Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 500

Introduction

Only a few lucky city dwellers can have the luxury of spacious lounges in their house. Some people even have to save on every inch on shelves and desks to place their speakers or think of mounting them on walls for a surrounding sound system.

That’s when bookshelf speakers come across their mind due to the amazing suitability and versatility. For people who are in the hunt for some products at an economical pricing from this convenient bracket, reading the list of best bookshelf speakers under 500 below will be very rewarding.

What to Consider When Choosing Bookshelf Speakers in the 500-Sub Range

Within a budget that isn’t too tight, there is a variety of well-qualified speakers worth being taken in consideration. The stated good quality is accounted in many standpoints, namely the sound performance, design, price, connectivity and some kinds of personal taste.

Unlike the catalog of bookshelf speakers under 200, the options from the 500-sub range are more ideal because the budget now isn’t too tight. The fact is that there are manyexcellent speakers that we can nominate for the best model. Among numerous these stereo products, we have made difficult decisions for a list of top ten.

The process of choosing the best bookshelf audio products within the 500-sub range are conducted based on two simple yet sensible rules as follows:

    We will never compromise on quality because most products in this price point are capable of the good sound performance.

    Not only the price and performance but also other characteristics such as the versatility, build quality, etc. must be taken into account, even taken more strictly than audio products from the lower range.

    Every feature has to be in sync with each other instead of appearing too different in the extend in which they benefit the customers.

    Specifications Comparison Table

Product Name

Weight

(pounds)

Wireless?

Remote Control?

Ways

Channels

Power
(Watts)

Frequency Response
(Hz)

Nominal Impedance
(Ohms)

Sensitivity
(dB)

ELAC B6 Debut Series 6.5" Bookshelf Speakers

32.6

No

No

2

2.0

10 - 120

44 - 20,000

6

87

Edifier S1000DB Audiophile Active

18

Bluetooth

Yes

2

2.0

25 - 120

48 - 20,000

6

85

Bose 201 Direct

22.4

No

No

2

2.0

10 - 120

N/A

4-8

N/A

KEF Q100 Bookshelf

12.3

No

No

2

2.0

10 - 100

49 - 40,000

8

86

Klipsch R-15PM

10.3​​​

Bluetooth

Yes

2

2.0

10 - 100

62 - 24,000

N/A

N/A

ELAC Uni-fi UB5

35.9​​​

No

No

3

2.0

10 - 140

60 - 20,000

6

85

Edifier R2000DB

22

Bluetooth

Yes

2

2.0

120

55 - 20,000

4

85

Audioengine P4N Passive

12

No

No

2

2.0

10-125

58 - 20,000

4

88

Klipsch RP-150M

19.6​​​

Bluetooth

No

2

2.0

75-300

45 - 25,000

8

93

Polk Audio RTI A3

16

No

No

2

2.0

25-150

40 - 27,000

8

89

Our Reviews on Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 500

    1.ELAC B6 Debut Series 6.5" Bookshelf Speakers by Andrew Jones

The two-way Debut B6 bookshelf speakers are quite large in size compared to other speakers of the same type. This feature has two sides in the effect: It can make up for more space in your house but, at the same time, when being put at a certain additional distance between each other, the drivers can allow true stereo separation.
On the back of the device, there is a set of gold-plated, metal binding posts which can be hooked up with a variety of speaker cables ended with something conventional such as banana plugs, stripped bare-wire ends, spades or pins. This ensures the versatility of the speakers when collaborating with other equipment.
It is recommended using 20-inch stands or so with the ELAC B6 Debut speakers because they sound best when the speakers' tweeters level with our ears’s height. Placing at lower or higher heights will disturb the sound’s balance.

Pros

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    Sharp look with removable grilles
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    Excellent sound performance at a reasonable price​​​​
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    Great partner to other products from the Elac’s family

Cons

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    It isn’t available with many choices in terms of color, outside of the black vinyl finish.​​​
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    It is a little bit more sensitive to height than conventional bookshelf speakers.

2. Edifier S1000DB Audiophile Active Bookshelf Speakers

As usual as other models from Edifier, these speakers deliver an eye-catching look with elegant cabinets. It also includes every cable that you may require as well as a useful remote controller. There is nothing much to talk about this remote controller which is compact in size, easy to use and really handy.
First of all, the speakers come with a thick cable which is terminated with Edifier’s 6-pin connector and some RCA cables. They are also accompanied with a fiber optic cable to become compatible with TVs. Even greater, being mainly supposed to the wireless usage makes them very versatile in use.
The speakers are big and thus virtually not suited to computer usage. They may be comfortably placed some kinds of large TVs and you have to ensure to have enough space in this case. Be careful with the placement because you will find it frustrating to move the speakers because of the heavy weight.
The sound performance is predictably good, just like other high-end products from Edifier branch. It is balanced with the amount of bass and treble. The lower mids are well dealt with – They are slightly warm, rich and clear.

Pros

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    Good sound in general
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    Highly versatile in use
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    Good-looking appearance
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    Useful remote controller

Cons

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    Difficult to move due to the heavy weight.
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    It takes time to get better in the sound performance.

3. Bose 201 Direct Speaker System

At the price point, these speakers are versatile. They are not too big or too small and thus flexible with placements. However, the pair of speakers is meant to work best in small rooms. It can be used as rear speakers for surround systems or high-quality audio equipment for music as well as studio monitoring.

In spite of the small size, the Direct/Reflecting technology deliver balanced sound which easily covers right across the listening field, ensuring the clarity and precision of the sound wherever your position in the room is.

In terms of the connectivity, they cannot be hooked up to a computer or a TV if there isn’t an amplifier, which may be not favorable in case you don’t have any of this equipment.

Pros

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    Room-filling sound performance
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    Versatile bookshelf speakers
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    Realistic sound with great balance
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    Very sleek and modern design

Cons

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    Not too much bass
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    No returning after purchasing

4. KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers

At first, these speakers come in a firm look and a terrific finish with removable grills. They have a mounting bracket which makes everything easy if you want to use them as surrounding rear speakers.
Besides, the build quality is very good. The speakers’ cabinets are made so well so that resonating noises which are commonly seen in other bookshelf speakers don’t have any chances to interrupt the listening experience. Also, the packaging is great with a lot of workmanship.
KEF Q100 sounds amazing. The wide dispersion guarantees good sound no matter where you are in the listening area. In addition, the vocals are deep and the mids are full with almost every detail. The bass really packs a punch while it can ensure the clarity and detail as well. The smaller cone diameter in Q100 means that the breakup is placed at a frequency that is high enough for the crossover rolloff to attenuate.

Pros

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    Excellent sound performance
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    High sense of space
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    Nice look
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    Punchy bass

Cons

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    The instructing manual can be a little bit confused to some people.

5. Klipsch R-15PM Powered Monitor

The most outstanding feature of these speakers is the variety of connectivity solutions. They come with a pair of RCA inputs, a USB digital audio, a digital optical and a mini jack line level. Moreover, they include the useful wireless usage and a remote controller.
Thanks to that, you can use Klipsch R-15PM with many applications such as a TV, a phone, a laptop or a turntable. By the way of offering flexible connectivity options, these compact two-way speakers can be used as standalone speakers. In addition, there is no need for a receiver when using this product.
Thanks to a built-in amplifier, the sound coming from Klipsch R-15PM is very clear and transparent with various mid basses for just a single-drive pair of speakers. The powered monitors can bring about room-filling sound effect just with a neat set of two speakers instead of a heavy sound system that may take much space.

Pros

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    Exceptional versatility
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    A variety of connectivity solutions
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    Good sound ends
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    No need for a receiver

Cons

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    The vinyl cover is quite delicate, which seems to break easily.

6. ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speaker

Each of the three-way speakers include two aluminum cones as usual, namely the tweeter above and the woofer below which are appreciated with not only a simple but effective crossover but also an elegant look on the black vinyl cabinet. However, the vinyl finish seems to have troubles with durability, especially on the edge of the cabinet.

The three-way setup in these speakers means a smooth transition among transducers. Besides, the coaxed tweeter has boosted the accuracy of high frequency range. The two transducers work in phase, bringing the feeling that that you are inside a cinema instead of listening to a pair of speakers.

The transition between trebles and mid ranges is seamless. However, the low sensitivity and low impedance call for high-qualified amplifiers which are usually expensive to collaborate well with the speakers.

Pros

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    Three-way speakers bringing outstanding sound performance
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    Accurate high frequency range
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    Elegant look on black vinyl

Cons

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    The vinyl finish isn't very durable.
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    Requirement for expensive amplifiers to work well.

7. Edifier R2000DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Nothing about the design in Edifier’s products need talking more about – they have almost no flaw! R2000DB is available in brown or black cherry wood cabinets. The brown ones are preferable according to our personal view.

As usual, R2000DB is also accompanied by many connecting solutions, just like its brothers from the Edifier. The connectivity encompasses RCA and optical/coaxial cables, along with the Bluetooth connection. A tiny yet useful remote also comes with the set.

Especially, the speakers are manufactured with 25mm silk dome “Eagle Eye” tweeters which ensure that the speakers never skip over slightest sounds. The sound is still quite balanced. The smooth transition brings out more midrange presence. Bass is tight thanks to the rear facing port.

Pros

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    Astonishing sound
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    Premium look
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    Amazing versatility

Cons

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    You have to point the remote directly at the speakers, or else it doesn’t work.

8. Audioengine P4N Passive Bookshelf Speakers

The P4 works on a crossover frequency of 2.8 kHz with a 4-ohm impedance. It’s able to sound good when being connected to receivers or amplifiers whose speaker output impedance is 4, 6 or 8 ohms and even desktop computers.
These two-way speakers have a 4-inch ported front and come in a passive design. Gold-plated binding posts are meant to improve clarity as well as frequency response by the way of keeping cables firmly. In addition, the speakers are magnetically shielded to ensure impressive sound quality and prevent sound distortion whenver being put near visual equipment.
The P4 handles a full spectrum of tone ranges on the frequency response from 58 to 22,000 Hz, which makes it sound bigger than the size.

Pros

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    High versatility due to flexible impedance and tiny size
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    Magnetically shielded to prevent sound distortion

Cons

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    A little bit bright at the top end while fractionally inflexible at the end.

9. Klipsch RP-150M Bookshelf Speaker

Thespeaker can handle apower of 75W and are designed with a 1" tweeter and a 5.25" woofer. Each speaker possesses a 90 x90° hybrid Tractrix horn which helps to produce high-frequency sound. Titanium tweeters are meant to minimize distortion. The removable grilles can fitmagnetically.

Klipschspeakers are able to create smoother, more efficient currents of airflow in and out of the cabinet thanks to a Tractrix horn-shaped opening. Decrease in air turbulence makes the bassbecome powerful and reduce a lot of low-frequency distortion. Also, Klipsch speakers are able toplay at any levels without causing listener bored.

Pros

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    Wireless connection
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    Rich bass​​​​​​​
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    Low-frequency distortion

Cons

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    Lack some warmth.

10. Polk Audio RTI A3 Bookshelf Speakers

As usual as other models from Edifier, these speakers deliver an eye-catching look with elegant cabinets. It also includes every cable that you may require as well as a useful remote controller. There is nothing much to talk about this remote controller which is compact in size, easy to use and really handy.
First of all, the speakers come with a thick cable which is terminated with Edifier’s 6-pin connector and some RCA cables. They are also accompanied with a fiber optic cable to become compatible with TVs. Even greater, being mainly supposed to the wireless usage makes them very versatile in use.
The speakers are big and thus virtually not suited to computer usage. They may be comfortably placed some kinds of large TVs and you have to ensure to have enough space in this case. Be careful with the placement because you will find it frustrating to move the speakers because of the heavy weight.
The sound performance is predictably good, just like other high-end products from Edifier branch. It is balanced with the amount of bass and treble. The lower mids are well dealt with – They are slightly warm, rich and clear.

Pros

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    Good sound in general
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    Good build quality
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    Good sound performance

Cons

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    Almost no flaws apart from personal opinions on the look.

Conclusion

After going through a pretty long journey of reviews on the best bookshelf speakers under 500, you may have a quite clear picture about cost-effective and good products in the 500-sub range.

Each product has many things in its favors and defects. Therefore, comparisons are very hard and virtually impossible to make among these speakers. However, when it comes to a “all-in-all” verdict, we have to conduct some relative comparisons and find out our favorite bookshelf speaker which is the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speaker – the only three-way speakers on this list, guaranteeing to bring outstanding sound performance to your home.

Relevant Resources:

  1. klipsch vs Bose
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