A great set of speakers can transform an average record player set up into a mean-sounding music machine. If you want your favorite tunes to sound better than they ever have before, then buying a pair of the best speakers for vinyl is the place to start.
Whether you’ve just got into vinyl or you’re an audiophile looking to take their system to the next level, you’re bound to find a perfect set of speakers on this list. It doesn’t matter whether you’re after active or passive speakers, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to discover some of the best turntable speakers on the market today and to find out what to look out for when you’re trying to choose the perfect set of speakers for you.
The Best Speakers for Vinyl in 2021
1. Sony SSCS5 Bookshelf Speakers
The first option on our list of the best speakers for vinyl are these speakers from Sony. They have a classic design that would fit nicely with nearly any interior and room. They are 3-way, 3 -driver speakers so you can rely on these speakers producing impressive sound across all frequency ranges.
For bookshelf speakers, Sony manages to pack in a lot of power and volume. They clock in at 100W, which is more than enough to fill a large room. You’ll definitely have enough volume to provide the music for a party as well.
These vinyl speakers are passive speakers, so they need to be powered by an external amplifier. Since they can be powered up to 100 watts though, nearly all amplifiers will be suitable to be paired with this set.
- Classy and attractive design
- High-quality sound output
- Only one color option
2. Edifier R1280T Powered Speakers
Our next recommendation is the R1280T set of speakers from Edifier. They are powered speakers, which is another term for an active system. This means they can be used without an amplifier, you’ll just need to make sure the sound from your turntable is going through a phono pre-amp before it reaches the speakers.
These bookshelf speakers have a lovely design that is finished with polished wood. They look great and would blend in nicely with any modern home. The speaker grills can also be removed to expose the cool looking tweeters and speaker components.
A cool feature of these speakers is that they come with a remote control. This means you can control your music from a distance, and you don’t have to keep getting up to adjust the volume.
Edifier also throws in a 2-year warranty to protect their buyer’s against any manufacturer defects. It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll run into any issues with these speakers but it’s always nice to have that peace of mind.
- 2-year warranty
- Remote control included
- The instruction manual isn’t the best
3. Polk T15 Bookshelf Speakers
These bookshelf speakers from Polk are another set that we highly recommend to anyone looking for excellent audio fidelity and a high-quality build. These are extremely popular speakers and the thousands of positive reviews confirm even further that they are a great option.
They can be cranked up to 100 watts which is definitely wall-shaking territory. Even at lower volumes these speakers sound great though and have impressive frequency response across the board. These speakers are also wall-mountable, which is particularly useful if you want to set them up in a home theater.
These speakers are connected to the turntable via a classic RCA connection, so you can be sure that nearly any turntable is going to be compatible. These turntable speakers are definitely a versatile option.
- Excellent build quality
- High-quality frequency response
- Very popular so can be hard to find in stock
4. Klipsch R-41M Speaker Set
These powered speakers from Klipsch combine attractive and futuristic looks with great sound that results in an excellent set of bookshelf speakers. Removing the speaker grill reveals a super cool bronze and silver tweeter design that would look amazing in a modern living room.
These speakers can be powered up to a huge 200 watts, which makes them suitable for a variety of situations. They are just as at home in a home theater system as they are playing your favorite records. These speakers are an all in one solution for your sound needs – there’s nothing they can’t do!
This set is hooked to your turntable via an RCA connection, which is always reliable if you’re looking for top-quality sound. Overall, they are some of the best bookshelf speakers for vinyl out there for the style-conscious music lover.
- Impressive 200 watts of power
- Very cool design
- Only one color choice
5. Klipsch R-15M Speaker Set
Here we have another speaker set from Klipsch, this time their R-15M model. This is pretty similar to the R-41M model, ut with a few small differences. Firstly, the R-15M can go even louder than the R-41M and can be cranked all the way to 340 watts.
The impressive volume is combined with great sound detail that offers a consistent and solid frequency response. The build quality is also excellent and the cool design elements of the R-41M are also seen on this pair.
These speakers also have bass reflex thanks to the cut out in the rear of each speaker. This provides more dynamic bass that will make your music sound even richer and more defined.
- Impressive bass frequency response
- Easy to link to a turntable
- The instruction manual isn’t very clear
6. Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speaker
Here we have the first pair of wireless speakers on our list. The A5+ from Audioengine is a set that is geared towards the music lover who wants their system to be easy to use and versatile. There are a few cool features that make this happen.
Firstly, the speakers have Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can set them up with a turntable that has a Bluetooth output, and don’t have to have them sitting right next to the record player. This gives you the freedom to layout your system exactly how you want it.
If you don’t want to use Bluetooth, then the set also has 3.5mm inputs as well as an RCA connection. However you want to hook up your record player to the speaker, you’ll have the option with this Audioengine bookshelf speaker.
- Lots of different connection options
- 150 watts of power output
- Quite pricey
7. Cyber Acoustics Bluetooth Speaker
This Cyber Acoustics speaker set has one of the most unique and coolest designs on this list. You can completely change the color of each speaker component thanks to the LED lights included in each one. This lets you shift the mood to match the music you’re playing.
This cool design is paired with great sound quality and frequency response. The Bluetooth connection is also easy to use and means you can move the speaker around without having to take the record player with it. This speaker is also a good option if you need basic studio monitors or a speaker for your computer setup.
- 1-year warranty
- Cool LED design
- Bright colors might not be for everyone
8. Dayton Audio B652 Speakers
Another good option for your turntable setup is this speaker from Dayton Audio. This compact speaker set offers impressive sound for its size, thanks in part to the silk dome tweeter included in each speaker. This dome tweeter gives excellent high pitch tones and improves the overall frequency response.
You’ll get up to 80 watts of power out of this setup, which is pretty decent considering the speakers will hardly be taking up any space in your room. This Dayton Audio set is undoubtedly one of the best bookshelf speakers if you’re after a compact system that still packs a punch.
The design is also simple and attractive and will look fine in any kind of living room. You can even take off the removable speaker grills if you want that slightly more futuristic look.
- Impressive volume for the size
- Silk dome tweeter sounds great
- Only one black color option
9. Onkyo SKH-410 Home Audio Speaker System
This pair of active bookshelf speakers are another great option if you want to take your home listening to the next level. They have a pretty unique design that we haven’t seen on any other similarly priced options. Specifically, the speaker system actually points upwards into the room, in order to improve frequency response and overall sound.
This system has a 50-watt output which is perfect for a medium-sized room. They make any vinyl record sound detailed and exciting whilst also having an attractive design that will blend in with any style of living space. This system is definitely an option to look into if you want some budget speakers with a cool and futuristic design.
- Cool design
- Bass driver sounds particularly detailed
- 50W might not be enough for outdoor listening
10. Kanto YU6 Powered Bookshelf Speakers
If you love to crank up the volume when you listen to your favorite song, then you might not need to look further than this powered system from Kanto. With 200 watts of power they are bound to blow the roof off any party, but they also sound great when they’re turned down.
The audio quality is impressive thanks to the large bass drivers and tuning controls. This bass response is great for a vinyl record, which often needs a little boost in the low end to sound its best. This system also has built-in Bluetooth, which gives the user the freedom to put each speaker wherever they want to.
- Option to use as a Bluetooth speaker
- Great low end and overall audio quality
- A little pricey
11. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
The final option on our list of the best systems to make your records sound incredible is the R1700BT model from Edifier. The speakers may look like they have a classic bookshelf design, but in fact, they are packed with modern features aimed to make listening to your music as easy and as pleasurable as it can possibly be.
Firstly, the system has Bluetooth capability. This means you can connect your turntable directly to the system if it also has Bluetooth technology built-in. The best part about this is that you are free to place the speakers wherever is best in the room, and they don’t have to be right next to your turntable.
Having Bluetooth also means you can connect your phone or another music streaming device. This gives you even more options when it comes to choosing what music you want to listen to. Although records are great, sometimes having an endless library of music at your fingertips is even better.
This system also has one of our favorite designs. Each component has a lovely wooden finish and Edifier even throws in a remote control to make it even easier to use. The design is matched with excellent audio quality, particularly in the ranges served by the fantastic midrange driver.
- Another great system from Edifier
- Impressive midrange and power handling
- Quite popular so can be hard to find in stock
Buyer’s Guide to Speakers for Vinyl
When you start looking a new set of speakers to play your vinyl records through, you quickly realize just how many options there are on offer. Although it’s great to have all this choice it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. To make it easier, it’s best to take some time to think about what kind of speakers you need before you start looking.
There are few things you should always think about before committing to any pair of speakers. In this buyer’s guide, we go through each of these considerations and explain why they’re important and what you can do to make sure you’re choosing the perfect speakers for you.
We’d recommend thinking about each of these factors and deciding what you want to prioritize. Then when it comes to buying you can narrow down our search massively and you’ll find it much easier to pick out some great speakers.
One important thing to consider is how you’d like your speakers to hook up to your vinyl player. This will usually depend on the type of connections your turntable offers. For example, some record players have Bluetooth built in and can connect to wireless speakers, whilst others will rely on a wired RCA connection.
If a pair of speakers can’t connect to your record player then obviously they are not the ones for you. Thinking about connectivity is an easy way to cut down your search and only choose between the speakers that will actually be compatible with your system.
Passive or Active Speakers
Equally as important as connectivity is working out whether you need passive or active speakers for your record player. Passive speakers require an external amplifier to power them and play sound through, whilst active speakers have a built-in battery and can power themselves.
If you want to save space and a bit of money, then going for active speakers means you don’t need an external amplifier. However, if you do have an amplifier already then passive speakers are usually the cheaper option.
You should note that this amplifier is different from a phono preamp. Both passive and active speakers will require a phono preamp to work properly. Most modern turntables will have a built-in phono preamp but if yours doesn’t then this is another thing you’ll need. You can probably see how quickly this can all get quite confusing!
You should also consider how powerful you need your speakers to be. Speakers all have different power levels and some can be cranked way louder than others. It really all depends on the size of the room that you want to fill with music.
Power is usually measured in watts and the higher the wattage the louder your speakers are going to be able to go. Of course, you won’t be needing 10-foot tall club speakers in your living room, but you should always get something that is going to be loud enough to fill the space.
In our experience, it’s always better to have speakers that are too loud and can be turned down, than speakers that are too quiet and can’t be turned up loud enough!
A big thing that people tend to overlook is the actual size of the speakers. There’s no point buying a pair of speakers that you can’t fit into the space where you want them to go. Make sure to measure the space you have available and buy something that will fit.
A common misconception is that the bigger the speakers, the louder they are. This is true in some cases but you can find small speakers that more powerful and have better sound quality than much larger options.
Probably the single most important factor to take into account when choosing a new pair of speakers for vinyl records is your budget. Knowing your budget before you start searching can save you loads of precious time and make everything much more simple.
Luckily for us, there are amazing speaker options at nearly every price point. There’s no point searching for speakers that are way outside your budget when you get something fantastic that you can afford.
What are the best speakers for vinyl?
Since there are so many options when it comes to the best speakers for vinyl records, it’s pretty hard to say which ones are the best. Furthermore, every set up requires a different kind of speaker system – some need active speakers whilst others need passive, for example.
What we’re trying to say is that the best speakers will be different from person to person and from system to system. We’d recommend taking a look through our buyer’s guide which will help you narrow down your search and find the best speaker for you.
Do vinyl players need speakers?
Yes, record players do need speakers. However, some vinyl players will actually have speakers built into them and be ready to go as soon as you plug them in. In most cases though, you’ll need to buy some external speakers if you want to listen to your favorite records out loud.
To add more confusion to the matter, there are different types of speakers that are used with different types of record players. The best set of speakers for one record player might not even work at all with another! You also might have to buy a phono pre-amp and speaker amplifier to make everything work together.
Do I need a pre-amp?
A phono pre-amp takes the sound that is produced by the record player and brings it up to a level that is loud enough to go into an amplifier or active speakers. Luckily, many modern record players have phono pre-amps built-in, so you don’t have to worry about buying one.
If you don’t have one built-in then you can easily buy one and they’re not that expensive. If you have passive speakers, you’ll have to run this sound into another amplifier to be loud enough to play through the speakers.
How can I make my vinyl sound better?
There are loads of things you can do to improve the sound quality of your records. An audiophile will spend countless hours trying to achieve the perfect sound and probably never actually get there. One easy thing you can do is make sure you don’t have dust building up on the record’s surface.
When it comes to actually changing your system, there are a number of simple upgrades you can make that can make your music sound that bit nicer. For example, you could buy a better cartridge and needle for your tonearm, or invest in an audiophile-quality slip mat.
Unfortunately, you are only going to hear big changes in your sound quality by upgrading some of the main components of your setup. Buying a new turntable, amplifier and speakers will be a surefire way to make your tunes sound better, but of course this comes with a big cost.