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If you're looking for stereo sound that a sole Bluetooth speaker can't provide, these sophisticated stereo shelf systems deliver a rich and full sound coupled with user-friendly controls and easy installation without taking up too much room. These are the best stereo shelf systems to take your music up a notch.
This compact stereo shelf system from Yamaha fits practically anywhere. It's just 16 inches long and is equipped with dual detachable speakers with 4-inch drivers that provide impressive bass considering the unit's small size. The system lets you enjoy playback wirelessly because it supports Bluetooth, but you can play CDs, FM or AM radio, or connect an external device through its aux or USB ports. It comes with a remote control.
The Pioneer X-EM26 is an inexpensive speaker shelf system that not only looks fantastic, but sounds good, too. Its 3-inch speakers are enclosed in a wooden cabinet that'll complement any bookshelf, and while they don't offer much bass or a loud volume, sound quality is decent for the price and size of the unit. It comes with a remote, it plays CDs, and it supports Bluetooth. The system has USB/AUX ports and a built-in FM radio, but it doesn't play AM stations.
The Sony SHAKEX10 is a futuristic speaker set that features an illuminated receiver and speakers that flash and synchronize with the beat of the music.
Not only that, it's equipped with a guitar input and a microphone input for karaoke, making it perfect for house parties. Your guests will get a kick out of its DJ effects — which can be accessed with a smartphone app — and they'll love its loud, bellowing bass. Audio can be streamed over Bluetooth and also played on CDs and the radio. We would've liked to see Google Chromecast integration and a lower price, but the system still has an impressive feature set and strong audio quality.
Onkyo's newest mini stereo system, the CS-N575, is the perfect pick for music lovers who subscribe to multiple streaming services. It supports Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora, Deezer, and TuneIn.
Our favorite feature though is its built-in Chromecast, so you and your friends can "cast" all your favorite songs on your phone from YouTube, Google Play Music, or Spotify straight to the device, which is a great way to discover new music. The CS-N575 has the best LCD screen we've seen on a hi-fi system. It plays music from Bluetooth, external hard drives, and smartphones connected to its USB port, or from CDs and the FM radio if you're feeling old-school. It's a feature-filled pick that's worth the extra cost if you can afford it.
The Sharp XL-HF203B delivers a well-balanced sound for a fair price. The system has a built-in CD player, but it also pairs to your smartphone via NFC or Bluetooth for wireless playback. You can also play music from the built-in USB port at its front. The biggest downside to this system is that its bookshelf speakers are hardwired to the receiver, so there's no easy way to adjust or spread them out. Fortunately, you can connect an additional set of speakers if you wish, and there's even an output to add a subwoofer, too.
If you want to save some money, Sharp offers a $100 cheaper variant of this set, the Sharp XLHF102B, which doesn't provide as strong of audio quality as the Sharp XL-HF203B.
The LG CM4550 is a well-priced audio system with 700 watts of total output power. It has a host of connectivity features, including Bluetooth and a duo of USB ports for connecting external devices. The former allows the CM4550 to pair wirelessly with compatible LG TVs, or stream tunes from your favorite mobile device. The stereo also plays CDs. It pumps out 700 watts of sound, making it a great pick for those who like their music loud.
The ITCDS-5000 by Innovative Technology is a solid sub-$100 option with retro design, 50 watts of output power, and plenty of connectivity options, which include Bluetooth, a USB port, and a headphone jack. The system can play CDs and AM/FM radio, too. It allows users to adjust their bass or treble with old-school knobs. This shelf system comes in several different finishes and color schemes, including mahogany, rose gold, black, and silver.
The Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV is the latest stereo shelf system by the audio industry giant. It has a sleek design, great sound quality, and support for popular streaming services, thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity. It even pairs with your Amazon Echo smart speaker for voice controls.
CD playback and AM/FM radio are on board for nostalgic users, too. The system has a convenient remote control and alarm clock functionality, and it comes with a free app that allows users to control it from a smartphone or a tablet.
As expected from a Bose product, the stereo also delivers phenomenal sound quality.
The Onkyo CS-265 is compact and stylish, and it's capable of delivering superb sound quality for its size. It offers CD playback, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for wirelessly streaming content from compatible devices. A USB port is also available for connecting external media sources. Great for an office or a small room (it has 40 watts of output power), the CS-265 is available in white, red, or black color schemes.
The GPX HC221B is the most affordable audio system in this roundup. An Amazon bestseller, it lacks wireless connectivity options, but it covers all the basics. It can play CDs, AM/FM radio, or music from a smartphone or tablet via an aux cable connection. The system's sound quality is decent for its price range, though it's definitely not the best around.
The Yamaha MCR-B043 combines style and substance like no other entry in this roundup. Available in four eye-grabbing colors — white, black, navy, and burgundy — the compact system delivers sound quality that matches its excellent design. Key features of the MCR-B043 include 30 watts of output power, CD playback, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. The speaker set comes with a remote control.
The Sony LBT-GPX555 is flashy, feature-rich, and powerful enough to get you in trouble with all your neighbors (it has 1,800 watts of output power). It has sound and light effects that allow users to channel their inner DJ, plus CD playback and an AM/FM radio tuner. Connectivity options of the LBT-GPX555 include Bluetooth, NFC, and two USB ports, among others.
The Sony CMT-SBT100 is a highly rated compact system with an excellent sound signature and 50 watts of output power. Sporting a pleasantly understated design, the CMT-SBT100 delivers all the playback and wireless connectivity essentials a modern user might need, including Bluetooth, NFC, and a USB port.