Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
Last Update May 2017 – If you’re used to listening to your favorite tunes on a cheap set of computer speakers, you are missing out on a lot. Not only are those speakers built to last a several years before they break or lose their quality, but they simply don’t have what it takes to reproduce the songs you like in a way they’ve meant to be heard.
You don’t need to be an audiophile to notice the difference. One of the biggest misconceptions about audio equipment is that it has to be crazy expensive if you want something that is decent. While the price usually rises with the quality of audio equipment, it’s absolutely possible to find excellent speakers that won’t brake your bank account to pieces.
Our task today is to find the best speakers under 500 dollars. We have looked all over the market, seen a bunch of audio equipment that is either overpriced, or just not built to our liking. Thankfully, there are also a number of great speakers that fit our needs perfectly.
The three sets we have selected are in our humble opinion the best you can get under $500 at this moment.
Proven Speakers – Music Skanner Selection
When Monitor Audio first introduced their Bronze series back in 2000, they intended to give the masses a product that would be an entry level ticket to their more refined range of speakers. Not only did they succeed, but they’ve managed to create a large following. Ever since then Monitor Audio evolved the Bronze series bit by bit.
Bronze 2 are the latest and greatest in the family, and boy are they something special. Monitor Audio kept the same formula that made the original Bronze speakers so great, but they’ve enhanced a whole bunch of stuff. This is definitely as far as it goes under 500.
These puppies come in a very modest but quality made body that didn’t really change much since the first evolution of Bronze speakers. You get a 6-1/2″ driver that sports a dished cone design, with no dustcap at the center. It’s a ceramic-coated aluminum magnesium C-CAM diaphragm transducer that Monitor Audio is known for.
Keep in mind that don’t have a preamp, so you will need an amplifier that is capable of delivering between 30-100 Watts. Frequency response range goes from 42Hz to 30kHz, with nominal impedance of 8 Ohm.
The sound coming from these speakers is just impressive. They have the definition, speed, and delicacy to deliver a great experience. Low frequencies come out naturally, and feel organic while mids are incredibly well balanced and full. Positioning of these speakers is made easy thanks to frontal ports, but they definitely need to be at least a foot away from any wall if you want the best results. All in all, very impressive pair of speakers for the money.
There are a handful of audio equipment manufacturers that have been around for 80 years. Wharfedale is one of those few. This company has delivered some of the best audio devices throughout its existence, allowing thousands of enthusiasts to enjoy the music the way it was meant to be heard.
With Denton, Wharfedale is celebrating this magical anniversary, marking the 80 years of great work with a set of speakers that will satisfy even the most reserved audiophiles.
These speakers come with a very retro looking veneer. The theme is mahogany, and you get that ’80s vibe going on no matter how you look at these Dentons. It’s a standard design with one driver and one tweeter on top. The transducers they chose for this model are an homage to the way speakers were made in the golden age of audio equipment.
You have one woven kevlar driver and a soft dome tweeter on top. The frequency response of Dentons is somewhat limited in the upper part of the range as they go up to 24kHz and down to 44Hz. A nice retro gray tungsten cloth covers the transducers, just like you’d see on a vintage pair of speakers.
These speakers perform similar to the way they look, retro. Dentons offer a pretty impressive experience in the high and mid part of the frequency range, however if you’re looking for thumping bass tones, you won’t find them here. Trebles are crisp and defined, mids are wholesome and inspire confidence to the point where you don’t even want to hear the lows.
These are made in a way that allows you to enjoy something like a classical guitar concerto, with the ability to sense and feel every string vibrating. You will hardly find better speakers that do mid-treble tones this well considering the price.
The same people that brought us the Dentons, also bring us the Diamond 220. There’s only so many ways you can describe how awesome these speakers are, but lets allow others to do the work for us.
Diamond 220 are award winning speakers that knocked much more expensive sets out of the game with little to no effort. That’s how good these are. Best thing is, they are cheaper than both the Monitor Audio set and the Dentons we just reviewed. If you want the best bang for the buck for less than $500, Wharfedale Diamond 220 is the only logical and reasonable way to go.
Diamond 220 are a very modern looking set compared to the Dentons.They feature a hybrid MDF design that achieves best cabinet acoustics while preserving the rigidity and integrity of the housing. There are two transducers per speaker, one 1-inch soft-dome tweeter and one 5.1-inch Kevlar driver.
The tweeter sits well within a dished waveguide which definitely helps in the cross region. Both transducers have silver bevels around the rims which only complement the rosewood veneer.
Unlike most other speakers, Diamond 220s don’t have a front or rear firing ports for the driver. Instead they chose to use a downward port that pushes the air out a small gap between the main body of the speaker and the flat stand.
With the unusual design of the firing ports and pretty capable driver, Diamond 220 just impress when it comes to bass reproduction and projection. You can hear the low end with very good definition and clarity. The bass is deep but responsive.For a 5.1-inch cone, you’d thing it would be kinda sluggish, but that is not the case.
The driver is pretty fast for what it is, and that shows when you play songs that have a faster bass. We can’t think of anything that can be criticized on these speakers. They just perform no matter what you toss at them. For the price, there is nothing that compares. That might sound like a bald statement, but that’s pretty much how it is.
As you can see, $500 or less will get you an amazing pair of speakers that will blow you away with how good they sound. You will finally be able to listen to your music the way it was meant to be heard.
These are absolutely the best speakers under 500 dollars.