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Vinyl is back – big time. Music lovers are increasingly ditching digital in favor of the purer, more complete listening experience that vinyl delivers.
An essential element of getting the best sound from your turntable is to pair them with the right speakers.
In this article, we reveal the 5 best speakers for vinyl on the market right now.
We also answer your most pressing vinyl speaker questions to ensure that you get the best possible sound experience from your vinyl discs.
Best Speakers For Vinyl Reviews & Recommendations For 2019
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1280T is a monitor speaker. It delivers impressive balance and clarity. It features two aux ports.
The main speaker features the volume control, along with controls for bass and treble. This provides a level of customization on this speaker set that you don’t often find.
The Edifier R1280T is a very impressive set of bookshelf speakers.
There are no standout drawbacks that we could find.
In fact,the only thing that we could put our finger on is that it is available in only one design; wooden enclosure with dark grey front.
If that doesn’t fit your color scheme then you have no other options.
The Edifier R1280T is housed in timber, which provides a wide range of sound, while looking very aesthetically pleasing.
The speakers are powered and come with speaker wire, along with RCA to RCA cable and aux to RCA plugs.
The R1280T comes in a pleasing retro look, but with a modern touch of style added. It delivers rich bass notes thanks to its calibrated flared bass reflex port.
This speaker system provides faithful sound reproduction and performance to bring your old vinyls back to life.
They deliver a precise booming mid-range that sounds fantastic.
The side of the active speaker has a built-in tone control. You can make micro adjustments in the bass from -6 to +6 db.
Digital volume control is automatically set to a comfort level whenever the speakers are turned on.
The dual RCA inputs provide you with both a passive and active speaker. The active speaker has two units located on the back.
You can connect them to your PC, laptop, tablet, phone or turntable.
The Edifier R1280T even comes with its own remote control unit that features volume up, volume down and mute controls.
The woofer with this speaker set is 4 inches in diameter, with a half-inch tweeter.
The Edifier R1280T is an extremely impressive little set of bookshelf speakers.
They allow for customization of your sound experience, provide premium features and look great.
Best of all, they are available at a pretty impressive price point.
TEWELL Bluetooth Computer Speaker
The TEWELL Retrorock speaker is a retro styled model that features the best of modern technology.
It features Bluetooth 4.2 to provide an extremely fast wireless connection to you turntable.
The TEWELL Retrorock speaker produces an impressive sound performance, being louder than most portable speakers.
The speakers themselves are very sturdy, being housed in a wooden box.
It is wrapped in synthetic leather with a finely woven cloth to replicate an old-fashioned speaker grill.
The TEWELL Retrorock is quite a large portable speaker. It does not come with a handle, which makes it a little tricky to carry around.
Also the treble is not as impressive as the bass.
On top of the speaker is a retro style switch to turn the device on or off. An AUX cable is included with your purchase.
You also get an AC power cord, rather than a micro USB cable. The power cable features a round pin adapter port plug to fit into most laptops.
The battery on the TEWELL Retrorock comes with a battery which is rated to last for four hours.
However, at a lower volume, users have been getting between 6 and 8 hours of battery life.
To charge the speaker, simply plug the AC adapter into the back of the unit. When the speaker is charging, a red light will display around the volume control.
When that light goes off, the speaker is fully charged.
The power output of this speaker is very impressive at 24 watts of power, split between the two drivers.
That compares with 5-12 watts of peak power for many competitors.
The TEWELL Retrorock delivers a great bass experience. It comes with a direct airflow port that enhances the mids and lows of your audio.
However, the treble on these speakers is rather ordinary.
The TEWELL Retrorock is a cool looking retro speaker that delivers a very pleasing level of sound.
It is slightly bigger than your everyday portable speaker. It is a bit hard to grip without a handle.
But if you are intent on getting that back to 70’s look and sound, then you can’t do any better than the Tewell Retrorock.
Presonus E4.5-4.5" 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor
The Presonus E4.5’s 4.5-inch speaker makes use of a woven, composite, low frequency driver.
This unique weave results in a more constant dispersion pattern throughout the frequency range. The result is a much cleaner overall sound level.
The monitor of the Presonus E4.5 speaker features a silk down tweeter that produces a smooth, refined level of sound.
It does a great job with high frequency sounds.
The tweeter delivers the sound to a fairly wide dispersion area to create a wider than normal sweet spot within which to enjoy your music.
We have not found any issues with the Presonus E4.5 speaker.
However, a number of verified purchasers have complained about a lack of customer service from the company.
The Presonus E4.5 provides you with impressive acoustic tuning.
The three-position acoustic space switch is provided to compensate for the boundary bass boost that often happens when the speaker is placed near a wall.
You also get high and mid control to reduce room interruptions.
This speaker also features a Low Cutoff filter that allows you to integrate a Temblor T8 subwoofer.
You get three types of audio inputs with these speakers.
This means that you can connect it to virtually any device, including a mixer, media player, smartphone or laptop. You also get a headphone amplifier.
The Presonus E4.5 speaker provides you with consistent, high quality sound. It is compact and powerful and delivers a smooth, even level of frequency.
Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers
The Polk T 15s free standing speaker comes in a clean all-black cabinet design. It has a removable cloth grille that covers a grey woofer. It also has a wall mount.
The Polk T 15s is a simple, budget speaker that provides a good sound at a great price. However, the frequency is not overly impressive.
The Polk T15s has a very simple design, being made from MDF and weighing just eight pounds. Inside the speaker is a 5.25-inch polymer composite cone driver.
There is also a .75-inch soft dome tweeter, that is recessed to create a pseudo wave guide for the speaker. Between the two drivers is a front port.
The Polk T 15s is an impressive budget free-standing speaker set.
It has a very basic design but delivers the sound that you want and some extras features that you don’t expect.
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System
The Sony 3-Way 3-Drive Bookshelf speaker provides you with a high-resolution audio experience.
It includes a rigid 5.12 inch MRC woofer for dynamic bass, along with a 0.98 in tweeter and 0.75 in super-tweeter designed to reproduce High-Resolution Audio tracks.
While the Sony 3-Way 3-Drive Bookshelf speaker is a very impressive speaker that represents great value for money and will please the general listener, they are not made for the audiophile.
Aficionados will pick up on so-so frequency and treble.
The Sony 3-Way 3-Drive Bookshelf speaker features super tweeters to provide wide directionality to maximize the sweet spot effect.
The 0.98 inch soft dome main tweeter features polyester fiber to provide the very best sound.
Advanced sound-absorbing felt enhances that sound further by eliminating rear sound pressure.
You get a foam mica-cellular diaphragm with this speaker. This ensures a powerful bass and find detail to provide clear vocals in the mid -ange.
The baffle board and cabinet helps to eliminate outside noise. Slightly tapered faceplate edges, edge diffraction is suppressed for a clear and natural sound-stage.
On top of this, the ported all-wood enclosure, solid construction and secure interior joints eliminates unwanted vibrations.
Unlike many competitor products at this price range, the Sony3-Way 3-Drive Bookshelf speaker uses Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) fiber woofers (compared with paper cones that are prone to breaking down over time). MRC woofers will retain their shape over the long-term.
The Sony 3-Way 3-Drive Bookshelf speaker has a smart black finish that will fit in with any décor.
This is a very well-built speaker which with strong ported enclosures that provide rich acoustics.
The speakers are very compact, making them ideal for the most confined living spaces.
Turntable Speakers FAQ
Do vinyl players need speakers?
Yes, you will need to purchase speakers for your vinyl turntable player.
The speaker is the part of the set-up that will produce the final sound, so getting the best quality speaker is essential for a quality listening experience.
What should I look for when buying turntable speakers?
When buying turntable speakers, you should look out for the following:
If you have restricted space available, you should go for bookshelf speakers. If you want to get the loudest sound however, you should go for floor speakers.
They will also give you a more steady treble. you should buy a pair of speakers that have inbuilt amplifiers.
Be sure to get speakers with inputs that are compatible with your turntable. A speaker with a range of outputs will allow you to connect to different turntables.
What are the different types of speakers for vinyl?
Speakers come in a range of shapes and sizes. The space where you set up your turntable will, to a large degree, dictate your choice of speaker type. You can choose from the following speaker types:
- Floor speakers – these are large, standing speakers that sit on the floor. They do not require any additional support to keep them in place. Prices can range from under a hundred dollars to up to $4,000. You should be aware that speaker prices are usually quoted on single speakers, not for a pair.
- Bookshelf speakers – these small speakers are designed to sit on a shelf or a speaker stand.
- Ceiling / In-wall speakers – these are very small speakers that are mounted on a wall or installed flush into the ceiling.
- Soundbar – this is a long, narrow speaker enclosure that makes use of a line-array set-up or multiple drivers. Soundbars are commonly used with TVs but can also work with turntables. Sometimes a soundbar will come with a separate subwoofer.
- Active speakers – these are also known as powered speakers. They have built-in amplifiers that can be connected directly to the turntable without needing a receiver. Some models also include built-in preamp, while others require the separate purchase of a preamp.
How to connect your turntable with speakers?
Check that the cable plugs from the speakers match the inputs on the turntable.
If not you will have to purchase an adapter. The plugs will either be color coded to the correct input or they will be labeled for left and right.
Be sure to put the correct speaker in the appropriate input on the turntable. Ensure that the cables are securely attached.
If possible, hide the speaker cables under carpet or running them along the wall to prevent them from being accidentally pulled out.
Do you need an amp for active speakers?
No, you do not need an amp for active speakers. That is because they have an amp built into them.
They are fed by a low-level signal that passes along an interconnect cable that comes from the controller.
Your active speaker needs to be plugged in, so be sure to position it near a power outlet.
A passive speaker does not come with a built-in amplifier. It will have to be connected to your amplifier with speaker wire.
Where should I put turntable speakers?
The placement of your turntable speakers will be determined largely by the space available. But you can get the best placement, regardless of the space available.
To ensure that you get the best sound, you will have to be patient in working out the ideal placement.
The minimum distance between speakers should by 150 cm (59 inches). They should also be at least 30 cm (11.8 inches) away from the rear wall.
You should place the speakers so that they form an equilateral triangle with the person sitting on the couch.
The distance between the speakers and the listener should be the same as the distance between the two speakers.
There should also not be any objects in the way of this equilateral triangle, as they will cause holes in the sound.
Begin with the speakers 30 cm away from the rear wall and then move them closer to your couch while your favorite music is playing.
Keep going until a person who is seated on the couch says that it is ideal. The speakers should be angled 10-20 degrees from the wall toward the couch where the speaker sits.
Apart from your turntable and speakers, you will also need a preamp. The output signal that is produced by a turntable is phono.
This is a rather quiet signal that needs amplification to be heard. The speakers and receiver that are used are usually going to be at line level, not phono.
A phono signal requires additional amplification in order to work properly with a line-level stereo system.
If your turntable does not have a preamp, the sound will be muted and hard to hear.
Preamps can be built into the turntable, the receiver or sometimes even the speakers. Or they can be purchased as a stand-alone unit.
New turntables with USB outputs will include a built-in preamp. If you need to buy a phono preamp you should be able to get one for about $50.
You will also need to purchase a receiver. This is the device that transmits the sound from the turntable to the speakers.
You can buy receivers that include a built-in preamp. Before buying a preamp you should be aware of the following:
- Be sure that the receiver includes receiver inputs or an audio input for your turntable, typically connected with RCA cables, as well as enough inputs for any other components you might want to connect to the receiver.
- Receivers will produce different amounts of power. A normal home set-up will not take up a lot of power. But, if you are going to be connecting several devices to your receiver, such as a TV, check with your electronics dealer whether the receiver will provide the needed power.
- Make sure that the receiver is the right size for your requirements. Receivers can range from 14 to more than 20 inches deep and anywhere from 10 to 17 inches wide. Be sure to bring along with you a measurement of the space you have available.
What should I think about when buying a turntable?
When you plan on buying a new turntable, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
What is your overall budget (and include having to potentially buy speakers and a receiver!)?
- Where will you place your turntable (be sure you know your size and weight limitations)?
- Do you want an automatic or manual turntable?
- Do you want a turntable with a built-in preamp?
- Do you need a USB option?
The best speakers for a record player on the market right now is the Edifier R1280T Bookshelf speaker, which provides you with a truly impressive sound quality at a very sharp price point.
Our second best set of turntable speakers are the TEWELL Retrorock speakers, which are our favorite retro styled speakers that are enabled with the latest tech, including Bluetooth 4.2.
Rounding out our top 3 best speakers for turntable is the Presonus E4.5, which provides a consistent, high quality sound level at a budget price.
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