Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300 (Review)

Often times we are left on a strict budget. Maybe the significant other has been complaining about all the spending on the audio setup. But what they fail to realize is that no matter how many times you upgrade, there will always be an itch to improve the current setup.

In this case, we will be looking at the best bookshelf speakers under $300. A total of 7 hours went into researching this article to save you time. We hope this buying guide makes your decision making a lot easier. Let’s get started!

Top Pick: Edifier R2000DB Bookshelf Speakers (Wireless)

Edifier R2000DB Bookshelf Speakers (Wireless)
Source: Amazon

Unique for its wireless support, this speaker is perfect if you like a minimalistic approach to your interior decor and hate the site of wires, cables, and anything in between.

There is always a shadow of doubt when using wireless speakers as there can be latency problems, along with distortion.

Thankfully with the Edifier R2000DB, this is not an issue as the sound is fairly on par with a wired speaker.

What We Like:

Sound

With Edifiers latest technology, “eagle-eye”, the tweeter now produces sound clearer than ever. Offering a very extended mids and highs, and holds fantastic definition.

In addition to this, the frequency range has improved on the previous model. From as low as 55hz, all the way up to 20Khz. While this is a common frequency range for most bookshelf speakers, many of them struggle to reach the lower end of it.

The R2000DB reaches 55hz with ease, and can even go a couple lower. To go any lower than that, a subwoofer would be needed, but there’s no denying its performance when it comes to the lower frequency range.

DSP and DRC

Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) are internal components of the Edifier tasked, with the responsibility of keeping distortions minimal or fully expelled.

This goal is accomplished effortlessly, and you will find that even using these with the volume set high there is no distortion.

Wireless Control

Edifier manufacturers have provided a wireless remote that allows you any-time access to the bookshelf speaker. A great feature to control its settings from the comfort of your chair.

It’s also possible to connect your mobile phone from wherever within the room with the Bluetooth-enabled remote.

Design

The design is unique and gives a premium sensation. When talking luxury, Edifier stands in with its high gloss finishing. Intriguing enough, the sound quality does not fall short of expectations. Otherwise, it would have been wearing a good for a nothing gloss finish.

The all-black exterior adds to the premium feel, making it actually look like an expensive speaker to match its performance.

What We Didn’t:

Minor Hiss

While the sound is superb on these speakers, increasing the treble dial creates a slight hissing sound. Tinkering with the settings until you find what works best solves the problem, though.

ELAC Debut B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers

ELAC Debut B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers
Source: Amazon

The first impression every music lover would get from ELAC Debuts is their sizes. These models of bookshelf speakers support large tweeters, creating beautiful, crisp audio output.

The ELAC B5.2 contains a couple of other intriguing features like the vivid front-firing ports, large woofers, soft-dome tweeters, and internal bracing to balance vibration for better rhythmic and musical production.

It is a fantastic speaker for those who are after an all-rounder that produces crisp mids and highs, while still maintaining a deep bass.

What We Like:

Sound

With high-quality materials, you are guaranteed that the performance will be the same. And the B5.2 is no different here.

Aramid fibers used in the cone ensures that there are accurate signals and aids in the integration of the tweeter.

Featuring superb vocals and an immersive soundscape, it easy to get lost in the music when listening to these speakers. These are without a doubt one of the best value speakers you can get for what you pay for them.

These set of speakers truly offer what can be described as a “clean” sound, there is no distortion at any level. What you hear when you listen to these speakers is a true sound and is how the song was meant to be heard.

Design

Although Elac is not known to have the best designs, the B5.2 certainly exceeds expectations here. Coming in a sleek wooden exterior, it is sure to give the room a touch of elegance.

Andrew Jones, who is a world-renowned audio expert, custom-designed both the tweeter and driver in the speakers. Ensuring that you are getting a great sound.

The drivers and port are flush fitted and are a real compliment to the rest of the design.

What We Didn’t like:

Loudness

Although they are an active speaker, to get the best out of them you may need to hook them up to an external amplifier. At times when music is meant to be soft and quiet, they lack volume. That is, without turning up the volume when listening to a song like this.

Klipsch RB-51 II Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RB-51 II Bookshelf Speakers
Source: Amazon

The Klipsch RB-51 II are highly sensual speakers with a consumer rating on Amazon of 4.7 stars.

Filling medium-sized rooms with dynamic sound reproduction, these may just suit the needs of just about every consumer. Unless of course, your room is situated within Winterfell Castle.

What We Like:

Sound

If you require a home theatre, this is very much recommended without a second thought. The tweeters are crisp and it’s not just audiophiles who notice how well balanced each note is, providing you with a “front-row” experience.

With wonderful highs and deep lows, I cannot recommend these speakers enough. Whether you’re after something for movies or music for any genre, the RB-51 II will fill your needs with ease.

There is no distortion at any frequency range which provides you with a super clean, powerful sound.

Size

For a bookshelf speaker, the size is perfect. With the dimensions reading at 11.4″H x 6.5″W x 10.75″D, there should be no problem placing these in a wide range of locations to suit your needs.

What We Didn’t like:

Bass

At times during movies or listening to songs with a strong bassline, it lacked that vibrating feeling so many of us desire.

They do perform as low as to 50hz without any problems, and this will more than likely suffice for most people.

However, pairing this speaker with a subwoofer to reach does lower notes is something I recommend to get the most out of them.

Also read: Best Elac bookshelf speakers

Jamo Studio 803 Bookshelf Speakers

Jamo Studio 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Source: Amazon

At first glance, the studio 803 appears as though an emotionless face is staring at you without the grilles. This is as a result of the well-fitted tweeters and woofers positioning.

Jamo bookshelf speakers are small theatrics suitable for any indoor activity demanding for some contemporary booming, and this is sponsored by the Tractrix horn.

They also feature patent-pending connection points lying at the top part of the speaker cabinet. In addition to this, these connection points are capable of seamless sound, engineered by its 5-inch woofers and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter.

What We Like:

Dolby Atmos

With Dolby Atmos part of the studio 803, it helps to create a dynamic atmosphere, filled with immersive 3d soundwaves of enjoyment.

Due to multi-speaker cinema-style setup is not ideal, or affordable for most people, Dolby Atmos is the solution to this problem. It’s has become a must if you’re looking to get the most out of your movies and thankfully with this speaker, it utilizes it efficiently.

Build Quality

With no hint of doubt, this speaker offers the touch of a premium sound unit. For its price, the materials used for the production are excellent.

Inside, includes nothing but high-quality material, like the aluminum-coated poly-fiber driver reflex which helps produce a crystal clear, deep bass.

It comes in three colors, white, walnut, and black, featuring a matte vinyl finish blessed with a wood grain accent. All elegantly designed, and have a modern feel to them that would complement the interior of any room.

Not to be left out, the grilles are woven with magnetic linen to further texture the speaker with a look of elegance.

Pricing

A great note about the studio 803 is that the price is budget-friendly, without sacrificing too much quality elsewhere.

I will say this is not the best speaker on this list, but it certainly isn’t bad and is perfect if you’re on a budget and looking for a home speaker upgrade.

What We Didn’t like:

Clarity

It’s a given that the less you pay, you’ll have to make sacrifices somewhere. When listening to music and comparing it to a more premium one, it lacks clarity in vocals and dialogue.

This issue could be resolved by pairing it up with an amplifier, but you would be better off going for a more expensive speaker if that was the case.

Also read: Best Yamaha bookshelf speakers

JBL Arena B15 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

JBL Arena B15 Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Source: Amazon

If you’ve been a speaker manufacturer since the mid-1940s, you must be doing something right.

The JBL Arena B15s is a fantastic mid-range speaker that offers great sound, but the design may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

What We Like:

Sound quality

When initially testing these speakers, the lows sounded muddy and the tweeters really were just lacking quality. But even after a couple of hours, my fears turned into joy as these problems quickly vanquished.

Speakers like these really need to be ‘broken-in’, for lack of a better word. However, once you’ve used them a while, they will really show their true colors.

The speaker is really well balanced between highs and lows, and the tweeter is not too bad too. Dialogue is crisp and clear and the tonal balance is splendid.

The bass response does not go very low, but if you have a subwoofer paired with these, it may just be the best speaker you can get on the list in terms of sound quality.

Flexible Installation

JBL Arena bookshelf packages an integrated wall-mount solution. This makes flexible installations possible whenever you feel it’s better to attach the multi-channel speakers onto the wall.

What We Didn’t like:

Use of Subwoofer

These bookshelf speakers do not contain many internal elements to aid the lower frequencies, and the bass does tend to lose quality below 100hz. While this may not be an issue for some people, it is best paired with a subwoofer to get the most out of it.

Design

Of course, a lot of people here only care about sound and if that’s the case, this won’t bother you in the slightest. However, compared to other speakers on this list, I found that it just wasn’t as appealing to look at and looked chunky or out of place.

While taking the grill off the front panel definitely improves the look of it, the exterior looks cheap (It is certainly a heavy speaker and durable, it just doesn’t look it).

Read here: Best Klipsch bookshelf speakers

Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers

Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
Source: Amazon

The first impression passed by Q Acoustics 3020i is ‘elegance’. The next in line is the overall design and texture. Compared to previous Q Acoustic models, 3020i spot an extended cabinet sizes, as well as deeper bass.

In addition, these speakers contain good soundstage for recording audio and television productions.

Moreover, Q Acoustics bookshelf speakers brace with a Point-to-Point (P2P) technology that gains control of the room and acts as a soundproof for a clean recording. As a producer, this should be your pick for quality audio and movie productions.

What We Like:

P2P

The Point-to-Point (P2P) technology is a great addition by the manufacturers. However, this feature will be really best utilized by movie and audio producers who are mostly interested in soundproofing, clarity and proper bass production.

Size

The size is perfect for bookshelf speakers of 6.7 inches of height, 10.9 inches of width and a dimension of 11.1 inches and shouldn’t be an issue when making space for it.

It is compact enough to be used as a desktop speaker if you have the room, and powerful enough to be used in a medium-size room. Small positives like these are what makes a speaker stand out from others.

Stand-Alone Woofers

Woofers situate adjacent tweeters and this often introduces a sound conflict. While tweeters are trying to impress the ears, the vibrating woofers would be distorting sound waves.

However, it’s different in Q Acoustics as the tweeters are being separated by a compliant suspension system thereby creating a balance with the rhythm.

Bass Driver

The Q Acoustics bookshelf speakers feature low-hysteresis rubber surround integrated alongside coated paper to establish a greater degree of audio balance. This further serves as a frameskip concept that accelerates deep sounds and manages vibrations.

What We Didn’t like:

Not Good as a Surround Speaker

Q Acoustics 3020i is not a bad bookshelf speaker all-round. However, its features tend to conflict with the performances of other speakers when placed side by side or used as a surround speaker. These speakers are more of dedicated sound units.

Here’s our favorite Edifier bookshelf speakers

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you in choosing a bookshelf speaker under $300. There is a range of features to decide on like size, audio quality, and size.

If you enjoyed this, you may also be interested in our favorite Fluance bookshelf speakers.