Speakers

So you've narrowed down your floorstanding tower speaker budget to under $1,000.... now what?

Listen, I will be the first one to tell you that being an audiophile isn't cheap (haha)! But, I think we all appreciate vibrant sound here. If you're like me, then we're willing to put our money where our mouth is and purchase one of these speakers that will make our music and movies feel much more ALIVE (Pearl Jam baby)!

I'm not going to Bull Sh*t around here, there are A LOT of decent tower speakers out there. Some are better to buy when they are on sale. Others are worth every penny if you truly love good sound.

With that being said, the sound these speakers produce is greatly effected through the system you have in place. That means if you use a Power Amp, Receiver, DAC, types and brands of speaker cables, etc. If you are an audiophile, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you are a beginner home audio buyer, you'll need to understand what works where and how it all hooks up.

I've tested and reviewed plenty of floorstanding speakers, especially in the price range around the one-thousand dollar tag. There are a ton of great options, but I wanted to make this article a little more special than others. Mainly because it takes a lot of research and time to keep narrowing down your choices.

Top 3 Best Floorstanding Speakers Under $1,000

I decided to create a super dedicated list of just 3 tower speakers that will be below $1,000 when you decide to look into them further. I'll provide easy go-to links so you don't have to search the best prices on these platforms. Most importantly, I'm here to help you find something awesome.

For the record, I used the exact same preamp, SACD player, and Power Amplifier when testing these 3 because I wanted to change up my full stack. I used a few different power amps when conducting listening tests on all my favorite tower speakers because some of the speakers sound better with the right hookup.

Here's what I used:

Preamp

Warm Audio WA273-EQ

SACD Player

Marantz SA-KI Ruby

Power Amplifier

Crown XLS2502 Two-channel, 775-Watt at 4Ω Power Amplifier

Let's just say that these 4 floor standing speakers stood out the best for the under $1000 price range with the stack that I used above. I am going to sum up all the notes I took below for the reasons why.

Here's How This Review Works

The first 2 options will be sold as a pair under the price point of $1K. The next 2 options (yes, I did a BONUS review!!) are sold under this price point, but for each speaker. I thought it would be beneficial to have my favorite pair under this price tag and my favorite "each" price.

this picture shows the outside of the focal chorus 716 tower speaker

The beautiful Focal Chorus 716

As you will quickly find out (if you read other "audiophile" blogs) I am not like everyone else. In fact, my lists are much different for the most part. My choice for the Focal Chorus 716 1/2 Way Bass Reflex (black color) is, without question, a Sleeper Pick. What I mean by this is not many people know about this particular model, but WOW they are ROCKIN'!

What I Love

Focal is all in-house. Most of these speaker manufacturers use China to outsource some of the technology and parts. Not Focal. You're getting what they intended it to be. Enough said there.

What Does 2 .5 Way Mean?

Most of my readers either message me or tell me on my Pinterest page that they prefer 3-way speakers. The number refers to where the sound is produced from three separate devices which are called the mid-range, woofer and tweeter drivers. 2.5 way will lack the mid-range device, but will have the woofer and tweeter drivers. If you're real technical, you may not get all the low frequencies that you want. But, that doesn't mean 3-ways are better than 2.5 ways.

Why Get a 2.5 Way When I Can get a 3-Way?

My favorite thing about the 2.5 way is a MAJOR benefit in my humble opinion. To me, a 2.5 will have more of that “voice of one” coherence compared to a three way.

Conclusion:

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this picture shows the outside of the ELAC Debut 2.0 F6.2 tower speaker

The Unique Design of the ELAC F6.2 Towers

I have TONS of friends who love this particular model, and around $450 each - you can't beat the value. What I noticed right out of the gate was that the F6.2 is a little cleaner at higher volume than the F5.2. Now, you may be thinking that the newer model should be better, but it doesn't always work that way. In this case, ELAC nailed it.

For the record, it took a little over 30 hours to break them in.

Best Spot to Place Them

I decided to add this in for the ELAC F6.2 because it did make a difference when I tested them out. The previous speaker, the Focal Chorus 716, didn't really matter where I placed it. However, this one mattered. Reading my notes (and I can also remember) the best place to put these is around 1 1/2 feet from the wall. Any closer will hinder the soundstage, and anyone who reads my reviews on speakers knows I love soundstage!

What Makes These Good Value?

The one thing you don't want to do is go down the audiophile rabbit hole. Yep, been there done that. Not fun at all, believe me. With this price point, you will have a hard time finding towers as good as these. Super clear sound where you will be able to hear all the instruments in the music. Bass is very good, but not excellent. Overall, a great value choice.

Conclusion:

As I said before, great value. The soundstage is really clear and crisp. The mid and high range made me say "wow" a few times. The lows are very good. Again, not excellent, but super respectable.

this picture shows the outside of the Martin Logan Motion 60XT tower speaker

The Stunning Martin Logan 60XT Towers of Power!

Alright, so like I mentioned before, the next two options are just under $1K each. So a pair would be just under 2k. I'm choosing the 60XT by Martin Logan because of the pure, rich, powerful, clear and full sound it produces.

The Only Downside for Some of You

Every retailer sells them at $999 each. So, keep that in mind, but they are under 1,000 dollars. If you're looking for a pair under this price range, go with the Focal Chorus 716 or the next option.

What I Love

The glossy black gets me going! It's a thing of beauty and I love manufacturers that take the time to design their speakers uniquely. MartinLogan has engineers in house - I LOVE that! I also absolutely love the Folded Motion® XT Tweeters. This technology allows you to play your music (or sound from movies) louder without causing distortion like some of the typical 1-inch dome tweeters give off.

Conclusion:

Again, keep in mind that they are just under one-thousand dollars each.

Going back to my notes, I wrote over and over again how good these played with my Post Modern Jukebox music. If you've read any of my reviews you'll already know I love their music. In addition, I wrote down how loud the sound was able to hold, in terms of clear sound and not breaking up. Lastly, and sometimes most importantly, the sound stage was excellent. If I had 

this picture shows the outside of the Polk Audio LSiM 707 MVC tower speaker

Just look at these beauties by Polk Audio! Wow!

Let's address the elephant in the room about Polk Audio, shall we? They have a reputation for being very bright with extreme highs. I'm here to tell you right here, right now, that the LSiM 707 MVC are almost the complete opposite of Polk's rep. Not that bright sound is a bad thing. In fact, there are days that I love bright sound.

What I Love About These

The mid range is serious. For this price, you're getting a bargain. These speakers are kick ass, they look beautiful, but sound even better. The one thing I noticed most was when I turned up the volume, the music almost became more clear. That's a sign of a good speaker.

Conclusion:

Overall I was very pleased with the bass and the mid range. The highs are nothing too bright, as I mentioned above. Clarion clear when the volume is turned up. You can become a Music Audio Star with these speakers.

Final Words of Wisdom

This article was fun to document my experience and write about. However, it wasn't as fun as actually using these speakers, testing them, listening to them and relaxing to sweet Post Modern Jukebox music.

Any one of these choices is considered dynamite. Most of the time, you're just going to be window shopping and that's fine. What isn't fine is you not actually pulling the trigger and getting something nice for yourself for once. I really hope the time I took to research all of these speakers actually helps you get closer to making a decision for your budget. Good luck, and, as always - ROCK ON!

We’re pleased to say that vinyl is back and we’re here for it! if you want to get the most out of your record player, then you need high-quality speakers.

There’s no need to suffer through the poor quality of your inbuilt record player speakers—not when we’ve rounded up the top 10 best speaks for vinyl record players that fit any budget.

Our list has something for everyone, whether you’re a serious audiophile looking to get the best of the best, or you’re simply looking to enjoy great music and crisp sound on a budget—we have you covered. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to experience the classic sounds you love, but better.

The Top 10 Best Speakers for Vinyl

We're going to dive right in here, and we can be on a mission together to power up your new toy! Let's find something special!

We’re kicking off our list with the Edifier S2000 Pro speakers. These powered bookshelf speakers for turntables are the best option for for vinyl. They also bring you brilliant design and exceptional sound. In addition, they also have plenty of power and precision. In fact, this duo is regularly used for studio monitors for both musicians and producers, which gives you a clue about just how quality they are.

You can connect to a variety of devices with the included Bluetooth 4.0 support with aptX decoder. These are easily connected to your record player, but you can also set them up for your TV or home movie theater, laptop, or any other sound system. Playing high fidelity audio from all your devices has never been easier.

Pros

  • Industry-leading components that allow for clear sound and exceptional power
  • Bluetooth capabilities for easy and convenient listening on a variety of devices
  • Includes remote control with large, easy to see and use buttons
  • It comes with a 2-year full warranty
  • There are a number of ways to connect your record player with the different inputs available—this is great if your record player isn’t a Bluetooth model

Cons

  • These are a pricier pair, probably not the best option if you’re on a budget
  • Wood is the only color option which may be a pitfall if it doesn’t match with your record player or your décor

Next up, we chose a budget-friendly option that is also high in quality and design—so don’t let the lower price tag fool you. These are a relatively small pair, but the sound quality is awesome.

It’s important to keep in mind that, should you choose this pair, you must have your own receiver or amplifier to use them. Also, check to make sure that your record player has a phono preamp built-in. If it doesn’t, no worries, just make sure that your receiver or preamp has a phono input with RIAA equalization.

We love that the small size of these speakers allows you to place them just about anywhere. And the classic, black finish makes them blend right into any room. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice on quality, the MB42 is a great option.

Pros

  • Compact and easy to place anywhere
  • Low distortion and buzz
  • Carbon-fiber woofer which allows a good bass response and a silk dome tweeter to tackle the high end

Cons

  • Not the best low-end sound
  • Requires an amp or preamp to be able to plug into your turntable

The JBL Charge 4 is perhaps the most versatile speaker for vinyl on our list, which is convenient since many turntables these days are portable. For instance, suitcase record players are easy to take with you on the go to a party, the beach, or even just in your backyard. If you have a portable record player, it only makes sense to have a portable speaker to go with it.

Enter the JBL Charge 4. This speaker is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can connect it to your turntable (as long as it has Bluetooth capabilities) or any other Bluetooth device. We love that this speaker can be used for so many different things that it makes the moderate price tag well worth the spend.

This speaker is waterproof, so it’s perfect for the beach, pool, or any situation where water is involved. It’s also built to withstand a good amount of abuse—if this speaker were to fall, you wouldn’t have to look twice.

Pros

  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Easy to take on the go
  • Waterproof
  • The battery can last up to 20 hours
  • You can connect more than one to your record player if you want

Cons

  • The audio quality isn’t as good as some of the non-portable options
  • Only two devices can be connected at one time

Alright audiophiles, if you’re looking for an affordable, quality pair, these from Audioengine should be at the top of your list. These speakers have a bunch of great features, but the most impressive is by far is their sound capabilities.

If high fidelity audio is what you’re after, you’d be hard-pressed to find many better powered speaker options. We love that these speakers are small enough to fit on your bookshelf but pack a mean punch of power with 150 watts in total.

There are three color options to choose from; bamboo, black, or white which makes it easy to grab the pair that best fits your décor and overall ambiance. They also have some of the best Bluetooth connectivity available, with over 100 feet of range.

Pros

  • Stunning sound capabilities
  • Premier Bluetooth connectivity
  • Several connection options; Bluetooth, RCA, and 3.5mm inputs
  • 3-year complete warranty
  • Included slots for stand mounting
  • Three color options to choose from

Cons

  • The price tag is higher than some other options
  • A subwoofer may be needed for full coverage of all audio frequencies

Another budget-friendly option that still manages to maintain great sound and convenience is the Polk Audio T15 speakers. Now, you won’t achieve ultra-high-fidelity with these speakers, but you can still experience great quality without breaking the bank.

These are technically mini-monitors that are designed to work with a whole surround sound system, but they actually work really well on their own, too. We love that these have the option to mount on your wall, in case your space is more conducive for wall-mounted speakers.

An important note, these speakers don’t come ready to use. You’ll need a few things to go along with these like speaker wire and a receiver or amplifier. If you already have these things, great. If not, you can get these components for reasonable prices, which still makes these speakers a very affordable option.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Ability to mount on your wall
  • Balanced sound thanks to Polk’s Dynamic Balance technology

Cons

  • A little lacking in bass, but that’s dependent on the style of music
  • You need to buy additional speaker equipment in order to use these

The PreSonus Eris range speakers were designed to be primarily used in music production, but they’re a great choice for record players, too. Whether you’re looking for a high-quality speaker that allows you to spin beats at the turntable or you’re a casual listener who simply enjoys a crisp sound—these speakers are a fantastic option.

With a moderate price tag, 50 watts of power, and EQ control, there are plenty of features that make these speakers attractive to audiophiles of all varieties. There is no Bluetooth option, however, which makes them less portable and versatile than some of the other options on our list.

Pros

  • Powerful speakers with 50 watts of power
  • Reasonable price tag
  • EQ control for customization of your music

Cons

  • No Bluetooth capability
  • Some users said that some low bass frequencies can be missing

If you have the budget, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 speakers won’t disappoint. These bad boys come in two different options; standard or slim format, allowing you to choose the size based on how much (or how little) room you have.

These feature Elac’s three-way design which promotes increased sound accuracy for a more extensive frequency response range. This means more bass definition, sharp highs, and a balanced midrange. The best is these speakers are perfect for any vinyl—regardless of the genre.

Additionally, there are the custom concentric drivers and the dedicated aluminum woofer which is responsible for stressing the lower register and diminishing the harmonic distortion.

We love these speakers for serious audiophiles as well as movie lovers who want to experience all the thrills of the big screen at home. And of course, these pair perfectly with your vinyl’s.

Pros

  • Unique, 3-way design
  • Great low-end definition
  • Excellent THD and volume control

Cons

  • Not great for those who are on a budget

The Sony SSCS5 is probably best known for its wide frequency response range. This range allows the speakers to provide an airy, unique sound while also capturing all the important notes of the register. These are another example of 3-way speakers which are great because they have 3 drivers and 2 crossover points which make for better instrument separation—which is awesome when you’re listening to vinyl.

These speakers also come with fiber-reinforced woofers which allows for superior rigidity and minimized breakup when reproducing high bass. Again, this is a speaker that requires proper amplification, so be sure you have the right equipment to get these speakers going.

Pros

  • Crisp, clear sound
  • Great value for the money
  • Extended frequency response range

Cons

  • Speakers need proper amplification
  • The “auto” switch clicks on and off frequently when you use this setting

The Klipsch R-15M bookshelf speakers open up a whole new world of balanced sound to vinyl lovers. These speakers are great for small to medium rooms, but the highs and mids are clearer and sharper than some other options.

They have special tweeters and woofers that will make others look like child’s play. The cabinet has a rear-firing port and they’re relatively small in size. These are non-powered speakers, so an amp or receiver will be required.

These are aesthetically pleasing with their matte black finish and copper-colored cone. There are also detachable grills included.

Pros

  • A great option for small to medium-sized rooms
  • Aluminum horn-loaded tweeter

Cons

  • Non-powered, need to have an amp or receiver
  • No Bluetooth options
  • Not beginner-friendly

Last, but certainly not least, we chose the Fluance Ai40 speakers. We love that these speakers produce high-quality sound while remaining budget-friendly, proving that you don’t need an exorbitant budget to enjoy great music from your vinyl.

These are Bluetooth enabled speakers, making it easy to connect to your record player or virtually any other device. These are compact in size and easy to set up and operate which makes them a great pair for newbies.

These will produce crisp sounds across a wide variety of genres which makes them ideal for your turntable. All that said, the feature that really sets these speakers apart from the pack is the 18 gauge internal lead wire. This reduces signal loss allowing you to enjoy natural sounds with minimal distortion.

Pros

  • No amplifier required
  • Minimal sound degradation
  • Sound, compact size
  • Bluetooth enabled

Cons

  • Some users complained that they heard “pops” while in Bluetooth mode

How to Choose a Great Speaker for Your Turntable

Now that you’ve seen our list of the top ten speakers for vinyl, you may have some questions regarding which one is right for you. There are several different variations, after all. We’re going to walk you through a complete turntable speaker buying guide next to help you through the process.

Here are the important considerations to keep in mind:

Wired or Wireless?

This may sound obvious to some, but it’s also easy to overlook—if you want to buy wireless vinyl speakers, you need to make sure that your record player is wireless and setup with Bluetooth capabilities. The last thing you want to do is buy Bluetooth speakers when your turntable isn’t wireless!

That said, if you are set up for Bluetooth, it’s important that you make sure that the wireless speakers for vinyl you buy have a quality Bluetooth connection. A weak connection can cause your audio to drop in and out. All the wireless vinyl speakers on our list have premium Bluetooth capabilities.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to go the wired route (which is great, too!), all you need to do is make sure that the wires will properly connect to the output of your record player and the input of your speakers. Typically, all you need are RCA cables to get this done.

Passive or Active (Powered or Non-Powered)

You may have noticed that some of the speakers on our list were ‘active’ or ‘powered’ and others were ‘passive’ or ‘non-powered’. Do you need active or passive speakers? We’ll explain:

If you have a simple, plug and play turntable, having active speakers will probably be easiest. All you need to do is plug your speakers into your record player and the music begins. This is because the amplification is already built into your speaker box. If you’re a beginner, this is the easiest and most straightforward style.

Passive speakers, on the other hand, require an amplifier or receiver to hear your vinyl records play. This isn’t a big deal if you know which amp to buy, and the good news is, you can always upgrade or buy a new one in the future which gives you some versatility.

Frequency Response

Every speaker has their own ‘frequency response’ which refers to the audio frequencies that they can replicate. As humans, we naturally hear from around 40 Hz to 20 kHz. The low end represents the bass sound and the higher end is the treble. The more balanced the frequency response of the speakers, the better the overall sound you can expect.

Where some speakers struggle is in bass frequencies. We can’t hear frequencies under 40 Hz, but some struggle to replicate sounds even under 70-80 Hz which can leave you feeling like the bass is missing.

Now, you may not care too much about this if you listen to lighter music. However, for heavier music genres that rely on bass, you’ll want to make sure the frequency response is legitimate so that you can get the most out of your speakers and enjoy your music to the fullest.

There’s also the option to add in a subwoofer to your speaker systems for vinyl which will help to regulate bass frequencies.

Room Dimensions

You can’t forget to take into consideration the space of the room that you plan on setting your speakers up in as this will play an important role in which you choose.

If your space is small to medium, our recommended bookshelf speakers are the way to go. These are great for single-room usage; however, you may be able to stretch the sound into another room without sacrificing on sound quality.

If you want to disperse the sound throughout your entire home, you’ll want a larger, more powerful set of speakers.

Acoustics

The next consideration after the size of your room is the acoustics. You won’t achieve optimal sound quality if your room’s acoustics are off. These are some of the surfaces to try to avoid:

  • Windows
  • Mirrors
  • Hardwood or tiled floors
  • Thick carpets
  • Abundance of furniture
  • Heavy drapes

Most of us don’t have a dedicated sound room in our home, so it’s best to do your best to have a good balance between hard and flat surfaces and soft, absorbent surfaces.

Space

How much dedicated space do you have in your home for your turntable rig? Take some time to think realistically about your space. If you’re a casual or new listener, a suitcase-style record player coupled with a pair of active speakers is a great option because active speakers don’t need any additional components and suitcase turntables are easy to store away.

However, if you want to set up a complete turntable rig and you have the space to do so, you can consider a full system that includes a soundbar and subwoofer. This route will obviously take up more space and will require a lot of additional equipment, but you can always start small with your passive speakers and amp first.

Budget

Your budget will also play a role in which speakers for vinyl you choose. As with anything, you get what you pay for. So, if your budget is only $50, you’re not likely to be very impressed with your sound output.

That said, you don’t need to have an exorbitant budget to get the job done. There are plenty of options between the $100-$500 range that provides killer sound. There are even a couple of vinyl speakers on our list that are below $100.

Break-in Time

If you’re new to the speaker game, you may not know that they require some time to break in. So, if you play music through your speakers the first time and feel disappointment, it may just be because they need to break in a bit.

You’ve got to remember that the parts of speakers are rigid, and they haven’t moved yet, so it’ll take a little time to get them moving and flexing the way they should.

The best way to break in your speakers is to play music with a wide dynamic range. Think of it like stretching your body out before you exercise, you want to make sure you've warmed up and have the range of motion you need.

It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to break your speakers in, so don’t despair if you feel like you aren’t achieving optimal sound right out the gate.

Conclusion

Choosing the best speakers for your record player should be based both on your research, playing capabilities, and your own preference. Everyone hears sounds differently, so what sounds great to you may not sound great to the next audiophile.

Take some time to read through our 10 best speakers for vinyl and narrow down which ones fit your style, budget, and record player. You’ll be enjoying your favorite vinyl tracks in no time!

There is no question that bookshelf speakers remain the bestselling type of speaker for home listening. Thanks to their compact size and adaptability, they can be used as part of a home theater speaker (surround sound), as desktop speakers or simply placed on the bookshelf as the name suggests.

We’re all after better sound, aren’t we? The speakers that come with your computer or that are built in your T.V. won’t cut it anymore. Amazon’s Alexa, small portable bluetooth speakers and your newest headphones are nice, but what if you could get sound that’s affordable and can touch your heart?

With a budget up to (or under) $300, you will be pleasantly surprised with the options we present to you. There are excellent manufacturers that we can’t wait to show for this budget.

All that being said, you might not get the exact sound quality or luxury material construction that comes with high-end audio setups. However, you can take this to the bank - you will be amazed at how good the sound quality can be from our top ten list.

We have a lot in store for everyone in this buyer’s guide! First, we’re going to quickly go through what we believe (tried and true) to be the best bookshelf speakers under $300 that are currently on the market. Second, we’ll provide some extra insider tips to power them up. Lastly, if you feel really good about one of them, obviously you can buy them right there, but you’ll be able to dig deeper with our single product reviews.

Top 10 Recommended Bookshelf Home Speakers for Under $300

If you’re new to speakers in general, please know what you are buying before you purchase. Check out our “do I need an amp” section, so you aren’t blindsided with additional purchases.

If you are too lazy to check that section out, just know that there are two types of speakers: Passive and Powered. Passive will require an additional amp or receiver, powered won’t. Don’t worry, we have you covered as we list the type under the name of each one.

Here are our 10 favorite choices within your price bracket (under $300). We provided our top three in order, the rest of them are not in any particular order. For most buyers, we recommend the Klipsch R-51M, and you’re about to see why!

Type: Passive

First and foremost, Klipsch is a very strong audio manufacturer that has been producing amazing bookshelf speakers. This particular series, the Klipsch R-51M, has astonishing reviews from all over the internet.

If you pair these with a subwoofer and power amplifier, they will blow you away! On the other hand, if you just use them on their own, they still have great sound. It all depends on what you are going for. You will need a receiver or amp to power them up (they are passive).

Another reason why we put the R-51M at number one is because they are incredible for surround sound when watching movies. Klipsch has always been referenced as an audiophile’s best friend when it comes to home theater systems.

So, the question becomes, are you using these for music or movies? For those who are looking to improve the sounds of movies, you’ll also need to stack it with a power amp, receiver, tower speakers, subwoofer etc.

Anyone who just wants to make listening to music more pleasant or brighter, these can be bought alone (along with your receiver or amp) and you won’t need to stack it. We can tell you either way, this is our favorite bookshelf speaker under 300 dollars!

Type: Passive

The German manufacturer has done it again! What you can get with this is very similar to our number one choice, the Klipsch R-51M.

They are simply amazing. Clear high’s, awesome mid’s and even better low’s. Anyone that decides to go with this as an upgrade or even your first pair, you’re getting something special.

The sound is terrific without a subwoofer, but if you want to really turn it up a notch, get one. You can easily pair it with a Polk Subwoofer. In fact, we like this one.

For home theater purposes, we would recommend our first option over these. Now, the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 will still do the trick and provide amazing surround sound.

This particular bookshelf speaker under $300 is great for your PC, mounting them on the wall, or placing them in a listening room on your bookshelves. Overall, you would be making an outstanding purchase.

Type: Passive

Polk Audio is one of those companies that flat out produces great bookshelf speakers. They are budget-friendly and they have a few series under the 300 dollar price tag. Those are the RTi A3, TSi 200 and of course our favorite, the S20.

Polk created the S20 to provide strikingly bold, dramatic looks and dynamic heart-thumping sound! It is very comparable to the ELAC Debut 2.0, and you cannot go wrong with either choice. We give the slight advantage to ELAC because it is a little more even keel than the S20.

If you’ve been around as long as we have, perhaps you can remember the S15’s. Before we first tested the S20’s, we thought it would be the usual modest improvement. However, we were dead wrong. The Polk Series S20 exceeded our expectations on all accounts.

The bass without a subwoofer is hands down one of the best amongst on this list. They are great to use for listening to music and movies. We can’t say enough good things about this series, and they perform way above their price tag.

Type: Passive

We have Klipsch on here a few times and for good reason. Their Tractrix Horn technology alone make them unique and worth every penny. The Reference Series RB-61iii is a true winner!

You can go years without finding true, lively, airy, silky smooth and crystal clear sound. Whether you like listening to classic rock, jazz, house, pop, country, R&B, classical, or any genre, these speakers give you details!

If you stack it up with the proper pre-amp, power amp, subwoofer and DAC, you can get the feeling of being front row at your favorite concert. We breakdown all the pros, cons and specs in our full review of the Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf speaker.

We’ve been audiophiles for more years than we will admit. With that said, we can tell you with these speakers, all you need to really ramp it up is the right subwoofer.

Now, if you don’t have the budget or don’t really care about enhancing what it can do, you will still be more than happy with just the speakers alone. Listening to music is amazing with these and will most likely be better than your current sound system.

Type: Passive

This is one of those speakers that you can buy based on faith from all of the online reviews. Rightfully so, the Wharfedale Diamond 220 is tremendous as the reviews suggest.

If you are looking for extremely well balanced sound, these are for you. Not everyone is looking for the same features. Case in point, some people may want a brighter sound.

With balance, comes potent clarity. Ranging from the bass through midrange, all the way through high. Right out of the box this is what you can expect, which is pretty cool. Imagine the sound after you break them in!

Type: Active

A growing brand name in audiophile circles, Edifier has been producing great bookshelf speakers under 300 dollars for over two decades. They also serve over 70 countries across the world.

The Edifier R2000DB is another very well balanced speaker. There are thousands of 4 and 5-star reviews out there on this particular Edifier and right they are.

Looking for high fidelity sound? You’ll get that with these right out of the box.

They are on the smaller size, but that’s a good thing because it won’t take up a bunch of space on your desk (or wherever you decide to place them).

The only knock on the Edifier R2000DB is the bluetooth connectivity. When you have it paired with your phone, you’ll have to be relatively close to it so the sound doesn’t cut in and out. If you can afford the next model up, the bluetooth connectivity is much better. Be willing to trade that off if you go with this set.

Type: Active

Another Klipsch in the review?

You bet! The Klipsch R-15PM are appealing to the eye, but that’s not the only thing that we admire.

If you like bright, crisp powerful sound that is also super clear, these speakers WILL rock your world. They will take a few days to break-in to get the full effect, but WOW! Amazing sound!

There’s a built-in bluetooth wireless technology that works fantastic, along with a full featured IR remote.

One of the best things we love about the R-15PM, is that you don’t need a receiver, sub or amp. Obviously if you want to power it up you can easily do that to enhance the sound and bass.

Many audiophiles use these speakers for turntables (record players / vinyl). The reason being is because of their bluetooth capabilities.

Type: Active

Another great option speaker for your turntable, the Fluance Ai60 is a great speaker if you are buying your first set. Seasoned audiophiles may want something a little better, but keep in mind these same audiophiles aren’t willing to spend more to get more.

We loved every minute of listening to the Ai60s. Our in-depth review on them is worth reading.

If you are looking for a set of great bookshelf speakers under the $300 mark to listen to music at home, these are perfect. On the flip side, if you have a “listening room,” have all the bells and whistles, need to listen to every spec of detail in every song, you may be disappointed.

There are mixed reviews out there, but hear it from us - this is a great buy if you decide on them.

Type: Active

Contrary to popular belief, the Edifier R1280DB produces a solid bass. Most people that have these will tell you the bass stinks, that is simply not the case.

After listening to some good old classic rock (For Those About to Rock by AC/DC), we were actually impressed by the bass considering how small these speakers are.

If you want super crisp sound, these speakers are for you. They are also well-balanced, giving you the ultimate listening experience from midrange, to the lows and highs. It’s a simple, yet efficient and effective bookshelf speaker under the three hundred dollar price range.

Type: Active

When we first listened to music on the Micca PB42X, we were impressed right out of the gate. So much so, that they had to make our top ten list. Well, here we are at number ten.

These are a perfect option for anyone wanting to get a better music experience without spending over $300. In fact, they are much less than that and perform well above their price.

Here’s the deal, if you never had bookshelf speakers and buy these, you will be super impressed with their sound. If, on the other hand, you have had good, quality speakers before, you will not be as impressed.

The Micca PB42X are really simple to set up. You’ll get solid bass, clear and crisp sound. It’s perfect for the price and for a first pair.

Below $300 Bookshelf Speaker Buying Advice

Here are some frequently asked questions and our answers to them. Keep in mind, we’ve been doing this for a very long time and we enjoy helping beginners out. This information can also be useful for hardcore audiophiles!

Do I need an amp if I decide to purchase a set of bookshelf speakers?

First and foremost, there are two different types of of bookshelf speakers. The two types are:

  1. Passive (unpowered)
  2. Active (powered)

Passive speakers need to be connected to an external amp or receiver. Powered speakers are designed to connect to any source without the need for an A/V receiver.

If you already have a suitable amp, you’ll be able to switch out your old speakers with new ones. However, if you don’t have an amp, you’ll need to buy one if you decide to go with the passive category.

It is fun buying your new speakers and a new amp / receiver together, then hooking it all up! It’s the process that makes an audio fanatic an audiophile.

We have plenty of active (powered) items on this list, so go back through and take a look.

Didn’t factor in an amp into the cost? No big deal, take a look at our top ten recommended under $200 bookshelf speakers list.

Where should I place them?

For most recommended bookshelf speakers, you’ll need to place them in the correct positions to get the full sound capabilities.

First off, always place them on an elevated and steady surface. Think of a coffee table, a bookshelf or speaker stands.

Second, never place them right up against a wall. Give them some room so there is no interference.

Lastly, rotate them inwards so they are almost pointing at each other. This helps centralize the sound.

Can I use these as desktop computer speakers?

Yes, absolutely!

Many people that buy these speakers actually use them for desktop. It’s not the best option in our opinion, but you can do it. Just be mindful that they take up a lot of space, and there are monitor speakers for your computer work space. With that being said, they are far better than the speakers that come with your PC.

Conclusion

Buying your first pair, or upgrading your sound is a fun process that everyone should experience.

It doesn’t matter if you choose a passive or active set. What matters most is opening the box for the first time, setting up your bookshelf speakers that you paid less than $300 for, and hearing that sweet, heartwarming sound you always dreamed of!

The limited-edition Dynaudio Special 40 was created to celebrate the Danish company’s 40th anniversary. This is one of those speakers that do not come around too often. Dynaudio is a very reputable brand that lives and breathes audio equipment, and they knocked these bookshelf speakers out of the park.

It’s a very special speaker that has tremendous bass weight to it where you can actually feel the bass from anywhere in the room. At the same time, however, that powerful bass does not muddy up the highs.

There’s an underlying problem with bookshelf speakers a lot of the time, and that is you get a lot of bass. The highs are usually muddled, or obscured by that bass (or mid bass) warmth. So for those who really like detail in their sound, it gets kind of distorted in a way.

With the Special 40s, you will get astonishing bass warmth and super accurate details when listening to music or using them for movies. The Special 40s are indeed special, and are at a great price tag.

image of the special forty speaker

Already decided on these? Check out the price below. Sometimes they go on sale, so act fast if you can get them for a bargain.


Get something that will last you for a long time, and a speaker that will make you happy. We truly believe that getting a pair of the Special 40s (along with a power amp) you will have what every music lover wants - special sound from a hi fi 2 channel speaker set up.

These amazing set of speakers are the most powerful, well balanced and amazing sounding masterpieces that we’ve heard in a bookshelf under $10,000.

So, if you’re looking for a balanced speaker where you can get lows, mids and highs that all balance out and form a cohesive sound, the Dynaudio Special 40 might be what you’re looking for.

Precise imaging where you hear the instruments in space floating in front of you while they’re played. That’s the attributes of a magical sound system. The soundstage is absolutely stunning and is so wide where you can hear the singer along with the rest of the instruments.

For those who are just looking to get some good background music going in your living room, these speakers are a great choice for that. On the flip side, for any audiophile out there that is looking for an upgrade, and that magical experience, these can do it for you.

With that being said, you’ll need the right amplification and the right cables. Any power amp that has 40 watts will do the trick. Look for high current amps, which are better to have than watts. For whatever reason, the Special 40s work better with high current amps - so take that for what it's worth.

Top Features Dynaudio Special 40 Review

So many great features with these. Check them out and see if it matched what you are looking for.

  • Cutting-edge acoustic technology
  • ​17cm woofer with an AirFlow Basket and hybrid magnet system
  • ​Classic Dynaudio crossover
  • Made in-house
  • DSR precision-coated 28mm soft-dome tweeter
  • Special finishes
  • ​Aluminium voice-coils
  • ​Dimensions: 7.8"W x 14.2"H x 12.7"D
image of the Dynaudio Special 40 loudspeakers


What Equipment Can You Power it up with?

We’re going to start you off with amps, then work to our preferred DAC and then Cables. If you love two channel music, it’s time to look into an amp as well as the speaker. Here are three power amps that can go really well with these bookshelf speakers.

Denon PMA-1600NE

Remember we talked about having HIGH POWERED current? And, that it is more important than watts? Well, the Denon PMA-100NE is powered by the Denon Advanced Ultra-High Current single push-pull circuit power amplifier. This is a great option.

Lyngdorf TDAI-2170

If you have some money to spend, this is a pure beauty. It’s a great option if you are planning to have your speakers in a larger room. Extremely efficient and super powerful current. All Dynaudio runs better with high power and high current. Prepare to spend some dough if you’re going this route.

Cambridge Audio - CXA60 Integrated Amp

A more affordable option out of all three, this amp does what you may need it to do. The smaller the room, the better it will help. If you are using for a larger room, this amp may not be the right choice for you.

DAC

You can also integrate a DAC. There are plenty of options out there, but we would recommend the Chord Qutest Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A DAC like this will add some rhythmic drive to the sound of these speakers. The bass is tremendous on the Chord DAC. There’s detail without ever being analytical or harsh.

Cables / Wires

Audioquest Leopard Tonearm Cable 72V Dbs (1.2M) - DIN to RCA

Speaker Stands

This is an absolute must with bookshelf speakers of this caliber or higher, or else you aren’t going to hear what they are capable of.

Here’s our preferred choice:

Pangea Audio DS400 Heavy Duty Speaker Stands (24 Inch)

What Size Room are these Best for?

We recommend these for smaller to medium sized rooms, unless you are just looking for some background music in your living room. If you have a listening room, then once you pair it with the right high current amp and cables, you’re going to create a masterpiece.

How does it sound with Music?

We love classic rock, Postmodern Jukebox and Sam Smith types of music so hopefully you can relate. These speakers are super balanced and you will feel like you are at the front stage of a concert.

What we mean is, you’ll be able to hear the singer’s voice so clearly along with the instruments and you’ll feel like they are literally right there.

Again, you will only get this type of sound if you get the right amp and cables. You have to get the setup correct to get the magical sound.

How does it sound with Movies?

Depending on how you use them, of course, but for surround sound these are near perfect. If you are planning to use these as the main source (assuming you also have an amp to go with it) you will be disappointed if its a larger room.

If you plan on using for a larger room, go with floor standing speakers. Surround sound, these babies are like their name - Special. With that being said, it all depends on if you’re interested in pairing it up with a power amp and some good cables.


The Final Verdict

For anyone who has up to $3,000 to spend on speakers, if you buy these, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure you have a decent amp powering them.

We really want everyone to know that you don’t need to spend over $20,000 just to get sound that you want. What we just mentioned above, with the speakers, the amp, the DAC, the cables and the stand, you’re close to under $5,000. This price point is unheard of with the AMAZING sound you will be getting. Ten out of ten stars, the Dynaudio Special 40 is a keeper.

Ready to Own the Best?

It's a bold statement, but we really believe its true. These are REALLY Special speakers!

image of the red special 40 speaker by dynaudio

Every audio company on the market today has its critics. There’s always the people who don’t like the speakers or amps that the company produces.

With KEF, there’s one complaint that we hear above just about anything else regarding why people don’t like it, which is the top end sound.

Is it just a myth? Or, is it true? And... have they fixed it? More on this later...

But today, we're here to show you what the KEF Q150 bookshelf speakers bring to the table. We'll show you the glaring pros and cons. In addition, we'll sum up customer reviews.

These speakers are worth every second of your time to check out as you will get a thumping bass power, compact design and a sleek look to match your sound space.

image of the KEF Q150 white speakers

Already decided on them? Go here (amazon) for the current price.

If you aren't ready to pull the trigger, use the table below or keep reading this review on the KEF Q150 to make an informed buying decision.

Presenting the KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers

First and foremost, the KEF Q150 bookshelf speaker is not soft, but warm and smooth. It does have a fair bit of detail, but it's not overwhelming, not overly analytical, not ever harsh by any calculation.

There isn’t one review out there mentioning the treble being too bright. Let's take a look at all the top features.

Want detail in your sound? This speaker produces clear, warm and smooth sound that you just can't get enough of, but that's not all it does. The Q150 by KEF is a perfect choice for you if you are looking for:

  • Outstanding tweeter placed in the center of the midrange cone
  • Impeccable and accurate acoustics
  • Great for medium-sized rooms
  • Improved clarity from previous model
  • Amazing detail
  • Can play lower frequencies
  • Place anywhere
  • Good soundstage
image of the front of the kef q150 bookshelf speakers

Let's take a closer at the pros and cons of these pair of speakers.

Pros of the KEF Q150:

  • Amazing soundstage
  • Two-way bass-reflex design
  • Redesigned interior cabinet (reduces internal resonance for clear sound)
  • 1-inch tweeter
  • Enhanced 5.25-inch Uni-Q driver array
  • Compact, sleek and sophisticated design
  • MDF cabinet

Soundstage and the disappearing act. The Q150 is one of the more elusive speakers we have played around with. In terms of sound in the room you have it set up in, the speaker will never know where you are. Meaning, it sounds the same wherever you stand in that room.

The KEF Q150s are very forgiving in terms of placement. You can back them into the wall or you can pull them far out. With that being said, you’re still going to get fairly good soundstage in sub-optimal positions. On the other hand, they do a great job of rewarding you if you do place them in their optimal position, which is actually pulled out really far away from the wall.

When set up optimally, this speaker is incredible to say the least. It is a testament to imaging and soundstage like its a sport.

The Q150 is also very good at vocals, but the vocals have a particular style and more has to do with imaging and soundstaging to delivery. It’s very backed-up into the music. So, it’s not going to be as forward as some other speakers. Depending on your preference, you may like one side over the other.

We are big Postmodern Jukebox fans and listening to them on these speakers is absolutely legendary. The whole discography is amazing.

Cons of the KEF Q150:

  • Midrange isn't high end
  • No speaker grills

The sound is close to excellent, but not perfect.

Let's take a closer look as to why.

Bass response is warm, fairly deep and detailed to a point. Once you start pushing these speakers a bit, you’re probably going to find a limit to it if you try to.

We also don’t like these in large rooms because of the limitations of the driver. We recommend small or medium sized rooms, medium rooms will be optimal for the Q150.

Another potentially bad thing is that it is not an analytical speaker. It emphasizes enjoyability and smooth, rich sound over just about every other feature. And, if you want that, this speaker isn’t going to be the one for you.

The other downside is the price for some people. We feature this in our under $1,000 top seven list because we love it so much.

Sometimes they go on sale for under $500. Normally they sell for just under $600. Obviously, if you find them on sale go for it. Even if they aren’t, we still highly recommend this speaker.

Now that you have our humble opinion on the Q150's, let's check out what customers are saying about these pair of speakers.

KEF Q150 Reviews: What are buyers saying online?

According to buyers on amazon, the average rating customer reviews is 4.6 out of 5 stars with only a handful of complaints.

KEF Q150 customer reviews and ratings at amazon

After reading all negative reviews, we found that these customers were looking to get better midrange quality out of their bookshelf speakers. They note that the midrange quality is very good, but not up to their personal standards. This is a matter of opinion and there's only a few of these across the web, which shows that the Q150's are legit.

Many customers have expressed how the KEF Q150 series is much better than the Q100 series, and they immediately recognize that out of the box. The users love the Uni-Q sound, CFD designed port and the Q Series Optimised features. In addition, buyers adore the look, feel and design of the Q150's.

To sum it up, nearly all reviews are positive and they are becoming a popular bookshelf speaker due to their high performance reputation.

buyer testimonial and bookshelf speaker set up of the kef q150

According to customers, how does the KEF Q 150 sound with Music?

Depending on what you like to hear, the KEF Q150 can sound absolutely beautiful. Like we mentioned before, your will get unbelievable discography with band-type music. We love Postmodern Jukebox (for obvious reasons) and you can get some articulate dynamics. In addition, classic rock is great with these.

According to customers, how does the KEF Q150 sound with Movies?

If you plan on using your bookshelf speakers for surround sound, the Q150s are quite impressive. Just based off the characteristics we mentioned already, you’re going to get dynamic sound with great vocals, which is exactly what you should be looking for with surround sound speakers.


Comparable Competitors

If you have $600 to spend, we have a few comparable competitors. Carefully read each speaker’s description so you can get a good feel for what you’ll be getting.

Elac UB5

If you have $600 to spend, and you’re looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers, we actually recommend the Elac UB5 vs KEF Q150. In almost every category, it’s just a better deal and a better speaker.


If you aren’t chasing after an extremely smooth characteristic speaker (which is what the KEF Q150 is) the Elac UB5 is better in just about every category. Build quality, dynamics and analytical sound without being too harsh or too taxing on your system. You just feel like you have a better understanding of the music and that’s what this boils down to.

If you don’t have a big budget, the JBL 530s are an excellent choice. Now, they are a discontinued item, but you can still find them online. Audiophiles absolutely love these speakers and will have some of the same features as the Q150. So, a very comparable speaker in terms of features. Design wise, the Q150s look and feel much better. Read full review here.

Klipsch RP-600M

An amazing bookshelf speaker to say the least, the Klipsch RP-600M has got it going on! You’re going to get an entire step above the Q150s. The sound is just incredible and the bass has a little more power to it. Now, the downside is the price will be a little higher as well. However, if you have $700 to spend on bookshelf speakers, definitely go with these.

Final Verdict

What a great bookshelf speaker to own and enjoy music, movies or games. Good sound is hard to come by, but it’s all possible with the KEF Q150. Even the comparable competitor section - if you choose any of those, you’re getting a high-quality speaker. In closing, if you have the budget for the Q150, go for it. You will LOVE it.

Ready to Finally Listen to what is Supposed to be Heard?

These speakers will give you a smooth, transparent and dynamic sound. Charge up your sound system, you can't go wrong with these.

image of the ports on the q150

A very scarce speaker, the JBL Studio 530 bookshelf loudspeaker is a hot commodity even to this day. It was discontinued years back, but everyone seems to still want them, and for good reason.

Most audio hobbyists will tell you that you’re crazy if you ever sold your pair of 530s. However, there are some things we want to point out that we believe are important to know before you jump on the bandwagon.

Really want it now? There are some sales on the 530 every now and again, so keep your eye on it. We gave you a link below (use the button) to check the price at Amazon.

image of the JBL studio 530 bookshelf speaker

Very hard to find, but still out there - the JBL 530s are a hot commodity because of their reputation in the audio world.


Strong bass, discontinued item, it's something we all want but sometimes can't get.

Although very difficult to find today, the JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speaker brings professional sound to the home experience. The engineering is one of a kind and most audiophiles know this.

The Studio 530 can be used in multiple different ways, which makes is a very versatile sound weapon. You can use it for surround sound, a left-channel signal or a right-channel signal. The sound that these babies produce is impressive to say the least.

You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate what your music should really sound like. These speakers keep it simple in terms of how you should set them up.

One of the best qualities that the 530s have is that you don’t need to have them “x amount” of inches away from the wall, facing this way, this far apart, etc. Who wants to reconfigure their living room anyways? These speakers give you the ability to get them out of the box, put them where you want them and nothing more, unless you want to power them up with some special stacks.

Top Features JBL Studio 530 Review

Without question these are down-right sick-nasty bookshelf speakers. There are some really cool features that help almost every aspect of their professional sound performance. Check them out below:

  • Robust 25-125 Watts Amp Power Range
  • ​Ribbed PolyPlas woofer cone
  • ​One-inch (25mm) High-Frequency Compression Drive
  • Glass-filled ABS Bi-Radial Horn
  • Strong ¾” (19mm) MDF Enclosure
  • Low-Frequency Transducer
  • ​Crossover frequencies
  • ​Bi-Wire Capability
  • ​Exclusive Design
  • Freakishly crazy Bass
image of the jbl 530 on a bookshelf speaker stand

The bass is exceptional for only a 5 1/4" woofer. However, you'll need a subwoofer for the lowest and deepest frequencies. The imaging is outstanding as well. If you decide to get these, you will love whenever you’re in the sweet spot it will appear as if the speakers aren’t playing.

For bookshelf speakers, these are really powerful overall. The sound gets LOUD, like, really LOUD! With that being said, the sound is also very clear, crisp and articulate. That’s what makes them powerful. It’s not how loud they can get, it’s the loudness combines with the clarity - The Studio 530’s have it!


The Comparable Competition

Very similar in price (almost identical actually), you will find some of the same features with both the JBL Studio 530 vs KEF Q150. Both bookshelf speakers offer rich and engaging hi fi sound at a price that you just can’t beat. They perform well above their price tag (under 500) simply due to the audio clarity and the amazing bass. Seriously not much difference between these two, so get whichever makes you happy.

Klipsch RP-600M

Listen, anytime you put Klipsch in the mix, you got something real nice! Klipsch is for audiophiles and that is the absolute truth. What you’re going to get with the RP-600M that you won’t get with JBL 530 is the high efficiency and dynamics and speakers that breath! Herb Reichert reviewed this speaker and gave it a huge thumbs up.

KEF LS50

Prepare to spend a little extra cash if you want to go with the KEF LS50. It has a freakishly great sounding bass. Can be paired with some cool power amps to juice it up a bit, so it's versatile. The JBL studio 530 vs KEF LS50 is comparable for sure. However, we think you’ll get a bit more power with the KEF LS50. If you can’t spend the extra couple hundred bucks, then going with the JBL 530 is still an amazing choice.


The Tweeter

We had to make a separate section on the JBL Studio 530 tweeter because it is literally that good. It is a 1-inch (25mm) tweeter mounted on a glass-filled BI-Radial horn, which is the technology that JBL concert sound system uses. Think about that. That’s right - POWERFUL.

You’re going to get sustained high frequencies, concise audio and the PolyPlas cone that we mentioned will landle low frequencies. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to handle the LOWEST of frequencies. Remember, we covered that earlier, and if you want that you’ll need a sub.

How do they sound with Music?

These are some of the best bookshelf speakers for the money without question. You’ll be able to crank up the volume and really hear some things you probably haven’t heard before.

How do they sound with Movies?

We personally use these for our surround sound. The Focal Aria 948 floorstanding speakers is what we use the meat of the sound, but the JBL 530s really bring our movies to a whole new level. For example, we love watching Marvel movies, and I will not watch another without surround sound.

Is this a discontinued item?

It is a discontinued item, which is why they are so hard to come by these days. There have been speaker lovers that have sold their old pair, only to regret ever doing so to this day. So, if you find a pair, jump on it fast.


The Final Verdict

We hope you got something out of this and moved that much closer to buying a great bookshelf speaker. Hopefully, it’s this one we reviewed. At the end of the day, if you buy this one, or the other three comparable competitors, you’re getting a speaker that will change the way you listen to music from now on.

If you’re a movie lover, and you want these for surround sound, you’re making an excellent choice. That’s what we use it for (along with listening to classic rock and some upbeat jazz music). These babies will provide an extra layer of entertainment, keep you on the edge of your seat and provide excitement the next time you want to hear amazing sound.

Still Going with the JBL Studio 530?

We all want something we can't always have, so we get it. They are also worth every penny. Sometimes it just feels right, and if it does, go for it!

image of the backend of the JBL studio 530

A great floor standing speaker, the JBL Studio 590 delivers massive amounts of super accurate sound when listening to your favorite movies or music. One of the best qualities the 590 has is it allows you to listen to music and enjoy a full range sound. The tough part is actually finding one for sale.

If you already decided on this tower speaker, we found one for sale (used - like new) at Amazon. There are not many left, so we recommend at the very least add it to your cart while shopping around other marketplaces.

image of the woofers on the studio 690 by JBL

Sometimes Old School is better than New School! Just ask any audiophile fanatic out there!


The main feature is the clear, clean, and articulate bass. It drives the sounds and can put you in a wonderful vibration!

Our review is completely unbiased because we want you to choose a speaker that will work for you best and make you happy, all while lasting a long time.

With that being said, we do really like the Studio 590. It’s amazing how many people out there are still looking for this exact model speaker. Like we said before, if you can find one, and you already decided on it, get it ASAP.

If you do get lucky enough to find and get one, you’re going to have a speaker that performs well above its price tag. However, if you’re having trouble finding one, there are other great options as you will see in our comparable competitors section.

JBL is one of the most well respected names in sound. They did a fantastic job with the inside parts of the speaker. On the other hand, some people don’t like their looks. However, we think they are very unique and go with almost any room you can imagine. There are plenty of features, so let’s take a look at them.

Top Features JBL Studio 590 Reviews

Designed right the first time around, these babies will give you everything you need for any type of music. Movies, on the other hand, we'll discuss that a little later. For now, let's check out these features.

  • 25-250 Watts Suggested Amplifier Power Range
  • ​Dual 8” Woofer Cones
  • ​Symmetrical Field Geometry magnet assembly
  • One-inch high-frequency compression driver
  • Small vibration
  • Glass-filled frequency horn
  • ​Clean transition sounds
  • ​Not super heavy
  • ​Reduced distortion
  • ​Outstanding Bass
image of the jbl 590 front end

This is one of the few tower speakers that was so incredibly made years ago and is still a hot commodity. There are plenty of stories out there of people wishing they hadn’t sold their pair because it was the best speaker they ever had.

We mention in almost every speaker review that, if you’re on the fence about a speaker, go listen to a bunch of them live (in person). There are drivers, woofers and horns that perform differently with specific speakers, so it will all come down to preference.

With the JBL Studio 590, you’re going to get enhanced room-filling sound with the 25-250 watt suggested power amplifier feature. Then, with the dual 8” ribbed PolyPlas woofer cones, like we mentioned above, will provide a rich, articulate and powerful bass. It’s the type of bass that you will feel with your body. Only those who have owned them in the past will be able to relate to that statement.

The sound clarity, loudness and zero distortion is what separates this speaker from most brands and models. However, like we said before, there are some really comparable competitors that we should take a look at before we just decide on the 590s.


Comparable Competitors

Klipsch RP-280F

Sometimes, they put these bad boys on sale, and when they do, jump on them. It’s like if the 590s went on sale - you just don’t pass that deal up. Very comparable tower speaker to say the least. Bass and woofers, performance-wise, may be the best you can get for the price tag. Great for classic rock, house, jazz, pop and movies.

SVS Ultra Towers

Identical in price range and almost the same exact features, you aren’t going to get too much closer than this option. JBL Studio 590’s bass is what it’s known for, but we can tell you for a fact that the SVS Towers have a deeper, clearer bass.

KEF R900

Far above the price range (but you get what you pay for), these speakers as we mentioned in our full review will rock your world. They have a little bit more power in the drivers compared to the JBL Studio 590. The bass' are comparable, but the over sound goes to KEF.

Focal Aria 926

Not too far off in pice (you can get a pair for under $2,500). These are some of our favorite speakers. Very well designed and you’ll get some real deal power out of them. Overall a better choice than the JBL Studio 590.

If Price isn’t an issue:

We say take a look at the Klipsch RF-7 III (in-depth review) or the Focal Aria 948 (extensive review). We also review plenty of floor standing speakers and break them down by budget.


How do they sound with Music?

For music lovers, these speakers are really good and we will give it a four out of five stars. Listening to classic rock, you will hear the bass guitar as well as detailed vocals. It’s almost as if you are in the front row of a rock concert. It’s pretty unique and almost addicting. If you like house music, it’s really good with that too because of the bass.

Drum notes sound excellent as well, which is important for getting into the beat. Furthermore, the bass is very deep (which isn’t for everyone).

How do they sound with Movies?

Not a ton of connectivity options because it is an older model. Now, if you are an experienced audiophile and can figure out what to pair it with - you’ll love it with movies. Amazingly powerful bass. Vocals are accurate and natural. The midrange is neutral, but not very prominent. Overall you’ll get a good experience watching a good action flick. This is way more of a music speaker than a movie speaker. Go with one of the alternatives / competitor speakers if you are looking to enhance your movie sound system.


The Verdict

If you are ever on the fence about a few speakers, make sure you test them out and read more of our reviews for comparisons, pros and cons.

Not everyone needs to do this, but go to your local audio store and listen to the ones you like the most. Sometimes you just need to hear music to get a feel for what you like because every speaker is going to sound a little different.

If you don’t have the time (like most people) we do highly recommend this speaker. At the same time, if we had to choose between the 590 and some of the other options, we would give them a serious look.

Still Going to Get the JBL Studio 590?

Perhaps its been a long time coming, or you're brand new to the audio world. In either case, its an exciting time purchasing a world-class tower speaker. ROCK ON!

image of the back panel of the 590 by JBL

Do you remember great sound? Perhaps you’re seeking it again, and you should be. The Klipsch RF-7 III floor standing speakers will not only bring back the memories of great sound, they will set the new standard.

Already decided on these tower speakers? Check out the box below, click the button and it will take you to the best price at Amazon.

image of a single Klipsch RF-7 III loud speaker

Incredible sound with performance well above its price point, the Klipsch RF-7 III was designed for music and movie fanatics.


Take a look at some customer reviews we gathered up to highlight some of key features every owner is raving about.


Start powering up your sound system today!

The Klipsch brand has been doing all things audio for decades, and at a high level. A world class company, they are proud that all their speakers are engineered in America. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best, but most audio companies manufacturer in Asia, so it’s nice to know that everything is made in-house.

The RF-7 III has some incredible features and some vintage Klipsch technologies that will rock your world.

Top Features Klipsch RF-7 III Review

Learning the features will help you choose a tower speaker that is right for you. By now, you should be checking out the pros and cons to each speaker you are interested in. Hopefully, this guide will get you one step closer to pulling the trigger. Just take a look at these amazing features the klipsch rf 7 iii has:

  • ​Newly constructed 1 ¾” Titanium Compression Driver
  • ​Molded rubber Tractrix horn (90x90 compressed)
  • ​Totally redesigned and upgraded bifurcated cabinet
  • Dual Tractrix Ports
  • Little vibration
  • Woofers - dual ten-inch cast basket cerametallic
  • ​Finished in a high quality (premium) furniture-grade wood veneer
  • ​Assembled in America
  • Lightweight so you can easily move them around
image of set of klipsch rf-7 iii speakers

The titanium compression drive helps make the sound more full, without losing the crispness. For example, if you like listening to classic rock music, you will fully hear all the instruments and the song all together. There isn’t one sound you will miss. These drivers are the real deal.

Customers rave about their drivers, which are designed in-house, but they also love the vintage Tractrix horn. It’s something that Klipsch is known for because its very unique to their brand, and many other brands don’t have the secret recipe

Klipsch is always trying to improve its tractrix horn, and this one has been redesigned to further improve high-frequency response and extension. At the same time, the tractrix horn enhances dynamics and imaging. Because the molded rubber is compressed, it improves sound detail to create clean, natural sound (which is what we’re all after).


Customer Reviews

Audiophile fanatics absolutely love these speakers. The thing is, they are dead nuts right. Once you hear what these can do in person, your whole body gets an adrenaline rush like you’ve never felt. The sound is so impressive and we just can’t say enough good things about it.

Check out what a few others say about them:

image of customer reviews
image of front of RF-7 III by Klipsch

Comparable Competitors

First off, if you haven’t checked it out, we did a top ten tower speakers review and buying guide. Second, there are some individual competitor speakers out there that compare with the Klipsch RF-7 III. Let's take a closer look at those right now.

Focal Aria 948 (click for review)

Now, the Focal Aria 948 is a bit more expensive, but very comparable in terms of the features and some of the specs. With all the technical talk set aside, you are getting a little bit better of a speaker with the Focal Aria 948, but not by much. It’s pretty even and we love both of them. Literally can’t go wrong with either product.

KEF R900 (click for review)

The Klipsch RF-7 III vs KEF R900 is an excellent comparison. Different companies of course, but wow! AMAZING sound on both of them. If we had to choose one or the other, we would of course go with the Klipsch 

Klipsch RP-280F (click for review)

MUCH cheaper option, but not as much power (obviously). However, if your budget is not even close to the RF-7 III, then please take a good, hard look at the RP-280F because they are incredible for the price. The great news is you are going to get the Tractrix horn and copper woofers - they make for a fantastic sound. Again, they are just not going to be as powerful as the RF-7 III.


Conclusion

Our entire objective is to help you find which speaker will work for you best. It’s not about buying this exact make and model, it’s about getting the information you need to make a great buying decision.

We can say with full confidence that the Klipsch RF-7 III is something that you will absolutely love and will last you for a very, very long time. These speakers are built to last, especially when you stack them with the right audio equipment.

Overall, we know for a fact these floorstanding speakers are one for the ages. The sound they produce makes listening to music or watching movies fun again. So, bring back those memories of great sound, we already have and we aren’t looking back.

Ready to Supercharge Your Sound System?

Experience sound like you have never heard with these loud speakers. Get ready for an enhanced sound experience with your music, movie or games. Now is the time to power up your sound system!

image of RF-7 III by Klipsch

We’re excited to bring you a full review on the KEF R900 because of how incredible these hi-fi speakers are. With so many people wanting to improve their audio experience when watching movies, listening to music or gaming, it’s not easy finding a tower speaker that will make you happy.

Already decided on purchasing the KEF R900 Floorstanding Speakers? If so, check out the latest price at Amazon. Our website receives a commission if you purchase through our link without any extra cost to you. We are very thankful if you do because it helps keep our site going to provide everyone accurate information on all things music and audio.

image of a pair of KEF R900 tower speakers - color black

Beautiful, sleek and sexy design, these babies will power up your sound system.


We have some recommended power amps to go along with the r900, once you decide they are for you.


Featuring an amazing bass plus treble combination, these are an excellent buy for anyone who loves music or movies at an enhanced level.

Our entire goal is to provide you with information that will help you decide. We have a whole list of floor standing speakers, and we break them down by budget.

If you’re a Marvel movie fan, or classic rock die-hard, these speakers will ROCK your world. When you hear these for the first time in person, you will be almost awe-struck. The mix of bass and treble alone is so impressive.

KEF has been in the industry for years and are based out of the UK. Now, they are designed in the UK, but manufactured in China. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because almost ALL audio companies manufacture their products in Asia. Some of the best technologies are produced in China and it’s perfectly fine.

There are more expensive KEF models out there, such as the Blade and Blade 2. As good as the Blade models are, the r900’s specs are not too far off and cost way less than half the price. In addition, they have an astonishingly good sound, projective accuracy and may present enough features for you to pull the trigger.

Top Features KEF R900 Review

We love strong, clear and precise sound. Here’s the deal, that’s what you’re going to get with these. There are some amazing features to say the least. We’ll show you a list below of what everyone loves about them, then we’ll go more in depth below the list.

  • ​5.25 inch Uni-Q driver array - helps create a more natural sound
  • ​Twin 8 inch low-frequency drivers above and below the Uni-Q array - ensures clean and deep bass
  • ​‘Tangerine' waveguide technology - helps enhance the natural sounds and you don’t have to point the speaker directly where you’re sitting to get all the effects
  • Cutting-Edge Bass Driver
  • Little vibration
  • One-inch aluminum dome tweeter right at its acoustic center
  • ​Eight inch aluminum cone woofer
  • ​Magnetically attached grille
  • ​Lighter in weight (65 pounds each)
  • ​Four-spike special mounting platform (easy to install)
  • ​Two pairs of binding posts
image of the KEF R900 speakers - color white

As soon as you listen to this specific tower speaker in person (and crank up the volume) you will understand exactly how amazing the sound is. It is a well-conceived, three way floorstanding speaker that is far more valuable than its price point.

The 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter doesn’t jump out at you, but it’s just there. Voices and solo instruments will be clear and open, without boxiness or bloat. This tweeter is the same sophisticated technology as the Blade. In fact, there are a lot of similar features, the only major difference is the power / specs.


Our Recommended Power Amps for KEF R900

Component matching isn’t always simple, that’s for sure. In order for you to save some time looking or asking around, we put a few power amps that you can stack your new speaker up with.

Lyngdorf 2170 (check price)

This is everything you need in one and it sounds fantastic!

Kinki EX M1

So many people have been using this power amp because it offers so much. Lots of great reviews on it, especially with the r900.

Parasound Power Amp (check price)

Really great power amp to pair with this model.


Competitor Comparisons

Many audiophiles compare the Focal Aria 948 vs KEF R900 for many reasons. First, their prices are pretty comparable. Second, their specs can be considered very similar. Lastly, and probably more importantly, the sounds they produce are really good. Check out our full Focal Aria 948 review, which we believe is better than the KEF R900, to get a good idea of how they stack up against each other. Both are excellent choices, so it’s really which ever will make you more happy.


Conclusion

When looking into a hi-fi tower speaker, you cannot look past the KEF R900. The bass plus treble mix alone is worth every penny. In fact, you’re actually getting a really good bargain because we believe the price is lower than what it's worth.

Compared to the Blade, which is VERY expensive, you’re getting something just as special at a huge reduction in price. We’ll leave you with this: always remember to find out what you want your speakers to do and which ones will make you happy.

Ready to Take Your Sound System to the Next Level?

Imagine these loud speakers sitting in the corners of your living room creating an experience of a lifetime. There's nothing like getting lost in the sweet sounds of your favorite movie and music that catch every detail imaginable. This is the time to get your sound to the next level!

image of the KEF R900

A true acoustic loudspeaker, the Focal Aria 948 is considered the tower of power by many audiophiles. Before we dive into specs, let’s get one thing straight, this is a statement speaker.

If you like listening to classic rock, pop some Led Zeppelin and the 948s will literally rock your world. Pair them with a 36 watt tube amplifier you’ll be blown away by the sound it can produce.

We love this speaker so much that in our best floor standing speakers top ten list, we slotted the Focal Aria 948 in the number one slot.

image of the focal aria 948 tower speakers (pair)

Already decided on buying the 948s? If you have, here's the link to the product page at Amazon. Focal is one of those brands that doesn't sell on their website, but their brand does sell at Amazon. Check out their amazon brand page here.


If you aren't ready to buy just yet, keep scrolling down and take the time to really learn about these. They are an amazing product and it's really hard to tell anyone how good they actually are.

You see, Focal is the real deal. They used to make drivers for almost every other speaker company out there. This was before they manufactured speakers themselves. Finally, after producing the most important piece of technology and distributing it to speaker manufacturers, they thought, we should create our own speakers.

Good thing they did because they create masterpieces that pretty much no other manufacturer can replicate.

First, let's take a look at what verified customers that purchased these loudspeakers have to say. Then, I'll show you my personal thoughts and my final evaluation.

Reviews of Focal Aria 948: What Are Customers Saying About These Loudspeakers?

According to their website, 61 reviews for Focal Aria 948 floor standing speakers are 5 out of 5 stars, while only a few that are 3 stars or below. At first glance, I cannot think of one reason why anyone would submit a complaint about these babies. So, I decided to check out what happened.

After reading all negative reviews, I found that all of them had to do with either complaints about the leather finish or a rare technical issue. However, all complaints were promptly answered by Focal's support team, which shows a strong sign of outstanding customer service and professionalism.

Most audiophiles would agree that a set of loudspeakers like these have been on all of our wish lists for years. This company allows for people to fill that wish quickly and at a bargain of a price.

Overall, people that have purchased the 948's are so excited about the performance, finish, intense base and the full and direct sound these speakers produce. Let's check out the testimonials left by verified buyers below:

customer testimonials

Rating Focal Aria's 948 Top Features: My Eval

This is an updated section that I just had to add because so many people have been asking me about the performance aspect of these loudspeakers. Here's the deal, this is completely unbiased. I have used and tested tons of floor standing speakers (some highly rated, some not). This is my personal opinion of the 948's, or as I like to call them...

A gift from the gods. Check out the table below, which represents my ratings and how I feel about this product.

948's

Bass

Vibration

Midrange

Drivers

Tweeters

Design

Ratings

10/10
10/10
9.9/10
10/10
10/10
9.8/10

So many amazing features. Here’s a quick view list for you to gaze over, and just underneath is our more in depth analysis. This is an exciting review for us because we know for a fact if you buy them you will be ecstatic with your decision. It’s literally a no brainer, IF you have the budget.

If you do have the budget and you’re on the fence about pulling the trigger, take a look at these features.

  • Intense Bass
  • Flax midrange cone for a very Natural Sound and impressive presence
  • New TNF tweeter with Poron suspension, which creates smoother sound
  • Soft Treble
  • Very little vibration
  • Floor-facing vent for increased depth
  • Flax bass cone for articulate bass
  • Drivers developed and manufactured in France by Focal
image of the focal aria 948 front panel

There are some impressive features with this tower speaker. Once you turn up the volume, you will understand just how intense the bass actually is. The crazy part is that it has near zero vibration. It’s very little for how articulate the bass is.

Everything they make is in-house. It’s 100% European and not made in China, which is extremely hard to come by in this industry. 

The magnesium and aluminum inverted dome tweeter is something that Focal has pioneered. It is an absolutely perfect tweeter. The top end sound goes on forever, yet it doesn’t sound bitey.

Design

Beautiful, elegant, impeccable and sexy. These are the four words we think of when looking at it in person. First, the cabinet, just like everything else, is made in-house. Second, you have a fabulous glass top, an amazing dense cabinet and then you get REAL leather (not faux) on the front panel. Finally, and we’ll say it again, this is a true European speaker, with European engineering with drivers and cabinets that are made in-house.


Conclusion

It is near impossible to tell you how good it is. At this price, it is a ROCKIN’ speaker that has all the glory you can ask for. Here’s the thing, we review almost every floorstanding speaker and we don’t play favorites. With that being said, we’ll have all the information you need on each tower speaker and you choose which one will make your happy long-term.

Don’t buy something just because it gets a good review. Buy the thing that is appropriate for you, something that you really want, the speaker that does all the things you want it to do and for the room you want it in. Our entire goal is to help you with that.

Ready to Supercharge Your Sound System?

For most of us, we want that extra oomph when listening to the music we love, or the movies we live for. That opportunity is here with this speaker. It is SO good and like we said before, it will rock your world!

Focal Aria 948 review