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The 5 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200 – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

By djadmin | speakers

bookshelf speakers under 200

Bookshelf speakers are built around an extremely simple premise – provide high quality sound that literally surrounds you without taking up any real space. This essentially means that the best bookshelf speakers are those that are small in size but also pack a massive punch.

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With this in mind, there is also a small negative that becomes associated with the purchase of bookshelf speakers…

You see, due to their size, it actually takes a bit of work to build a speaker with decent enough internals to provide a big sound AND take up a very small space. And this is further impacted by the need to have speakers that are both very durable and aesthetically pleasing as well.

As a result the market is absolutely saturated with speakers that look fantastic but either sound horrible or break within days of purchasing them – which can make it extremely difficult to actually find a decent set of bookshelf speakers.

But, fortunately for you guys, this is where I come in.

I have done all the hard work for you, digging deep to compile a thorough list of the five the best bookshelf speakers for under 200 dollars – and in doing so, ensuring that you get the absolute best bang for your buck.

Product Summary

sound speaker

Edifer R1700BT Bookshelf Speakers

The Edifer R1700BT are a very nice looking speaker that have been designed with the intent to offer not only a great sound but also excellent usability. With this in mind, these speakers come with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to play tunes from your phone, tablet, or PC straight through them cord free. This makes for an extremely convenient playing experience.

Klipsch R-14M 4 Inch Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch are a company that have been producing some high quality products for a number of years, but rarely receive the true recognition that they deserve. I like to think that they have done their absolute best to rectify this with the R-14M Bookshelf speakers – a fantastic option that look great and have the sound quality to match. An excellent choice for those looking to improve upon the sound of their current home setup without breaking the bank.

Cerwin Vega SL5M 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers

These Cerwin Vega Bookshelf Speakers have been designed to be an extremely versatile piece of equipment, in which they provide a high quality of sound across a number of different scenarios. This makes them fantastic for both listening to your favorite music and clearly providing the dialogue to your favorite movie. A great option to boost the quality of your lounge room.

Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

There is a reason that Sony are renowned for producing high quality audio equipment – because they do it on a near daily basis. And fortunately for us, the SSCS5 Bookshelf speakers are no different. Offering the sound quality that has become synonymous with Sony at a seriously affordable price point, these are an excellent choice.

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

While not the most visually appealing option on this list, these bookshelf speakers pack a serious punch. With the TSi100 speakers Polk have prioritized audio quality above all else, providing a clear and powerful sound that functions incredibly well at high volumes. These are a great option for those with the larger lounge room and like to entertain (or those who like to blow their music beyond what most would consider a ‘reasonable volume’... it’s cool, I get it).

Comparison Table

Reviews Of The 5 Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200

1. Edifer R1700BT Bookshelf Speakers

Edifer R1700BT Bookshelf Speakers

The Edifer R1700BT are a very exciting prospect for use audiophiles, in which they are one of the few speakers that offer Bluetooth connectivity within this price range. This allows you to stream music directly from your phone, tablet, or computer, directly through them – making them an excellent option for your home set up.

As a bonus, these speakers have a really pleasing design where they have opted for a nice smooth walnut finish, with black vinyl contrasts. This creates a nice high end feel, leaving you with a set of speakers you won’t feel the need to hide away in a dark corner.

This has been combined with some nice construction quality compacted with some decent internals. The result is a set of speakers that produces a warm and smooth sound, absolutely perfect for easy listening genres.

I should point out that while the mid range on these speakers is nearly perfect, the bass sticks out A LOT (and not in a good way). Even at lower volumes, the bass can become overbearing to the point where it actually overshadows the quality of the sound.

Despite this, these are a great set of speakers offering Bluetooth connectivity that will look at home in anyone's loungeroom.

What we liked

  • Look excellent
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Great construction quality

What we didn’t like

  • Bass becomes overbearing, lowering sound quality
  • May not be best suited to heavier music genres

2. Klipsch R-14M 4 Inch Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch R-14M 4 Inch Bookshelf Speakers

The Klipsch R-14M 4 Inch Bookshelf Speakers are one of the most popular options within the sub 200 dollar price range – and for very good reason.

The first thing you notice about these speakers is their nice clean design. Opting for matte black surrounds that have been combined with a nice copper finish, it would genuinely be a shame to hide these away on a bookshelf (only if you can avoid it of course). This design has been combined with a high degree of construction quality and some decent internals – the results of which are excellent.

As a result, these speakers have some serious sound quality, producing crystal clear highs and beautiful neutral tones. With this has come a beautiful mid range that suits low key music perfectly. With that, it is important to note that these speakers produce fairly low-key bass that does leaving you wanting a bit more.

Despite this, they do maintain great sound quality at even the highest of volumes, and as such make a great option for those who like to play their music with a bit of heat.​

What we liked

  • Look excellent
  • Clear sounds (even at higher volumes)
  • Great construction quality

What we didn’t like

  • Pretty low bass tones

3. Cerwin Vega SL5M 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers

Cerwin Vega SL5M 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers

The Cerwin Vega SL5M bookshelf speakers is a product that genuinely tick all the key boxes in what you would look for in a good set of speakers for your home set up. They are quite small in stature (yes, even for a bookshelf speaker...) but produce some serious noise, while also offering some great construction quality.

Seriously, the sound on these are top of the line. Producing gorgeous neutral tones, crystal clear highs, all combined with deep, delicious bass notes, these speakers will provide a massive upgrade to your home set up.

This ridiculous sound quality has been combined with some excellent aesthetic appeal, in which the speakers have been designed with a matte black surround and bright orange highlights – the results of which is quite striking.

As a bonus, these speakers have been built to last. While the sound quality alone is representative of the good quality internals, they feel sturdy and you can tell they will by the pride and joy of your loungeroom for a very long time. It is worth noting that do get this level of sound quality, the dials did require a bit of tweaking, so don’t expect perfect noise straight out of the box.

What we liked

  • Look excellent
  • High sound quality
  • Very good construction quality

What we didn’t like

  • Requires some tweaking out of the box

4. Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

The best thing about Sony products is you typically know exactly what you are going to get straight out of the box – a well designed piece of machinery that has been designed using high quality pieces and that produces a very nice sound.

And fortunately for us Sony's entry into the budget bookshelf speaker market is no different.

The SSCS5 bookshelf speakers have been made with some excellent construction materials, and as a result you will get a HEAP of use out of them (trust me…). This has come with some really nice and sleek design, opting for a nice black finish that will not go out of style.

With this construction quality has come Sony’s signature sound. You will be extremely happy with the sound that comes out of these speakers, which is both extremely crisp and clear. It is worth mentioning that these speakers do suffer from a somewhat common issue I have experienced with a number of different bookshelf speakers, in which the bass is not particularly prominent – which actually worsens at higher volumes.

Despite this, these Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers offer a great option for the casual listener who wants a nice looking home setup that will last an age.​

What we liked

  • Look fantastic
  • Clear sounds
  • Great durability

What we didn’t like

  • Bass is somewhat quiet

5. Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

These speakers provide just what we expect from Polk Audio. Decent construction quality, great sound, both of which coming at the expense of appearance. While these speakers are somewhat better looking than a number of those in lower price ranges, they are still quite plain and simple (although I should note that they do come in two finishes: ‘natural wood’ and ‘black’).

But that is where the simple stops.

These speakers have prioritized both construction quality and sound production over appearance, and the results are worth talking about.

First up, these speakers are built to last. Using solid construction methods and excellent materials, the build quality on these bad boys is well above what you would expect at this price range. This has been combined with some seriously potent sound quality that offers excellent bass and fantastic highs.

I should note that the mid-range sound does sound a little hollow during some certain recordings, but this is unlikely to irritate even the most pedantic of audiophiles. These speakers are a great option for those looking for quality over appearance.​

What we liked

  • Great sound quality (particularly at higher volumes)
  • Excellent construction quality
  • Very durable

What we didn’t like

  • Don’t look particularly appealing
  • Mid-range is not always perfect

Value Section

Edifer R1700BT Bookshelf Speakers

As always, I would like to point out that I genuinely do believe that the speakers appearing on this list are an excellent option. In fact I would argue that these are the top five bookshelf speakers available for under 200 bones on the market, period.

But, I am also aware that some people would like to further test the market and find something that suits their personal preferences. So with this, I have provided some tips to help you find the best speakers for you in this budget price range.​

Shop for your preference
If you have a particular image or sound in mind, then don’t settle for less. While it can be hard to find a decent set of bookshelf speakers for under 200 dollars, they do actually exist. As such you should take the time to find something that you are entirely happy with.

Chase you genre
This point actually builds upon the last one quite substantially. It is worth noting that some speakers lend themselves better to certain genres of music, so find the speakers that best suit your favorite tunes.

Don’t get sucked in by features
This one is actually a pretty big point. While features (think Bluetooth connectivity, AUX Connectivity, and Wireless Connectivity) can be convenience, they do come at a cost – most often a drop in sound quality (particularly within these cheaper price ranges). As a result it is important that you listen to the speakers, and don’t buy just for the features.​

With these tips I like to think that you will be able to find a pair of bookshelf speakers that suit you personally down to a tee, getting you a great sounding home system without blowing your budget.

Conclusion

Monitor on desk

And while these speakers are all great in their own right, I do believe that we have a clear winner….

Cerwin Vega SL5M 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers offer a great option that provide excellent sound quality to a number of different music genres. This greatly increases their applicability and appeal, as they are perfect for almost any home set up. As a bonus this sound quality has been combined with some excellent build quality and fantastic design, ensuring that these speakers won’t only last you a very long time – they will look great doing so.

So taking all this into consideration I can say with confidence that these Cerwin Vega SL5M 2 Way Bookshelf Speakers are the best bookshelf speakers for under 200 dollars available on the market today.

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