At the first stage of the choice, the buyer needs to decide on the type (bookshelf or floor-standing) of the best speakers for vinyl. To begin with, you should decide which speakers you want to use: active or passive.
I must say that to listen to vinyl players, 90% of the speakers are bookshelf speakers or floor standing speakers.
Active speakers such as the Audioengine HD6 have a built-in amplifier; passive speakers such as the Klipsch R-14M will require the purchase of an external amplifier.
It also should be noted that floor standing speakers are almost always passive, and they need an AV receiver or amplifier with a “phono” input, and the bookshelf is both active and passive. These details will be described in more detail below.
Passive or active speakers
The speaker system is the last link in the High-End stereo system that directly reproduces music by converting the electrical signal from the power amplifier to the mechanical vibrations of the speakers (emitters) and, as a result, into the sound vibrations of the air we hear.
Active speakers are speakers with built-in power amplifiers. Each speaker is powered from the network via a network cable. To play music, they are connected directly to the pre-amplifier (there is no need to buy a power amplifier), the connection is made by an inter-unit cable (there is no need to purchase an acoustic cable)
Passive speakers is the most common type of speaker system consisting of a housing, emitters (speakers) installed in it, and a separation filter through which the speakers are connected to the amplifier. Unlike active speakers, they do not have a built-in power amplifier. Therefore they are connected either to an integrated amplifier or to a power amplifier through an acoustic cable.
As we learned above, bookshelf speakers can be active and passive, and for you to see what are they look like and see the differences in the direct examples, I have selected the best speakers for vinyl from each category.
Best powered bookshelf speakers
The speakers for vinyl record player are fairly well made. It includes acoustic fiberfill and a clean crossover. On the downside, the cabinet is light. Thus it tends to resonate at higher volumes. The solution, while simple, is not elegant. Try to add a heavy book on top of these speakers.
The frequency response rolls off over 16k significantly. I notice that there are some dips and spikes in the lower ranges from 128 Hz to 800 Hz. I used an EQ to help with the response and strongly suggest you do the same. Since many will likely use this with a PC, this can easily be done with APO Equalizer and Room EQ Wizard (REW). Both are currently free software. To use REW, you will need a calibrated microphone.
The last thing to mention about one of the best powered speakers for vinyl, the LF driver, is 3.5″ not 4″, which seems to be the marketing of lower end speakers to include the speaker mounting tabs. It also features a built-in Class-D amplifier with 15Wx2 of clean power.
- Where these speakers really shine are in the high section and mid-range
- The manual book that comes with the speakers is too basic
- The housing is a bit flimsy
Audioengine HD6 – Best bookshelf speakers overall
The Audioengine HD6 speaker system, in addition to the built-in A / B class amplifier, has separate components taken from past and successful projects: optical inputs from the D1 DAC, aptX Bluetooth connection, and the 24-bit AKM AK4396A DAC from the B1 receiver. The left column is active. The right is passive. The power of an analog mono amplifier is 150W. On the back of the left column is a full set of inputs: 3.5 mm, RCA, SPDIF, plus a Bluetooth antenna and a button for connecting devices. This speakers for turntable can reproduce frequencies from 50 Hz to 20 kHz with a sensitivity of 95 dB. The circuit contains protection against short circuit and overheating, for ease of replacement, the fuse is also brought to the rear wall.
- The included cable is of good quality
- These are good sounding speakers that have the ability to play quite loud and produce punchy bass
- A little concerned about the build quality as I got my first pair broken
- The manual is hard to be read due to too technical language
Here is what interested me the most in these one of the best speakers for turntable: the 14-centimeter driver with an aluminum diffuser. It is responsible for reproducing bass and middle, and the high-frequency region is voiced by an inch dome tweeter with a titanium membrane covered by a protective mesh framed by a soft halo.
The amplification section is located in the right speaker. More precisely, there is a switching power supply, a switch, an active crossover, and as many as four power amplifiers. Yes, Edifier S1000DB uses bandwidth amplification, as in professional studio monitors. The manufacturer claims an output power of 35 watts per low-frequency driver and 25 watts per tweeter in each speaker, totaling 120 watts in total.
- Excellent sound quality for active acoustics of such a cost
- High actual output power, deep bass, analog, and digital inputs, pairing with aptX Bluetooth gadgets
- The long cable between speakers, wireless remote control in the kit
- There is no USB DAC function
- There is no indication of the current volume on the front panel (hearing only)
- All controls are located on the rear panel
Passive bookshelf speakers
Fluance Signature Series HiFi
Choosing the best speakers for record player have a look at these ones. They have a nice front glossy panel and the brushed aluminum tweeter housing as well as yellow midrange. Aesthetically, Fluance knocked it out of the ballpark. The enclosure itself left me in thoughts. I desired much more from this. In my opinion, it feels like the cabinet was made out of MDF of approximately 5/8”. As for me, it just feels way too light for its size.
After a few tracks, I got familiar with it. The midrange immediately stood out. It was too hot, to the point where it sounded muddy, muffled, and peaky; no matter the music choice, the midrange just didn’t sound right. Perhaps, it was because the cabinet didn’t have enough internal bracing and or the material used was not thick enough to help control the woofer. Either way, it’s very noticeable. The tweeter though, it’s nice; it’s smooth, laid back and somewhat airy. Turning the volume up, the tweeter shone right through, no harshness or peaks that I can tell. It’s just a very nice sound coming from the tweeter.
- They look amazing, and I love the magnetic grill covers
- Overall smooth presentation
- The tweeter seems to produce nice highs without being too overbearing
- The bass is lacking but boosting 100hz
The Klipsch Reference Base R-14M is one of the best bookshelf speakers for vinyl. It delivers cinematic sound thanks to a 10.2 cm diameter woofer equipped with a copper-plated IMG diffuser with the copper-plated diaphragm and a Hybrid Tractrix horn converter. With minimal effort, the couple is able to fill a large room with theatrical quality sound and completely immerse you in the events taking place on the screen.
The advanced Tractrix horn consists of a round neck and a square bell, which allows you to expand the high-frequency spectrum and improve the quality of sound transmission. At the same time, the rendering of images and the dynamic range are also enhanced. Thanks to the design of the rubber polymer created by injection molding, it was possible to significantly reduce the noise level, improve detail in the high-frequency spectrum and thus create the prerequisites for a clean and natural sound.
- Its small dimensions will not clutter up space and fit perfectly into the decor of any room
- Chart controlled direction
- Losses in power and sensitivity
The design and appearance of powered speakers for turntable deserve special attention. Thanks to the first-class piano lacquer coating, the acoustics look stylish and modern, while a wide variety of color finishes allows you to choose speakers for the interior of the room. On the front panel of the speaker with a memorable curved shape, sound emitters are compactly placed. The brand logo flaunts on the top panel, and the back of the case is equipped with a bass reflex port and a pair of high-quality gold-plated screw terminals.
The manufacturing company KEF has used all its many years of experience in the new two-way acoustics. The sound scheme of one of the best budget speakers for turntable, capable of providing a maximum power of 100 watts per channel, is based on selected components and specially designed speakers. The 130 mm Uni-Q driver, which is responsible for medium and low frequencies, and the 25 mm tweeter located in the center of the emitter, thanks to the ring-shaped design, provide playback of audio files in the frequency range 47-45000 Hz.
- Decent bass and sound quality
- Very well written manual
- If you’re looking for some unobtrusive “box” that’ll fade into the background so that folks wonder where the sound coming from, this is not it
Floor standing speakers
As a rule, all the floor standing speakers are passive. But it is still hard to choose the right model as there are a lot of kinds in today’s market.
Polk Audio TSi500
The sound from the very first minutes strikes on the spot with extremely high dynamics – according to this indicator, American systems can be considered one of the leaders in the test. It is also worth mentioning the widest frequency range, which begins with almost subwoofer in-depth bass and ends with precise and airy tops. At medium frequencies, there is also no noticeable color, sound resolution, and separation of instruments is very high. However, when transmitting rich natural tones, some simplifications are noticeable. Sound space fills the entire listening room and extends far beyond the line of acoustic arrangement. The scene is characterized by a clear rendering of individual images and their clear localization.
- Amazing dynamics, high sound resolution, widest frequency range
- The set up was extremely fast
- SImplified tones of natural instruments
Klipsch RP280FA floor-mounted speakers are based on the RF-280F, but they have one very important addition. Two additional emitters are mounted on the top panel of the speaker, which in fact, are another speaker designed for use in a Dolby Atmos home theater format. This system provides for the presence of special high-altitude channels whose sound should be reproduced by acoustics located on the ceiling of the listening room. If the placement of such speakers is impossible, then Dolby Labs allows their replacement with speakers installed, for example, on the upper panels of the front stereo pair, and directed at a certain angle up so that their sound reaches the audience after reflection from the ceiling. It is this principle that is implemented in the Klipsch RP-280FA model. The upper speaker section, hidden behind a protective grid, consists of a subwoofer with a 6.5-inch Cerametallic cone and a tweeter with a 25-mm titanium dome in the signature Hybrid Tractrix horn. It was the use of the horn load for the tweeter, which made it possible to streamline its directivity pattern, which made it possible to use two-way acoustics to form reflected high-altitude channels, rather than a traditional broadband speaker.
- State-of-the-art technology integrated
- Improved speaker design
- It takes some (insignificant) time to “warm-up”
The design of the new speakers is designed so that they can be used in conjunction with the SS-CS3 floor speakers and SS-CS5 shelf speakers.
SS-CSE is well suited for connecting to the new Sony STR-DH790 receiver, which supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. I recommend it to be used in conjunction with the Sony STR-DN1080 receiver. Power SS-CSE – 100 watts per channel. The frequency response is declared equal to 70-32000 Hz.
Many speakers use paper cones that deteriorate and flex over time, leading to a more distorted sound. This manufacturer used Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) fiber woofers that are extremely rigid. They are holding their shape even when moving at speed and high pressure, so you can drive the bass even harder without compromising audio quality.
- I managed to set it up in 30 minutes
- I especially adored that clear sound and detailed bass
- Too loud amplifier (manageable)
These speakers with RCA input are beautiful pieces of furniture.
So for how they sound. They are very detailed. I drove them with an old BK Components Ltd. power amp and BK preamp. The amp is 200 watts per channel, and you can bypass the preamp if you wish. The speakers have wonderful nuance and sound staging. They are clean, clear, and detailed. Very open, the aural presentation is definitely audiophile quality — a pleasure to hear, very sweet on the ears. I really like them. These RCA speakers for turntable sound much bigger. They are three ways, so the low end really fills out the sound.
For 5.1, you have to tune your system where you like it. Yamaha’s mic set up works good. You can run these without a subwoofer. The bass is just fine.
- Nice pleasant all-around sound
- Respectable craftsmanship
- There are too much upper bass emphasis
- Low impedance load. It can be challenging for some budget A/V receivers
What is the best way to place speakers for sound
First of all, move them away from the back wall, especially if the ports of the phase inverters are directed just at it. This will make the bass less booming and more legible, improve the depth of the music scene. How much to move? There is no universal answer, so first read the manual for the speakers with preamp, and then listen and experiment. The listener himself, by the way, for the same reason, should not push his head against the wall. Soft pillows on the back of the couch help well, and ideally, a woven tapestry or a heavy curtain at the back.
After the speakers have found a stable position in space, orient their acoustic axes directly to the listening position. Any deviations from the “direct shot” are fraught with distortion of the frequency response, especially at high frequencies, because the developers strive to get the best sound for this particular position of the emitters.
However, some manufacturers recommend not to deploy them to the listener, but this exception only confirms the general rule. In the variant with shelves for the same reasons, the radiator speakers should be at the ear level of a seated person.
Do you need speakers for a record player
If you are not talking about a gramophone, then, of course, you need it. Although there were inexpensive players with built-in speakers.
Whether you have a mechanical device, no speakers needed.
If you have an electric device, there is an amplifier (built-in or external), external speakers are needed as well.
How do I connect my record player to my speakers
How to connect passive speakers to a turntable
To connect passive speakers to your player, you need a receiver, a phono stage, an RCA cable, and the speakers themselves. Despite the fact that more components are required to install passive acoustics than active speakers, the connection itself is not much more complicated.
- Connect the player to the phono equalizer using RCA cables (note: some players require grounding).
- Connect the phono stage to the amplifier using RCA cables.
- Connect the amplifier to the speakers.
- Lower the needle, and enjoy it!
How to connect active speakers to a turntable
In addition to the built-in amplifier, such speakers boast a built-in phono stage. Thus, your need for an amplifier and a phono equalizer as in two separate components disappears. But most other active speakers, although equipped with an amplifier, will still require a separate phono stage.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect active speakers to your player:
- Route the RCA cable and ground cable from the player to the R-15PM
- Make sure the switch on the rear of the speakers is set to “Phono”
- Turn on the player and R-15PM on the network
- Put the record down and enjoy it!
Can you use computer speakers for record player
The fact is that the player itself does not play without an amplifier and speakers. Although there used to be models that “played” on their own, only such models were called differently: not players, but electrophones. The electrophones already have a built-in amplifier and speakers. Now electrophones are almost never released and, accordingly, are extremely rare.
If you don’t want to look for old models of electrophones and intend to buy a separate player, amplifier and speakers – this is one situation, if you are going to connect the player to a computer and listen through its sound card and computer speakers – another, and if you already have a good amplifier and the columns are the third.