5 Best Bookshelf Speakers $500 and under (2018)

Looking to build a budget or starter hi-fi system? Here are some great speakers to start with! All of these speakers scale very well so don’t be afraid to pair them with electronics that cost double their price. A quality integrated amp will really bring out their best!  Another word of advice: The descriptions of the speakers are just starting points to point you in the right direction, always try to listen to a speaker before you buy.

1. Q Acoustics 3020 $249.99 This speaker does everything well, quality controlled bass, sumptuous midrange, laid back but detailed highs, great all around speaker for those who listen to many different genres.

2. Monitor Audio Bronze 2 $378.00 Nice design, crisp highs and really deep bass for a bookshelf. Very refined, needs to be paired with good electronics to get the best out of them.


3. Kef Q100 $250. Nice detailed speaker, with really wide soundstage, nice for jazz and acoustic music, technically discontinued but still sold by Kef at less than half of the original price. A budget audiophile favorite.

Buy at Kef Direct

4. ELAC Uni-fi UB5 $499.00  Compact 3-Way Design due to coaxial midrange and tweeter, good treble, midrange along with nice deep controlled bass for the size, smooth presentation, easy to listen to. More accurate than the other speakers on this list. Good all around speaker for those who listen to a lot of different genres.


5. Wharfedale Diamond 220 $349.00 Awesome build quality, great speakers for tight spaces since the bass port is on the bottom, nice balanced sound, rich midrange.


For a few dollars more:

Kef Q150 $550 The replacement for the Q100 above, the Q150 has the same wide soundstage, and beautiful detail of it’s predecessor, but with less distortion and more refinement. Also has a cleaner, more modern design. Worth a listen if the other speakers don’t give you the depth of sound you are looking for.


Leave a Reply