Bookshelf speakers can be used for a desktop or in a living room or listening room environment. They are great for personal use and for parties. There are many players in this category and competition is fierce which benefits the consumer.

Audioengine A5+/A5+ Wireless

Audioengine built their reputation on the A5/A5+. With a 5” woofer, the A5+ has good sound quality and is easy to use and set up. The normal A5+ doesn’t have a DAC but the A5+ Wireless has a DAC and Bluetooth. Several finishes can be chosen including Bamboo for a premium. It doesn’t have a grill cover so no touching. The A5+ includes a remote. Check latest prices for the Audioengine A5+ and Audioengine A5+ Wireless.

Audioengine HD6

Audionengine built on the success of the A5+ with a higher end model in the HD6. It has a slightly larger woofer and tweeter and looks elegant with the wood grain finish. The HD6 includes a remote and plays Bluetooth through its DAC. Connections include RCA, aux, and toslink. It also has a grill. While sound is a little better than the A5+, it is really the added features that make the HD6 an upgrade.
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Klipsch R-15PM

Klipsch is popular in the passive speaker world but doesn’t have many active models. That is starting to change as they realize the market potential. The R-15M is one of their more popular models. It looks a lot like other Klipsch speakers but has a lot more built in, including an amp, DAC, and phono input for turntable connection. The R-15PM includes a remote and can be connected via RCA, aux, toslink, USB, phono, or Bluetooth. The R-15PM is for those who want the Klispch sound without buying having to buy other components.
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Edifier R2000DB

Edifier built their reputation on inexpensive speakers that sound good. They actually have a lineup of 5” woofer speakers and the R2000DB is their mid-priced model. The higher end S1000DB has a slightly larger 5.5” woofer. But the R2000DB is a great value for the price. It has an internal DAC and amp and has a remote and Bluetooth connection. Connections include RCA and toslink. As one of the least expensive speaker of the 5”+ woofers in this list, the R2000DB is a great value.
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Swan M200MKIII+ Bluetooth

Swan is a Chinese speaker manufacturer that introduced the M200MKIII to rave reviews over ten years ago and has updated it with Bluetooth support with this model. While the M200MKIII doesn’t have all the fancy features of some newer speakers, it excels at sound quality. The Bluetooth model includes an internal DAC and can connect via RCA, toslink, and coaxial. The speakers are covered with a wood grain to its sides and is 7.6” x 13.2” at the base which makes for a large footprint. The price and sound quality makes the M200MKIII is one of the best values.
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KEF LS50W

Based on the LS50 passive speakers, the LS50W has taken the audio world by storm. Designed with a tweeter that sits in the middle of the woofer cone, it looks different than the standard tweeter above woofer setup. Sound quality is excellent and some have compared the LS50W to setups several times more expensive. The speakers are driven by a DAC, amp, and DSP, and includes RCA, Toslink, USB, Bluetooth, and Wifi connections. Using Wifi enables app support which continues to evolve and currently supports Tidal and Spotify Connect. The speaker is rear ported but has different placement profiles that can be set via the app or manually through switches in the back. The LS50W is bi-amplified and outputs a “hello-I’m-home” declaring 230 watts.
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Dynaudio Xeo 20

Dynaudio is a well respected Danish speaker company that makes both active and passive speakers. The Xeo 20 is their active model that most closely competes with the KEF LS50W. Unlike the LS50W, the Xeo 20 is fully wireless with no wires from the left to right speakers. However, it does require physical connections to power and the source. The Xeo 20 has digital (toslink) and analog inputs (RCA, Aux) as well as Bluetooth. Like the LS50W, it has a DAC, amp, and DSP. The woofer is slightly smaller than others in the group at 4.5” but is bi-amplified so power isn’t a problem for normal rooms.
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SVS Prime Wireless

SVS is a respected subwoofer manufacturer and joined the powered speakers market with the SVS Prime Wireless. It can be connected via RCA, Optical, and wireless. Like the Dynaudio Xeo 20, the Prime Wireless connects left and right speakers wirelessly. It has wifi and app support. SVS touts the speaker as capable of multi-room setups like Sonos.
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Elac Navis ARB-51

Designed by the well regarded Andrew Jones, the Navis ARB-51 is Elac’s entry into high end active speakers. It is a direct competitor to the KEF LS50W and has whooping 300 watts of of tri-amplified power, a real unique design. It can connect wirelessly using a base transmitter or wired to a source. The ARB-51 does not have have a DAC and resembles more traditional studio monitors in some ways.
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