For those looking for mid-range bookshelf speakers, the best bookshelf speakers under 500 can get you hi-fi sound and excellent build quality. However, there are options out there that are actually low end but have a high price tag due to the brand name.
To help you find products that are worth your time and money, our experts chose the following options for a bookshelf speaker under 500.
Reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 500
1. Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
One of the features our team appreciates the most about the Edifier R2000DB Bookshelf Speakers is the Bluetooth connection, which makes it the best powered bookshelf speaker on our list.
Not only is the price point affordable, but the well-balanced sound that projects from elegant design will enhance your overall audio experience. The R2000DB has silk dome tweeters that are “eagle eye”, which improves the precision of the highs, mids and lows.
The speakers also come with everything you need including a remote that gives you the ability to adjust the bass, treble and volume levels. Aside from that, you can easily put the bookshelf speakers into pairing mode.
2. AudioEngine A5 Plus Powered Speaker
Although the AudioEngine A5 Plus Bookshelf Speakers are small enough to be computer speakers, they bring high quality audio that eliminates the need for a subwoofer.
These bookshelf speakers are the perfect example of how good things come in small packages. They are powered speakers, which means there is no need for an amplifier. The small speakers have full-sized binding posts and improved thermal control.
The main speaker has a volume control knob and all the relevant connections on the back. For easy integration, the bookshelf speakers come with everything you need included inside the box.
3. Klipsch RP-500M Bookshelf Speakers
It’s difficult to have a best speaker list without Klipsch making an appearance. The Klipsch RP-500M Bookshelf Speakers is our choice for best bookshelf speakers from the brand.
This pair of bookshelf speakers come in a beautiful ebony finish that will blend in easily with your interiors. You can also choose the walnut finish if you have warmer aesthetics.
As for the sound, the RP-500M features Klipsch’s proprietary TracTrix Horn Technology, to deliver high performance and undistorted sound at any volume level. The titanium tweeter paired with the cerametallic copper spun woofers will hit every note with accuracy.
4. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers
The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speaker pair has a minimalistic appearance, but there is nothing minimalistic about the build quality or sound. It’s also one of the best budget options on our list as it comes in a pair at a lower price.
The audio performance of your home system is enhanced by the tweeter that features a wide dispersion waveguide for more precision and clear highs. The woven aramid fiber woofer will bring you heavy bass and deliver a dynamic balance between the low frequency and the highs.
The internal wooden bracing will reduce resonance and vibrations to allow the bookshelf speaker to function more efficiently.
5. Polk Audio S20 Signature Series Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio S20 Signature Series Bookshelf Speakers always delivers reliable products to your consumers, and the S20 from the Signature Series is no exception. These bookshelf speakers have a sturdy build quality that is high gloss and has rounded corners.
Polk’s Dynamic Balance driver array can be found in the S20, which can bring the movie theater experience home with you. You can also find Polk Audio’s patented Power Port Technology, which is used to elevate the bass response for high performance.
These speakers are highly versatile and can be used as your mains speakers or rear satellite speakers and they feature the connections to support your choice.
6. Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers
Edifier takes another spot on our list with their Edifier S2000MKIII bookshelf speakers. This set of speakers are built with high quality components that come together for incredible sound. Like the other Edifier bookshelf speakers, this pair also features Bluetooth connection.
The Bluetooth connection isn’t just any Bluetooth, but Bluetooth 5.0 complete with aptX HD decoding abilities that make it more efficient with less latency.
You will be able to control everything with a wireless remote and this set of speakers even features an OLED LCD screen to display your desired settings.
7. KEF Q150B Q150 Bookshelf Speakers
We arrive at our last speaker, the KEF Q150B Q150 Bookshelf Speakers. Our team loves the very understated design and the choice of three different finishes. KEF’s Q series speakers are award winning, and the Q150B is one of the newest additions to the line.
They feature the UNI-Q driver array that is essential to providing the best and most balanced bass and high frequency relays. The entire design and layout of these speakers has been revamped to improve the performance.
You have a choice between the sleek matte black finish, a pure white one and a luxurious walnut that would exceed our price limit.
Bookshelf Speakers Under 500 Buyer’s Guide
How do you make sure you will satisfy all your audio cravings the first time around? It’s more than ensuring your speakers have nominal impedance and high power handling. Every component and even the structure of your speakers will influence the sound. Our team will now suggest the most important points to look for when buying the best bookshelf speaker under 500.
Design and Size
As always, our team did their best to include bookshelf speakers of all sizes so people with different needs can find the best match. The size of your speaker will depend on its placement and location. Will you use the speakers as satellite speakers, the main speakers in your setup or as computer speakers?
If you want satellite speakers that are highly versatile and can match your desktop PC, then the AudioEngine A5 is a great choice. If space is not a limitation for you, then you can pick from any of the options we have suggested above.
You also want to appreciate the aesthetics of the speakers and hopefully they will elevate your living room appearance. To do this, you have to pick the right finish. There are plenty of black designs from matte to black ash. There are also luxurious walnut and cherry wood finishes or just plain white. Find one you like and match your other devices.
Other bonus features you may find in some designs are an LCD screen, and easy controls. The Edifier S2000MKIII is an example of audio speakers that include a display screen. Many of the options above also have a control panel or control knob that allows you to customize the treble and bass as well as the master volume.
Another consideration when it comes to the design of the bookshelf speakers is if they are 2-way or 3-way speakers, which we’ll get into in the next category.
Whether your audio speakers are two or three-way will greatly affect the precision and your listening experience. Two-way speakers feature a tweeter and a woofer. In general, they lack the precision of a three-way speaker, which also features a mid-range driver.
As you can see, having a dedicated driver for each section of the audio spectrum will improve performance, which is why 3-way bookshelf speakers will surpass 2-way options in terms of audio quality.
In a two-way speaker, the tweeter and the woofer will need to work together to produce the mids. As you can imagine, this will result in a less balanced sound. Our experts remind you that the build quality is just as important as are the materials used.
A poorly built three-way speaker will not compare to a 2-way one with an aluminum dome tweeter and copper woofer.
Another aspect that will affect your sound quality is the technology used. For example, Klipsch always features their TracTrix Horn Technology, Polk Audio has Power Port Technology and their Dynamic Balance Driver Array, while KEF has their UNI-Q Driver Array.
Speakers may also feature specific sound modes optimized for certain content. For example, a system that has movie mode will enhance the explosions and dialogue spoken on screen. Other common audio modes you will find include music, news, night, and game modes.
There are options that give you the chance to tailor your experience to your liking with adjustable EQ levels. You can find the controls for the treble and bass on either the speaker itself or the remote.
Then you have the frequency response, which dictates the sound spectrum the speakers will be able to deliver. Since these aren’t subwoofers, you want the frequency response to be as high and low as possible to get the most hi-fi sound out of your speakers.
If you are able to find speakers that also feature Dolby  or DTS technology, along with a sturdy build, high quality materials and brand-specific audio enhancements, then those are the speakers you should choose.
Since we were talking about the structure and build of speakers, that brings us to the next point on our list. The enclosure of the bookshelf speakers should be sturdy, and optimized to reduce resonance and vibrations for more accurate sound.
Crossovers can be found in speakers and sometimes receivers and amplifiers. The crossover is responsible for dividing audio signals into the higher and lower categories. They are what filters the right signal strength frequencies to the right drivers. In other words, they make sure the low signals go to the woofers and the highs go to the tweeters.
Active and Passive Bookshelf Speakers
Other than being two or three-way, bookshelf speakers are also divided into active and passive categories. In short, the difference between the two is just the presence of a receiver or amplifier built-in.
Active speakers like JBL LSR308 vs Yamaha HS8, or sometimes referred to as powered speakers, are the ones that have an amp. This greatly decreases the amount of trouble you have to go through to find an amp or receiver with a compatible power rating. However, it’s important to note that these speakers are usually heavier and sometimes even larger than their passive counterparts.
Another con active speakers bring to your home setup is the inability to be upgraded or customized. Even if you manage to isolate the components, the upgrade will take a lot more effort. Active speakers are suited for everyday listeners and ones that don’t intend on building their own system from the ground up or upgrading their setup.
Passive speakers do not feature their own amp or receiver, but if you already have one for your initial setup, then all you have to do is to make sure the power rating is compatible.
Passive speakers do take more time to integrate into your system compared to powered bookshelf speakers, but they are the ones that give you the chance to upgrade and mix and match different devices to create your very own system. If that sounds like you, then passive speakers are the better choice.
The type of connections the speakers offer will determine if it can fit into your setup. You can almost always find RCA and 3.5mm jacks. You may be able to find optical connections in some but only auxiliary or coaxial in others.
Our experts suggest looking for ones that feature Bluetooth, like the bookshelf speakers from Edifier. However, if you are someone who intends to set up your speakers and leave them in the same spot permanently, then Bluetooth won’t offer you as many advantages as for someone who wants a portable setup.
Bluetooth also provides a clean setup option without wires running all over the place. This is very important for those who have a lot of equipment in the living room.
Setup and Installation
Ideally, the bookshelf speaker should come with everything you need in the box. This will help speed along the installation and setup process. It just takes plugging in the cables into the correct ports and inputting the settings to get things started.
Another very helpful item to look for in the box is a remote control. Even if your speakers have a control panel or knob on the main speaker, having a remote will allow you to input the settings without ever leaving your seat.
Price and Warranty
For the under 500 price range, our experts endeavored to narrow down the bookshelf speakers that can deliver hi-fi audio and a wide frequency response range. The higher quality the audio from the speakers is, the more expensive you can expect it to be. The best ones are hi-fi that offer a wide range of connections and have special audio technology that look good in your home.
Be prepared to spend closer to the 500 mark to get better products, but our team has also provided many lower priced options that are just as good in quality.
Also, look for a warranty that covers you for at least a year. Remember to look through the agreement closely to understand what’s covered and for how long.
Our Top Pick For a Bookshelf Speaker Under 500: Edifier R2000DB
The Edifier R2000DB takes the crown for the best bookshelf speaker under 500. They come in two different finishes and provides Bluetooth connection. The bookshelf speakers provide both auxiliary and digital connections so the speakers can process digital content without latency or loss.
Aside from the breathtaking design and sound, this also comes with a 2-year warranty for defective parts.