Best Powered Speakers of 2021 Complete Reviews

Best Powered Speakers Reviews

When you are an audiophile, you know the importance of the right speaker. If the purchase went wrong the sound coming out of your speaker will be a cacophony. Purchasing best-powered speakers is a daunting task especially when companies have so many window dressed features. We made your task easy by reviewing best-powered bookshelf speakers with highlighting its pros and cons.

Best active bookshelf speakers are compared on the basis of features offered and its compatibility. The product features offered should also be long lasting apart from unique. We have researched the entire speaker launched or upgraded in 2019 to help you in the selection of best active bookshelf speakers.

Top 5 Powered Speakers Comparison Chart

Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker System
It features a three-way and a bass-reflex system. It offers a quite impressive sound system and features a frequency of 50 K Hz along with the impedance of 6 ohms.
JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker
It is integrated with a wall mount system and offers quick installation. It features a cabinet shape and offers a quite modern and attractive look. It also features a multi-channel system.

Rockville BPA 15 Professional Powered Active Speakers
It features a frequency of 20 Hz to 20 K Hz along with an inbuilt Bluetooth system whose range is up to 32 feet. It features advanced technology and comes in a reasonable price range as well.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
It offers a highly advanced sound quality along with easily controllable features. It is integrated with sturdy wood which makes it highly durable. It comes with a two-year warranty and is quite affordable.

Audio engine A5 Speaker
It features an inbuilt power amplifier and has great compatibility with all types of computers whether it is Mac or PC. It comes in a medium price range and is quite sturdy and durable.

Powered Speakers Reviews

We have selected five best speakers of the year. Their selection has been made on the basis of features offered. Searching best active speakers required a close look at the offerings of the product and analyzing same on the basis of durability, compatibility with amplifier, the requirement of the subwoofer and most important sound quality. The speakers selected are mid-fi and high-end contenders within the budget.

1. Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker System

Sony is offering amazing sound quality for a budgeted price range with its SSCS5 bookshelf speakers. We pick this product for the goodwill Sony has created in sound technology and the price range for which the product has been offered. Also, its unique design and audio codec has created the right buzz in the town. Let see whether Sony delivered the quality again or not.

Product Highlights

Sony has come up with 3 way and 3- speaker Bass system with 5-1/4 inches foamed mica cellular reinforced woofer. It has a 1-inch polyester main tweeter. For immersive sound staging, it has ¾ inch Sony super twitter. For high-resolution audio, it has sound reproduction of 50 KHz and 6ohm speaker impedance. For the clear Audio path, it has optimized cross over component with 100 watts maximum input power. And speaker rated impedance of 6 Ohms is worth mentioning.

What We Like About Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker

  • The sound quality of the speaker is no less than any expensive speaker 5 times its price.
  • Its decent twitter and fair bass make movie sound amazing.
  • Speed and pitch discernment is amazing for high and low frequency.

What We Don’t Like About Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speaker

  • If you are using an Auto switch, the speaker will switch down in every 10 minutes which is frustrating especially during a TV show
  • The on and off click sound in between a show is really annoying.
  • The enclosure is way too much narrow to play tight bass frequencies.
  • Connectors are too small for 12 gauge and banana plug.
  • Cost Effective
  • Good sound quality for movies and
  • Good quality Bass
  • ATMOS certified
  • Do not perform well for rock music due to lack of midrange
  • Sound muffle for midrange
  • Plastic Body

2. JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker

We pick up this speaker especially for its size and sound quality. These bookshelf speakers are literally small in size with amazing sound quality. It has wall mounting feature with a shallow depth and built-in keyhole mounting and channels down the back of the cabinet for speaker wire to lie. The speaker has proved its merit for surround sound, garage or PC speakers but for two channels their low ends are more of hollow. Let’s discuss its product highlights followed by pros and cons.

Product Highlights

JBL Arena B15 has 1-inch soft dome tweeter for clean and powerful high sounds. Its 5.5 inches poly cellulose woofer for room-filling sound, TV shows movies and console gaming. The integrated wall mount solution assures flexibility in installation and system configuration. The cabinet shape black speakers look aesthetic in look. We can use it as a bookshelf or surround system stereo as per convenience. These are sealed speakers, unlike other open-air ported one. The cross over is listed at 18lb per octave at 2500 Hz which is sonically amazing indeed especially the price range in which it is offered.

What We Like About JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker

  • Their wall mount features and light weight add to its portability
  • Fine mid range with clean and crisp sound.
  • Soft dome twitter is more of natural sounding, unlike another metal speaker.
  • Good sound quality at the given price
  • Its build with thin horizontal bezel and sheen logo contrast along with wood washed MDF enhance its portability.
  • Pretty suitable for Movies, video, and televisions.

What We Don’t Like About JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker

  • It’s more of surround speaker. So if you are searching for two channel speaker it’s not your product.
  • They are a shallow, 4-inch deep cabinet, with no port. Therefore bass response does not go low enough.
  • No F3 Points are given
  • Its 30W power handling and 86 sensitive rating, though loud, not sufficient for the large hall with full fledge home theater system.
  • Its size is the most highlighted feature to mention. They are small wall mount speakers which are certainly not a stereo set if that is what you are looking for.

Best Powered Speakers

  • Nice Balance between the high and low range
  • Low-efficiency rating speaker
  • Portable with nice durability
  • Tight sound without any port noise
  • Budget price
  • Rated down only 100 Hz
  • Required to tandem with subwoofer
  • Not a standalone speaker
  • Not a surround sound speaker
  • Proper descriptions not provided on the working and dimensions of the speaker

3. Rockville BPA 15 Professional Powered Active Speakers

Rockville has professional power speaker with many special features offered. We included these speakers especially for the features offered by the company.

It has high portability with the built-in wheel and handles. And durability has been taken care of with rugged high ABS construction. It also has an amplifier clip limit LED indicator and power LED cabinet rear. Its versatile trapezoidal enclosure and play socket for easy positioning and mounting respectively.

It also has built-in Fm radio with 10 US and European tuning. It also has 110/220 volt switchable power supply with external user serviceable fusing.

Product Highlights

Rockville BPA 15 inch has powered PA speaker with superior sound quality and power.

It’s Professional powered speaker with 15 inches 800 watts peak, 400 watts program and 200 watts RMS. It has high powered long throw 15-inch woofer with 2.5-inch KVS voice. It has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. It has Bluetooth signal input with 32 feet range. It has promised distortion-free playback. The company has offered power speaker with dimensions of 16.15 inches length * 14.18 inches width and 27.19 height with a weight of 33LBS.

It will add special effect to any preprogrammed audio files and amplified it within the signals. The remote control is an added value with USB/SD digital MP3 music player and LCD screen display to increases connectivity. Its channel features XLR and ¼ inches TRS input with volume control and channel 2 features XLR, RCA and 1/8 inches aux input with volume control.XLR line output for connecting to additional powered speakers or subwoofer. Its sound system is 2-way pro sound reinforcement for both live sound and playback application.

It has built-in 2 Ban equalizers’ which adjust high and low frequencies separately. The company claims that a compact and lightweight sound system provides distortion-free sound at extreme SPL also. It also claims that its amplifier technology will provide high power, transparent and sonic performance. For that, it has 1-inch pure titanium diaphragm compression driver and 45 inches horizontal waveguide horn which is molded directly in the cabinet.

What We Like About Rockville BPA 15 Professional Powered Active Speakers

  • Deep Bass and acoustic power
  • It’s lightweight with high portability and durability.
  • It has built-in FM radio with 10 channel tune space available.
  • It features 800 watt super efficient speaker with high, mid and bass sound.
  • It has 15 inches built-in woofer and 2.5-watt KVS voice coil which provide loud and deep bass sound quality. It has a magnet and voice coil integrated into woofer with upgraded tweeter and horn.
  • Bluetooth integration is easy to use and reliable.

What We Don’t Like About Rockville BPA 15 Professional Powered Active Speakers

  • Though it’s a good bass still not the replacement of subwoofer.
  • It started heating up on playing loud. If not careful speaker could be burnt out.
  • Chord is a little bit short which required extension wire.
  • Sub Bass is lacking

Best Active Bookshelf Speakers

  • Lightweight
  • Bluetooth
  • Remote control
  • Price range
  • A better option for DJs
  • Live sound has poor performance
  • Do not have a master volume
  • Do not have very strong Bass
  • The burning smell of speakers

4. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier powered speaker has come up with 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated flared bass reflex port. The company claims to provide robust, rich bass notes with depth and lively sound. The company has especially highlighted its digital Signal processing (DSP) and dynamic range control (DRC) to limit distortion if any. It also has a wireless remote control with other feature offered.

Product Highlights

The main product highlight includes built which is a blend of modern and traditional looks. It’s a 2.0 speaker system with 4inch bass drivers and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port. It has baas, treble and volume dials for the personalized listening experience. For enhancing convenience remote control has been provided with which you can adjust your speaker voice without any hassle. Digital volume power control provides comfortable micro adjustment in between -6 to +6 dB. It has a passive and active speaker with two input ports RCA, AUX connections.

What We Like About Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

  • R1280T has dual RCA input which helps in connecting it to multiple devices.
  • Built-in design with a fusion of retro and modern look.
  • Sound quality has clean audibility in both high and low range.
  • Remote control with three commands namely up, down and mute. The remote covers a pretty good range.
  • Wires are included with the speakers.

What We Don’t Like About Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

  • Side control includes bass, treble, and volume. The volume control does not have a volume up or down button. You can only start and stop the volume control button.
  • In remote to go from volume zero to volume 100, you have to go through 50 clicks.

Best Powered Speakers

  • Construction quality
  • The powered speaker does not need amplifiers
  • Bass and treble control fine-tune the sound to the desired level
  • Speaker has a great volume range
  • Good for mid-level sound quality
  • Minimal or lack of customer support
  • Can't turn them on and off with the remote
  • XLR port is missing
  • From 50 to 1000 Hz some unevenness in sound noticed

5. Audio Engine A5 Speaker

We have included Audio engine A5 speaker in the list for its built-in power amplifier and 50 watts per channel RMS. Its compatibility with MAC and PC with similar ports and features is worth mentioning. It has customer Kevlar woofers and silk tweeters. The company has also worked on improving the thermal management.

Product Highlights

The A 5+ powered speaker come up with remote control RCA input and USB power. Cables are included with the speaker. It has no network set up required. It is highly portable with a big sound to fill any room. TO add on it has 5 inches woofer, desktop stand, and wireless option.

What We Like About Audio Engine A5 Speaker

  • It is easy to stream with your mobile phone with Google chromo cast.
  • Sound quality is really good for the price range.
  • We like it’s a nice gloss to finish a lot
  • Overheating issue of A5 has been addressed with improved thermal management.
  • Long supplier wire with a thin diameter

What We Don’t Like About Audio Engine A5 Speaker

  • It has sleazy mid bass perhaps from the peak in frequency response.
  • Bass extension is not up to the mark
  • A lot of equalization needed

Best Powered Speakers Reviews

  • Easy to set up
  • Good sound quality
  • Google chromo last
  • A remote is lacking to adjust the volume
  • Durability has been questioned by many users

Powered Speakers Buyer’s Guide

If the right set of the speaker being purchased and taken care of it will long last for years. Also as these are bookshelf speakers therefore there portability is a matter to consider. Therefore keep in mind where you want to place your speaker actually on bookshelves or on a speaker stand or any other place. Following features must be taken care of while purchasing the speakers –


First of all, make sure that your amplifier should be in alignment with your speaker. So that it could drive it effectively. Impedance refers to the resistance of the speaker for electrical signals. It is measured in ohm. This power resistant is needed so that when amplifier sends the signals it should not burn the speakers. For an 8-ohm impedance speaker, the normal amplifier will be okay. But for a lower impedance speaker more high voltage amplifier is needed. So if you’re purchasing low impedance speaker, below 8 Ohm, look for the power of the amplifier.


Sensitivity refers to how loud the speaker plays for per watt of power consumed. A speaker with high sensitivity will require less power and vice versa. Generally, a bookshelf speaker should have sensitivity in the range of 80db to 100db.

Sound Characteristics

The synergy between speaker and amplifier is known as sound characteristics. The speakers and amplifier are categorized into bright, laid back and punchy. You need to combine different category speaker with an amplifier to get the best-required sound.

Powered Speakers FAQs

Can Speaker Brands be Mixed and Matched?

Yes, it could be mixed together. What needed to be taken care of is compatibility. Different speakers have a different signature sound. Therefore sometimes combining them together deteriorate the sound quality instead of enhancing them. Therefore proper research on compatibility to be done while searching for the mix and match speakers.

Could Subwoofer of a Different Brand Than the Speaker Itself?

Yes, they both could be of different brands. The subwoofer provides enhance the bass sound, therefore, choose any subwoofer which is best in doing that and connect it with your speaker.

Can These Directly Connect With Television?

It depends upon the features of the speaker. If it has connectivity Port to connect with television (which most the speakers have!) you can connect it directly with television. Similarly to connect it with PC or MAC different connectivity port is required.

Final Verdict

We know how careful you are when it comes to choosing the speaker. Therefore we have listed all product descriptions broadly with our technical likes and dislikes with general pros and cons. When it comes to best-powered speaker’s connectivity, specs and twitter size create a lot of differences. Our picks have established its name in best-powered bookshelf speakers and will never disappoint you in terms of best active bookshelf speakers.

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