Top 15 Best Powered Speakers Audiophile Live Band PA Bookshelf Speakers

Top 15 Best Powered Speakers of 2020 for an Audiophile [Updated]

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Whether you are listening to some tunes, watching a movie, or playing videogames, having a set of excellent speakers will surely heighten the experience.

Nowadays, no one seems to listen to music using the traditional bookshelf speakers anymore.

People tend to use Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or don’t bother to connect to speakers at all.

If you have an entertainment center at your home, you can upgrade your setup by adding modern powered speakers.

These speakers are more significant than mobile speakers but smaller than your old-school surround speakers.

Times are changing, and gone are the days where you need to have a bunch of speakers to experience surround sound.

The best powered bookshelf speakers may be more affordable and smaller than surround speakers, but the sound quality is not compromised.

In fact, some of these new speakers can sound better than the traditional surround speakers you go used to.

Plus, if you are a music producer, these space-saving speakers are excellent for monitoring, editing, mixing, and mastering your tracks.

Benefits of choosing powered bookshelf speakers:

  • Space-saving
  • Stylish
  • Will fit well in the room
  • Affordable
  • Uncompromised sound-quality
  • Clear audio
  • Power-efficient

If you came here to find out what the best pair of powered bookshelf speakers are, here are the top three choices I narrowed down for you:

  • Audio Engine HD3 – Best Overall
  • Bose Companion 2 – Best Value
  • Audio Engine A2+ – Best Compact Speakers

I’ve listed them at the top of the list, so you don’t have to scroll much to check them out. 

Top 15 Best Powered Bookshelf Speakers of 2020

Alright, guys, let’s take a look now:

Audio Engine HD3

Audio Engine HD3 - best powered bluetooth wireless pa speakers

The Audio Engine HD3 is a set of powered bookshelf speakers equipped with Bluetooth connectivity that ranges up to 100 feet of wireless range.

The HD3 features analog power amplifiers that produce superb audio.

The aptX HD Bluetooth codec and 24-bit DAC will make any low-quality soundcard sound incredible.

A digital to analog converter or DAC clarifies the sound coming from your laptop or smartphone sounds better.

The speakers are built inside hand-built wood cabinets that come in three different finishes to choose from.

The Audio Engine HD3 translates a digital signal to analog with its 24-bit sample rate.

It may cost more than most options, but if you are looking for quality all-around speakers for almost any application, the Audio Engine HD 3 is an excellent choice.

Final Verdict

These compact speakers can easily fit in anywhere. Its high-end sound can definitely fill a room with crystal clear audio.

The long-range Bluetooth can work seamlessly to work with all of your Bluetooth devices.

If you need a device that you can pair with most of your devices simultaneously, this set of powered speakers is a great choice.

Bose Companion 2

Bose Companion 2 - best small active powered speakers

This compact speaker set is an excellent choice for small setups.

It is one of the most compact speakers that you can get at a very affordable price.

Bose has been around for a while, making some of the best speakers for a long time.

It is nice that Bose is not getting left behind despite the new companies.

The Bose Companion 2 may not have extra features such as Bluetooth connectivity and a remote, and these speakers produce a clear sound and high-quality audio performance.

Final Verdict

These speakers are great for your laptop or desktop.

It is excellent for gaming computers, as the quality low-end performance brings a more detailed sound that can surely heighten your gaming experience.

I do not recommend these speakers for home theater systems as they might be too small.

However, if you have a smaller area for watching movies, they just might work.

Audio Engine A2+

Audio Engine A2 - best powered desktop speakers active

The Audio Engine A2+ are high-quality powered bookshelf speakers that feature a powerful 60W sound.

These speakers do not only produce loud audio that can fill a room, but the quality is also enhanced because of its aptX Codec and built-in 16-bit DAC and amplifier.

It is also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity that works well with your mobile device that uses streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

The Audio Engine A2+ are high-quality speakers that are built inside of a hand-made wooden case that is well-built and durable.

These speakers also feature a power-saving mode that makes them very energy efficient.

Final Verdict

With all the connections and functions, these speakers work well with turntables, TV’s, audio players, and desktop computers.

The size is excellent and space savers that would fit anywhere in the room or your computer table.

Aside from its okay price, Audio Engine also includes a 3-year transferable warranty.

If you need quality speakers for your desktop and music production setup, the Audio Engine A2+ offers a great deal.

Yamaha NS-6490

Yamaha NS-6490 - best cheap powered speakers with active subwoofer

The Yamaha NS-6490 is an excellent performing 3-way acoustic speaker system that does not need any software or amplifier to install.

It is equipped with an 8-inch cone woofer, a 4-inch mid-range, and a 7/8-inch balanced dome tweeter.

These three drivers make an excellent combination to produce a perfect balance of quality sound.

The 13 x 13 x 25-inch dimensions will fit perfectly in any area without taking too much space.

Final Verdict

If you need additional speakers as an extension to your existing home theater setup, the Yamaha NS-6490 is an excellent addition to put in the front or rear.

You can also put these 3-way speakers in another room if you want to expand your sound system to multiple rooms in your house.

These speakers are also suitable for filling a small room and home theatre system.

Audio Engine A5 Plus Classic

Audio Engine A5 Plus - best wireless bookshelf speakers powered

The Audio Engine A5 Plus Classic is a set of powerful speakers that can easily fill a room with high-quality sounds that are built-in a durable and attractive case.

The physical attributes of this speaker set will look really good in your home setup.

You can get the A5 Plus and choose between three different colorways. (Bamboo, Black, or White Finish) The A5 Plus is one of Audio Engine’s best releases yet.

It has two powerful 150-watt speakers and comes with a 2m 3.5mm mini-jack audio cable, a remote control, microfiber speaker bags, and cable bags.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for stylish speakers to replace your bulky sound system but also produce a warm, rich, full stereo sound, these speakers are worth it.

They are powerful and equipped with professional amplified output.

If you want a premium level sound at ear level, you can experience it with the Audio Engine A5 Plus.

Mackie CR5BT

Mackie CR5BT - best cheap powered wireless speakers multimedia monitors

The Mackie CR5BT is a great choice for music producers. It features a studio-quality design that is ideal for multimedia creation, such as editing videos, creating music, and beat making.

It has an Ultra-wide frequency from 60Hz to 20kHz, making it the perfect studio speakers for accurate monitoring.

The CR5BT has multiple inputs for multiple audio sources.

It has Bluetooth connectivity, a ¼-inch and 1/8- inch audio input, and an RCA input, which makes these studio monitors work for almost any external device.

The clean, articulate sound and multiple connections make this a versatile choice for any music and audio application you need it for.

Final Verdict

These quality studio monitors are suitable for music producers who are looking for clear audio that would help them accurately monitor their tracks.

With a clear sound, the Mackie CR5BT is best for mixing and mastering tracks to produce high-quality recordings.

The only downside is the plastic case, which does not affect sound quality. Just make sure you handle these speakers with care.

Swans M200 MK III +

Swans M200 MK III - best powered active bookshelf speakers

The Swans M200 MK III are 2.0 speakers with an award-winning sound.

These are high-definition speakers that can fill a room with their 120-watt power.

It can produce accurate vocals and instrument positioning. It is equipped with a long-throw woofer and soft dome tweeter.

Plus, it also comes with a separate 5.25 mid-bass drivers that provide a punchy and powerful bass.

There is no doubt that these speakers have supreme sound, but the classy design makes these speakers one of the best.

The enclosure does not only look good, but it also helps with creating a more natural, detailed, and rich sound.

The interface is easy to control. It has convenient volume, treble, and bass knobs and remote control for effortlessly changing the configuration.

Final Verdict

The Swans M200 MK III is an excellent choice if you are looking for speakers with a classy design as well as quality output with easy controls.

These speakers are more suitable for home theater setups but can also be used for a PC gaming or music production setup.

The price may be on the higher end, but these high-quality speakers are worth buying.

Plugable 55w Bluetooth

Plugable 55w Bluetooth - top cheap bluetooth powered bookshelf studio monitors

The Plugable Bluetooth speaker set is another budget option. These two 55-watt speakers are very affordable.

Despite its meager price, these speakers can still compete with the other choices on this list.

It is equipped with most modern features such as Bluetooth connectivity, remote control, and a headphone jack.

It is compatible with most devices, and the battery for the remote is even included in the package.

You cannot get a better deal than buying the Plugable 55-watt Bluetooth speakers.

They are very compact, and you can use them for your desktop or laptop setup for several applications.

They might not be suitable for monitoring audio in music production, but they are excellent listening speakers for the budget.

Final Verdict

These speakers are a good choice for people looking for a budget option that has most features.

It may not compete with high-end speakers, but it does really well against speakers in its price range.

It has a lot of connectivity inputs so that you can connect multiple devices. Still, the best thing about these speakers is the price.

Edifier R1280T

Edifier R1280T - best active studio monitor speakers

This next speaker set is also a budget-friendly option with all the functions you need if you are looking for a speaker for your home.

The best thing about the Edifier R1280T is not only the features but its style and physical attributes.

It is built in a wooden frame that looks classier than what you paid for.

It has two auxiliary inputs, a 3.5mm headphone output, and a dual RCA Input.

These inputs and outputs are sufficient to connect your whole entertainment system for a pretty affordable price.

Surprisingly, the sound-quality sounds pretty decent considering the price.

It also comes with a 2-year warranty for customers from the United States and Canada.

Final Verdict

These speakers are for people who are looking for a good-looking, functional speaker for a very affordable price.

I would not expect high-end sound quality like you would get if you bought Audio Engine Speakers.

Expect a reasonable sound for a reasonable price with this option.

M-Audio AV32

M-Audio MV32 - best budget powered speaker for live band

The M-Audio AV32 is the most affordable option for excellent studio monitors.

It is a suitable option for beginner music producers looking for a starter studio monitor set for their simple home music studio.

The sound quality is pretty tight with accurate bass sounds.

However, the only downside about it is the volume. It may not be as loud as the other options.

However, it can still pass as an accurate set of studio monitors that you can also use for other purposes.

You can also use these speakers for gaming. They are useful for computer monitors and speakers.

Still, I would not recommend them as much for a home theater setup.

They do not have Bluetooth connectivity or remote control.

Yet, the lack of features is made up of accurate sound quality.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for affordable speakers that put their focus on sound quality instead of features, the M-Audio MV32 is the perfect set of speakers for you.

These are reliable studio monitors that are great for studio and music production.

Grace Digital GDI-BTSP201

Grace Digital GDI-BTSP201 - best powered speakers under $300 pa

Grace Digital 2 is an excellent choice for listening to music wirelessly.

You can also connect optional wired inputs with the use of the integrated RCA and Aux inputs.

It can deliver accurate sounds with its CD-quality aptX.

The controls are conveniently placed on the left speaker, which also happens to be the master speaker.

The 36-watt output is enough to fill the room with remarkable audio.

Final Verdict

I recommend Grace Digital 2 powered bookshelf speakers for audio listening and gaming.

They can be used for more applications, but I find these speakers shine the most when blasting out tunes if you are having a small gathering or if you are alone in your room.

You can really feel the strikingly accurate frequencies and hear all your favorite songs clearly with the Grace Digital 2.

PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT

PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT best active speakers under $500

PreSonus is one of the leading brands for creating top-quality audio.

They have developed a lot of products in line with music production and high-quality audio performances.

The Presonus Eris Studio Monitors with Bluetooth is one of the best powered speakers that you can use for accurate monitoring when mixing and mastering tracks.

With 50-watts of power, these speakers can undoubtedly blast out tunes with the best representation of frequencies.

Final Verdict

These speakers are excellent for both beginner music producers and pros alike.

They sound great, but they are also affordable.

PreSonus Ceres C3.5 BT

PreSonus Ceres C3.5 BT - best bookshelf speakers under $1000

If you are looking for something slightly better than the Eris, you would want to check the Presonus Ceres out.

These speakers are somewhat more expensive than the Eris but aimed for music producers with more experience.

Although beginners can also start by buying these speakers as well.

If you have a little bit more money to spare, you can choose the Ceres over the Eris if you want more durability and longer-lasting technology.

Final Verdict

For double the price of the Eris, you get a speaker with more inputs and applicable functions.

It is basically the same sound quality, but you are paying for more features with this option.

If you are looking for more versatile studio monitors, the Ceres is an excellent choice.

Kanto YU4

Kanto YU4 - best powered bookshelf speakers audiophile

These speakers are not only gorgeous on the outside, but they do have some of the best technological features that make up for a high-quality sound.

This good-looking speaker boasts a simple and elegant look, as well as a wonderfully balanced sound.

It is integrated with Qualcomm aptX technology for high-quality streaming, and it is also equipped with the essential inputs for almost any kind of function.

Final Verdict

If money is not an issue, you can choose these high-end speakers for almost any task such as studio monitoring, gaming, movies, and many more.

These speakers are also great for DJing, as they produce crisp audio that anybody can appreciate.

Klipsch R-15PM

Klipsch R-15PM - best powered passive pa speakers

The last item on the list is the Klipsch R-15PM powered monitors.

This set of speakers has a high rating, and a lot of people have nothing but pleasant comments about these speakers.

The price may be a little higher than most options on the list, but the sound quality is worth it.

The Klipsch R-15PM does not only produce optimal audio, but it is also a durable set of speakers that will surely last for a long time.

Final Verdict

If you want power and performance that is built in an attractive and elegant package, the Klipsch R-15PM are the speakers for you.

These speakers can be used for a variety of applications. Still, I feel that they are best for multimedia creation purposes.

Related Questions:

  • What is the difference between Passive and Active Speakers? Passive speakers require an external power such as an amplifier to operate. Passive speakers do not need a power source or battery. Once you plug the wires into an amp, the sound will come through. Active speakers, on the other hand, already have built-in power to operate and produce sound. Although you will need to plug it in a power source such as a wall plug or battery, all the examples on the list above are examples of active speakers.
  • When to use powered speakers? You can choose to use powered speakers if you want to listen to high-quality music. You can also use these speakers for gaming, watching a movie, and for music production. I always prefer powered speakers nowadays because they are more affordable than buying a whole sound system. Plus, it saves more space and more comfortable to set up.
  • How can I set up my powered bookshelf speakers? Setting up powered speakers is a lot easier. Depending on what you will use for listening, your powered speakers will have different inputs. For example—if you want to watch streaming services, connect your smart TV or laptop using the AUX input or RCA input. If you’re going to listen to music with your phone, you can connect it via Bluetooth or use a 3.5mm jack. Setting up powered bookshelf speakers is a lot less complicated than setting up an amplifier with surround speakers.


There are many advantages to choosing powered bookshelf speakers in your home.

Whether it is for listening to music, gaming, or watching movies, using the best powered bookshelf speakers can save you a lot of space, money, and time.

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Last update on 2020-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API