About vintage vinyl and all the best equipment for playing it. Since vinyl is making a resurgence, we’ve compiled a list of blogs dedicated to vintage vinyls and what gear you’ll need. Headphones, record players, amplifiers — here’s your go-to list of sites for all things music! Just a quick update on the best amps, speakers, turntable components, and record/tape-related supplies for playing existing music on vinyl.
We’ll be updating these frequently as more about the best analog gear is released and new products are announced. The best way to start is with Vintage Vinyl A-Z, a directory of blogs dedicated to playing vinyl and vintage gear. This blog has a great list of other blogs that are dedicated to playing vinyl.
Check also: 5 Best Portable Record Players with Speakers
Table of Contents
Best Speakers for Vinyl
The best speakers for vintage vinyl are vintage speakers. Speakers that work well with vinyl are designed to handle the needle drop, which is a heavy and fast impact on a spinning record. Standard speakers aren’t designed to handle that kind of impact, so you’ll need something with a little weight. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been releasing their own finest speakers for years, but there are some new brands popping up as well.
1. ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers
The B5.2 is a great all-around speaker, delivering a high-quality sound while being durable and easy to use. Durable materials and construction along with the MMC technology used to design this speaker ensure this will last for years. The B5.2 provides dynamic sound with a wide response range, giving it the best fit for most music genres, and can be used in both home and studio applications. The B5.2 is an ideal choice for any type of music, including orchestral, jazz, rock, or pop; it’s also perfect for computer/home theatre set-ups as well as audiophile systems.
- MMC construction for an extended life
- High-efficiency cone design for low distortion and high transient response
- High SPL capability for the best musical performance
- Excellent build quality, featuring die-cast aluminum chassis, hardwood veneer finish, and Klemheist® binding posts
2. Klipsch R-15 PM Powered Monitor – Black (Pair)
The Klipsch? R-15PM powered monitor is a great choice for any vintage vinyl lover that needs a small speaker that delivers a big sound. Each speaker has dual 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) Cerametallic cone woofers, four 3/4 inch (19 mm) horn-loaded tweeters, and an internal 90W amplifier for optimal sound reproduction. The speakers can be mounted on the wall or placed on any flat surface with its included base stand, making it easy to place the speakers wherever you find the best sound quality.
- – The Klipsch? R-15PM powered monitor has dual 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) Cerametallic cone woofers, four 3/4 inch (19 mm) horn-loaded tweeters, and an internal 90W amplifier for optimal sound reproduction
- – Optional wall mount brackets and a base stand allow for placement on any flat surface
- – The adjustable rear crossover control set allows you to adjust the speaker’s frequency response if you need more bass or less
3. Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theatre Bookshelf Speakers:
The Polk Audio T15 100 Watt Home Theatre Bookshelf Speakers make some great audio for a small price. The speakers are designed with a satellite component located above a 5-1/4 inch (13 cm) high-performance midrange driver and 300-watt peak/150 watt RMS amplifier. It has four-way binding posts, which allow you to connect the speaker to just about anything you want.
- – 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) Cerametallic cone woofer with a fast response and deep bass response
- – 5-1/4 inch (13 cm) high-performance midrange driver
- – 300-watt peak/150 watts RMS amplifier with Active Input Sensing Technology
- – 30hz – 20khz frequency range for the best sound quality
4. Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Pair)
Sony’s SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System provides you with two front left speakers and a center channel speaker. The three speakers are easy to set up and complement a variety of stereo systems due to Sony’s fine-tuning software; the wireless subwoofer is even wireless. The SSCS5 utilizes an 80W amplifier, which enables you to listen for hours without straining your ears. A dedicated low-frequency speaker located below the woofer provides a smooth bass response for movies or games.
- – The SSCS5 utilizes an 80W amplifier, which enables you to listen for hours without straining your ears
- – A dedicated low-frequency speaker located below the woofer provides smooth bass response for movies or games
- – Two front left and right speakers and a center channel speaker round out the SSCS5 bundle
- – Sony’s fine-tuning software provides you with easy access to key audio controls such as treble, bass, and volume
5. JBL Professional Studio Monitor, Black, 5-Inch (305PMKII)
One of the best speakers for vinyl is JBL’s 305PMKII Monitor. This traditional speaker features 5-inch woofers and a 5-1/4 inch horn driver, along with a frequency response of 50 to 20,000 Hz. The cabinet is made from a combination of MDF and particleboard. This material provides a durable speaker that you can use for years without having to upgrade. The hardwood veneer finish on the cabinet looks great and adds extra durability for years to come.
- – A frequency response of 50 to 20,000 Hz gives you the best response from your music or movies
- – A 5-1/4 inch (13 cm) horn driver adds some extra upper end sound for greater clarity and definition
- – The 30-watt RMS amplifier provides plenty of power for any stereo system, even if it’s a budget one.
6. Crosley S200A-WA 4″ Active Powered Bluetooth Stereo Speakers
The WSX-200 Bluetooth Powered Speakers will make the perfect pairing to your smartphone or tablet. Using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, you can pair these speakers with any device that has a Bluetooth connection and use it to listen to your favorite music while you’re on the go. The speakers have all of the same features and specifications as the standard S200A, but they also come with two active subwoofers for even bigger bass response and better bass sound quality.
- – The WSX-200 Bluetooth Powered Speakers will make the perfect pairing to your smartphone or tablet
- – Use Bluetooth 4
Buying guide for the best speakers for vinyl
In the world of music, budget is always a factor. It’s worth noting that the price of a speaker isn’t necessarily indicative of its quality, but at a certain point, you’re better off spending more for higher quality audio.
- Power and Speaker Configuration
While many modern computer speakers come with relatively low wattage ratings, it’s important that the speakers you choose are able to adequately power the RCA cables from your turntable without interference or distortion.
- Sound Quality
The overall quality of the sound is probably the most important factor when choosing a speaker for your vinyl. The highest-rated speakers for vinyl usually have the greatest audio fidelity and allow you to hear all of your favorite artists’ nuances and detail in their music.
- Audio Input/Output
If you’re planning to use your turntable with a stereo receiver or amplifier, make sure that the speakers you choose are compatible with this setup.
- Extra Features
There are several additional features and specifications that you may want to consider before choosing a speaker for your vinyl. This includes the type of input used, whether it’s Bluetooth or RCA connectivity, if it’s a self-powered or passive speaker system, as well as whether it has built-in crossover technology and wattage rating. People who live in noisier environments may want to look for speakers with slightly higher wattage ratings as these speakers can often perform in louder environments.
- Speaker Design
The physical design of the speaker is worth considering as well. This includes the type of cabinet that it has, whether it’s a 2-way, 3-way, or 2-way speaker configuration and whether it uses cone or dome tweeters. The woofer and tweeter size can also influence the overall sound quality and volume of the speaker. You may also want to consider what material was used to construct the cabinets and whether they will stand up to your environment or be susceptible to rattling when moved or bumped into a wall.
- Technical Specifications
Lastly, read the speaker’s technical specifications before deciding to buy it. Some important specifications include the frequency response and impedance rating of each channel, as well as its power handling capacity. In addition, you may want to consider whether the speaker has a turntable input or an auxiliary input.
- Connecting Speakers to Your Vinyl Turntable
Once you’ve found a speaker that fits your needs and budget, the final step is to hook it up to your turntable. There are a few different ways you can go about doing this including using RCA cables or Bluetooth connectivity. Make sure that the speakers you choose are compatible with the type of connection method you plan on using, otherwise, the sound may be unclear or distorted.
Types of Speakers Are Best for Vinyl
One of the most important factors when choosing a speaker is to consider how they’re powered. While most passive speakers use the power from your audio source, self-powered speakers have their own internal power sources, usually in the form of an amplifier or batteries.
If you want to listen to your vinyl records through a self-powered speaker system, it’s recommended that you look for one that has an internal amplifier. By using a self-powered speaker system with an internal amplifier, you can connect your turntable directly through the RCA cables and listen without being constrained by your stereo system’s amplifier.
Alternatively, if you have a stereo system with an amplifier and you’re looking for speakers to connect to your turntable using RCA cables, then you’ll need to make sure that the speakers are passive. Passive speakers don’t have their own power source and instead rely on the one from your audio source. This type of speaker is good for vinyl because it will produce the same sound quality as your other components. Best Speakers for Vinyl Record Player:
Multimedia Home Theatre Speaker System:
It is an excellent all-around speaker system that not only sounds great but also has a number of cool features that will add extra versatility to your turntable setup. This speaker system comes with a subwoofer and four satellite speakers, along with plenty of wires for easy connectivity. It also includes a remote control so you can easily switch from one music source to another and adjust the volume, bass, or tone on the fly.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a Bluetooth speaker or smart speaker for your turntable, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most smart speakers will have Bluetooth that allows you to pair your vinyl with the speaker, however, this often leads to poor sound quality. The best Bluetooth speakers for vinyl have built-in crossovers and bass amps so that the audio signal from your turntable doesn’t distort when it’s amplified by the speaker.
Soundbars were originally made with TV in mind, but they’ve become increasingly popular for listening to music as well. While soundbars don’t have as much audio fidelity as a 2-channel audio setup, they’re often fairly easy to use and can provide a great way of listening to vinyl records on a budget.
Most soundbars are easy to set up and connect directly through your TV’s frame decoder so that you can listen to the old records you have stored away somewhere in the attic or basement. Soundbars also feature wireless bases that allow you to control their volume, bass, treble, and stereo settings with the remote control.
If you’re looking for the best speakers for a vinyl record player, then there are a few things to keep in mind. While a more expensive speaker system will generally provide better sound quality, they also tend to be more complicated and not as convenient to set up. Speakers with internal amplifiers often produce an unbalanced audio signal that can cause your turntable to skip or crackle when listening through them. A well-built self-powered speaker system is the perfect solution as they’re very simple to set up and allow you to connect your turntable directly through the RCA cables.
Virat Raj is a Digital Marketing Practitioner & International Keynote Speaker currently living a digital nomad lifestyle. During his more than 10 years-long expertise in digital marketing, Virat Raj has been a marketing consultant, trainer, speaker, and author of “Learn Everyday yourself: In Pursuit of Learning” which has sold over 10,000 copies, worldwide.