Best Powered Speakers
to Pair With a Turntable
If you’re just getting started with vinyl, a quality pair of powered speakers provides a solid foundation for a system you can grow with over time. Upgrading your speakers can enhance your vinyl listening experience.
If you’re using an all-in-one turntable with audio outputs but still rely on the stock speakers, you’ll be amazed by how much better your music sounds coming through a new, higher-quality set. The same applies if you’re using cheaper speakers “inherited” from a roommate or that you bought when you were on a tight budget. The right speakers will deliver a major sound quality improvement. You’re going to notice.
Choosing speakers for your turntable isn’t an exact science, though. In the world of vinyl, there’s a nearly endless array of options for your system. Speakers, of course, are no exception. Besides choosing speakers based on sound quality, you’ve got to factor in things like:
- Space: Where will you be putting these speakers? How big (or small) will they need to be?
- Budget: You don’t need to be a millionaire to afford great speakers, but the size of your budget certainly plays a role in which products you select
- Flexibility: Maybe you need speakers that work with analog and digital music systems, or maybe you want speakers that come with a remote control.
This is where powered speakers for your turntable come in. Thankfully, there are options galore for everyone. You also don’t need the most expensive, crème de la crème speakers to create the listening experience you’re going for.
Let’s take a closer look at three great brands that offer good powered speakers for turntables. Assuming you have an entry-level turntable, any of these speaker sets will help you build a great-sounding system. Don’t be surprised if you’re blown away by the sound quality and start adding components to further refine your setup!
Audioengine A5+ Powered Speakers
Over the years, the phrase “best starter audio system” has applied to various sets of equipment in various audio formats. While the Audioengine A5+ powered speakers don’t constitute a complete system on their own – you need, at the very least, a music source and phono stage – they’re among the best speakers for any starter system you might build today. They’re a fantastic value, too.
At $399 for a pair, the A5+ offers incredible sound. They’re also small, relatively speaking. The dimensions are just 11” high, 7” wide, and 9” deep, which means they can fit on just about any shelf and work great as a replacement for existing desktop speakers.
For their size, these speakers offer great balance. A lot of desktop speakers give you too much bass, but not the A5+. A tuneful bass complements smooth highs, providing a well-rounded listening experience.
One thing to keep in mind about Audioengine speakers is that they require an external phono stage (phono preamp). If you’re building a high-performance system, a phono stage is probably something you want anyway. Still, budding audio enthusiasts might not have the space (yet) for an additional system component or might prefer a cleaner look.
Here’s a rundown of the Audioengine A5+ features:
- Built-in, 50-watt per channel RMS amplifiers with shock absorption to minimize vibrations
- Compatible with any audio system, including turntables, computers, or televisions
- Remote control included
- ⅛” and RCA inputs, USB power, all cables included
- Silk dome tweeter with 5” Kevlar woofer
- MDF cabinets with various finishes, including white, black, and bamboo composite
Other Audioengine speakers to consider
Audioengine’s A5+ speakers are pretty small, but if you’ve got serious space limitations, consider the A2+ ($249). While the A2+ might look like the perfect PC speaker replacement, don’t be fooled by their size. They offer many of the same features you get with A5+, like a Kevlar woofer, and they’re versatile enough that you can pair them with your entry-level turntable or digital music system.
The Audioengine HD3 premium desktop speakers are another great option. Currently priced at $399, these speakers pack an incredible punch and are compact enough to fit just about anywhere. They’re also compatible with BlueTooth, so you can connect them to your vinyl system or use them to stream digital music wirelessly.
Finally, if you’re looking for a larger, more powerful option, the Audioengine HD6 powered speakers are worth a serious look. At $749, they’re priced higher than the other options in our roundup, but they’re well worth the extra expense! In addition to BlueTooth compatibility, the HD6 offers custom drivers and mono-block amplifiers for improved performance. Digital and analog inputs mean you can hook any source to these speakers, from your computer to your turntable and beyond.
Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers
Built-in phono preamp. Built-in BlueTooth. Remote control. Four different finishes. The Kanto YU4 powered speakers provide a level of flexibility that’s hard to surpass!
This eminently affordable ($299) pair of speakers is the perfect complement to a starter turntable like the Audio-Technica LP120, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon or Rega Planar 1. Not only do you get a great set of speakers for vinyl listening sessions – you can also connect the YU4s to your PC or use them to stream wirelessly from your phone. It’s a great balance for a budding audio enthusiast making the transition from basic digital streaming to vinyl and other high fidelity formats.
With the YU4, you get:
- 4″ Kevlar drivers, 1″ silk dome tweeters, and a class D amplifier.
- Built-in Bluetooth for simple, high quality streaming from a variety of sources
- Automatic standby and power-up modes that help you save power
- Remote control for adjustments to volume, input, tone, and balance
Other Kanto speakers to consider
If you still listen primarily to digital formats and want to save space, the Kanto YU2 speakers ($199) are an excellent choice. These “mini-monitors” are probably just half the height of your laptop, yet they manage to deliver staggeringly great sound. Connect these to any AUX input with the included 3.5mm cable. Add a 3.5mm-to-RCA adaptor, and the YU2 will connect straight to your turntable.
Smaller not your style? That’s ok. The Kanto YU6 powered speakers ($389.99) are a step up from the YU4 and deliver fantastic sound at really high volumes. If loud is what you’re going for, the YU6 is it. Like the YU4 speakers, these include a built-in phono stage – perfect for a vinyl setup with space limitations.
Peachtree M24 Powered Speakers
These speakers are just beautiful. Sound quality aside – and the sound quality is extraordinary for the size and money – the Peachtree M24 speakers ($369) are available in a real bamboo housing. Natural finish, of course. And it’s not just veneer. If a natural finish isn’t what you’re going for, they’re available in black as well.
From a flexibility perspective, the M24 speakers sacrifice nothing. Connect these directly to your turntable and digital music sources. You can switch among the sources at will. A phono stage is built-in, but you can always connect your M24s to an external preamp if desired.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you get with the Peachtree M24 powered speakers:
- Up to 24/96 digital audio direct through the USB input
- Wireless connections via Bluetooth or direct connections to your PC or mobile device
- Direct turntable connection thanks to built-in phono preamp
- Specially-designed drivers and amplifiers that work as a system to deliver the best possible sound
The Peachtree M24 speakers will be available in Fall 2017. Until then, we’re taking preorders!
Good sound CAN come in small packages
When it comes to selecting the best powered speakers for your turntable, there are lots of choices. We think these three brands have a lot to offer, especially if you’re just getting started with HiFi audio.
For many listeners, the good news is that you don’t need tons of extra space to accommodate high-quality speakers. Most of these speakers will fit on any desktop, shelf, or table, and that includes the larger models in our roundup. And since several models have a built-in phono stage, you can start enjoying better sound from your turntable right away. You won’t have to buy anything other than new speakers.
What matters most is that you’re going to love how your music sounds. A great pair of speakers can reveal layers of detail and sonic nuance that you never knew existed – even in recordings you’ve heard a thousand times before.
That, of course, is why speaker quality is important. Better equipment heightens your listening experience, and great speakers are a key part of any decent vinyl playback system.