Bookshelf Speakers

The 11 Best Bookshelf Speakers to Suit Any Budget

The 11 Best Bookshelf Speakers to Suit Any Budget - [In 2021]

Bookshelf speakers (or standmount speakers) are a quintessential building block for many an excellent Hi-Fi system.

They can offer the perfect mesh of high-fidelity sound, discreet placement and compact sizing - allowing for unbeatable versatility and immersive sound that can fill small, medium and even larger rooms.

As with everything in life though, not all bookshelf speakers are made equal and there are a number of considerations to make and pitfalls to avoid.

With over a decade of experience across countless 2-channel systems and bookshelf speaker brands, we are elated to have put together this ultimate guide in helping you choose the best bookshelf speakers for your particular budget and unique audio needs!

Let’s get straight into it.


What is a bookshelf speaker?
Choosing the right speaker for the size of your room
How much should I spend on bookshelf speakers?

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000
   1. Encel Gelati
   2. Wharfedale Diamond 12.1
   3. Monitor Audio Bronze 100
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $2000
   4. Monitor Audio Silver 100
   5. Bowers & Wilkins 606 S3
   6. Wharfedale Evo4.2
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $3000
   7. LS50 Meta
   8. Monitor Audio Gold 100 6G
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $4000
   9. Fyne Audio F500SP
   10. KEF R3 Meta
Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $5000
   11. Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3

What is a bookshelf speaker?

A bookshelf speaker is a small-sized speaker that derives its name from traditionally being positioned in a small space such as a bookshelf!

Bookshelf speakers most commonly showcase a two-way design (i.e. two drivers – a tweeter for treble frequencies and a woofer for mid/low range frequencies), however, larger bookshelf models may have a three-way design with three dedicated drivers – a tweeter, a mid-range driver, and a bass driver. As you’d imagine, this generally gives more detailed frequency separation and a ‘bigger’ overall sound.

An important point to note is that the term ‘bookshelf speaker’ can actually be a bit misleading in some cases. While many speakers in this category are designed to fit snugly on a bookshelf, many go by the term ‘standmount speaker’ and perform much better when given a little space upon a dedicated bookshelf speaker stand.

Before making your purchase make sure you look into the specifics of the speaker model you’re considering in relation to where you will be aiming to place them! Is the speaker going to fit your space? Is it the right size for your room? Is it rear-ported and in need of space from the wall to breathe?

Bookshelf Speaker Specifications

Before purchasing bookshelf speakers, it's worth understanding the technical specifications given by the manufacturer to make sure you pick the right set of speakers for your space and listening preferences.

Let's run through what you need to know below:


This is simply a measurement of the physical size of the speaker. You’d hate to spend good money on a speaker and find out it doesn’t fit where you need it to go, so make sure you measure before you buy!

Most manufacturers will quote in inches or mm in a similar layout to what’s below.

(W x H x D)

W - Width

H - Height

D - Depth


Quoted in either Kg or Pounds depending on where you’re buying from - make sure that the stand, shelf or cabinet that you plan on placing the speakers on is up to the task of supporting the speaker's weight.

Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the range of sound frequencies or tones that a speaker can reproduce and is generally measured in ‘Hertz’ (Hz). Human hearing typically spans between frequencies of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Some speakers have a frequency range above or below typical human hearing.

One Hertz (Hz) is a single sound wave cycle in one second. As a rough guide - ‘bass’ can be thought of as being between 20 and 300 Hz, mid between 300 Hz to 4 kHz, and treble as anything above 4 kHz.


Sensitivity is a measurement of how well the speaker converts the energy from the amplifier into sound. In other words, how loud the speaker will go on a given amplifier.

Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB - a unit of amplitude) and generally speaking - the higher the sensitivity number (dB), the less power (Watts) you will need from your amplifier.

Power Handling

Power handling refers to how efficient a speaker manages power output and is measured in 2 different ways - ‘Root Mean Square (RMS)’ & ‘Peak Power’.

RMS - Root Mean Square measures how much continuous power a speaker can handle. 
Peak Power – Peak power is a measurement of the maximum amount of power a speaker can handle in a short burst.

It’s important to factor in both of these power measurements when matching your speakers and amplifier to make sure the speakers can handle both the continuous and peak power outputs comfortably.

Drive Units

Technically, an individual speaker is called a ‘driver’ (e.g. a tweeter or a woofer), while the entire speaker box with multiple drivers is known as a loudspeaker. The whole unit is often now simply referred to as a speaker by many.

Depending on where the manufacturer is located, the size measurement of the individual drivers is given in millimetres, centimetres or inches and refers to the diameter of the unit.

As a general rule the larger the driver, the more power it can output and the louder it will be.

There are typically two types of different drivers in a bookshelf speaker:

HF – High frequency or "tweeters"

LF – Low frequency or "woofers"

If you see a loudspeaker being referred to as ‘2-Way’ or ‘3-Way’ it’s referring to the total amount of drivers in the box (e.g. 2-way means 2 drivers - usually one tweeter and one woofer).


A cross-over is a component within a loudspeaker that separates the audio signal and sends the appropriate frequencies to each driver (i.e. high frequencies to the tweeter and low frequencies to the woofer).

The crossover splits the signal based on a defined frequency threshold and will be found in most loudspeakers with the exceptions being speakers with a single full-range driver and speakers that use software to separate frequencies.


Impedance is quoted in ohms and is a measure of the resistance the electrical signal meets while powering the speaker. The higher the impedance, the easier the signal passes and the less demanding the speaker is on the amplifier.

Speakers will typically have 4, 6- or 8-ohm resistance. It is vital to correctly match the amplifier power and speaker impedance, however, the vast majority of modern amplifiers are compatible with 4-8 ohm speakers.

Amplifier Requirements

Matching your bookshelf speakers to the right amplifier is essential. Mismatched components will not only leave a lot of quality and potential on the table but can also damage your equipment.

Generally speaking - the amplifier impedance should match the speaker impedance. It is ok for the speaker to have a higher impedance than the amplifier, but you'll run into problems if the speaker has a lower impedance than the amp is rated for.

Keep in mind that this method doesn’t take into account the concept of ‘synergy’ between components, with certain brands and styles working together to give a more pleasing sound quality.

Many speaker manufacturers will also give you the recommended amplifier specifications.

Choosing the right speaker for the size of your room

There is a very important relationship at play between your speaker and room size.

Simply put:

Sound interacts with the room it’s in by pressuring air, so if your speakers are too small for the room they will be working very hard to fill the space, resulting in distortion and bass that is washed out and hollow. If they are too large, you will be unable to run them at volumes that allow all of the frequencies to be appreciated.

Nat, our systems consultant, takes you through everything you need to know in this quick video below:

How much should I spend on bookshelf speakers?

This is obviously a very personal question but there's no denying that your budget is a necessary consideration when selecting your bookshelf speakers. Bookshelf speakers can range in price from a few hundred dollars to 10's of thousands, with everything in between!

Price is often a good quality guideline, however, spending a lot of money doesn't guarantee you'll get the best product, and vice versa for those on a lower budget.

Getting the speakers you need will obviously require you to determine a budget, but you’ll also need to look at your amplifier specifications, the particular features you’re after, the size of the room you’ll use them in and the aesthetic that suits your home!

Below we've detailed a range of brilliant bookshelf speakers at many different price points, from manufacturers such as KEFMonitor Audio, WharfedaleBowers & Wilkins, Encel & Fyne.

Combining years of industry experience with many hours of testing allows us to proudly stand behind all of these units and will hopefully guide you towards finding the right pair for you.

Read on below and explore the wonderful world of Bookshelf Speakers!

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000

With a lot of cheap knock-offs and poorly made equipment now flooding the market, there’s no denying that you can ‘trip up’ at this price point if you’re not careful. There are horror stories out there of people paying many hundreds of dollars for a set of ‘bargain speakers’ that aren’t worth the cardboard they are shipped in.

That being said, there are still some great entry-level options worth considering if you're limited by budget, or just wanting to test the waters.

The bookshelf speakers we feature below are all tried and tested by us in-store and come from some of the worlds most highly-regarded Hi-Fi manufacturers. These represent the perfect speakers for your first Hi-Fi setup, or for that smaller dedicated Hi-Fi room!

1.) Encel Gelati

Encel Gelati Bookshelf Speakers Pisatchio Green colour

To kick this list off (and coming in well under $1000) - we bring to you the small, but mighty, Encel Gelati Bookshelf Speakers!

The first speaker release from Encel in nearly 20 years, the Encel Gelati are the most colourful speakers available on our list and offer a great mix of value, performance and aesthetic.

As a 2-way vented-box speaker sporting 1x 25mm soft dome tweeter and 1x 5-inch (130mm) Kevlar cone driver - the  Encel Gelati’s have plenty of punch to fill a small room with music, bring your video games to life or position as excellent surrounds for a home theatre system.

Bass is energetic, tight and particularly impressive for their size, delivered with the aid of the rear-mounted bass port. The soundstage is wide and deep, with nice detail, clarity and separation. 

All-in-all, the Encel Gelati Bookshelf Speakers represent excellent value for money and are the perfect candidates for our first entry-level bookshelf speakers. Coming in well under $1000 with size-defying performance, they are brilliant for an entry-level Hi-Fi system.

Key Points for the Encel Gelati’s:

  • 5" woven Kevlar bass cone in a driver that is mounted to a high-power magnet and advanced motor system
  • 1" soft dome tweeter, driven by a ferrite magnet system with a carefully constructed waveguide around the fabric dome for optimal dispersion
  • Rear ported design for deep, articulate and well-integrated bass
  • Melbourne-modelled crossover, designed with advanced computer software and refined through extensive listening tests
  • Available in a range of colourful finishes and further customisable with a colourful selection of grilles

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect For:

Those seeking great entry-level Hi-Fi speakers at a brilliant price or those who want to express themselves through colour.

Pairs Great With:

The Encel Brains Integrated Amplifier, Rotel A11 MKII Integrated Amplifier and Pro-Ject E1 Turntable.

We’ve also bundled the Encel Gelati Bookshelf Speakers in a package called the ‘The Gelati Groove Pack’, which comes complete with all the speaker wire and cables you need to ‘plug and play’ straight out of the box.

In our opinion - this is one of the best ‘entry-level Hi-Fi’ packs you’ll find anywhere, hitting that highly-sought-after sweet spot between budget and performance.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Encel Gelati Bookshelf Speakers

2.) Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

The Wharfedale ‘Diamond 12’ series (12 for 12th generation) is the product of nearly 40 years worth of speaker refinement, innovation and improvement - with the first Diamond model being released in 1982!

This 12th iteration of the already very successful Diamond series is definitely the most impressive so far - calling on the talents and expertise of the very famous and renowned loudspeaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink. Mr Fink was reportedly given complete creative control with this range and it has paid dividends with the Diamond 12’s already receiving much critical acclaim and many glowing reviews.

The Diamond 12.1 is the ‘middle child’ of the 6 speaker range and the smaller of the bookshelf speakers in the series. The  Diamond 12.1 is the compact option for your small to moderate rooms and listening areas.

Wharfedale's goal with the 12.1 (and the rest of the Diamond series) was to create affordable, authentic hi-fi loudspeakers that truly capture the spirit of music, whatever you play – from rock to classical, jazz to electronica – whilst conveying the recording with truth and accuracy, as all great ‘hi-fi’ should. We think they’ve hit the nail on the head.

The 12.1 showcases all-new driver design with Fink opting away from the kevlar cones that have become synonymous with Wharfedale, and instead creating a new polypropylene/mica composite material called they’ve called Klarity which is reportedly stiffer and faster than ever before.

The  Diamond 12.1’s mid/bass Klarity driver spans 5-inches (127mm) and is exceptionally well developed, showcasing custom-engineered ribbing and a low-damping surround for excellent dynamics and musical detail. The driver utilises a precise and powerful magnet with a voice coil wound on a high-power epoxy/glass fibre bobbin to allow for deep and powerful bass without distortion.

The 1-inch (25mm) dome tweeter is fabricated from woven polyester and finished with a high-gloss coating - completely optimised to deliver open, smooth and uncompressed highs. Even the front plate for the tweeter has been modelled and engineered to expose the dome as much as possible and further improve performance.

The cabinets show a bold and authoritative ‘classic’ Hi-Fi styling, with finishes available in black, white, walnut and oak/white. Some serious computer modelling and testing time has been put into the box bracing as well, with unique wood composites used on opposite walls to eliminate any cabinet vibrations or movement. You’ll find the bass port for the   Diamond 12.1 located at the rear of the cabinet, so give them some space away from the wall to get the best out of them.

The  Diamond 12.1 is a big, powerful and authoritative bookshelf / standmount speaker at a very approachable price point. Engineered by one of the world’s leading loudspeaker designers and representing one of the most recognisable speaker lines in history - the 12.1 is a commanding listen that will deliver an immersive sound throughout your small to moderate size rooms.

Key Points for the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1's:

  • 5" Klarity mid/bass driver with a 25mm woven polyester dome tweeter
  • Compact and intelligently spot-braced cabinets to remove any noise or vibration
  • Designed by one of the worlds leading loudspeaker engineers
  • A big, immersive and bold sound for your small to medium rooms

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect For:

Anyone after a medium-large bookshelf / standmount speaker at a great price point that features excellent Hi-Fi design and carries undeniable heritage!

Pairs Great With:

The Marantz PM6007 is a brilliant amplifier match for the Diamond 12.1, providing plenty of mid-range clarity and tuneful bass.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf Speakers

3.) Monitor Audio Bronze 100

As the bigger sibling to the Bronze 50’s the Monitor Audio Bronze 100's are, as you’d expect, bigger in every way - larger cabinets, a bigger driver and more bass. That said, they also manage to tuck in nicely under $1000!

Anyone familiar with the multi-award-winning Monitor Audio Bronze 2’s will already have a slight idea of what to expect, with the Bronze 100’s being the successor to this much-loved model. That being said, the Bronze 100’s have been upgraded in almost every way!

The first change you’ll notice from the Bronze 2’s is very visual, with the Bronze 100’s sporting a larger box design, elegant new front baffle in a variety of colours, and most noticeably, a rear-mounted bass port.

The Bronze 100’s have carried over the same signature Monitor Audio Gold Dome C-CAM tweeter from the Bronze 2’s (although now behind a re-designed mesh cover), with the bigger cabinet now allowing for an upgrade to a notably larger 8-inch (203mm) C-CAM bass/mid-woofer from the previous 6.5-inch (165mm) driver.

Monitor Audio has worked extensively on developing proprietary technologies and high-quality internals to get the best performance they can from each speaker at every price point. The Bronze 100’s are of course no exception - showcasing their C-CAM drivers, HiVe (high-velocity) bass ports, premium gold-plated terminals and Pureflow silver-plated oxygen-free copper internal cabling to name a few.

After a bit of breaking in, this all combines for a sound that is notably detailed and energetic with good separation and impressive bass response - just be sure to position them slightly off the wall to allow the rear bass port enough room. Additionally, they offer a number of stylish and elegant baffle/box finishes to match nearly any aesthetic - comfortably making them one of your best options for high-quality bookshelf speakers under $1000.

Key points for the Bronze 100’s:

  • 8 " mid/bass driver with concave 'dished' C-CAM cone profile and 25mm C-CAM Gold Dome tweeter
  • HiVe II rear-mounted bass port technology, premium gold-plated terminals & pureflow silver-plated oxygen-free copper internal cabling
  • Gold-plated Bi-wire/Bi-amp terminal configuration
  • Compatible with the new Monitor Audio Bronze AMS Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers
  • The successor to the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Bronze 2’s

Want a closer look at the Bronze 100’s?:

Watch below as Dan opens them up and takes you through a full product unboxing!

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect For:

For those seeking powerful and well-rounded bookshelf speaker performance with a sleek and stylish aesthetic at a budget-friendly price point.

Pairs Great With:

The Rotel A11 Tribute Integrated Stereo Amplifier and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.

This package comes together under the name ‘The Symphony Suite’, complete with all wires and cables to simply plug and play within 10 minutes of setup. This pack offers exceptional performance and component synergy at a very attractive price. Buying as a bundle like this allows for cost savings on high-quality components that individual purchasing can’t come close to matching.

We've sat in front of this one for hours listening to a range of musical genres - and can honestly say it’s one of the best ‘value for money’ Hi-Fi packs on the market.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Bookshelf Speakers

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $2000

The next stepping stone on the bookshelf speaker path takes you to those under $2000.

This price point is a definite jump up from ‘entry-level’ in terms of build quality, design, technology and performance, and is a great step down the path to building an excellent Hi-Fi system.

Read on below to check them out.

4.) Monitor Audio Silver 100 7G

As I’m sure you can probably imagine, the Monitor Audio ‘Silver’ range is the natural step up from Monitor Audios ‘Bronze’ range and takes you notably deeper into audiophile territory.

The Silver 7G 100’s are the larger of the two bookshelf speakers available in the Silver range, and pack in an 8” (200mm) woofer with a 1” (25mm) tweeter to deliver a much larger sound than their size should be capable of.

Both the gold dome tweeter and mid/bass driver are made from Monitor Audio’s proprietary ‘C-CAM’ (ceramic-coated aluminium magnesium) and are combined with a vented Neo-magnet system in the Silver 100. As you’d expect - the internals utilise some of the best materials in their class, including Pureflow silver-plated cabling, polypropylene film capacitors and air-core / low-loss laminated steel-core inductors.

This proprietary technology translates to a sound that is beautifully balanced and clear with excellent PRAT (Pace, Rhythm And Timing). Sound quality is further enhanced by the unique DCF coupling mechanism (borrowed from the pinnacle ‘Platinum’ range), lowering distortion and improving high-frequency fidelity.

The bass response from the Silver 100’s is deep, tight and rhythmic - accentuated by the rear-mounted and rifled HiVe II bass port. The dished design of the C-CAM driver brings extra clarity to the mid-range, so the low-end is snappy with no muddled sound. Plenty of punch to comfortably fill a medium to large room.

The build quality is particularly impressive with solidly built cabinets and 6 classic colours to choose from. The Silver 100 combines well-known shapes and finishes with their new ‘hexagonal mesh’ tweeter cover to give an aesthetic that is a smart mix of ‘traditional Hifi’ and modern design.

Beyond just creating solid cabinets, they've also integrated their Rigid Surface Technology (RST) into the bass/mid driver cone material to strengthen the surface, so it resists mechanical warping. The driver will last longer and remain undistorted. Intertwined in all this epic construction is a cast-polymer driver chassis to elevate the speaker's rigidity and dampening ability.

The Silver 100’s are brilliant at replicating music to its raw and realistic nature via snappy drum rhythms, crisp vocals, detailed instrumentals and hearty bass melodies. They are emotive and immersive, giving you the full and balanced experience of any track you put to them. Capturing numerous awards, 5-star reviews and industry praise - the Silver 100’s proudly round out our ‘best under $2000’ category.

Key points for the Monitor Audio Silver 100’s:

  • 8” (200 mm) C-CAM mid/bass driver with 1” (25mm ) Gold Dome tweeter
  • Notably solid build quality and cabinet construction
  • An exceptionally well-balanced, rhythmic and dynamic sound profile
  • Utilises some of the best advancements in speaker technology - including: ‘RST’ C-CAM concave drivers, cast-polymer driver chassis design, the proprietary HiVe II bass-port, Pureflow silver-plated OFC copper internal cabling and bespoke polypropylene film capacitors ... to name a few.
  • 5-star reviews, ‘Product Of The Year and ‘Best In Category’ awards from industry juggernauts such as What Hi-Fi? and Home Theatre Review

Want a closer look at the Silver 100’s?:

Watch below as Dan opens them up and takes you through a full product unboxing!


Click here for the full manufacturer specifications.

Perfect For:

If you’ve been impressed by the power, bass and energy of the Bronze 100’s (or Diamond 12.2’s for that matter) and are ready for a jump-up in quality, dynamics, clarity and PRAT - the Silver 100’s are your match!

Pairs Great With:

The Pro-Ject X1 Turntable & Roksan Attessa Amplifier & CD Player combine perfectly with the Silver 100 7g’s for a stunning vinyl sound with beautiful detail, timing and presence!

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Monitor Audio Silver 100 Bookshelf Speakers


5.) Bowers And Wilkins 606 S3

Modern looking Walnut Wood speaker with white face and silver driver

The Bowers & Wilkins 606 S3 is the new standmount speaker offering in the revamped and reimagined 600 series.

B&W have been in the speaker game a long time with the 600 series alone now hitting the 30-year mark. As the eighth edition in this iconic series, the S3 series is a celebration of everything that has made the 600 series so great.

If you’re a previous owner of B&W 600 series speakers you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect, however, prepare to be impressed by the noticeable improvements in sound quality that some relatively minor technical advancements have made. 

Adopting the 'if it ain't broke , don't fix it' approach, the 606 S3 has carried forward the same 2-way vented cabinet setup from the previous edition. The 606 S3 combines a 25mm (1 in) titanium dome tweeter with a 165mm (6.5 in) bass / midrange driver which uses the same patented Continuum cone technology that B&W originally designed for their flagship 800 Series Diamond. 

The most significant internal upgrade to the 606 S3 are the crossovers which have also updated with the inclusion of high-quality, upgraded bypass capacitors from the 700 S3 series, delivering higher resolution and transparency.

As small as this improvement seems, it has had a noticeable impact on sound quality when compared to the previous model. The 606 S3’s display brilliant clarity and separation with a nice wide soundstage, and if you’re comparing them to their predecessor, you’ll notice a much tighter and more controlled bass response. They also maintain their clarity and detail nicely at both lower volumes and when delivering complex tracks.

Aesthetically, they are a simple and elegant build, aiming to blend into their surroundings, no matter the decor. You will notice a significant change from the prior model is the placement of the mid/bass driver to the tweeter. B&W state that because of this, "the experience is a more open, neutral performance that delivers voices and instruments with precision and transparency.

All in all, the 606 S3 standmounts exemplify what makes Bowers & Wilkins so great - value, performance and classic style. They are an excellent option in this price range and well worthy of an audition.



  • The latest result of 30 years of continuous development and improvement to the B&W 600 series
  • Great detail and clarity with tight and controlled bass
  • Using trickle-down technology from the flagship ‘Diamond Series’

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.


Those looking to celebrate 30 years of the B&W 600 series with a skilfully designed speaker that displays a beautifully balanced sound. 


The  Bowers & Wilkins 606 S3’s work well across a number of amplifiers we’ve tested, but in our opinion, the sweet spot for matching price and performance is the Marantz PM6007 or the Rotel A12 MKII - both are a brilliant choice. 


Click here for our best price on the Bowers & Wilkins 606 S3


6.) Wharfedale Evo 4.2

The Wharfedale Evo 4.2 Bookshelf Speakers are the pinnacle in terms of both price and size for Wharfedales newest range - ‘EVO’.

Referring to Evo as the ‘dawn of a new standard’, Wharfedale has set out to produce an advanced and premium series of Hi-Fi speakers that offer great performance and longevity, while still remaining affordable.

The premium design feel for the Evo range is apparent as soon as you take the 4.2’s out of the box. Taking inspiration from the much higher-priced flagship ‘Elysian’ range, the Evo 4.2’s not only lean on highly-advanced and meticulously engineered internals, but also a build and finish that is sleek, robust, elegant and universally eye-catching.

One of the first things you’ll likely notice about the Evo 4.2 is the unique and highly-developed 30mm x 60mm tweeter or ‘AMT’ (Air Motion Transformer). Utilising the same technology from the Elysian series, the Evo transducer moves away from the more common ‘soft-dome’ setup and instead incorporates a pleated lightweight diaphragm with a number strategically placed magnets. This system allows for very efficient air movement that gives very low distortion and impressive detail to your high-frequencies.

The mids and bass for the Evo 4.2 are taken care of by a 6.5-inch (165mm) woven Kevlar cone, fitted with a low loss rubber surround. Again calling on Elysian technology, the woofer is driven by a super low distortion motor system which results in excellent dynamics and mid-range detail with tight and controlled bass.

Tying it all together is a very highly-engineered crossover designed with the help of advanced computer modelling and countless hours of testing. It’s been built from specifically chosen materials that give excellent audio transparency and very low interference to deliver crystal clear and precise frequency separation.

We’ve discussed the refined style of the cabinets above but it’s important to note that the cabinets not only look the part - they also have a large role to play in the bass delivery for the Evo’s. Built with Wharfedale's proprietary PLSP (Pressure Loaded Slot Port) technology the  Evo 4.2 box is skillfully designed to equalise pressure in any room when venting bass energy. This design allows them to be placed almost anywhere, in fact, often performing much better when in tight against the wall.

Incorporating some very high-end and clever engineering, the  Evo 4.2 is a ‘true bookshelf speaker’ - compactly designed to fit in any room and perform without limitations. Calling on advanced Hi-Fi technology and components to effortlessly deliver a smooth, engaging and detailed sound, it’s a serious surprise that these are priced as affordably as they are.

Key Points for the Wharfedale Evo 4.2:

  • A unique and advanced 30mm*60mm pleated diaphragm tweeter
  • 6.5" mid/bass woven Kevlar driver with a super low distortion motor
  • Robust, sleek and functional cabinet design with PLSP technology for bass venting
  • A ‘true bookshelf speaker’ with unique bass porting technology - making it super versatile in terms of placement

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect For:

Anyone after a brilliantly designed bookshelf speaker built on class-leading technology with a detailed and engaging sound that can be positioned almost anywhere.

Pairs Great With:

After some serious listening time in the Living Entertainment showroom, we can confidently say that the AudioLab 6000A is an excellent and affordable amplifier match for the 4.2’s.

You can also enjoy the Evo 4.2 speakers in our pre-made Hi-Fi packs like the Evolution Hi-Fi Pack (pictured below), Sgt Peppers Hi-Fi Pack or the Hotel Revolution Hi-Fi Pack.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 Bookshelf Speakers

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $3000

Stepping into the ‘best bookshelf speakers under $3000’ puts you in the company of some truly special speakers, showcasing another noticeable jump in detail, quality and refinement.

You are beginning to invest in the makings of a premium Hi-Fi system here. Expect very high-quality components and a refined build quality from companies that are tried, tested and very well regarded.

7.) KEF LS50 Meta

KEF created the LS50 Meta speakers off the back of the popalirty of their predecessor, the LS50 (originally released in 2011). What makes the LS50 Meta unique is their cutting-edge Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) within the Uni-Q driver. These innovations reduce distortion and enhance clarity, resulting in incredibly detailed sound and a remarkable listing experience. Plus, their sleek design ensures they look as good as they sounds. 

The tweeter in the LS50 Meta is a 1-inch (25 mm) vented aluminium dome with Metamaterial Absorption Technology. Taking care of the mid/bass is the 130 mm (5.25 in.) aluminium cone. This design notably reduces distortion and gives much better accuracy and clarity to the highs.

The LS50 Meta aesthetic is sleek and sophisticated with options for a Carbon Black, Mineral White or Titanium Grey finish.

It’s worth noting that the LS50 Meta performs much better when utilised as a ‘standmount speaker’ with some space given off the wall to breathe and really push the bass. If you have a nice and roomy bookshelf to place the speaker on, you can definitely get away with it, but if you’re going to invest in a pair of 706’s - tack a little bit extra on for the stands. It’s probably one of the cheapest and simplest performance improvements you can make.  

The KEF LS50 Meta all packs neatly into an elegant cabinet that not only delivers the advertised ‘room-filling acoustic heft’, but does so with an impressive level of refinement and sophistication. Count on the  LS50 Meta for dynamics, detail, space and insight into your music.

Key points for the KEF LS50 Meta:

  • Vented aluminium done with Metamaterial Absorption Technology
  • Impressively versatile, performing well across most music genres and both low and high volumes.
  • A big sound that carries nicely for your larger rooms


Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect for:

Those looking for an excellent value standmount speaker with a big sound that is also detailed, precise and versatile. 

Pairs great with:

The KEF LS50 Meta’s play well with a range of good amplifiers, however the sweet spot for matching price and performance is the Hegel H120, add a little bit in the bottom end with the matching KEF KC62 subwoofer for the ultimate compact system - both will have you dancing with joy.



Click here for our best price on the KEF LS50 Meta Speakers

8.) Monitor Audio Gold 100 5G

Put aside its stunning beauty and delicately refined sound - the Monitor Audio Gold 100’s might just take the cake for pure ingenuity and advancement of bookshelf speaker technology.

The entire Monitor Audio Gold Series is the result of ‘trickle-down’ technology from the painstakingly engineered and highly-refined Platinum II Series.

The Gold 100's drivers are simply world-class, utilising every scrap of development from the Platinum II series. The 6.5-inch (165 mm) long-throw bass/mid driver is put together from their second-generation rigid diaphragm technology (RDT II). This proprietary design combines two extremely robust & light skins - an outer skin comprised of their renowned C-CAM material, a Nomex core and an advanced woven carbon fibre inner skin.

Monitor Audio refers to this unique combination as a composite 'sandwich' structure that allows this 6.5-inch (165mm) driver to perform like an 8-inch (203mm) with no distortion. Furthermore, the reported frequency response from this particular driver is 40 Hz to 50kHz which is almost unprecedented for a speaker of this size.

As incredible as the mid/bass driver design is - the high-frequency tweeter is just as impressive and built to match. Again borrowing tech from the Platinum series, the Gold 100’s employ a Micro Pleated Diaphragm (MPD) High-Frequency Transducer for smooth, articulate and extended high-end frequencies. From the outside, it looks like a ribbon coil but that's the tweeter diaphragm folding over itself many times over. By folding the diaphragm, the tweeter can encompass a surface area 8x larger than a traditional dome tweeter.

Monitor Audio refers to the function of this design as "a super-fast accordion" that presses the diaphragm pleats together to for a high-end output of up to 100 kHz.

The Gold 100’s also carry Monitor Audio’s proprietary rear-mounted HiVe II bass tuning port - discussed in detail in the MA speakers earlier on. As with many of the ‘bookshelf speakers’ on this list, you’ll really need to stand-mount the Gold 100’s to give the port room to breathe get the best bass response possible.

From an aesthetics point of view, I believe the Gold 100’s in ‘Piano Ebony’ are the most stunning speakers in this entire catalogue. With a striated gloss ‘tiger’s eye’ finish, smooth leather top, beautifully rounded cabinets and magnetic grills - the Gold 100’s are a work of art.

With some of the best bookshelf speaker technology and design available, the Gold 100’s unmask unheard nuances in melodies, vocals, and instruments on tracks I've listened to a thousand times before. The class-leading driver design means the Gold 100’s sound much larger than their size suggests - easily mistaken for a floorstander if you aren’t paying attention.

Aside from breathtaking dynamics, accuracy, emotion and pure performance, the 5G Gold 100 also wins my vote for ‘sexiest bookshelf speaker of 2024’.

Key Points for the Monitor Audio Gold 100’s 5G:

  • Packed with class-leading Monitor Audio technology from the Platinum range including an MPD high-frequency transducer and a dual-layer RDT II / C-CAM / Nomex 6.5-inch (165mm) driver
  • The highly engineered HiVe II bass port
  • Phenomenal dynamics, bass response and accuracy of reproduction
  • The best looking bookshelf speaker for 2021 (in my humble opinion)
  • An outrageous amount of industry awards, critical acclaim and recognition


Click here for the full manufacturer specifications.

Perfect For:

Those looking for a genuine audiophile-quality bookshelf speaker that is built with some of the best Hi-Fi technology and design features currently available. With a sound and aesthetic levels above what the price would suggest, the Gold 100’s are a wide-favourite for good reason.

Pairs Great With:

The Gold 100’s absolutely sing when paired with either the Hegel H120 integrated amplifier. This amplifier extracts immaculate detail, dynamics and bass from the 100’s.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Monitor Audio Gold 100 5G Bookshelf Speakers

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $4000:

We are really getting towards the pointy end of our list now, as our best bookshelf speakers under $4000 will put you in unquestionable audiophile territory.

Prepare yourself for breathtaking high-fidelity performance and a level of detail in your favourite music you may have never heard before...

9.) Fyne Audio F500 SP

Fyne Audio's F500SP speakers are truly unique, thanks to a combination of innovative technology, exceptional sound quality, and meticulous craftsmanship. These speakers incorporate several key features that set them apart.

The real head-turner here is Fyne Audio's IsoFlare driver technology – it's like putting a magician's hat on your speakers. By nesting the tweeter right at the heart of the midrange driver, these speakers create a sonic realm where sound disperses like a captivating fireworks show, filling your space with breathtaking audio. Where every note, every instrument, is right there in front of you, crystal clear and astonishingly immersive.

Now, their cabinet design is crafted with such precision, in my opinion it’s the unsung hero. Fyne Audio pays meticulous attention to cabinet design and construction. The F500SP speakers feature a rigid, resonance-free cabinet that is engineered for optimal performance. The result? Reduced coloration and distortion, allowing your music to shine with the kind of clarity and accuracy you'd expect from a studio recording. It's as if these speakers are your personal audiophile sound technicians, ensuring every detail in your music is as crisp as a freshly baked croissant.

But it doesn't stop there – the F500SP speakers are chameleons, adapting to your every mood and setting. Whether you're throwing a house party or enjoying a cosy movie night, they effortlessly blend into your setup, making any listening experience feel like the VIP section of an exclusive club.

Put aside its stunning beauty and delicately refined sound - the Fyne Audio F500SP’s might just take the cake for pure ingenuity and advancement of bookshelf speaker technology. The entire 500SP series is the result of ‘trickle-down’ technology from the painstakingly engineered and highly-refined 700 Series.

While these speakers come at a competitive price point, their unique IsoFlare driver technology, precision craftsmanship, versatility, and visual appeal make the Fyne Audio F500SP speakers a unique and compelling choice for those who value both audio quality and aesthetics in their audio equipment. 

Aside from breathtaking dynamics, accuracy, emotion and pure performance, the F500SP also wins my vote for ”most compact and dynamic bookshelf of 2023”.

KEY POINTS FOR THE Fyne Audio F500SP speakers:

  • Packed with class-leading Fyne Audio technology like - 1 x 150mm IsoFlare™ point source driver Multi-fibre bass / midrange cone, FyneFlute™ surround with 25mm magnesium dome compression tweeter, neodymium magnet system
  • 2 way, downwards firing port, with BassTraxTM Tractrix diffuser
  • Phenomenal dynamics, bass response and accuracy of reproduction
  • The most compact and dynamic bookshelf of 2023 (in my humble opinion)


Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect for:

Those discerning audiophiles and music enthusiasts who demand both exceptional sound quality and a touch of elegance in their audio setup.If you're a music lover seeking high-fidelity sound, the Fyne Audio F500SP speakers offer a unique blend of performance and aesthetics.

Pairs great with:

The F500SP’s absolutely sing when paired with the Attessa Streaming integrated amplifier. Both of these units extract immaculate detail, dynamics and bass from the 500SP’s.

Buy It:

Click here for our best price on the Fyne Audio F500 SP speakers

10.) KEF R3 Meta

The KEF R3 Meta bookshelf speakers are like the virtuoso of the audio world, and their sound quality is akin to a beautifully woven musical tapestry. Imagine their Uni-Q driver array as the conductor, orchestrating a symphony where every instrument and vocalist has a specific place and role in the performance. This results in a 3D soundstage where you can almost feel the artists in the room, transported into the heart of the recording studio.

The midrange on the R3 Meta is as clear as crystal, making vocals pop with the vibrancy of a front-row seat at a jazz club. The treble is delicate, revealing high notes like the subtlest brush of a painter's stroke on canvas, providing intricate details without the harshness often found in lesser speakers.

But what's a musical masterpiece without a solid bassline? The R3 Meta’s bring it all together with deep, well-defined bass that's like the reliable anchor of a rhythm section. It adds that satisfying oomph to your tunes, making you feel the thump of the drum or the rumble of the bass guitar in your chest.

And here's the kicker – these speakers stay clean and composed, even when you crank up the volume. So, whether you're grooving to your favourite tracks or exploring new musical landscapes, the KEF R3 Meta speakers promise an audio adventure that's as fun as a rollercoaster ride through the world of sound.


  • Markedly improved and completely redesigned tweeter, crossover & cabinet over previous model, utilising super high-end technology from the Reference Meta line
  • Packed with award-winning proprietary KEF technology such as their Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT)
  • Beautifully detailed & accurate sound profile

Specifications & Warranty:

Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.

Perfect for:

Anyone with a listening style or musical taste that calls for detail and clarity. Look to use them in a small to medium room, and if space in your house is at a premium, these are the perfect candidate with their small cabinet size. They also lend themselves perfectly as surrounds for a high-end ‘KEF R Series’ home theatre system.

Pairs great with:

The R3 Meta’s really come into their own when run on the Hegel H120 amplifier, we love it so much we have bundled it together in the Regel 1 Hi-Fi Pack. After some run in time, the brilliant H120 will have them reproducing your favourite music with immense accuracy, clarity and depth.

Buy it:

Click here for our best price on the KEF R3 Meta speakers

Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $5000

We're now entering into some of the finest bookshelf speakers that money can buy.

The attention to detail, technology and production quality here is without compromise.

These speakers are the result of decades of design evolution and reproduce music in a way you may have never heard before.

11.) Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3

We are rounding out our take on the best bookshelf speakers with the B&W 705 S3.

The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Bookshelf speakers wield their unique blend of technologies and craftsmanship to deliver a listening experience that's nothing short of spectacular.

The secret sauce behind the 705 S3’s captivating sound lies in their remarkable drivers. The Carbon Dome tweeter delivers crystal-clear highs that sparkle like a starry night. It's the shimmering cymbal in your favourite jazz track, the delicate chime of a piano key, or the ethereal notes of a soprano's voice.

Then comes the Continuum cone midrange driver which paints the midrange frequencies with such precision and finesse that vocals and instruments come to life in a way that feels as if the artist is right in front of you. Listening, you can experience the warm tones of an acoustic guitar, the soulful resonance of a saxophone, or the raw emotion in a singer's voice.

But what truly sets these speakers apart is their cabinet construction. The optimised design of the 705 S3’s minimise vibrations and resonances, creating an acoustically pure canvas for your music.

In summary, the Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 bookshelf speakers are like a symphony of technologies and craftsmanship. They offer a listening experience akin to a front-row seat at a live concert, with a tweeter and midrange that paints with precision. These speakers make music come to life with such vividness and clarity that it's like discovering your favourite tracks all over again, as if for the very first time.

Oh. And they look absolutely stunning in our humble opinion, but that’s for you to decide!


  • The largest and best-performing standmount speaker in the Bowers & Wilkins 700 S3 series
  • 1 of 2 speakers in the range to feature the stunning and effective top mount tweeter design
  • A beautifully refined, detailed and precise sound


Click here for the full manufacturer specifications & warranty information.


Those looking for a standmount speaker that is a cut above. Showcasing standout performance and beautiful design - you’ll struggle to find a more impressive speaker in this category.


You’d be doing the 705 S3’s an injustice by pairing them with anything less than the Marantz Model 30 or the Rotel RA1592 MKII. Not to say these are your only options, but they are both brilliant amplifier matches for these speakers and the quality benchmark you should use if using another brand.


Click here for our best price on the Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Anniversary Speakers

So...Which Bookshelf Speaker is for You?

As you can see, you aren’t stuck for options here in Australia when it comes to quality bookshelf speaker choices.

If after reading this article you're leaning more towards needing a bigger sound for a bigger space - it'd be worth looking at the key differences between bookshelf vs tower speakers (also called 'floor standing speakers') to make sure you're getting the setup you need.

We are passionate about helping people find the right audio setup for their particular needs - understanding that everyone has a different set of requirements and relationship with their favourite music!

We hope this article has helped guide you to ‘your perfect pair of bookshelf speakers’, however, if you have a few more questions or would like to clear anything up, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Thanks again from all of us here at LENC for reading, we look forward to hearing from you!