If you want big sound out of a small speaker for a great price then look no further. Here, you'll get suggestions on the best bookshelf speakers under $1000 that make you say "I can't believe they sound so good."

I get asked all the time, "what speakers do you recommend?" Well, the spousal acceptance factor these days is huge, so small speakers are good. That's why I'm here to help you sort through some of the best bookshelf speakers under $1000.

Now updated with new suggestions from Monitor Audio, DALI and Dynaudio




1. Our Pick:  Dynaudio Excite X14 Bookshelf Speakers

This Dynaudio Excite X14 is at the top of price range and could just as well be on a “$1000 and up” list. Anyone who knows high end audio will know what the Dynaudio Excite X14 bookshelf speakers are. Why? Because there is not really anything to complain about with these.


Dynaudio Excite X14 Speakers
These speakers have advanced engineering and a refined design, they perform great for compact speakers. Anyone who buy these should try driving a pair with more than just solid state. I’d use a tube amps here (myself) and have done so. I can tell you a modest tube amp brings these speakers to life in a way I’m sure most of you haven't experienced before. If you all get a chance, check them out.






2. Monitor Audio Silver Series 2 - 2-way Compact Loudspeakers

The Monitor Audio is a U.K. speaker company that I just love, and its inclusion twice in this list shows it!  I mean, just look at how beautiful this speaker is. What's not to like here?  I'll tell you, not much.

Monitor Audio Silver Series 2 speakers.
The Monitor Audio Silver Series 2 sound beautiful, very easy to listen to and warm. Some say the Monitor Audio Gold tweeter can be harsh, but I like it because it's "in your face" when it needs to be but otherwise it's invisible. At $800 for the pair they come very highly recommended by me.






3. DALI Opticon 1 2-Way Compact Bookshelf Speakers

One incredible speaker company with products that I really enjoy listening to, and not a lot of people know much about, is DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries). The Dali Opticon 1 is a 2-Way compact bookshelf speaker that is just a joy to listen to for hours on end. The wood-fiber woofer plus 26 mm soft-dome tweeter are super smooth and really, they just sound wonderful.


DALI Opticon 1 speakers.
The woofer used by DALI is basically the same across the company's whole lineup. That is a very good thing because it gives you a coherent tone across all the speakers DALI makes. I really can't say enough good things about these speakers. DALI is a company that more people need to pay way more attention to; you'll be glad you did.






4.  SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speaker

This is a speaker that does not need an introduction here on AVS Forum: The SVS Ultra bookshelf. I'll keep this short because there's not much to say about near perfection.


SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers.
SVS Ultras come in right at the top of the budget at $999.98 per pair. But, they are worth every penny. While SVS is a company best known for subwoofers, don't be deterred. These speakers have a wide soundstage and have unbelievable bass output for a bookshelf model (45 Hz anechoic).

If you have never heard a pair and are looking for speakers that will blow you away, this is a top choice.






5.  Definitive Technology Demand Series D11

One of my favorite speaker companies is Definitive Technology. It’s the brand that I use for my own system. The Definitive Technology Demand Series D11 high-performance bookshelf speakers are nothing less than incredible sounding and are now selling for $799.


Definitive Technology Demand Series D11 speakers.
If you enjoy a high fidelity audio reproduction, this is a no-brainer! These exhibit unbelievably precise imaging and detail considering the price. These are a matched pair featuring a 1” aluminum dome offset tweeter, and have Definitive Technology’s signature sleek design. A passive radiator on the rear of the cabinet gives this model a +/-3 dB anechoic frequency response.






6.  ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Slim Bookshelf Speakers

Here we have the Uni-Fi UB5, an excellent concentric-driver, three-way bookshelf speaker design from Andrew Jones. And while these may not be the highest sensitivity speakers on the list, the fidelity of the sound they are capable of creating is just incredible!

By combining the Tweeter and midrange into one concentric driver, this speaker is able to maintain time alignment for precise sound. And Andrew Jones is a master at designing speakers using concentric drivers.


The UB5 from ELAC.
The vinyl wrap used on the Uni-Fi speakers is not my favorite finish, however they are available in either black or white. The main thing is that the price for the speakers is right at $750 a pair.






7.  KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers

There's a good reason these KEF Q350 bookshelf speakers are in this list... anyone who's heard a pair of these tends to agree that they simply sound amazing. With a price of $650, they are easy on the wallet and yet offer the benefits of a concentric 2-way driver (precise sound that stays time-aligned and acts as a true point source).



KEF Q350 are a great choice for bookshelf speakers under $1000.

The KEF Q350 is redesigned for 2018 and features a new cabinet, new finishes, and generally screams "high-fidelity." An affordable entry point to the world of KEF speakers, which also owe a debt to designer Andrew Jones, who worked on the original Uni-Q concentric driver's design.





8.  MartinLogan Motion 35XT Bookshelf Speaker

The MartinLogan Motion 35XT bookshelf speaker marries a 6.5 inch woofer with a folded-ribbon AMT (air motion transfer) tweeter. The company uses the term Folded Motion XT to refer to this technology. Whether you wind up loving these speakers are not depends on the application; I like the revealing sound of folded ribbon tweeters. However, sometimes it can be a bit too cold and I think this speaker can benefit from a tube amp, to warm things up and make the magic happen.


Here are MartinLogan Motion 35XT bookshelf speakers with Folded Motion XT tweeters.
This model comes at the top of the price bracket, in fact it exceeds it by a few bucks… but for good reason—MartinLogan makes nothing but premium speakers. If you pay attention, you may be able to catch a sale and get them for less than the current $529.99 (per speaker) price.






9.  Focal Chorus 706 Monitor (Bookshelf) Loudspeakers

Let's just say this: I have a soft spot for Focal, a French company that builds incredible speakers. Okay, this pair does not have the flax bass/midrange driver that I love, but a new suspension material called "Poron" is used for the signature inverted-dome tweeter, and Focal says it smooths the sound out. I've heard it, and man is it smooth!


A pair of Focal Chorus 706 bookshelf speakers.
These are front ported speakers that are a treat to listen to and to look at! The sound is balanced and neutral (Focal calls them monitors) so these are clear choice for anyone looking to become a audio snob, on your journey to audio heaven. Definitely high on the list of bookshelf speaker picks for me, and they come in white, black, as well as wood grain finish to match any decor.





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