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5 Epic Bookshelf Speakers Under $100 to Consider

Bookshelf speakers make for a wonderful addition to your audio repertoire, especially the best bookshelf speakers under $100 that are affordable and yet epic in performance!

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They offer powerful, professional-quality audio for your performance setup, making sure your efforts in selecting and/or producing some great music get the boost they need.

This article is about choosing the bookshelf speaker with the best bang for your buck! 

We start with reviewing what we feel are the best bookshelf speakers on the market as of today, some of the best entry studio monitors as well as a few turntables to go along with the speaker; a legendary collection of DIY Bookshelf Plans and Ideas is also around, cast a glance!

We then follow with a guide on what you should look for in the bookshelf speakers you end up choosing.

Finally, you’ll end up being informed about the best choices on the market and the knowledge on how to make the best purchase. Without further ado, let’s begin! 

These speakers offer excellent value for money and are perfect for those looking to upgrade their audio system without spending a fortune. So without further ado, here’s the list of the 5 best bookshelf speakers under $100.

Micca MB42X Advanced Bookshelf Speakers for Home Theater...
  • The MB42X is a demonstration of our designers’ love for...
  • Compact ported enclosure houses a balanced woven carbon...

The Dayton Audio MK402 offers incredible value and audio quality for the price, considering that the speakers are so tiny! It comes in a 2-way speaker pair, and the MK402BT model can be hooked up with Bluetooth-enabled equipment if you’ve adopted a wireless way to play music. The woofer can handle anything from 60Hz to well into the vocal range.


In our experience, the MK402 model gave clean vocals and very little in the way of distortion. The build quality is millennia ahead of the older B562 series, with better cabinet quality, a real crossover, good-quality drivers, and actual binding posts instead of cheap clip-ons.

However, the B442 gives much better sound quality all things considered. With some tone adjustment, you easily reach the limits of the MK402.

What is the best use for the MK402 model in our opinion is using them as side speakers, left and right, and getting an MK442 for the center. For a relatively inexpensive amount, you would have created a rather good-quality audio setup! The MK402 shines in the fact that it isn’t a barely functional bookshelf speaker, but does the job properly, even if at a budget. Adhering to its budgetary constraints, the MK402 is a solid option for quality audio on the cheap, delivering wonderful bass and


Frugal yet packing a punch, Dayton Audio pulls off a winner in this price category. Easily one of the best available bookshelf speakers on the market - even if there are compromises. Luckily for Dayton, these compromises don’t come in the form of substantial audio quality losses. Hats off to Dayton for having pulled this off!


  • Really good bookshelf speakers for the price 
  • More than decent build quality, very deep bass extension 
  • Small enough to be used as a desktop PC speaker  


  • Requires tinkering in order to extract the best audio performance 

Dimensions (in): 9.5 x 5.8 x 6.5 | Weight (lb): 4.8 | Speaker Type: Bookshelf | Driver Size (in): 4 | Frequency Response (Hz): 60 - 20,000 | Sensitivity (dB): 85 | Nominal Impedance (ohms): 4 | Power Handling (Watts): 75

Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers –...
  • Use these wall-mountable bookshelf speakers as FRONT,...

The Polk Audio T15 is a uniquely shaped speaker, given its rather eccentric orientation. The takeaway here is that it is meant to be mounted at a position that is either higher or lower concerning the listener. It offers good audio quality and it is ideal for use as a surround speaker, which is one of its USPs.  


Starting with the elephant in the room, the Polk Audio T15 is not designed to be a run-of-the-mill speaker by any chance. The dynamic range of this speaker is unheard of [pun unintended] in this price range, which makes it ideal for use as a household speaker. It is capable of handling pretty much anything you throw at it.

Polk Audio is renowned for its attention to detail, and even in this relatively inexpensive speaker set, they do not disappoint. The only concern here is the 8-ohm impedance which might not be supported by the other instruments in your audio toolkit. Besides that small niggle, the Polk Audio T15 is near the top of the market when it comes to bookshelf speakers under $100, if not the best.


A solid choice that has very little compromise on either the sound quality or the build quality. One of the winners among this set of bookshelf speakers, if the 8-ohm impedance is compatible with the rest of your equipment. The size, shape, and build are perfect, in addition to having the latest in audio tech available in bookshelf speakers.  


  • High-quality audio performance, wonderful dynamic range 
  • Polk Audio is generally upmarket, this is a rare value addition to their stores 
  • Best-in-class performance as surround speakers in rooms  


  • 8 ohms is not the most common impedance spec, check if your systems are compatible 

Dimensions (in): 7.3 x 6.5 x 10.7 | Weight (lb): 8.2 | Speaker Type: Bookshelf | Driver Size (in): 5.25 | Frequency Response (Hz): 60 - 24,000 | Sensitivity (dB): 89 | Nominal Impedance (ohms): 8 | Power Handling (Watts): 20 - 100
  1. Monoprice MP-65RT - Best for First-Time Buyers

The Monoprice MP-65RT is a very modestly manufactured speaker, wherein many usual upmarket components are missing - such as a low pass filter and a crossover. It is, however, a great addition to your audio system given its modest price.

This pair of speakers gives you an audio experience that is virtually indiscernible from a lot of good quality audio systems out there. It comes with a 6.5” polypropylene cone woofer and a 6-ohm impedance.

Our Experience

Barring any biases we have against this particular speaker, being the cheapest item on this list, we got much more than what we expected. The audio was clear even at louder volumes, barring the lowest of frequencies given the audio response range from 60Hz to 20kHz. The treble would have been a bother, but luckily any problems that occur are found at the higher end of frequencies.

5 Best Bookshelf Speakers [Under $100] of 2022 Reviewed

Given its lack of a real crossover and having to make do with crossover boards, it’s a miracle on the part of Monoprice to have pulled off such a wonderful soundstage performance. The vivid nature of the output will definitely have you confused with a more expensive setup. For those looking for their first bookshelf speaker, this gets a strong recommendation.

The unique selling point of this speaker set is the ribbon tweeter. Generally only found in speakers that cost twice as much, ribbon tweeters are susceptible to even the most subtle changes in the audio output. Hence, if you listen to quickly changing instrument tones, the Monoprice MP-65RT gets another thumbs up from our side.


If you’re a first-time buyer, the Monoprice MP-65RT is perfect. While lacking some basic technical equipment such as a crossover and a lowpass filter, it makes up for it by providing ribbon tweeters, a higher-price range addition. Even in the absence of seemingly necessary equipment, the audio quality takes zero hits and is as good as any other speaker on this list [besides a small problem in the highest ranges of treble]. A solid addition to any audio setup.


  • Ribbon tweeter works wonders with detecting the smallest changes in tone 
  • Delivers a complete audio experience for half the cost of most setups  


  • The treble might give problems at higher frequencies 
  • At some point of time, the absence of a low pass filter will start to show 

Dimensions (in): 7.9 x 12.6 x 8.1 | Weight (lb): 9.2 | Speaker Type: Outdoor | Driver Size (in): 6.5 | Frequency Response (Hz): 70 - 20,000 | Sensitivity (dB): 88 | Nominal Impedance (ohms): 8 | Power Handling (Watts): 30

Dayton Audio MK442 Dual 4" 2-Way Center Channel Speaker
  • 4" treated paper woofers optimized for low-frequency...
  • 3/4" tweeter offers a very airy top end to create a...

Having introduced you to its smaller brethren, the Dayton Audio MK 402, it is only fair to include the MK 442 in the list. At the outset, it is a slightly more expensive version of the MK 402, in that it is meant to be a center speaker and not a bookshelf speaker per se. However, it can just as easily be used as a bookshelf speaker on its own.

Our Experience

Technically speaking, the MK 442 has been built to impress. It comes with a full crossover, 4” woofers, and wonderful internal circuitry to boot. The audio quality is excellent, if a little bright at the higher range of frequencies [a common problem with speakers of this class]. However, even that is wonderfully avoided for a large range of frequencies, and hence, for regular desktop listening it makes for a great addition to your home audio.

The problem comes in when you consider the ergonomics since the speaker turns out to work much better vertically than horizontally. Other than that, there are no major issues to consider. The speaker works at a 4-ohm impedance, though that figure is rarely ever reached in practice.

The best audio output can be brought to the fore fairly easily, with just a little tinkering from your end. Contrast this with the MK 402, where you’d have to spend a fair bit of time just figuring out the sweet spot for several different audio styles.


A serious leg-up on the MK 402, especially considering the audio output. The presence of a real, proper crossover moves this speaker to a different arena altogether, along with better internal components. Next up, the bass response from this speaker is out of this class entirely. The size is very easily manageable, and while the audio presents some problems sometimes, there isn’t much like it in the sub-100 dollar price bracket.  


  • The presence of a crossover elevates the audio response to a whole new level 
  • 4 ohm impedance matches with a wide variety of amplifiers 
  • Great build quality 


  • Presence of two speakers causes interference and sounds get blocked at a few frequencies, if the speaker is kept horizontally 

Dimensions (in): 11.4 x 6.9 x 8.4 | Weight (lb): 10.6 | Speaker Type: Center | Driver Size (in): Dual 4 | Frequency Response (Hz): 70 - 20,000 | Sensitivity (dB): 91 | Nominal Impedance (ohms): 4 | Power Handling (Watts): 75

Dayton Audio B452-AIR 4-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair...
  • Compact, wall-mountable enclosure for unlimited applications
  • Perfect for home theater rears or stand-alone stereo use

This is Dayton Audio’s original take on a bookshelf speaker. Coming in this list as the oldest, and the cheapest of all listings, the B-452 skimps on a few essentials but delivers a quality audio experience, which is enhanced when you get the C-452 center speaker as well. It’s a fully functional bookshelf speaker at a bargain basement price.   


The first thing that strikes you about the B-452 is the size. It is incredibly lightweight and small for a bookshelf speaker. They come with rather indistinguishable grilles on the front, which can easily be removed in order to have a more aesthetic look. As far as audio quality is concerned, it does the job well with a few caveats.

The audio response is great for the price, especially due to high-end AMT tweeters being used in their design. This gives you a response that changes for even the most subtle changes in tone, and you hear crisp, succinct tones. The lack of a crossover is evident from the sound, with only a capacitor and resistor in its place. The 4-ohm impedance is compatible with most audio setups out there, so it can just as easily be used as a secondary speaker.

The best way to get high volume out of the B452 AIR is to have a complete setup with subwoofers and amplifiers which can get the most out of this speaker. For most kinds of music, TV viewing, and movies, the speaker does the job perfectly well.  


If budget is a constraint, the B452 does the best it can from within its physical limits. The lack of a crossover prohibits it from being used as a reference-level device, but for daily use, it does the job incredibly well. Be it jazz, rock, metal or Symphony No. 9, you’re unlikely to go wrong with this.


  • Wonderful audio quality for the price 
  • Lightweight and small, ergonomically pleasant 
  • Easily driven by most amplifiers 


  • Lack of a real crossover is evident in the output at times 

Dimensions (in): 9.5 x 5.6 x 6.5 | Weight (lb): 4.5 | Speaker Type: Bookshelf | Driver Size (in): 4 | Frequency Response (Hz): 70 - 20,000 | Sensitivity (dB): 86 | Nominal Impedance (ohms): 4 | Power Handling (Watts): 40

Best Bookshelf Speakers Comparison Table Under $100

ProductDimensions (in)Weight (lb)Speaker TypeDriver Size (in)Frequency Response (Hz)Sensitivity (dB)Nominal Impedance (ohms)Power Handling (Watts)
Dayton Audio MK4029.5 x 5.8 x 6.54.8Bookshelf460 - 20,00085475
Polk Audio T157.3 x 6.5 x 10.78.2Bookshelf5.2560 - 24,00089820 - 100
Monoprice MP-65RT7.9 x 12.6 x 8.19.2Outdoor6.570 - 20,00088830
Dayton Audio MK44211.4 x 6.9 x 8.410.6CenterDual 470 - 20,00091475
Dayton Audio B-452 AIR9.5 x 5.6 x 6.54.5Bookshelf470 - 20,00086440

Buying Guide For The Best Bookshelf Under $100

Finding the best bookshelf speakers under $100 can seem like a daunting task, but this comprehensive buying guide will help you make an informed, confident choice. We'll delve into the most important factors to take into account when purchasing bookshelf speakers, as well as our top recommendations in this budget range.

1. Sound Quality

The most important factor to consider while purchasing budget bookshelf speakers is their sound quality. Pay attention to detail and clarity, ensuring a well-rounded listening experience.

2. Build Quality and Design

Look for bookshelf speakers with sturdy construction and a sleek, timeless design. High-quality materials and finishes will ensure a durable product that will fit seamlessly into your home décor.

3. Frequency Range

The frequency range determines the variety of sounds that speakers can reproduce. Ideally, opt for speakers in this budget range with a frequency range of at least 50Hz – 20kHz.

4. Wireless Connectivity

While many budget bookshelf speakers may not offer wireless connectivity, some models do. Look for Bluetooth compatibility if you would like the convenience of wireless audio streaming from your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

5. Size and Weight

Choose speakers that will fit comfortably on your bookshelf or desk, while still being light enough to move when necessary. It’s essential to make sure that the speakers’ dimensions suit your space requirements.

6. Brand Reputation and Warranty

Select audio equipment from well-established and trusted brands that offer a solid warranty. This will provide peace of mind knowing that your purchase is covered in case of defects or damage.

Acoustics and Soundproofing Tip

When setting up bookshelf speakers, proper positioning is crucial for achieving optimal acoustics. Begin by placing the speakers at ear level and angling them toward the primary listening area. Ensure a balanced distance between the speakers and the wall behind them, as this can significantly impact sound quality.

To further enhance acoustics, position the speakers against or near surfaces that can contribute positively to sound dispersion, such as textured or carpeted walls. These materials can help absorb or diffuse sound waves, improving the overall listening experience.

Experimenting with speaker placement is advised, as room dimensions and individual preferences can influence the optimal setup. By carefully adjusting the positioning of the bookshelf speakers and considering both music soundproofing and acoustics-related factors, one can create an ideal auditory environment within their space even with a smaller budget.

Bookshelf Speakers FAQ's

  • Which specifications do I need to consider for bookshelf speakers?

    The major factors that you need to take care of are the frequency [in Hertz], the power [in Watts], and the drivers. The higher the Hertz, the lesser the frequency of the bass you will hear. The heaviness of the bass depends inversely on the Hertz value.

    Coming to the watts, the higher the power delivered, the greater is the audio output. This becomes important when you have to connect your speaker to an amplifier. The drivers are equally important, however, they are not quantified.

    The kind of drivers present in the speaker affects the audio quality. Woofers and tweeters are the most important ones, but a third mid-level driver will give you clean, clear-cut audio across the audio spectrum.

  • Which accessories do I need to purchase?

    Mostly only a shelf or a designated space to keep the speaker on. Otherwise, these speakers are self-sufficient, and besides the cable used to connect these to other accessories, there isn’t much they need. Wall mounts are also a great option.

  • Are bookshelf speakers and powered monitors the same thing?

    Definitely not. Powered monitors offer a very different experience than bookshelf speakers since they tend to be “active”. In terms of audio response, it won’t be necessarily evident in the first few listens. Powered monitors have amplification built into the right channel speaker, while bookshelf speakers require the use of an external AVR [AV Receiver].

  • Thank you for taking the time to read this article on the best bookshelf speakers under $100. We're thrilled to share our expert recommendations with you, understanding that the investment in good quality speakers can transform your audio experience. We intend to make your search journey a delightful experience and help you find the perfect product that fits your budget and requirements.

    Out of these 5 best bookshelf speakers under $100, here are the top three expert recommendations:

    • Best Overall Value: Dayton Audio MK402 is an ideal option for a seamless blend of build quality, audio performance, and affordability. This compact 2-way speaker is perfect for home audio setups, providing clear vocals, minimal distortion, and an appealing design.
    • Best Audio Quality: Polk Audio T15 is the right choice if you prioritize exceptional audio fidelity and dynamic range. With its distinctive shape and design, it delivers an excellent audio experience ideal for use as a surround speaker in your home theater.
    • Best for First-Time Buyers: Monoprice MP-65RT is a good option for those looking for a simple and budget-friendly solution. Despite the absence of some advanced features, this speaker set includes ribbon tweeters for fast-responding audio and delivers a detailed sound experience rivaling higher-priced alternatives.

    In the end, the essential aspect is to choose the bookshelf speaker that matches your preferences and complements your audio setup. Sound is a personal experience, and what works for others might not align with your tastes. Take your time, ponder over the pros and cons of each option, and make an informed decision to ultimately take your listening experience to a whole new level. Happy listening!

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