13 of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300

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Small, portable and powerful, bookshelf speakers are great, but they can also be (insanely!) expensive.

Speaker technology has evolved rapidly, and there are more brands than ever before offering active speakers that provide excellent sound quality.

A Polk bookshelf speaker on a shelf

The problem is that these same brands also seem to be charging more money than ever before.

If you’re on a tight budget, it can admittedly be hard to find small speakers that offer high-quality sound in a reasonable price range, but there is some good news:

Hard doesn’t mean impossible.

In an effort to set up a bad-ass-but-still affordable home theater system, I recently scoured the internet and did a deep dive into online reviews to find the best, most affordable speakers on the market today.

Scroll down to discover my list of the best bookshelf speakers under 300 dollars that will add unique design, deep base, high volumes and (most importantly) excellent value to your home speaker system.

Hi Fi, Low Price:

The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 300 Dollars

Overall Best Speakers Under 300 Dollars ↓

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R2000DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
  • 4.6 Stars on Amazon
  • 1,620 Ratings

Combining great sound with great style, these wireless subwoofer speakers from Edifier are my top pick because they provide the looks and performance of much more expensive speakers, but at a significantly better price point.

Perfect for computers, gaming or as part of a home theater setup, they boast a 25mm silk dome tweeter that provides clear sound and great audio quality.

They come with a remote control, and are available in two colors – a versatile black model and the handsome brown wooden version shown here – making them an excellent choice for those who wants book shelf or desktop speakers that look as good as they sound.

Promising Review:

“Right out of the box, they are a WOW in sound and also looks (I purchased the black pair while they were on sale)… In my home I have multiple stereo set-ups with Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, Polk and JBL speakers. These easily hold their own against anything else I have… I read countless reviews and did consider the similarly priced Bose Companion 20 which I auditioned but no way are those an equal to these.” – Charles J. Hampton-Snow


Yamaha NS-333

Yamaha NS-333
  • 4.5 Stars on Amazon
  • 89 Ratings

With a 1-inch tweeter and 5-inch PMD cone woofer, the NS-333 is a product of Yamaha’s focus on natural sound (i.e. reproducing sound as purely and naturally as possible, resulting in an accurate, clean sound that’s free of any additional noise).

This deep commitment to the quality of the sound has long made Yamaha speakers a particular favorite among the most music-focused segment of the market.

While this pair is intended for home theater use, it’s made from the same high-quality materials that Yamaha is known for, and offers a similarly strong and accurate sound.

Promising Review:

“I am using these as the rear speakers in my 7.1 setup with my Yamaha RX-V675 7.2 Channel Network AV Receiver. They are precise and solid. Check the weight before you buy them, however, because they are surprisingly heavy for their size. This is because of very strong construction, and very solid speakers inside.

“I highly recommend these speakers for any use. They are way better than I thought they would be. I believe I could swap them with my main speakers and still be happy with their performance!” – J.Trimble


Audioengine P4

Audioengine P4
  • 4.4 Stars on Amazon
  • 57 Ratings

Audioengine’s P4 series of bookshelf studio monitors are among the best options for the music lover looking for the perfect pair of speakers to suit a small room.

In addition to compact size, they provide high quality sound and deep base, with 4-inch woofers built on a solid diecast aluminum foundation, flared Kevlar cones and butyl rubber surrounds.

Promising Review:

“I’ve used all in one powered speakers with DACs, amps, etc… and I miss the simplicity of well designed and well executed passive speakers. These deliver… The sound is effortless, transparent, and very musical.” – Shane O. Laake


Polk Audio RTI A1

Polk Audio RTI A1
  • 4.7 Stars on Amazon
  • 404 Ratings

In addition to the handsome cherry wood case, the RTI A1 speakers from Polk Audio pack a lot of sound into a small package.

Polk is both well known and well respected in the speaker industry, and these bookshelf speakers help explain why:

They use all MDF construction and resonance-free enclosures, come with a 5.25-inch dynamic balance mineral/polymer composite cone drive, use the company’s “Power Port” technology to reduce chuffing (or port noise), and have a 1-inch silk/polymer composite dome tweeter.

Promising Review:

“I was setting up a home-theater system which is also the primary sound system (my wife is a classical musician and we listen to a LOT of classical music and opera)... So I started looking and after comparing several different speakers – and after going to various stores to “audition” speakers, I finally chose these, and I am MORE than satisfied with them… I would recommend these to anyone who wants a good-sounding pair of speakers at a very reasonable price.” – Airedad


Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers
  • 4.7 Stars on Amazon
  • 1,018 Ratings

After more than a 1,000 reviews, the Klipsch R-15M has unquestionably satisfied a lot of audiophiles, so it’s no wonder why it’s been granted the “Amazon’s choice” label (for whatever that’s worth).

In addition to good looks – they feature a gorgeous gold woofer that really stands out – they provide both great power and great versatility, working just as well as left, center or right speakers, or as part of a surround sound system.

Promising Review:

“Really happy with these. I’ve had a pair of Bose that I was happy with and was in the market for another pair. After a bit of research I decided on this pair. Glad I did. Excellent, full sound that brings my vinyl collection to life👌🏽 I couldn’t be more satisfied.” – Cesar Gamino


Yamaha NS-6490

Yamaha NS-6490
  • 4.6 Stars on Amazon
  • 879 Ratings

Unlike a lot of the other speakers on this list, Yamaha’s NS-6490s come in a set of three, so you can use them front, rear or auxiliary speakers.

(There’s also an option to buy them with 50 feet of cable, so you can get them wired up at home.)

All three speakers are the same and have an 8 woofer, a 4 midrange and a 0.75 dome tweeter, each of which works together to provide a frequency range of 45Hz to 23Khz.

Promising Review:

“I needed to replace an old pair of Advents and budget ruled trying these Yamaha “Bookshelf” speakers. They are pretty big for a bookshelf, however the sound is superb, once broken in. They need about 20-30 or so hours to settle in and give a very detailed while rounded sound.” – Rawdon K. Lowe III


Polk Audio Signature Series S20

Polk Audio Signature Series S20
  • 4.8 Stars on Amazon
  • 401 Ratings

As mentioned above, Polk is a well respected brand among audiophiles, so it’s no surprise that they have multiple entries on this list.

In addition to the sleek design, the important thing to know about the S20 series is that, for bookshelf speakers, these bad boys are big.

They’re about 5.4 inches wide, 8.4 inches tall and 6.1 inches deep, so while they may not actually fit on some bookshelves, they can definitely serve as tower speakers in large rooms.

Promising Review:

“I have been a Polk fan for decades and stumbled across these to replace an older pair of Boston CR6 speakers. These are very heavy well built speakers and the sound is 10X the Bostons, I should have done this years ago.” – Easydoesit


Wharfedale Diamond 220

Wharfedale Diamond 220
  • 4.6 Stars on Amazon
  • 54 Ratings

Wharfedale bills their Diamond 220 speakers as one of the greatest values in audio.

And while it’s always important to be skeptical of a brand’s marketing spin, users who have tried the Diamond 220s tend to agree with Wharfedale’s assessment.

Featuring a one-inch soft-dome tweeter, 5.1 inch kevlar woofer and a frequency response of 45Hz to 24kHz, they offer a clear, warm and all around better sound than you’d normally expect from speakers in this price range.

Promising Review:

“For the low-tier audiophile, these are where it’s at. They sound clear, warm, and generally fantastic. Unless you’re into it, don’t worry about the bi-wiring/double amplifier ability, they sound perfectly fine with a conventional set up.” – AA Family


Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series

Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series
  • 4.7 Stars on Amazon
  • 307 Ratings

The RB-61 from Klipsch looks great and sounds even better.

Klipsch’s reference series is known for providing powerful, detailed sound that’s free of compromise.

Tthe RB-61 may be one of the smaller entries in the series, but it very much belongs.

It uses the same proprietary “Tractrix Horn” technology as other Klipsch models to produce sound that’s arguably better than the Klipsch R-41M, another one of their bookshelf speakers.

Promising Review:

“These are a very balanced speaker with extremely clear and exciting midrange and top end. I also have the RP600M and one gets about 90% or more of the 600M while being half the price… give or take. Plays loud without breaking a sweat and can fill a room. Mate them with a sub and you’ll have something pretty special.” – Randy Messman


Fluance Ai60 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Fluance Ai60 Powered Bookshelf Speakers
  • 4.5 Stars on Amazon
  • 169 Ratings

Featuring Bluetooth connectivity and an integrated 100W Class D amplifier, the Ai60s from Fluance wirelessly provide a crisp, deep and accurate response.

The Ai60s are built with 1″ silk dome tweeters and 6.5″ woven drivers that produce a distortion-free, warm sound.

They also happen to look great, and are available in your choice of wood exterior: a sleek black ash or a classic and masculine brown walnut.

Promising Review:

“I have these connected to a Fire TV device via Bluetooth. The Fire TV feeds a projector for the video and these speakers for the audio. Connecting the speakers to the FireTV was a cinch, and they sound great – for BT speakers, they have excellent range, clarity and oomph. I’ve used Fluance speakers in the past and they make a quality product.” – Peterpunn


Q Acoustics 3020i

Q Acoustics 3020i
  • 4.7 Stars on Amazon
  • 507 Ratings

These new speakers from Q Acoustics are particularly beloved among music lovers thanks to their clear, crisp and accurate reproduction of even the most difficult instruments to properly capture.

In addition to superior audio performance, the 3020i is also available in four different color options, allowing you to choose the right color to suit your small space.

Promising Review:

“These speakers present the instruments across a natural and spacious soundscape. The instruments that are difficult to reproduce well – the diaphanous saxophone, the wide ranged piano, and the wonder of the voice are all to be heard in their true tonality. This is no small accomplishment.” – Bryan Kendall


ELAC B6 Debut

ELAC B6 Debut
  • 4.7 Stars on Amazon
  • 1,096 Ratings

The Elac Debut has earned itself a solid reputation from audio lovers and stereophiles, but the latest iteration of the B6 manages to build on the original.

The improved features in the Debut 2.0 series include:

  • A new, 1″ soft-dome tweeter that incorporates a wide-roll surround, extending the frequency response out to 35kHz;
  • A front firing port that allows for easy room placement;
  • And internal bracing that reduces cabinet vibration, minimizing the cabinet’s influence on overall sound quality
Promising Review:

“It sounds like the band is in the house. Listening to live, digitally mastered concert albums, they sound amazing. From finger snaps on Billy Joel albums, to the full range on Steely Dan, to the deep bass on ZZ Top, as well as all the interesting unique sounds on a Pink Floyd album. It’s a wonderful experience.” – H Trans Svcs


More Great Stuff from Irreverent Gent:

📷 Banner image via Audioengine

The Summary

The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300

Dave Bowden

Summary

Combining great sound with great style, these wireless subwoofer speakers from Edifier provide the looks and performance of much more expensive speakers, but at a significantly better price point.

4.5

About

Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a long-suffering (but very patient) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and thankfully even more patient) wife.