Bookshelf speakers usually come in a compact form factor that can be mounted on a rack or located on a small shelf. These loudspeakers are usually 2-way, and sometimes 3-way, consisting of the tweeter, midrange, or treble speakers. Sometimes such devices can contain one coaxial or wideband (+-HF) speaker. Despite their small size, they can produce impressive deep sound, although they may have limitations in bass.
Floor acoustic speakers are usually large enough to stand without additional props installing. They often contain multiple drivers with specialized bass (woofer) driver, midrange driver, and tweeter. Compared to similar bookshelf models, such products typically have more powerful bass and can play at louder volumes.
When deciding to buy the best speakers for turntable, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much money do I have?
- Am I looking for quality sound with medium/high frequencies, soundstage, or just want to enjoy the loud sound with a lot of basses?
- Can I place bookshelf or floor acoustics in my room next to the vinyl player?
It’s important to keep in mind that bookshelf products are better suited for small apartments, whereas floor variants can be a great solution for larger rooms. Compact elements are cheaper than the big models. Moreover, the first speaker’s type can be active and passive, while the second models are almost always passive and need an AV receiver or amplifier with a “phono” input. Let’s get acquainted with all these details below as we test the best passive speakers for turntable.
Speaker for Vinyl Reviews
While some bookshelf models quickly rose to the top of the charts, others gradually won over the hearts of listeners. Some relied on aggressive marketing tactics, while others became popular through word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied owners. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right choice. While looking through active and passive sound devices, I have chosen some worthy options to help find the best bookshelf speakers for vinyl.
Active Bookshelf Speakers for Vinyl
Edifier R1280T — Best Speakers for Vinyl Under $100
These best passive bookshelf speakers for vinyl has 42W output, are 9.5 inches tall, 5.8 inches wide, and 6.9 inches deep. However, with their retro-style aesthetics and high-quality construction, they deserve to be prominently displayed for all to see. The retro looks, though, isn’t the sole reason to call this unit the best powered speakers for a turntable. They provide versatile connectivity with dual RCA ports and feature some tonal balance controls to adjust the sound to the listener’s individual taste. However, this device don’t feature Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity.
The housing is performed with precision, the finish and all angles are smooth, the controls and connections are within reach and have sturdy dials / jacks. I appreciated the convenience of having dual RCA inputs and an AUX port that I used to connect my phono and headphones. Setting up the system was a breeze, as the speaker connections were simple and straightforward, and all necessary cables were included in the package.
Detaching the front grill, I’ve found a 4-inch woofer and a 0.5-inch tweeter with the cross beam. I had to make the minimal adjustments to get the full warm analog sound with the lively dynamics and vast frequency range that did correspond with my perception of the best budget powered speakers for a turntable. At peak moments, the highs were sharp but not shrill, while the mids were articulate and harmonious.
- Even frequency response without cutoff issues.
- A well-adjusted flared port reflex ensures smooth soundflow.
- The slim remote allows for easy volume regulation and muting.
- At a low volume level, the bass tends to roll off.
- Tonal controls act only in the -6dB to + 6dB range.
Edifier R1700BT — Best Bluetooth Speaker for Vinyl Records
These speakers reproduce the sound signal with high fidelity, which is great for the rich vinyl sound. The 66W RMS capacity lets balance the frequencies efficiently and produces a wide and deep soundstage with exact imaging of instruments and vocals. I also enjoyed the unit’s performance on my old jazz albums with the exact transmittance of the complex dynamics.
The Edifier R1700BT performed with confidence across various music genres, from classic rock to country tunes. The maximum output of 135W did help a lot during bass peaks when the oboe and drums had their own distinct lines yet were blending harmonically with the main line. The midrange is represented by the wide frequency scope with a lot of detail. The treble is airy, with well-defined instrument and vocal lines that avoid any overly piercing notes. The tonal balance is neutral, resulting in a smooth response across the entire range.
This model has two sets of RCA inputs (for multiple connections including the phono stage) and the single speaker out port. There’s also the on/off switch and the hardwired power cord. The volume, bass, and treble controls are positioned on the side and are quite sensitive. In addition to volume control, the slim, minimalist-style remote can also mute the speakers with a single button or activate the Bluetooth/RCA input. The Bluetooth input allows for pairing with a smartphone or other wireless device, while the RCA input enables listening to music through Bluetooth headphones.
- Built-in DSP and DRC cut the electric interference efficiently.
- The volume button is pushable for additional functions (BT pairing, input switching).
- With its stylish slanted front design and walnut wood-like finish, this model can complement a variety of interior styles.
- No password / restriction for Bluetooth connection.
- No coaxial / optical ports that present in the competitor models.
Micca PB42X — Best Powered Speaker for Vinyl
The active speaker system produces rather balanced and not V-shaped muddy sound. This item is well made, includes acoustic fiberfill and a clean crossover. On the contrary, the corps is light so it can resonate at higher volumes. It’s advisable to place a heavy book on top of the device when listening to loud hard-rock music. It’s easy to connect RCA speakers for turntable due to mentioned plug and 3.5mm input jacks; moreover, this model can surprise you with high notes sounding because even falsetto voices don’t distract. It’s hard to call the Micca the best speakers for vinyl under 100 dollars, but it is undoubtedly an agreeable variant.
- The system has a decent bass response even without a subwoofer.
- The assembly quality is not a concern.
- Magnetic removable speaker grill makes Micca PB42X look very modern.
- The sound becomes downward because of the ODAC using.
- The power switch and volume controls can be difficult to access because they are located on the rear side.
For vinyl beginners and professionals, this acoustic set provides a lot of versatility and comfort of use, making them potentially the best speakers for vinyl turntable. It combines multiple functions and connection ports including wireless connection. Featuring classic wood grain looks, this speaker system can complement any turntable setup and provide a precise signal output with excellent detail.
The material base of the Edifier R1280DB is similar to other devices made by this brand. It integrates a 4-inch woofer that produces a nice slightly rounded bass with good dynamics. The midrange is open and detailed, the separation of voices and instruments is distinct, and each line is represented fully. Equipped with a 13mm tweeter featuring a silk cone, this speaker system delivers bright treble that can sometimes border on dryness. Still, the overall performance is transparent, transmitting a lifelike sound.
The tweeter’s and woofer’s levels can be tweaked up to the 6dB range. Controls are built into the side of the active speaker box. In addition to regulating the volume, the volume button also functions as the input switch. The remote control includes controls for volume regulation and a “Mute” button as well.
Each speaker has 21W RMS output and is connected through the spring-loaded terminals. For the external hookup, there are two dual RCA sets for the turntable connections. It also has coaxial and optical inputs. The Bluetooth is also a good option for those who like to use their bookshelf speakers for music streaming.
- The sensitivity is above 85dB providing for the clean loud sound.
- Input switching is fast and interference-free.
- The remote features the playback controls as well.
- The low frequencies start with 55Hz; the bass might be missing in the hard rock compositions.
- The LED indicator is located on the side and may not be visible on certain occasions.
Passive Bookshelf Speakers for Vinyl
ELAC Debut DB62-BK
The revised mid/woofer delivers an excellent level of detail in the upper bass without sounding too light. A very old vinyl record can become a reason for a little bit annoying screech appearing. Some high notes are reproduced too strident. At the same time, passive bookshelf speaker system brings the main vocals to the most advanced sound stage and makes the leading instruments bright and alive. The durable MDF case with elegant black ash finish has increased volume, stiffness, and durability. The frequency range up to 35000Hz provides very high realism, so these models are one of the best budget speakers for vinyl, which can present such a frequency response.
- Define waveguide improves directional control and eliminates diffraction inherent in most corps.
- The front-facing port makes placement of the speakers much easier.
- When listening to jazz and soft rock, I am unable to perceive a sense of depth in the soundstage.
The exclusive technology of trumpet loudspeakers and tweeters provides high-class response, powerful dynamics, and natural sound. The passive speakers can boast with high sensitivity, small sound distortions, controlled radiation pattern, smooth frequency response, wide dynamic range, and other extra features. An additional amplifier with a “phono” plug makes it easy to connect the devices to a vinyl player. However, it should be noted that the sound lacks power despite its other good qualities. The produced music is rather weak, and sometimes I even have to tune in to the track to get all the musical effects. The maximum volume isn’t enough for rocking the room, so the Klipsch product isn’t the best turntable speakers for big parties, but it is a not bad option for small companies.
- Featuring a classic 2-way configuration, this model is capable of filling a small or medium-sized room with sound.
- Seamless integration of low-frequency woofers with IMG technology complements the sound of dense bass with minimal decay.
- Upon inspection, I noticed a small crack on the body of the device, indicating poor quality in the material used for the casing.
- It’s hard to connect this device to the vinyl player. The device refuses to accept new facilities and starts cooperating after the few repeated attempts.
Fluance Signature HFS
I like the ultra-high-end Neodymium tweeters presence because these elements in speakers make the vinyl player sound very clear. The passive units are not the best speakers for vinyl record player, but they look amazing and able to make the sound move in a multi-directional way; I mean that even after placing the elements near the listener or behind him/her, the sound will be enveloped. The peculiar midrange pointed dome creates the feeling of being in front of the stage with musicians. The insufficient depth in bass is disappointing, especially when playing rock music through a vinyl player, as it causes a loss of depth and impact, resulting in an unimpressive sound.
- Build quality is excellent. The corps is made of an engineered dark wood, which makes the devices very light.
- The manual contains all the important information and is presented in an easy-to-understand format.
- This model need a break-in because after the first usage the sound is awful.
- The system tends to get very hot after a short period of use.
The KEF LS50 bookshelf passive speakers system has impressive miniature dimensions. Its thick walls made of MDF ensure the high-quality acoustics and excellent antiresonant properties, contributing to the natural sound formation. The Uni-Q 5.1-inch driver, which is responsible for medium and low frequencies, and the 0.9-inch tweeter are located in the center of the radiator. The mid/low-frequency driver is equipped with elastic suspension, which enables the system to produce a dynamic soundscape with well-defined midrange and deep bass. It is surprising that the units are so heavy (15.87 pounds) despite their small size.
- The open-ended acoustic design of these compact speakers for turntable recreates surround sound with rich bass.
- The cylindrical phase inverter tube has a specific form, so it reduces the level of transverse resonance during the work process.
- The glossy finish of the body makes fingerprints and small scratches highly visible.
- Top frequencies are able to cause ear fatigue.
Floor Standing Speakers
Polk Audio T50
With the 9.25 x 8.75-inch base and 36.5-inch height, these towers from Polk won’t take much space but bring the enveloping sound with the solid lows. I was impressed by the high level of sound clarity that remained consistent even when the volume was increased. But for the passive character of these speakers (entailing the need for the amplifier and resulting in no direct hookup to the vinyl record player), I’d confidently put this model among the best floor speakers for vinyl.
The tower speakers are made of thick MDF with a smooth matte finish and provide a stable base for sound without interference. The drivers are reliably fixed within the box and don’t provide vibration even at a high load. The maximum output of the set makes 150W. The midrange and lows are handled by the 6.5-inch woofer, the sub-low frequencies are reproduced through the two bass radiators below. The tweeter has a 1-inch diameter and provides clear and detailed voices. The mids are well audible and deep, with high dynamics and a wide spectrum of frequencies. The bass is surrounding, with a confident thump and growling reverberance.
This model has versatile applications and can be used for a range of home activities. They can serve as the base for a surround sound system or be used for transmitting audio in video games. They provide the stereo sound and can be used in various sound sets like 2.0, 7.1, or 9.1 systems.
- The Dynamic Balance technology is integrated into all drivers creating a precisely balanced output.
- The extended range of 38Hz to 24kHz brings up the highly articulate sound on all frequencies.
- Sturdy gold-plated binding posts for speaker connections.
- The 6-Ohm impedance limits the range of compatible amps and receivers.
- The bass radiators are passive.
These passive best floor standing speakers for vinyl have a classical Sony appearance. The black corps will make the speakers discrete elements. Devices have rigid MRC fiber woofers, which hold their shape even being under the high pressure. They don’t produce much vibration, and they stay cold even after a long working period. The 3-way 4-driver floor-standing speaker system is able to demonstrate all the hidden sides of sound and even hard music sounds canorous.
- Floor speakers system presents crystal-clear highs and really tight bass.
- The coherence is on high levels. Sometimes I even startle because of instruments vividness and voices sounding.
- The speakers are capable of producing clear music on all volume levels due to their wide dynamic range.
- Some higher-frequency sounds are too uneven for me.
- When turned off, this device produces some barely noticeable noise.
Dayton Audio T652
This set comprises two 30-inch tall tower blocks with a slim yet solid base. The width is 7.1 inches, and the depth makes 9.5 inches. The grills cover the bigger upper half of the speaker where two woofers and a tweeter are installed.
The peak output of a pair of Dayton Audio makes 150W with quite a high 90W RMS parameter. The sound has good dynamics and balance and doesn’t get muffled throughout the frequency range. The latter starts with the audible and well-shaped 45Hz bass and reaches 20kHz for high frequencies. The woofers are 6.5-inch drivers spreading the sound with the rigid polypropylene cones. The low mids and the low-end in general is represented in detail with this model, there’s a distinct main line even in the pure bass performance. The latter gets enveloping and deep thanks to the bass reflex port providing the spacious output with distortion reduction. The bass is lively and packs a punch at peaks though might be a bit less concentrated towards the sub-low frequencies. The tweeter has a 1-inch diameter, is made of AMT, and provides open high-end.
The Dayton Audio T652 provides a balanced and lively output for analog sound. The instruments are pictured precisely and positioned accurately in the soundstage. The voices are sharp, yet overall, they are very distinct and detailed. The volume range is quite wide letting the devices sound without any distortion and tight at high volumes (the sensitivity makes 88dB).
- High sound clarity throughout the frequency range.
- Fill the mid-size room quickly.
- The speaker enclosure is constructed with thick material which effectively dampens any internal vibrations.
- Calibrating and pairing this device with other devices can take time, particularly for the crossover level.
- Might cause the interference of the minor equipment like remotes.
The Klipsch Reference R-26FA is a fantastic set of floor-standing speakers that are well-suited for vinyl enthusiasts who are looking for quality sound at an affordable price. With a phono stage built-in, these speakers are some of the best speakers for vinyl under 500 dollars.
The R-26FA speakers have dimensions of 39” x 7.8” x 16.3” and come with removable grills that give them a sleek, modern look. The peak output of these speakers is 400 watts, ensuring that you get the volume you need to enjoy your music.
But what really sets these speakers apart is their sound quality. They offer a frequency response range of 38 Hz to 24 kHz, with a deep, punchy bass that really shines when playing vinyl records. The woofers deliver excellent low mids and the low-end, while the tweeter provides crisp, clear high frequencies that are perfect for vocals and instruments.
The R-26FA speakers also have an impressive volume range, allowing you to crank up the volume without any distortion or loss of quality. Whether you’re listening to rock, jazz, or classical music, these speakers deliver excellent sound quality that will impress even the most discerning listener.
In summary, the Klipsch Reference R-26FA speakers are a great choice for anyone looking for high-quality speakers for vinyl playback. With their built-in phono stage, excellent sound quality, and affordable price tag, they are one of the best floorstanding speakers for vinyl. Whether you’re a serious audiophile or just getting started with vinyl, the Klipsch Reference R-26FA speakers are a great investment that you won’t regret.
- The Klipsch Reference R-26FA speakers provide an immersive listening experience with their integrated Dolby Atmos technology.
- The speakers’ sleek and modern design adds a stylish touch to any home audio setup.
- The Klipsch Reference R-26FA speakers come with a 5-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind for their users.
- Moving these heavy speakers into place is not an easy task.
- Due to their powerful sound output, the Klipsch Reference R-26FA speakers may not be ideal for small apartments or shared living spaces, as they have the potential to disturb neighbors or housemates.
Passive and Active: What’s the Difference?
Active speakers for turntable maintain the pre-installed power amplifier. Such a system combines two devices – the emitter and the amplifier itself. There is no need to make an additional connection between them. In practice, this means high reliability, since mentioned inner units are perfectly matched.
In passive speakers, there is no pre-installed power amplifier, the owner has to buy it and install additionally. A true music fan can purchase any amplifier and easily connect it to the speakers. The problem is that it’s hard to choose the perfect element because it can become out of order due to the increased load.
Below are the distinctive characteristics of the speakers mentioned:
- The best powered speakers for turntable (active) have a high-quality sound even at low volumes, while the passive ones will produce clean sound only on middle or high volumes.
- The passive unit’s mobility is great, but the active speakers have lighter bodies, so it’s easier to move them from place to place.
- Using the pre-installed power amplifier in the active speakers is much simpler, but with passive speakers, one has the flexibility to choose the desired amplifier with a “phono” input or AV receiver as per their preference.
- The good active speakers for record player will be right for the rookies who are not professionally versed in all the intricacies of acoustic settings. However, passive acoustics systems would be great for professional musicians who want to customize the sounding completely.
Where Should I Place Speakers For Getting the Best Sound?
Placing the speakers near a short wall can emphasize the low frequencies, but it can also result in unpleasant resonance phenomena such as buzzing, rumbling, or ringing. These peculiarities are particularly pronounced with significant elongation of the room. In this case, the placement against the long wall is preferable. The distance between even the best speakers for vinyl (no matter of their dimensions) has to be 78-138 inches. If the units are tightly pressed to the room’s corners, the low frequencies emphasize as much as possible. If you need lower bass attenuation, you can raise the system to a certain height from the floor.
How to Connect Speakers to Turntable?
To set up the speakers, start by connecting the RCA (red and white) plugs from the player’s cable to the corresponding RCA inputs on the speaker. Next, plug the RCA connectors from the player’s cable into the provided RCA (female) to 3.5mm mini-plug (male) adapter cable, ensuring that the red plug is matched to the red plug and the white plug to the white plug. Then connect the adapter cable mini-plug to the speakers’ Line Level input. The last procedure is to connect the RCA plugs from the turntable cable to the included RCA to 3.5mm mini-plug (female) adapter cable. Then connect the adapter’s 3.5mm mini-plug to the powered speakers’ mentioned input cable.
Do I Really Need a Phono Preamp: What’s Its Benefit?
The issue with record players is that the signal produced by the needle is not strong enough for the speakers to reproduce. In other words, if you just used needle output, you would get a faint sound that lacks linear amplification. This faint signal is called a phono signal. A particular preamp can upgrade the audio system. Speakers for turntable with installed preamp are able to add individuality to the sound of the system, make the music louder and cleaner. Even with pre-installed preamps, the signal generated by record players may not be powerful enough to be properly reproduced by speakers, making stationary preamps a more useful option.
Hi everyone! I’m Thomas Moody, also known as Guitarzan.