If you, like many listeners around the world, are a fan of the rich, classic sound of vinyl records, your speakers are one of the key elements of your turntable and vinyl record player sound systems. While record players with built-in speakers exist, they don’t truly reproduce the sound quality of external vinyl speakers.
However, not everyone has the budget to purchase the most extravagant speakers available. Modern technology has made superb sound quality available at a variety of price points. No matter your budget, you can find speakers that help you get the most out of your turntable and record collection. Below are several excellent speakers that rival the sound of the best vintage speakers for vinyl.
Best Speakers for Record Player
Edifier S2000 MKII
‘Go big or go home’ – as the saying will come to your mind once you see the MKIII model of Edifier S2000 Bluetooth-powered speakers. Despite being called a bookshelf speaker, it was bigger than your regular ol’ bookshelf.This version is slightly uncompromising – that even pulling it out of the box seems like you need a winch to do so.
These speakers are designed for audiophiles, built with mixing and recording functions in mind, which can also be utilized as a TV soundbar. Since it was powered by Bluetooth and had an optical connection, it can be linked to numerous devices you want to put into use.
These speakers are our favorite bookshelf speakers for listening to vinyl records on your turntable.
- Flat diaphragm tweeters
- 5 inch woofers
- Bluetooth 4.0 support
Best Turntable Speakers for Classical Music
The Edifier R1280 DBs housing is made of MDF panels designed to effectively prevent acoustic resonance. You will love how perfectly they will fit into your living room, study or bedroom.
Genuine freedom from wired connections with these Bluetooth speakers and enjoy the best sound. The Edifier R1280 DBs connects to devices wirelessly using Bluetooth 5.0, suitable for iOS, Android, Mac or Windows devices.
When the subwoofer is connected to the sub out, the speakers automatically detect it and activate the digital crossover. Optical and coaxial inputs ensure that you will always enjoy music without loss of sound quality. Dual RCA inputs allow you to connect two devices simultaneously.
Connecting to devices such as a phone, PC, laptop, tablet, or game console using the included optical cable, RCA-RCA audio cable, or 3.5mm Jack-RCA audio cable eliminates the need to switch cables. The 4 inch bass driver and 13mm silk dome tweeter in these speakers make you feel like you’re in the concert hall.
- Lossless connections
- Included remote
Top Vintage Speakers for Vinyl Review
There a ton of record players that have the vintage look, but for some reason, vintage-looking speakers have not really taken off. Below we will list the most interesting speakers around. These are all priced at the lower end of the spectrum so keep that in mind going in. These speakers I feel have a design that is quite fitting if you want something that has a more vintage look.
1. Edifier S2000 MKII– Best Powered Speakers for Turntable
Considered by many experts to be among the best bookshelf speakers for vinyl, the Edifier S2000 pair of speakers combine high-quality components, excellent frequency response, numerous connection options, and superb sound quality.
The 5.5-inch woofers and flat-diaphragm tweeters work together to provide clear sounds throughout the frequency spectrum. They are Bluetooth-equipped and feature a range of wireless and analog inputs, including XLR, COAX, and Optical inputs.
The speakers have knobs that allow you to adjust the equalization so you can hear adapt the speakers to different styles of music. A remote control allows for excellent ease of use.
2. JBL Charge 4
For those who want to listen to their vinyl records on the go, the JBL Charge 4 is a great combination of good sound quality and excellent portability as a Bluetooth speaker. While there are stationary units that provide better sound quality, the Charge 4 offers impressive volume and clarity in a small package.
The unit is small enough to fit in your hand and light enough to take nearly anywhere. It is waterproof, has around 20 hours of battery time, and a wide Bluetooth connectivity radius.
3. Presonus E4.5
Intended for studio monitoring in a music production context, Presonus E4.5 powered speakers offer excellent clarity, sonic flexibility, and convenience. You don’t need a power amplifier to run them, and the built-in EQ controls allow you to adjust the speakers to suit a particular genre, album, or even the quirks of a specific room.
While the low end of the speaker’s frequency range only extends to 70 hz, making them less optimal for bass-heavy music, they accurately represent the rest of the frequency spectrum quite clearly.
4. Polk Audio T15
Last of the speakers that I have actually personally tested are these Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers. I have tested many Polk Audio products over the years and have yet to be let down. These are black ash kind of style and I do not know about you, but when I think about 80s audio equipment it is always this kind of black! All the cool hi-fis of the 80s had speakers that were this color. I will admit that I could do without the Polk logo on them, but still, they have that 80s vintage look down to a T. These are also very reasonably priced at $99.
Polk says that these speakers are the perfect entry into high-performance audio and that is the best way to look at these. They are the perfect upgrade if you have a cool turntable that has built in speakers, but you want something with a bit more kick. A ¾ inch tweeter and a hair over 5-inch driver might not sound like much. However, I found that they gave me a really balanced sound.
I would not have these cranked up super loud, but the mid-range on these things is fantastic. I mainly screwed around with some live records that I have (is there a better live album than Nirvana Unplugged?) and was very happy with the sound. I am not even sure these would need much breaking in, to be honest with you!
- These have a real 80s style about them
- I like the overall size of them
- Very easy to hook up to a turntable or receiver
- The sound quality was fantastic
- I wish the Polk logo was not on the front of them
- If black ash is not your thing, these might not do it for you
5. Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1280DBs speakers are similar to Edifier’s S2000 pro speakers, but at a more affordable price point and are the best vintage speakers. Because the R1280DBs are powered, they are more convenient to set up, and they have a range of input options.
It is easy to connect your phone, turntable, CD player, or other audio devices. With excellent sound quality, these speakers are a perfect option for those who want a more affordable way to access Edifier quality.
They are Bluetooth-enabled and powered so you can connect any Bluetooth-enabled record player to these speakers with ease.
6. Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speaker
While they are the most expensive option on this list, the Audioengine A5+ Plus speakers are some of the very best bookshelf speakers for vinyl available. They are designed with the audiophile in mind and powered to offer 150 watts of high-fidelity audio.
They feature a thorough range of input options from bluetooth to RCA. The outstanding audio combined with the ability to avoid purchasing a power amplifier makes these speakers the go-to choice for those who demand the best quality audio.
7. Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Last, but by no means least we have this rather funky looking Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker. This is another speaker I have not personally used but thought it just screamed vintage and it has the Marshall logo front and center which is cool! This looks like something your grandpa would listen to while he fixed up his car in the garage in the 70s!
I love how much personality this thing has and it sure has a fun design to it. It does cost around 180 bucks, but I do not think that is bad at all. It is made with Bluetooth in mind, but it does have a jack as well. They say that it gives 25 hours playback from a single charge which is very impressive.
When I looked at what was producing the sound it was roughly what I expected from a speaker like this. We have two 2 and ¼ inch woofers rocking this thing. I think at more low to mid-volume this is going to sound awesome, but I am not sure what it will be like if you want to crank up the Metallica and headbang in the living room. I do think that the design is super fun and it would look great if you have a vintage-style record player.
- This thing looks great
- Has the Marshall name on right on it
- It is very easy to connect to your devices
- When looking at most reviews, people seem to love this thing!
- Only really worth it if you want a 70s style speaker
- You will have to remember to charge it
8. Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers
If you are not as concerned with audio quality, but you need speakers to improve on the volume and audio quality of built-in turntable speakers, the Micca MB42 is a great option. While not featuring as impressive build quality as other speakers, they are quite affordable and possess a rather good sound for the price.
They require that you purchase a power amplifier to work, but they are easy to set up and well-reviewed. For an extra $60 or so, you can upgrade to the PB42X model which are powered so do not require an amplifier.
9. Edifier R1280Ts Powered Bookshelf Speakers
First up and ready to rock and roll are these Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers. These are competitively priced at $99.99 which is a great price for something that has the Edifier name on it. What I feel makes this perfect for those looking for an old school or vintage vibe is the woodgrain casing that they have used.
That along with the black cover on the front give these speakers a very late 70s early 80s kind of vibe in my opinion. These are very easy to connect to your record player (although they are wired only) and they even come with a remote control They also have dials on the side so you can tinker with the bass and the treble so you can get the best out of them.
Ok, so at this price point, you know you are not getting the most room rocking sound in the world. However, after a few hours and a lot of Iron Maiden with a tad of Motley Cru I can say that sound I was getting from my records was not bad at all. It has a 4-inch bass driver so while I would not recommend cranking these all the way up, even at what I would class as louder volumes the sound was not bad at all and certainly not tiny like other cheaper speakers can be.
- I am really loving that woodgrain style they have
- They are easy to connect to your turntable
- My vinyl sounded great played through these
- I like how you can tinker with the bass and treble
- I get that woodgrain is not to everyone’s taste
- Some might not like the fact there is no Bluetooth
10. Fluance SX6W High Definition Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers
As we continue our quest to find the best vintage speakers for vinyl I have these Fluance SX6W High Definition Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeakers which I think look cool. These come in white and black, but it is the natural walnut design I feel has that vintage look. Actually, I guess you could argue the black ones do too. The walnut versions are priced at just under $160, which is 10 more than the black.
What I like about the style of these is that they do not just have a somewhat vintage look to them. These also have a real classiness to them that I like too. This is perfect if you have a turntable that is out on display and you want some speakers that look great to go along with it.
Despite these having a rather small stature to them, Fluance managed to cram some fairly powerful stuff in here. I tested these for a weekend and was impressed with the way some of my records, even older stuff like this awesome vintage first pressing of Slippery When Wet and it rocked! These have five-inch driver powering things and a nice 1-inch soft domed tweeter running the show and I was impressed. I am sure if I used these even longer that they would find a real sweet spot and sound even better. These are wired only, but I do not see that as a bad thing.
- They come in three different colors
- The asking price is very reasonable
- I was impressed with how much power these had
- They look super cool as well we vintage
- I do not know why the walnut ones cost more
- May take 20 or so hours to break them in properly
11. Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers
For the last two, we are looking at speakers that I have not personally tested and they are certainly “out there” in their design, but that is what makes them a fun inclusion on this list. First of all, we have these Acoustic Audio AA321B Mountable Indoor Speakers which as you can see are tiny! These I feel have a bit of a 90s vibe to them.
They have that home theatre kind of look that was popular then when people wanted more compact stuff. While these are very small, the asking price is only 30 bucks! Ok, so I know at 30 bucks we have to be realistic with our expectations, but they have a kind of fun look to them. These also come with mountain brackets so you can hang them on the wall.
Ok, so we know these are not going to make you feel like you are in the front row of Madison Square Garden watching the Foo Fighters. However, Acoustic Audio has never done me wrong before and in looking at what is powering these, I feel they are decent budget priced speakers. There is a 2.5-inch woofer rocking these so at higher volumes, I do feel that there is a high probability that the sound may be a bit on the tiny side. Still, I feel that they have designed these to sound as good as possible all the while keeping the size and price at a minimum.
- I like how they are more 90s than 80s for a change
- They do look super cute!
- The asking price is insane
- The reviews, for the most part, are all extremely positive
- Not sure how these will perform at loud volumes
- Not sure I would want these as my main speakers
All of the above Speakers for vinyl record player all have an impressive sound and have a vintage look.
What to Look for in Vintage Speakers for Vinyl
The reputation of the best vintage speakers for vinyl is, of course, based on their sound quality. That consideration is not different for modern systems. When investigating the sound quality of a speaker, it is important to think about what types of music you listen to most often.
Speakers are tuned in different ways, and picking the right sort of speaker for your favorite types of music can help you enjoy your turntable more thoroughly. You’ll of course want to get stereo speakers, not mono (one-sides), so that you can get the full immersive experience.
The frequency response of a speaker indicates what frequencies the speakers can replicate. Humans can hear sounds ranging from 40 Hz to 20 kHz. Some speakers have trouble with bass/low frequencies or treble frequencies near the ends of these ranges so you should look for speakers that do well at these ranges.
Another key element to pay attention to is the type of connections you need. For example, if you plan to hook your phone or a laptop to your speakers occasionally, a 3.5 mm input is a must. Depending on how your turntable is connected to speakers, making sure you have the correct type of wire, coaxial cable, for instance, is essential. A similar concern is how important having a remote control for the system is.
Powered vs. Passive
An additional element to consider is whether you want to buy powered speakers or passive speakers (powered with a stereo amplifier that has a phono preamp). In order to project the sound from the turntable at listenable volumes, the sound needs to be amplified. Powered speakers contain an amplifier within the speaker unit, thus allowing you to connect your speakers directly to your turntable. Unpowered speakers require you to use a power amplifier in front of the speakers.
Wired vs. Wireless
As Bluetooth and similar technologies have become more accessible, many consumers have opted for wireless speakers. Wireless speakers offer a number of conveniences. Wireless speakers can be easier to transport, making it easier to listen to vinyl at a variety of locations. Also, because you do not have to connect cords to the speakers, setup can be much easier and your space can be tidier. However, wired speakers (using RCA cables, coaxial, USB, or other cables) provide a degree of consistent performance that many listeners find appealing.
Style is a major component of speakers. You want your speakers to match your atheistic, especially if they will sit out in the open like on a bookshelf. Black or wood-colored speaker enclosures are preferred.
FAQ for Best Vintage Speakers for Vinyl
What are powered speakers (AKA active speakers)?
Powered speakers have built-in amplifiers so they don’t rely on an external amplifier to be used to push the audio signal. These speakers are also known as self-powered speakers or active speakers. Most of the speakers for record players on this list are powered.
Powered does not mean that they do not need to be plugged into a wall outlet. The “power” simply refers to the amplification. Powered speakers are the opposite of passive speakers which need external amplification to make any sound.
What are the best speakers for audio technica record player?
It depends on whether you have a Bluetooth-enabled record player or not. The Audio Technica LP60 and Audio Technica LP120 models have Bluetooth so you can use any of the speakers on this list that have Bluetooth. We recommend the Edifier S2000pro or Edifier R1280DB turntable speakers.
The Audio Technica turntables have some speakers bundles available on Amazon. For example, the Audio Technica LP120 comes bundled with Knox Gear speakers which are decent quality, but have been known to emit a constant hum sound.
What are the best budget, powered speakers for a turntable?
We really like the Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers. These powered speakers are Bluetooth-enabled, provide studio-level quality. They also have optical and coaxial inputs in case you need to plug them in.
Do you recommend getting a record player with built-In speakers?
Turntables with built-in speakers are a new trend. We think they are a great idea if you’re not too concerned with sound quality. If you’re looking for something simple, portable, and affordable, we have done another guide on the best record players with speakers.