna work amazing with your turntable, mixer or amplifier. If you are ok with using passive acoustics this one might be the bookshelf speaker under 500 for you as well.
- The sound is really astonishing and the quality is indeed on the next level.
- Very easy to set up and to use even though there are lots of features.
- A sturdy and durable black matte metal finish.
- No Bluetooth, it is a passive speaker after all.
- It is really heavy. Way more heavy than similar offers from other brands.
- You have to be very particular with spacing if you want to achieve the best sound quality.
Klipsch RB-51 II: From The Market Leader
Klipsch RB-51 II is boasting of a new Klipsch Horn technology that promises to deliver a more realistic stage-like sound. Another thing that I like about this brand is that Klipsch delivers a natural sound, they never try to add any artificial frequencies or effects.
1-inch titanium linear twitter allows for the fewer distortions. Klipsch claims it to have the cleanest sound among all competitor models. I would say the sound is really good, but there is not a single one best choice among the best bookshelf speakers under 500.
- Very affordable, only about $220 which is cheaper than most other units in my list.
- Energy efficient consuming 75W and 300W for peak operation.
- The sound is really amazing, the product has amazing value.
- Some customers do note sound distortions at both low and high volumes.
- I wish it had more bass. If you love a powerful woofer these speakers are not for you.
- No Bluetooth as well, it is not an active speaker.