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In this article, we’ll go over key factors you need to consider when looking for the right music equipment and review some of the best speakers for Vinyl on the market.
There is a resurgence of people wanting to listen to music from vinyl records. Some say that the comeback of long-playing records and vinyl is due to nostalgia, while others say it’s because it is trending and people like to follow a fad. For whatever reason, vinyl records sales have been steadily rising in the past few years, reaching more than $224 million in the first six months of 2019.
That number represents a 13 percent growth year on year. Not bad for a music medium that was almost totally eradicated in the 1990s. So if you’re one of the people who are interested in the vinyl movement, you will need excellent gear to help you appreciate it better.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you must have is speakers that deliver excellent sound, helping you fall in love with analog music coming from a spinning piece of plastic.
How Do You Choose the Best Speaker for Vinyl?
Vinyl records deliver three distinct audio quality that digital music cannot. First, it’s warmer in a way that only analog recordings can be warm. You get a richer experience.
You have a richer sound, allowing you to hear the individual instruments and all the other elements that go into the recording. Then you have depth, which refers to the quality of individual sounds getting recorded.
Vinyl records provide more depth because it captures everything. Digital music is going to lose depth because these files are compressed and rarely lossless.
Your chosen speaker should be able to capture these qualities, so you don’t miss out on the benefits of having the characteristics for the music that you playback. As such, look for speakers that have a wide range for the frequency response. What’s more, these speakers should:
- Have low-frequency extension with a tight and accurate response to deliver bass lines of hip-hop songs.
- Crisp, clear, and accurate mids and highs for that sound of electric guitars, electronic dance music, and synth.
- Natural voicing and outstanding dynamic range that allow you to hear every instrument in a classical or orchestra song.
Remember that vinyl records have the full range of the song recorded. Unlike digital music, wherein the lowest and highest frequencies are cut to make the file smaller, vinyl has the full range of frequencies pressed into its grooves.
If you have a speaker with a narrower range, you might not be able to hear the growling bass or the highest notes from your vinyl records.
Connections Are Important
Your turntable would have different outputs and it’s very important that you get a speaker that you can connect to it without having to buy other equipment if you’re working within a certain budget.
Turntables can have a preamp or not. A PHONO signal will be weak, unlike the signals from CD players and similar sources. Ideally, your speaker should have a PHONO signal as well as a LINE signal. If you connect your turntable to your speaker’s or amplifier’s LINE input, it will be inaudible or too soft to hear.
Some players, however, have a built-in preamp, and this strengthens the signal so that you can hear your vinyl records playing even when you connect the turntable to a LINE input. But if your turntable doesn’t have a preamp, you will need to buy that along with your speaker.
How can you tell whether your turntable has a built-in preamp or not?
Check the back of your turntable. If there is a port that is labeled as PHONO/LINE, it means that there’s a preamp onboard. But if it doesn’t, it will only churn out PHONO signals.
For the most part, you will use an RCA cable to connect your turntable to your preamp, receiver, or speaker. If your turntable or speaker doesn’t have a preamp inside, you will need to connect your turntable to a standalone preamp and then connect that to your speaker.
If your speakers and turntable both have Bluetooth connectivity, then you can just pair them. You might want to try the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-WH, which delivers high-fidelity sounds and Bluetooth connectivity. You can wireless connect this turntable to Bluetooth speakers. With an included dual RCA output cable, you can also connect these to your speakers the old-fashioned way.
What You Should Remember About Speaker Connectors
When choosing your speaker, you should first check the outputs you find on your turntable. There is no sense in buying Bluetooth-enabled speakers if your turntable doesn’t have the same wireless connectivity.
If your turntable doesn’t feature a built-in preamp, you may want to consider getting speakers that do have a preamp.
Passive or Active Speakers
Some speakers are powered actively, meaning you need to plug them into a power source. For most people, it’s better if they just choose an active speaker so they don’t have to spend on a receiver or amplifier.
A passive speaker needs to be connected to either an amplifier or receiver to work.
While speakers for vinyl records do have enclosures to prevent the sound waves generated at the back and the front from canceling each other, it’s also a good idea to consider speakers with vented or ported enclosures.
These vented boxes reinforce the sound waves that you hear, giving you a better sound quality. But the most significant improvement is in the reproduction of the lower frequencies. As such, if you’re into rap, dance, or hip-hop music, you should consider getting speakers that have a bass reflex system.
Looks and Design
There is a myriad of speaker designs right now. You can find styles ranging from traditional box speakers with a solid color for its enclosure. You can also find updated looks, like those speakers with a futuristic look, wood-grained enclosures, and even those sporting odd shapes.
You can choose speakers that can match the decor of the room you’re putting it in. This consideration might be secondary, but it’s also an important one, mainly because speakers are typically visible when you enter a room or sit on your desk.
Putting It All Together
The best speakers for vinyl records will be ones that have a wide frequency response range that can play all the frequencies that a vinyl groove has. You cannot go wrong with a two-way pair that has good drivers.
If you already have an amplifier or a receiver at home, then your job of choosing the right speaker for vinyl is now a whole lot easier. You can just connect your turntable and speakers to the appropriate inputs and outputs and get the best sound there is.
Lastly, consider getting speakers that will complement your home’s decor and has a vented enclosure for that extra punch of bass.
Our Recommendations for the Best Speakers for Vinyl
Now that you already know what to look for in speakers for your turntable, you should look into some of the best speakers for vinyl records.
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
The Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System gives you a pair of speakers with a bass-reflex system for that extra oomph of bass. It comes with a 5.25-inch (13.3-centimeter) woofer and a 1.0-inch (2.5-centimeter) main tweeter, as well as a 0.75-inch (1.9-centimeter) super tweeter.
This three-way speaker can get loud with a rated power of up to 100 watts. You also get high-resolution sound and a wide soundstage that it will feel like you’re there at the concert.
If you’re one of those who like high-fidelity sound, this pair of speakers is just right for you. The cabinet is ported, so it dampens the unwanted vibrations while giving you solid audio quality.
With dimensions of 7.1 by 13.3 by 8.8 inches (18.0 by 33.8 by 22.4 centimeters), there are many places where you can put these Bookshelf speakers.
- Ported enclosure with bass-reflex system
- 25-millimeter (0.98-inch) soft dome tweeter
- 130-millimeter (5.12-inch) Mica Reinforced Cellular cone woofer
- 19-millimeter (0.75-inch) soft dome super tweeter
- Impedance: 6 ohms
- Maximum inputs: 100 watts
- Frequency response: 53 hertz to 50 kilohertz
- Hi-fi and excellent sound quality
- Compact bookshelf speakers
- Very affordable
- Perfect for small spaces
- You might be disappointed if you’re a bass lover
- Some complain that the highs are too much
Triangle Borea BR08
The Triangle Borea BR08 may look plain with its traditional black enclosure, but that will not matter when you hear it. These floor-standing speakers have cellulose midrange drivers, silk dome tweeter, and bass drivers that deliver.
The audio quality is excellent as these speakers punch hard with a lot of details. The bass is pleasing and agile. With the right material, you can experience how aggressive these speakers are, while still being clear.
It can deliver at high volumes and the stereo imaging is decent.
- Four drivers
- Sensitivity: 92 decibels
- Frequency range: 40 hertz to 22 kilohertz
- Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
- Dimensions: 102 by 20.6 by 31.4 centimeters (40.2 by 8.0 by 12.4 inches)
- Ideal for larger rooms
- Sound punches hard
- Great for loud playbacks
- Solid build
- Can be plain-looking
Polk Audio T15
The Polk Audio T15 is priced at less than $100 for a pair and is probably one of the most affordable speakers that you will find without having to sacrifice sound quality.
You will like how clear the vocals are, while the bass is astounding heart-thumping. These speakers might be small, but they have enough power to fill a medium-sized room. At the back, you will find a keyhole slot that makes it easy to mount these speakers on your walls and any other vertical surface.
It also comes with a pair of gold-plated five-way binding posts. It measures 10.6 by 6.5 by 10.6 inches (26.9 by 16.5 by 26.9 centimeters). As a bonus, you can use these speakers as part of your home entertainment system. The Polk T series includes a center channel speaker and floor standing speakers, as well.
- 0.75-inch (1.9-centimeter) tweeter
- 5.25-inch (13.3-centimeter) dynamic balance driver
- Two-way crossover
- Frequency range: 60 hertz to 24 kilohertz
- Nominal impedance 8 ohms
- Incredible sound for its very low price
- Excellent clarity
- Can handle a wide range of frequencies for better playback quality
- Some users reported that their speakers got broken after using them for only a short period of time.
Klipsch R-15PM Powered Monitor
The Klipsch R-15PM Powered Monitor gives you room-filling and top-notch sound. It comes with RCA phono inputs that you can switch to a LINE input. You can also use this product for listening to digital music, with its USB input. Plus, there is a digital optical input, Bluetooth connectivity, and an infrared remote.
The built-in amplifier allows you to use these speakers independently. You don’t have to waste space on a separate amplifier to get outstanding sound from these speakers.
These speakers are also ready for your TV and PC, not just your turntable. You can add a subwoofer to these speakers for those who like bass frequencies.
- Frequency response: 62 hertz to 24 kilohertz
- Low-frequency extension: 54 hertz
- Tweeter: One-inch (2.5-centimeter) aluminum diaphragm compression driver with Tractrix Horn
- Bass driver: 5.25 inches (13.3 centimeters)
- Magnetically shielded: Yes
- Amplifier: Yes, 50 watts for every channel
- Enclosure: Bass reflex MDF with a rear-firing port
- Inputs: RCA phono level inputs, USB digital audio, digital optical, and 3.5mm mini jack line level
- Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
- Dimensions 12.5 by 7.0 by 8.11 inches (31.8 by 17.8 by 20.6 centimeters)
- Excellent audio quality without the overly ridiculous price tag
- Versatile with its wide variety of inputs
- Turns off after a short while when not in use
- The volume resets after it turns off
- Bass might not be that good
For Those Who Have a Bluetooth Turntable
AudioEngine A2+ Plus Wireless Speaker
Minimalist speakers can cost less, and there’s less stuff to worry about. They are also easier to pair with your turntables and home decor. Get something like the AudioEngine A2+ Plus Wireless Speaker. These black wire-free speakers use Bluetooth to stream your music flawlessly.
With two channels, it gives you full stereo audio. Because of its small size, it is perfect for small rooms, for your turntable, or for your desktop computer. These speakers come with dual analog audio inputs and embedded analog amplifiers.
The AudioEngine A2+ (Read Our Full Review Here) is not just minimalist with its looks. All the knobs and buttons are hidden away at the back of the speaker, while the front only has clean lines and two drivers.
It has all the essential features that help it deliver excellent sound from your vinyl records. It also comes with a built-in digital to analog converter so you can play your MP3s and other music files.
These speakers are small and compact, but they deliver awesome build and sound quality. The AudioEngine A2+ comes in three colors: black, red, and white. It also has both wired and wireless versions.
- Dual analog class A/B monolithic amplifier
- 2.75-inch (7-centimeter) aramid fiber woofers
- 3/4-inch (1.9-centimeter) silk dome tweeters
- Inputs include stereo RCA, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, Bluetooth, and USB
- Outputs: 3.5mm mini-jack headphone out and RCA variable line-out
- Compact yet solidly excellent sound
- Affordable set of speakers
- Hi-fi sound and ideal for audiophiles
- Some users say that with a frequency response range of 65 hertz to 22 kilohertz, the low frequencies didn’t register that well.
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
If you prefer a minimalist look for your turntables and speakers, then get the Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers.
The Edifier R1280DB is one of the low-priced options for minimalist turntable speakers. It’s a Bluetooth speaker with excellent sound quality with its four-inch (10.2-centimeter) woofer and 0.5-inch (13- millimeter) silk dome tweeter.
It’s also a fine-
looking speaker with two designs to choose from. One is an all-black affair with minimal styling and the other features an elegant wood grain design.
These speakers measure 5.8 by 9.5 by 7.0 inches (14.7 by 24.1 by 17.8 centimeters), making them a good addition to your bookshelves, tabletop, and other surfaces where they can be both seen and heard.
This product comes with a remote that you can use to control the devices you connect to your speaker via Bluetooth.
- Bass unit: 4 inches (10.2 centimeters)
- Tweeter unit: 0.5 inch (13 millimeters)
- RCA input
- Optical input
- Signal to noise ratio: 85 decibels
- One of the most affordable speakers in the market that’s worth more than its price
- Studio-quality sound
- Very clear
- You might find the bass lacking because of its size
- Some users have issues with audio quality when connecting via Bluetooth
- The remote control might not work properly with some devices
For Those Who Have an Amplifier
KEF LS50 Meta
The KEF LS50 Meta may look diminutive, but these speakers certainly deliver when it comes to sound quality. The small box can surprisingly give you full-bodied audio. What’s more, you have four finishes to choose from: royal blue, mineral white, carbon black, and titanium gray.
The enclosure is made with polyester resin with calcium carbonate and glass fiber, as well as MDF. It can dampen any unwanted resonances. But more importantly, it has an array of drivers that deliver precise sound that’s pleasing to the ears. You can easily hear every detail, word, and note.
- The two-way bass-reflex design
- Frequency range: 47 Hz – 45 kHz
- Recommended amplifier power: 40-100 watts
- Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
- Dimensions: 12 by 7.9 by 12.2 inches (30.5 by 20 by 31 centimeters)
- The outstanding sound quality in a compact package
- Four designs to choose from
- Precise sound reproduction and cutting edge technology
- If you don’t have an amplifier, you will need to spend more and buy one.
- Can be very expensive for some
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why vinyl records?
Answer: It’s true that digital music is very convenient. You can have an entire library of music in a hard drive or music player. You don’t have to have to clean or maintain things as you do with vinyl records. And you have high-resolution audio that is very clear. You can also play digital music anywhere.
However, audiophiles appreciate vinyl more, even if it’s a bit inconvenient, especially when compared to digital music. That’s because they swear that vinyl sound better than MP3s or CDs.
Vinyl records deliver a more accurate recording than digital files. LPs and tapes cannot be as perfect as processed digital music, but it sounds more natural than CDs. If an audiophile goes for music that sounds like you’re in a live concert or in a music hall with a band playing, then vinyl is more accurate than CDs. It sounds closer to the real thing.
Question: What are the main differences between vinyl records and digital music?
Answer: There are several notable differences between vinyl and digital music. Some differences benefit one over the other. So to give you a brief rundown of the difference between these two music formats, here are their main differences:
• Digital music is much more convenient than vinyl. You can take your entire digital music collection with you, and its only limitation is the amount of hard disk space you have in your computer or MP3 player, whereas Vinyl records are physical objects and there are specific ways to handle them. What’s more, with digital music, you only have to plug in your speakers or headset to listen anywhere. You can do that with vinyl, which needs a turntable or phonograph.
• Vinyl stores the entire range of frequencies when you record on it. That means that the lowest of bass and the highest of trebles are there when you play it, whereas Digital music loses some of these frequencies for two reasons: using lossy compression and intentionally cutting the extreme frequencies. Both of these are done to decrease the audio file’s size, which will be too big if it contains all the music that vinyl records store.
• Digital music is usually cleaned up, while vinyl records sound more realistic. There are times that MP3s or streamed audio can sound too perfect to be real.
Question: Can you also recommend some good turntables?
Answer: If you’re looking for the best turntables to pair with the speakers we recommended above, here are your best choices:
Rega Planar 1
• Dimensions: 11.7 by 44.7 by 36 centimeters (4.6 by 17.6 by 14.2inches)
• Belt drive motor
• Rega Carbon MM cartridge
• No phono preamp, USB output, and Bluetooth connectivity
• Speeds: 33.3 and 45 revolutions per minute
• Available finishes: Black, white
• Dimensions: 9 by 6.3 by 4.7 inches (23 by 16 by 12 centimeters)
• Direct drive motor
• Cartridge: yes
• Phono preamp: Yes
• USB: No
•Speeds: 33.3, 45, 78 revolutions per minute
• Finishes: Black, silver
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
• Dimensions: 4.6 by 16.3 by 12.6 inches (11.8 by 41.5 by 32 centimeters)
• Belt drive motor
• Ortofon 2M red cartridge
• No phono preamp, USB output, and Bluetooth
• Speeds: 33.3, 45, 78
• Finish: Black, red, white, wood, green, blue, yellow
Get the Best Speakers for Vinyl Today
Whether you’re an avid audiophile or not, you should give vinyl records a listen. They will provide you with a different kind of sound experience than digital music. You might fall in love with the scratchy ambient sounds, the analog sound, and subtle imperfections.
As you can see, the best speakers for turntables do not need to be inexpensive, and you can use them for everything else. Just make sure that you have the right connectors, the right frequency response range, and the looks you prefer.
Once you have chosen the perfect speakers for your turntable, you can just plug it in, sit back and enjoy the analog ride.