Many say that there’s no better way to listen to music than with a great pair of bookshelf speakers. Having a great stereo field lets the music breathe, and lets you hear things in the music that you simply can’t with a single speaker. While this type of setup sounds great, typically it would also take up quite a bit of space, requiring a receiver, cd player, or turntable. Well now in 2018, there are some great powered bookshelf speaker options that cut out the need for all that extra equipment. Here are our top picks for the best powered bookshelf speakers in 2018.
PARADIGM SHIFT ACTIVE BOOKSHELF SPEAKER
The Paradigm Shift is a great powered bookshelf speaker. It can be used as a solo speaker, or paired with 2 or more speakers for a true stereo system. Connect wirelessly through Bluetooth, or from your computer with Airport Express, or use wired connections with the RCA inputs. Paradigm is known for their incredible quality, and this speaker is no exception.
Tweeter: 1″ Anodized pure-aluminum dome
Woofer: 5-1/2″ Satin-anodized pure-aluminum cone
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 20 kHz (+/-2 dB)
Amplifier Power: Biamplified: 2 x 50 W RMS, 80W Dynamic
Kanto YU6 Bookshelf Speakers
The Kanto YU6’s are a great option for anyone looking for an easy to use, great sounding system with a variety of connection and colour options. Stream wirelessly with Bluetooth, connect to your TV through optical, or connect a turntable directly with no preamp needed! Read our in-depth review on the YU6 here, and we have also done a review on the smaller YU4 speakers. Overall it’s hard to be the great value offered by the Kanto YU6 Speakers.
Tweeter: 1 inch Silk Dome
Woofer: 5.25 inch Kevlar®
Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
Amplifier Power: 200W Peak Power (100 Watts Total RMS)
KLIPSCH R-15PM POWERED SPEAKERS
Aside from sounding great, the Klipsch R-15PM’s offer you a ton of connection options making them a very versatile speaker. Listen to music wirelessly through Bluetooth, from a turntable directly with the phono preamp, connect them to your TV through the optical input, or to your computer directly with the USB input. Klipsch has an over 60-year history making speakers, and the R-15PM is a great pairing of their classic, high-quality sound with modern technology.
Tweeter: 1″ (2.54cm) Aluminum diaphragm compression driver mated to 90° x 90° square Tractrix Horn
Woofer: 5.25″ (13.3cm), copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer
Frequency Response: 62Hz – 24kHz +/- 3dB
Amplifier Power: 50 Watts per channel
Sonos Play 3 Speakers
Sonos is well known as the king of the wireless speaker market. Their speakers are designed to sync through WiFi, so you can have a multi-room audio system without the need to run wires through your walls. Did you know, however, that you can pair two Sonos speakers together in a left/right Stereo configuration? This lets you have a deep stereo sound while keeping the benefits of streaming through WiFi. Having a pair of Play 3 speakers will give you a stereo configuration with a good amount of bass, and a clear mid/high range. This system is great because you can easily move the speakers to separate rooms for multi-room audio if you decide to have a party!
Three Class-D digital amplifiers
YAMAHA NETWORK POWERED SPEAKER (NXN500)
Yamaha describes the NXN500 as a set that has inherited “the precision of the classic NS-10M studio monitors”, which is interesting to know the speakers you are listening to music with are likely quite similar to the speakers the musicians used in the studio to record their music. Billed as a network speaker, the NXN500 can connect through WiFi, Bluetooth, USB or TV Optical. It features Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit playback, and supports voice control if you have another Amazon Alexa device. This is a great choice if you already have a Yamaha MusicCast enabled receiver elsewhere in your home, as you can sync with these speakers through WiFi, creating a multi-room audio system.
Tweeter: 1″ dome
Woofer: 5″ cone
Frequency Response: 54 Hz – 40kHz (-10dB)
Amplifier Power: 45 W + 45 W
Do you have any favourite powered bookshelf speakers that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!