Best Speaker for Vinyl — Reviews

Best Speaker for Vinyl — Reviews

If you have a turntable, you’ve got to install an acoustic set to listen to it. And that’s where the best speakers for vinyl are vital. The shortlist of the most important features is as follows:

  1. Active or passive. Active acoustics doesn’t require an amplifier to work. In some cases, such speakers can be hooked up directly to a turntable. Passive speakers require an amplifier to work.
  2. Impedance. It’s optimal when speakers match the other components in the system with their impedance. However, they can have a bit higher impedance as well.
  3. Wattage. More wattage (power capacity) means more powerful output and clearer sound. However, if your amplifier has less capacity, the speakers might be underpowered, and the sound would come inexpressive.
  4. Connections. Make sure you have all cables in place.
  5. Additional options. Many modern acoustic systems for vinyl are used for digital sound playback as well. In this case, the optical port and wireless receiver make a useful addition.

Take a look at your turntable setup, and determine the type of speakers you need. Find the fitting model below!

Speakers for Vinyl Reviews

Best Powered Speakers for a Turntable

Edifier R1280T — Best Speakers for Vinyl

Edifier R1280T

A compact form of these budget satellite speakers makes them a good match for small rooms. They’re 9.44-inch tall, 5.7-inch wide, and 7.71-inch deep. Still, they’re equipped with drivers of good size and quality letting you enjoy the majority of vinyl compositions in full. Each speaker has a woofer with a 4-inch diameter and ½-inch tweeter. The tweeter is made from silk cloth and has an impedance of 4 Ohms while the woofer is 6-Ohm resistant. The latter has the paper cone woven with the wool cloth producing analog sound faithfully. The range of frequencies starts at 75Hz and goes up to 18kHz. The lack of treble, though, is minimal, and is felt only at extremely pinched highs. Mostly, the upper register of mids is very detailed, and the soundstage is quite wide (considering the speaker’s size). Lows are represented well, especially in jazz and pop-rock compositions. This set could well be positioned as the best powered speakers for vinyl. Still, for heavy rock, a lack of sub-bottom range is evident.

The set is equipped with the tonal controls (bass and treble) and a volume knob. All controls are located on the right side of the active box and are easily accessible. Still, the LED light indicating the volume / power status isn’t visible from the front.

Key features:
  • 4-inch woofer and ½-inch tweeter.
  • 42W total capacity.
  • EQ controls.
  • Two dual RCA inputs.
  • Over 80 dB sensitivity.
  • Remote control.
  • The front bass reflex port lets you place the speakers close to the wall without losing sound quality.
  • The active-to-passive speaker cable is quite long and thick.
  • Original design with different colored sides and front / back panels, rounded angles.
  • No input switch, the signal from two sources is summarized when connected simultaneously.
  • No digital inputs.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Video Edifier R1280T

Edifier R1700BT

Edifier R1700BT

The presence of Bluetooth makes a solid selling point of these speakers, especially for the owners of Bluetooth-enabled record players (with the relevant output). Still, it should be noted that dynamics and overall sound detail become less expressive via Bluetooth connection. Yet, when hooked up with the sturdy RCA cable, these speakers deserve the tag of the best speakers for a record player. Music is lively, instrument and voice separation is clear and pinpoint, all frequencies are heard, and there’s no noise up to the highest volume levels. For example, used for a Crosley turntable, the speakers sounded confidently for any music genre including heavy metal compositions and opera parties. On the negative side, the inputs can be switched via remote only. The side facing status indicator isn’t a convenient decision as well.

The build quality and the inner construction are solid. Each speaker houses a 4-inch woofer with a paper cone, and a 1-inch tweeter with a silk dome. Drivers are installed on the rubber holders and embedded in a thick surround. Each driver has a separate amplifier block enabling the bi-amp connection. The power capacity makes 33W per speaker, and the output is quite loud letting you fill the middle-sized room easily. The body of each speaker is made of thick MDF suppressing the vibration efficiently. Providing for the clean initial signal, this set makes one of the best vinyl speakers on the market.

Key features:
  • 30Hz – 20kHz frequency range.
  • Bi-amplification construction.
  • Bluetooth connection.
  • 5-button remote control.
  • The active and passive speakers are connected with the thick cable with 4-pin connectors.
  • The well-balanced sound and even frequency response.
  • The sloped front part makes the tweeter face up and spread sound efficiently.
  • The remote is glossy and gets stained quickly.
  • With the grill removed, the silver holder spikes look distracting.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Video Edifier R1700BT

Edifier R1280DB

Edifier R1280DB

As mentioned on the Edifier website, this model is an upgraded version of the Edifier R1280T. While the size, technical parameters, and output are similar, the newer model has more connectivity and control options. It also implements an upgraded power block, which has a compact form. While the speakers’ circuitry is fully digital, the high-quality DAC lets preserve the analog signal in its depth and detail. This set of active speakers for a turntable is quite versatile letting you hook up a source of any kind, and even stream the music from your smartphone.

A ½-inch tweeter and 4-inch woofer are powered at 21W and can produce the frequencies within the range of 55Hz –20kHz. This makes it a worthy option for vinyl records playback. Lows sound warm and mild but deep enough. The treble is bright but not pinchy. The frequency response doesn’t feature audible gaps save for a slight halt in the lower register of mids. Dynamics is mainly good, and the voices sound rich and clear. The active speaker is equipped with the bass and treble knobs letting you tweak the audio to your taste.

Connectors on these speakers include the dual RCA ones and an optical jack. There’s also the Bluetooth 4.0 receiver enabling the playback of non-compressed files. Save for the spring-loaded connections for a passive speaker, this set of powered speakers for a turntable is well built and fits both analog and digital systems.

Key features:
  • Sturdy vibration-free build.
  • Analog and optical connections
  • High-bandwidth Bluetooth support.
  • 12-button remote.
  • Bluetooth playback can be controlled through the remote.
  • The volume knob serves as the input selector (should be pressed for that).
  • No noise during silent periods.
  • The active-to-passive speaker wire is rather short.
  • The minimum volume level is quite audible (no option for quiet playback).
Overall Rating: 8/10
Video Edifier R1280DB

Edifier R980T — Best Budget Speakers for a Turntable

Edifier R980T

If your room isn’t big, and you don’t require the audiophile quality of sound, the R980T model from Edifier might be a good choice. It doesn’t have a wireless interface or a remote control but will make a good match for a Crosley record player or any other budget-friendly or middle-class record player.

The speakers don’t feature the rounded angles of the more expensive Edifier units of the same Studio line. However, the panels are thick, and small rubber feet additionally stabilize the boxes and secure them from resonance. All the parts, seams, connectors are assembled accurately and feel solid.

Each speaker has the amp block rated at 12W. The amp powers the 4-inch woofer (paper dome) and ½-inch tweeter (silk cone) producing a loud and transparent output. The frequencies covered by the set lie within the 70Hz – 20kHz range. The front bass reflex port makes the bass sound a bit boomy but powerful. It’s rather dry though at the hard rock compositions. Mids and highs are even and informative. The analog music flows easily, the dynamic is very good. The R280T could well be the best budget powered speakers for a turntable but for the controls that are situated on the back panel. This decreases the benefit of the front reflex port not letting you install the boxes near the wall.

Key features:
  • Dual RCA connections.
  • Front bass reflex.
  • High assembling quality.
  • Good sensitivity at high volume levels.
  • Transmits the analog signal with precision and in a neutral way.
  • Don’t catch the cell phone / radio interference.
  • The volume knob has marking for the levels.
  • No treble control.
  • The grill comes off easily and can be knocked off occasionally.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Video Edifier R980T

Audioengine A2+ — Best Speakers for Vinyl Under 500 Dollars

Audioengine A2+

If you’ve got a middle-class record player, and plan on using the speakers for digital audio as well, the A2+ model might well fit the demand. With 60W capacity and high sensitivity (95 dB), this set will make a good match for an Audio-Technica record player or a Technics one, for example. While drivers aren’t big (woofers are made of aramid thread and have a 2.75-inch diameter; tweeters are ¾-inch silk ones), they produce a solid output. The soundstage isn’t too wide but reveals a lot of detail. Dynamic is high in any genre you might throw at this set: from disco compositions to hard rock ones. Lows are produced from 55Hz up and feel solid without being boomy. Mids and highs are open, with high precision of each instrument and voice representation. For sound quality, this set can be rated among the best speakers for a vinyl record player.

The speakers can be connected to a turntable through RCA jacks. There’s also a stereo mini-jack connection for other analog sources. The system supports the RCA outputs letting you hook up a subwoofer. The mini USB jack lets connect a laptop or another digital source. The integrated Bluetooth receiver features the AptX codec letting you stream the audio from your smartphone or tablet in good quality.

Key features:
  • RCA inputs and outputs, a mini RCA input.
  • Bluetooth playback.
  • High fidelity sound from analog and digital signal.
  • Protected from power surge and overheat.
  • Removable power cable.
  • Connection ports are sturdy gold-plated ones.
  • Don’t have grills.
  • Quiet silent noise is present.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Video Audioengine A2+

Best Passive Speakers for a Turntable

Polk Audio T15 — Best Speakers for Vinyl Under 100 Dollars

Polk Audio T15

Want to enjoy a rich fluent sound from your vinyl player but spend as little as possible? Provided you already have a powerful amp, the T15 stereo pair is worth listening to. This set, though advertised for home theaters, catches the analog signal and reproduces it neutrally. All the intricate music patterns, small details, and harmonics are evident and are woven into the general sound picture. Though small (each box is 10.63-inch tall, 6.5-inch wide, and 7.25-inch deep), this set creates a spacious soundstage with exact instrument placement. Voice timbres are distinct and warm, and the overall output is balanced and lively.

The drivers are performed in accordance with the Dynamic Balance technology ensuring high sensitivity and precision, and wide spreading of the sound. Tweeters are ¾-inch ones made of composite polymer. Woofers have the same structure being 5.25-inch in diameter. The speakers can handle from 20W to 100W per channel and perform faithfully within the 65Hz – 20kHz range (the covered frequencies scope makes 45Hz – 24kHz). Rated at 8-Ohm impedance, they can work with 6-Ohm appliances (AV receivers, preamps, amplifiers) as well. A solid build of the boxes and gold-plated connectors let you list them among the best turntable speakers in the budget category.

Key features:
  • Dynamic Balance drivers.
  • High SNR level (89 dB).
  • Wide power and impedance range.
  • The front bass reflex port.
  • Thick MDF panels and accurate seams cut the resonance and vibration.
  • Binding posts are sturdy and easy-to-connect.
  • Have a keyhole slot for the wall mounting.
  • The stereo effect isn’t even and depends on the listener’s position.
  • Bass lacks depth.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Video Polk Audio T15

Micca MB42X

Micca MB42X

This small set of speakers for a record player won’t probably improve your room interior, but it will bring a good quality analog sound to it. These speakers are lightweight and simple looking, with laminated panels, the regular tweeter, and the woofer design. The carbon woofer’s diameter makes 4 inches. The tweeter is a silk ¾-inch one. Each box can handle up to 75W of power letting you wind up the volume high. Still, the lightweight body build results in slight resonance at the upper volume levels. The overall sensitivity is quite high making 85 dB. The set has a variable impedance letting you use it in different setups. The speakers can be hooked up to the preamps with 4- to 8-Ohm impedance.

The unique feature of these bookshelf speakers for a phono stage is an integrated crossover. The latter is tuned at 12 dB / octave difference, and distributes the frequencies between the woofer and tweeter. The audio output has good separation and a rich soundstage. Still, the tiny details like end harmonics and small effects sound a bit muffled while overall imaging is rather precise. The frequency response is mostly linear, with a slight gap at the upper mids, and lower mids. The lows sound balanced thanks to the turbulence-cutting reflex port on the back.

Key features:
  • 4-inch carbon woofer and ¾-inch silk tweeter.
  • 12 dB crossover.
  • Wide impedance range.
  • Have small adhesive feet; stand stable on any surface.
  • Grills are magnetic and stick well to the frame.
  • Binding posts are facing up; easy to wire.
  • Banana plugs fit loosely within the connectors.
  • The vinyl coating gets peeled off at the angles / seams.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Video Micca MB42X

Klipsch R-41M

Klipsch R-41M

This passive set features a high quality of construction, drivers’ material and functionality, and considerable power capacity. The non-variable impedance of 8-Ohm is probably the only factor keeping these boxes from being the best speakers for a turntable. Still, having selected a correct amplifier or an AV-receiver, you can get a voluminous rich sound with a good amount of detail and non-restricted dynamics.

As the Klipsch description states, each box houses a 4-inch woofer made of IMG material. It’s covered with copper and is quite stiff ensuring the non-distorted sound even at high volume levels. Tweeters are aluminum, with the Tractrix 1-inch dome spreading the sound and creating an open soundstage.

The frequencies’ scope produced by these turntable speakers makes 68Hz – 21kHz. Quiet music genres (pop, pop-rock, blues, jazz, country) sound well, with all the transitions being evident, and featuring exact imaging. Meanwhile, the dynamic rock compositions are also dynamic, with a solid low-end. Distortion handling is a strength of these speakers. The 90 dB sensitivity lets you crank the volume to the extreme, and still get a clean sound with bright treble and detailed mids. The reflex opening is located on the back cutting the noise out of the low end.

The speakers are a bit larger than regular bookshelf models, having 11.3 x 7.87 x 5.74-inch dimensions. The solid MDF panels have a textured finish, and the grills are installed on magnets.

Key features:
  • Tractrix tweeter cone with LTS motion functionality.
  • High power capacity and sensitivity.
  • Exact frequency response throughout the range.
  • Can handle up to 200W per channel (50W RMS).
  • Features a 1.73kHz crossover separating the frequencies seamlessly.
  • Large opening for connectors — easy to reach.
  • Feature a slight gap in the middle register.
  • Might sound dry with a regular preamp (due to underpowering issue).
Overall Rating: 9/10
Video Klipsch R-41M

Sony SSCS5

Sony SSCS5

Getting three-way speakers for a turntable in a bookshelf format? Yes, that’s what Sony offers in the SSCS5 model. These tall boxes (13.19 inches in height) house a woofer, a tweeter, and a super tweeter. The latter is implemented in order to extend the frequency response, which makes 53Hz – 50kHz for this model.

The super tweeter has a 3/4inch diameter and is located above the tweeter. The latter is a 1-inch one, made of polyester. The built-in crossover separates the mids, highs, and the upper register of highs resulting in the high brightness of the sound. However, though such output seems to be more detailed, the non-even frequency response brings some dips at treble frequencies.

The woofer has a cellular cone reinforced with mica and has a 5.12-inch diameter. Mids are neutral, with a powerful low-end, and decent detail. The middle line is dynamic, and the bass is soft while not tinny.

The set supports the 6-Ohm impedance making them the good speakers for record players. The power capacity isn’t high making 100W maximum. The acoustic system has a high sensitivity level of 87 dB. The volume response in these speakers is also sensitive letting you regulate the level exactly to your preference.

Key features:
  • Three drivers per box.
  • Super-extended treble (up to 50kHz).
  • Big 5.12-inch woofer.
  • Sturdy connector jacks.
  • Cabinets are made sturdy and emit no resonance.
  • Grills make a slot in the upper part so they’re easy to detach.
  • During complex compositions playback, might miss a stereo depth.
  • A direct, projectional sound can be tiresome at long listening sessions.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Video Sony SSCS5

Polk Audio Monitor 40

Polk Audio Monitor 40

With 125W peak power handling and high clarity of sound at all audible frequencies, the Monitor 40 model represents one of the good speakers for a turntable. While being a bookshelf model, it packs two big woofers, and a tweeter, and is able to rock a small or even middle-sized room. High detail and neutral representation make it a good choice for turntable systems including a powerful amplifier (or an AV receiver).

The speaker has two 5 ¼-inch woofers and a single tweeter of a 1-inch diameter installed between them. All three drivers are made in accordance with the Dynamic Balance technology letting the sound spread widely and create an airy soundstage. The rigid cones of drivers preserve the signal non-distorted.

The Monitor 40 sounds confidently at various music genres, from vintage vinyl compositions to modern electric and bass-oriented sound. The sound dispersion creates a 3D sound effect while each instrumental and voice line is distinct and rich.

The speaker handles the frequencies from 47Hz to 25kHz. Highs are saturated but not bright. Bass is space-filling and solid. For further improvement of the driver’s output, the bi-amp scheme can be used. The speaker has two sets of terminals on the back letting you power woofers and a tweeter separately. Its versatility and balanced output make it a good option for vinyl speakers in any setup.

Key features:
  • Three drivers in a single housing.
  • Dual connections for bi-amping options.
  • Extension of treble response (to 25kHz) and high precision throughout the frequency range.
  • High dynamic is preserved at all volume levels.
  • Can be be-wired to two amps at once.
  • Grills are sturdy and sustain occasional hits.
  • High price for a bookshelf speaker.
  • The supplied manual is very basic.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Video Polk Audio Monitor 40