Best bookshelf stereo speakers

By Alvin Andrew Cabral | Published on 22 Feb 2021
Best bookshelf stereo speakers
Best bookshelf stereo speakers

The true audiophile’s favourite armchair activity is devoted to researching about the ideal speaker system for her room. The most basic bookshelf speakers (mounted on a platform of some appreciable height, as opposed to floor speakers) are two-way speakers, with one driver devoted to the treble and one to the bass and mid-range frequencies. The following six bookshelf stereo speakers from Amazon are all two-way speakers, but differ from one another in various aspects. Scrutinise each one of them and then choose one based on the geometry of your room, its decor, the audio characteristics that you are seeking and most importantly, the depth of your wallet.     

Edifier S1000MKII

With vintage wooden side panels and angled front panels, these Edifier rear-ported speakers sport the soulful retro look. Their 5.5 inch aluminium bass/mid-range drivers coupled with their 1 inch titanium dome tweeters together yield an impressively wide frequency response of 40Hz to 40 KHz. This is the range of frequencies it can reproduce faithfully at no more than 3 dB drop off. Human hearing is limited to around 20 KHz, so this speaker system claims to thrill not just you with its output, but also the bats who live in the tree nearby! With a claimed maximum output of 120 watts, those bats are going to turn deaf if you blast this set at full volume constantly! The back panels have auxiliary, coaxial and optical input jacks/ports, so connectivity is taken care of, and these inputs can be selected using the bundled remote. Since these are active speakers, with inbuilt class D amplifiers, you save money by not needing to buy an amp. The set also uses DSP (Digital Signal Processing) crossovers for filtering out frequency bands. The Bluetooth functionality means that you can play audio from almost all modern devices to it.  

Micca MB42

Behind the black cloth grilles of Micca’s MB42 bookshelf speakers are their 4-inch woven carbon fibre woofers, which deliver strong bass. Their 0.75-inch silk dome tweeters make the treble sound smooth with wide dispersion. The rear-ported enclosures ensure that the bass response is deep, and with minimal distortion. Binding posts are used for connecting the speaker wires on the back panels. Being passive speakers, they need to be connected to an external amplifier. Considering that they are quite petite and extremely lightweight compared to most other bookshelf speakers, they deliver a respectable 75 W of sound at a sensitivity of 85 decibels (1 W/ 1 m). With rounded corners and a faux wood grain finish, these speakers easily blend in with their surroundings.  

Polk Audio T15

Each of Polk Audio’s T15 speakers has a 0.75 inch silk dome tweeter and a 5.25-inch composite bass/mid-range Dynamic Balance driver with a front port for fine tuning its bass response, ensuring clearer treble, a wide-open mid-range and tremendous bass. Their MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) cabinet construction helps to reduce unwanted distortion and resonance. The back panel has a keyhole for wall mounting, which is possible since the speaker is relatively light and the cabinet port is in front. Also, connections are via universal (5-way) binding posts, which provide a wide array of secure wiring options. These passive speakers have an audio sensitivity of 89 dB (1 W/ 1 m) with a peak output power of 100 W and a frequency response as low as 65 Hz. Since they are fully compatible with Dolby and DTS, they can be used as both front and rear speakers.     

DALI Oberon 3

DALI’s Oberon 3 is a rear-ported passive speaker pair with MDF construction covered by a light oak vinyl finish. A lightweight 29 mm soft dome tweeter is positioned upon a much larger 7 inch mid-range/bass driver (which delivers more audio volume and better dynamics). The speakers are designed to be positioned more straight-on than toed-in, so as to deliver wider dispersion of the off-axis treble. Binding posts are used for the speaker wiring. The drivers are equipped with an SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound) disc system which provides more accuracy in speaker control and minimizing distortion. The pair is rated at a maximum of 150 W with a sensitivity of 87 dB (1 W/ 1 m). Lastly, the interior of the cabinets is reinforced with solid bracings and the panels with acoustic damping material to eliminate resonance within the cabinets.  

Boston Acoustics A25

Boston Acoustics’s A25 speakers are passive and rear-ported with scratch-resistant panels and magnetic grilles, and an eye-catching high-gloss, leather-effect vinyl finish. Their 1-inch Kortec soft dome tweeters are well-suited to give you clear highs, while their 5.25-inch ceramic-and-glass-fibre polymer anti-distortion woofers use DCD (Deep Channel Design) magnet structures to deliver more bass response with less amplifier power. The result is surround sound at a peak wattage of 150 W. Connections are made to gold-plated 5-way binding posts. Finally, the back panels have a multi-directional eye to facilitate wall mounting in different configurations, but any of those other than the standard one would definitely require support in some form or another.

JBL Control One Pro

JBL’s Control One Pro is a front-ported passive speaker pair. Both drivers in each speaker are magnetically shielded, making it well-suited for use with video or computer monitors, which are magnetically sensitive. The 0.75-inch polycarbonate tweeters, which are offset to the side to give room for the bass reflex ports, along with the 5.25-inch woofers, emit sound of continuous power wattage (rms wattage) 150 W with a sensitivity of 87 dB (1 W/ 1 m). The pair’s frequency response is an impressive 100 Hz to 18 kHz at the standard ±3 dB level, and 80 Hz to 20 kHz at −10 dB. Speaker inputs are via spring connectors. The Control One Pro’s updated crossover filter design yields steeper crossover slopes, causing drivers to work more within their respective ranges. Lastly, this speaker pair comes with a wall-mounting bracket.

Alvin Andrew Cabral


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