Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000 – Editor’s Choice

So many to choose from! Lets us boil it down.

How to Choose a Bookshelf Speaker that fits you:

What things do you need to consider when buying bookshelf speakers?
There are basically four things you should take into consideration when shopping for bookshelf speakers.
Space – How big is the room you plan to put these in? Bookshelf speakers can be impressive but in a large room sometimes they are just not going to be able to move enough air to get the job done. If you have a smaller sized room, something less than 8-10ft wide and 10-15ft long you may want to consider bookshelf speakers and a sub set up. Imaging can sometimes be better and room reflections can be mitigated by seating distance from bookshelf speakers. The great thing about most bookshelf speakers, being smaller and just two-way, you can sit very close to them and you hear the music as one. Instead of hearing the tweeter and the woofer working separately.
Music Style – What kind of music you listen to can be greatly enhanced or detracted from by your speaker choice. Lucky most speakers under $1000 tend to sounds good across a large variety of music, but some have more bump, thump, or detail than others. Some are laid back, good for jazz or acoustic, while others that thump are better for rock, pop, and rap. Just looking at the speaker specs wont tell you how the speaker sounds, so you’ll want to research, read reviews, pro and user reviews, to get an idea of how the speaker will sound. If you can, it is always best to audition the speaker in person with power and input devices similar to your home set up.
Associated Equipment – You’ll want to make sure that your amp and input sources characteristics match your speaker characteristics for a desired result. For instance, if your amp is known to be bright, and you get speakers that are also known to be bright, the combo of the two can be over bearing and make listening unpleasant. If your pre-amp or tuner has high and low controls you can adjust for this. If they don’t, than it is a major part of pairing your equipment.
Home Theater or Stereo Only – If you plan to build up a home theater system at some point it is good to consider if the speakers you are purchasing have associated surrounds, center, and sub speakers paired with the bookshelf. In a surround sound system having matching sounding speakers is very important.
Experts may all agree on the advantages or shortcomings of any product they review but, at AudioReview.com, we believe that the average consumer can best summarize all the details a product has to offer… So read what users have to says!
Updated 7/5/2011



Bowers & Wilkins 685 ~ $600
WhatHiFi – After all, they were What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Award-winners in 2007 and 2008, and to date we haven’t reviewed another speaker capable of worrying these entry-level marvels.
AudioReview - 8 Reviews 4.88 of 5 writes – Base is much tighter and punchy than the old 602′s. Massive base for such a small speaker! Clarity is mind blowing, especially with Jazz recordings.
AVGuide.com – Wayne Garcia - Let’s get straight to the point: B&W’s 685 is a terrific little loudspeaker. It has impressive tonal balance, tremendous rhythmic authority, conjures a nice, open soundstage, has impressive if not super-extended bass response, a singing treble, plays loudly without strain

Audio Note AX-2 & AX-2S ~ $600-1000
AX-2S – positive-feedback.com – Gary Beard – In my opinion, the best word to describe the sound of the Audio Note AX-2 Signatures is “balance.” From top to bottom, these little speakers never give any reason to single out a specific area for comment, and that is a very good thing.
AX-2 – AudioReview – RGA – For small speakers, the Piano was highly realistic and fuller bodied than speakers at this price have any right to be. Few speakers I have heard under $1k manage the piano anywhere near as well and that alone along with exceptional female vocals deserve some serious attention.

Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 ~ $850
AudioReview’s Adam LaBarge – “…Overall the Sierra-1 monitors do a lot of things right. They especially move air well at high volumes. They seem to have met all the goals David was trying to accomplish in a reference speaker below a thousand dollars….” – Read Full Review
AudioReview - 4 Reviews 5.00 of 5 - KevinR writes – Usually, speakers that cost considerably less than my Paradigms don’t fare well in comparison. The Sierra-1 was the exception. The mid-range was open and detailed. The bass was exceptional for a bookshelf. The soundstage was wide and deep. Tony Levin’s bass on “Liquid Tension Experiment” came through with exceptional detail. Vocals were neutral, with no sibilance.

Tekton Model OB4.5 ~ $550
enjoythemusic.com – enjoythemusic.com Best of 2009 – With a full-range driver on an open baffle it gives you superb focus, transparency, timing and phase coherence. Place them out into the room on solid stands and it delivers a wide, deep soundscape with excellent definition.
AudioReview - Poultrygeist – The Tekton Model OB4.5 for $550 is in a class by itself.

www.tektondesign.com

Axiom Audio M3v3 ~ $348
pcdistrict.com - The M3 is Axiom’s most versatile and compact stereo and home theater speaker. Winner of the SoundStage! Reviewer\’s Choice Award and GoodSound! Product of the Year, the M3 delivers powerful bass, outstanding treble, and award-winning musical sound for under $400…
AudioReview’s – Adam LaBarge – When I checked the price again I was blown away to find out they were $348, especially when considering their performance. The M3v3 do most of what a great speaker should. They present a large and open image, linear reproduction of sound, offer a good amount of detail, and be as transparent as the speaker can be. Read Full Review
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Paradigm Audio Mini Monitor ~ $339
GreenbergAudio Magazine – I’ve heard highly-regarded $2,000 two-way 6-inchers that could not keep up with the Mini Monitor.
AudioReview - 171 Reviews 4.57 of 5 – Nick Ade – writes – Crossover setting is beautifully low at 2 khz. The tweeter can perform well, and can be heard well off axis, where frequency response does not drop off nearly as rapidly as with other bookshelf models. Build quality is superb for a sub $400/pair speaker, I like the dark cherry veneer. I listen to my music with no eq/bass enhancement, etc, and these speakers are perfect for the discerning stereo enthusiast.

Sony SS-B3000 ~ $100
AudioReview’s Editorial Review – Given the price constraints it is hard to find an over all fault with the SS-B3000 speakers. But the highs can be a bit straining at times and if matched with some ‘hot’ components… Read Full Review
AudioReview - 2 Reviews 4.67 of 5 – D Smith – writes – Everything is quite clear, and they have good volume. I’ve never managed to get the volume on my receiver past about 60%, because it simply hurts too much. Bass is extraordinary for the size of the speaker (about knee height), but vocals still remain clear.
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If you think we left out a great bookshelf speaker that is sub $1000, let us and others know why you think it should be included. Use the comment box below.  There are obviously a lot of great speakers out there that fit a lot of taste.  So help those on the hunt and let them know what you think is best. 
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Original Resource is Audioreview http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/editor%E2%80%99s-choice-best-bookshelf-speakers-under-1000