Best Bookshelf Speakers To Buy In 2021 [ Review & Buying Guide ]

Best Bookshelf Speakers Review & Buying Guide

Are you looking to buy a good pair of bookshelf speakers ? Today we are excited to share our latest review of top bookshelf speakers. We reviewed few best bookshelf speakers and break down complex acoustic technologies behind them. We offer our unbiased take so that prospective buyers can make the right decision.

 Hope you find it useful. Happy reading!

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker

The Edifier R1280DB is a pair of active bookshelf speakers with Bluetooth. It supports Wireless Music Streaming and works with Bluetooth-enabled sources. The speaker comes with a remote control for easy usability. It generates studio-quality sound for a superlative home entertainment experience.

The Edifier R1280DB is engineered with premium components. Each unit has a 13mm silk dome tweeter and a 116mm (4 inch) bass driver. It is driven by an onboard amplifier with a power handling of 21 watts RMS per speaker. The tweeter and the woofer together crank out astoundingly loud and accurate audio. They are acoustically tuned so that their outputs are well blended and smooth. Frequency response of the speakers is 55Hz to 22kHz, and signal-to-noise ratio is ≥85dB.

The gadget has a solid MDF enclosure. It is available in two variants: classic wood grain and black wood. Both beautifully complement the décor of modern apartments. The front side of the speakers is covered by a removable fabric grille.

For input via cable, there are two RCA connections for RCA and 3.5mm AUX input. There are optical and coaxial inputs for HD content. For wireless connectivity there is Bluetooth. Just pair your iPhone, iPod, Android phone, tablet, etc and start playing music minus the clutter of wires. The two speakers are connected via speaker cable.

One unique feature of the Edifier R1280DB is its side control panel which has rotary knobs for adjusting the EQ (treble and bass) and volume. Very few speakers have this facility and it certainly gives the R1280DB an edge. The panel is located on the powered speaker. For easier control, you can use the remote control that comes with the speaker. It is a full-function remote and has all the controls necessary to manage the functions of the system.

Dimensions of the R1280DB speakers are 5.75 inches (W) x 9.5 inches (H) x 7 inches (D).

Key Features :

  • Powered bookshelf speakers with Bluetooth, RMS power 21watts x 2.
  • RCA, 3.5mm AUX, optical, coaxial inputs, Bluetooth Audio Streaming.
  • Each speaker has one 13mm silk dome tweeter and one 116mm bass driver.
  • Two finishes: wood grain and black wood, side control panel, EQ adjustment, remote control.

Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers

The AA321B by Acoustic Audio is a top-selling pair of indoor speakers. They are designed to be used as stereo speakers or as rear speakers in a home theater system. They come with built-in mountable brackets and feet for flexible installation. Recommended power handling of the two units combined is 20-400 watts. They deliver expansive audio with crystal clear vocals and instrument separation.

Each speaker has a full-range 2 ½ inch polypropylene cone woofer with butyl rubber surround that pumps out deep and nuanced audio. It is capable of a frequency response of 150Hz to 20kHz at 8ohms impedance with 88dB sensitivity. The gadget is passive which means it needs to be powered by a receiver or amplifier.

The AA321B speakers have sealed ABS cabinets. There is a sturdy grille in front. At the back are quick-release spring loaded raw wire connectors that support input from home theater receivers, amps and stereos with raw speaker wire outputs.  

The AA321B is suitable for home entertainment, multi-room speaker systems, and for PA systems in offices and malls. It can be used in kitchens, studies, living rooms, bathrooms and lobbies. You can mount the pair on walls or place them on tables, shelves or stands. The gadget comes with a complete mounting hardware kit that contains rotatable omni-directional mounts and a set of screws. The mounts facilitate up, down, left and right movement so that you can point the speakers in the desired direction.

The duo is available in two finishes: black and white. Each speaker is 3.5 inches wide, 3.5 inches high and 4.5 inches deep. Due to its small footprint it can be tucked away discreetly in a corner of a shelf. It remains out of your way and merges with the surroundings quite well.

Please note the speakers are not meant for outdoor installations.

Key Features :

  • Pair of passive indoor bookshelf speakers.
  • Swivelable mounting brackets included, 400 watts peak power.
  • Each unit has one 2.5 inch full-range polypropylene woofer with butyl rubber surround.
  • Quick-release spring loaded speaker terminals, available in white and black finishes, ABS housing.

Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System

The Sony SSCS5 is a sophisticated 3-way 3-driver speaker system. It has two bookshelf speakers with High-Resolution (Hi-Res) Audio. It captures music at a higher rate than CD, increasing both audio samples per second and the bitrate accuracy of each sample. The result is stunningly accurate sound where you can literally pin point the position of musical instruments.

Each unit of the SSCS5 is built with one 5.12 inch mica-reinforced cellular (MRC) cone woofer, one 0.98 inch tweeter and one 0.75 inch super-tweeter. The woofer takes care of midrange and bass frequencies, the tweeter deliver highs and the super-tweeter is responsible for Hi-Res sound. The woofer has a foamed mica-cellular diaphragm that makes the dialogues in the midrange stand out. It is engineered to handle high pressure and move at tremendous speed without suffering damage. The main tweeter is made of polyester fiber. It uses a sound-absorbing felt to eliminate rear sound pressure. The super-tweeter has wide directionality so the sound is accurate across a wider area.

Sony employs a slew of techniques to improve tweeter performance. These include reducing the weight of the tweeter, and integrating a more powerful magnetic circuit and a lighter copper-clad aluminum wire in the voice coil. This paves the way for a more balanced sound without inconsistencies

The Sony SSCS5 has a solid wooden bass reflex enclosure. The enclosure has strategic internal joints that make it extremely rigid so that vibrations are low. Sound-absorbing materials are also used to minimize box sounds. In addition to this, the face plate edges are slightly tapered to eliminate unnecessary sound from the baffle board. It reduces edge diffraction and makes the sound more natural-sounding. At the back of the box is a rear-firing bass port.

The Sony SSCS5 has several high-quality components like air-core inductors in the tweeters, silicon plate in the woofer, premium film condensers and extremely thick winding materials. These further enable the speakers to generate the most life-like sound possible. The cabinet has a smart back finish with a cloth grille. The wood veneer maintains its shape and structure at all temperature and humidity levels. For input, there are screw terminals.

The speakers are passive and need to be powered by a receiver or amplifier. Suggested input power is 100 watt. Frequency response is 53Hz to 50kHz, sensitivity is 87dB, and impedance is 6 ohms.

Dimensions of the product are (W x H x D): 7 x 13.19 x 8.66 inches. It weighs 9.92 lbs.  

Key Features :

  • Pair of 3-way 3-driver bookshelf speakers.
  • Each unit has a 5.12 inch woofer, a 0.98 inch tweeter and a 0.75 inch super-tweeter.
  • Bass reflex box with rear-firing port, supports Hi-Res audio, power handling 100 watts.
  • Screw speaker terminals, solid wood cabinet, copper-clad aluminum wire in voice coil.

Klipsch RP-600M Bookshelf Speakers

The next best bookshelf speakers are by leading sound equipment manufacturer, Klipsch. It is the RP-600M and it is engineered with Klipsch’s patented Tractrix Horn technology. The speakers are a part of the Reference Premier (RP) Series of home theater gear by the brand. They are sold in pairs, and are suitable for use as stereo speakers in a dual-channel sound system, or as front or rear surround speakers in a multi-channel home theater system. For the perfect match, though, we recommend teaming them with the other gadgets from the RP Series. 

The RP-600M is built with Tractrix Horn-Loaded technology. This technology features a compressed molded silicon face matted to a 90ᵒ x 90ᵒ Tractrix horn to combat cabinet resonance. It has computer-molded phase plugs which function as mechanical filters for smoothening high-end response and preventing tweeter breakage. The goal of this technology is to project the sound at the listener’s ears in a direct manner. It seeks to eliminate artificial reverb caused by diffused sound reflecting off walls and surfaces in the room.

Each RP-600M speaker has one 1-inch Titanium Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) vented tweeter and a ceramic magnet housing. The optimized architecture of the tweeter lowers standing waves behind the driver diaphragm, bringing down sonic interference. Linear Travel Suspension supports a piston motion of the titanium diaphragm, which minimizes distortions. Also, titanium is a far more rigid and lightweight material than aluminum, polymer or silk, some of the most common materials used in making tweeters. It makes high notes more piercing and life-like.

The Klipsch RP-600M has proprietary cerametallic woofers that deliver ground-shaking bass. They are incredibly stiff and lightweight. Despite operating at high pressure and speed, they do not warp or break. The woofers are matted to a dual-layer copper-wound voice coil. This construction affords excellent conductivity. They are housed in a non-resonating stamped-steel basket which is secured to a large magnet motor. This makes the cones more efficient and counters distortion.

The speaker has a bass reflex box with a rear-firing Tractrix port. The port is matched with the enclosure and woofers. This ensures optimal airflow through the vent minus turbulence even when pumping out very low frequencies. The gadget has dual binding terminals for bi-wiring or bi-amping it to create a customized sound profile.

The device is available in 2 finishes: walnut and ebony. Both have satin painted baffles and scratch-tolerant exteriors. The grilles have magnetic closure. They are strong, flexible and removable. They offer a neat front face for blending in with most surroundings.

Each speaker measures: 15.69 x 7.95 x 11.85 inches.

Key Features :

  • Pair of bookshelf speakers with Tractrix Horn technology.
  • Molded silicon face matted to a 90×90 Tractrix horn, one LTS tweeter.
  • Each device has one vented LTS titanium tweeter and one cerametallic woofer.
  • Rear-firing Tractrix port, removable flexible magnetic grille, two finishes: walnut and ebony.

Jamo S 803 White Bookshelf Speakers

The Jamo S 803 is a formidable Dolby Atmos-ready bookshelf speaker system. It belongs to the Studio 8 Series of home theater speakers by Jamo. The series features contemporary materials and aesthetics, typical of European décor. Available in three finishes – black, white and walnut – the collection is aimed at high-end urban spaces. From classic matte vinyl finishes to wood grain accents to magnetic woven linen grilles, every little detail is carefully crafted to blend in with the minimalist décor of luxury apartments.

The Jamo S 803 has a neat front baffle design thanks to magnetic grilles. There are no push pins and mounting holes to spoil the clean appearance. The linen grilles have a stylish textured woven pattern that lends the speaker a very sophisticated look. The wood grain accents around the tweeters and at the base offer a natural wood look. Plus, the trim rings are cleverly placed to conceal the fasteners around the woofers.

The Jamo S 803 speakers deliver outstanding high-output audio from a small footprint. They are built with WaveGuide technology which helps focus high frequencies. Each device has one 1-inch soft dome tweeter and two 5-inch polyfiber woofers. It has a front-firing tube port at the bottom which affords flexible placement. You can easily place it in cabinets and against walls without worrying about hampering the bass response. The pair has a frequency response of 57Hz to 26kHz, impedance of 8 ohms and sensitivity of 87dB (2. 83V @ 1m). Recommended power handling is 80-160 watts.

If you see yourself installing Dolby Atmos in the future, you should get yourself a sound system that supports Atmos, like the Jamo S 803. It has seamless metal fasteners on top of the speaker box for integrating S 8 ATM Dolby Atmos elevation speakers.

Dimensions of the product are: 19.7 x 17.1 x 13.7 inches. Each device weighs 24.7lbs.

Key Features :

  • Pair of Dolby Atmos-ready bookshelf speakers.
  • One 1-inch soft dome tweeter, two 5-inch polyfiber woofers.
  • WaveGuide technology, front-firing tube port, magnetic linen woven grille.
  • Wood grain accents, European aesthetics, neat front baffle, available in 3 finishes.

Sonos One SL Microphone-Free Smart Speaker

The Sonos One SL is a state-of-the-art humidity-resistant wireless speaker. It produces spacious room-filling sound. The smart speaker has dual built-in amplifiers, Wi-Fi and capacitive touch controls. It is controllable through the Sonos app and works with Apple AirPlay 2.

The Sonos One SL has amazing sound thanks to a high-quality tweeter and mid-woofer. You hear clear vocals and instruments, treble is smooth, mids are rich, and bass is deep. The drivers are powered by two Class D digital amplifiers tuned acoustically to match the architecture of the cabinet and the drivers. There are bass and treble controls too to further customize the soundtrack.

The Sonos One SL has Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. What does this mean? It means you can connect the speaker to your home Wi-Fi network with any 802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz broadcast-capable router and enjoy non-stop wireless streaming without any interruptions. The device has a 10/1000 Mbps Ethernet port for directly hooking it to the router if the Wi-Fi network is sketchy. For power, it has an auto-switching 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz power supply with AC universal input.

The One SL is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2. It works on iOS 11.4 and higher Apple devices. You can ask Siri to play Apple Music and stream songs from your iPhone. The speaker does not have an internal microphone. Therefore, it lacks built-in voice control. However, you can still use other Sonos speakers like Beam and One, and smart home assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home, to control the Sonos One SL with your voice. The speaker is ideal for compact rooms where you do not need a voice-enabled speaker. It works brilliantly as a wireless portable speaker for personal use.

The Sonos One SL can be stereo paired with another One SL or with its cousin, the Sonos One. The stereo pair can be used as the rear surround speakers in a home theater system. They can also be used with the Sonos Playbar, Playbase or Beam as rear speakers. One SL and One have the same speaker configuration, and hence, have identical output. In fact, the accessories of One like the power cord and mounts also work on One SL.

The gadget is available in white and black variants with wraparound matte grilles. The top panel has capacitive touch controls for play/pause, volume and track change. The speaker weighs 4.08 lbs and measures (H x W x D) 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 inches.     

Key Features :

  • Wi-Fi-enabled bookshelf speaker.
  • One tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class D amplifiers, microphone-free.
  • Works with Apple AirPlay 2, Echo, Google Home, Ethernet port, stereo pairing.
  • Humidity-tolerant, matte grille, capacitive touch controls, bass and treble control.

KEF LS50 Mini Monitor Bookshelf Speakers

The KEF LS50 Mini Monitor speakers have big sound. They boast a one of a kind Uni-Q driver Array which creates a very large sweet spot for more people to enjoy. It has a wide frequency response which covers all the audible bands. The device is sold as a pair on Amazon. It is suitable for use as a stereo pair, or the front or rear speakers in a surround sound system.

The LS50 Mini Monitor speakers generate a multi-dimensional sound stage to infuse more life into the audio. It is built with KEF’s signature Uni-Q drivers. Each speaker has a 5 ¼ inch Uni-Q Driver Array. These drivers have an extremely large sweet spot. Their response is super-fast and accurate due to which the sound is clean across the sweet spot.

KEF is known for its path-breaking innovations in cabinet, baffle and port construction. They have done some phenomenal work with techniques like Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics. With the LS50, they have attempted to recreate the legendary LS3/5a studio loudspeakers using their in-house technologies. They have used internal bracing to minimize vibrations and a curved baffle for a smoother on-and-off axis response. The result is unsurpassable studio-grade sound from a compact cabinet.

The LS50 speakers have a 2-way bass reflex enclosure. The ports have a flexible membrane and geometry to combat port noise and turbulence. At the back of the speaker are the binding posts which support banana plugs, bare wire, spades and pin connectors. Recommended input power from amplifier is 25-100 watts per speaker. Frequency response is 47Hz to 45kHz, sensitivity is 85dB (2.83V/1m), nominal impedance is 8 ohms (minimum 3.2 ohms) and harmonic distortion is less than 0.4%.

The device is available in 3 finishes: glossy white with electric blue driver, glossy black with rose gold driver and limited edition matte black with black driver.  

Dimensions of the product are: 10.90 x 11.90 x 7.90 inches. It weighs 15.87 lbs.

Key Features :

  • Pair of bookshelf speakers with 5 ¼ inch Uni-Q Driver Array.
  • 2-way bass reflex box, universal binding posts, curved baffle.
  • Very large sweet spot, internal bracing, port with flexible membrane.
  • Amp power per speaker 25-100 watts, 47Hz to 45kHz frequency response.

Edifier P12 Bookshelf Speakers

The Edifier P12 is a passive 2-way speaker system. It comprises of two bookshelf speakers with integrated wall-mounts. The high-performance drivers offer immersive room-filling audio to the best quality. It is perfect for use as a stereo system or as rear surround speakers in a multi-channel home theater system.

The Edifier P12 is built with quality components. It has one ¾ inch silk dome tweeter and one 4-inch bass driver. The tweeter reproduces extended high notes while the bass driver delivers midrange and bass frequencies. A front-firing bass reflex port further enhances the low end response of the system. The crossover has high-quality components that ensure balanced audio equalization.

Frequency response of the speaker set is 55Hz to 20kHz, impedance is 6 ohms and output sound pressure level is ~79dB (1W/1M). Rated power is 20watts – 100watts.

The best thing about the Edifier P12 speakers is they have built-in wall-mounting brackets. These can be used to secure the speakers to walls as front or rear speakers in a surround sound system. Alternately, you can install the pair on shelves, cabinets or dedicated speaker stands.    

The speaker has a solid MDF enclosure with elegant wood accents. The cabinet is specially designed to reduce resonance and unwanted coloration. The front is covered by a grey textured fabric grille. Since the system is passive, it needs to be connected to a receiver or amplifier. Two 6 feet speaker wires are include in the package.

Dimensions of the speaker (WxHxD) in inches are: 5.03 x 9.37 x 6.61. It weighs 13.22 lbs. Warranty period of the gadget is two years.

Key Features :

  • Pair of passive bookshelf speakers.
  • One ¾ inch silk dome tweeter, one 4 inch bass driver.
  • 2-way bass reflex enclosure, front-firing port, premium MDF wooden cabinet.
  • Integrated wall-mount brackets, removable fabric grille, 20-100 watts rated power.

Sonos One Gen 2 Smart Speaker with Alexa

The next best bookshelf speaker is the second entry by Sonos in this list. It is the Sonos One, a close cousin of the Sonos One SL. The smart speaker has a built-in voice control. It has Wi-Fi and works with Apple AirPlay 2. It is resistant to humidity and a compact shape for space-saving installation.

The Sonos One Gen 2 packs a lot of punch into a small package. It is fitted with a tweeter that delivers soaring highs and a mid-woofer that produces crisp mids and rumbling lows. It is powered by two Class D amplifiers tuned specifically to match the construction of the drivers and the housing.

The Sonos One has voice control integration. It supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. You can play songs from the Internet, set alarms, make to-do lists and get questions answered all through your voice. The device has a far-field microphone array which captures your voice. The mic array has a noise cancellation technique which eliminates ambient sounds to focus better on your voice. A responsive audio chime informs you if the speaker has heard you when you issue a command. This is a useful feature and it greatly improves the user experience.    

The One Gen 2 is available in two finishes: white and black. Both have a wraparound matte grille. The top panel features a capacitive touch control panel. It lets you change songs, adjust the volume, play or pause the playback, and mute the microphone. An LED indicator shows the power and mute statuses, apart from providing voice feedback. Most interesting of all, the One Gen 2 speaker comes with complete privacy. It has an LED indicator light which informs you when the speaker’s microphone is active and listening to you. You can mute this when you need privacy.

The device can be accessed and controlled through the Sonos app. It works via Wi-Fi, but doesn’t have Bluetooth. Sonos One connects to your home Wi-Fi network with any 802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz broadcast-capable router. It supports wireless streaming and you can stream content from the internet without interruption. If the home Wi-Fi network is not working properly, you can wire the speaker directly to the router using the 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port. Apple user may access the device through any iOS 11.4 or higher gadget. It is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 which means you have a ton of content at your fingertips.     

The Sonos One is a compact bookshelf speaker. It comfortably fits in narrow spaces like kitchen shelves. The speaker is humidity-resistant and can be used in bathrooms as a bathroom speaker. It is 6.36 inches high, 4.69 inches wide, 4.69 inches deep, and weighs 4.08 lbs. All software is automatically updated.

Two Sonos One Gen 2 speakers or one Sonos One Gen 2 and one Sonos One (original) can be made into a stereo pair. They can be used as the rear surrounds in a home theater system.

Key Features :

  • Humidity-resistant Wi-Fi-enabled bookshelf speaker.
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2.
  • One tweeter, one mid-woofer, dual Class D amplifiers, one Ethernet port.
  • Capacitive touch controls, Sonos app-controllable, switchable mic for privacy.

Micca COVO-S Compact 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers

If you are looking for a pair of compact bookshelf speakers, the Micca COVO-S is your answer. It has a patented 2-way concentric driver design which creates a common acoustic focal point. It helps the sound from the tweeter and the woofer reach the listener’s ears in a coherent and balanced manner. This makes the listening experience more seamless and enjoyable.

Each unit of the Micca COVO-S is equipped with one ¾ inch PEI dome tweeter and one 3-inch wool paper cone woofer. The tweeter is mounted at the center of the woofer creating a concentric architecture. This design affords a common acoustical center point between the tweeter and the woofer. It also ensures coherency through the crossover transition region.

Another reason the sound quality of the Micca COVO-S is awesome is the unique curved structure of the woofer cone. This curved surface functions as a waveguide for the tweeter and lays the ground for better off-axis dispersion. Plus, a high-quality 6dB/octave crossover makes for a smoother transition between the woofer and tweeter.

The gadget has a ported enclosure for producing warmer sound that’s both clean and devoid of distortions. The front face has a removable fabric grille. The rear face has full-size 5-way speaker wire binding posts.

The Micca COVO-S is best suited for small apartments and living rooms. The speakers have tremendous power which comes out beautifully in compact spaces. Placement is flexible. You can install them on walls using the rear mounting slots. Or you can sit them on shelves or counter tops, as the case may be. The pair can be used as a stereo system or as rear speakers in a surround sound system. They can also be used as indoor speakers for multi-room audio.

The gadget is passive and needs to be hooked to a receiver or amplifier for power and signal.

Key Features :

  • Pair of compact passive bookshelf speakers.
  • Patented 2-way concentric driver design, 6dB/octave crossover.
  • Each speaker has a ¾ inch PEI dome tweeter and a 3-inch wool paper cone woofer.
  • Ported enclosure, full-size 5-way binding posts, removable grille, waveguide for tweeter.

ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speaker

The ELAC Debut B5.2 is a powerful pair of bookshelf speakers. It is designed by well-known speaker designer Andrew Jones and is a part of the Debut 2.0 Series by ELAC. This Series has 8 models that include center channel, floor-standing, bookshelf, on-wall and Dolby Atmos speakers. The Debut B5.2 may be used as a stereo system, or be teamed with a powered subwoofer to form a 2.1 channel sound system. It can also serve as rear surrounds in a 5-, 7- or larger surround sound system.

Each of the two Debut B5.2 speakers is built with one 1-inch soft dome tweeter with wide roll surround, and a new and improved 5 ¼ inch Aramid Fiber woofer with a vented pole piece. The tweeter is supported by a new waveguide for better and wider dispersion of higher bands. The woofer has an extra-large magnet which favours beefy midrange and deep bass.

The speaker is passive and needs to be connected to a receiver or amplifier. Maximum recommended input power is 120 watts. A multi-element crossover ensures the signal is properly segregated between the tweeter and mid-woofer. It allows smooth transition of frequencies between the drivers. Frequency response of the speakers is 46Hz to 35kHz, sensitivity is 86dB and impedance is 6 ohms.    

The Debut B5.2 has a solid MDF bass reflex enclosure with a black ash vinyl finish. It has a front-firing dual-flared port at the base. The position of the port affords flexible speaker placements. For instance, you can place it in between furniture or against walls without the bass being obstructed. The box is internally braced to counter cabinet resonance and sonic coloration. The front panel has a removable cloth grille. The back has gold-plated 5-way binding posts.

Each unit is 7-1/8 inches wide, 13-7/16 inches high, 10-1/16 inches deep, and weighs 13 lbs. Warranty period of the product is 3 years.

Key Features :

  • Andrew Jones-designed bookshelf speakers.
  • Peak power handling 120 watts, MDF bass reflex enclosure.
  • Front-firing post, multi-element crossover, internal bracing, passive speaker.
  • One 1-inch tweeter with waveguide, one 5 ¼ inch Aramid Fiber woofer with vented pole piece.

M-Audio AV32 Bookshelf Speakers

The M-Audio AV32 is a top-selling pair of bookshelf speakers. It has professional-grade sound for the ultimate cinematic and gaming experience. Each speaker is fitted with a 3-inch polypropylene-coated woofer and a 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk cone tweeter. They produce loud and clear audio with plenty of bass and treble.

The speakers have a 2-way design with an OptImage IV WaveGuide. The job of the waveguide is to improve imaging and focus to make the audio more natural. The woofer has a high-temperature voice coil. It delivers room-filling sound with rich midrange and deep bass. The tweeter uses the waveguide for wider dispersion and precise imaging. It delivers piercing high notes without distortion.   

The M-Audio AV32 may be used as bookshelf speakers in a home theater system, or as desktop speakers. It is an active speaker system with an internal amplifier that provides 10 watts power per channel. It has a frequency response of 80Hz to 20kHz, signal-to-noise ratio of > 90 dB and RMS SPL of 101.5 dB @ 1 meter. Crossover frequency is 3.3 kHz.

The front panel of the main speaker has a 3.5mm AUX input port and a headphone output port. You can use the AUX port to feed input from laptops, phones, tablets and MP3 players using an AUX audio cable. The headphone jack may be used for private listening. It is a smart way to enjoy music and movie without disturbing the household. It comes in handy at night or if there are people napping nearby. Right next to the inputs is a volume knob. It affords quick and easy adjustment of volume. RCA inputs are available for connection with other sources such as gaming consoles, DJ mixing boards and more. Included in the package are a speaker wire, an AUX cable, an AUX to RCA cable and acoustic traction pads.  

The speakers have acoustically inert MDF enclosures. These are bass reflex boxes with tuned bass ports in them. The outer walls of the cabinets have a smart black vinyl laminate finish. Each unit weighs 5.6 lbs and measures 7.5 x 5.1 x 6.1 inches.

Key Features :

  • Pair of active bookshelf cum desktop speakers.
  • 10 watts per channel, 2-way design with OptImage IV WaveGuide.
  • One 3-inch polypropylene-coated woofer + one 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk cone tweeter.
  • Bass reflex MDF enclosure, RCA input, 3.5mm AUX input, headphone output, high-temp voice coil.

Role of Bookshelf speakers

Bookshelf speakers are incredibly versatile. A single bookshelf speaker can be used as a standalone speaker for personal use in small spaces. A pair can be used for creating stereo sound in a two-channel sound system. Two, four or more units can be used as the front left and right speakers, or as rear speakers in a 5-, 7-, 9- or bigger surround sound system. Bookshelf speakers can also be installed around a house, hotel, mall or office to serve as PA system speakers. All in all, they have many uses, and depending on their size and output, they serve different spaces.

Selecting bookshelf speakers

Note: Before we talk about the selection criteria, it is important to bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to acoustics. Every room is unique, and what works in one might not work in another. Therefore, we would suggest, be open to experimentation. You might need to try different speaker positions, and maybe even rearrange the furniture a little bit, to get the best sound. 

To start off, your bookshelf speaker must be matched to the space you plan to install it in. If the space is compact, a small speaker with high-quality drivers is advisable; if it is large, try larger speakers with high-output drivers. For a 5.1 channel system in a medium-sized living room, you can have bookshelf speakers for front speakers instead of floor-standing ones (which, due to their higher output, might be too powerful for the space). If the room is large with wide open spaces, you can use bookshelf speakers as surrounds (on either side of the couch and behind).   

If you already have some components in your home theater, it might be a good idea to match your new bookshelf speakers with these in terms of material, construction and power rating. It’s no secret that products of the same series or even brand are bound to work better together.

Placement of bookshelf speakers

Bookshelf speakers can be wall-mounted, placed on speaker stands, shelves or media consoles. No matter where you install them, try to leave some space, ideally a couple of feet, between the back of the speaker and the wall. This improves the low end and midrange frequencies. If you shove the speaker into a corner, you might end up saving space, but the bass will be so powerful it will likely overwhelm the higher frequencies making the sound muddy.

If you are using the speakers as stereo speakers or as the front speakers in a home theater system, the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions are most ideal. Angle the speakers gently towards the center of the listening position, which, let us assume, is a couch at a comfortable distance from the TV. The ideal angle is 22ᵒ-30ᵒ (refer below illustration) from the center of the couch. If you are using the speakers as rear surrounds, ideal angle is 90ᵒ-110ᵒ.

Take care to keep the tweeter at ear height when the listener is seated on the couch. High frequencies are extremely directional and having the tweeters at ear level ensures the sound travels directly to the ears. The tonal balance and imaging is better, resulting in clearer dialogues and vocals.

If you are using the speakers as rears behind the sitting area, placing them a foot or two above the listening position offers a more immersive sound experience. Please note these are not set-in-stone rules. Every system and every space is unique. You need to experiment with different positions, angles and heights to create your own sweet spot.

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