Our Top 3 Picks
KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers
In a sleek black and silver enclosure, you get exceptional sound in terms of range but also balance. The state of the art drivers provide clear sound across a room, so pair them with other components to create perfect surround sound and you have the best bookshelf speakers under $300.
Polk Audio RTI A3
Leave the grill off and you can enjoy looking at the stunning wood finish. Alternatively, the grill turns the speaker into the modern feature your room’s décor needs. Inside you find state of the art technology. It’s a bit big, but this Polk product impresses all the way making it our second top-rated speakers under $300.
Polk Audio RTI A1
In the RTI A1 you get the benefit of wood—in the form of MDF—to provide warm tones, but also ensure the speakers perform the same, no matter the environment. MDF is designed not to expand or move, even when humidity rises. The MDF contains high-end components that provide clear and balanced tones coming from a classically styled speaker.
Top Rated Budget Bookshelf Speakers Under $300
KEF Q100 Bookshelf Loudspeakers: Best Pick Under $300
Here’s a good looking and excellent working pair of bookshelf speakers and you can get exceptional features for less than $300. With KEF’s Q100s you get an amazing frequency range of 49Hz to 40kHz. That’s remarkably higher tones than many other similarly priced models can offer.
Part of the success in the frequency range is that the brand uses their Uni-Q driver that extends the spectrum and keeps all audio in balance. If you’re using this for your entertainment setup everyone in the room will hear each sound wave clearly. The large tweeter (1”) also prevents distortion.
These features are in black enclosures with an oak finishes so you can use them anywhere to complement the furniture. And at dimensions of 11.8” x 7.1” x 10.7” it’s easy to find shelf space for them.
Polk Audio RTI A3: Best Option Under $250
All parts of these Polk Audio RTI A3 speakers are designed to promote excellent sound:
- Real wood is used, making audio sound warm
- MDF construction promotes quality sound
- The enclosures don’t allow resonance so audio is clear and balanced
The technology that produces the 40Hz – 27kHz includes:
- Neodynium magnet
- Ferro fluid cooling to help it operate optimally at all times
- Power Port technology to limit port noise
You can see the engineers were determined to counter many general problems these lower end models present with. They put all of this in a unit that weighs only 16lb, but note the dimensions are slightly bulky: 14.75” x 14.25” x 7.75” .
Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers
This Polk product is similar to the A3 model, but the brand always upgrades. Get ready for a stunning exterior reminiscent of real wood. They’re slightly smaller than their big brothers mentioned above:
- Dimensions: 12” x 11.5” x 7”
- Weight: 12lb
This makes it easier to find space for Polk Audio RTI A1 on your bookshelf or to mount them.
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000
Note that this is a single speaker and they’re not necessarily sold in pairs. This misunderstanding often creates unhappiness when clients expect the usual set of speakers.
But with these technological features, you don’t necessarily need a second unit. The 1” aluminum tweeters handle the high notes. Thanks to the 5.25” bass and midrange drivers—not only bass as in most cases—you get a great frequency range of 47Hz—30kHz
Yes, you’ll find better frequency ranges on the market, but his item only requires payment below $300. For home theater or hobbies, this frequency range may be ideal and because they’re shielded, they won’t’ affect your screens’ visuals.
We love the exterior of the Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000. It’s modern in its glossy enclosure, but not overdone. Just note that the design is rounded at the back, which can be bothersome when mounting your speakers, rather than placing them on a shelf. But they’re quite compact at 6.25” x 6.5” x 11.88” so you’re bound to have enough space.
Yamaha NS-333 2 Way Bass Reflex
Yamaha proves once again why the brand has been in business so long. The brand uses waveguide horns:
- These can minimize the reflected sounds
- They guide audio’s waves towards listeners’ ears
With quality wiring—Monster Cable—all sounds that travel through are clear instead of distorted.
You’ll enjoy both low and high frequencies thanks to a 5” cone woofer and a 1” aluminum tweeter.
They’re quite compact at 8” x 7” x 12”, but note they weigh in at 25.6lb, so they’re not ideal for easy transporting. However, the size makes this Yamaha easy to find space for on a shelf.
The bottom range of the frequency response is slightly higher than many others on this list at 65Hz. However the 35kHz is much more impressive than others mentioned here in this list of speakers under $300.
Find here the comprehensive review of Yamaha NS-333 Bookshelf Speakers.
ELAC B6 by Andrew Jones
With the grill on this unit it’s one of the most basic designs on the market and perhaps you want this minimalistic look.
Luckily the interior is much more complicated, producing 44Hz to 20Khz frequency response, and featuring:
- A woven aramid-fiber woofer
- A custom waveguide
- An intricate crossover that ensures the bass notes and high frequencies are all heard in balance
- Noise reduction with the help of a dual flared vent which keeps turbulence to a minimum
Just a note on weight: At 32lb these speakers are quite heavy. That’s ideal if you know where you want to use them, so they can stay on that piece of shelf long term. Don’t consider these as traveling speakers.
Dimensions: 8.5” x 10” x 14”.
Audioengine P4 Passive Speakers with True Stereo
Audioengine caters to all décor styles as you can get this in a classic wood finish, black or a striking white.
The very decent frequency response of 58Hz-22kHz is thanks to the 4” port on the front, silk tweeters and Kevlar woofer. Don’t worry, this unit is shielded so it’s safe to use near your TV in your home entertainment system.
It’s really compact so if you have limited shelf space, these dimensions of 6.5” x 5.5” x 9” are ideal.
3-Way Speaker System by Sony
Here’s a bigger model than others on the list and quite impressive as it can handle up to 125W. However, the dimensions of 10.4” x 17.9” x 16.3” don’t make the good 3-way speakers heavy, weighing in at only 9lb. That makes them easier to mount if necessary.
The clear sound of frequencies up to 50kHz are made possible by an optimized crossover and a Sony Super Tweeter.
Edifier R2000DB Powered Speakers
Consumers love this because the brand provides the connection we all use: Bluetooth. Now you can send any audio to the 5.25” woofers. And remember, these have amplifiers embedded so no need to buy one as with so many others on this review list.
You’re given ultimate control with the provided remote and controls for treble & bass, located on the speakers near the inputs.
And of course, the black and wood finish of the quality powered speakers is a stylish addition to any room.
HiFi Music Listening System by Swan
Why settle for a pair of speakers if you can get a subwoofer too for under $300? Swan Speakers gives you a 6.5” subwoofer that handles frequencies lower than 120Hz, as low as 38Hz, which is lower than most speakers on this list.
Mid range and higher (up to 20kHz) can be handled by the 3” mid bass drivers and hard dome tweeters.
And as a bonus the wood and black finish form a striking design that will complement any room.
What to Expect from the $300 Bookshelf SpeakersSo for who will a bookshelf speaker costing less than 300 really work?
Each price range will affect the performance you get out of your speakers, so let’s help you see if this is the price range you should be looking at?
What Range can You Expect?
As you move away from the really low-end units to top-rated ones, your frequency response will improve. In the $300 price range, you can already expect frequencies as high as 40kHz to come through clearly. This has to do with tweeters that are of a higher quality, but also designs of the insides of enclosures that prevent distortion.
At the lower end of frequencies you’ll enjoy a few bass notes, but don’t expect super low notes. You may still need a subwoofer if bass notes are a priority for you.
Are the Speakers Active or Passive?
While this isn’t directly related to price, only a few in these lower price ranges will ever by active. That means you’ll still need to invest in an amp that matches your speakers’ power ratings. If you don’t have and amp yet, isn’t it wiser to simply buy a higher end unit with an amp or receiver? This saves you money and space.
What About Crossovers?
Don’t expect crossovers to come standard in speakers. You may occasionally see one in this price range, but not often.
If you do it’s worth taking a chance on the speaker, so you can enjoy more balanced audio. Some drivers do well on their own, but it’s always better with crossovers connected.
Will They Look Good?
Luckily aesthetics is something you don’t have to be concerned about as you can see in these reviews. Brands always produce striking speaker sets, no matter the price range. And as you can see above, they cater for people who like modern, contemporary designs and classic wood finishes too.