The best bookshelf speakers under $200 are the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers. These inexpensive speakers are great value. These speakers were designed by Andrew Jones, a noted speaker designer. One of his other notable designs are the TAD Reference One’s which sell for slightly more money than the SP-BS22-LRs — $70K.
Professional reviewers like the SP-BS22-LRs. Neil Gader, in his review for The Absolute Sound magazine, had this to say, “The BS22 has an honest tonal signature that doesn’t pander to the “let’s move ’em” sensibilities of big-box-store salesmen. It is remarkably free of sonic hype.” He continued, “However, the essence of the BS22’s performance is found in the quality of its midrange. Jones has fashioned a smooth, tonally ripe midband with just enough heft and weight behind vocal and instrumental images to provide reasonable dynamic and harmonic scale. The treble is surprisingly open, which lends overtones a fullness and dimensionality that are often lacking in blue-plate loudspeakers.” He concluded his review with, “The BS22 is simply one of the great buys out there, without reservation.”
A step up from these speakers would be the PSB Alpha PS1, which cost around $300.