Best bookshelf speakers

Also consider

Under £150

Wharfedale Diamond 220

Reasons to Buy
Wonderfully balanced and informative sound
Expressive dynamics
Fine integration
Unfussy nature
Overflowing with detail
Deep, controlled bass
Neatly finished
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £200

Dali Spektor 1

SPECIFICATIONS

Two-way | Single wire | Wood-fibre mid/bass cone

Reasons to Buy
Energetic and entertaining sound
Good detail, expressive dynamics
Usefully small size
Reasons to Avoid
Beyond the limitations set by size and price, nothing at all

Under £200

Q Acoustics 3010i

SPECIFICATIONS

15cm x 25cm x 25cm | Four finishes | Magnetic speaker grilles

Reasons to Buy
Refined, detailed and energetic sound
Rhythmically entertaining
Forgiving of positioning
Likeable balance
Low-end fullness
Reasons to Avoid
Lack the scale and dynamic reach of some (larger) rivals

Under £300

Q Acoustics Concept 20

Reasons to Buy
Impressive clarity, seamless presentation
Pleasing refinement
Excellent build and finish
Terrific stands
Reasons to Avoid
Dedicated stands aren’t cheap (£200), but they’re essential to hearing the Concept 20s at their considerable best

Under £500

Dali Zensor 3

SPECIFICATIONS

Rear-ported | Single-wired | 3 finishes

Reasons to Buy
Airy, spacious sound
Wide-open soundstage
Plenty of detail
Punch and dynamics
Excellent tonal balance
Reasons to Avoid
Could do with a little more refinement

Under £500

Quad S-1

Reasons to Buy
Detailed, precise sound with excellent treble and midrange
Lovely design
Lovely build
Reasons to Avoid
Not the most authoritative sound

Under £750

KEF Q350

SPECIFICATIONS

Single wired | Rear ported | Black or white finish

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

Under £750

Dynaudio Emit M20

Reasons to Buy
Subtle, sweeping dynamics
Bags of insight
Immense scale
Energetic yet refined
Attractive, well-designed cabinets
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing

Under £1000

B&W 707 S2

SPECIFICATIONS

25mm Carbon Dome Tweeter | 13cm Continuum mid/bass | Biwired

Reasons to Buy
A solid and authoritative presentation
Impressively powerful bass integration
Composed at high volumes
Excellent build and finish
Engineering
Reasons to Avoid
Sound lacks dynamic subtlety and rhythmic dexterity

Wireless

Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

SPECIFICATIONS

50W amps | 30cm tall | 3x finishes

Reasons to Buy
Clear, balanced and detailed
Rhythmically exciting with fine dynamic range
Adjustable treble and bass for versatile placement
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note