6 Best Bookshelf Speakers of 2024

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If you’re like us, a born audiophile, you’ve probably started experimenting with simple wired earbuds and your laptop’s built-in speakers since the very beginning.

Now, after those first audio experiences, you know a good pair of speakers is a true game changer. There’s nothing quite like the immersive audio experience high-quality speakers have to offer.

The problem is that not everyone has enough space for those big premium speakers. That’s where bookshelf speakers come into play: bookshelf speakers are ideal for those who don’t want to sacrifice sound quality due to limited space. 

With bookshelf speakers, you’ll still be able to watch a movie with great audio or play video games with crystal-clear sound effects without sacrificing valuable space.

In this article, we’ve picked the best bookshelf speakers for your home setup. We’ll show you versatile options, high-end models, and bass-friendly speakers, among other models. 

So, if you’re looking for the best bookshelf speakers for your setup, this is the place to be (or rather: this is the article to read!).

We’ve also included a Buyer’s Guide with tips and key factors to keep in mind when shopping for this product.

Our #1 pick is the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 because they’re affordable yet high-quality, small yet powerful. In other words, they’re a balanced option.

So, if you want to explore the bookshelf speakers’ world, keep reading! We’ll help you.

Quick Summary of the Best Bookshelf Speakers

  1. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 (Best Overall)
  2. KEF LS50 Wireless II (Best High-End Bookshelf Speakers)
  3. Sonos One (Best Smart Bookshelf Speakers)
  4. Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 (Best Bookshelf Speakers for High Frequencies)
  5. Dali Spektor 2 (Bookshelf Speakers With The Widest Dispersion)
  6. PSB Alpha P5 (Best Bookshelf Speakers for Low Frequencies)

Best Bookshelf Speakers

Best Overall

Why We Love It
Great balance
Versatile Sound

What Could Be Improved

  • They come with a break-in period


  • Frequency Response: 44Hz - 35kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 87dB

We love the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2, and most users agree. No wonder they’ve been on the market for so long!

They’re our #1 choice because they’re the definition of balance: they’re budget-friendly but they keep a great sound quality. They come with a perfect balance of mid and high frequencies, and their bass response gets the job done.

The great thing about these speakers is that they don’t emphasize any particular frequency, which makes them a versatile option for those who want to use them for more than one thing. You can listen to music, watch movies, and play video games, all with one pair of speakers.

However, we should mention these speakers have a “break-in period” in which the entire system needs some time to adjust. 

So, if you purchase the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 and the sound is a little bit off at first, don’t freak out! It’s completely normal. After around 15 to 20 hours of play, the sound “seasons” and the speakers finally reach their full potential.

As the Canadian user Hart explains, “I initially didn't believe in a "break in" period, but I heard it for myself. On first play, the sound was a bit flat. I thought, (…) But after about 10 hours of play the sound "seasoned". After 30 hours - the sound kept getting better.”

So, overall, at the end of the day, you get a balanced set of speakers (that’s even an update to the previous ELAC Debut B6.2!) for a great price. They definitely deserve our #1 place. They're one of the best bookshelf speakers out there.

Best High-End

The KEF LS50 Wireless II is a perfect example of premium sound. Their Uni-Q driver array makes this model stand out for its powerful and dynamic sound.
Why We Love It
Uni-Q Driver Array
Powerful sound

What Could Be Improved

  • On the expensive side


  • Frequency Response: 40Hz – 47kHz (-6dB)
  • Nominal Impedance: 5 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83V/1m)

If you’re willing to invest in your audio system, you should definitely give the KEF LS50 Wireless II a try.

While it’s true that these speakers are on the expensive side, we strongly believe they’re worth it.

When it comes to sound, the KEF LS50 Wireless II comes with  KEF's signature Uni-Q driver array, which, for some, is what gives these speakers a competitive edge on the market. But, why?

Well, in most speakers, the tweeter and the woofer have separate units. In this case, the Uni-Q array puts all drivers (tweeter, midrange, etc) around one single-point source. This design aims to mimic the way sound is created in nature.

Basically, what this design does is make all sounds get to the listener's ear at the same time because all sounds come from the same spot. 

This gives the sound a more natural tint: the listener can practically hear where all instruments and vocals are coming from.

Apart from this feature, the KEF LS50 II is also wireless, a pretty convenient feature that allows you to never have to detangle cables ever again.

However, you can also opt for wired connections if you like, the KEF LS50 Wireless II allows that as well.

The KEF LS50 Wireless II is very powerful. Do you have a slightly bigger room than the one recommended for bookshelf speakers? Don’t worry, these speakers can definitely fill the room. Their built-in amplification can easily fill a medium-sized room.

So, if you can afford them, you should try the KEF LS50 Wireless II. They deliver a powerful and dynamic sound thanks to their Uni-Q array system. So try them and let us know how it goes!

Best Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is a portable and versatile speaker that can be used on many different occasions.
Why We Love It
Alexa, Google compat.

What Could Be Improved

  • No subwoofer output = you need a separate sub if you want deeper bass


  • Frequency Response: 40Hz to 20kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 3.5 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 87-88 dB

The Sonos One is a popular option in 2024.

Apart from delivering great sound, this smart speaker has a very versatile sound profile. The Sonos One allows you to adjust the sound to match your preferences depending on the type of music you’re listening to.

Since it’s a smart speaker, you can control it with your voice. This model supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can choose the one you like best.

What makes this speaker so popular is that despite being small, it provides a powerful sound. This means that you can not only use it as a bookshelf speaker but also take it to the shower with you (it’s humidity-resistant!). 

Perhaps it’s this versatile nature that’s making it so popular on the market.

The only thing not so positive about this model is that it lacks a dedicated subwoofer output, which means it needs a separate Sonos Sub if you want deeper bass. However, this makes sense considering this model’s size.

Overall, we’d say the Sonos One is a well-rounded speaker with great power and versatility. Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences.

Best High Frequencies

Why We Love It
Detailed high frequencies
Neutral tone
Wide dispersion

What Could Be Improved

  • Not for large rooms


  • Frequency Response: 65Hz – 20kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 88dB/2.83V/m

The Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 are known for their clean highs, which is great for those who like classical music, a genre that produces a wide range of high frequencies.

Even though their highs are very detailed, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 has an overall neutral tone, which means they don’t emphasize a particular frequency. 

This is impressive considering the bass response of most speakers in this price range is rather poor. In this case, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 offers a decent bass response. It’s not the best bass you’ll ever hear, but it’s good enough, especially considering their price.

Another interesting feature these speakers offer is a wide dispersion. The tweeter in this model is designed in a way that allows sound to be more “open” so to speak, which results in a more immersive listening experience.

Their design also helps with this goal: the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 comes with a solid structure that helps with resonance control and, therefore, sound quality.

Overall, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 is perfect for those who like classical music or any other genre that heavily features high frequencies. It’s affordable and has a durable build.

Widest Dispersion

The Dali Spektor 2 has impressive dispersion and a neutral tone, giving it a deserved spot on our list.
Why We Love It
Wide dispersion
Neutral tone

What Could Be Improved

  • Limited connectivity options: no Bluetooth


  • Frequency Response: 47Hz - 26kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 6 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 88.5dB (2.83V/1m)

The sound dispersion of the Dali Spektor 2 is truly impressive.

But first, what is dispersion? 

Dispersion in speakers is the way each model distributes sound throughout a space. With most models, you usually have to find that sweet spot where the sound is at its best. 

Well, in this case, the wide dispersion the Dali Spektor 2 offers significantly reduces that sweet spot because of its wide dispersion.

This incredibly wide dispersion is achieved through the tweeter placement. Unlike in most common speakers, in the Dali Spektor 2, the tweeter is not placed in the center of the speaker's face. This design angles the high frequencies outwards, which helps them reach a wider area of the room.

The Dali Spektor 2 also comes with a neutral tone, which makes it a versatile option for music lovers. The bass is also controlled and tight. 

Overall, the Dali Spektor 2 is a very sturdy model that is designed to last for many years. Its sound dispersion is off the charts and its sound is well-balanced.

Best Low Frequencies

The PSB Alpha P5 has a mind-blowing bass response, especially considering their size.
Why We Love It
Strong bass

What Could Be Improved

  • Less detailed highs


  • Frequency Range: 55Hz - 21kHz, ±3dB on-axis
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 89 dB

If you’re a heavy metal lover, hip hop enthusiast, or just love feeling the bass on your chest in every song you listen to, the PSB Alpha P5 is the way to go.

Its 6.5" woofer helps this model really reach those low rich tones. These speakers have an impressive bass extension, especially considering they’re on the smaller side.

Despite being bass-heavy, the sound of the PSB Alpha P5  is overall quite balanced. They don’t sacrifice the mids and highs to get those rich lows. Because of this, this model can also be used for other genres apart from heavy metal or other heavy-bass styles.

However, if you prefer a sound that prioritizes high frequencies, we suggest you look elsewhere.

The PSB Alpha P5 is great for bass enthusiasts. So, if that’s you, you know what to buy!

Best Bookshelf Speakers Buyer's Guide

Even though it may sound almost obvious, sound quality is the first and most important feature you should check out before buying bookshelf speakers. 

After all, isn’t it the reason why you’re reading this article? To get the best-sounding bookshelf speakers for your needs?

Also, before you buy your speakers, picture where you’ll be placing them. This is very important to decide their overall power and extra features. Larger rooms will need speakers with more power, for example. The goal is to make sure the sound won't be overwhelming or distorted wherever you place your speakers!

Don’t forget to check the speakers’ compatibility as well. You’d be surprised at how many people end up returning their speakers because they’re not compatible with their home setup.

Finally, set a budget before you buy. As you’ve seen in this article, bookshelf speakers come in a wide range of prices. Don’t fall into the trap of going to the store (or shopping online) and falling in love with the first speakers that catch your eye! Plan ahead so that you don’t go bankrupt!

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the core of your decision. We suggest you consider the frequency response of your speakers according to the type of music you listen to (bass-heavy genres, classical music, pop, etc).

Also, take into account the soundstage of your speakers. In other words, aim for speakers that create a realistic sound experience. This is especially important if you like watching movies with a lot of detail in their sound.


Believe it or not, the size of the room where you put your speakers can affect the overall sound of your equipment. Speakers set in large rooms need more power to fill the space with their sound. 

The opposite also applies: in small rooms, speakers that are too powerful may distort the sound due to sound waves being reflected by the walls.

For this reason, before buying your speakers, we strongly suggest that you decide where you’ll place your speakers and choose a model that will best enhance the sound.


We can’t emphasize this enough: please check the speakers you’re about to buy are compatible with your preexisting equipment! Unfortunately, returns due to incompatibility are more common than people think.

Most bookshelf speakers have multiple connection types like as RCA, 3.5mm AUX, and Bluetooth, so connectivity shouldn’t be a problem with most equipment. 

However, some amplifiers can be incompatible with certain speaker models. It’s always best to check before you buy so that you avoid a problem down the road!


Set a budget before you buy! That way, you won’t fall in love with the first speakers that catch your eye, but you’ll fall in love with the specs and the carefully adjusted sound. We love love, you know? But, sometimes, it’s better to be rational!

Remember that “most expensive” does not equal “best quality”. As we’ve seen throughout the article, there are many affordable options out there that offer excellent sound. 

We suggest you compare different models and brands before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are bookshelf speakers best used for?

One of the pros of bookshelf speakers is that they’re very versatile. Since they’re compact, you can place them almost anywhere, a feature that makes them ideal for more than one purpose.

The most obvious use is music listening. As we’ve seen throughout the article, some models emphasize low frequencies, which is great for those who like bass-heavy music like heavy metal. 

Other models can be adjusted to emphasize different frequencies depending on the genre you want to listen to.

Some speaker models are also great for gaming. Bookshelf speakers can deliver detailed sound, which is great for computer games with immersive sound effects. 

A good sound system can definitely take your gaming experience to a whole new level.

Movies are also another area where bookshelf speakers excel. When you compare bookshelf speakers to built-in TV speakers, you can clearly see the difference. 

Bookshelf speakers provide a detailed sound that makes movies more realistic and immersive.

What’s the difference between passive and active bookshelf speakers?

Well, basically, the difference lies in the way they are powered.

Passive bookshelf speakers need a separate amplifier to generate sound. They receive the audio signal from your computer, phone, or whatever device you’re using, but they can’t drive the speakers themselves, they don’t have enough built-in power.

On the bright side, passive speakers offer flexibility in the sound they can produce and help you customize even more the sound the speakers produce.

Also, passive speakers tend to be more affordable than active ones because they don’t have built-in amplifiers.

On the other hand, active bookshelf speakers (also known as powered bookshelf speakers), come with built-in amplifiers, which means they receive the audio signal and can reproduce the sound themselves without needing separate amplifiers.

So, you just have to plug them into your computer or any other device that can play music and you’re good to go! They’re great for those who don’t have much space.

The problem is that, since the amplifiers come integrated, powered speakers don’t allow many upgrades. If you want to upgrade your powered speakers, you’ll probably have to replace the entire system.

If you want an easy and clean setup, we suggest you try powered bookshelf speakers. They’re a great choice for those who want something convenient and easy.

If you want to be able to adjust the sound as much as possible and like that type of flexibility, then you should give passive speakers a try. A separate amplifier can definitely help you adjust the sound to your liking! This is also the most affordable option of the two.

Ultimately, you should choose the speakers that best fit your needs!

Where's the best spot to put bookshelf speakers in a room?

The best spot to put bookshelf speakers in a room depends on the size of the room you place them, and the type of music you listen to, among other factors.

Here are some tips to get the best listening experience possible:

First, when you’re setting up your audio system, try to place the tweeters (see the image below for reference) at ear level so that all frequencies are balanced.

When we say “ear level”, we mean the spot where your ears are in your main listening position. Keep this in mind! 

When some people hear “ear level”, they imagine a person in a standing position. But most people listen to music sitting down! So remember this.

Also, try to avoid extremes. If you can’t place your speakers at ear level, that’s ok! Just don’t put them too high or too low because that could cause high or low frequencies to be too predominant in the overall sound.

Second, try to keep an equal distance between each speaker and the walls so that the sound is evenly distributed.

Also, we suggest you place your speakers at a slight inwards angle towards your listening position so that the sound is more focused.

How do I care for bookshelf speakers?

First things first, dust them regularly: dust buildup can affect the sound of your speakers. Try using a microfiber cloth so that you don’t scratch them. 

If you want to clean them deep, slightly dampen the cloth with distilled water. Just make sure there’s no excess water in the cloth before touching your speakers. In the audio world, moisture is the enemy!

If you're not going to use your speakers for a while, store them in a cool, dry place, and cover them so that dust doesn't accumulate on them.

Also, try not to put them in direct sunlight. The sun's UV rays can damage the speakers over time.

Magnets are also something you shouldn’t let near your speakers since they can interfere with their sound.

If you follow these tips, you should keep your bookshelf speakers in good shape and enjoy them for many years to come. So don't be lazy and dust your precious speakers!


As we’ve seen, there’s a bookshelf speaker for everyone out there. It’s just a matter of doing your research before buying. That's the only way you'll find the best bookshelf speakers for you.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to take into account the sound quality and compatibility of the bookshelf speakers you’re about to buy, as well as the space where you’ll place them. A small room doesn’t need as much power from your speakers as a big room does, for example.

If you want a balanced model that’s affordable and classic, check out the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2. These speakers have been on the market for a really long time because of their high quality and reliability.

If you love feeling the bass on your chest when you’re listening to music, we suggest you try the PSB Alpha P5. Their bass-heavy sound is perfect for those who like heavy metal, hip hop, or just love to truly feel the bass.

Now that we’ve covered these models, you’re ready to go out there and start your audio journey. Good luck!

We’ll be updating this article as more models are launched, so stay tuned for more information on the best bookshelf speakers.

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