I’ve been spending weeks researching American made sound gear. The cold truth is that options for truly American made speakers are very slim.
The good news is that you do have some great options.
So today I’m going to share everything I’ve learned and then list some of the best American made bookshelf speakers that I’ve found.
“American made” isn’t as black and white as we’d like it to be. So before I start showing you the speakers, I’d like to talk about some of the criteria I used during my search. And I also want to share some of the companies that I discovered that sell American made speakers.
What Qualifies As “Made in the USA”?
On my quest to find all the best American made speakers, my ideal product is one that qualifies for the label “Made in USA.” Now the official definition from the FTC is as follows:
“For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. The term “United States,” as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.“
These qualifications are nearly impossible to find in the world of audio, and when you do find U.S. made products, they are often very expensive and difficult to buy.
So I’ve expanded my definition to include a few other scenarios:
- Product was assembled OUTSIDE the U.S. with parts that were made OUTSIDE the U.S. but are sold by a company headquartered in America
- Product was assembled INSIDE the U.S. with parts that were made OUTSIDE the U.S. and are sold by a company headquartered in America
- Product was assembled INSIDE the U.S. with some parts being made OUTSIDE and some parts made INSIDE the U.S. and sold by a company headquartered in America.
- Product was assembled INSIDE the U.S. with all parts being made INSIDE the U.S. and sold by a company headquartered in America (These are incredibly difficult to find)
Any speaker that fits one of these scenarios would benefit U.S. based companies that have American workers.
When I present bookshelf speakers, I will do my best to explain which category it falls into so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Companies Selling Products Actually “Made in the USA”
In the weeks I’ve spent seeking out American made sound gear (including bookshelf speakers), I have managed to find several companies selling American made products. However, I’ve been disappointed to find that only one large speaker producer in the world sells ANY speakers that are “Made in the USA.”
That company is Klipsch.
They are big enough that their products are affordable, easy to find and buy, and it’s also easy to find reviews of their products online.
However, only a small handful of their speakers are actually designed and assembled in the U.S., and none of these are bookshelf speakers.
Every other speaker “Made in the USA” that I found was made by a small company I had previously never heard of. And it’s not easy to find, test or even buy products from most of these companies.
So without further ado, here is a list of American companies that sell at least 1 speaker that was “Made in the USA.”
- Klipsch – Biggest speaker producer that has American made speakers
- Ammo Audio
- Fern and Roby Audio
- Magico Audio
- Rockport Technologies
- Ryan Speakers
- Salk Sound
- Tekton Design
- Von Schweikert Audio
- YG Acoustics
Note: You can read a bit more about each of these companies in my American made bluetooth speakers article.
The trouble is that most of these companies only sell state of the art, super expensive sound systems. Let’s take a quick look.
Expensive and/or Difficult to Buy American Made Bookshelf Speakers
Yes, you can find actually quite a few American made bookshelf speakers. Unfortunately, most of these are SUPER expensive. And they can only be bought at authorized dealers of those particular speakers, so you might have to literally drive to California to buy one.
Here are 2 examples:
Fern & Roby Raven II
Fern & Roby is an audio company based out of Richmond, Virginia. They design and build all their speaker in Virginia and even use recycled materials whenever possible.
They sell a bookshelf speaker called the Raven II.
Yeah this speaker is going to offer concert quality sound, but you’d be paying over $6,500 for one speaker and over $13,000 for a pair of them.
If that fits in your budget, great. But for most of us that is nowhere near an affordable product.
Salk Sound SongSurround I
Salk Sound assembles all their speakers in their Michigan based production facility. They make a wonderfully affordable speaker called the SongSurround I.
You can get the pair for a little over $1,000 (at the time I am writing this article). Yeah this is somewhat expensive, but it’s in the realm of reasonably priced for a lot of people.
The problem is, how do you buy it?
Right now the speaker is unavailable for purchase and the only way to inquire is to contact Salk Sound directly through their website.
Finding some better alternatives
You can absolutely take some time, research these companies and find a bookshelf speaker that works for you. Then you can contact the company or find an authorized dealer and go test the speaker and possibly buy it.
But this isn’t going to work for most of us.
So what else can we do? Well we can slightly expand what we consider to be a bookshelf speaker. There are a few American made speakers that will sit on a bookshelf, but aren’t strictly speaker “bookshelf speakers.”
The other option is to expand what we mean by American made. Klipsch sells affordable bookshelf speakers, some of the best on the market, and while the speaker itself may not be “Made in the USA,” the company does sell American made speakers and they employ a lot of American workers.
Then we may also consider including some American companies like Bose and JBL that don’t sell any American made speakers. But they are based in the U.S., employ U.S. workers, and purchasing from them benefits the U.S. economy.
The Best American Made Bookshelf Speakers
So with those things in mind, here are some of the best available bookshelf speakers for those of us that want to buy American made products.
Klipsch Heritage “The Three”
- Actually American made in Hope, Arkansas
- Dimensions 14 x 7 x 8 inches, weighs under 15 pounds and will definitely sit on a bookshelf
- Connect via bluetooth
- Excellent sound quality that fills up a small room
“The Three” is small, light, and will easily fit on a bookshelf. This speaker isn’t what you usually think of when you think of a bookshelf speaker. It’s generally called a “bookshelf stereo.”
But this product is actually “designed and assembled in the USA.”
This speaker is great for a small room, but it may begin to distort a bit when you crank it up all the way. You can connect to it via bluetooth and a number of other ways. One of the best values for an American made speaker that you can find.
- Actually American made by Veterans
- High quality sound for an affordable price
- Super durable, made from a real military ammunition can
The Ammo Can speaker is made from U.S. military ammunition cans by U.S. military Veterans. Pretty awesome, right?
I was pretty excited to find this speaker, and while again it doesn’t look like your normal bookshelf speaker, it’s dimensions are about 13 x 7 x 9 inches. I couldn’t find a weight for the product, but I imagine it would easily sit on a bookshelf.
This speaker can actually get very loud with a max of 110 decibels. That’s more than enough to fill up any room in your house with sound.
Klipsch RP-600M Premiere Bookshelf Speakers
- Not strictly American made, but Klipsch does sell American made speakers
- Some of the best value bookshelf speakers available
- Affordable with near perfect reviews from customers
If I were making a list of best bookshelf speakers period, this Klipsch RP-600M would be at the top of the list. Sure you can spend more money to get state of the art speakers that get louder and fill more space.
But for home use, this pair of speakers will sound as good as speakers 4x the price.
It needs to be said that the RP-600M is not a part of the Klipsch Heritage series, which means it doesn’t qualify for the “Made in the USA” label. But for me personally, I’m happy to buy from Klipsch because I know it supports American workers more than if I buy from other companies.
JBL Studio 530 Bookshelf Speakers
- Not American made, but JBL is an American company
- Excellent speakers, and some of the most affordable bookshelf speakers available
- Really modern look
I was a little hesitant to include this speaker. The Studio 530 is not American made, but unlike Klipsch, JBL doesn’t sell a single American made speaker.
JBL is an American company that employs American workers, but they don’t actually sell any products “Made in the USA.”
So for me, it wouldn’t be enough to buy this speaker. But the fact remains that the Studio 530 is an excellent bookshelf speaker, and it comes at a price that competes with just about anything in the market.
If you’re on a budget and you want to get as close to American made as possible, this could be your speaker.
The unfortunate reality is that if you want to buy an American made bookshelf speaker, your options are quite limited.
You’ll either end up spending a small fortune, going on a wild goose chase to find the speakers, or you’ll buy something that’s probably not quite what you originally envisioned.
I hope my research has given you enough choices to find a speaker that will suit your needs at a price that fits your budget.