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 do have a lot to offer. Today we’re going to check out some of the best speakers in this class, and see what they’re capable of.
Top 6 Home Speakers Under $1000
#1. SVS Ultra
AR RATING 97/100
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. Overall a great value for the money.
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.
AR RATING 96/100
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.
As you can see from the full review, 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?
AR RATING 95/100
MartinLogan has made consistently excellent products for a good while, and Motion 15 is no different. 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. A great purchase.
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 that matches their delightful highs and rich mids. Not the worst problem to have, but something to keep in mind.
AR RATING 94/100
With the SM65s, Definitive Technology has proved that they have the wherewithal to scale down the quality that they pack into larger models into a bookshelf form factor whilst maintaining the audio performance at the high standard we are used to. A somewhat uninspiring design, you’ll forget all of that once you hear how good they sound.
At this price point, you should not have to sacrifice on anything when deciding on which speakers to purchase. And while the sound is fantastic, it is a shame that shortcuts have been taken on the design end of things. If they looked a little better, and a little less generic, these would be an easy sell to any and all bookshelf speaker enthusiasts.
#5. KEF Q300
AR RATING 93/100
KEF’s Q300 offers a relatively affordable ticket into efficient coaxial designs. These speakers sound great right out of the box, while there is also a lot of room for improvement. Cabs are well made and eliminate almost all vibrations. Overall, if you are looking for something a bit different, KEF Q300 will get you the experience you are looking for.
In our review, we point to the fact that serious audiophiles may want to spend some time developing their own DSP corrections map as, by default, KEF has developed these speakers towards a very particular sound signature that probably is not to everyone’s tastes. Whilst this step is not essential, it will certainly help if you aren’t a big fan of the colourful, heavy on the mids sound that KEF has gone for.
#6. Audioengine HD6
AR RATING 93/100
The HD6 Wireless Speakers are versatile Bluetooth speakers packing a big sound that fills any room. Turntable? TV? No problem, we have you covered. The HD6’s are a complete, full-sized Bluetooth music system that works with all your apps, music, and devices. Tidal, Spotify, Pandora…all your favorite streaming apps play instantly.
No network setup, passwords to enter, or buttons to push. Setting them up is so easy you’ll be rocking in no time.
HD6 Wireless Speakers are not just another great-sounding Audioengine speaker but a complete, full-sized Bluetooth music system that works with all your apps, music, and devices. Blending the best of the past and present, HD6 combines stunning good looks with truly-useful features.
Tidal, Spotify, Pandora…all your favorite streaming apps play instantly. No matter how you listen, HD6 Wireless Speakers have you covered.
Why Can You Expect From $1000 Loudspeakers?
hat 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. 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 penny 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.
What was really interesting is that you can find pretty impressive active setups here as well. Active speakers are usually left to $300 range or lower. With that said, there are companies that offer a great tone along with a good connectivity suite. Those who value functionality will find a few rock-solid solutions. These active units may not have all the answers in the I/O port, but they allow you to experience a great quality of sound. In general, shopping for a $1000 speaker usually means that you know exactly what you are after. Otherwise, you are running a real risk of getting a niche set of speakers that is not compatible with your needs.
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 wort 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 you already have a well-developed rig, speakers from this price range could show you just what your setup is capable of. On that note, we hope that you’ve found out something new about bookshelf speakers.