It might be a bit of a challenge to achieve a consistently high-quality output with a sound system, especially if you do not employ the right powered speakers for the job. Many are those who set up a sound system with sub-par or barely adequate speakers, for the simple reason that the speakers are well advertised or easy to come by. As you can imagine, this results in the system not reaching acoustic perfection, which in turn affects your ability to experience the full benefits of having such a system in the first place.
To ensure that you’re getting the right quality speakers, you need to take the time and learn as much as you possibly can about the features that best recommend powered speakers and what characteristics to consider when buying some. Needless to say, powered speakers are particularly great on account of how accommodating they are and how easy to work with almost any sound source, be it a mixer, music player, or instrument of your choosing. With that in mind, let us take a look at the ten best powered speakers the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best Powered Speakers – Reviews
10Fluance Ai60 Powered Two-Way 2.0 Bookshelf Speakers
The Fluance Ai60 High Performance Powered Two-Way 6.5” 2.0 Bookshelf Speakers offer a true surround sound with exceptional audio clarity. Integrated with a 100-watt class D amplifier, it produces a crisp, rich response and can be paired with any audio device including turntables, mp3 players, laptops, and computers. Crafted from premium-grade materials and components, they feature 1-inch silk dome tweeters and 6.5-inch drivers that work together to produce well-balanced mids, superior highs, and rich, deep bass. Hand-crafted, these speakers feature a well-built wooden case that delivers a warm, exquisite sound that is distortion-free. Easy to connect, they come equipped with an aux jack and an RCA cable.
91byone Powered Wireless Classic Bookshelf Speaker
The 1byone Powered Wireless Classic Bookshelf Speaker is a premium grade set of speakers that feature a 4-inch woofer, a 1-inch tweeter along with 2 30 watt power outputs. Easy to connect to any device, these speakers come equipped with a 3.5mm aux input and an RCA cable that allows you to connect to any 2 devices at the same time. It also features the latest wireless connectivity that can connect the speakers to your smartphone, laptop, tablet, and other devices. For your convenience, it also comes with a remote control that allows easy access to volume, mute and unmutes, different modes and playback options. Thanks to their auto-shutoff function, they automatically shut off if inactive for 30 minutes, saving energy.
8Swans Speakers – M200MKII Wifi – Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Featuring a premium quality design and construction, the Swans Speakers – M200MKII Wifi – Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers are designed with an MDF cabinet with cherry side panels that help in minimizing resonance. Easy to connect, they feature wireless connectivity and can be paired with all Bluetooth enabled devices. Thanks to the speakers’ remote control, they allow quick and easy access to all controls and settings at your fingertips. Featuring a 1-inch silk dome tweeter made from natural high-quality fiber, each speaker comes with a 5.25-inch woofer that produces rich punchy bass sound.
7AmazonBasics Computer Speakers for Desktop or Laptop PC
The AmazonBasics Computer Speakers come in the form of two heavy-duty AC powered wired speakers that are designed with a quick and direct connection to any wall power outlet. Made from premium grade materials and components, these speakers feature a single knob on the front that allows you to adjust and control the volume level. What’s more, the speakers also come equipped with a 3.5mm jack with an easy plug and play connectivity that allows you to use your headphones as well. With a frequency range of 68 Hz – 20 kHz, these speakers are ideal for listening to music on your phone, desktop, PC, and MP3 player.
6AmazonBasics USB-Powered PC Computer Speakers
Unlike any other, the AmazonBasics USB-Powered PC Computer Speakers are designed with a special radiator at their base, to produce a rich, springy bass sound. Crafted with an easy plug and play connectivity, this type of speaker does not require any drivers and comes equipped with adjustable in-line volume control. Designed with a unique brushed silver finish, it comes with blue LED lights and a padded scratch-resistant base for optimum stability and placement. Measuring 3.9 inches by 2.6 inches by 2.8 inches, these compact size speakers feature a frequency range of 80 Hz – 20 kHz.
5Edifier R980T 4
The R980T 4″ Active Bookshelf Speakers are capable of delivering no less than 24 watts of sheer power output, much thanks to their heavy-duty flared bass port in the front. Made from premium grade materials and components, this type of speaker features a 100% wooden encasing that helps in reducing acoustic resonance. Magnetically shielded, it comes equipped with an RCA cable and a 3.5mm cable and offers a quick and easy connection to any device that has a 3.5mm jack or an RCA output.
4Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Known for their accommodating nature, the Wohome Bookshelf Speakers feature an easy Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device without the hassle of cables and wires. Equipped with an inbuilt 4-inch full-range driver, they feature a 1-inch silk dome tweeter and a bass reflect tube that produces deep, rich bass sounds. Featuring the latest DSP technology, these speakers not only offer superior audio clarity but also provide an enhanced, crisp voice clarity and dialogue. Other features include an additional USB and Aux input along with an aux cable that allows you to connect to other devices that do not have Bluetooth. Made from heavy-duty components, these speakers are designed with a classic wooden finish that is stylish and durable.
3Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Equipped with 2 Aux inputs, the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers offers quick and easy connectivity to any device that comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Producing studio-quality sound, these speakers feature a 13mm silk dome tweeter and a full range unit measuring 4 inches. With a treble and bass control located at the side of the speakers, each speaker comes equipped with a remote for adjusting the volume. Made from high-quality MDF wood, they are uniquely crafted with a wood effect vinyl that is both stylish and durable.
2Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers
The Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers is a high-performance home theater system designed with a woven carbon fiber woofer to give you accentuated, rich bass sounds. Featuring a frequency response of 60Hz to 20 kHz, these in-room speakers come equipped with a silk dome tweeter that produces top-quality treble and precise imaging. Thanks to their uniquely designed ported enclosure, they offer optimum bass response with a low distortion level and superior voice clarity. Compact in size, featuring a classy design and construction, these speakers are ultra-durable and stylish.
1Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
Few powered speakers match Bose’s Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers in terms of sound quality and audio performance. This is because they are designed to give you the clearest sound at any volume level without compromising on audio fidelity and connectivity. Thanks to their aux output, you can easily connect them to any device including iPhones, iPods, and other audio devices. Built from heavy-duty components, they boast a sturdy volume control knob and a headphone jack on the front of the right speaker. Ideal for Mac and Windows operating systems, these speakers are durable, compact in size, and great for your desktop.
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Powered Speakers Buying Guide
You need to understand right from the get-go that you’re not going to find a high-end set of powered speakers without first taking the time to understand what they’re all about. We say this because many people do not fully understand the benefits of powered (active) speakers and how much more responsive they are when compared to unpowered (passive) models. Not only are these speakers easier to set up but they are also more versatile in nature, accommodating, and guaranteed to deliver optimal output regardless of the source of the signal. In order to get what you’re looking for, take the time to consider your setup and what speakers you think would work best with it.
Wired vs Wireless
It needs to be said that wired connections are rock solid from a technological standpoint. Although there have been clear breakthroughs in recent years in regards to wireless technologies and wireless connectivity, it still pays to have a wired sound system for practical reasons. That said, wireless setups are a bit more convenient on account of their flexibility. Not just that but wireless speakers also make it easier for you to move them around the house when needed.
Even though compact speakers are cute and highly accommodating by nature, they generally produce a weaker output overall. In truth, you’re going to need a pair of large speakers if you really want to fill a room acoustically, and we’re not talking about your average block speakers. On a related note, compact speakers, even the ones that are properly fitted for the acoustics of a regular room, tend to underperform when you take them outside for obvious reasons.
We refer to near-field speakers as those speakers that are specially designed for individual listeners. This means that there are speakers which, despite their size, tend to work best when in the near proximity of the listener. When seated in the right spot, you experience a detailed and intimate experience that you simply will not get with regular speakers. That said, these speakers aren’t usually designed to ‘fill the room’ sort of speak but rather to provide a pleasurable experience to whoever is seated near them.
The Bi-amplification Issue
Bear in mind that not all speakers are designed to work well in tandem with others. In fact, some are specifically designed for a certain type of sound system. When we talk about bi-amplification, we refer to the capacity of a set of speakers to divide the audio signal into two frequency ranges, which allows the sound system to match the speakers in great detail. In this regard, powered speakers that are fit for bi-amplification systems tend to do well as part of home theatre setups.
What To Consider
- Size & Number Of Speakers – Being able to generalize just how much space you need to properly fill a room acoustically is a skill not many people possess. And yet, this is essential for when you’re trying to set up a decent sound system. While smaller rooms tend to require just a couple of powered speakers, a large room will require at least three for a decent surround sound setup or even four if you’re trying to build a home theatre system. You also need to keep in mind that the number of people present in a room can greatly affect the quality and loudness of the output on account of the sound being absorbed by everyone in the room.
- Power Requirements – Exactly how much power you need for a decent power speaker setup tends to vary depending on the input and available space. For a regular-sized room, you’re going to need around 300 to 600-watts for a pleasant experience. Many manufacturers recommend that you employ an amp that delivers equal or double the IEC power rating of the loudspeaker, which is something you also need to consider in regards to whether a setup can damage your sound system or speakers. On a related note, we should point out that underpowered amps tend to damage the speakers more than overpowered ones.
- Subwoofer – By adding a subwoofer to any system involving powered speakers, you are adding a rich and vibrant element to the experience. In many ways, a good subwoofer can make a small space sound worse if it’s not properly configured, so perhaps you could go without one if your setup is inside a smaller room. In any other way, however, a good subwoofer is bound to make the whole setup sound better by virtue of the extra bass it delivers. Try to remember that larger speakers do not compensate for the absence of a good subwoofer, nor can you expect them to account for the odd positioning of your speakers within the setup.
Intelligent Speaker System
Not many people realize this but modern speakers can generally recognize the input and will optimize their output according to the device you connect them to. In fact, some will even recognize whether you have arranged the speakers vertically or horizontally and adapt accordingly. Interestingly enough, some such speakers are equipped with built-in features that can provide feedback suppression, network capabilities, and even remote-controlled functionality. In the end, it usually comes down to whether you have the right setup and if you are using the right connectors.