As a man who loves his music, speakers are something I take pretty seriously. That is why when I was asked to test out the best speakers below $200, I said hell yes right away. The price point we are looking at today is not quite budget, but it is not quite high end either.
These are the kind of speakers that are perfect for people who have a nice turntable or hi-fi and want a good set of speakers that are not going to make them broke! So if you want to know what the most popular and best speakers below $200 are, keep on reading.
Should I Go For Wired Or Wireless?
This is a question that many people will be asking when they are looking for a speaker and in all honesty, only you can answer that question. My main set up in my living room has a wireless receiver, but I also have a turntable that needs to be actually plugged in. So for me having a wireless only set of speakers would not be the way to go.
However for a person who only streams music from their phone or some other kind of smart device. You would be better off cutting out the speaker cables and just having a Bluetooth one. You can get speakers that give you the best of both worlds and in my experience price really does not seem to dictate if a speaker is going to be wireless or wired.
Some people will tell you that you have to have wired speakers in order to get the best sound, but that is not actually true. It is the quality of the speaker and the device you are playing music on that dictates the quality you are going to get.
So if you have a very cheap wired speaker and an expensive wireless one, the wireless one will most likely have the better sound, this is the same if you flip them being wired and wireless. So do not get hung up on one offering a better sound than the other.
The Best Speakers Below $200 Reviews
I was sent some of the most popular speakers below $200 to test out. These are speakers that are in reach of the average joe and are aimed at those who want to bring their vinyl records to life and those who just want to rock out to the music they have on their phones. To help round things off, I have also included a couple of speakers that I did not test out, but are very popular.
1: Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers
2: Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
3: Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
4: Bose 161 Speaker System
5: JBL Charge 3 JBLCHARGE3BLKAM Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
6: Polk Audio RC55i 2-Way In-Wall Speakers
7: Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing
1. Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers
- Asking price is very reasonable
- They are perfect for tight spaces
- Do not draw a lot of attention
- Very easy to connect to your device
- Sound is not bad at all
- Not the most exciting looking design
- Sound gets a little weird at louder volumes
Here we have a solid set of speakers. Micca have made these look pretty appealing, they are compact in size so they will blend into any entertainment center or even sit on a shelf and not draw attention. The build quality is actually pretty impressive, I was actually shocked at how solid these things felt. Also at around 120 bucks, the asking price is pretty reasonable.
These are wired speakers only so there is no Bluetooth wireless connectivity here. Hooking them up is dead simple, you connect the power cable, connect them to your receiver or directly to your turntable, CD player or whatever and you are good to go.
There is a power button on the back and you can control the volume directly on the speakers if you wish. In all these are pretty basic, but that is a huge part of what makes these so popular. I have a feeling these are aimed at the guy who has just rediscovered their love for music and wants a set of good, but affordable speakers.
The sound is actually a lot louder than I thought it would be, when you have them up really loud the sound is a little rough, but this could be fixed if you broke them in properly. At this price, I feel that most people are going to be very impressed with the sound. I tested these speakers with around 4 different vinyl albums and apart from when I had it turned up to loud, I have no complaints. It is easy to see why these are regarded as some of the best speakers below £200.
Affordable, compact and they also sound pretty good! If a solid set of budget speakers is what you want, check these out!
2. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker
- Speakers have Bluetooth
- You can also hook things up via cables
- Sound is very good
- Design is really hip and cool
- Speakers are incredibly well made
- Sound may require a little playing with to just get right
- Woodgrain style may not be to everyone’s taste
The boys at Edifier never fail to impress me and these speakers that are currently coming in at under 150 bucks are no different. To start with I love the style of these. They have gone for a black front on a woodgrain style body and it works incredibly well. These are the kind of speakers that you will be happy to have out on display. Also they are not too large so they can fit on a shelf or in a more compact space.
Connectivity is one of the reasons that these are so popular. First, of, all these have Bluetooth. So you can hook up a smartphone and stream music directly to the speakers. The pairing took longer than it should, but once my phone was paired, it worked flawlessly. You can also connect devices directly to the speakers, which is great if you have an older turntable or hi-fi and want to enjoy some old school vinyl…. Like I do!
The sound is very good, at this price I would say this could possibly be the best sound you can get! Edifier have also put treble and bass dials on the speaker so you can alter the sound to your own needs which I always like to see. Plus it comes with a handy remote that lets you do the same. While you have to tinker with it to get the best sound, I think that these are an amazing set of speakers and the kind I could see myself using all of the time.
The design of these could not be any cooler, plus you can hook devices up via a cable or via Bluetooth. The speakers can do it all!
3. Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
- Water resistance, so great for the beach or pool
- Sound is great
- This thing is seriously loud!
- Could not be any easier to use
- You can tinker with the sound
- It is rather heavy
- You need to keep an eye on the battery
The Big Blue Party speaker often appears on lists about the best speakers below $200, so I was excited to test this one out. The design is really weird and cool at the same time. It has a metallic look, it stands up and I think it kind of resembles a bug zapper! The design makes it easy to move around and I think that is the idea, that you can move it round the house, take it outside and take it anywhere you want to party!
This is a Bluetooth speaker only so it is aimed at those of you who listen to music on your phone or some other kind of wireless device. I was amazed at how quick this paired with my phone and they boast that it can pick up a signal from 33 feet away!
Of course I had to play around and test this out and it picked it up from nearly every area of my house! This is fully wireless, meaning that there is no power cable as there is a rechargeable battery built in which gives you over 4 hours of music time!
Sound wise this thing blew me away. It has four drivers powering it so the music is actually very loud and they claim it gives a rich 3D sound and I have a hard time arguing with that. I really did note expect much out of this, but after using it for a short while, I was very impressed at how clear the sound is. I even fired up some live music and let me tell you Bruce Springsteen singing Santa Clause Is Coming To Town live sounded amazing through this speaker!
If you want a Bluetooth speaker that you can take all over the house, the yard and even to a party, you are going to love this.
4. Bose 161 Speaker System
- Really smart curvy design
- They could not be any easier to setup
- The size of these is very compact
- They look great on the wall
- Sound is very well balanced
- They are only wired
- Some people may not be into the curvy design
Bose are one of the big names when it comes to speakers, headphones and sound in general so getting a set of speakers from them for just a hair over 150 bucks is pretty sweat. I really like the curvy design that Bose have gone for here. It gives the speakers a modern and sleek look that anyone with a modern setup will love. The pair that were sent to me were the standard black, but these do also come in white and the price is exactly the same.
These are wired only speakers so please keep that in mind. I connected these to my stereo receiver pretty easily and with some clever wire management, you barely even see the wires! If you have ever connected any kind of device before, you will be right at home getting these speakers connected to your device. As far as setup goes, there really is not much to say as it is that easy to hook these up.
What Bose have gone for here with these speakers is balanced stereo sound and I think they have achieved that. I was careful with these to not have them too loud when I first fired up Poison’s Open Up And Say Ahh, one of my favorite vinyl records and the sound was indeed very “rich” I do have my stereo receiver settings perfectly set so that helped. But the sound these speakers put out is undeniably impressive.
If you want wired speakers and that Bose quality at an affordable price, these speakers are something you need to take a closer look at.
5. JBL Charge 3 JBLCHARGE3BLKAM Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Very interesting design
- Can connect to multiple devices
- Sound is pretty darn good
- Costs around 120 bucks
- Available in many different colors
- Sound is not the best at loud volumes
- You will want to take it everywhere!
The last speaker that I personally got to test out is one I am sure you have seen before. That is because this speaker from JBL always shows up on the best speakers below $200 guides. The design is pretty neat, it kind of looks like a bad, a pill, a barrel, I really do not know how to describe it, it just has a really cool style. Black was the color that was sent to me, but JBL offer this in many different colors.
This speaker is very easy to use. It can connect to a smartphone very quickly and while this is a Bluetooth speaker, you can actually plug your phone into it and give it a little charge if needed. I did not try this out, but apparently you can connect three devices to this at once! I am not sure why you would want to, but it does sound interesting.
Also you can link up multiple JBL speakers so you can really amplify the sound. Off a single charge you are looking at a battery life of around 20 hours which is very impressive. Oh, one other thing I have to mention, this is waterproof! So if you have a pool or are always hanging out at the beach it would be perfect.
As far as the sound goes, this is not the kind of speaker that is going to change your life when you listen to your favorite album. But the sound is actually way better than I thought it would be. You can of course change things like bass and treble on your smartphone so have a play around with that like I did and you will get the sound just the way you want it. I have a feeling that this is more aimed at people looking to party, so in that regard the sound is fine.
With a cool and compact design, long battery life, waterproof body and an affordable price. This speaker is pretty awesome.
6. Polk Audio RC55i 2-Way In-Wall Speakers
- They can be hidden in the wall
- Sound is said to be very good
- Speakers are a nice compact size
- Comes with a template to help make installation easier
- Cost just over 120 bucks
- They do require a little DIY
- They are kind of permanent once installed
Now these speakers I did not actually get the chance to test out, but as they are some of the most popular speakers below $200, I wanted to talk about them. The idea of these is that you cut a small space (around 3 and a half inches) into the wall and then you hide the speakers in the wall.
Of course these speakers have a bit more of a setup than a pair that sit on a shelf. You will need to make a space in your wall, but they do give you a template to make it easier. You hook up the wire, connect it to your receiver or whatever it is and you are ready to go. These are the kind of speakers that sound really complicated to install, but the truth is they just require a little bit of work. Of course this will be off putting for some and if you have never done a spot of DIY, you may not want to try this!
When it comes to the sound, most of the reviews are very, very positive. People seem very happy with these and one of the things that caught my attention was some people say there is not even any need for a subwoofer as the bass is just right! Of course as I have not tested these personally I cannot confirm that, but the majority of the reviews are positive.
If you want speakers that are hidden in the wall, have a closer look at these… watch out though as they may be hidden in the wall too good!
7. Pioneer SP-FS52 Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing
- Impressively large design
- Have a really classic look
- No complaints over the sound quality
- You will have no trouble setting them up
- Very strong and high quality design
- May be a little bit large for some rooms
- You have to buy two!
Once again, this one I did not personally test, but when I saw a picture of this awesome floor standing speaker online I was interested in it right away. I love a tall floor standing speaker and at 36 inches high, these dark black and elegant speakers make quite the statement. I know that there large size may put some people off, but I love the design of these.
These are wired speakers so you will need to hook these up to your device via cables. Doing this is actually very easy and even if this is your first set of epic floor standing speakers, I do not see you having any issues hooking these up. The only thing to watch for is that Pioneer sell these individually so you have to order two at the same time! Of course this does make the price go up, but if cool looking floor standing speakers are what you want, I think it is worth it.
The sound quality is said to be very good on these, but from what I have read getting the best sound depends on how you have your settings on your receiver or even directly on your CD player, turntable or whatever. Apart from this most people, even audiophiles are very impressed with the sound quality that these produce.
Floor standing speakers always look cool and if you want speakers that make a statement as well as some good sound, check these out!
What Are The Best Speakers Below $200
I had an awesome time testing out these five speakers and it is actually very hard to pick a winner. I think a lot of it depends on what you want the speaker for. If you want something you can carry around and you stream all your music then you have to go for the JBL or the Big Blue Party Speaker. However if you want something that can do it all then the winner has to be the Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker.
These can be used with wireless and wired devices so you can use them with your turntable for some classic vinyl and also with your phone if you want to listen to something like Spotify. The sound is great, they look cool and they are way under that 200 bucks price tag. That is why I feel that they are the best speakers below $200.