There are many audiophiles out there who will tell you that spending $1000 on a set of bookshelf speakers might be an overkill. In some ways, they are right. If you were to cut that budget in half, you could find pretty impressive speakers that deliver a similar performance. This way, you can spend $500 on a good set and use the rest to acquire the rest of the necessary gear. However, $1000 absolutely does have a lot to offer. In this article, we’re going to check out some of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000, and see what they’re capable of.
What Can You Expect From $1000 Bookshelf Speakers?
That observation stating that $1000 might be overkill for bookshelf speakers is grounded in facts. That is the kind of money you would spend on a decent tower setup. However, this type of money will get you a few benefits if you need something compact.
The absolute first thing that comes to mind is the quality of just about everything from the cabinet to hardware. Most speakers found in this price range will feature high-end finishes, impeccable build quality, and substantially upgraded hardware. Woofers are generally going to be larger, tweeters more accurate and overall performance better.
Most brands will also integrate some of their proprietary solutions. That means we will see custom voiced transducers or custom designed cones. Either way, you are paying for both tangible upgrades but also purely aesthetic ones.
Power and Quality Performance
More often than not, the main benefit of everything we have listed so far is going to be power. Home speakers found in this segment of the market shouldn’t really have trouble saturating a medium-sized room without losing any clarity. Brands such as SVS do cost a lot, but every invested cent comes back intangible performance. That type of approach to building speakers isn’t unique for the $1000 price range, but it is definitely more common.
The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000
- Heavy duty components.
- Clinical precision.
- Impressive performance.
- Pretty focused image projection.
SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers offer the type of performance you get when you build a speaker using premium components. These have it all – the looks as well as the sound. Within their respective price range, you will be hard pressed to find something that works better.
The sound is extremely precise, nuanced, and accurate. But if we could find one complaint with it, it would be that the image projection has a fairly narrow sweet spot meaning that you have to be quite careful when it comes to choosing their placement within a room and it may take some experimentation before you end up with the optimal setup. Keep this in mind, and you will have no issues with these speakers.
There’s an overall exceptional tone balance to any audio you listen to through these speakers. Bass is deep and there’s no need to worry about distortion no matter how high or low the frequency. These speakers are perfect for a home theatre and the 6.5” woofer produces a clear, high-quality sound and accentuates any audio’s performance. Finally, the crossover frequency guarantees a clear, enhanced sound every time.
These powered speakers have an elegant and sophisticated appearance, making them perfect to store on display in your living room or enhance your office space. SVS Ultra is one of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 that are designed to last a long time. Sturdily built and robust, these speakers are designed using only high-quality materials. They’re also shaped to enhance audio, as the bottom is slightly domed.
These speakers only measure 10.9 x 8.5 x 15 inches and weigh 19 pounds, which makes them lightweight and compact enough to store in most homes. Only they’re not designed to be portable, these measurements mean you have the option to move them around your home, should you wish. Also, the cabinet panels are designed to eliminate any distortion so you only experience high-quality audio.
- An actual five-way design with complex crossovers.
- Great cabinets that reduce distortion.
- Impressive value for the money.
- Many might find this speaker a bit limited sound wise.
Pioneer Elite SP-EBS73 by Andrew Jones are among the most interesting bookshelf speakers you can find these days. We are talking about an actual five-way design that not only works but offers an extremely focused performance in each portion of the frequency range. You will rarely find another set of speakers that can do what these can.
We found literally nothing to dislike about these speakers. This is an exquisite rarity in the bookshelf speaker market which, traditionally, is riddled with trade-offs and compromise that is inherent in sacrificing size for a compact form factor and all the sound issues this can produce. But not with these. If you can afford them, what are you waiting for?
The distinctive domed grilles provide an elegant and sophisticated finish to these speakers. Some of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 might be high-quality and produce exceptional audio, but they’re not a decent size. However, we’re happy that the Pioneer speakers measure 7.4 inches x 15.7 inches and are lightweight. They’re also designed with curved sides for additional elegance and ensure that any sound can fill a room. Although these speakers have exceptional power and performance, they won’t vibrate against your table and become a nuisance for neighbors.
- A design which is both luxurious and minimalistic.
- A versatile form factor which provides myriad placement opportunities.
- The sound quality—especially the treble response—is exceptional.
- Tracks which rely on the bottom-end can be comparatively disappointing.
MartinLogan has made consistently excellent products for a good while, and Motion 15 is no different. If you are spending this much on speakers, bookshelf or otherwise, you want performance across the board. The Motion 15s come close to this but are beaten out by competitors in this price range when it comes to their ability to accurately and powerfully produce a bass response which matches their delightful highs and rich mids.
This is one best bookshelf speakers under $1000 for high frequencies. However, it’s important to consider that any sounds below 70 Hz become difficult to hear, although this isn’t a surprise considering the size of the speakers. If bass is your passion, you can purchase additional subwoofers to enhance the sound to your liking. Without a subwoofer, these speakers shin in an office or bedroom environment. It produces a clear and clean sound that could get lost in wide, open spaces, such as a living room.
Sporting a design that marries the classic luxury of opulent, wooden finishes with the gentle futurism of the ribbon folded tweeter, the sound is every bit as good as the aesthetic would have you hoping it was. These speakers are stunning to look at, as they feature a sleek top that tapers to the back of the unit. They’re also finished in a high-gloss veneer in either cherry or black – both of which add a luxurious touch to your home.
The aluminum dome at the front of the speaker gives you a beautiful focal point and adds a real sense of luxurious that will blend into any environment. If you take a look around the back of the speaker, you’ll find a fairly flat shape that makes the binding posts easy to tighten or loosen, depending on your preferences. Aesthetically talking, there’s not really anything to dislike about these speakers.
- Good versatility.
- Great response across the range.
- Stylish design.
- Too much warmth in some places.
Being the oldest successful solid body guitar, it is really not that surprising that Fender Telecaster has found its place on our list. These speakers are built to play more than music, as they also make a great home theatre system. You can connect your laptop, TV or smartphone to the speakers to play a mixture of movies, videos, games and more.
The best thing about this guitar is that it’s retro but still modern. Fender has opted to go with a Texas Special single coils for this build. These are Telecaster specific pickups which definitely capture a lot of that classic Telecaster sound the whole world has grown to love. On top of that, you get Fender’s standard hardware, which is probably the most solid thing about their guitars.
These are one of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 that look the part. Available in black, walnut and cherry finish, these speakers are visually stunning. We love that these speakers are easy to use. They come with a metal remote control that allows you to adjust the volume, skip a track, pause and play, without having to move from your seat.
Using these speakers is simple and fun, thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity. This feature works as an excellent power source, and impressively, doesn’t create any low-noise and distortion sounds like some Bluetooth speakers do.
- Excellent high frequencies.
- Great for slow tempos.
- Stylish design.
- Not the strongest bass.
Dali is one of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 for numerous reasons. When listening to high frequencies (such as a female’s singing), you get to capture why these speakers are a popular choice right now. The frequencies excel and they’re detailed throughout. Also, high-frequency instruments, such as a trumpet, sound excellent through these Dali speakers.
Alternatively, if you prefer listening to slow-tempo music, these are one of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 to choose. The design slowly extends slow tempos so you can hear every note and glissando with elegance. Plus, Dali over-delivers low-end frequencies to provide the perfect balance to a chilled evening.
The midrange frequencies is also a great example of how these Dali speakers provide exceptional quality. Some speakers struggle in this particular area, but Dali pulls through strong and doesn’t let you down.
These glossy cabinets are everything you’d want in your living room; they won’t take the attention from your current decor but will receive many compliments from guests. They’re small yet not designed poorly to look like they can’t perform. In particular, the bulky frame enhances the speakers for a clean and fresh design.
Dali Zensor 1 speakers are fun to use and look at. You can describe these speakers as contemporary yet delicate, with a classic edge. The light wood keeps them fresh and means you can store them in any room in your home without them looking out of place. This material also enhances the sound and creates fewer vibrations so you can turn your audio all the way up.
- Excellent high frequencies.
- Great for slow tempos.
- Stylish design.
- Not the strongest bass.
These Klipsch speakers are ideal for moderate and chilled music as they shine bright on vocal performances. In essence, they help small details to stand out, and these small sounds make the difference to how you perceive a song. However, these speakers can also produce powerful bass and are also capable of playing deep audio.
Music is supposed to make you feel certain emotions, but you can’t capture those feelings if your speakers aren’t high-quality enough. Thankfully, Klipsch produces accurate tones with a variety of instruments, especially with midrange notes in guitar solos. This helps to make you feel like you’re at the front row at a live performance.
Finally, if you’re someone who loves listening to rock and heavy metal music, these are one of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 for you. It’ll make your chosen album sound so powerful that you’ll put it on repeat. Even as you increase the volume, these speakers won’t become distorted and will continue to emphasize the individual instruments playing in your song.
This is a heavy unit compared to the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 on this list, but so long as you have a large enough room to store them, this isn’t a bad factor. We appreciate that these speakers are designed from high-quality materials such as MDF and polymer veneer. Also, the tweeter uses titanium to enhance the sound even further. These speakers are evidently designed to last a long time. For example, they’re covered in a fabric that eliminates dust and debris entering them. When on display, these speakers shine and stand out, including the copper logo that reveals the brand’s name.
Their shape decreases any frequency response and unnecessary vibrations.
- Great for parties.
- Striking appearance.
- Really shines at low midrange frequencies.
- Not suitable for apartments.
Tannoy speakers were not designed to be on a minimal volume; they were destined for parties. They’re incredibly exciting and powerful, and even as you increase the volume, the audio only gets stronger with little to no distortion. The low midrange is where these bad boys really stand out, and the deep bass becomes apparent with heavy-rock songs.
You should definitely bear in mind that these speakers are not ideal for apartments since they produce a lot of vibrations from the powerful sound. If you’re truly passionate about music, why not purchase multiple speakers by Tannoy to further enhance the volume?
These bookshelf speakers are striking to look at and embody so much character. They’re high-quality units that look even more expensive than their retail cost. You’ll need more room than some in your home than some of the other bookshelf speakers on this list, but once they’re set up in your living room, they’ll become the focal point in your house.
Tannoy speakers offer spikes, which can be a nightmare on hardfloor floors and potentially cause damage, so you might want to carefully consider where you place them. We’re also a huge fan that these speakers were clearly designed with the rest of your furniture in mind. For example, the rounded legs mean you can push them close to your sofa, and they won’t look out of place in any home.
Winning Bookshelf Speaker
No matter what you hear, $1000 bookshelf speakers aren’t an overpriced bag of fancy components. There is some tangible improvement in performance. Deciding whether or not this improvement is worth an investment is something you need to figure out on your own. Speakers we have shown you above will offer an impressive sound to anyone who is looking to take that extra step.
If we had to limit this article to only one bookshelf speaker, we’d declare MartinLogan Motion 15 the winner. First, these speakers were designed with music-lovers in mind. The treble notes are silky, the bass is thick and midrange frequencies are smooth. The speaker’s front is accentuated with a classy aluminum finish that perfectly blends in with the rest of the unit.
What are your thoughts on our best bookshelf speakers under $1000? Or do you have any additional recommendations you’d like to share with us? Leave your feedback and thoughts in the comments.