5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

One of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable in red color

When it comes to the best turntable speakers there are a lot of options. Which model is best for you depends on your needs and requirements. You’ll have to consider the matter of budget and depending on how much you’re willing to spend you can get a discount, mid-priced, or high-priced speaker.

Then, you need to consider build quality, materials used, design elements, and finally features within the speaker model. Some speakers are made to maximize audio quality and give off a high-powered sound, while others focus on factors like in built amps and preamps. Consider whether bluetooth connectivity is a primary concern for you.

Speaker size and power value also play a role. You’ll need storage space for your pair. If you plan on carrying it around you’re better off buying a light-weight option. To make this decision easier for you we’ve compiled this list of the best budget speakers for turntable use. As you make your way through this list think carefully about which pros and cons apply to you.

5 Best Budget Speakers for Turntable

1. AudioEngine A2+

AudioEngine A2+

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Perfect for home office and small setups

On the list of best budget speakers for turntable the AudioEngine A2+ is a top choice. You can get these active speakers for an affordable price of under $300, putting them in the medium priced category. With wireless connectivity options, and a built in digital to analog converter these are the best speakers for vinyl.

Additionally, these bookshelf speakers use quality materials like a silk dome tweeter, Kevlar woofers, shielded wooden cabinets, high performance amps and top-of-the-line connections and wires that work well with any device. The budget speakers come with a bluetooth option, RCA cables, a USB port, and one-eighth inch input port.

The A2+ speakers have two RCA ports so you can connect the output to a bluetooth transmitter and use a bluetooth soundbar with it if you want to. You can also choose between a red, black and white color option.

Pros

  • Easy to use because you just need to plug in the USB or connect with the bluetooth
  • The DAC device results in a loud and crisp stereo sound perfect for a home cinema or for DJing
  • The active speakers work great with vinyl and come with a build in amplifier
  • Flat frequency response (65Hz-22kHz ±2.0dB) speakers give off an equal and pure audio quality, so you get an enhanced and accurate sound with little external interference
  • Superior build quality combined with a compact form of 6” x 4” x 5.25” that weighs a total of 6.7 lbs making it easy to carry
  • Accessories include optical cables, a speaker stand and a control panel with independent volume control
  • The power value for each speaker is 30W so the two speakers add up to a 60W rating
  • Auto standby mode extends battery life

Cons

  • Only one input source works at a time so you will have to turn off bluetooth to use the usb connection
  • Lack the bass response of a subwoofer, however, you can attach an external device

Why We Like It

The design for the A2+ model is meant to serve as a middle ground between home audio and desktop speakers. So you get a compact budget speaker with bluetooth connectivity, incredible performance, high sound quality, bass punch, and flat frequency response.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Audioengine A2+ Stereo speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. The active speakers come with a build in amplifier and all the necessary cables to get it to work. With both bluetooth connectivity as a USB port it’s easy to use. And the flat frequency response improves the crispness of sound so you get a high quality listening experience.


2. Kanto Yu4 Speakers

Kanto Yu4 Speakers

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High-quality bookshelf speakers with maximum features

These mid-sized bookshelf speakers work well with turntables of all sizes. They measure 5.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh 6.9 pounds. The Kanto Yu4 Speakers are among the best speakers for vinyl on the market with a price range from $400 to $500 depending on the accessories and stand you choose to purchase. Despite costing higher than other budget options this pair of speakers will last you a long time. The durability combined with the build quality and sound response make it a contender on the list of best budget speakers for turntable use.

Various design features help make these high-quality speakers user friendly. The single knob control panel is placed on the front as opposed to the back. With a built-in pre amp you can connect these speakers to the turntable of your choice. You have a subwoofer output if you want to add more bass. Both the bass and treble are adjustable.

The company left nothing out, going above and beyond to perfect these bluetooth speakers. You don’t even have to worry about the battery life because the speakers automatically shift to standby mode to conserve energy. Additionally, you can pick a color and finish of your choice to customize your stereo speakers. Apart from the sleek matte black and white speakers there is even a bamboo option.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music from any device
  • Phono preamp makes your speakers compatible and connectable with all turntables
  • Remote control option to manage bass and treble levels
  • Two optical inputs, a 3.5mm AUX and a subwoofer output all help improve the speaker connectivity
  • The Kanto YU4 bookshelf speakers give off high quality sound
  • The speaker comes with an amplifier so you don’t need to attach any external device
  • Automatic standby mode helps preserve speaker battery life
  • The speakers come with all the needed cables and you can also use remote control
  • Parts include four inch kevlar woofers, a one inch silk dome tweeter, a class D amplifier and a subwoofer

Cons

  • More expensive than other budget speakers

Why We Like It

The AptX bluetooth speakers come with an inbuilt pre amp so you can stream music directly from your phone. With a focus on connectivity these bookshelf speakers let you set the mood. Whether you want to throw on your favorite vinyl records or stream a playlist the choice is yours. The audio quality definitely leaves nothing to be desired.

Conclusion

Overall, customers give the Kanto Yu4 Bluetooth Speakers a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. These high powered speakers come with built-in phono preamp and aptX tech. Additionally, high-quality parts like the 4 inch Kevlar drivers and 1 inch silk dome tweeters result in crisp high notes and steady mid-range notes that would please any audiophile.


3. Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers

Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers

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Best budget pair of speakers

At under $130 per pair of speakers the Edifier R1280DB is the reigning king when it comes to best budget buys. Despite the affordable price you get a range of features like RCA ports, bluetooth connectivity, optical inputs, remote and onboard controls.

The bass and treble adjustment options on the side of the speaker makes this a top choice if you want to listen to vinyl records. Since the speaker uses active monitors you don’t need to get an amplifier to boost the volume. Also, these bookshelf speakers connect to analog and digital devices which lets you access a wide range of devices and music catalog.

The speaker measures 5.75 inches by 9.5 inches by 7 inches so it is slightly larger than the previous options. With speaker size you want to think about storage and whether you’ll need to transport it a lot. If these aren’t concerns then the larger size doesn’t matter.  In terms of color options you can get this speaker in a black or wood brown design.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music from any device
  • Control panels lets you adjust the volume, treble and bass frequencies
  • Multiple RCS input ports let you connect 2 devices simultaneously
  • Speakers for turntables with analogue or digital sources
  • Inputs work with optical and coaxial needs
  • Active speakers remove the need for external amps
  • Battery operated wireless remote to switch inputs or bluetooth devices
  • Comes with all the needed cables, including speaker cable, optical cable, RCA cable
  • Frequency response ranges from 55 Hz to 20kHz
  • Power output of 21W RMS per channel
  • Hardware includes 4 inch bass unit, 13 mm silk dome tweeter and removable grills
  • Components made using solid mdf sheets

Cons

  • No built-in phono preamp so you will have to get your own
  • Since these are budget speakers their build quality is lower than other more expensive options

Why We Like It

The audio performance, crisp sound, and connectivity options are unmatched for turntable speakers at this price point making the Edifier R1280DB the best budget vinyl speakers on the market. The pair comes with 2 port RCA input cables, bass and treble controls. Overall, you get an output of 21W RMS per channel which adds up to a 42W total.

Conclusion

The Edifier R1280DB comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best budget bookshelf speakers. These bluetooth budget speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, built in amplifiers, and bass controls as well as a two year warranty which will last you a long time.


4. Edifier A80 Speakers

Edifier A80 Speakers

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Powerful Bass Frequencies, Good Speakers for Vinyl

The Edifier A80 speakers are one of the best pairs for turntables, in terms of audio quality and sound clarity. These high powered speakers have a superior build quality and use the finest components, including transparent brand wiring, high-strength MDF sheets, horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor.

However, all these features, materials, and design qualities have a trickle down effect. The total cost of these money speakers adds up to around $600-$700. For many audiophiles the high price point is worth the audio quality. It all comes down to the type of speakers you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Power output of 100W RMS with audio that is loud, clear and powerful
  • Frequency response range from 52 Hz to 40kHz
  • Speakers measure 5.5 inches by 9.8 inches by 8.7 inches and weigh around 20.5 pounds.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 provides high resolution sound so you can stream music and get a clear and even result
  • Bass driver speakers with controls to alter the bass and treble levels
  • Foam pads provide acoustic insulation that prevents echo in the audio or external interference
  • Digital and analog setup speakers for turntables
  • Additional Sono units can further elevate the audio
  • Use the Sono app to customize the speaker sound according to your requirements
  • 3.5 mm input and RCA ports for easy attachment to a turntable
  • Multiple connectivity options include 2 RCA inputs, 1 optical input and 1 USB port, making these the best turntable speakers for vinyl
  • Materials include high-strength MDF sheets for the cabinet and foam lining for the interior soundproofing
  • Parts include a horn-loaded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5 inch aluminum cone mid-woofer and an inbuilt digital amplifier with XMOS processor

Cons

  • Expensive option that not everyone can afford

Why We Like It

The Edifier A80 high powered speakers come with an extensive list of features, high-quality audio, and expert build quality that make this speaker perfect for any turntables. Special features include acoustic insulation, built in amp, bass and treble remote controls, and an alumnium cone mid-woofer.

Conclusion

Customers give the Edifier A80 speakers and 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and for good reason. These are the best speakers on this list, in terms of audio and build quality, as well as, overall performance. However, while the features attract audiophiles, this quality comes at a high price point.

That said, the investment is definitely worth its while as you can use these speakers with any type of turntable or audio input. If you’re shopping in the $600 to $700 range there are no other speakers that can compete with this product in quality or design.


5. Sonos Five

Sonos Five

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Best Speakers for Vinyl

The Sonos Five high powered speakers are a mid-range option of around $500. These are the best speakers for vinyl but you can also use them for streaming and get quality audio. You can get a lot of range out of these speakers by either placing a single speaker horizontally in a stereo position or both vertically and at a distance for a mono effect and broad sound stage.

The speakers measure 8 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches and weigh around 14 pounds making them comparatively light-weight. The 3.5mm input port lets you connect the speakers to the turntable. And if you want to customize and edit the quality of the output sound you can use the Sono Trueplay app or the Apple AirPlay2 to fine tune the audio.

What makes this one of the best turntable options is the range you get thanks to the various pieces. With the 3 multi-dimensional tweeters you get a surround sound effect that you control. The 3 sealed woofers provide the bass frequencies.

Pros

  • 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers so you get a quality surround sound experience
  • The Sonos Trueplay app lets you finetune the sound levels and adjust the bass
  • When attaching to the turntables you can place the speakers horizontally or vertically to get a stereo or mono effect
  • The Sonos Five comes with higher memory and faster processing power than previous models
  • Speaker is humidity resistant
  • Speaker updates are automatic and effortless
  • On-board touch panel lets you adjust the control settings although you can also use Alexa and Google Assistant for a more interactive experience
  • The speakers comes with a power plug and a set up guide that lets you know how to connect them to the turntable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for audiophiles who prefer to separate their vinyl and streaming music setups

Why We Like It

The Sonos Five takes surround sound to the next level with its 3 multi-directional tweeters and 3 sealed woofers, set in an echo reducing acoustic design. This speaker comes with the Sonos Trueplay app which lets you adjust and fine tune sound levels. Overall, this is one of the best turntable speakers for vinyl or for streaming because of the powerful and clear sound output.

Conclusion

The Sonos Five comes with a 4.5 out of 5 rating making it one of the best high powered speakers for vinyl. These record player speakers come with quality features like multiple input ports and output channels, treble and bass controls as well as a control panel that lets you customize sound.


Buyers’ Guide

When you’re purchasing a turntable setup there are certain things you need to know so you can make an informed decision. These include the various components, how they work with one another, and the options you have. After all, you can’t get quality products if you don’t know what to look for.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers with Bluetooth and Phono Preamp, Gloss Black from Amazon

The overall setup for your sound system determines what devices you will need to purchase.

  1. Type of set up: Common turntable and amplifier

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, speakers, amplifier

  1. Type of set up: Simple turntable and active speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, active speakers

  1. Type of set up: Turntable and desktop speakers

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, phono preamp, computer

  1. Type of set up: Classic stereo system

Requirements: turntable, cartridge, speakers, amplifier

1.  Phono Preamp

How it works

Your turntable puts out a Phono signal, however, audio equipment often can’t recognize it in this form. To solve this problem the device uses a phono preamp to convert the phono signal to a line level signal that the speakers can interpret.

What you need to know

Generally, most turntables will have a built-in preamp, but this is not always the case. So how do you tell? If the device comes with a USB port it will also have a preamp. Older models for stereos come with preamps so just look for the input slot with the tag marked ‘phono’. You can use a DJ mixer for the same purpose and if you are using an external preamp get RCA cables to connect and set up the entire system.

When you’re dealing with a turntable without a built in preamp remember that it will need grounding, otherwise you’ll notice outside noise that will interfere with the output quality. For this you will have to purchase a grounding cable so take that into account.

Additionally, preamps come in a range of qualities and a significant price range, starting at $50 and going all the way up till $500. So if you don’t find one that fits your budget initially keep looking because you don’t have to get an expensive option.

2.  Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive

How it works

In the belt drive system an independent motor runs the turntable platter using the rubber belt. On the other hand, the direct drive system drives the platter without mediation.

What you need to know

When it comes to the drive system the more suitable option depends on your needs. If you want to DJ then you should get a direct drive system and not the belt drive system. Overall, the belt drive system has a more clear and crisp sound. There is no outside noise or interference to disrupt the music and overall you’ll get a better listening experience.

The direct drive system is more durable, with superior build quality and sturdier hardware. Also, these turntables have stronger torque and take less time to start up. If you know what your eventual goal is you’ll find it easier to choose between the two drive types.

3.  Cartridge

How it works

The cartridge is the electro-mechanical component that produces an amplifiable signal in the record player. It is an essential part of the sound system and ensures fast frequency response, high sound quality, tracking speed of the needle across the record grooves, and the power output. If there is one part of the set up you should invest in it is the cartridge, because expensive options generally offer more impressive audio quality.

What you need to know

You can choose between a head shell mounted cartridge or one that plugs into your tonearm directly. The Ortofon 2M Red is a solid option for the first type while the Ortofon Concorde series falls into the second category. Keep in mind that these are quality options for home listening. DJing requires a special separate set of cartridges.

If you’re considering other options look into factors like cartridge weight and alignment. Generally, any device you buy will likely be MM or Moving Magnet. If an item is labelled MC or Moving Coil then it will be more expensive and have higher maintenance costs. These are advanced options not suitable for beginners.

4.  Tweeters

How it works

A tweeter also known as a treble speaker comes in a variety of forms such as dome and horn type. These speakers produce audio with high frequencies that are generally between 2kHz and 20 kHz, although some custom designs go as high as 100kHz.When you attach these to your turntable you get a superior listening experience.

Dome tweeter speakers use a circular diaphragm that comes in plastic, aluminium, or titanium. Aluminium dome tweeters give off crisp and strong high frequencies. Titanium tweeters do the same, with higher accuracy, but without the sharp edge.

Best Budget Speakers for Turntable Buyers Guide
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers from Amazon

What you need to know

Tweeters are a must have if you want your sound system to deliver a full range of sounds. They add crispness and clarity to the sound output from the speakers and are essential for a high quality listening experience. Because of their small size their output volume is low. To solve this you can attach a horn to your speakers and amplify the audio volume.

5.  Woofers

How it works

A woofer also known as a bass speaker produces sound with low frequencies that are generally between 50Hz and 1000Hz. Physically woofers are a lot bigger than tweeters, with an average diameter of more than 12 inches.

What you need to know

There are two common types of woofers in speakers, sealed enclosure and ported enclosed. The sealed enclosure woofer traps sound waves coming out of the back of the speakers. The result is crisp bass and clear audio with a low volume.

The ported enclosed woofers do not trap sound completely. The escaped audio has a 180 degree phase shift so when it travels to the front of the speakers the result is a muddier sound.

6.  Bass and Treble

What you need to know

The bass settings let you adjust the bass or low frequency sounds like bass drums and guitars. The treble settings let you fine tune the higher pitched sounds like snare drums and cymbals. You can change the settings depending on the type of music you are listening to.

7.  Turntable Mats

How it works

Keeping a specially designed turntable mat underneath your record player can help improve sound quality by reducing friction. This is a must buy for DJing but also a worthwhile buy for a home cinema. The mat will protect your records and dampen vibrations caused by the movement of the record against the platter.

What you need to know

Rubber mats are a solid dampening option and will improve the sound quality. But, if you get a felt mat you can hold the record in place as the platter beneath continues to spin. As audiophiles and listeners with expert ears will tell you, cork mats open up the range of sound frequencies, taking the listening experience to new heights.

8.  Additional Features

When you’re looking for the best budget speakers for turntables you’ll come across various brands promoting their products by highlighting specific features. Knowing these terms will let you tell the quality speakers apart from the mediocre turntable speakers.

A pair of RCA output cables channels the signals in your turntable. These should come with the device, as should a tonearm weight to direct the tracking force. This refers to the pressure on the needle. Turntables should offer high torque, especially ones designed for DJing.

Additional features of the Best Budget Speakers for Turntable
Image by Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth from Amazon

If a turntable is listed as anti-skating that means a built in control keeps the needle in the records center groove. Another factor is the pitch control which lets you adjust the platter’s spinning speed.  Usually, you can play records at 33 RPM, 45 RPM, or 78 RPM.

It is an added benefit if a turntable comes with an acrylic platter as opposed to a standard one. Not only does it boost sound quality, but it also removes the need for a mat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are active and passive speakers?

Active speakers have built in amplifiers while passive speakers require an externally attached amplifier. Generally, passive speakers are only suited to home use whereas active speakers can fulfil a wide variety of roles including DJing. The brands and products listed above are all active, high powered speakers.

Do speakers stay on all the time?

The best turntable speakers are designed to automatically turn off when they aren’t playing music. This helps conserve energy and extend their battery life. However, you should look into the power consumption of your chosen speaker when idle before you decide to purchase.

Are bigger tweeters better?

It isn’t a case of better so much as a case of what you want. Bigger tweets are easier to install and pair with a midrange. Smaller tweeters produce more accurate high frequency sounds and have superior off axis response.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a number of speaker options to choose from depending on your individual preferences and needs. If you’re having trouble deciding which speakers are best for you start by isolating one factor. The price range is generally a good place to start as it will considerably narrow down your options.

Once that’s done decide which factors and qualities you are not willing to compromise on. If you’re a huge audiophile and cannot consider buying a speaker with subpar sound clarity or quality then focus on the amps, preamps, tweeters, woofers, and other sound enhancing design factors.

On the other hand, if you want to stream music you’ll want a bluetooth speaker and if your goal is playing vinyl then look for the best speakers for vinyl. No matter your preference, there’s something for everyone. So happy shopping!