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PSB Alpha B1

Bookshelf speakers

24 Reviews


Our take on the PSB Alpha B1

PSB's engineers began by designing each Alpha speaker from scratch to ensure that they'll deliver the same level of performance typically found on speakers twice their price. The Alpha B1s use a 3/4" aluminum dome tweeter to deliver crisp, sparkling highs. The 5-1/4" woofers are made of metalized polypropylene, making them strong but lightweight. It means you'll hear excellent midrange detail and distinct bass without a trace of the listening fatigue that can happen with lesser speakers.

Compact, budget-friendly speakers

The Alpha B1s will show you what high-end sound is all about, but at a low-end price. Like every PSB speaker, they're designed to make sure you don't miss all the thrilling special effects and emotionally engaging sounds in your movies and music. You'll be amazed by their ability to produce clean, clear highs and mids that make your movies and music come to life. It's no wonder they're among PSB's best-selling speakers.

Excellence by design

PSB's engineers began by designing each Alpha speaker from scratch to ensure that they'll deliver the same level of performance typically found on speakers twice their price. The Alpha B1s use a 3/4" aluminum dome tweeter to deliver crisp, sparkling highs. The 5-1/4" woofers are made of metalized polypropylene, making them strong but lightweight. It means you'll hear excellent midrange detail and distinct bass without a trace of the listening fatigue that can happen with lesser speakers.

Build a complete Alpha system

Create a complete, budget-friendly Alpha home theater system using a combination of Alpha B1s in the front of your room, the C1 center channel, and either another pair of B1s or the LR1 satellite speakers in the back of your room. And don't forget to add a PSB powered subwoofer (or two) for room-thumping bass.

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Nice, full sound from a lower priced speaker. Useful.

Gus, leesburg, FL

What's in the Box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Detachable grilles (installed)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual (En/Fre/Sp/GE)
  • Limited Warranty information

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response: 65-21,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 91 dB
  • impedance: 6 ohms
  • recommended power: 15-90 watts
  • 3/4" aluminum dome tweeter
  • 5-1/4" clay metalized polypropylene woofer
  • bass reflex (ported) design
  • gold-plated five-way binding posts
  • keyhole slot and dual threaded inserts for optional wall mounting
  • black ash vinyl finish
  • 7"W x 11-3/4"H x 9-11/16"D (each)
  • weight: 10.2 lbs. (each)
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

PSB Alpha B1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

24 Reviews

psb alph b1 speakers

Written by: Gus from leesburg, FL on March 23, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice, full sound from a lower priced speaker. Useful.

Pros: Thick and sturdy feeling and sounding

Cons: none

Please, Audiophiles Only!

Written by: Audiolad from Georgia on November 7, 2015

I laugh when people copy what part of what a reviewer wrote about the speakers, and I will at the end. I have very expensive Paradigm Bookshelf speakers in my study, with a nice Rega turntable, Parasound preamp and amplifier, and so on. However, in my office I wanted a less expensive system to use while I work on my computer. I reduce the quality to the Denon DP300F with a Grado Prestige Blue, Marantz Integrated amp, Vincent MM/MC phono preamp, a very good older model Klipsch 8" downfiring sub (this is key), and the B1 pair or speakers. If you don't understand why I ordered the B1 instead of Klipsch, Infinity, Polk or other big box speaker, then you probably should buy this speaker. First it gives a solid 65-18,000 Hz reproductions, but many are so used to the piercing tweeters, they don't understand the beauty of the slightly veiled top end of the B1. This speaker is made for long term listening, and they purposely didn't actenuate the top, but don't kid yourself, the frequency is there in proportion to the other frequency. Now lets begin with the history of the B1 (25 years and counting). Since 2007 (when Stereophile first added the new model as Budget Speaker of the Year), they have and are still rated in the recommended speaker 2015. In 2007, when the speaker was first tested (read article in Stereophile), the results were the transients in this speaker are exceeded only by the best electrostatic speakers. If you don't have the ear, don't buy them.

Pros: Transients, balanced output, detailed beyond belief.

Cons: By design it doesn't have energy below 58 HZ. It messes very well with a quality subwoofer, but recommended not greater than 8".

Nice sound, nice price

Written by: annebert from DC metro area on October 10, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Vinyl is back, and I've been listening to old jazz, bluegrass, and pop favorites and some 50+ year old albums that were my parents'. Rubenstein and Horowitz sound great.

Pros: small, price at Crutchfield was great.


Great Bargain

Written by: Tom B from Princeton Junction, NJ on October 4, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just a terrific speaker for a small room. I am a classical music listener and these sound fantastic with inexpensive stands and my NAD 320BEE two-channel amplifier. Clean, great soundstage, no congestion. I only listen at reasonable volume levels and these are a wonderful find.

Pros: Small size, well-balanced sound.

Cons: None that I know of yet.

PSB Alpha B1

Written by: Steve M from Lincoln, California on August 10, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was disappointed with these speakers in light of all the excellent reviews in Crutchfield and elsewhere on-line. The midrange and mid-bass were very good but the speaker seems to be deficient somewhat in its high-frequency detail and extension. I bought these for a desktop system that includes an AudioQuest Dragonfly V1.2 DAC and a Denon RCD-M40 mini cd-receiver (from a Denon D-M40 micro desktop stereo; the speakers that come with the D-M40 are decent but I wanted an upgrade). I bought both the Denon and Dragonfly from Crutchfield and am very happy with them. The Denon has ample power to drive the PSB's to more than adequate listening levels, especially for my desktop. From the moment I hooked them up, however, I noted that the highs did not have the articulation or definition or "air" that my JBL 4408 monitors have in my main system or that my Grado SR80 headphones have. On any given mp3, for example, I could plug in the headphones and hear significantly more high-frequency content and definition than was present from the PSB's. It seemed to me like the mid-bass/midrange driver in the PSB was superior to the tweeter being used, or maybe that the crossover was rolling off or otherwise constricting the highs above a certain point. I don't know, but I returned them and subsequently bought a pair of NHT SuperOne 2.1 speakers that I am extremely pleased with. As usual, Crutchfield's service on this and all my previous transactions has been excellent.

Pros: Great mid-bass/midrange; good-looking speaker; appears to be well-made.

Cons: Somewhat lacking in high-frequency resolution/extension/detail.

First Home theatre

Written by: First purchase from Frisco TX on June 30, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good Sound


Cons: Slightly bigger size for a book shelf.

none better, pure butter

Written by: Sara from Arizona on April 6, 2015

Unbelievable detail at the mid bass / high note level. More bass than I expected for this size and price of speaker. It actually looks good and does not take up much space. If your looking for an outstanding sound and value this is it.

Pros: Sound, size and cost.

Cons: Absolutely none. Try a pair.

Great Speakers

Written by: RoseD from Michigan on December 22, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am not experienced at all in how to review speakers. However, when I shop for anything, I read a ton of reviews and as much information about whatever I'm considering purchasing, plus I look at other comparable items from other companies so I can compare as many things as possible. I was "sure" I wanted to buy BOSE speakers, because they're supposed to be so "great" (and I love the BOSE speakers I have with my computer -- small but powerful!) -- well, when I compared these speakers with some BOSE speakers that were $50 more, one of the things inside the speakers (can't remember what it was) was made out of paper or cardboard, and these speakers had "rubber" for the particular "part" that was inside the speaker (and I know I sound ignorant, because I am about these things), but the point is, I was not happy with some of the things I saw when comparing the BOSE speakers I was looking at with these particular speakers (and I wanted bookshelf speakers at a reasonable amount of money with as good a sound as possible). So, I looked at a few other bookshelf speakers around the same price, and the reviews were really good considering what I wanted for what I could afford and for a certain quality that I was NOT willing to sacrifice. Needless to say, when my husband hooked up these speakers, I was really pleased with the sound! I give them a 5-star rating because of overall quality, reasonable price and a pretty big sound, and the fact that they look great! I recommend these!!



Exactly as expected

Written by: JohnP from Los Alamos, NM on November 2, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are exactly as expected, since I already own 2 pair. PSB is my favorite speaker line from top (Stratus Gold i) to bottom (Alpha B1). I own 17 PSB speakers. This is the best speaker for the price, period. I frequently loan out a pair to friends with more expensive but lesser brands. They then buy PSBs. I will use this pair with my Heathkit AR1515 receiver in my den. In a absolute scale, these would be 3 star, but that would not be fair, since 5 stars would be B&W 801 and PSB Stratus Gold i.

Pros: They are easy to drive (high impedance, low reactance), have good range and excellent dynamics. They are inexpensive, and relatively insensitive to room location. You could build a very nice system around these with a good subwoofer to cover the lows. The sound is very smooth, with no apparent emphasis or thinness. No boominess from trying to fake low frequency extension and no stridency on any material I listen with. They also look nice, despite the vinyl finish.

Cons: Low end is missing, but that is the price for a small enclosure, low price, and smooth sound. With a sub, no downsides at all.

Great sound for the height channel

Written by: Chuck K from Illinois on September 22, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased these to add height channels to my existing PSB Image 7.1 system. They match well with the ten year old Images. The height channel really makes a difference.

Pros: Inexpensive

Cons: None

PSB Alpha B1

Written by: Mark L. from Redding,Ca. on September 11, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased these speakers to match up with the PSB surround sound system to make my 7.1 system and WOW.Best purchase I have ever made-Thank you Crutchfield and Will for all your help.

Pros: Pure and Natural sound with all movies and music-Love it

Cons: None

Bargain of the decade

Written by: KnutB from Bergen, Norway on July 8, 2014

Bought the last pair available in the store in Bergen and still breaking them in, these small giants reproduce especially fast music like nothing I´ve heard. Listening to Koan´s When the Silence is Speaking, converted by a cheap DacMagic and driven by an old Electrocompaniet AW60 amp, they just pour out a wealth of articulated and detailed music. Some sibilance on female vocals which I´m told will disappear with use. If you come across these just get them.



Sound awesome!

Written by: maserman85 from Detroit MI on May 19, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The speakers sound great! Especially for the money

Pros: Sound great, look good, solid construction

Cons: None for the price

Amazing Speakers

Written by: Anonymous from Hurricane, WV on May 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Hands down the best pair of speakers you can buy for $300. The professional reviews aren't hype. I bought these as a gift for a friend. After listening to them I wanted to keep them for myself. Very close in sound quality to my $3,000 speakers.



Amazing sound in a small package

Written by: ChrisW from Maidens, VA on March 20, 2014

I'm blown away by the musicality and sound space of the small, entry level speakers.

Pros: Simply fabulous in the mid-range, especially on vocals and instruments like the clarinet, violin, etc.. The sound space is great as well - "sounds like you're there". Big sound, especially in a small or medium sized room.

Cons: As you would expect from small bookshelf speakers, bass output will be lacking if you are listening to music that wants that. Add a subwoofer in that instance.

Fantastic Bookshelf Speakers

Written by: TravisM from Kennewick, WA on March 5, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are incredibly clear. I love the big speaker sound from such a small bookshelf speaker. After listening to many different bookshelf speakers from many differnt manufacturers the PSB Alpha B1 had the best combination of clear, crisp highs and very impressive lows in an econmical package.

Pros: Space saving design. Well made enclosures. Awesome music/movie sound reproduction.

Cons: None so far. I've only used them in my home theater for a couple weeks.

Great small speakers

Written by: kdd from Durham, NC on February 19, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've only had these speakers for a few weeks now, but I think they are great so far. They are small, but do better on the low end than I would have guessed. I thought I might have needed a subwoofer, but right now, I am not planning on getting one. Another great things about these PSB's is that they are not picky as far as placement.



PSB Alpha B1

Written by: LY from Metro-Detroit on November 18, 2013

I purchased a pair of these over 7 years ago for a dedicated 2 channel system. Fantastic budget speakers. Since then, I have incorporated the Alpha B1's into a 5.1 system with 2 Alpha LR1's, a CLR1 center channel speaker and a Velodyne sub that I had purchased in the late 1990's. Explosive dynamics, clear dialog and great surround effects. I still listen to 2 channel on that system, periodically, through the Alpha B1's despite having upgraded my 2 channel system considerably over the years. Next I need to buy a new surround receiver. Crutchfield will be the obvious source.

Pros: Very neutral and surprising bass extension for their size and price.

Cons: They really need to be played at slightly higher volume to sound their best so they shouldn't be paired with cheap, low power amplification.

As good as everyone says

Written by: Jag120 from New Jersey on June 7, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Best bang for the buck speaker out there. Fast effortless sound when driven by good electronics. The better the cables and components, the more these speakers shine. It's hard to beat these B1 at this price point.

Pros: Value. Clean sound & smooth across the range. nice finish

Cons: Not too keen on the metal grilles

Outstanding Speakers

Written by: Kevin from Purcellville, VA on May 13, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Outstanding quality and sound. I have had larger and smaller versions form the same company and these are the best.

Pros: Clarity of sound and power.

Cons: None

Big Sound

Written by: Jeff from Carmel, NY on February 22, 2013

I have very little space In my bedroom, so I needed speakers that could go In front of my TV on Its stand. These PSB`S did the job. Great sound!! Super clear and open!!

Pros: Small speaker with a big sound!! Great looking. Very open sound. Give these speakers a try.

Cons: If you need more bass, get a subwoofer. I have a 8 Inch sub that helps to get the real lows.

Excellent budget speakers

Written by: Anonymous from Washington, DC on January 11, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are excellent budget speakers. You will be surprised how solid and attractive they are. They have a nice soundstage, and a balanced tonality. The bass is not deep, but they are bookshelves, so no one would expect that. I can't imagine someone not being happy with these for the price. I also cannot imagine someone thinking there is a better speaker at this price point. Maybe for a hundred more, you could get a little improvement, but not at this price. Deservedly an audio classic, and the ultimate entry point for anyone looking to lock into audio quality.



PSB Alpha B1

Written by: Rajah. from Rockville MD. on April 30, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Reasonably priced and sounds good though I am not a audiophile but has a good ear for music. I have been buying all my electronics from Crutchfield for about 20 years as no one could beat their service and Eddie is my favorite sales advisor.

Pros: Good base for its size and clarity of music.

Cons: Struggles a bit with high octaves.

Surprising sound, modest price

Written by: OMS from Falmouth, MA on November 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have to say I've been surprised and impressed by the sound coming from the Alpha B1s, from the overall smoothness and balance to the surprising bass to the mids, which are the "special" strength of this model. I have owned significantly more expensive tower and bookshelf speaker speakers, and the Alphas do not compete on output or size (nor did I expect them to). I would probably also agree with some reviews which have noted that the treble extension is not as effortless as with some bookshelf models starting at about double the price. However, the overall impression is much better than I had expected, and they fill their (moderately-sized) space very admirably for two-channel listening without a sub. The metal grille is also a plus as far as being relatively kid-proof.

Pros: Mids, overall balance, well-rounded bass. Understated appearance. Very surprising performance from a bookshelf speaker of this price and size.

Cons: Not much, actually. Maybe it would be nice if Crutchfield carried some of the other finish choices.


Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download the PSB Alpha B1 manual

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Detachable grilles (installed)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual (En/Fre/Sp/GE)
  • Limited Warranty information

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded Yes
Tweeter Type Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 0.75
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.25
Woofer Composition Polypropylene
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 15-90
Sensitivity 91 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 6
Frequency Response 65-21,000 Hz
Connector Type 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs No
Height (inches) 11-3/4
Width (inches) 7
Depth (inches) 9-11/16
Weight (pounds) 10.2
Mounting Bracket Included Keyhole
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-28
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Two-Way Design: The PSB Alpha Series B1 bookshelf loudspeaker features a true two-way design that employs a single 5.25" mid-woofer paired with a single .75" ferrofluid-cooled tweeter. The result is an extremely tight sound with excellent imaging characteristics

5.25" Woofer: Each PSB Alpha Series B1 speaker employs a 5.25" injection molded metalized polypropylene woofer with rubber surround for accurate, detailed midbass.

0.75" Tweeter: Each Alpha Series B1 loudspeaker is equipped with a 0.75" aluminum dome, ferrofluid-cooled tweeter for crisp, clear highs.

Waveguide: The B1 bookshelf speaker's tweeters utilize an acoustical waveguide to deliver, more even high frequency response, no matter what part of the room you're in.

Crossover Network: The tweeter and woofer are crossed over at 3,000 Hz.

Magnetically Shielded: The B1 is magnetically shielded for safe placement adjacent to your television.

Enclosure Design

Wood Grain Vinyl Cabinet: The PSB Alpha Series B1 bookshelf speaker features a black wood grain vinyl cabinet that matches almost any decor.

Bass Reflex Design: The PSB B1 loudspeaker utilizes a bass reflex enclosure with a rear-firing port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response.

Aluminum Grille: The speakers come with removable aluminum (metal-mesh) black grilles.


5-Way Binding Posts: The 5-way binding posts will accept bare wire (up to 12-gauge), pin connectors, spade connectors, banana plugs, and dual banana plugs.

Color-Coded: The speaker's binding posts are color-coded (red/black) for easy identification between positive and negative.

Mounting Options

Rubber Feet: The PSB B1 loudspeakers include eight self-adhesive rubber feet to safely and securely place the speakers on floor-stands or other AV furniture.

Wall Mounting: Each PSB Alpha Series B1bookshelf speaker features a single keyhole slot and dual 1/4"-20 threaded insert to wall-mount the speaker.

  • Keyhole Slot: Each Alpha Series B1 speaker has a single keyhole slot on the back panel to easily wall-mount the speakers.
  • 1/4"-20 Threaded Inserts: Each B1 loudspeaker also features dual 1/4"-20 threaded inserts to wall-mount the speakers using optional articulating brackets (sold separately).


Frequency Response:

  • On Axis @ 0°: 65-21,000 Hz (+/-3dB)
  • Off Axis @ 30°: 65-10,000 Hz (+/-3dB)
  • Low Frequency Cutoff -10 dB: 55 Hz


  • Anechoic Chamber:  89 dB
  • Typical Listening Room: 92 dB

Internal Volume: 0.29 cu ft

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

These match my little surround sound set up, with PSB Alpha 1 RL fronts and a PSB center. [ Les  Mar 06, 2016 ]
I understand these to be good entry level speakers that will work well with the turn table system I'm building [ Ned  Mar 04, 2016 ]
The last time that I had heard these speakers was in 2007 when I was an installer for a high end audio shop (lots of B&W and mangnapans). Obviously they made a large impact on me and were considered by many as the best speaker per dollar on the market. [ Jeremy  Dec 09, 2015 ]