If you're in the market for bookshelf speakers, the good news is that you don't have to break the bank to get an excellent pair. A number of well-known and well-revered speaker manufacturers make budget-friendly alternatives to their reference-quality lines. In fact, many integrate some of their high-end technologies into these more affordable speakers so that they sound, well, way better than you'd think.
To keep the playing field even, all of the below bookshelf speakers are passive bookshelf speakers, meaning that you'll need a separate receiver or amplifier to drive them. Passive speakers might not be as convenient as powered speakers, which have built-in amps and connectivity, but it does make them way more versatile. If you're looking to integrate some speakers into either an entry-level hi-fi or home theater system, one of the below bookshelf speakers will be a perfect match.
The TSi100 are one of Polk Audio's older speaker lines and therefore, the normally $210 pair can be purchased for significantly less right now. They're not the biggest speakers, but they'll do great in a small-to-medium sized room.
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR have been around since 2013, but they're still some of the best hi-fi speakers you can buy under $200. They're designed by Andrew Jones, so these little speakers have a lot more punch and fidelity than their diminituitive s
Wharfedale is best known for their really high-end reference line of loudspeakers. That said, the D310s borrow technologies from its high-end lines, including a Kevlar-woven midrange driver and a bass reflex port, so they sound impressive. They're also available in a number of finishes, including black, white and walnut.
This Canadian-based audio company is best known for making some of the best turntables that are also surprisingly affordable. More recently, they've gotten into bookshelf speakers and, not surprisingly, its Signature Series HiFi are designed to pair excellently with Fluance's hi-fi turntables.
Released in 2017, Polk's Signature S15s are a step up from the TSi100s that appear earlier on this list. They borrow technologies from the company's higher-end speakers, like the Terylene dome tweeter and a high-efficiency woofer, so they deliver smooth and accurate sound. With their curved edges and walnut finish, they're also just really good-looking speakers.
Q Acoustics is a UK-based hi-fi company that makes some of our favorite affordable loudspeakers. The 3020 are actually the older version of the company's 3020i speakers, which were released in 2018, but they look and sound nearly identical. Plus, since they're a little older you can get a really great deal on them.
The R-51M are the most affordable speakers in Klipsch's high-quality Reference line. Each speaker features a 5.25-inch driver along with Klipsch's signature Tractrix horn tweeter and, together, the pair are able to deliver rich, room-filling sound with deep bass. They also have a cool, retro flair that's unlike any other bookshelf speaker in this price range.