A pair of bookshelf speakers look cool on your computer table or bookshelf. It brings balance when placed on the sides of the PC.
Unlike passive speakers, active speakers do not need an external amplifier and require only a power source or a battery.
The best bookshelf speakers under 200 are not easy to find, especially when there are so many options in the market.
You don’t want to compromise on the audio and the functions, but you also want them cheap.
If you’re not careful, you may end up buying a useless speaker set. What can you do then?
Having used dozens of speaker sets, we can help you search for passive or active speakers for your desk or shelf.
In our reviews, we were careful to bring you the best powered speaker within a tight price range of $200.
We did that without compromising the sound quality and functionality.
Let’s see which speakers have the most functions and the best audio output to help you find what works best for this price range.
- Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200: A Review
- Which Among the Affordable Bookshelf Speakers Should You Get?
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200: A Review
1. Edifier R1280DBs Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier always brings quality products at affordable prices. Their speakers and home entertainment systems are famous for high-quality audio, powerful Bluetooth technology, and durability.
They have a range of products so you can find cheap speakers from their store if you’re short on budget.
These Edifier R1280 speakers are also from the same shelf.
Edifier 1280DBs is an affordable pair of speakers that work great as computer accessories, gaming, low-volume music, and TV speakers.
They have a nice tonal balance, good bass, and treble even at the top volume and have a clean finish.
Let’s see some of these speakers’ top qualities and why they are so popular among audiophiles.
There are two options in this model. You can buy them in wooden enclosures or black color.
The wooden ones are more elegant in our opinion.
The front of the speakers is covered with a cloth grill which is quite difficult to remove as it’s connected with small pips.
Behind the grill are a 4-inch bass driver, a dome tweeter, and a hole for excellent audio quality. Another small point on the front is the receiver for input from the remote control.
In most sets, both the speakers are not active; one is active, and one is a passive speaker, and this set is also the same.
- High-Quality Accessories
The Edifier R1280DBs Bookshelf Speakers are budget bookshelf speakers, so people do not expect the brand to provide high-quality accessories.
That said, Edifier does that anyways. The package includes the following cables:
- Speaker connecting cable
- RCA to RCA audio cable
- 3.5 mm-RCA audio cable
- Fiber optic audio cable
In addition, there’s a remote control for the speakers. All the accessories are of premium quality, and you’ll not find any leftover material on the cables from manufacturing.
The remote has a clean glass finish which is even better than many expensive tower speakers.
The brand should be appreciated for providing such high-quality accessories for this price range of speakers.
- No-Latency Connectivity
The Edifier R1280DBs Bookshelf Speakers is among the modern speaker systems with multiple input and connectivity options.
It has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity which means you can enjoy movies, music, podcasts, and anything else without delay.
There is an RCA input option, too, so if you want to connect it to your TV, you can use the RCA cables.
These cables give you an extra option though the technology has become redundant in recent years.
The options for optical and coaxial inputs are also available with the speakers.
There’s no option for connecting through a USB, but that’s unexpected in this price range.
- High-quality budget speakers
- Option for connecting an external subwoofer
- Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
- Wooden enclosure with a sturdy mesh grill
- Bass is weak and has little punch
- Distortion at highs at full volume
2. Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker
Sony doesn’t play around with electronics or with their customers’ feelings. When they make something, its customers love it.
This mid-range, Bluetooth-enabled speaker set is also loved by Sony loyalists and new customers.
Sony SSCS5 has powered speakers specially designed for indoor usages, such as bookshelves, computer accessories, TV speakers, and gaming.
These speakers are unique as they have a super tweeter at this price range, providing powerful sound even to people with low budgets.
You’ll need an external amp with these speakers, as both are passive. The pair produces a balanced sound, and the bass and treble are also pretty neat.
The speakers have optimized crossover components to create crisp sound even at high volumes.
Note that these speakers are not for you if you are looking for a concert environment in your basement.
But, frankly, you cannot expect any speaker pair to do that for you at this price range.
The Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker gives out a great first impression right from the box.
The surface finish is extremely clean and has no unfinished materials. The front mesh looks stunning on speakers.
Sony has offered a 3-way speaker design, so you’ll find two tweeters on each speaker along with one woofer.
At the top is a three-quarter-inch super tweeter which extends up to 50Khz.
Below is a one-inch soft dome tweeter and a 5″ foamed-mica reinforced woofer.
- Hi-Res Audio
The Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker produces high-resolution audio so you can play your favorite tracks without any loss of quality.
The 3-way speaker system by Sony gives you a dynamic bass and precise high notes for movies, TV, and games with a theatrical feel.
It has a polyester fiber soft dome tweeter for better accuracy and authentic sound.
The grill of the speakers has tapered faceplate edges to suppress edge diffraction and give out a natural sound.
The company has built a ported, all-wood enclosure for better acoustics.
- 3-way Speakers
These wireless speakers have a 3-way, 3-driver design to give the best listening experience to the audience.
The speaker design is versatile and unique for this budget and gives a real audio experience.
The smaller, 0.75-inch super-tweeter has a wide directionality and produces high-frequency notes with utmost precision and accuracy.
Both tweeters work well to give the Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker a wide range of frequencies.
The rigid 5.12 MRC woofers provide a dynamic, deep, and stable bass even at the top volume setting.
It handles the power well, and there’s no distortion. In short, these passive bookshelf speakers are a good value for the money.
- Excellent sound quality
- Great value for the money
- High-quality woofer for stable bass
- Precise audio at high notes
- No built-in amplifier
- Heavier than their competitors
3. Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
Whether you are an audiophile or a music enthusiast, Yamaha is not the name you can miss.
The brand is everywhere in the music industry. It has some of the best instruments, including guitars, pianos, amplifiers, mixers, and much more.
This model, NS-6490, is a continuation of Yamaha’s promise of quality.
The auxiliary speakers are not as expensive as some of the other products by the brand, so expect the absence of some features at this price level.
These are passive speakers, so you’ll need a separate amplifier for them. The divers are big and do the job perfectly.
They have a 7.1-channel surround sound system and 140 watts of power.
The pair does not have Bluetooth connectivity, so you may not want them if you’re looking to use them with your cell phone.
The Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers makes up for the lack of modern features, playing high-fidelity sound through an ultra-wide frequency response.
It works best with classic metal and gangster rap music from the 80s and 90s.
- Overall Design
At first glance, the NS-6490 exudes power. They have a classic design with a large IMG woofer, mid-range, and a tweeter.
The design is asymmetrical, so you’ll get a bit different front look from each speaker.
These are not expensive speakers, but they are also not compact size.
The Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers is bigger than most of the bookshelf subwoofers. Still, the speakers are surprisingly lightweight.
The front of the speakers is covered with a protective mesh grill that comes off easily when you pull it.
Behind the mesh, there’s an eight-inch cone woofer, a four-inch mid-range, and a 7/8″ balanced dome tweeter.
- Loud Thumping Bass
The Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers produces crisp highs and a thumping bass that you cannot listen to in a closed room at full volume.
The speakers are just too loud for that. These speakers win comprehensively in terms of stable and thumping bass compared with the other models, including Edifier R1280 and Sony SSCS5.
- Acoustic Suspension
Yamaha NS-6490 gives you a wild listening experience. Its 3-way acoustic suspense is state-of-the-art.
The frequency response on these speakers ranges from 45 to 23 kHz, which could only happen using the 3-way suspension.
You’ll get resonance at higher frequencies, but the sound is clear, and there’s no muffle.
That doesn’t mean you cannot use them as front speakers in your home theater.
- Loud music with thumping bass
- Lightweight and inexpensive
- Best for home theater and living room
- Premium bass and frequency response
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Large size does not suit desks
4. Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker
Klipsch is one of the finest modern brands that know how the present dynamics of the music industry work.
They have a signature sound that you won’t find in other bookshelf speakers.
Klipsch R41M contains all the premium features of the brand and has been around long enough to show its true colors.
People trust them a great deal hence the positive reviews that now number more than four thousand.
Plus, they are at an extremely competitive price, so you can afford them easily.
These are passive speakers, so you’ll need an external amplifier to power the audio.
Let’s look at the top highlights from these bookshelf speakers.
The finishing of the Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker is excellent, considering the price bracket.
The speakers have an aluminum tweeter and a spun copper IMG woofer within a reinforced MDF cabinet.
They are symmetrical in design with a large, 4” woofer and a one-inch tweeter within a tractrix horn.
The woofer produces high-quality bass. The woofer cones have a golden texture, an identity of the brand.
The front of the Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker is covered with a grill mesh with the brand logo at the bottom.
The grill sticks on the speaker body through magnetic connectors, so there are no grooves on the front.
The speaker set comes with a remote control with a good range so you can easily control the speakers.
The manual controls are on the back of the host speaker, which is inconvenient but useful in case you lose your remote control.
- Multiple Input Options
The Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker allows you to choose from multiple connectivity options.
There are two digital inputs, including a USB type B and optical. There are also two analog connectivity options: Aux and RCA.
Although RCA is not used that much these days when you want to connect to a TV set, these come in handy.
Note that the USB type B to type A cable is included in the box, while the optical cable is not included.
Aux and RCA are also not in the package. The Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker also gives you a Bluetooth connectivity option which many passive speakers do not have.
You can press the volume button or the toggle below the volume button to switch between the input sources.
- Tractrix Horn Technology
The combination of drivers and Tractrix Horn Technology by Klipsch produce highly accurate acoustics.
The horn features a tweeter that adds a touch of class, and its shape preserves the energy by directing it toward the listener.
Bass ports at the back of each speaker mix the sound well, resulting in a reverb-free listening experience.
The Klipsch R-41M Bookshelf Home Speaker has a noise-free audio output and handle power efficiently. Peak power is 200 Watts.
- High-quality components and accessories
- Precise audio with Tractrix horn
- Great design with a fine finish
- Easy to remove magnetic front grills
- RCA, Aux, and optical cables not included
- Distortion at high volume
5. Polk Audio OWM3 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk brings one of the best models with its advanced manufacturing features, all incorporated into the market.
These Polk Audio OWM3 are a hit with music fans, with thousands of positive reviews on multiple platforms.
They have premium design features and are super convenient to use.
If you are a fan of slim design and superior performance, OWM3 is for you.
First things first, since you are looking for affordable options, you may ignore the finishing on this product on the backside.
Let’s look at a couple of product specs to give you a clear idea of whether these are the best pair for you.
They come in two colors, white and black, but the white ones are more famous. They have a mesh grill that you can easily remove to expose the front.
The design is simple, with one 4.5” mid/woofer and a 1” silk dome tweeter. The grill is curved, which gives the speaker its signature shape.
This pair of speakers has an overall good quality with bass and treble controls at the back, but there is no remote control.
To produce quality sound, the woofer can handle a decent amount of power without distortion.
The speakers look better with the mesh grill than without it.
- Compact Multi-Application Speaker
The advantage of Polk OWM3 is that you can use them anywhere in your house.
You can mount them above your entertainment system, in your kitchen, or the corner of your living room; they are your best option.
They also have two tabletop stands, so you can use them as bookshelf speakers.
OWM3 is also great for gaming and home theater, as it can handle sounds without distortion.
- Seven Mounting Options
Polk OWM3 provides you with multiple placement options. You can mount them on the wall or the ceiling.
Basically, there are seven ways you can mount these speakers, including vertically, horizontally, in a corner, at an angle, or downwards in the ceiling.
There’s a manual in the package which explains clearly how to mount the speakers in different positions.
But you may find it a bit difficult if you’re not handy with such tasks.
- Multiple mounting options
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight and sleek design
- Clean and precise at high frequency
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Bass is not thumping at low volumes
Which Among the Affordable Bookshelf Speakers Should You Get?
We’ve presented you with the best bookshelf speakers under 200 the electronics industry has to offer.
You can now select the one that best suits your taste and needs.
Of all the choices, the Edifier R1280 has the most features in comparison and is arguably the best audio equipment for small spaces.
If you don’t need Bluetooth connectivity and want loud music, Yamaha NS-6490 is your best option.