Tag Archives: Speakers

Which of You Nerds Is Going to Buy This Pirelli Bluetooth Speaker?

See that perfectly nice, well-lit living room? How there are books and nice plants in the background? And on the glass coffee table, some reading glasses, magazines, an iPhone and a, um, bigass tire? Is this really working with the aesthetic of this room?

Read more…

Build a Miniature Speaker with a Built-In Visualizer

Speakers aren’t particularly expensive these days, but most of them lack much in the way of character. If you don’t mind slopping on a bit of elbow grease, Instructables user andy.spikenzielabs shows off how to build a little micro speaker that has a small visualizer built into it.

You’ll need some basic soldering skills here, alongside a small LED matrix, some cables, and a speaker. Everything’s enclosed in a laser cut acrylic case and a local hackerspace should be able to help you get that made if you’re interested. Otherwise, you’ll find the full guide, alongside plenty of photos, over on Instructables.

The Musixel Boombox | Instructables

Built a Tiny, Portable Speaker and LED Lamp Inside a Tic Tac Box

If you’re interested in making a weird, but possibly useful little multipurpose device, Instructables user diyfuntech shows off a way to build a speaker/flashlight inside a Tic Tac box.

When you finish this project, you’ll have a super bright LED lamp and a tiny little speaker that accepts an auxiliary input. You’ll still need a power supply or battery to power the whole thing, but it’s probably handy to keep around for power outages. If nothing else, it looks fun to build. Head over to Instructables for the full guide.

TicTac Portable Speaker | Instructables

Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

Logitech's Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

If you have a great pair of bookshelf speakers or even computer speakers, but wish you could stream music from a phone, a laptop, or another device without rearranging wires, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter is for you. It’s tiny, affordable, and makes any set of speakers you plug it into Bluetooth and wireless.

For about $27 at Amazon, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter can turn just about any set of speakers into Bluetooth ones. That’s a huge deal if you have an audio setup that you love, or invested good money into, but you want the good sound your quality speakers offer but have laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other audio sources in your home that aren’t connected to them. Just connect the audio adapter to your receiver or your speakers via 3.5mm or RCA, power it up, and you have a new Bluetooth audio device in your home.

Put the adapter into pairing mode, and pair it with any other Bluetooth devices—your laptop that’s not connected to your stereo, your iPad or Android tablet, your friend’s phone (who’s over to visit and wants to play you his new favorite track), your spouse’s computer, whatever you want. Think of it as a more universal approach to technologies like AirPlay, Google Cast, or even a non-geeky approach to DLNA. Pretty much everyone understands Bluetooth, and you don’t need to download a special app or use a special tool to make this puppy work.

Of course, if you’re already a DLNA master and don’t need another gadget, or you’d prefer a Chromecast audio for your in-home streaming needs, you may not need something like this—but even for the money, the convenience, simplicity, and broad cross-platform, cross-device support just can’t be beat.

Bluetooth Audio Adapter | Logitech

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-980-0…

Everyone Can Save $30 on an Amazon Echo, Today Only

In spite of all the snark when it first launched, the Amazon Echo is actually pretty great, and everybody can save $30 on theirs for a limited time, including non-Prime members.

http://gizmodo.com/amazon-echo-re…

As we reported earlier, it’s actually still possible to save $50 on an Echo if you’re approved for an Amazon Store Card (which you should probably have anyway), but if you don’t feel like signing up for a new credit card, this is still a solid discount. [Amazon Echo, $150]

http://deals.kinja.com/amazon-store-c…

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00…


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more. We want your feedback.

Send deal submissions to Deals@Gawker and all other inquiries to Shane@Gawker.

AmpMe Links Multiple Phone Speakers Together Into One Sound System

Android/iOS: Want to create a big speaker system, but don’t have any actual speakers? AmpMe is an app that allows you to chain together phones and Bluetooth speakers into one big synchronized sound system.

Once AmpMe is installed on your phone and a few others, the host simply needs to start playing music, then everyone else can join in to turn their phones into speakers as well. Sadly, it only works with SoundCloud, so there’s not a ton of options for music, but it’s easy enough to find something to listen to. The end result is a loud, tinny, cacophony of music, but it certainly works well in a pinch. Though, if you don’t have any friends, a paper cup works just as well.

http://lifehacker.com/5912474/the-be…

AmpMe (Free) | Google Play
AmpMe (Free) | iTunes App Store

Restore and Upgrade Vintage Speakers with a DIY Capacitor Replacement

Scoring a pair of old, well-constructed speakers at a yard sale or thrift store isn’t unusual, but those old speakers may need a little TLC to get back in prime, proper-sounding shape. In this tutorial from Possibly Unsafe, Patrick Norton and Michael Hand show you how a simple capacitor replacement makes a world of difference.

Refurbishing old speakers is a great hobby once you get into it, and some of those old, vintage speakers you might pick up from your local Goodwill or an estate sale can cost you a fraction of what you’d spend otherwise and deliver far superior sound for your money. That is, once you’ve cracked them open and given them a little restoration. In this walkthrough, Patrick and Michael open up a pair of old Klipsch speakers and explain that as you use speakers over time, the ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) goes up because of wear and tear on the capacitors. The highs in your music begin to fade away, and overall the sound gets flatter with decades of use.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to correct if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, grab a screwdriver and a soldering iron, and of course, some replacement capacitors for the ones already in your speakers. The whole video walks you through the process step by step, so check it out above, or at the link below.

Replacing Vintage Speaker Capacitors | Possibly Unsafe

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

A good pair of space-saving, budget-friendly, great-sounding speakers aren’t impossible to find. You just need a solid set of bookshelf speakers, and this week we’re looking at five pairs that meet those criteria—base on your nominations, of course.

Earlier in the week we asked you which bookshelf speakers you thought were the best at delivering great sound, space savings, expandability, and decent looks, all without crushing your bank account. You delivered way more suggestions at all price points than we could highlight here, but here are your top five, in no particular order:http://lifehacker.com/what-are-the-b…

Pioneer SP-BS22LR

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Pioneer’s SP-BS22LR Andrew Jones-designed bookshelf speakers may not have a fancy name or anything, but they do have the honor of being budget friendly (only about $127 at Amazon), and being praised by by The Wirecutter as their budget-friendly pick for great bookshelf speakers. They sound great, work well on their own or as part of a larger setup, and at their price you can pick them up and then add additional channels and speakers later to expand your setup, or leave them on their own with enough juice to sound out a small space—it’s completely up to you. Their flexibility is their strongest suit. Each one packs a 4” structured surface woofer and a 1” dome tweeter, 80 watt power handling, 6 ohm impedance, 55Hz-20kHz frequency response, and, as The Wirecutter notes, sound way better than other speakers at their price range. Of course, stepping up to $300-$400 will open more doors and offer more options, but since budget is a consideration in our roundup (and it was in theirs too), these are a great buy for the buck.http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS2…

Those of you who nominated the SP-BS22LR noted that they sound amazing for the price, are perfect for smaller spaces like dorm rooms, apartments, home offices, and other enclosed space where you might not need the full power of a huge speaker setup, and that they’re often on sale—to the point where some of you said you picked up a pair for as low as $60-$80. That’s an incredible price cut, but more than a few of you called it out. Others of you pointed out that they’re not exactly the most attractive speakers, but they do sound solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Dayton Audio B652

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Dayton Audio’s B652 bookshelf speakers are only about a food tall, but hide a 6.5” woofer and 5/8” dome tweeter in their small stature, come highly recommended by the folks at Stereophile for being great-sounding in their price range. They’ll set you back a measley $43 at Amazon. For your money you get 40 watts of power handling (75W maximum), 70Hz–20kHz frequency response, 8 ohm impedance, clarity and sound quality that would normally come in speakers more than twice this price, and a good-looking black ebony pica vinyl finish. Make no mistake, these aren’t the best when it comes to sound quality, but if sound quality is one factor and you use more than that to determine what the best is, these are worth considering.http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-B…

Those of you who nominated these simply pointed out that they produce crisp, clear sound, take up very little space, and are perfect for just about every application in any room of the house. You may want something more powerful for the home theater, but if you’re lookign for a cheap pair of speakers for a side setup, the home office, a kid’s room, or somewhere else you want good sound without spending a ton of dough, these are solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Audioengine P4 Passive Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

At about $249 at Amazon for a pair, Audioengine’s P4B passive speakers have earned a wide following for being expandable and capable of sounding out both small and large spaces without taking up a lot of space, or really emptying your wallet. At about 9” tall, featuring 58Hz-22kHz frequency response, 4 ohm impedance, 125W maximum power handling, and a 4” kevlar woofer paired with a 3/4” dome tweeter, There’s a reason Audioengine was pretty popular in the nominations round (if not for these specific speakers, some of their others made the nominations round too.) A space-saving design with threaded inserts for mounting on the back or securing to a stand on the bottom complete the package, with the cabinet made of thick resin MDF that may not be the prettiest to people who love wood exteriors, but that’s designed to keep noise and unwanted sound reflection from inside the cabinet down. They even come with their own cloth storage bags, and while they’re not on sale at Amazon right now, they’ve frequently seen discounts from time to time. They’re also available in black (shown here), white, or bamboo.http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-Bl…

In the nomination thread, more than a few of you sang the praises of the P4s, while some of you mentioned the amplified the cousins of the P4, the A5+ powered speakers and the A2+ desktop speakers. In every case, more than a few of you pointed out that these have been the best speakers you’ve ever owned, and while there are lots of space-saving speakers in this price bracket, they offer solid design, good sound, and expandability if you want to tack them onto a larger home entertainment center later, or use them for another purpose somewhere down the line. Full disclosure, while I didn’t nominate these myself, I have a pair and love the way they sound. To be fair though, our own Whitson Gordon has had a pair too, and he didn’t care for them much. You can read more in its nomination thread.


Klipsch RB-61 II

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Stepping up in price, but up again in quality as well, the Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf reference speakers are $400 at Amazon, but that’s down from their $500+ retail price. These speakers are extremely well loved among Amazon reviewers (they have a full five stars after about 50 reviews), and a little bit bigger than some of the others in the roundup. They stand about 15” tall, 12” deep, at about 8” wide, but the copper-on-black design of the woofers and the cabinets is definitely striking, and good looking if you like the aesthetic. The cabinets are black ash woodgrain vinyl, and the speaker offers 100W power handling (400W maximum), 8 ohm impedance, 45Hz-24KHz frequency response, and a 6.5” cone woofer. This model is likely due to be replaced soon, so they’re affordable for the sound they pack, and they’re particularly designed for medium-sized spaces, so you can sound out an apartment, living room or den, or any sized space pretty well without having to leave a huge footprint in your setup just for speakers.http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere…

Those of you who nominated the Klipsch RB-61 IIs pointed out that part of their allure is the fact that they sound great in medium-sized spaces and they don’t cost a fortune like some other standing sets can, and they offer solid, well-proven sound at a price range that’s absolutely cluttered with models that perform well, but not necessarily remarkably—at least, not enough to make you think they’re worth the money. You also noted that they generally require less power to run, unlike many other speakers its size and power, and it strikes the perfect balance there. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


M-Audio AV 40

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

M-Audio’s AV 40s are well known, popular speakers, for good reason. They’re powered, which means you can connect them directly to your audio source without an amp. They’re pretty small too, standing at about 8” high, and about that deep. They pack 20W per channel in amplified power handling, 85Hz-20kHz frequency response, 10 ohm impedance, and a 4” woofer paired with a 1” cone tweeter. These are a little unlike the others, but they pack big sound in a small package. They’re certainly not for large spaces, or even in the same arena you could probably get for home theater systems, but they’ll set you back $121 at Amazon and can be connected to multiple audio sources, making them perfect for desktop setups, mixing stations, or second rooms. Their versatility and significant sound for the money make them really popular among people who want power and clarity in small spaces, like dorm rooms or home offices. They even have front ports for headphones or an auxiliary input, so you can connect something like a phone or a music player.http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studio…

Those of you who nominated the AV 40s pointed out that these things are built like tanks, and the wood-and-MDF cabinets are tough to damage. They’re heavy, but they’re small, and they’re portable enough to take with you anywhere you need, and despite their intended design for small spaces, you said they’re very much capable of sounding out larger spaces—like a school gym, for example. You also pointed out that these have come down significantly in price over the years, making them even more attractive now than they used to be. You can read more in their nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the Lifehacker community favorite:


Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions go out to KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3, which will set you back $147 each at Amazon. For their price, they deliver incredible sound, and you pointed out that they were intended to be low level studio monitors, much like the AV 40s above, but they’re expandable and sound great on their own even in home theater setups or home office setups at your desk. These are also powered speakers, so they’re versatile enough to be connected right to a computer or another audio source, or to get hooked up to a receiver. You can read its nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/KRK-RP5G3-NA-G…

We should also give a shout out to the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II, which will set you back about $150 at Amazon. Polk is almost always highly recommended, and those of you who nominated them said that their price point belies truly superior sound that’s easily expanded with additional speakers in your home entertainment setup. You praise their high quality, all-wood construction, and your connection options in the back as well. All in all, they’re a solid investment. You can read more in their nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-AM4…

Of course, if you’re looking for bigger sound and you have a budget to match, check out our roundup of the five best overall living room speaker sets for options that may cost more and take up a much bigger footprint in your space, but deliver sound to match. http://lifehacker.com/5977261/five-b…

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Title photo by Razvan Donca (Shutterstock).

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

A good pair of space-saving, budget-friendly, great-sounding speakers aren’t impossible to find. You just need a solid set of bookshelf speakers, and this week we’re looking at five pairs that meet those criteria—base on your nominations, of course.

Earlier in the week we asked you which bookshelf speakers you thought were the best at delivering great sound, space savings, expandability, and decent looks, all without crushing your bank account. You delivered way more suggestions at all price points than we could highlight here, but here are your top five, in no particular order:http://lifehacker.com/what-are-the-b…

Pioneer SP-BS22LR

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Pioneer’s SP-BS22LR Andrew Jones-designed bookshelf speakers may not have a fancy name or anything, but they do have the honor of being budget friendly (only about $127 at Amazon), and being praised by by The Wirecutter as their budget-friendly pick for great bookshelf speakers. They sound great, work well on their own or as part of a larger setup, and at their price you can pick them up and then add additional channels and speakers later to expand your setup, or leave them on their own with enough juice to sound out a small space—it’s completely up to you. Their flexibility is their strongest suit. Each one packs a 4” structured surface woofer and a 1” dome tweeter, 80 watt power handling, 6 ohm impedance, 55Hz-20kHz frequency response, and, as The Wirecutter notes, sound way better than other speakers at their price range. Of course, stepping up to $300-$400 will open more doors and offer more options, but since budget is a consideration in our roundup (and it was in theirs too), these are a great buy for the buck.http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS2…

Those of you who nominated the SP-BS22LR noted that they sound amazing for the price, are perfect for smaller spaces like dorm rooms, apartments, home offices, and other enclosed space where you might not need the full power of a huge speaker setup, and that they’re often on sale—to the point where some of you said you picked up a pair for as low as $60-$80. That’s an incredible price cut, but more than a few of you called it out. Others of you pointed out that they’re not exactly the most attractive speakers, but they do sound solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Dayton Audio B652

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Dayton Audio’s B652 bookshelf speakers are only about a food tall, but hide a 6.5” woofer and 5/8” dome tweeter in their small stature, come highly recommended by the folks at Stereophile for being great-sounding in their price range. They’ll set you back a measley $43 at Amazon. For your money you get 40 watts of power handling (75W maximum), 70Hz–20kHz frequency response, 8 ohm impedance, clarity and sound quality that would normally come in speakers more than twice this price, and a good-looking black ebony pica vinyl finish. Make no mistake, these aren’t the best when it comes to sound quality, but if sound quality is one factor and you use more than that to determine what the best is, these are worth considering.http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-B…

Those of you who nominated these simply pointed out that they produce crisp, clear sound, take up very little space, and are perfect for just about every application in any room of the house. You may want something more powerful for the home theater, but if you’re lookign for a cheap pair of speakers for a side setup, the home office, a kid’s room, or somewhere else you want good sound without spending a ton of dough, these are solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Audioengine P4 Passive Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

At about $249 at Amazon for a pair, Audioengine’s P4B passive speakers have earned a wide following for being expandable and capable of sounding out both small and large spaces without taking up a lot of space, or really emptying your wallet. At about 9” tall, featuring 58Hz-22kHz frequency response, 4 ohm impedance, 125W maximum power handling, and a 4” kevlar woofer paired with a 3/4” dome tweeter, There’s a reason Audioengine was pretty popular in the nominations round (if not for these specific speakers, some of their others made the nominations round too.) A space-saving design with threaded inserts for mounting on the back or securing to a stand on the bottom complete the package, with the cabinet made of thick resin MDF that may not be the prettiest to people who love wood exteriors, but that’s designed to keep noise and unwanted sound reflection from inside the cabinet down. They even come with their own cloth storage bags, and while they’re not on sale at Amazon right now, they’ve frequently seen discounts from time to time. They’re also available in black (shown here), white, or bamboo.http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-Bl…

In the nomination thread, more than a few of you sang the praises of the P4s, while some of you mentioned the amplified the cousins of the P4, the A5+ powered speakers and the A2+ desktop speakers. In every case, more than a few of you pointed out that these have been the best speakers you’ve ever owned, and while there are lots of space-saving speakers in this price bracket, they offer solid design, good sound, and expandability if you want to tack them onto a larger home entertainment center later, or use them for another purpose somewhere down the line. Full disclosure, while I didn’t nominate these myself, I have a pair and love the way they sound. To be fair though, our own Whitson Gordon has had a pair too, and he didn’t care for them much. You can read more in its nomination thread.


Klipsch RB-61 II

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Stepping up in price, but up again in quality as well, the Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf reference speakers are $400 at Amazon, but that’s down from their $500+ retail price. These speakers are extremely well loved among Amazon reviewers (they have a full five stars after about 50 reviews), and a little bit bigger than some of the others in the roundup. They stand about 15” tall, 12” deep, at about 8” wide, but the copper-on-black design of the woofers and the cabinets is definitely striking, and good looking if you like the aesthetic. The cabinets are black ash woodgrain vinyl, and the speaker offers 100W power handling (400W maximum), 8 ohm impedance, 45Hz-24KHz frequency response, and a 6.5” cone woofer. This model is likely due to be replaced soon, so they’re affordable for the sound they pack, and they’re particularly designed for medium-sized spaces, so you can sound out an apartment, living room or den, or any sized space pretty well without having to leave a huge footprint in your setup just for speakers.http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere…

Those of you who nominated the Klipsch RB-61 IIs pointed out that part of their allure is the fact that they sound great in medium-sized spaces and they don’t cost a fortune like some other standing sets can, and they offer solid, well-proven sound at a price range that’s absolutely cluttered with models that perform well, but not necessarily remarkably—at least, not enough to make you think they’re worth the money. You also noted that they generally require less power to run, unlike many other speakers its size and power, and it strikes the perfect balance there. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


M-Audio AV 40

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

M-Audio’s AV 40s are well known, popular speakers, for good reason. They’re powered, which means you can connect them either directly to your sound source without an amp, or you can connect them to a powered sound source like a receiver, the same way you would with traditional speakers. They’re pretty small too, standing at about 8” high, and about that deep. They pack 20W per channel in amplified power handling, 85Hz-20kHz frequency response, 10 ohm impedance, and a 4” woofer paired with a 1” cone tweeter. These are a little unlike the others, but they pack big sound in a small package. They’re certainly not for large spaces, or even in the same arena you could probably get for home theater systems, but they’ll set you back $121 at Amazon and can be connected to multiple audio sources, making them perfect for desktop setups, mixing stations, or second rooms. Their versatility and significant sound for the money make them really popular among people who want power and clarity in small spaces, like dorm rooms or home offices. They even have front ports for headphones or an auxiliary input, so you can connect something like a phone or a music player.http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studio…

Those of you who nominated the AV 40s pointed out that these things are built like tanks, and the wood-and-MDF cabinets are tough to damage. They’re heavy, but they’re small, and they’re portable enough to take with you anywhere you need, and despite their intended design for small spaces, you said they’re very much capable of sounding out larger spaces—like a school gym, for example. You also pointed out that these have come down significantly in price over the years, making them even more attractive now than they used to be. You can read more in their nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the Lifehacker community favorite:


Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions go out to KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3, which will set you back $147 per pair at Amazon. For their price, they deliver incredible sound, and you pointed out that they were intended to be low level studio monitors, much like the AV 40s above, but they’re expandable and sound great on their own even in home theater setups or home office setups at your desk. These are also powered speakers, so they’re versatile enough to be connected right to a computer or another audio source, or to get hooked up to a receiver. You can read its nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/KRK-RP5G3-NA-G…

We should also give a shout out to the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II, which will set you back about $150 at Amazon. Polk is almost always highly recommended, and those of you who nominated them said that their price point belies truly superior sound that’s easily expanded with additional speakers in your home entertainment setup. You praise their high quality, all-wood construction, and your connection options in the back as well. All in all, they’re a solid investment. You can read more in their nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-AM4…

Of course, if you’re looking for bigger sound and you have a budget to match, check out our roundup of the five best overall living room speaker sets for options that may cost more and take up a much bigger footprint in your space, but deliver sound to match. http://lifehacker.com/5977261/five-b…

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Title photo by Razvan Donca (Shutterstock).

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

A good pair of space-saving, budget-friendly, great-sounding speakers aren’t impossible to find. You just need a solid set of bookshelf speakers, and this week we’re looking at five pairs that meet those criteria—base on your nominations, of course.

Earlier in the week we asked you which bookshelf speakers you thought were the best at delivering great sound, space savings, expandability, and decent looks, all without crushing your bank account. You delivered way more suggestions at all price points than we could highlight here, but here are your top five, in no particular order:http://lifehacker.com/what-are-the-b…

Pioneer SP-BS22LR

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Pioneer’s SP-BS22LR Andrew Jones-designed bookshelf speakers may not have a fancy name or anything, but they do have the honor of being budget friendly (only about $127 at Amazon), and being praised by by The Wirecutter as their budget-friendly pick for great bookshelf speakers. They sound great, work well on their own or as part of a larger setup, and at their price you can pick them up and then add additional channels and speakers later to expand your setup, or leave them on their own with enough juice to sound out a small space—it’s completely up to you. Their flexibility is their strongest suit. Each one packs a 4” structured surface woofer and a 1” dome tweeter, 80 watt power handling, 6 ohm impedance, 55Hz-20kHz frequency response, and, as The Wirecutter notes, sound way better than other speakers at their price range. Of course, stepping up to $300-$400 will open more doors and offer more options, but since budget is a consideration in our roundup (and it was in theirs too), these are a great buy for the buck.http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS2…

Those of you who nominated the SP-BS22LR noted that they sound amazing for the price, are perfect for smaller spaces like dorm rooms, apartments, home offices, and other enclosed space where you might not need the full power of a huge speaker setup, and that they’re often on sale—to the point where some of you said you picked up a pair for as low as $60-$80. That’s an incredible price cut, but more than a few of you called it out. Others of you pointed out that they’re not exactly the most attractive speakers, but they do sound solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Dayton Audio B652

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Dayton Audio’s B652 bookshelf speakers are only about a food tall, but hide a 6.5” woofer and 5/8” dome tweeter in their small stature, come highly recommended by the folks at Stereophile for being great-sounding in their price range. They’ll set you back a measley $43 at Amazon. For your money you get 40 watts of power handling (75W maximum), 70Hz–20kHz frequency response, 8 ohm impedance, clarity and sound quality that would normally come in speakers more than twice this price, and a good-looking black ebony pica vinyl finish. Make no mistake, these aren’t the best when it comes to sound quality, but if sound quality is one factor and you use more than that to determine what the best is, these are worth considering.http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-B…

Those of you who nominated these simply pointed out that they produce crisp, clear sound, take up very little space, and are perfect for just about every application in any room of the house. You may want something more powerful for the home theater, but if you’re lookign for a cheap pair of speakers for a side setup, the home office, a kid’s room, or somewhere else you want good sound without spending a ton of dough, these are solid. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


Audioengine P4 Passive Bookshelf Speakers

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

At about $249 at Amazon for a pair, Audioengine’s P4B passive speakers have earned a wide following for being expandable and capable of sounding out both small and large spaces without taking up a lot of space, or really emptying your wallet. At about 9” tall, featuring 58Hz-22kHz frequency response, 4 ohm impedance, 125W maximum power handling, and a 4” kevlar woofer paired with a 3/4” dome tweeter, There’s a reason Audioengine was pretty popular in the nominations round (if not for these specific speakers, some of their others made the nominations round too.) A space-saving design with threaded inserts for mounting on the back or securing to a stand on the bottom complete the package, with the cabinet made of thick resin MDF that may not be the prettiest to people who love wood exteriors, but that’s designed to keep noise and unwanted sound reflection from inside the cabinet down. They even come with their own cloth storage bags, and while they’re not on sale at Amazon right now, they’ve frequently seen discounts from time to time. They’re also available in black (shown here), white, or bamboo.http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-Bl…

In the nomination thread, more than a few of you sang the praises of the P4s, while some of you mentioned the amplified the cousins of the P4, the A5+ powered speakers and the A2+ desktop speakers. In every case, more than a few of you pointed out that these have been the best speakers you’ve ever owned, and while there are lots of space-saving speakers in this price bracket, they offer solid design, good sound, and expandability if you want to tack them onto a larger home entertainment center later, or use them for another purpose somewhere down the line. Full disclosure, while I didn’t nominate these myself, I have a pair and love the way they sound. To be fair though, our own Whitson Gordon has had a pair too, and he didn’t care for them much. You can read more in its nomination thread.


Klipsch RB-61 II

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

Stepping up in price, but up again in quality as well, the Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf reference speakers are $400 at Amazon, but that’s down from their $500+ retail price. These speakers are extremely well loved among Amazon reviewers (they have a full five stars after about 50 reviews), and a little bit bigger than some of the others in the roundup. They stand about 15” tall, 12” deep, at about 8” wide, but the copper-on-black design of the woofers and the cabinets is definitely striking, and good looking if you like the aesthetic. The cabinets are black ash woodgrain vinyl, and the speaker offers 100W power handling (400W maximum), 8 ohm impedance, 45Hz-24KHz frequency response, and a 6.5” cone woofer. This model is likely due to be replaced soon, so they’re affordable for the sound they pack, and they’re particularly designed for medium-sized spaces, so you can sound out an apartment, living room or den, or any sized space pretty well without having to leave a huge footprint in your setup just for speakers.http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere…

Those of you who nominated the Klipsch RB-61 IIs pointed out that part of their allure is the fact that they sound great in medium-sized spaces and they don’t cost a fortune like some other standing sets can, and they offer solid, well-proven sound at a price range that’s absolutely cluttered with models that perform well, but not necessarily remarkably—at least, not enough to make you think they’re worth the money. You also noted that they generally require less power to run, unlike many other speakers its size and power, and it strikes the perfect balance there. You can read more in its nomination thread here.


M-Audio AV 40

Five Best Bookshelf Speakers

M-Audio’s AV 40s are well known, popular speakers, for good reason. They’re powered, which means you can connect them directly to your audio source without an amp. They’re pretty small too, standing at about 8” high, and about that deep. They pack 20W per channel in amplified power handling, 85Hz-20kHz frequency response, 10 ohm impedance, and a 4” woofer paired with a 1” cone tweeter. These are a little unlike the others, but they pack big sound in a small package. They’re certainly not for large spaces, or even in the same arena you could probably get for home theater systems, but they’ll set you back $121 at Amazon and can be connected to multiple audio sources, making them perfect for desktop setups, mixing stations, or second rooms. Their versatility and significant sound for the money make them really popular among people who want power and clarity in small spaces, like dorm rooms or home offices. They even have front ports for headphones or an auxiliary input, so you can connect something like a phone or a music player.http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studio…

Those of you who nominated the AV 40s pointed out that these things are built like tanks, and the wood-and-MDF cabinets are tough to damage. They’re heavy, but they’re small, and they’re portable enough to take with you anywhere you need, and despite their intended design for small spaces, you said they’re very much capable of sounding out larger spaces—like a school gym, for example. You also pointed out that these have come down significantly in price over the years, making them even more attractive now than they used to be. You can read more in their nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the Lifehacker community favorite:


Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions go out to KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3, which will set you back $147 each at Amazon. For their price, they deliver incredible sound, and you pointed out that they were intended to be low level studio monitors, much like the AV 40s above, but they’re expandable and sound great on their own even in home theater setups or home office setups at your desk. These are also powered speakers, so they’re versatile enough to be connected right to a computer or another audio source, or to get hooked up to a receiver. You can read its nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/KRK-RP5G3-NA-G…

We should also give a shout out to the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II, which will set you back about $150 at Amazon. Polk is almost always highly recommended, and those of you who nominated them said that their price point belies truly superior sound that’s easily expanded with additional speakers in your home entertainment setup. You praise their high quality, all-wood construction, and your connection options in the back as well. All in all, they’re a solid investment. You can read more in their nomination thread here.http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-AM4…

Of course, if you’re looking for bigger sound and you have a budget to match, check out our roundup of the five best overall living room speaker sets for options that may cost more and take up a much bigger footprint in your space, but deliver sound to match. http://lifehacker.com/5977261/five-b…

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Title photo by Razvan Donca (Shutterstock).