Best Speakers for Record Players

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 5, 2018
For some people, listening to vinyl on good speakers is akin to breathing, it's just an essential part of their day. If you're one of those people or simply want to enjoy music in good quality, take a look at our top 5 picks of best speakers for record player. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Configuration
Speaker Types
Output Power
Sensitivity
Frequency Response
Inputs
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The bi-amped A/B amplifier keeps interference and feedback low so your sound isn't disrupted by other equipment.

CONS

The built-in 30-minute auto standby function is nice for energy efficiency but might get annoying over time.

OUR VERDICT

We're still apprehensive about the cost but this set of speakers from KRK is a worthy choice if only for the amazing sound quality. It's good enough for use in a professional recording studio so it'll definitely be just great for home use with a vinyl record player.

detailed parameters
Configuration

2-WAY

Speaker Types

Woofer: 5" Aramid glass composite

Tweeter: 1" soft dome

Output Power

50 W

Sensitivity

84 dB

Frequency Response

45Hz - 35kHz

Inputs

Multiple Audio Input Connectors (XLR, ¼" TRS, RCA)

Dimensions

11.1" x 7.28" x 9.06" (per speaker)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The monitor can get the volume as high as 108 dB, unrivaled by speakers even at a similar price point.

CONS

The knobs and switches aren't very sturdy and look a bit cheap.

OUR VERDICT

This is yet another set of speakers designed for professional use but sure to pleasantly surprise those who just want them for listening to vinyl. They can get louder than a full orchestra, underline low frequencies as well as bass, and deliver the kind of sound cheap speakers will never be able to replicate. The JBL set is absolutely worth it if you're ready to pay the steep price.

detailed parameters
Configuration

2-WAY

Speaker Types

Woofer: 5" 

Tweeter: 1"

Output Power

82 W

Sensitivity

92 dB

Frequency Response

49Hz – 20kHz

Inputs

XLR female, TRS female, Balanced

Dimensions

11.75" x 7.3" x 9.9"

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The speaker supports Bluetooth 4.0 so you can use it as a wireless transmitter for music from your phone, tablet, or laptop.

CONS

The brief manual is tiny and not very helpful.

OUR VERDICT

If you tend to keep your music library on your phone or laptop and want to spin some tracks from that device, this wireless-enabled speaker from Edifier is a great choice. Its sound quality isn't the best ever but it's good enough for audiophiles for sure.

detailed parameters
Configuration

2-WAY

Speaker Types

Woofer: 4"

Tweeter: 1" silk dome

Output Power

70 W

Sensitivity

85 dB

Frequency Response

60Hz - 20kHz

Inputs

Bluetooth 4.0, RCA, RCA to AUX, Optical, Coaxial, Subwoofer output

Dimensions

10" x 6.1" x 8.8" (per speaker)

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The woven carbon fiber woofer is very sturdy and delivers thumping bass like no other.

CONS

The output power is low compared to other similar models.

OUR VERDICT

This is an affordable yet high-quality set with excellent woofer and tweeter. While it's not the most powerful speaker out there, it's pretty stellar for its price point and the classic design makes it a good pair for a vinyl record player.

detailed parameters
Configuration

2-WAY

Speaker Types

Woofer: 4″ carbon fiber, rubber surround

Tweeter: 0.75″ silk dome

Output Power

30 W

Sensitivity

85 dB

Frequency Response

60Hz - 20kHz

Inputs

3.5mm Stereo Mini Jack, Stereo RCA

Dimensions

9.5″ x 5.8″ x 6.5″ (per speaker)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

These speakers offer high-quality materials and parts. The class D built-in amplifiers are entirely digital. You can adjust the sound settings, changing low and high frequencies manually.

CONS

The output power is low compared to that of other models.

OUR VERDICT

Made of high-quality eco-friendly materials and protected against various kinds of interference, these bookshelf speakers will please you with the reliability and durability.

detailed parameters
Configuration

2-WAY

Speaker Types

Woofer: 4"

Tweeter: 0.5"

Output Power

42 W

Sensitivity

85 dB

Frequency Response

75Hz - 18kHz

Inputs

Dual RCA, Dual PC Inputs

Dimensions

9.2" x 5.7" x 7.7"

Warranty

2 years

KRK Rokit 5 (RP5G3-NA)

A Two-In-One Choice

We’re going to cheat a bit and talk about this excellent set of speakers for record player in the context of more than just listening to music in your living room. After all, that addendum to the KRK Rokit 5 RP5G3-NA’s name doesn’t say studio monitor just for laughs!

This model has a special bi-amped A/B amplifier, which keeps interference from other monitors and sound equipment to a minimum. That means your sound should come through crystal clear even if you’re in a studio that’s bursting with sound sources. Besides, that’s also important for home use as well since even another speaker standing nearby can cause interference and distortion.

What does make this model a top choice for professionals is the fact that all of its parameters are adjustable. You can adjust the sensitivity level from the base, important for mixing and mastering. Now, your average user will likely not have much use for these and yet they’re definitely part of the price formation. So it’s up to you to decide whether the high-quality sound is worth the cost that’s been amplified by the intricate settings. Though we definitely feel that learning about these adjustments and actually taking advantage of them wouldn’t be the worst idea for true audiophiles.

Review of KRK Rokit 5 (RP5G3-NA) Powered Studio Monitor (Generation 3) (Pair)

All Bark, Some Bite

We have to remark that the KRK Rokit 5 RP5G3-NA is pretty power efficient, thanks in part to the special auto standby function. If you don’t use the speakers for 30 minutes, they go into “sleep mode” to prevent unnecessary energy waste. Admittedly, some people might take breaks in their listening and want the speakers to stay active while they’re going about their business, but that’s a very minor gripe.

Besides, what matters most is speaker quality and this model excels in that department. The woofer here is made of aramid glass composite, which keeps the sound crystal clear, unlike anything you’ve heard before. Plus, the tweeter has a soft dome so even the sharper sounds that might sound unpleasant on cheap systems will be less abrasive.

Our last complaint would be in regards to the frequency response range as the 35 kHz level is simply not practical and won’t do anything for the average listener. But that’s the only gripe here as the actual range is quite good with no feedback or noise. Plus, you can connect this speaker to a variety of devices thanks to multiple input connectors, so even that 35 kHz limit might benefit you in the end.

All things considered, while we were a bit put off by the steep price and some niche features, we have to admit that the KRK Rokit 5 RP5G3-NA delivers quality where it matters. The sound is just beautiful, the choice of material makes this set one of the most advanced on the market, and the fact that you can use this system both for your home and a recording studio justifies the price somewhat. If you feel ready to pay more to get more, this is a very solid pick.

KRK Rokit 5 (RP5G3-NA) Powered Studio Monitor (Generation 3) (Pair) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

JBL 305PMKII

Play It Louder

If you like it loud, there’s no point in settling for tiny portable speakers or the ones built into your player. Those who want the whole building to hear their music should be on the lookout for a high-end speaker such as the JBL 305PMKII.

This model has a max power output of 82W which means you can take the sound as loud as 108 dB, equal to a whole orchestra playing a symphony. And, of course, the audio will be just as amazing since this model has one of the highest sensitivity levels we’ve seen at 92 dB. This means that very little power will be used to get the music louder so these are great speakers for those who love to blast their tunes all over the home while they do chores.

Plus, loudness isn’t the sole deciding factor, of course, especially if you like rock. The patented Slip Stream system in these speakers ensures that the bass will sound particularly rolling and impactful when you play your records using these stereo speakers. Even if you set the volume low, the frequencies will be transmitted clearly with no noise being let through.

Admittedly, the knobs and switches on this speaker seem a bit flimsy and, consequently, cheap. We’d ordinarily not complain too much about that but a model this good (and, let’s be honest, this expensive) deserves better design quality. Plus, you don’t want the volume knob to snap off and leave music blasting from the speaker.

Review of JBL 305PMKII 5" Professional Studio Monitor (Single)

Honest and Professional

What we did like a lot is the fact that the JBL 305PMKII doesn’t go for dishonest marketing tricks or anything like that. The model has a frequency response range of 49Hz to 20kHz, encompassing pretty much everything the human ear could discern. This means you get exactly what you paid for, unlike similar high-price speakers that claim to emit sounds that only your dog will hear.

Plus, this set has XLR and TRS female outputs for balanced transmission. In layman’s terms, this means that your audio is less susceptible to noise than it would be with regular cables. That quality is, of course, owing to the fact that these speakers were designed for use in a professional studio, on par with high-quality devices from Audio Technica. And that’s exactly what makes them one of the pricier options on the market. Still, with this kind of sound quality, we’d say the speaker is worth it.

Though there are some setbacks here and there, we have to say that the JBL 305PMKII is one of the most impressive models on the market right now in terms of build quality, noise reduction features, and volume. Get these speakers and play your music loud as you want!

JBL 305PMKII 5" Professional Studio Monitor (Single) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Edifier R1850DB

Sync Wirelessly

Although vinyl is certainly a retro format nowadays, nobody wants to listen to it via means that were used 50 years ago. Now is the modern age where everything should be loud, wireless, and flawless. And while we wouldn’t call the Edifier R1850DB flawless, it’s definitely a good choice if you want active speakers for music listening or just a pair of powered speakers for turntable use.

This model uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect wirelessly to any music-playing device with the same feature. Therefore, you can transmit tunes from your phone, tablet, or laptop without getting up off the couch or even entering the room the speakers are in.

However, a wireless connection isn’t always possible so you want your speakers to have other interfaces. Thankfully, the Edifier R1850DB has RCA and RCA toAUX ports that you can use to hook the speakers up to analog devices. That way you can always be sure that this model is compatible with your device of choice or whatever is currently available.

Last but not least in terms of quality-of-life improvements, the base of the Edifier R1850DB is angled upwards 10 degrees so the sound gets spread out wider and, if your table has a bit of a rim to it, doesn’t get muffled.

Review of Edifier R1850DB 2.0 Active Studio Monitor

Forget the Instructions

If we were to talk about the Edifier R1850DB in terms of sound quality, there’d be few surprises. Though it’s relatively mid-range in terms of price, the audio here is very good. Sure, there is some very mild noise that could be avoided if the speaker was refined to a ridiculous point but that’s just impractical. The sensitivity on this model is quite good at 85 dB so you can rest assured that it’s an energy-efficient choice.

Plus, we want to point out the excellent frequency response range, as broad as could be reasonably expected. Couple that with a silk dome tweeter and you get great low-frequency sound output. Now, the woofer is a bit smaller than usual at 4” but that’s a minor gripe.

The only thing about this model that we genuinely dislike is the terrible instruction manual that does little to explain the features of the speaker and seems like a waste overall. But we’ve covered most of them anyway so, hopefully, the manual won’t spoil the overall impression too much.

With all that in mind, we can call the Edifier R1850DB a wonderful pick for home use. It mixes high-end quality with reasonable price. Though it’s not on the level of the equipment used in recording studios, it’s a great fit for home use if you’re looking for a set of speakers for vinyl players.

Edifier R1850DB 2.0 Active Studio Monitor in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Micca PB42X

Go Small or Go Home

Even those music lovers who wouldn’t necessarily label themselves audiophiles can probably tell the difference between a cheap speaker that doesn’t boost sound and a good one. If you like your tunes to have good thumping bass as well as clear sound, turn your attention to the Micca PB42X. Though it offers wonderful audio quality, this is one of the more affordable speakers on the market, which makes it a viable choice for home sound systems.

You might be paying less than average but what you get from these speakers is far beyond the norm. First off, the woofer here is made with woven carbon fiber so it’s extra sturdy and a bit more rigid. The bass quality is thus stellar even though it isn’t being backed by high output power. Speaking of which, that low level of 30 W is not something we’re ecstatic about but it gets the job done so we wouldn’t call it a deal breaker either.

As for the tweeter, it’s downright tiny at 0.75” with a silk dome so you know that the quality of the low-frequency output will be excellent. And, since we've mentioned size, we should also point out that the speakers themselves are pretty small so you could plausibly use them as a portable model if you wanted to.

Review of Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Full of Surprises

Now, we also think that a good set of speakers needs to be compatible with music-playing devices for it to actually be useful. Luckily, the Micca PB42X has that field covered as well. This model has a 3.5mm mini jack as well as an RCA port so you can hook it up to plenty of different devices. We wouldn’t have minded ports for some of the more professional equipment as well but that’s an issue that a few adapters will solve in a jiffy.

While the sound quality of the Micca PB42X is great, the sensitivity doesn’t lag behind too much (nor should it, considering the weak power output) at 85dB. This is an above average level and certainly higher than what we’d expect from a model with such a low price. A pleasant surprise to say the least, especially when combined with the broad frequency response range of 60Hz –20kHz.

With 2 great speakers on board, the Micca PB42X is clearly a solid choice for music lovers, especially those who want good speakers on a budget. It’s an affordable yet high-quality choice with a few minor shortcomings that shouldn’t put you off. This is a classic-looking set of 2 speakers that won’t leave a hole in your pocket while still providing good audio quality so you can enjoy your favorite tunes as loud as you want.

Micca PB42X Powered Bookshelf Speakers in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Edifier R1280T

Crystal Clear Sound

The Edifier R1280T speakers can be rightfully called versatile. And here are the reasons for that. The drivers with which this model is equipped with produce a really decent sound while the speakers themselves are pretty compact in size. Owing to those parameters, you can use them as a desktop acoustic set for your PC. Gamers will certainly appreciate such an option.

The set is comprised of two speakers with two-way drivers placed on their front sides (you can close them with a bundled fabric mesh). The output power of each speaker is 21 watts, which makes them capable of filling a small or middle-sized room. The speakers boast a built-in amplifier with combined manual and digital remote controls. It makes them more convenient than those with conventional sound amplifiers with analog controls only. One of the main advantages of this model is the quality of reproduction of medium-frequencies sound. This range creates a natural and immersive sound and reveals every note of your favorite melodies to you. However, with some records, you may experience a slight distortion at low frequencies. With that, it is easily defeatable with the built-in equalizer. Especially that, you can configure it directly on the speakers.

The main speaker has the bass and treble controls and the main volume control dials to adjust the tonal balance and volume of both speakers at the same time (if the left speaker is fed signal from the built-in amplifier in the right one using the wire, which is a default option).

The set of the Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers can be considered a full-fledged 2-channel music system for personal use, which is able to meet the requirements of the most demanding listener.

Review of Edifier R1280T 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors

Looks as Good as It Sounds

The Edifier R1280T bookshelf speaker system can be controlled remotely. The practice shows this solution to be the most appropriate and convenient for a modern 2.0 sound system. The compact remote does with three buttons only for performing all its tasks. The buttons have an optimal size for a comfortable pressing. Having turned on the music, you can turn volume up and down without getting up from your sofa. You can also use the mute button to turn off the sound on the speakers. The remote is small enough for carrying around your place and adjusting the playback parameters on the speakers at any time you need.

The speaker front part can be customized to have two looks: with a protective mesh and without it. The speakers exterior remains stylish for both options, but it is better to use the meshes (to ensure better protection for the drivers). By the way, there is a metal streak, which divides the grill in two horizontally and hints us that there are two drivers installed. The mesh itself can be easily removed if necessary.

Like with the majority of speakers of this class, the enclosure of this model is made of high-quality MDF and covered with a laminated film to create a textured tree pattern.

Edifier R1280T 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Audio

The bass notes were clean and solid. the specs on these speakers say 75 to 18k frequency response but It sounds like a much bigger range than that.

Key Specs

This product is solid! There isn't a lot to go wrong with these speakers and the 45 watt amplification can easily be heard around the whole house (1900 sq foot). The bass is full and rich.

Size & Weight

I took some photos of the two side by side as there is really not much difference in size. The R1700BT was basically the same height and width but with a sloped front that brings the base out a bit further. IMO, unnecessarily extending the depth.
 

What Are Speakers for a Record Player?

Although your regular music listener might be just enjoying the beat or the lyrics, audiophiles are known for being very picky about the quality of the sound. Which means that speakers play an essential role in the music-listening experience and shouldn’t be just an afterthought in your setup. Depending on the model, these audio devices can help you enjoy an album or produce one as many of the high-end options are compatible with both turntables and vinyl players as well as studio equipment. As long as your studio monitor model of choice has the necessary ports, you can connect it to whatever you’d like.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to make music or simply enjoy the pleasant sounds, these bass-heavy and high fidelity speakers will bring the loudness and the sound that you simply can’t get with a pair of headphones or, god forbid, basic built-in speakers. Most of the time, external speakers will likely be a compromise in terms of space but a definite upgrade in terms of sound quality.

If you plan on really creating some cool music, you might also want to get a music keyboard or, if you’d prefer some high-quality listening, don’t forget to pair your speakers with some high-end turntables.

What Features to Compare

Even though speakers tend to have quite a few features you can look at when making the choice between different models, there’s no device that we can’t break down into understandable categories. So before you go and pick a model, here is a list of points to use as your handy buying guide.

Configuration

Firstly, check the configuration. Although the models chosen here are 2-way ones, there are a few variations out there, including 3-way systems (more expensive, of course). This parameter determines how many speakers your system has and the 2-way one will feature a woofer and a tweeter, two of the standard choices. However, don’t think that an extra speaker means extra sound quality as it’s about what each of them can offer, not how many there are.

Speaker Types

Next up, although there is a golden standard and you’re not likely to be surprised, check the speaker types. It’s easy enough as there are only 4 core choices and a 5th one that’s just a “crossover”, a mix-and-match of the others. Namely, the core four are a woofer, a tweeter, a subwoofer, and a midrange (which is actually yet another woofer but the name is taken to prevent confusion). Tweeters are a must to reproduce high frequencies while woofers do lower range stuff. However, a subwoofer goes even lower, which is why that’s precisely the kind of speaker that everybody wants to put into their car. If you’re a bass lover, that might be the type of speaker you want.

Size of the Speaker

There’s also the size of the speaker, not the body itself but the actual audio-transmitting device, the membrane. The larger the membrane, the “punchier” and heavier the sound will feel overall, so it might actually be a bad idea to get excessively large speakers for your living room. Anything in the 5” range is more than fine for the job.

Output Power and Sensitivity

Don’t forget output power and sensitivity either as these two are important for volume and power consumption as well. Make sure that the sensitivity is as high as possible if you want some really loud sound.

Frequency Response

Last but not least, we want to do a quick tip regarding frequency response ranges. Though the jury is still out, the general consensus is that anything above 20kHz isn’t discernible by the human ear. So if your high-end speaker is boasting 40kHz frequency response, don’t go rushing to buy it, you’re not getting any use of that extra kHz. Instead, opt for a model without overinflated stats so you’ll know that every cent of the price is justified and isn’t going towards some ridiculous claims that won’t make a difference.

Did you know?

We love record players not just for their refined retro look but for the warm, fuzzy quality of sound that vinyl brings. There’s no other medium that matches the kind of audio you get when listening to your favorite album on a vinyl LP. With that in mind, we think we might still be able to surprise you with a few fun facts about crazy album releases and the way vinyl got its start.

The LP That Started It All

If we were to cast a poll asking who’s the most famous composer of all time, Beethoven would be, if not the undisputed winner, a top three choice for sure. So it’s probably not that surprising that the very first 12” record was made as a means of bringing a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to a format that could let it breathe and envelope the listener completely. And though it was just a first try, it changed the landscape of releases for years to come.

The Power of Four

Your average music love might have a record player in their home, sure. An audiophile might even have two or three, after all, there are intricacies to different models that affect the sound. But only those crazy/lucky few who had four players could enjoy the album Zaireeka by the Flaming Lips in full. Packaged on 4 LPs, each of which had to be played simultaneously on a different player, the album posed a pretty tough challenge for those who wanted to hear it in full. Although the rest of us with just one player could enjoy the vocals or the bassline separately, as questionable as that kind of experience may be.

Spray and Pray

Music fans are no strangers to weird antics in terms of packaging and releases but bands are always on the lookout for new promo campaigns to up the ante. So when Massive Attack announced that they would pay scientists to encode a DNA strand that had a full recording of their massive hit album Mezzanine, fans were surprised to say the least. However, that one won’t be a wide release unlike what came next. The band decided to keep experimenting and is now slated to release that DNAlbum (has the term been coined yet? We’re calling dibs) as a spray can. Yes, you can buy an aerosol can filled with tiny DNA particles that contain the album. Listening to them might be a tougher experience but a memorable one for sure.

Taste the Rainbow

If you’ve ever tried to curate a home collection of vinyl, you won’t be shocked to hear that albums are often released in a color other than the standard pitch black. These are usually limited pressings but many people snatch them up, both for collection purposes and because a “lime green with red splatter” might simply be nicer to look at than the standard darkness of a vinyl. However, you might not know that color can actually have an influence on your listening experience. Reports show that low-end players seem to occasionally have trouble with colored records, skipping parts or distorting the sound. It’s unclear why it happens but the models in the higher price range seem to work just fine regardless of how wacky the color scheme gets.

The Beatlemania Never Stops

So, the title kind of gives it away but… Care to guess which records are still topping vinyl sales charts? Yup, as recently as 2017, the Beatles were in the top 5 best sellers… Twice. They’re literally top of the list with two consecutive spots and we’d say that any artist hoping to catch up to the Fab Four has to curb their expectations.

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Publish Date: 2018-11-05 13:20:38