There is no stereo or HiFi sound without speakers. Speakers produce the sound what the amplifier amplifies. Each speaker has unique qualities that are hard to find in other speakers. All are based on the requirements of the listeners. But, is it possible to find a better speaker under $500? It is tough as there is n number of speakers in the market. We have listed down what we think the best speakers under $500. It is in no way an ascending or descending order of speakers. It is just that every speaker listed here is one of the best speakers under $500. Let’s go to the list.
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Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 is one of the fantastic stereo speakers available on the planet to purchase. It is designed by Andrew Jones, a legend. It is a 2-way bass-reflex system. There is a 1-inch cloth dome tweeter for high frequency and a 6-1/2″ Aramid Fiber cone woofer for mid-bass and low frequencies. The speakers can produce nice bass and good treble. Hence the frequency response of these speakers is 44Hz – 35000Hz. You don’t need a subwoofer for casual listening. The nominal impedance is 6 Ohms and the sensitivity is 87db @2.83v/1m. It is a power-hungry speaker and you would need a beefy amplifier to power this system.
The maximum power input is 120 Watts which is quite high but then, it is a power-hungry speaker. The cross-over frequency is set at 2200Hz. It’s hard to pinpoint where the tweeter ends and woofer starts with these speakers. The speaker is made of CARB2 Rated MDF which is very tough and the build quality is nice. It also has a dual flared port to prevent chuffing. The binding posts are strong and made of good quality. Bi amplification setup is not given but it is not really a thing for speakers under $500. For what it offers, it is one of the best speakers under $500.
Dali is a Denmark audiophile brand. DALI stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industry. They make good speakers for the money. Dali Oberon is their mid-tier model. Dali Oberon is one of the finest if not the best speakers under the $500 to $600 region.
The speakers are designed with wide dispersion in mind. Thus like on-axis performance, the off-axis performance is also mind-blowing. The speaker looks nice and beautiful. The woofer is made of wood fiber and it looks classy. The tweeter is placed above the woofer and looks uber cool. The build quality is fantastic. The frequency response of this system is 51 Hz to 26000 Hz. Hence for most music subwoofer is not needed and pure stereo system rocks.
The nominal impedance is 6 ohms. Sensitivity is 86 dB. It is a touch tough to drive speakers. The recommended amplifier wattage is between 25 watts and 100 watts. The maximum spl it can do is 106 dB. That’s very loud for home use. The crossover frequency is set as 2800 Hz. It is a two-way design where there is a tweeter for high frequencies and a woofer for low frequencies.
A big 29 mm soft textile dome tweeter is employed for high-frequency duties and a 5.25-inch driver is used for low-frequency duties and as said already, the cross-over is set at 2.8kHz. It is a bass-reflex design speaker and the port tuning is done at 50 Hz. It is one of the best speakers under Rs 500 – $600.
Borea BR03 is a loudspeaker from the company called Triangle. Their looks are subjective. Some will love it and some hate it. I liked their design, especially with the light oak color. Other colors like walnut, black, and white too look good in my opinion. Where it stands out is the performance it offers.
The vocal clarity is awesome. It uses an untreated cellulose paper membrane and the result is fantastic sound quality. For high-frequency duties, you will get a 25 mm efs silk dome tweeter. This is not only loud but has the definition as well. The midrange and bass duty is taken care of by a 16 cm woofer. It is advertised as a floor stander performance in a small package. For a room size of 15 m2 to 30m2 this speaker is quite adequate.
The speaker is not a direct sounding or has a very narrow sweet spot. It is actually wide enough for casual and critical listening. With the Efficient flow system tweeter with its 25 mm dome setup, the sound is dispersed at a wider angle. This 2-way speaker has a sensitivity of 90 DB/W/m.
The frequency response is 46 Hz – 22 kHz (+/- 3 dB) which is fantastic for a bookshelf speaker. It does dig low for a bookshelf speaker. The maximum power handling is 100 watts. The nominal impedance is 8 ohms and therefore almost all amplifiers can power tases. These speakers aren’t tough to drive. The cross-over is set at 3600 Hz. This is one of the best speakers under $500 for its sonic performance.
This JBL Studio 530 is one of the nicest products from JBL. The first thing that strikes you will be the waveguide for the tweeter. It is huge and beautiful. It is aimed to bring professional speaker performance to home use. This speaker is more suited for movies than music but you will be pleasantly surprised at its musical performance. The rated power of this bookshelf speaker is 25 watts to 125 watts. This means you can power this speaker up with a basic air to a powerful power amplifier.
The bass driver is a 5-1/4 inches or 130 mm cone woofer with a ribbed polyps cone setup. This is good enough for the speaker to sound nice at higher volume with less distortion. The distortion is really low even at the maximum volume, thanks to this technology. It has a symmetrical field geometry magnet assembly that powers the woofer and it is responsible for the nice articulate bass performance of this speaker. It has a 1-inch compression driver and it faithfully delivers the high frequencies with ease.
The tweeter is connected to a horn or a waveguide that arrests the tweeter to send sounds to walls and it directs the sound to listeners with pinpoint accuracy. These speakers are bi-wire capable of additional sound quality. The crossover frequency is set up at 1.5 kilohertz. For the money and technology used, this speaker is one of the best speakers under $500 – $600.
Denton is a classic speaker. To mark the 80th anniversary of Wharfedale, the Denton 80th anniversary edition is created. It looks like a classic Denton. Denton produced a lush warm sound. The new one is no different and at the same time, the latest technologies are used to make the speakers sound even better. Denton 80th anniversary edition is one of the best speakers under $500 – $599.
This speaker is a 2 way vented box type and gives good performance with the given box. The system has a 25 mm or 1-inch tweeter to take care of the high-frequency duties. There is a 5-inch mid-bass driver which is employed to do mid-bass and bass duties. Hence, the total frequency response is 44Hz – 24kHz. Unfortunately, it is not easy to drive like a Klipsch or triangle audio. The sensitivity is 86 dB.
The cross-over frequency is set at 2.3 kHz. With a sensitivity of 86 dB and a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, the speaker would demand a powerful amplifier although the recommended amplifier is just 20 watts to 100 watts. The bass is rich. The treble is lush and the overall sound quality of this speaker is very good. With a powerful amp, you’re looking for a treat to your ears.
Kef makes some of the nice speakers in the industry and their ls50s are a testimony to fabulous sound. In the same regard kef q150 is a superstar in $500 and below. It is a 2-way bass-reflex system. It consists of KEF’s UNI-Q driver technology. The bass driver and tweeter are placed such that they have a common center point. They are coaxially placed. This has a serious advantage. The imaging is fantastic and no phasing issues. It emulates the point source of sound reproduction. One can buy this speaker for this technology alone.
The high-frequency driver is a 1-inch tweeter and the bass driver is a 5-inch woofer. The frequency response of this speaker is between 51 Hz and 28,000 Hz. The bass extension is 47 Hz. The crossover point is set at 2.5 kHz. With the coaxial driver design, it is tough to find out where the woofer ends and the tweeter takes over. It is that good. It can be run by even a cheap amplifier. The recommended amplifier power is between 10 and 100 watts.
The sensitivity of the speaker is low. It is at 86 dB and you need to crank up the volume to make the speakers sound well. The maximum output it can throw is 108 dB. Thankfully, the nominal impedance is 8 ohms and not 4 ohms. This makes the speaker easy on the amplifier. This is one of the best speakers under $500.
This is yet another ELEC on the list. It is also designed by the legendary Andrew Jones. Like the KEFs this has a concentric driver too. This speaker is actually a three-way speaker meaning three speakers are receiving three different signals. There is a bass driver which receives low-frequency information. The mid-driver receives mid-range information like the vocals. Then there is this tweeter that receives high-frequency information. The tweeter and the mid-range driver are concentrically connected. This makes the sound beautiful. The imaging is intact and the dispersion is wide. You will love the center image of this speaker’s project.
This speaker is a three-way bass-reflex design. It has a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, 4-inch aluminum cone mid-range driver, and a 5.25-inch bass driver. The crossover frequency is set at 270 Hz and 2700 Hz. The frequency response of this whole system is 46 to 35,000 Hz. The sensitivity is rather low at 85 dB. Hence, the recommended amplifier power is 40 to 140 Watts per channel. The peak power handling is up to 140 watts. Unfortunately, the nominal impedance is just 6 ohms and therefore it requires a powerful amplifier to pair with. The small amplifier cannot bring out its true potential.
This is yet another Andrew jones designed speaker. It is one of the underrated speakers who can perform very well. Like other Andrew jones designed speakers, these speakers require some hefty power to shine. The speaker consists of two drivers. Also, it is a two-way design speaker. The main driver is the midrange driver. It is a 4-inch driver. This woofer will take care of lows, low mids, and mid ranges.
Then there is a tweeter. The tweeter takes care of the highs or treble sound. The package is built in a nice cabinet. It is an RF molded curved cabinet. The build quality is solid and durable. It has a crossover inside. It is a 6 element highly sophisticated cross-over that makes this speaker sound better. The midrange driver has an oversized magnet and therefore it can produce some bass. The crossover is set at 4kHz.
The maximum power that can be sent to this speaker is just 80 watts. However, you would need a powerful amplifier to play this speaker nicely. The frequency response is between 180Hz and 20,000Hz. The sensitivity of this speaker is quite low at 85dB. The nominal impedance is 6 ohms. All these states that the amplifier requirements will be higher. With a powerful amplifier, the speaker can shine very well. This Andrew jones speaker is one of the best speakers under $500.
Klipsch makes some of the best speakers in the industry. Klipsch RP-600 M is one of the best speakers under $500 if you can get it. Renewed speakers are easier to get it in the price band. Even if you’re willing to buy the speakers under retail price, it is still worth it. These speakers have a nice treble unit. The tweeter is a 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter. It is placed inside the proprietary hybrid cross-section Tractrix® Horn. This is done to control the directivity.
In return, it will give good imaging too. The bass driver is a 6.5-inch Cerametallic Cone Woofer. It is copper in color and looks quite attractive. The frequency response of this system is 45-25kHz +/- 3dB. It is awesome. It can dig quite low for a book self speaker.
The speakers are highly sensitive. The sensitivity is 96dB @ 2.83V / 1m. This is an easy-to-drive speaker. It can take a continuous power of 100 watts and the peak can be as much as 400 watts. The second good news is that the nominal impedance is 8 ohms. The crossover frequency is set at 1500Hz. This means the tweeter is doing its job even in the midrange. It has a rear port. Bass Reflex via rear-firing Tractrix® Port to be precise. This system can be bi-wired and bi-amped. If you can get hold of it, it is one of the best speakers under $500 – $600.
This is the second Klipsch on this list. That means the company is extremely capable. Klipsch RP-500M is one of the best speakers under $500 newly purchased and shipped. Even with the smaller driver, it has a long tale to tell. The treble is handled by a high-frequency driver. It is a 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Cross-Section Tractrix® Horn system. This makes the treble to be widespread and also helps a lot in imaging.
The woofer used here is a 5.25” Cerametallic Cone Woofer. Although it is not a 6.5-inch woofer, it can still produce pretty good bass. The crossover is the same as its big brother and is set at 1500 Hz. With the tweeter and woofer in place, the frequency response is 48-25kHz +/- 3dB. The sensitivity is still high at 93dB @ 2.83V / 1m. The nominal impedance of this speaker is 8 ohms. It is really an easy-to-drive system and your amplifier need not sweat to drive it hard.
The maximum continuous power it can take is 75W and the peak it can sustain is 300 watts. The body looks beautiful and is made of MDF. The enclosure type is Bass Reflex via rear-firing Tractrix® Port. The sound quality is nice although it is on the brighter side. For the sound quality and ease to push, it is one of the best speakers under $500.
This is a nice speaker from definitive technologies. SM 45 stands for studio monitor 45. Yes, it is a studio monitor. Studio monitors are speakers used in the studio to measure, mix and master. They have their own characteristics. For example, many studio monitors are near field monitors. This means they are placed closer to the listeners or the engineer. If it is placed further away, the monitor may not perform very well. SM 45 is a near-field device.
It has BDSS. It stands for a Balanced double surround system. This is basically a waveguide that brings in a linear Response for small details and 3d imaging. It uses a Second-generation pure aluminum dome tweeter for crispier high frequencies. It has a high gloss anti diffraction enclosure that helps for perfect imaging. Cross over network has bigger inductors for absolute sound quality.
Recommended power amplifier for these speakers is 20 watts to 150 watts. The total frequency response is from 35 Hz to 30KHz. The normal impedance for these speakers is 8 ohms. It is a bass-reflex system. Recommended orientation is always vertical. It should not be placed close to the wall as the ports are on the rear side. For the price, it is one of the best speakers under $500.
This Polk s20 comes under Polk’s signature series of loudspeakers. This speaker is versatile in that it can be used as a surround speaker for movies and also it can be used for music. It serves the purposes very well. The speaker is quite attractive with a woofer at the bottom and a tweeter on the top. It comes in two color variants. Washed black walnut and classic brown walnut finish. It has a “NEW DYNAMIC BALANCE DESIGNED ACOUSTIC ARRAY”. This makes the speaker to sound good not only for movies but also for music. It has a Terylene dome tweeter which is specially engineered for this speaker. The ceramic motor allows this tweeter to sound nice even at 40 kHz and with very low resonance.
The woofer is a special one too. Mica-reinforced polypropylene cones with butyl rubber surrounds are the hardware properties of the woofer. The ceramic motor structure and cones spider allows the great performance of bass with very little resonance and distortion. The nominal impedance is 8 ohms. This allows this speaker can be powered by any amplifier. The total frequency response is 39 Hz to 40,000 Hz. This is good for movies with rumbling bass.
The speaker has a 1-inch tweeter that is responsible for high-frequency duties. Then there is a 6.5-inch midbass/bass driver that is capable of going low for a subwoofer. The recommended amplifier for this set of speakers is between 25 watts to 125 watts. It is clearly one of the best budget speakers under $500.
PSB makes some of the best speakers in the industry. Their sub $500 offering PSB Alpha P5 is quite a value for the money. The looks of this speaker are nice. In this case, the tweeter is placed below the woofer. This captures the eyes greatly. The speaker has a sensitivity of 89 dB and it is possible that the speaker can be powered by a low-power quality amplifier. The nominal impedance is 8 ohms. This again suggests that the speaker can be powered by a simple amplifier. The minimum impedance is just 4 ohms. This means this speaker can be powered by any amplifier of your choice. The recommended output power of the amplifier is 10 watts to 90 watts.
The frequency response of this system is 55-21,000Hz ±3dB. This value is good for a bookshelf speaker. The high-frequency tweeter is a Black Anodized Aluminium Dome with Ferrofluid and Neodymium Magnet made of the size 19 mm. The midbass/ bass woofer is a 5 1/4” (133mm) Textured Polypropylene Cone with Rubber Surround. This ensures detailed and great bass. The crossover is set at 2500Hz as the tweeter is not so big to hit low. For the money paid, this speaker is one of the best under $500.
Monitor audio bronze 100 is an award-winning product for its sound quality. The product looks great and so is the performance. The sensitivity of the speakers is 87 dB. SO, even a decently powerful amplifier can drive it with ease. It is a two-way system. This has one tweeter and a big woofer to make the sound. The frequency response of this system is 52 – 25,000 Hz. That is a decently performing loudspeaker. The in-room frequency response is 37 – 30,000 Hz. Yes, it can hit low. The nominal impedance is 8 ohms. The maximum spl it can go is ear-bleeding 110 DBA.
The maximum power handling capability is 100 watts. The recommended amplifier requirements are 30 watts to 100 watts. It is a bass-reflex design and therefore below the tuning frequency, there will be a steep roll-off. The bookshelf has a 1 8 inch driver for mids, bass, and midbass duties. Being an 8 inches, it can hit low. For hi frequencies, there exist a 25 mm gold dome tweeter. The cross-over frequency is set at 2200 Hz. This monitor audio can be used for movies and it is equally impressive for music as well. For what’s worth, this is one of the best speakers under $500.
Paradigm is another brand that makes great speakers. Their SE series is quite nice. They have used their patented technologies to bring out the best sound possible. Atom is their bookshelf version and is capable of delivering high-quality audio. It is a 2 way 2 driver bass-reflex design. It is the smallest of all se series yet it packs a nice punch. The on-axis frequency response is ±3dB from 61 Hz – 21 kHz. This is not bad for a speaker of this cost. The high-frequency driver is a 1” (25mm) X-PAL™ dome, ferrofluid damped/cooled, Perforated Phase-Aligning Tweeter (PPA™) Lens. Multiple patented technologies ensure you will get a great high-frequency response.
Then there is a mid-bass driver. It is 5-1/2” (140mm) mineral-filled polypropylene cone / inverted dust cap / down roll surround. It ensures good mid-bass reproduction. The bass system is not impressive. Adding a subwoofer will help a lot.
The sensitivity of this speaker is 89 dB. And the impedance is 8 ohms. All these ensure that you don’t need a powerful amp to drive this speaker. Any decently powerful amp can drive this without breaking a sweat. The low-frequency extension is 45Hz. It uses a 2nd order electro-acoustic crossover at 2.3 Kilo Hertz. The off-axis frequency response is ±3dB from 55 Hz – 17 kHz. It is very good. The suitable amp ratings are from 15 watts to 100 watts. This is one of the best speakers under $500.
Sony is into almost everything. No matter what the company does, they do it with dedication and will come with a nice product. Sony ss cs5 is one such product. It is a bass-reflex system. It is also a 3 way, 3 driver system. The build quality is nice and getting a 3-way design at this price is a steal. It consists of a woofer, a tweeter, and a super tweeter for ultra-high sounds. The tweeters are wide dispersion and therefore, the off-axis performance will be good.
The frequency response is 53 Hz to 50,000 Hz. 1-inch dome tweeter takes care of the high-frequency duties while a 5.12-inch cone woofer takes care of the bass, mid-bass, and mids. Adding to this there is a 0.75-inch super tweeter that takes care of the ultra-high-frequency duties.
The impedance is rated at 6 ohms and the sensitivity is rated at 87 dB. The maximum input power for the speaker is 100 watts. All this means, the speaker will work fine with a decently powered amplifier. It is a certified Hi-Res audio product. You can trust the licensing. The speaker produces some of the nice sounds in the industry.
The rest of the speakers we are going to see are active speakers. These are the speakers that have built-in Amps. You don’t need a second amp to power these speakers.
Edifier s2000Pro is an active speaker from edifier. The speaker has a good solid build and elegance to look at it. The tweeter used is a rich low-distorted flat diaphragm tweeter. This way, you will hear the cleanest sound possible. Also, there is less coloration from the tweeter. The aluminum cone woofer is made with perfection to produce perfect music on a perfect day.
This woofer is designed in such a way that it doesn’t produce metallic sound when functioning. The tweeter receives 12 watts of power while the woofer receives 50 watts of power. Both coherently work to produce a frequency response of 48Hz~20KHz. The tweeter unit is a Planar diaphragm tweeter. It is designed for sound quality.
The signal-to-noise ratio is ≥94dB(A). The noise level is ≤25dB(A) which is very good. It has 5 different inputs and it performs great on all 5 inputs. For the money, this is one of the best speakers under $500.
Swans are yet another company like edifier that makes great speakers. In our case, great active speakers. The build quality is nice and the cabinet looks attractive. The cabinet uses a 2-way 4th-order vented box system to reproduce the sound. It has a 1.1-inch dome tweeter for high-frequency needs and there is a 6.5-inch mid-bass driver. On a free space, it can produce the frequency response of 38Hz – 20kHz±3dB.
The cross-over frequency is set at 3 kHz. Each speaker or each channel is powered by a 120 watts amplifier. They have enough speed, loudness, and bass for a room size of 16 feet x 16 feet. There are several inputs including Aux, Bluetooth, Optical, Coaxial inputs. For the price and performance, it is one one the best speakers under $500.
Audio engine a5+ is another active speaker worth considering. The price to performance ratio is high in this system. The best thing about this speaker is that it uses a Class AB amplifier to power the speaker. Class AB has better sound quality than class D speakers. It has 150 watts peak power when working. That is 50 watts RMS and 75 watts peak for each channel. The drivers used in these speakers are good.
The bass driver is 5″ aramid fiber woofers. The tweeter used here is a 0.75″ silk dome tweeters. Both the woofers and speakers do a fantastic job. The available inputs are a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack, RCA L/R. The signal to noise ratio is >95 dB (typical A-weighted)
The frequency response this speaker system has is 50 Hz-22 kHz ±1.5 dB. This is a solid frequency response and you don’t get this level of performance in other speakers.
It uses 0.5″ (13 mm) thick MDF cabinets and therefore the build quality is very good. A Toroidal power transformer is used in the amplifier. This is found only in quality systems. This speaker is designed to be a studio monitor and consumer speaker. For studio monitoring, it is excellent. For the price, it is one of the best speakers under $500.
This is the second product from the edifier that is on this list. This time, the speaker is disguised as a Bluetooth speaker. This is a modern form of an active stereo speakers. It has an infrared remote to control all the operations with the tip of your finger. The tweeter used here is a planar diaphragm tweeter. They produce sleep, nonharsh yet lively high frequencies. The woofers are also nice in this price range. The woofer is a 5 ½” aluminum diaphragm driver. It is rigid enough to produce punchy sound and it is light enough to produce a fast transient response.
Since this is the latest system, it has Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding. The speakers are powered by High-efficiency Class-D digital power amplification. You get equalizers with this system. Equalizers include Monitor, Dynamic, Classical, and Vocal. There is an OLED screen below the main speaker which tells us Things. OLED LCD screen displays source, volume, sound effects modes. It has a dual digital signal processor for ultimate sound quality and clarity. You will get two knobs to control the bass and treble of this system efficiently. It is also HI-Res certified. For the money being paid, it is worth it. It is one of the best speakers for under $500.
I have listed a number of speakers in the above list. Each has its own strength and weakness. You have to consider which one works the best for you and choose that one. That doesn’t mean the others are not good. You cannot go wrong with any of the mentioned speakers. If I have to pick a speaker, my pick would be Kef q150 in passive speakers and Audio engine A5+ in the active segment. Thanks for reading.
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to audio gears. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.