...but if you want to maximise every penny of your spend, read on. We've trawled through our reviews to present nine of the best pairs of speakers for under £500 - from Dynaudio to Mission, Monitor Audio to Tannoy and beyond, there's something here for everyone.
MORE: Best hi-fi speakers
Given their tiny dimensions, Roth's bookshelf speakers pack a mighty punch. Details and dynamics are impressive, as is their scale of sound. For less than £100, you really can't go wrong, although you might have to hunt around to find a pair now.
If both space and budget are tight, or if you’re looking to upgrade the speakers supplied with an ageing micro-system, then the Oli RA1s have the size and sonic skills to fit the bill.
Mission possible! These entertaining speakers are among the best budget options out there. The LX-2s were originally intended to sell at £200. For that price we would have still praised their performance and recommended them highly.
At the revised price of £160 they’re an even bigger bargain and deliver a huge slice of fun that few rivals can get close to. Take just a little care in partnering and they’ll turn in a performance that’s sure to get a smile on your face.
These 2018 Award-winners are excellent speakers, combining Dali's traditional strengths with a generous dose of entertainment. They deserve a Best Buy for offering a level of fun even their most talented rivals struggle to match. For just under £200, you can't do better.
Standmounter under £300
Previous generations of Bronze 2s were class leaders. As it turns out, this one is too. For their size, these speakers dig deep in the bass; they’re tonally balanced and impressively detailed too. Add fine build and Monitor Audio’s usual high standard of finish and you can't go wrong. A fine buy.
Floorstander under £300
You'll have to hurry if you want to pick up a pair of these budget floorstanders as they've been around for a while and stock is running low.
If you do find a pair, you won't be disappointed: the Eclipse Threes turn in a musically engaging performance that compares to the best standmounters at the price. Sure, these towers aren’t perfect – no rival we’ve heard is either – but they’re enjoyable and informative while being easy to set-up and partner.
Standmounter under £400
The Mission QX-2s are terrific speakers. They sound at home across a wide range of music and have an infectiously energetic character that makes them a pleasure to listen to. If you’re in the market for standmounters at this level you simply have to consider these. Thoroughly deserving of a 2018 Best Buy.
Floorstander under £400
If our Fyne Audio F501 review had your mouth watering, but at £1200 a pair put your bank account in peril, Fyne has provided with another class-leader. One that belies its extremely reasonable price tag at every turn.
It’s rare to find floorstanding all-rounders at less than £500 able to compete in every respect with the wealth of quality standmount speakers available at the same price. Which only serves to demonstrate just what a sterling job Fyne has done with the F302s.
These £530 standmounters offer stunning sound and elegant looks, at a competitive price that see them taking the trophy at the top of their class. Nearly every aspect of the speakers has been redesigned to achieve a cleaner, more sophisticated presentation - both sonic and physical. The result is a triumph for KEF.
Ruark Audio is back with a vengeance, having regained its crown for the last couple of years in the desktop speaker category. The step up in performance from the previous model is impressive, and the Ruark MR1 Mk2s manage to be even more appealing than before. We can't say better than that.