Best budget hi-fi speakers 2018

...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 2018

Under £100

Best budget hi-fi speakers under £100

Roth Oli RA1

The Roth Oli RA1s impress with their compact size and confident sound quality.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Two-way | Speaker terminals: Single wired | Sensitivity: 88 dB/w/m | Impedance: 8ohms | Woofer: 10cm fibreglass | Tweeter: 25mm soft dome | DImensions: 24 x 15.2 x 17.8cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Compact size
Decent looks
Dynamic and rhythmic sound
Reasons to Avoid
Mids and highs harden when pushed

Today's best Roth Oli RA1 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
No price information

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.

Under £150

Best budget hi-fi speakers under £150

Mission LX-2

The best pound-for-pound Mission speakers in years.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensitivity: 85dB/w/m | Impedance: 6ohms | Max power handling: 80W | Woofer: 10cm | Tweeter: 25mm | Dimensions: 30 x 19 x 26cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Insightful sound
Strong dynamics and fine timing
Punchy delivery
Reasons to Avoid
Need care in partnering

Today's best Mission LX-2 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£149
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£149
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£149
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£149

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. 

Under £200

Best budget hi-fi speakers under £200

Dali Spektor 2

SPECIFICATIONS

Impedance: 6ohms | Sensitivity: 85dB/w/m | Speaker terminals: Single wire | Dimensions: 29 x 17 x 24cm (HxWcD) | Tweeter: 25mm soft dome | Woofer: 13cm wood fibre

Reasons to Buy
Agile and expressive sound
Good detail resolution
Unfussy nature
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Today's best Dali Spektor 2 deals

?
5 Year Warranty
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£199
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£199
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£199
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£199
Show More Deals

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

Best budget standmount speakers under £300

Monitor Audio Bronze 2

These are fantastic speakers and offer terrific sound-per-pound value.

SPECIFICATIONS

Speaker terminals: Single | Mid/bass driver: C-CAM 16.5cm | Tweeter: C-CAM 25mm | Sensitivity: 90dB/W/m | Dimensions: 35 x 18.5 x 25.5cm (HxWxD) | Sensitivity: 90 dB/w/m

Reasons to Buy
Rich, warm sound
Clear, precise treble
Sweeping dynamics
Reasons to Avoid
Need a little space to breathe

Today's best Q Acoustics 3020i deals

?
5 Year Warranty
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£224
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£224
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£224
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£249
Show More Deals

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

Best budget floorstander under £300

Tannoy Eclipse 3

With good budget floorstanders a rarity, these Tannoys are the best we’ve heard in a while.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensitivity: 90dB/w/m | Impedance: 8ohms | Max power handling: 120W | Mid/bass driver: 12.7cm cone | Tweeter: 28mm | Dimensions: 95.9 x 27 x 28.7cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Agile and articulate presentation
Expressive midrange
Good detail and dynamics
Reasons to Avoid
Need space to breathe
Stock is running low

Today's best Q Acoustics 2050i deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£234.99

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

Best budget standmount speakers under £400

Mission QX-2

Fun, easy to listen to and, at this price, excellent value for money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensitivity: 88 dB/w/m | Impedance: 8ohms | Max power handling: 120W | Speaker terminals: single wire | Dimensions;: 32 x 22 x 31cm (HXWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Energetic and insightful sound
Good rhythmic drive
Fine build and finish
Reasons to Avoid
Tough competition

Today's best Dali Zensor 3 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£229
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£229
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£229
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£319
Show More Deals

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

Best budget floorstander under £400

Fyne Audio F302

Fyne Audio is off to an absolute flyer with these entertaining floorstanders.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensitivity: 90dB/w/m | Impedance: 8ohms | Type: Two-way, rear ported | Max power handling: 120W | Mid/bass driver: 15cm | Tweeter: 25mm | Dimensions: 93 x 19 x 27cm (HXWXD)

Reasons to Buy
Full-bodied, entertaining sound
Fantastic timing and dynamic range
Plenty of low-end presence
Reasons to Avoid
Need some care in system-matching

Today's best Fyne Audio F302 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£399
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
No price information

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.

Under £500

Best budget hi-fi speakers under £500

KEF Q350

Sophisticated, insightful speakers that belie their affordable price.

SPECIFICATIONS

Speaker terminals: Single wired | Driver: UniQ 16.5mm aluminium mid/bass with integrated 25mm aluminium dome tweeter | Sensitivity: 87dB/w/m | Impedance: 8ohms | Dimensions: 35.8 x 21 x 30cm**:** Single-wired | Rear-ported | 2 finishes

Reasons to Buy
Stunning levels of clarity and detail
Huge scale of sound
Good timing
Reasons to Avoid
Lack some punch and drive
Not best at low volumes

Today's best Dynaudio Emit M10 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£499

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.

Desktop

Best budget desktop speakers

Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

Gorgeous design and superb performance make the Ruark MR1 Mk2s one of our favourite pairs of desktop speakers. The retro look is the icing on the audio cake.

SPECIFICATIONS

aptX Bluetooth: Yes | Inputs: Optical, line in | Output: Subwoofer | Dimensions: 17 × 13 × 13.5cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Stunningly musical sound
Subtle dynamics
Stylish, compact design
Reasons to Avoid
No USB input

Today's best Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 deals

?
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£329
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£329
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
£329
WHATHIFI
WHATHIFI
No price information

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.

MORE: How to choose the right speakers, part one: research