Best Powered Bookshelf Speaker

For you to enjoy listening to your favorite music or watching a romantic movie on the TV with your partner in perfect conditions, you need a perfect sound system. This is where the powered bookshelf speakers shine as they are an integral part of these setups. What makes them so special is the fact that they provide a subtle bass to the sound while adding mid-sized sounds and treble sized sounds to the music or movie.

No matter if you’re using the speakers as standalone, as a stereo pair, or integrated into a sound system that you already own, they are a definite must-have in any modern home. There are certain specs and elements that separate some of the speakers on the market from other models, making them of a superior quality. To ensure that you will spend your money wisely, we have rated and ranked the best powered bookshelf speakers of the moment.

Top 5 Powered Bookshelf Speakers Comparison

1. Audioengine HD6 2. Audioengine A5+ 3. Kanto YU3 4. Klipsch R-15PM 5. Edifier R2000DB
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Product Specifications

Brand Audioengine Audioengine Kanto Klipsch Edifier
Size (W x H x D) 7.25″ x 11.75″ x 10″ 10.75″ x 7″ x 9″, 10.75″ x 7″ x 7.75″ 5.5″ x 8.6″ x 7.5″ 7″ x 12.5″ x 8.11″ 6.25″ x 11.5″ x 8.5″
Weight 17.5 Lbs, 12.5 Lbs 15.4 Lbs, 9.6 Lbs 6.8 Lbs, 5.3 Lbs 10.3 Lbs 11 Lbs
Construction 3/4″ Thick MDF, Silk Dome, Kevlar, Diecast Aluminum, Neodymuim Magnets 1/2″ Thick MDF, Kevlar, Silk Dome, Neodymium Magnets MDF, Silk Dome, Kevlar MDF, Aluminum, Copper Spun, Brushed Polymer Veneer MDF Wood, Aluminum, Silk Dome
Finish Options Satin Black Paint, Walnut Wood Veneer, Cherry Wood Veneer Satin Black, Hi-Gloss White, Solid Carbonized Bamboo Gloss White, Gloss Black, Gloss Teal, Matte Grey, Matte Green, Matte Yellow, Matte White, Matte Black Black Piano Black, Cherry Wood
Mount Type Bookshelf Bookshelf Bookshelf Bookshelf Bookshelf
Number of Speakers 2 2 2 2 2
Speaker Type 2.0 System feat. Wireless&Digital Optical Inputs 2.0 Powered System Surround Bass Reflex 2.0 Powered System
Amplifier Type Analog Dual-Class A/B Monolithic Dual Class AB Monolithic Class D Class D Class D
Drivers Type 5.5″ Kevlar 5″ Kevlar 4″ Kevlar 5.25″ Copper Spun 5.25″ with Aluminum Diaphragm
Tweeters Type 1″ Silk Dome 3/4″ Silk Dome 1″ Silk Dome 1″ Aluminum 1″ Silk Dome

Performance

Sensitivity 88dB 82dB 85dB 81dB 82dB
Nominal Impedance 4 Ohms 10 Ohms 4 Ohms 8 Ohms 6 Ohms
Frequency Response 50Hz – 22kHz ± 1.5dB 50Hz – 22kHz ± 1.5dB 60Hz – 10kHz ± 6dB 62Hz – 24kHz ± 3dB 50Hz – 20kHz ± 3dB
Peak Power Output 150W Total 150W Total 120W Total 100W Total 120W Total
SNR >95dB >95dB >90dB >90dB >85dB
THD+N <0.05% <0.05% <0.3% <0.3% <0.5%
Crossover System 2-Way 2-Way 2-Way 2-Way 2-Way
Crossover Frequency 2.8 kHz 2.8 kHz 2.0 kHz 1.8 kHz 2.0 kHz
Power Consumption 10W, 6W, 4W 10W, 6W, 4W <0.5W <1W <1W

Features

Remote Control
Other Features Dual Audio Inputs Dual Audio Inputs Control Knob TV Ready Digital Sound Processing
Full-Range Variable Output Auto-Sleep Power Saving Mode Auto Power-Up PC Ready Digital Range Control
Detachable Magnetic Speaker Grills Front Panel Volume Control Digital-to-Analog Converter Turntable Ready Adjustable Tone Settings
Passive Crossovers Full-Size 5-Way Speaker Binding Posts Left&Right Binding Posts Magnetically Shield
Threaded Inserts Power On/Off Transient Protection
Power On/Off Transient Protection Thermal Over-Temperature
Thermal Over-Temperature Output Current Limiting
Output Current Limiting

Ports&Connectivity

Bluetooth 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Bass Port Rear Top Rear Rear Rear
Inputs 3.5mm Mini-Jack, Bluetooth aptX, RCA L/R, Digital Optical 3.5mm Stereo Mini-Jack, RCA L/R 3.5mm Mini-Jack AUX, RCA/LR, 2 x Digital Optical, Bluetooth 4.0 with Qualcomm aptX Digital Optical, 3.5mm Mini-Jack Line Level, RCA/LR, Bluetooth 3.5mm Mini-Jack Line Level, RCA/LR, Bluetooth, Digital Optical
Outputs 47ohm Output Impedance, Variable Line-Out w/2.0V RMS Max Output RCA Variable Line-Out, USB Subwoofer, USB Charge 5V 1A Subwoofer, USB Digital Audio Subwoofer, RCA Variable Line-Out, USB
Connectivity – Devices Mac, PC, Tablet, Smartphone Mac, PC, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Smartphones Mac, PC, iPad, iPod, iPhone Mac, PC, Tablet, Smartphone Mac, PC, Tablet, Smartphone
Connectivity – Operating Systems Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux iOS, Windows, Linux, MacOS Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux
Connectivity – Music Player Apps Amarra, Youtube, iTunes, TIDAL Amarra, Youtube, iTunes, TIDAL Amarra, Youtube, iTunes, TIDAL Amarra, Youtube, iTunes, TIDAL
Connectivity – Other TV, Apple TV, Network Streamers, Audioengine Digital-to-Analog Converters, Audioengine Wireless Audio Adapters TV, Audioengine Wireless Audio Adapters, AirPlay, Apple Airport Express TV, Apple TV TV, Apple TV TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation

Warranty&Support

Product Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 2 Years 3 Years 2 Years
Trial Period 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days
Customer Support
User Manual

Important Information that You Need to Know

What makes powered bookshelf speakers be present in many modern households is the fact that they are an integral part of an ideal sound system, adding the bass, mid, and treble sized sounds to your experience when watching a movie, playing a game, or simply listening to music to enhance it. Due to the fact that they have built-in amplifiers, they differ completely when compared to normal speakers, being phenomenal at delivering sounds of an excellent quality.

Of course, there’s the aspect of their size as well, generally being more compact when compared to other types of speakers. Therefore, it’s easier to find a location for bookshelf models, especially if you intend to integrate them with your pre-existing sound system. Also, this compact size makes them portable, so you can easily take them with you wherever you go if you want to enjoy great sound quality. Know that it’s not mandatory to integrate them with a sound system. If you don’t own one or you just don’t want to make this move, you can use them stand alone as well.

Although this is a detail that you will surely notice on your own, we must tell you that bookshelf speakers also have a more trendy design that makes them a better fit with modern decors. Seeing how everyone these days thinks about how well new purchases go with their room decor and design, it’s an important aspect to take into consideration as well.

What Advantages these Speakers Offer


A quality pair of speakers, regardless of their type, is a considerable investment to make, but one worth making if you want to enjoy superior sound quality. If you are wondering what are the advantages that powered bookshelf speakers have to offer and what makes them so great, read this section of the article as we will tell you all about the benefits that they come with.

  • Superior Two-Way Design

  • Bookshelf speakers generally have a two-way design, some models even featuring a three-way design. Most models, just like the ones that appear in our top, boast a two-way design that consists of a tweeter and a driver. The role of this two-way design is to enhance the sound quality, delivering a clean and realistic experience for the listener to be satisfied with the purchase that has been made.

  • Compact Size

  • They are called bookshelf speakers for a good reason, the compact size that they boast making them a perfect addition to your bookshelf. Therefore, if you’re looking for a space-saving option, they are the perfect choice to go with. It’s their size what also makes them a perfect fit next to the TV, for example, even if the table on which the electronic is placed isn’t that large. Additionally, due to their size, they make for a discrete addition if you do end up placing them in the bookshelf, not distracting from the decor that you have already created.

  • Enhancement of Sound Quality in Sound Systems

  • These powered speakers offer a unique advantage over other types and models, more precisely the fact that they add clearer bass, mid, and treble sized sounds that generally lack in quality when it comes to sound systems. With a quality pair of bookshelf speakers by your side, you will experience a realistic and truly enjoyable experience when listening to music, playing, or watching a movie on your TV, so it’s surely an investment worth making.

  • More Reasonable Pricing

  • Generally, speakers tend to be expensive as the components and technologies used in their manufacturing can’t really by compared to anything else, being pricier to produce. This isn’t the case with bookshelf models necessarily because when they are mass-produced, they become a lot more reasonable in pricing, their components, and amplifiers not being sacrificed when it comes to quality for these speakers to remain accessible and affordable to most people.

What You Must Look for When You Go Shopping


Buying new speakers isn’t an easy task as you have to know what makes them be of a superior quality and what to look for. In the following lines, we will show you what are the elements and specs that you must keep your eyes on when making the purchase, thus helping you make a smart investment that you surely won’t regret.

  • What Materials the Speakers are Made With

  • The materials that powered bookshelf speakers are made with don’t only show their durability over time but they show how great the quality of the sound will be as well, the enclosure other construction elements playing a bigger role than you could ever imagine in the transmission of the sound. MDF wood is the perfect material to go with for the enclosure, Kevlar is ideal for the drivers, while silk dome is the choice to go with for the tweeters.

  • What Type of Amplifier is Featured

  • The relationship between the amplifier and the speakers is a complicated one, most people not being aware of the importance of a high-quality amplifier. Basically, the amplifier has the role in sustaining its output wattage in order to ensure that the speakers won’t be affected, meaning that the quality of the sounds that they emit won’t be lost as time passes. While every type of amplifier comes with its own pros and cons, what we recommend is that you go for a dual class A/B monolithic model.

  • Power Consumption

  • Of course, you have to take into consideration the power consumption of the speakers as you surely don’t want to end up paying a ton of money just because you like listening to music most of the day. As you can see, all the products featured in our top boast a low power consumption, meaning that they’re not only of a high quality when it comes to sound emission but that they’re energy efficient as well.

  • Whether a Remote Control is Included or Not

  • Convenience is an aspect that you must take into consideration when making the purchase as you don’t want to end up wasting time changing the settings but rather enjoy the experience, listening to your favorite songs when you’re finally at home. With a remote control, this can be made possible, this being the reason why we recommend you pay attention for the model that you do end up buying to come with this accessory.

Best Brands on the Market

On the market for bookshelf speakers, there are a couple of brands that are renowned for producing and delivering only high-quality products to customers. In the following lines, we will show you what are the brands that we’re referring to in order to help you make a smart decision when you go shopping, as these brands surely manufacture and deliver only speakers of a superior quality.

  • Audioengine

  • Audioengine is a brand that designs and builds innovative audio gear, the products released by this company changing the way we all listen to our favorite music, delivering a superior experience that will surely blow your mind. What will astonish you for sure is the fact that this is a relatively new company, manufacturing and selling its first product in 2006. Since the inception of the business, Audioengine has managed to become a household name worldwide, tending to the needs and desires of all people, no matter if we’re talking about musicians, DJs, or average Joes.

  • Kanto

  • Being founded in January of 2007, Kanto is another brand that despite its young age has managed to become a household name due to the fact that it emphasizes on designing and manufacturing only high-end electronics that innovate their markets. When it comes to the production of powered bookshelf speakers, the company managed to impress everyone with the production of the Kanto YU3 speakers that swept everyone off their feet by delivering an unsurpassable sound quality and performance.

  • Klipsch

  • Klipsch is one of the oldest and most renowned brands on the audio market as it has been around for a long time, more precisely since 1946. What has made this brand become so famous isn’t only the fact that it has managed to stay above its competitors all the time by producing new and innovative speakers and audio gear, but the fact that it has always understood the fact that pricing is important. Therefore, this is the company to buy from if your budget isn’t extremely generous as you will surely find the right speakers for you with ease.

How We Rated the Speakers


Although the difference in the overall quality of the powered bookshelf speakers featured in out top is pretty obvious when they’re put side by side, it’s still important for you to know what are the elements that made us rank them the way we did. Knowing this won’t only help you appreciate the speakers more, but it will help you have a clearer view of what you should look for when you go shopping as well.

  • Construction

  • The construction of the speakers affects their durability as well as the quality of the sounds that they produce. Obviously, this is one of the aspects that affected our ranking the most as we wanted to ensure that nothing but the best products will appear in this top and that they will be put in a fair order. The 3/4-inch thick MDF wood used in the construction of the Audioengine HD6, along with the silk dome tweeters and the 5.5-inch Kevlar drivers show that it’s of a superior quality when it comes to sound emission, this being one of the reasons why the product ranks first in our top.

  • Nominal Impedance

  • It’s important for powered bookshelf speakers to boast a high impedance in order to not overheat and to not use too much power when operating. From this point of view, the model that received the most points was the Audioengine A5+ as it boasts a nominal impedance of 10 Ohms, thus ensuring that you won’t experience any fluctuations when it comes to power consumption, and guaranteeing that the speakers won’t get damaged due to over-heating either.

  • Signal to Noise Ratio

  • The signal-to-noise ratio compares the level of noise power to the level of signal power, and it’s expressed in decibels. To ensure that the best products out there will be present in our top, we picked the speakers that boast higher number from this point of view as a higher signal-to-noise ratio shows a superior quality of the speakers.

  • Total Harmonic Distortion

  • The total harmonic distortion is used to show the linearity of the speakers. It’s important for the total harmonic distortion to be as low as possible for the reproduction of the audio to be accurate. As you can see, the two best-ranked models in our top, more precisely the Audioengine HD6 and the Audioengine A5+ both have a THD level of under 0.05%, thus ensuring that the sound quality will be accurate and clean. Of course, all the other models in our top boast a good total harmonic distortion level as well as none of them exceeds 0.5%.

  • Connectivity

  • Last but not least, we took into consideration the connectivity of the speakers as it’s highly important for them to be as versatile as possible from this point of view. As you can see, all the speakers featured in our top can be connected to multiple types of devices, operating systems, music player apps, and more, ensuring a superior freedom of use.

Top Rated 2018 Powered Bookshelf Speakers Reviews

1. Audioengine HD6

At the top of the powered bookshelf speakers market sits the Audioengine HD6. It is composed of two speakers, one of them being active while the other is passive. To ensure that the speakers will go well with the bookshelf that you want to place them on, you have 3 finish choices to choose between, more precisely cherry wood, walnut wood, and satin black. The built-in analog dual-class A/B monolithic amplifiers that they come with pack a punch, ensuring a great sound experience that rivals the top audio systems of any kind. What customers really loved when using the HD6 speakers is their versatile connectivity as you can stream YouTube, TIDAL, Spotify, and more. What helps boost the sound quality of the speakers is the design of the cabinets, the thick and stable construction combined with the silk dome tweeters and the diecast aluminum frames delivering an unsurpassable performance. For protection in use, not only for you but to ensure that your money won’t get thrown out the window due to a poor quality design, the product features power on/off transient protection, thermal over-temperature, output current limiting, and a replaceable external main fuse. With a -50dB crosstalk and a 50Hz to 22kHz frequency response, it’s easy to understand why the HD6 ranks as the best product on this market. In addition, the wireless operation range that it boasts is up to 100 feet, while the wireless latency is only of approximately 30 milliseconds.


2. Audioengine A5+

It’s clear by now that Audioengine is the best brand on the powered speakers market, the company not only releasing the HD6 model that ranks as the best out there but producing the Audioengine A5+ as well, the model that we consider to be the second best on this highly competitive market. Although these speakers deliver audiophile-quality sound, they don’t come at an exaggerated price, the cost being in the price range of most people who want to enjoy the best when listening to their favorite music or watching TV. What makes the A5+ such a popular option, in addition to the impeccable and irreproachable quality of the sound that the speakers produce, is the connectivity aspect. Basically, you can connect your computer, TV, smartphone, or any other device to enjoy stereo sound in any room of your house. Versatility is a key point of the A5+ as the product allows you to even charge your iDevice via the USB power port that it features. Therefore, there is more than one use for these speakers. The easy setup ensures that even a novice can handle installing and using the speakers without facing any issues. The most important accessory that comes when you purchase the A5+ is the remote control that allows a convenient use of the product. When it comes to energy consumption, you can confidently use the speakers on a daily basis without worrying about any absurd costs. In addition, the Audioengine backs this model during the 3 years after you purchase it.


3. Kanto YU3

Just like the models that we previously talked about, the Kanto YU3 powered bookshelf speakers deliver great sound quality at a fair price. Another highlight of these speakers is the fact that they’re easy to use, not needing to have advanced knowledge about electronics to operate them as the interface features a single knob. What makes the YU3 be of an amazing quality is the fact that the woofers are made with 4-inch Kevlar, while the tweeters are made with 1-inch silk dome, thus ensuring a clean, superior sound experience. Despite the fact that the speakers boast an impressive 120W total peak power, they consume less than 0.5W on standby. Therefore, big operation costs aren’t an issue at all. The remote control that they come with allows a convenient operation, while the rubber feet ensure safety in use, ensuring that the speakers will sit still. The 1.5-inch rear bass port that the YU3 features is designed to extend bass response while eliminating port turbulence. Another highlight of the product is the fact that it offers 5 input choices. Due to the presence of the sub-out port, you can add a subwoofer to the system with ease. The high-quality knurled binding posts allow you to trim the wire to the length that you want it to have. In addition, Kanto provides a generous 2-year warranty for the speakers, during this period of time covering defects in materials and workmanship.


4. Klipsch R-15PM

The Klipsch R-15PM powered monitors are the preferred choice of many as they deliver room-filling sound at a reasonable price. Also, the minimalist design makes them the perfect addition to your bookshelf, being a worthy centerpiece regardless of the room’s decor. If you want to enhance low frequencies, even more, it’s easy to add a subwoofer whenever you want. The ultra-low amplifiers that the speakers feature are designed to maximize the performance of the system, eliminating the need for additional external amplification. The Bluetooth wireless technology featured by the system enhances its versatility in use, making the speakers truly a smart choice to go with as it allows an easy wireless pairing with other devices. The infrared remote control that the R-15PM comes with allows easy access to features like track controls and source selection. The 2-way speaker system is of a superior quality as it sounds like a single source rather than separate sources. The MDF bass-reflex enclosure that it boasts helps a lot as it promotes an optimal performance. Due to the fact that it has an 8-ohm impedance, it efficiently conducts power. The RCA phono-level inputs allow you to connect the speakers to your turntable, so if you’re interested in DJ-ing at home, they’re the perfect choice to go with. In addition, the 62Hz to 24kHz frequency response range that it delivers is able to produce crisp high and smooth mids, thus guaranteeing an unforgettable sound experience.


5. Edifier R2000DB

The fifth entry in our top is the Edifier R2000DB, a product that we strongly recommend as it boasts an impeccable performance, all without charging you a fortune to purchase it. The classic design delivers powerful audio. The Bluetooth, dual RCA inputs, and optical digital ensure flexibility in use as they allow you to connect to various audio sources. The MDF wooden enclosure of the speakers has the role of minimizing acoustic resonance in order to deliver a clean and smooth sound. The DPS-based dynamic range control has the role of minimizing sound distortion in order to keep the THD under 0.3%. The wireless remote control that it comes with allows you to conveniently operate the volume adjustment, to mute the speakers, and to change the audio source selection. Due to the fact that the rear side panel features the bass, treble, and master volume controls, it will be easy for you to change these settings as you like. The silk dome tweeters that it features make even the slightest sound clear so that you can actually enjoy a great experience when listening to music. The standby power consumption of the speakers is under 1W, so it’s highly energy efficient. In addition, the R2000DB powered speakers are backed up by Edifier during the first two years after you purchase them, so there’s no need to worry about repair or replacement costs during this period of time.

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