5 Best Speakers for Vinyl (Turntables) in 2023

Vinyl music records are making a major comeback. Turntables that were once gathering dust in storage are now being used and shown off.  To enjoy music from vintage records, you’ll need to invest in speakers that are suitable for delivering the best sound from such records. However, not all speakers can do that. Thus, you need to get the most suitable option to enjoy your vinyl. We’re here to help. Read on for our review of the top 5 speakers for vinyl.

1. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 – Overall Best for 2023

ELAC Debut made it to the top of our review based on its strong build quality and great performance. This speaker is designed to offer what other models in the ELAC series failed to offer. Here is why this speaker made it to our list and why it is worth your consideration.

Features and Benefits of ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2

  • Aramid fiber woofer-This speaker comes with a 6.5 inches aramid fiber woofer. The woofer delivers deep bass, making sure you don’t miss any lows.
  • Silk dome tweeter-Each speaker comes with a one-inch silk dome tweeter. These tweeters deliver the highest frequencies such that you will hear even the highest notes.
  • Extruded dust cap- The driver that comes with this speaker features an extruded dust cap. It assists in increasing the frequency response of the driver while still enhancing the cooling effect of the speaker.
  • Waveguide technology- This speaker is built with waveguide technology for the best sound effects. This technology makes it possible for the speaker to produce full-range sound from a small space.
  • Bass reflex enclosure-The speaker enclosure is designed as a bass reflex enclosure system. This enclosure design drives sound waves outwards in a way that boosts the overall level of the sound.

Pros

  • Dual flared port
  • Two-way bass reflex
  • Front-facing port
  • Strong build
  • Dome tweeters

Cons

  • The speaker lacks depth at low volume
  • Needs a lot of power to drive the woofer
  • The box design may not be visually appealing to everyone

Our Verdict

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 is specially designed for anyone looking for a powerful speaker with a strong build and full-range sound. Definitely worth a look.

2. Mackie CR3 CR Series

Mackie qualifies to be on our list based on its performance and design. It’s designed to deliver unmatched studio-quality sound for the best entertainment and multimedia creation. All its greatness comes at a very affordable price. Here’s why you should consider this speaker.

Features and Benefits of Mackie CR3 CR Series

  • Multimedia creation quality- The design behind this speaker is a speaker that can be used for multimedia creation. Thus, its performance is unmatched when it comes to playing music records.
  • Convenient controls-The speaker comes with a volume knob at the front. You can easily turn the volume up and down using the volume control knob.
  • Aux input-The speaker comes with an Aux input port at the front panel. You can attach your portable music player to the speaker and enjoy the louder sound.
  • Headphone output-Another key feature that comes with this speaker is headphone output at the front panel. You can plug your headphones into this port for a more personal sound experience, especially when you don’t want to disturb other people with loud music.
  • Speaker placement switch-The speaker comes with a switch that allows you to switch between the left and the right speaker channel. This allows you to enhance your listening experience, especially when listening to stereo records, without changing your seating position.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Convenient volume control
  • Compact design
  • Front-panel Aux and headphone ports
  • Speaker selector switch

Cons

  • Bass may not be deep enough for audiophiles
  • Some static noise at high volume
  • No Bluetooth

Our Verdict

Mackie CR3 is specially designed for anyone looking for an affordable yet reliable speaker set for studio-quality sound. 

3. Polk Audio Signature S10

Polk Audio S10 stands out for its unique and stylish design. It has exclusive features that make it one of the best speaker systems for vinyl. It’s specially designed to add surround sound experience in any living space. Read on for a detailed review of this speaker.

Key Highlights of Polk Audio S10

  • Multiple usage options-You can use this speaker set as satellite, surround, or rear speakers. You can even use it in a 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 speaker channel setup.
  • Terylene tweeter-This speaker is unique in that it uses a high-resolution tweeter made of terylene fabric. This type of tweeter delivers crystal-clear highs.
  • Mica-reinforced speaker cones-The polypropylene cones that come with this speaker are specially reinforced with mica. This allows for clearer and cleaner bass.
  • Power port technology-Polk Audio S10 is specially designed with renowned power port technology. This technology enhances the bass output of the speaker, making it deliver more immense bass.
  • Keyhole slot-This speaker boasts of having a keyhole slot. The slot makes it easy to mount the speaker on a wall.

Pros

  • Easy wall mounting
  • Clear and clean bass
  • Low distortion
  • Stylish design
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • No aux and headphone ports
  • Lacks Bluetooth
  • No volume control button

Our Verdict

If you’re searching for a high-performance speaker with a stylish design yet affordable, Polk Audio S10 is a sure bet. We’d suggest adding it to your shortlist.

4. Klipsch R-15PM

Klipsch R-15PM is specially designed for use with turntables. With this speaker set, you will not have to use a receiver when connecting to a turntable. Moreover, it offers room-filling sound, all in a compact design. It’s also made with quality assurance in mind. Here are its hits and misses.

Features and Benefits of Klipsch R-15PM

  • Phono inputs- The speaker comes with phono inputs. You can easily connect a phono preamp through this input to feed the speaker with a boosted signal.
  • Analog input switch- This speaker features a switch for selecting between phono and line inputs. This makes its input ports more versatile.
  • Ground terminal- The speaker comes with a ground screw terminal. This terminal makes it easy to ground the phono preamp.
  • Remote control-Klipsch R-15PM comes with remote control. The remote control is full-featured and uses infrared wireless technology.
  • Bluetooth enabled- You can connect your Bluetooth devices to this speaker. This way, you can enjoy streaming your music wirelessly.

Pros

  • Removable power cord
  • Compact design
  • Volume control knob
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Aux input

Cons

  • Higher price range
  • May overheat a little bit when used for longer periods without shutting it down
  • The speaker goes to sleep mode automatically

Our Verdict

Klipsch R-15PM has proven to be extremely versatile in terms of the devices you can connect. Thus, anyone looking for speakers to power their vintage or new turntables should consider this speaker set.

5. ​Audioengine A2+

If there’s a speaker designed for versatility, then it’s Audioengine A2+. Thus, you can easily connect most music devices. It’s also worth noting that you can even connect a vintage turntable to this speaker system. Moreover, Audioengine A2+ is made of high-end components for enhanced quality. Here’s why this speaker system made it to our review.

Key Highlights of Audioengine A2+

  • 2-way system-This speaker system is designed as a 2-way speaker unit. It features a passive and an active speaker, whereby the active speaker powers the passive one.
  • Compact design-This speaker system is small and compact in design. Thus, you can use it in almost any space, including on your desktop.
  • Versatile-You’ll surely appreciate the inputs that this speaker has. Its multiple input types make it possible to connect most major types of music devices.
  • Subwoofer connection-The speaker has a dedicated subwoofer output port. You can easily connect a subwoofer to this speaker system for more bass.
  • Inbuilt amplifier-The inbuilt amplifier that comes with this speaker allows you to boost the signal coming from your turntable or any other compatible source of the sound. This enhances the sound you get from your favorite music player.

Pros

  • Detailed and crisp sound
  • Stylish design
  • USB audio input
  • Subwoofer output
  • Inbuilt amplifier

Cons

  • Tweeters are only audible at higher volume
  • Volume control is situated at the back panel
  • Relatively weak bass response

Our Verdict

This speaker system is outstanding in terms of delivering high-quality sound. It’s worth your consideration, especially when looking for a compact speaker set that can fit in any space.

Things to Consider Before Buying Speakers for Vinyl

While there’re many great speaker options to choose from for your vinyl record player, not all of them are made equal. Some speakers outshine others in certain features; that’s why it’s important to know what to look out for when shopping for vinyl speakers. With that said, here’re the things to consider before buying the best speakers for vinyl.

1. Inbuilt Amplifier

When setting up your turntable with an audio system, you would want the easiest connection option possible. The easiest connection to set up is the one that uses the least number of audio components. Using minimal audio components makes it possible to set up a sound system with your turntable, even in the smallest space. You also save more money when using fewer components. As such, it’s ideal to consider a speaker that has an inbuilt amplifier. This means that you’ll not have to invest in a separate amplifier to power the speaker system. You’ll simply attach your turntable directly to the active speaker and enjoy your favorite vintage records. Such a sound setup is easy to work with and will obviously cost you less of your money.

2. Woofer and Tweeters

It’s always more enjoyable to listen to music with a sound system that delivers full-range sound. This means that you should invest in a speaker that delivers low, midrange, and high frequencies. This is most important for audiophiles. Thus, consider a speaker that comes with a woofer or a sub for lows and mid and tweeters for highs. The woofer and tweeters should be powerful enough for the kind of lows and highs you want. This way, you’ll enjoy all the details in your music records.

3. Sound Control Options

It’s always best when you have more control over a sound system. Thus, the best speaker system to go for is one that has some sound controls. For instance, a speaker that allows you to control the volume means that you can easily turn the volume up or down as you like without having to reach out to the turntable. If it has more sound control options, you’ll find it more useful. If the control options are limited, then you may have to invest in an equalizer for more control of the sound.

4. Types of Inputs and Outputs

Different speakers have different types of inputs. Some have more inputs than others. The best option should be the one that has the type of input which is compatible with your music player. For instance, if you want to attach your turntable, go for a speaker that has compatible inputs. For more versatility, consider a speaker that can be hooked with different types of music devices, just in case you would want to connect a different device along the way. Also, you should consider the types of outputs that the speaker has. This is to enable you to hook the speaker to other components, such as headphones and subwoofers.

5. Size of the Speaker

While size does not determine the performance of a speaker, it matters when it comes to portability and space. If you’re limited in terms of space, you should consider a more compact speaker. For instance, if you would want to use the speaker on a desktop space, then you should definitely go for a more compact speaker. Also, if you’ll be moving the speaker from one place to another regularly, then consider a portable speaker. However, if you’re not limited in space, and portability is not a concern, then size may not be a big issue.

Final Verdict

Turntables are a great way of reminding oneself of where music has come from. While digital music is the norm today, there is a growing move back to classic vinyl. Here at Speaker Champion, we’re all for it! With this review and buying guide in mind, you’ll surely make a more informed decision when looking for a speaker for your vinyl. 

A Deep Dive into R1280DB Speakers by Edifier

The R1280DB Speakers are a small set of bookshelf speakers (about the size of a loaf of bread) produced by Edifier. They are intended for small spaces where space is at a premium.

These genuine wood-sided speakers are available in maple or black stain and support various input options. In addition, they can be controlled remotely with the provided IR remote control pad.

Edifier was started in 1996 in Beijing by a small group of audiophiles who wanted to make beautiful and powerful speakers of all sizes. Currently, Edifier exports to 70 different countries, enjoys a broad following and has received several awards for design excellence; and even has a speaker line designed by audio engineer Phil Jones of Acoustic Energy in the UK.

Who’s It For?

R1280DBs are an ideal solution for an affordable but effective sound system for apartments, offices, dorm rooms, and standard living rooms. These small speakers easily fit on a regular bookshelf yet produces a rich sound that belies their small size.

A set of R1280s will only set you back about $120-130 dollars (or less, if you can find a sale) and can be fully integrated into any current audio output source through wired or Bluetooth connections.

Set up of the R1280DB is easy as there is a simple on-off switch in the rear of the right speaker (you can also use the remote control).

The left speaker has slaved to the right speaker, which houses the power supply, and also has manual control knobs on the side for easy access. However, if you are looking for a stereo system with some bass kick, these are not the speakers for you.

They have some really good mid-tone and upper-bass range sound (see below for details), but hardcore audiophiles will likely pass on these speakers.

What We Like About the Edifier R1280DB Speakers

Edifier R1280DB speakers have a great sound for a small set of bookshelf speakers. The tonal quality is rich enough in the midrange that listening is enjoyable. We also appreciate the ease of use with respect to connectivity. 

Bluetooth connectivity, remote control, and device pairing memory features are a big bonus and make these speakers usable for easy listening and movie viewing.

What We Don’t Like About the R1280DB Speakers

We would really like to see the R1280DB speakers equipped with better-quality accessories. We are not talking about the remote control here, but the cabling.

The cabling provided is the most basic you can get and not very good quality. However, we realize that the R1280DB speakers are Edifier’s Bluetooth-enabled budget speakers, so that is keeping in line with the affordability objective.

What’s Included?

Basic quality connection cables are provided with the R1280DB speakers. These include a 

A set of basic quality connection cables is provided with the R1280DB. These include a speaker connection cable to link the left speaker to the right (the right has the power supply and amplifier; 8.2-foot cable), an RCA-RCA cable with L/R jacks on each end (5.5 feet long), an standard RCA audio cable (5.5 feet long), and a fiber optic cable that is good for smart TVs and some stereo systems (5 feet long).

There is also an instruction manual, which is helpful for understanding how to pair the speakers to a Bluetooth device properly, a full IR remote control that can switch between any input source, control a Bluetooth device, and of course, control volume, mute, and switch the whole thing off.

Overview Of Features

Specifications:
Build and dimensions: Genuine wood (comes in maple or black stain) and metal cabinet, with some plastic components. 5.7-inch-wide face x 9.5 inches tall x 7 inches deep (146x242x178 mm)
Case: Bass-reflex
Drivers (each speaker): Woofer (4.57-inch; 116 mm), silk dome tweeter (0.51-inch; 13 mm)
Amplifier power: 42 W RMS (root mean square)
Frequency response range: 55 Hz to 20 kHz
Ports: All front (woofer, tweeter, bass relief)
Wired connections: Optical TOSLINK (1), digital coaxial (1), RCA (2), spring clip pair I/O (2)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 85 dBA
Input sensitivity: 550 mV
Wireless connections: Bluetooth, remote control

Design
We would just like to start by saying that these speakers look great. Whether you choose the retro look with the maple stain or do with the modern-looking black stain, the use of real wood (we think it’s probably oak) in an affordable set of speakers is a huge bonus.

The R1280DB speakers basically look like pieces of furniture and will absolutely be a tasteful addition to any space. The choice to use real wood on small speakers that are marketed as a budget system is a really nice touch, as the wood provides an aesthetic warmth to the surroundings.

If you are going to use small speakers because you do not have the room, there is no reason that they cannot look nice. Edifier has really hit the mark on looks, but how do they sound? (more on that below).

The case design of the R1280DB is identical to its predecessor, the R1280T speaker set, which is regarded by many as a very nice, very well-made, and affordable bookshelf speaker. The R1280DB excels where their predecessor did not in being able to accommodate all current audio input sources.

The cloth facing is made of grey cloth and slightly domed over a mesh screen to protect the speakers from dust or casual contact. At the bottom of the screen is the word Edifier in silvered metal and there is a mid-face fess of the same metal that falls short of traversing the face.

On the right speaker, there is a small receiving window for the IR remote control. and is usually not seen unless the cloth facing has been removed. On the side of the right speaker is also a recessed control panel of bass, treble, and volume knobs.

These knobs have a bit of weight to them, do not feel cheap, and can be turned in small amounts, and tend to stay where they are set. All power, input, and I/O connectors are located on the rear of the right speaker (except for a sole I/O connector on the left speaker).

Utility
For a bookshelf speaker set, the R1280DB comes with a wealth of features that permit it to be connected to any current audio device. These speakers can also be connected to smart TVs through the optical fiber connection port; this port can also be used with high-end stereo systems for an extra bit of input signal breadth.

Apart from coaxial, optical, and standard RCA jack inputs, the R1280DB speakers are also Bluetooth-capable. This permits them to be connected wirelessly to any smartphone, MP3/4 player, laptop, or tablet and makes them compatible with all modern means of wirelessly transmitting audio information except WiFi.

Bluetooth device pairing for some electronic devices can be a real pain and more like a game of wireless tag. In Bluetooth mode, the device pairing of these speakers is effortless and the electronics of the R1280DB speakers will also remember all recent Bluetooth connected devices.

Essentially, after the first go you just need to set your laptop or smartphone to Bluetooth transmit, use the R1280DB’s remote to switch over to Bluetooth, and in a few moments, your audio playlist or music video is blasting through the speakers. This also makes setup for movie viewing a cinch if you are using a portable device or a Bluetooth-enabled television.

Regarding more traditional input methods, the R1280DB speakers have regular RCA jacks with L/R inputs and can accommodate two sound sources (LINE1 and LINE2 pair or L/R RCA sockets). The free-pair spring connector on the rear of the right speaker is how the left is linked up via the speaker connection cable.

The R1280DB speaker remote control is an IR unit that has 12 buttons. Apart from the basics like on-off, volume up, volume down, and mute, the remote allows the user to switch between audio source inputs.

In fact, it is the only way to switch between audio sources, since there are no manual controls for these sources on the speakers. The remote features buttons for LINE1, LINE2 (two different RCA-connected sources), OPT (optical fiber), COX (coaxial cable), and Bluetooth.

In the Bluetooth area of the remote, there are play-stop, program back, and program forward buttons to enable the user to move around linearly through a playlist, a set of pre-programmed radio stations, or through chapters in a movie DVD or BlueRay disc.

Sound Quality
This is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. They also say looks aren’t everything and the R1280DB’s look pretty nice.

So, how do these little beauties sound? Surprisingly good for a small set of speakers.

Tonality:
The tone of the R1280DB speakers has a smooth and warm low-end with some crisp treble up at the top. For a small set of speakers, the sound feels large and can easily fill a standard room with normal acoustic properties. There is surprising clarity in the sound for near-field listening.

With correct placement (either at or slightly above listening level), the speakers produce voluminous mid-bass that blends well into the natural sound midrange for most music and movie tracks. The treble is distinct and clear in the mid- to upper-treble range, but falls off in the lower treble registers.

The overall sound quality is most appropriate for background music (passive listening) and as a video sound system since the speakers do not demonstrate any fatigue with long-term playtimes.

Bass: The mid-bass range of the R1280DB speakers is warm, focused, and not fuzzy. It blends well into the mid-range, which is the bulk of the audible perception sound space for people.

However, if you are looking for a big bass kicker or something with a sub-bass thump, forget about it. That quality is a matter of bass cavity volume and woofer size, which are small in the R1280DB’s.

Nonetheless, the R1280DB speakers have a warmth and richness to their mid-bass zone with good note articulation and a lack of blur. Keep in mind that speaker placement for bass presentation can be critical, so try to place these speakers against an outer wall or in a corner for more acoustic focus.

On the bottom of the mid-bass, they are capable of some bang but no rumble. Higher up in the mid-bass, the speakers are punchy and responsive which tends to be perceived as room-filling in the bass range for most listeners.

Mid-range: Mid-range audio is a strong suit of Edifier and they tend to focus on that audio range in most of their small speaker products. It is simply a range where most listeners keep their attention focused.

The lower part of the mid-range is a little elevated and gives some full-bodied volume, yet the center mid-range is flat and vocal tracks tend to get a little run over here by instrumentals. Vocals are clear, however, and not thick or fuzzy.

Female vocals tend to come through clearer in the upper part of the mid-range if they make it up to the lower treble register. Despite these shortcomings, the sound is generally smooth and voicing sounds natural with a harmonic timbre.

Treble: Small, affordable speakers usually cannot hit the highs very well and is typically where they all fall short. To combat this, Edifier has chosen to use a 13 mm silk dome tweeter, which is a very agile little tweeter that produces clear, crisp, energetic tones.

The treble output of the R1280DB speakers is very detailed and not buzzy. The strategy they have employed appears to emphasize the lower-treble register by deliberately elevating it.

This sound zone is usually where most instrumental tones are played such as brass and strings and lends to a great attack, particularly with the clarity afforded to acoustic instruments. But, the R1280DB’s tend to suffer from an early roll-off in this range with a distinct loss to shimmer and airy notes.

Their background tones are clean, however, and not overly bright lending to good sound clarity. Overall, the R1280DB speakers do a good job in a small package at an affordable

Review Summary

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