We’re pleased to say that vinyl is back and we’re here for it! if you want to get the most out of your record player, then you need high-quality speakers.
There’s no need to suffer through the poor quality of your inbuilt record player speakers—not when we’ve rounded up the top 10 best speaks for vinyl record players that fit any budget.
Our list has something for everyone, whether you’re a serious audiophile looking to get the best of the best, or you’re simply looking to enjoy great music and crisp sound on a budget—we have you covered. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to experience the classic sounds you love, but better.
The Top 10 Best Speakers for Vinyl
We're going to dive right in here, and we can be on a mission together to power up your new toy! Let's find something special!
We’re kicking off our list with the Edifier S2000 Pro speakers. These powered bookshelf speakers for turntables are the best option for for vinyl. They also bring you brilliant design and exceptional sound. In addition, they also have plenty of power and precision. In fact, this duo is regularly used for studio monitors for both musicians and producers, which gives you a clue about just how quality they are.
You can connect to a variety of devices with the included Bluetooth 4.0 support with aptX decoder. These are easily connected to your record player, but you can also set them up for your TV or home movie theater, laptop, or any other sound system. Playing high fidelity audio from all your devices has never been easier.
Next up, we chose a budget-friendly option that is also high in quality and design—so don’t let the lower price tag fool you. These are a relatively small pair, but the sound quality is awesome.
It’s important to keep in mind that, should you choose this pair, you must have your own receiver or amplifier to use them. Also, check to make sure that your record player has a phono preamp built-in. If it doesn’t, no worries, just make sure that your receiver or preamp has a phono input with RIAA equalization.
We love that the small size of these speakers allows you to place them just about anywhere. And the classic, black finish makes them blend right into any room. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice on quality, the MB42 is a great option.
#3: JBL Charge 4
The JBL Charge 4 is perhaps the most versatile speaker for vinyl on our list, which is convenient since many turntables these days are portable. For instance, suitcase record players are easy to take with you on the go to a party, the beach, or even just in your backyard. If you have a portable record player, it only makes sense to have a portable speaker to go with it.
Enter the JBL Charge 4. This speaker is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can connect it to your turntable (as long as it has Bluetooth capabilities) or any other Bluetooth device. We love that this speaker can be used for so many different things that it makes the moderate price tag well worth the spend.
This speaker is waterproof, so it’s perfect for the beach, pool, or any situation where water is involved. It’s also built to withstand a good amount of abuse—if this speaker were to fall, you wouldn’t have to look twice.
#4: Audioengine A5+
Alright audiophiles, if you’re looking for an affordable, quality pair, these from Audioengine should be at the top of your list. These speakers have a bunch of great features, but the most impressive is by far is their sound capabilities.
If high fidelity audio is what you’re after, you’d be hard-pressed to find many better powered speaker options. We love that these speakers are small enough to fit on your bookshelf but pack a mean punch of power with 150 watts in total.
There are three color options to choose from; bamboo, black, or white which makes it easy to grab the pair that best fits your décor and overall ambiance. They also have some of the best Bluetooth connectivity available, with over 100 feet of range.
#5: Polk Audio T15
Another budget-friendly option that still manages to maintain great sound and convenience is the Polk Audio T15 speakers. Now, you won’t achieve ultra-high-fidelity with these speakers, but you can still experience great quality without breaking the bank.
These are technically mini-monitors that are designed to work with a whole surround sound system, but they actually work really well on their own, too. We love that these have the option to mount on your wall, in case your space is more conducive for wall-mounted speakers.
An important note, these speakers don’t come ready to use. You’ll need a few things to go along with these like speaker wire and a receiver or amplifier. If you already have these things, great. If not, you can get these components for reasonable prices, which still makes these speakers a very affordable option.
The PreSonus Eris range speakers were designed to be primarily used in music production, but they’re a great choice for record players, too. Whether you’re looking for a high-quality speaker that allows you to spin beats at the turntable or you’re a casual listener who simply enjoys a crisp sound—these speakers are a fantastic option.
With a moderate price tag, 50 watts of power, and EQ control, there are plenty of features that make these speakers attractive to audiophiles of all varieties. There is no Bluetooth option, however, which makes them less portable and versatile than some of the other options on our list.
#7: ELAC Uni-fi UB5
If you have the budget, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 speakers won’t disappoint. These bad boys come in two different options; standard or slim format, allowing you to choose the size based on how much (or how little) room you have.
These feature Elac’s three-way design which promotes increased sound accuracy for a more extensive frequency response range. This means more bass definition, sharp highs, and a balanced midrange. The best is these speakers are perfect for any vinyl—regardless of the genre.
Additionally, there are the custom concentric drivers and the dedicated aluminum woofer which is responsible for stressing the lower register and diminishing the harmonic distortion.
We love these speakers for serious audiophiles as well as movie lovers who want to experience all the thrills of the big screen at home. And of course, these pair perfectly with your vinyl’s.
The Sony SSCS5 is probably best known for its wide frequency response range. This range allows the speakers to provide an airy, unique sound while also capturing all the important notes of the register. These are another example of 3-way speakers which are great because they have 3 drivers and 2 crossover points which make for better instrument separation—which is awesome when you’re listening to vinyl.
These speakers also come with fiber-reinforced woofers which allows for superior rigidity and minimized breakup when reproducing high bass. Again, this is a speaker that requires proper amplification, so be sure you have the right equipment to get these speakers going.
#9: Klipsch R-15M
The Klipsch R-15M bookshelf speakers open up a whole new world of balanced sound to vinyl lovers. These speakers are great for small to medium rooms, but the highs and mids are clearer and sharper than some other options.
They have special tweeters and woofers that will make others look like child’s play. The cabinet has a rear-firing port and they’re relatively small in size. These are non-powered speakers, so an amp or receiver will be required.
These are aesthetically pleasing with their matte black finish and copper-colored cone. There are also detachable grills included.
#10: Fluance Ai40
Last, but certainly not least, we chose the Fluance Ai40 speakers. We love that these speakers produce high-quality sound while remaining budget-friendly, proving that you don’t need an exorbitant budget to enjoy great music from your vinyl.
These are Bluetooth enabled speakers, making it easy to connect to your record player or virtually any other device. These are compact in size and easy to set up and operate which makes them a great pair for newbies.
These will produce crisp sounds across a wide variety of genres which makes them ideal for your turntable. All that said, the feature that really sets these speakers apart from the pack is the 18 gauge internal lead wire. This reduces signal loss allowing you to enjoy natural sounds with minimal distortion.
How to Choose a Great Speaker for Your Turntable
Now that you’ve seen our list of the top ten speakers for vinyl, you may have some questions regarding which one is right for you. There are several different variations, after all. We’re going to walk you through a complete turntable speaker buying guide next to help you through the process.
Here are the important considerations to keep in mind:
Wired or Wireless?
This may sound obvious to some, but it’s also easy to overlook—if you want to buy wireless vinyl speakers, you need to make sure that your record player is wireless and setup with Bluetooth capabilities. The last thing you want to do is buy Bluetooth speakers when your turntable isn’t wireless!
That said, if you are set up for Bluetooth, it’s important that you make sure that the wireless speakers for vinyl you buy have a quality Bluetooth connection. A weak connection can cause your audio to drop in and out. All the wireless vinyl speakers on our list have premium Bluetooth capabilities.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to go the wired route (which is great, too!), all you need to do is make sure that the wires will properly connect to the output of your record player and the input of your speakers. Typically, all you need are RCA cables to get this done.
Passive or Active (Powered or Non-Powered)
You may have noticed that some of the speakers on our list were ‘active’ or ‘powered’ and others were ‘passive’ or ‘non-powered’. Do you need active or passive speakers? We’ll explain:
If you have a simple, plug and play turntable, having active speakers will probably be easiest. All you need to do is plug your speakers into your record player and the music begins. This is because the amplification is already built into your speaker box. If you’re a beginner, this is the easiest and most straightforward style.
Passive speakers, on the other hand, require an amplifier or receiver to hear your vinyl records play. This isn’t a big deal if you know which amp to buy, and the good news is, you can always upgrade or buy a new one in the future which gives you some versatility.
Every speaker has their own ‘frequency response’ which refers to the audio frequencies that they can replicate. As humans, we naturally hear from around 40 Hz to 20 kHz. The low end represents the bass sound and the higher end is the treble. The more balanced the frequency response of the speakers, the better the overall sound you can expect.
Where some speakers struggle is in bass frequencies. We can’t hear frequencies under 40 Hz, but some struggle to replicate sounds even under 70-80 Hz which can leave you feeling like the bass is missing.
Now, you may not care too much about this if you listen to lighter music. However, for heavier music genres that rely on bass, you’ll want to make sure the frequency response is legitimate so that you can get the most out of your speakers and enjoy your music to the fullest.
There’s also the option to add in a subwoofer to your speaker systems for vinyl which will help to regulate bass frequencies.
You can’t forget to take into consideration the space of the room that you plan on setting your speakers up in as this will play an important role in which you choose.
If your space is small to medium, our recommended bookshelf speakers are the way to go. These are great for single-room usage; however, you may be able to stretch the sound into another room without sacrificing on sound quality.
If you want to disperse the sound throughout your entire home, you’ll want a larger, more powerful set of speakers.
The next consideration after the size of your room is the acoustics. You won’t achieve optimal sound quality if your room’s acoustics are off. These are some of the surfaces to try to avoid:
- Hardwood or tiled floors
- Thick carpets
- Abundance of furniture
- Heavy drapes
Most of us don’t have a dedicated sound room in our home, so it’s best to do your best to have a good balance between hard and flat surfaces and soft, absorbent surfaces.
How much dedicated space do you have in your home for your turntable rig? Take some time to think realistically about your space. If you’re a casual or new listener, a suitcase-style record player coupled with a pair of active speakers is a great option because active speakers don’t need any additional components and suitcase turntables are easy to store away.
However, if you want to set up a complete turntable rig and you have the space to do so, you can consider a full system that includes a soundbar and subwoofer. This route will obviously take up more space and will require a lot of additional equipment, but you can always start small with your passive speakers and amp first.
Your budget will also play a role in which speakers for vinyl you choose. As with anything, you get what you pay for. So, if your budget is only $50, you’re not likely to be very impressed with your sound output.
That said, you don’t need to have an exorbitant budget to get the job done. There are plenty of options between the $100-$500 range that provides killer sound. There are even a couple of vinyl speakers on our list that are below $100.
If you’re new to the speaker game, you may not know that they require some time to break in. So, if you play music through your speakers the first time and feel disappointment, it may just be because they need to break in a bit.
You’ve got to remember that the parts of speakers are rigid, and they haven’t moved yet, so it’ll take a little time to get them moving and flexing the way they should.
The best way to break in your speakers is to play music with a wide dynamic range. Think of it like stretching your body out before you exercise, you want to make sure you've warmed up and have the range of motion you need.
It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to break your speakers in, so don’t despair if you feel like you aren’t achieving optimal sound right out the gate.
Choosing the best speakers for your record player should be based both on your research, playing capabilities, and your own preference. Everyone hears sounds differently, so what sounds great to you may not sound great to the next audiophile.
Take some time to read through our 10 best speakers for vinyl and narrow down which ones fit your style, budget, and record player. You’ll be enjoying your favorite vinyl tracks in no time!