In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: March 11, 2021
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Ever had the chance to experience the beauty that is vinyl music? As ridiculous as this question may sound to audiophiles, many people today prefer the convenience of simpler formats and compressed files. But only vinyl will allow you to feel high-quality music in all its richness. That said, not all speakers can do justice to vinyl music, so how can you find the ones that are perfect for the task?
We took the liberty to try out several speakers for you to not waste time and money on the poorly done products. In our quest to help you find the best turntable speakers, we outline the main features that you need to consider before making a purchase. These include the woofer size, sound quality, frequency range, design, guarantee, and weight among others. These can help you find the ideal turntable speaker for your vinyl before you spend your hard-earned cash.
Yamaha is a renowned brand in the music industry but the Yamaha Hs5 does not only rely on its reputable brand. The turntable speaker offers comes with several features that make it a perfect music companion. Most studio monitors and other speakers have added frequencies to enhance their bass and treble, which may be flattering at first but they distort the original sound. With the Yamaha Hs5, you get the honest and precise sound that emanates from your vinyl.
The performance of this Yamaha turntable speaker is quite impressive. It features newly introduced transducers that use a unique magnetic field design to regulate magnetic flow in the speaker. This achieves a smooth response of sound over a wide bandwidth range too. A bi-amp design, which includes separate amplifiers for the woofer and tweeter, is fitted in the speakers to give users a high-quality sound.
Some clever designs from the manufacturer have also improved its overall performance. For example, its low resonance enclosure design made from MDF wood helps to reduce any unpleasant resonance and enhance high-resolution sound. It also has a unique noise reduction design that influence the clarity of music from the turntable speakers.
Installation and connectivity is also a piece of cake with the Yamaha Hs5. It comes with screws and mounting points that you can install on your wall or ceiling too. When it comes to controls, this turntable speaker goes a notch further. It features detailed settings that allow you to tune the music depending in the shape and size of the room.
KRK sound systems have been used and trusted by sound engineers for more than three decades. This brand is known for their quality sound systems that incorporate innovative engineering features to give users an unparalleled musical experience. With the KRK RP8 Rokit 8, you get hear quality music as clear and crisp as it was intended to be.
A unique feature is its DSP-driven Active Room Tuning system that comes installed on this turntable sound. This G4 line is also the first to include an LCD display that can help you navigate your way around the speaker settings. You get 25 different EQ settings that you can use to fine tune your sound. This also comes in handy when you need to eliminate or correct sound problems caused by your acoustic environment.
The KRK app that is available to both Android and Iphone users gives you even better control over the speakers. You can do a lot with the app such as changing EQ settings, calibrating speaker placement in your room, and even assess the acoustic dynamics in your room. Once you purchase the KRK RP8 Rokit 8, you are only one click away from from getting the most out of your turntable speakers. This turnytable speaker is great if you would love to enjoy some high-quality vinyl music with clarity.
While you may have hear better sound quality than the Klipsch RP-600M offers, you definitely didn’t hear it from a speaker of the same price range. This simply means that the sound quality that you get from this speaker is something to marvel at. Playing live music with these speakers gives you an immersive experience as if you were in the concert.
At first sight, the Klipsch RP-600M looks great but we can confirm that it feels and sounds great too. The speaker features a 6.5 inch cerametallic woofer at the bottom with a spun copper design that makes it stunning. Above this woofer is a 1-inch tweeter fitted in the usual tractrix horn that Klipsch fits in all its speakers.
It measures 15.7 x 8 x 11.8 inches and weighs about 16 pounds, which makes them lightweight and portable. They can come in handy when you need to host a party on your patio or in your lawn. Klipsch RP-600M also has an attractive design and you can choose between the sassy ebony, walnut, or a piano black color.
This turntable speaker is an active speaker that allows you to pair it with a wide range of amplifiers. A good amp will smoothen out the tone and ensure that the treble is clear, which is perfect for live music and concerts.
PreSonus Eris E4.5 BT is a great pick for anyone who wants a smooth yet precise sound that they can use in their small living rooms. It has a 50 W output that produces an impressive 100dB noise levels. Moreover, it also has a frequency response of 70Hz to 20kHz meaning it can play a diverse range of sounds.
While the PreSonus Eris E4.5 BT has a simple design, it is made from good quality material that will serve you for years. A 4.5-inch Kevlar woofer and a one-inch silk dome tweeter are fitted on the front part of the speakers.
The company also makes using these vinyl speakers a breeze by placing the commonly used controls on the front part of the active speaker too. However, you will have to go to the back of the speaker to access other controls such as the acoustic tuning and RCA connections.
With regards to performance, the small woofer has quite a thump and it may impress you if you are a bass lover. The treble is clear too and you can get some nice depth out of the speakers. And while sound engineers may not want to tweak the sound produced, you can use the controls at the back to fine tune the music according to your preferences.
Sony SSCS5 is a very special turntable speaker that will offer you everything you need in a vinyl speaker. One of the features of this turntable speaker that stands out is its wide frequency response that ranges from 53 Hz to 50,000Hz. What does this mean? Well, let’s just say the speaker can catch all the sound notes with pin point accuracy. This is great for sound engineers and audiophiles who would love to get a taste of sweet vinyl music.
The Sony SSCS5 is a 3 way turntable speaker, which simply means that it just doesn’t have a tweeter and a woofer like the other speakers. It has a separate speaker for its low, mid, and high sound range that improves audio quality and bass significantly. The design of this turntable speaker is pretty basic and you may not get the chance to show off your new speakers to your friends.
These 3 way turntable speakers come with fiber-reinforced woofers that to give them extra stability. The fiber material used in the Sony SSCS5 makes the speaker more rigid and reduces any break up when playing high bass music. This feature is great for bass lovers or when you are trying to break in your speakers for the first time.
Edifier S2000pro is a beautiful yet versatile turntable speaker that balances its sound output to offer quality and precise sounds. While this model may not have as much features as the other speakers, it focuses on giving the user a great sound experience. It is a large speaker that you can use for your bookshelf, PC desk, and even home entertainment. They are tilted at a certain angle to ensure the tweeters are situated at an ear level for a crisp clear sound.
The Edifier S2000pro has a solid and rich design like its previous model but includes a number of small changes that make it even more lush. While the S1000 was made of MDF faux wood, this model features solid wood with a matte black finish on the panels. This great design is backed by bronze feet that give the vinyl speaker a sturdy construction even when playing music on higher volumes.
Installing and using the Edifier S2000pro is also easy. Unlike most of the speakers we reviewed, this one has bluetooth capabilities that allow you to play from several sources. We also loved that it does not give any corny feedback once you pair your device, and you will only tell from the flickering LED lights.
Andrew Jones is a popular name in the home entertainment industry as it is known to offer professional-quality audio to your home. With Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones, you get bookshelf vinyl speakers that will change how you listen to music. The high-quality sounds produced by this model create an immersive sound experience right in your living room.
This turntable speaker has an output of 80W, which is good enough to offer sophisticated sound quality at a good volume level. You can choose to use these speakers for your home theater system in the living room or adopt them as your stereo speakers.
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones has an appealing look that you can be proud to showcase to your friends or guests. Its curved design not only looks great but it is also meant to reduce sound vibrations and resonance inside the speakers. This leads to high quality sound.
This turntable speaker is a 2-way sound system that packs a 4 inch woofer and a 1 inch tweeter.
A unique crossover is included to help distinguish the high and the low frequencies in this turntable speaker. While many models uses a simple and non-effective crossover, Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones has a 6-component crossover for further clarity and an immersive experience.
There is no need to introduce JBL. The audio company has been in existence for decades and has a wide range of products from budget picks to top of the range speakers. With the JBL Professional 305P, you get high quality sound at a reasonable cost.
But the main reason why JBL Professional 305P is on this list is because of its ability to focus on even the smallest sound details. This speaker offers crisp and clear sound that is characterized by deep bass and a balanced treble. The speaker uses magnetically shielded transducers to get bright sounds with little sound distortion and cause less ear fatigue.
This model also come with JBL’s notable Image Control Waveguide that looks like a horn but helps users to find the music sweet spot. Under the sweet spot, you can hear quality sounds. They are not only perfect for sound professionals but you can also use them in your living room.
Aside from great performance, the JBL Professional 305P is also durable. It is made from medium density fiberboard and measures 11.7 x 7.3 x 9.1 inches. Each of these speakers weighs about 5 pounds, which is portable enough. With the stereo imaging, however, you should not move your speakers much once you find your sweet spot.
What we liked:
Features a potted design
Wide frequency response
Sleek modern design
Comes with a patented image control waveguide
What could be better:
Produces a hiss sound when music is not playing
Things to Consider
It is not enough to know the top turntable speakers on the market. You need a speaker that meets your needs and preferences if you do not want to experience buyer’s remorse. There are some critical knowledge that you should have before you pull out your credit card and order a turntable speaker. Here are a few things to keep in mind so that you get the best speakers for turntable.
How to use turntable speakers
Spending more money on a turntable speaker may seem absurd, especially to those who want to save by getting a vinyl within built speakers. While this is another way to go about it, we do not recommend it for various reasons. For example, such turntables tend to occupy more space, are bulky, and produce poor sound quality.
With the right turntable speaker, you get to enjoy several benefits that can enhance your music experience. First, you get less vibrations and resonance in the turntable, which allows your vinyl’s needle to read the record with precision. The result is a raw sound that makes high quality music. Secondly, a dedicated turntable speaker will be of much higher quality than the speaker built inside the turntable. Since most manufacturers may not want to sell their wares at high prices, they may opt to use low quality parts when making the internal speaker to save cost. This means you get to experience less technical problems when you get a turntable speaker as the overall quality is much better. An external speaker may be much expensive but at least it is designed to offer you the best quality sound. Finally, turntable speakers allow you to connect to several speakers and even use an amplifier to improve sound level and the quality of sound.
Determine turntable speaker type by room size
It is obvious that you should consider your room size when buying any speaker. A small speaker like JBL Professional 305P will not offer the best form of entertainment in an arena. For small to medium sized rooms, you can get away with smaller bookshelf speakers but you may need some larger speakers when catering to a larger room. If you or your guests are sitting more than twelve feet from the speakers then it is fair to consider this a large room. Also, remember that larger spaces or rooms tend to diffuse your musical sound a bit more so you may want to reduce the distance between the entertainment area and the sitting area.
The acoustics of the room will also impact sound quality. Rooms that have a lot of hard surfaces will reverberate sound and make it sound more distorted. Some of the surfaces that can affect the quality of your music include tile floors, mirrors, hardwood floors, and even wood panels. One way of preventing plain surfaces from distorting sound is using sound absorbing foam in your room. The foam will absorb any unwanted sound radiations. Alternatively, you can use carpets and rugs to cover the plain surfaces. These thick rugs can help to absorb and diffuse the sound waves. Of course, the perfect room is one which incorporates both reflective surfaces and some thick surfaces that can diffuse some sounds too.
Like purchasing other audio equipment, your budget will play a huge role in determining the quality of speaker that you get. After all, don’t you get what you pay for? You can be easily tempted to invest in a pricey turntable speaker, especially if you are a music lover and want the best out of your vinyl speakers. However, you do not need to splurge on a turntable speaker to get the best sounds. A reasonably priced vinyl speaker like Sony SSCS5 may also offer you the same benefits and features that a costly speaker would.
One way to save some cash is to get powered speakers that do not need preamps or receivers. You may fork out a bit more at the time of purchase but you end up saving more over the years. Investing in a good subwoofer is also a great way to enhance your bass without affecting the quality of sound that you get.
Features to consider while buying the best turntable speakers
With the several number of turntable speakers on the market it is not difficult to purchase one that does not work for you. You may like the design of a vinyl speaker only to find out that it is too small for your living room. To avoid such scenarios, there are a couple of features that you need to consider before making a purchase. Here are some.
Active vs passive
There are two common types of turntable speakers including active and passive speakers. Active speakers do not need a connection to an external amp. They come with a power plug and you can directly connect the speakers to the turntable. The in-built amp in an active speaker is directly powered by the electric source. Active speakers are easy to use as you just need to plug and start playing.
Passive speakers, on the other hand, are those that do not have a power plug or an in-built preamplifier. You will have to rely on an external amp and may need some extra wiring than necessary. While this may seem like a downside to most, the ability to choose your desired amplifier is welcome to a real audiophile.
Most of the speakers in our review are active speakers.
Wired or not?
The re-emergence of vinyl as a preferred audio equipment means that there are a lot of vinyl with new technology such as Bluetooth capabilities. If you have a new age vinyl with a bluetooth connection then it is only wise that you get speakers with bluetooth connectivity such as PreSonus Eris E4.5 BT and Edifier S2000pro. Bluetooth vinyl speakers are great since you can use them with a variety of devices such as your phone. They are also wireless, which means you will have a tidy home entertainment system.
That said, many vinyl speakers will offer both RCA connections and bluetooth connectivity. Having the standard connections will ensure that your speakers are versatile too as many older devices use RCA connectivity as their main connection mode. These are easy to set up and do not need any extra equipment apart from wires.
Since there are scores of turntables speakers out there, it may be difficult to find the perfect size. You don’t want to be the customer returning the vinyl speaker because it is too big although it delivers the perfect sound quality. The perfect size vinyl speaker depends on the space of your room and your needs. While the dimensions of the speaker will not impact the performance of the speaker, knowing them comes in handy when you want to move them or are limited in space. If you will be moving the speakers constantly then you need to choose portable speakers such as the PreSonus Eris E4.5 BT. If not and space is not an issue, you can go with a larger model.
It is recommended that you get vinyl speakers that complement the size of your turntable set up. Bookshelf speakers come in handy as vinyl speakers since they produce some great sound quality and are portable too. If you need more base then you can get an extra sub to complement the other speakers without affecting sound quality output.
Each speaker has a frequency rating, which is simply the audio frequencies that they produce. The human ear can listen to sounds ranging from 40 Hz to 20Hz with the higher frequencies being treble and the lower frequencies representing bass sounds. The best vinyl speakers are those that can replicate a balanced frequency response as they produce better sound quality.
A speaker that is unable to balance the frequencies will produce unclear sounds. If you love listening to heavier genres of music that need a lot of bass then you might have to prioritize speakers that have lower frequencies.
A guarantee includes an assertion from the manufacturer that the products delivered are of the promised quality. It can also include warranty terms that promise to repair or replace any defective products that are delivered to the client. Guarantees helps clients to ascertain which products are of a high quality while manufacturers can use them to build a trusting relationship with their customers. Ideally, you want a vinyl speaker with the best guarantee terms and warranty period. The JBL Professional 305P and KRK RP8 Rokit 8 stand out with a 3-year limited guarantee period for each.
Each speaker also has a power rating which measures its power output. The power in speakers is measured in watts and will give you an idea of its performance and power consumption. You should also be aware of a speaker’s sound pressure level, which is the maximum volume you can play the speakers and is measured in decibels. Vinyl speakers with a high-power rating such as the Klipsch RP-600M that has a 400W rating are much more likely to offer a louder performance but they consume significant amounts of power. Passive speakers consume less power as they have no in-built amplifiers.
One of the main reasons for the resurgence of vinyl is the quality of sounds that it produces. They have become popular over the years since they are a lossless format that produce a high quality of sound as it was made. Unlike other digital formats such as MP3s that need speakers to correct their imperfections, vinyl speakers only need a speaker that can deliver high quality notes.
Finding the best turntable speaker is not going to be a walk in the park judging by the high number of speakers out there. You will not only have to look for a good quality speaker but you should also consider the acoustics of your rooms. All in all, you need a great vinyl speaker that delivers a crisp, clear, and audible sound.
The design of the turntable speaker is important too. A lot of people search for a design that can complement the retro style that their turntable oozes. A well-designed turntable speaker can easily enhance the aesthetics of your home or your studio. While design has always been a personal preference, some designs are definitely better than others. Wooden speakers such as the Edifier S2000pro, for example, give a vintage look that can pair so well with your turntable. You can also go for an attractive vinyl speaker that has a matte black gloss finish if that will complement your home entertainment system. High-end turntable speaker tends to have better designs bot in the interior and exterior. This is because they also include good quality parts that are more elaborate.
A lot of vinyl speakers on the market are quite pricey, which means you will want to make the most out of them before they give in. However, just because an item is costly does not mean that it is the best quality or most durable. For this, you need a speaker that is made of good quality material that will not wear and tear after a few uses. It is essential that you check the durability of your speaker’s cabinet, bracings, and the driver material too. You also need a vinyl speaker made from good quality material such as the JBL Professional 305P that will be guaranteed to last you for years.
A turntable produces weak audio signals that first need to be amplified first before they are sent to a speaker. This is where a phono preamp comes in, especially in cases where the speaker does not have its own in-built amplifier. You can connect them directly to your vinyl if you do not know whether they have a built-in preamp. If the sound is too low or cannot be played then you need to get an external preamp. Most of the active turntable speakers that we reviewed have in built preamps and you will not need to invest in one.
Break in period
Many people do not know that they need ti break in their speakers after purchase. However, you aren’t just supposed to judge your new speakers by their first tone. Breaking in your speakers is a great way to kick start the life of your speakers. But what exactly is a break in and why should you do it?
Breaking in is, essentially, playing music across the wide frequency range. Think of it like warming your muscles before you start exercising as those speaker parts haven’t moved for long too. In the same way you stretch your body after weeks of inactivity, you also need your speakers to run for a while so that they get a perfect tone. How long should you do this? Well, this depends but just remember that the more you use them the more they sound better.
Yes, you should break in your speakers if you want the best sound quality. Breaking in your speakers is not a complicated process and involves you playing music from a wide range of frequencies. The length it takes to break in your speakers will vary from model to model but you should take some few days to break in your speakers. Of course, you don’t have to play music continually for days.
Vinyl has a warm analog sound that many people are fond of. You get an authentic, original and warm tone when you invest in a well-engineered turntable speaker. Some people may find it having a low rumbling sound but this was also one of the reasons that made vinyls so appealing to many.
Turntable speakers get dirty even if they are mostly untouched as they accumulate dust and other types of dust. That said, cleaning a vinyl speaker also depends from model to model but there are some important tips that you should keep in mind. Here are some things to consider.
Clean the exterior cabinets with wet cloth and a cleaning liquid and check to see if there is any adverse reaction
Wipe the direction of the grain regardless of whether it is real or faux wood to preserve the speaker’s appearance
Wipe off with plain water and use a dry cloth after to make it dry.
After cleaning, you can apply a protective coat of varnish but remember to use a different cloth. The varnish or oil coating will make it look as good as new.
While we had fun trying out the several turntable speakers in our review, we still have to choose the top three. In first place is the Yamaha Hs5, a two-way speaker that is portable, versatile, easy to install, and user-friendly too. This turntable is a mixture of both great design and performance. This includes a unique low enclosure design and a noise reduction system that both enhance its sound quality significantly.
KRK RP8 Rokit 8 is our premium pick, a vinyl speaker that is preferred by many sound professionals all around the world. This speaker comes with an intuitive app, 25 different EQ settings, an LCD display and a wide range of controls. Its 203W power output delivers a clear and audible sound.
Our budget pick for best turntable speaker is Sony SSCS5. This 3-way sound system does not have the most appealing looks but it produces very high-quality bass sound. It is made of solid wood and its bronze feet make it very sturdy.