The 9 Best Bookshelf Stereo Systems in 2020 – Reviewed & Rated

The quality of the sound diffusion coming from the speakers is partly influenced by the environment in which they are located and by their positioning.

We are talking about what experts call the “acoustic scene”, but also about cables, connections and transmission systems. Bookshelf stereo system is the means by which an electrical signal is transformed into a sound wave.

The sound quality depends largely on the speakers, but if the source it comes from is of bad quality, that is, in the case of a digital source, the quality of the format in which the sound was compressed and, secondly, the quality of the reproduction tool (from the smartphone to the stereo, passing through TV and PC), then the speakers cannot do anything.

Here we had selected the best bookshelf stereo systems that provide best quality sound.

RANK NO. 1
Sharp CD-BHS1050 350W 5-Disc Mini Shelf Speaker/Subwoofer System with Cassette and Bluetooth, AM/FM Digital Tuner, USB Port for MP3 Playback, 350W RMS Power Output and 875W Peak Power, Remote Included
  • Classic 5-cd trays and Cassette Tape tray. Frequency Response at 1 kHz at 70 Hz,Input Sensitivity 500 mV, Power Consumption Operational 95 Watt, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR compatibility,Signal-To-Noise Ratio 50 dB
  • Works with CD-RW, CD-R, WMA and mp3s
  • Digital AM/FM tuner with 40 presets
  • Includes: 2 x 5.12" woofer, 2" tweeter, headphone output, Audio line-in, USB port and remote control
  • NOTE: Refer the User Manual before use.
RANK NO. 2
Denon D-M41 Home Theater Mini Amplifier and Bookshelf Speaker Pair - Compact HiFi Stereo System with CD, FM/AM Tuner and Wireless Bluetooth Music | Perfect for Small Rooms and Home Cinema
  • The Denon D-M41 stereo CD/FM receiver INCLUDES a pair of SC-M41 bookshelf speakers (2x30W), with a high quality 4 3/4" woofer/mid & a 1" high definition silk dome tweeter that produces a SMOOTH NATURAL POWERFUL SOUND, FIT FOR SMALL TO MID-SIZE ROOMS
  • ENHANCED AUDIO PERFORMANCE WITH THE TRIPLE NOISE REDUCTION DESIGN that preserves signal purity & eliminates distortions from three noise sources, giving a more dramatic home theater experience. SOUND, STYLE & FACILITIES all packed in a box
  • TWO DIGITAL INPUTS allow you to STREAM UNLIMITED MUSIC via Bluetooth AND HOOK UP YOUR TV, set-top box or other source for unmatched premium sound in its size
  • INCLUDES DEDICATED HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER. Connect your headphones to the jack and enjoy personal listening without disturbing anyone in the other room
  • With its 100-year legacy & Japanese precision technology, Denon BRINGS PURITY OF SOUND AND JOY TO YOUR LIVES. Immerse yourself in multi-dimensional audio and Hi-Fi surround sound with this amp for an unmatched home entertainment system
RANK NO. 3
Onkyo CS-265 Home Audio System CD Hi-Fi Mini Stereo System with Bluetooth - Black
  • SMALL DESIGN, BIG POWER. Fill small spaces with big sound. This mini system features 2-Mode Super Bass Function, 3 Playback Modes for CD (Normal/Random/Repeat) and 3 Repeat Modes for CD (Disc/1-Folder/Track).
  • CLEAR SOUND. These speakers feature full digital audio processing and an efficient digital amplifier for clear and balanced stereo sound. Set these speakers up in your bedroom, kitchen or office for the ultimate listening experience in any space.
  • BLUETOOTH COMPATIBLE. Seamlessly connect your phone, tablet or PC and stream to the receiver with Bluetooth Wireless Technology. NFC-Compatible-Devices Only.
  • VERSATILE LISTENING. Plays Audio CD, CD-R, CD-RW and MP3-Encoded CDs. A front-panel USB port plugs into your iPod/iPhone/iPad and USB flash drives. An analog audio input allows you to connect external devices.
  • FEATURES. 20 W/Ch (6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC). Crossover Frequency 4.5 kHz
SaleRANK NO. 4
LG CM4590 XBOOM XBOOM Bluetooth Audio System with 700 Watts Total Power,Black
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • FM radio tuner
  • USB to USB recording
  • 700 watts total power
  • Cd player
RANK NO. 5
KEiiD Stereo Shelf System Powered with Bookshelf Speakers RMS 2X 25W for Home Audio Entertainment with CD Player and Bluetooth/FM Radio/USB/SD/AUX,Remote Control
  • Limited supplying item. Utilizes VW audio system head unit, with high stability & reliability.Never need to worry about its quality and lifetime.Bring a car-level stereo music system to your room. (AM receiver radio band does not work in the US-,Please do not buy if you need AM radio)
  • One compacts all audio resources: Slot-in type CD player, USB/SD MP3 player, Bluetooth 4.2 receiver, 12 presets FM radio with 3 meters car-type FM magnetic aerial, 3.5mm line-in port allows you connect with iPod in AUX mode.Enjoy a real Hi-Fi stereo sound quality.
  • Work with home AC power supply dierctly.Built-in RMS 2x 25W amplifier. configured with a pair of 2x25W bookshelf speakers,.Adjustable L/R balance and bass/mid-range/treble via its equalizer in the system setting. EQ options: rock/pop/classic/speech/jazz
  • Each speaker includes a 4 inch bass unit and a 25-core silk dome tweeter unit.The USB port reads maximum 32GB flash drive with MP3 files and also reads from phone or iPod directly via digital cables.
  • Stream music wirelessly in Bluetooth mode (Shift to BT mode after pairing), Hands-free calls directly with its built-in microphone , HD 5-inch LCD display.Humanized button/remote operations. Perfect as a home audio system or a gift for elders
RANK NO. 6
Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System,Black
  • CD player and AM/FM radio
  • Bluetooth wireless streaming
  • Aux input for connecting a music player or computer
  • USB port for mobile device charging
  • Remote control included. Frequency Response: 50Hz 20kHz ( 10dB)
RANK NO. 7
Boytone BT-225FB Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Audio Speaker Bookshelf System, Powerful Bass, Treble, Clear Sound, FM Radio, USB/SD/RCA Input, Output, for Phone's, Laptops, DVD Player, 60W
  • 60 watt (40+10*2=60 RMS) powerful sound, produces a wide audio spectrum with 6 1/2 sub-woofer, 3" x 2 Full Range Magnetically Shielded + 6.5" speaker. The Main unit connects with wire or you can also wirelessly connect. System comes with 2 Separate speakers connected with wire to the main unit.
  • Supports Wireless Music Streaming via New Bluetooth Technology, USB/SD/RCA Support. Black color with soft white checker design on the body of unit. System comes with 2 separate speakers connected with wire to the main unit.
  • Bluetooth, Easy connection & works with all Bluetooth-enabled devices; equipped with a RCA audio jack for non-Bluetooth devices.
  • FM Tuner, Main Unit Bluetooth Wireless, Outstanding connection range of up to 33 feet, 2 stereo speakers with a sub-woofer and built-in amplifier, produces massive sound. Sound of new generation.
  • Power Source: AC 110V (UL) listed MP3 Playback, wireless remote control. Digital LED Display. Controls include analog volume, and tune.
RANK NO. 8
Magnavox MM441 3-Piece CD Shelf System with Digital PLL FM Stereo Radio, Bluetooth Wireless Technology, and Remote Control in Black | Blue Colored Speaker Lights | LED Display | AUX Port Compatible |
  • KEY FEATURES: Tray loading CD player, total 30W RMS output (2 x 15W), programmable CD player, digital PLL FM stereo radio, decorative blue color lights, LED display, built-in USB port for audio playback, clock display, connects to any audio device via 3.5mm aux in port, EQ function, Bluetooth wireless technology, and AC operation. Accessories include: Remote control (uses 1 x CR2025 battery, included) and AC/DC adapter.
  • BLUETOOTH: Magnavox speakers keep the party going come rain or shine. Experience a premium audio experience in your office, bedroom, living area, or kitchen. Connect to your smartphone, tablet or other audio device via Bluetooth or the Aux port to listen to your music, videos or games wherever you go! This Bluetooth speaker system provides premium audio you are sure to appreciate!
  • QUALITY: After all these years we continue to manufacture products to meet our customers' needs and wants. We strive to make quality products at the lowest prices. Built using high-quality materials for a long-lasting finish and maximum usability.
  • COMMITMENT: Magnavox is committed to maintaining a clean environment. All televisions and computer devices recovered for recycling will be processed in a manner that complies with all applicable federal, state, and county laws and requirements.
  • PERFORMANCE: The Magnavox brand is ubiquitous among popular products found in households around the world. Today’s consumers continue to choose Magnavox products to enjoy the values it stands for; quality and high performance at a smart price.
SaleRANK NO. 9
Sony Compact Stereo Sound System for House with Bluetooth Wireless Streaming NFC, Micro Hi-Fi 50W, CD/DVD Player with Separate Speakers, FM Radio, Mega Boost, USB Playback and Charge, Remote Control
  • Its classic three-box design makes a statement in any room and allows for separate placement of the speakers for a wider stereo effect.
  • Plug in the Sony hi-fi system and experience great sound. Two 25W speakers render each note of music for rich and precise audio. Mega Bass technology enhances low-frequency tones for a rumbling baseline.
  • Built-in CD/DVD player for your disc collection. Play classic albums or compilation discs with a built-in CD/DVD player. This Hi-Fi is compatible with CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-R, and DVD-RW discs
  • The mini hi-fi system is ideal for any room. The large control dial adjusts the volume and push buttons can be used to select audio settings. Use the remote control for convenient track-skipping, play and pause functions.
  • Powerful audio For full, balanced sound there’s 50W of power across two audio channels, while the Mega Bass sound setting gives low end tones a boost.
RANK NO. 10
Audioengine A5+ (Plus) Powered Speaker | Desktop Monitor Speakers Computer Sound System | 150W Premium Powered Bookshelf Stereo Speakers Pair, AUX Audio, RCA Inputs/Outputs, Remote Control (Bamboo)
  • CUSTOM POWERED BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS: Clear, full and powerful audio that fills any room. The A5+ Powered Speakers are constructed with custom Audioengine components: aramid fiber woofers, silk tweeters, and built-in power amps wrapped in precision-tuned and hand-crafted cabinets.
  • FEATURES: RCA and 3.5mm inputs, subwoofer output, small speakers with a big sound to fill any room, custom aramid fiber woofers and silk tweeters, built-in power amps wrapped in hand-built wood cabinets, no network setup, no passwords, no hassle.
  • WORKS WITH: Turntables with built-in or external preamps, all music players: phones, desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, TVs with an analog output, CD and DVD players, video game consoles and all products with 1/8" mini-jack or RCA outputs.
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED: Pair of Audioengine A5+ Powered Speakers, 3.75m speaker wire, power supply & cord, 2m 3.5mm mini-jack audio cable, solid aluminum remote control, microfiber speaker bags and cable bags, setup guide, brochure.
  • WARRANTY: Audioengine builds quality speakers that they stand behind. All Audioengine products come with a 3-year transferable warranty. COVERAGE: Stellar US based customer support and 3 year product coverage is included. Based in Austin, TX, Audioengine has been changing the way people listen to music since 2005. Our passion is creating products that sound great, are easy to use, and make people want to listen to music every day.

Buying Guide to Select the Best Bookshelf Stereo Systems

It Takes Ear, but Not Only

To choose which speakers to buy, it is advisable to do a practical test: in specialized stores, they should usually allow a comparison between the different models.

If instead, you have chosen the Net, as a place to buy, you will have the opportunity to test the product at home, in your spaces and with the background sounds of your daily life, and of course, you can decide whether to confirm your choice or proceed with the return.

As we have anticipated, the speakers translate (transduction is the technical term) an electrical signal into an acoustic one. This signal is measured in Hertz (Hz): the human ear is, more or less, able to perceive from 20 to 20,000 Hz, where 20 is the lowest sound and 20,000 the highest.

A single speaker cannot cover the whole range and this is why at least two speakers are usually used. The speakers divide the frequencies, and for this reason, we speak of two-way, or three-way systems.

Two-way does not mean two speakers: the ways indicate the splitting of the signal. If the signal is divided into two ways, it means that there will be one channel for low sounds and one for high notes, which theoretically can be conveyed by well over two speakers.

When you read the purchase recommendations you will find the term woofer, which is used to transmit low sounds, tweeters for high frequencies, and midrange for medium ones.

In two-way systems, midrange sounds are borne by the woofer. There are systems made up of two speakers to which a third element is added to be placed on the ground, and perhaps hidden: the subwoofer. This element can also be added later if the product requires it.

Two-way speakers are the most common, and three-way systems do not necessarily correspond to better sound diffusion.

Dimensions and Power

In the same way, it is not a mathematician that larger speakers make sounds better, not even the lowest ones, although there are precise physical limits.

In addition, the speakers can be active or passive. Passive, to make a sound, must be connected to an amplifier. The active ones are already amplified and often equipped with an autonomous battery.

In the case of passive speakers, it is essential that the speakers and amplifier are compatible, otherwise, however efficient your speakers are, the result will be disastrous.

A common mistake when wondering which speakers to buy is to focus on power. The passive speakers do not have an autonomous power, in case they must support that of your amplifier. The amplifier can be integrated into the source or be an autonomous object, chosen and purchased by you.

The power of the amplifier and that supported by the speakers is measured in watts and it is important that the two values ​​are compatible. A power of 100 watts is more than enough for a room of around 20 square meters.

For speakers, efficiency is more important. Not in a generic sense: efficiency, also called sensitivity, calculates the acoustic pressure, measured in decibel (dB).

We give values: between 85 and 90 dB, we can speak of average efficiency, but they are always abstract values, which must pass the test of your ear.

Impedance: What Is It?

Another technical term you come across when asking how to choose a good speaker is impedance. Technically, this is a measure that allows you to understand the ease with which alternating current passes through an electrical circuit.

What does this have to do with the speakers? First of all, it is necessary to verify that the impedance value tolerated by the speakers is compatible with that of the amplifier.

In fact, the value declared by the producers often hovers around 8 Ohms, but the most precise specify a variation between 4 and 8 Ohms. If you go down (mind you: you go down) below the minimum load values, the speaker may be damaged.

In this case, more than ever it is the ear that you will have to trust. Pay attention to the most intense and most important passages of the music you like and check that they sound as you would expect. This is the best way to understand if your amplifier communicates well with the chosen speakers.

When consulting reviews and opinions, however, it is good to know the basic vocabulary and the fundamental specifications, to then move on to the market of the best loudspeakers of 2020.

Compatibility

If you are not particularly satisfied with the low frequencies expressed by the speakers, you can always think of connecting them to a good subwoofer. The speakers are in fact compatible with other Bose devices that can significantly improve the experience.

For the bass, you can connect them to a Bose Bass Module 500 or 700, while to enhance the treble you can take advantage of a Bose Soundbar 500. The connection with these devices is quick via wireless connection. The only drawback lies in the overall cost that you will have to face in case you want to buy the whole Bose system.

From the Shelf to The Floor

The bookshelves are of a size compatible with shelves and shelving, but some precautions must always be taken in their location. Since they are on average smaller, they may return low sounds with less density, but we have already explained that this is not always the case.

This thanks, for example, to a widespread system, called Bass reflex. Without going into details, it allows compensating for the small dimensions in the rendering of low and medium-low frequencies. Sound purists horrify the idea of ​​sound speakers placed in a library or inside a piece of furniture.

The golden rule would be that the speakers rested on ad hoc supports, with the tweeter at ear level (obviously in the position where you will listen to the music). The two speakers must be on the same wall, possibly the one opposite the point where you will be placed.

It would be a good rule to leave a fair margin of the distance between speakers, walls and floor unless otherwise indicated. Those who have the budget and space, in fact, can opt for floor speakers. In English, they are called Tower speaker.

They are columns, often very elegant but also bulky. They adapt to fairly large living rooms and usually require fairly powerful amplifiers. They lend themselves to the creation of stereo systems or home cinema systems.

Cables and Bluetooth

A sometimes overlooked element in the creation of a sound system is the cables with which to connect the speakers to the amplifier, or to the direct source that integrates it.

These also play a role in the transmission and diffusion of sound, so it is good not to go hunting exclusively for low prices. Today, Bluetooth headsets and speakers are very popular, allowing you to connect to a source without the aid of cables.

From the point of view of sound quality, we would feel advised against it, because however efficient the connection, there is always a significant loss.

However, they are very comfortable, because they can be placed wherever you want without worrying about power cables (not always, but often they are equipped with autonomous batteries), they can migrate from one room to another and, in the case of portable single-speakers, go on trips with you.

In this field, the new market of so-called Smart speakers is emerging: they also rely on Bluetooth technology or home Wi-Fi and integrate with the best-known digital assistants, such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

One example is the Bose Home Speaker 500, which includes Alexa and can integrate numerous online music services. These devices allow you to interact with voice commands and perform functions well beyond the sound diffusion.

From Subwoofer to Multichannel

There are those who are not satisfied with two speakers and set up multi-channel systems or add a subwoofer to two satellites. Multiple speaker systems is distinguished mainly by the number of elements, with different roles, but the need for a receiver that supports multiple channels.

A set usually includes two speakers for the surround, two fronts and a subwoofer, to which sometimes a front speaker is added.

The subwoofer was born because the speakers often could not reproduce some particularly low sounds. This element could be placed and even hidden, for example, under a sofa or table.

It is interesting to remember that very low sounds have one characteristic: the human ear struggles to understand which direction they come from and create a feeling of disorientation.

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