The Best Vinyl Speakers of 2021

The Best Vinyl Speakers

So you got yourself some fancy improved turntable set up to enjoy the pleasure of vinyl. Sorry to say but your turntable will probably be nothing but a pretty ornament, not functioning to its true potential. The built-in speaker’s average output of around 4 watts will not get the party started.

Why settle for built-in speakers when you can further improve your sound system with external speakers that would suit your new style and excellent taste for the finer things of life?

In this article we review some of the best vinyl speaker options currently on the market. The powerful and great sounding Klipsch R-51PM is our favorite option. Having said that, there are many other exceptional options available.

Built-in speakers will be more cost-effective but why now drop your standards? Rather invest in a decent set of speakers that will perform well and last many years. The latest turntable speakers will not break the bank but should be a center of attention apart from your turntable off-coarse.

Be warned, there are two different types of vinyl speakers both with and without a power source. Were going to take a look at the bookshelf and the stand speakers that you might fancy.

The 10 Best Vinyl Speakers:

Below is a compilation of the best vinyl speakers; the bookshelf, and ground stand versions that you might be interested in.

1. Klipsch R-51PM

Klipsch R-51PM
Size11.3 x 7 x 9.1 in
Frequency Response68Hz – 21kHz
Amplifier Power120W

Pros

  • Engaging
  • Fun and easy to use 
  • Good volume 

Cons 

  • Black Finish only

Proudly made in the USA the Klipsch R-51PM speaker is another great option to enhance your turntable setup. It has analog line inputs through the phono sockets when the LP is not used, an analog line input via a 3.5mm jack, a digital input via an optical S/PDIF cable or USB B computer connector It also has a Bluetooth wireless input from a smartphone, tablet or portable player for your choice of song.

With the 120Watt output, your turntable will turn into a real sound machine keeping your neighbors up at night wishing they had one to compete with you. But I’m sure if you’re the proud owner of a fancy turntable set you will be more into the finer art of music. This speaker will give you the joy and pleasure of rich, crisp, and clear sound quality that vinyl produces to give you an emotional connection with your favorite music.

2. Edifier R1280Ts

Edifier R1280Ts
Size5.75 x 9.5 x 7 in
Frequency Response55Hz – 20kHz
Amplifier Power42W RMS

Pros

  • Great sound
  • On-speaker adjustable volume
  • Extra sub-out port
  • Dual RCA inputs
  • A front bass reflex port
  • Wireless remotes

Con

  • No Bluetooth function

This is seen as one of the best bookshelf speakers to enhance the looks and quality of your turntable. The speakers pack a punch with an output of 42 Watts RMS. This should boost your turntable output from the normal 3Watt internal speakers to 42 Watts. 

The Edifier R1280Ts comes with a removable grid to show off the impressive subwoofer and speaker system.

For those that want to relax and enjoy their music, this speaker comes with remote control. This allows you to adjust volume, mute/unmute, and change the sound field extension. For the not so lazy people, there are dials conveniently placed on the side panel of the speaker that allows you to adjust the bass, treble, and volume.

The Edifier R1280Ts speakers are designed to prevent resonance and are made from MDF wood with a walnut finish-vinyl. This looks good and durable. It should be a great addition to your living room and if you happened to have a Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Classic what a bonus.

If a simple easy to turntable system is what you want, take a look at The Best Beginner Record Players.

3. Audioengine A5+

Audioengine A5+
Size7.8 x 7 x 10.8 in
Frequency Response50Hz – 22kHz 
Amplifier Power100W RMS

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Deep bass
  • Analog class A/B amplification
  • Elegant design
  • Loved by Hi-Fi critics

Cons 

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Bluetooth version costs extra
  • Bamboo finish costs extra

Audioengine is based in Texas and designs and manufactures the drivers and all critical components. Thus this speaker is proudly made in the USA. The colors available for this unit are matte black, high-gloss white, or a lovely natural bamboo style. The A5+ Wireless speakers have a classic bookshelf look and rounded edges.

Both speakers measure 10.8 inches high and 7.0 inches wide. The left speaker is a bit deeper than the right-hand speaker because all the controls and connections are housed inside the left speaker, as well as a heat sink that protrudes off the back panel. It’s also slightly heavier, weighing 15.4 pounds compared to the right speaker weighing 9.6 pounds.

The speakers provide a more detailed sound with better dynamics and deeper bass. This speaker has received more praise from critics and owners than any other speaker system in this range. They not only sound and look great but also feature a fully built-in analog amplifier that makes these speakers an absolute must-have for the serious vinyl lover. 

4. Kanto YU4

Kanto YU4
Size13.39 x 5.51 x 8.66 in
Frequency Response60 Hz – 20 kHz
Amplifier Power70 Watts RMS

Pros

  • Near-field performance
  • Soundstage
  • Attractive finish
  • Good feature set 

Cons 

  • Lack of sub-bass
  • Bluetooth always on

The YU4s come with Bluetooth 4.0 and Qualcomm aptX as standard. Thus connecting to these speakers via smartphones, tablets, or laptops is quick, easy, and effective. The YU4 also includes the more traditional connections such as AUX and RCA. so you can plug almost any audio source into these speakers. If you want to use them as a home cinema system and want optimal performance you can connect via the TOSLINK input.

The YU4s also benefit from subwoofer connectivity. If you’ve got one already or are looking to boost the low end in the future then integrating a sub with these speakers is simple. They also can switch between line and phono inputs, allowing all turntables and record players to be connected easily. 

Another neat feature of this speaker system is the fact that you can charge your USB devices from the charging functionality of the YU4 while listening to your favorite music.

These speakers look great due to their sleek lines and the minimalist design looks amazing. The color selections are matte black, matte white, bamboo finish, or walnut. They will complement any home, modern or old. Kanto has a reputation for understated elegance and the YU4s are no exception. If looks are as important to you as sound then the YU4s, and  Kanto products in general, will appeal to you.

5. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2
Size7.69 x 14.76 x 10.55 in
Frequency Response44Hz – 35000Hz
Amplifier Power120 Watts

Pros

  • Excellent sound 
  • Solid build quality
  • Attractive finish
  • Front bass port

Cons

  • Rather large
  • Boxy design 

The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 came out in late 2015. The designer, Andrew Jones had only recently left Pioneer, yet here he was ready with a fully formed speaker design, one that immediately became our favorite bookshelf speaker. Equally impressive over the next three years, he followed up with the Uni-Fis, Adantes, and then an unexpected update to the speaker that started it all.

The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 has some improvements on the original speaker, in terms of build quality and overall clarity. The 2.0 B6.2 sounds like a cross between the original Uni-Fi and the old Debut, with a clearer, more open performance than before.

The B6.2 has a noticeable addition of a front bass port with a cheerfully retro appearance that recalls older British designs from Bowers and Wilkins. 

Elac recommends connecting the B6.2 with any receiver up to 120 watts per channel. The speaker has a 44Hz-35 kHz frequency response, which means it will fill small to medium-size rooms. Thanks to that front-mounted port you can even put them relatively close to the wall, though recommended to leave an inch of space to avoid any boomy bass.

With the black wood-like finish and the subwoofer covered with a Kevlar type of material, this speaker screams beauty from a distance.

6. JBL Arena B15

JBL Arena B15
Size8 x 5 x 14 in
Frequency Response100 – 40k Hz
Amplifier Power100 W

Pros

  • Discreet design
  • Wall-mountable
  • Natural tonal balance
  • Affordable price

Cons 

  • Upper frequencies lack some detail

The JBL brand has delivered products for more than 60 years, that exemplify the technology and expertise gained with the Bluetooth market expanding in popularity. The JBL Arena B15 is ideal for those that want to appreciate vinyl but also want the latest technology.  

For the smallest bookshelf model in JBL’s Arena series, the Arena 120, is also the most versatile as its cabinet dimensions allow you to put it on a stand or bookshelf, mounting it onto a wall will have no significant loss in performance. The JBL Arena B15 Black Bookshelf & Surround Speaker with its High Definition Imaging (HDI) waveguide and powerful 5.5-inch polycellulose woofer makes the JBL Arena speakers a flexible solution for any turntable setup.

The HDI waveguide takes its lead from the legendary M2 master reference monitor while the 1–inch soft dome tweeter provides clean, powerful notes to bring out the brightness of your favorite tunes. The 5.5-inch polycellulose woofer will fill the room with the JBL sound to all of your favorite vinyl, allowing for every deep bass-filled sound to come through with a powerful sound that does not indicate any waver or crackle.

The sleek design comes with removable grills to display the impressive speaker and woofer. The black color suits these speakers well.

7. KEF LS50 Meta

KEF LS50 Meta
Size11.9 x 7.9 x 11 in
Frequency Response79Hz – 28kHz 
Amplifier Power100W

Pros

  • Exceptional sonic transparency 
  • Subtle and precise presentation
  • Innovative technology

Cons 

  • No bells and whistles

The LS50 was originally launched by KEF as an anniversary celebration back in 2012. These stand mounters from nearly a decade ago proved to be a huge success, they have continued in production pretty much untouched since then.

Nine years later, thanks to a combination of sound quality, build, and aesthetics, they are still highly appealing even today.

The company’s engineers had a fresh look at the LS50, and the result is the LS50 Meta. The LS50 Meta is available in four different colors and finishes from Titanium Grey, Carbon Black, Mineral White, and a Royal Blue Special Edition. At just 11.8 inches tall, these KEFs are pretty compact. They won’t sulk if you do stuff them in a bookshelf or right up against a wall, but they will sound a lot better if placed well away from the sidewalls and around 20 inches into a room.

KEF incorporated the Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) to prevent distortion and absorb sound. The level of finesse and clarity from the speakers is phenomenal, and for such small speakers, the presentation is surprisingly full-bodied. The  LS50 Meta delivers a much cleaner and more sophisticated sound.

The curved front panel is made of Dough Molding Compound that is a polyester resin combined with fiberglass and calcium carbonate. This contributes to making for an impressively rigid and well-controlled foundation for the Uni-Q drive unit array. Although the rest of the box is made from MDF, it is still carefully damped and heavily braced to minimize any resonances. 

8. Fyne Audio F302

Fyne Audio F302
Size36.7 x 9.2 x 12.1 in 
Frequency Response36Hz-28kHz 
Amplifier Power30- 120W

Pros

  • Full-bodied sound
  • Great timing
  • Excellent in the low end

Cons 

  • Require careful system matching
  • No Bluetooth

If you rather prefer a floor-standing speaker then this one might catch your eye. The Fyne Audio F302 is designed and engineered in Scotland. Fyne Audio offers several speaker models, but the most popular is the Fyne F302

The F302 are superb all-rounders speakers. They sport a 10-inch polyester dome tweeter, and a 6-inch multi-fiber mid/bass driver is neatly housed in each cabinet with two-way, rear-ports. The plinths do add a little more width to the base. Look at it as you’re getting more speakers for less money.

With a choice of understated wood-effect finishes, the building quality is impressive for the price, described by Fyne as ‘superior vinyl’. These speakers are a great match for most turntables. 

The F302s are available in light oak, walnut, black ash finishes. These are understated finishes. The tweeters are offset by a glossy black headband framing. To manufacture these speakers only high precision and high-quality components were used, including low loss LF laminated core inductance and HF polypropylene capacitor. They also boast gold-plated speaker clips to provide a clear signal path.

If large and bulky-looking, but refined speakers appeal to you without breaking the bank then this is the pair for you.

With most vinyl systems, tower speakers are a viable option. Take a look at the Best Tower Speakers.

9. Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1
Size12.2 x 7 x 11 in
Frequency Response65Hz to 20kHz 
Amplifier Power100W

Pros

  • Detailed
  • easygoing nature
  • Seamless and fluid midrange
  • Great build and finish

Cons 

  • Tough competition

The original Wharfedale Diamond was introduced in 1982. Back in 1982, Wharfedale Diamond was a single product, not the range it is today. They started a dynasty through the success of the speaker that remains the core of the brand to this day.

Wharfedale has the guts to take on the best the industry has to offer. Almost everything about these speakers is newly developed and engineered, from the drive units to the construction of the cabinet. The speakers are all finished to a high degree. 

There’s a pleasing amount of attention given to detail and the speakers are organized cohesively and musically. They have easy-to-follow low-level musical strands and a presentation that doesn’t start to get confused when things get busy. At this price, it’s impressive that the Diamond 12.1 can compete with the best. A fine partner for your turntable.

Speakers at this level have to achieve a difficult target. They have to be forgiving enough to work with microsystems, but still have the transparency to make the most of dedicated separate components, this is where the Diamond 12.1s manage this task excellently.

The way Diamonds handle larger-scale dynamics is impressive, they deliver more in the way of authority and scale than their modest price and size suggest. The low frequencies come through with confidence and more fullness than expected. However, remember these are small boxes, so if you want to really push the bass you are in the wrong place.

10. Bowers & Wilkins 606

Bowers & Wilkins 606
Size13.5 x 7.5 x 11.8 in 
Frequency Response52Hz – 28kHz 
Amplifier Power30W – 120 Watts

Pros

  • Deeper bass
  • Clear sound 
  • Sense of class
  • Magnetic grilles

Cons 

  • Can sound too bright
  • Too big
  • No Bluetooth

The Bowers and Wilkins’ 600 series was first introduced in 1991 the has been the foundation of the storied British speaker brand since. The newest model, the 606, is a fresh start. With the use of the company’s silvery Continuum driver the 606 marks a shift toward a more revealing, dynamic sound.

The 606 is best at creating a large sound stage and uncovering hidden details of singer-songwriters, blues musicians, jazz combos, and classical ensembles. Other types of music, in particular rock or modern pop, may simply sound too bright at lower volumes for the B&Ws.

If you prefer versatility from your music and movies, the 606 certainly delivers. If you’re careful about the electronics you pair the 606 with, you will get a lot out of them, but fans of more forceful music styles may be looking for something else.

Choosing the Right Vinyl Speakers

When it’s time to pick new speakers, add on to your current system, or pick up new speakers for your turntable, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

Compatible with vinyl

Firstly are the speakers compatible with your turntable? Many speakers are not exclusive to be used on turntables, they were designed to be multimedia speakers for everything from TVs, gaming, and even desktop computers.

Looks

Although this does not affect the sound quality, the visual design of the speakers can vary from color to size, bookshelf to stands. Choose the style you prefer.

Connectivity options 

Another point to look out for is the type of connections your speaker has normally situated at the back of one of the two speakers. Some come with the latest Bluetooth functions, USB ports to charge your smartphone or other devices, then there are the connections to your turntable normally this should be hardwired to improve the sound quality through an RCA input. Look how many output channels your speaker comes with.

Passive vs. Active Speakers 

Do you prefer an active or passive speaker? The active speaker is also known as a powered speaker is a speaker for vinyl that connects directly to an outlet. They are regarded as more convenient and user-friendly and don’t need an amplifier. The passive speaker on the other hand gets powered from an external amplifier that is often built into the receiver thus where the Peak Power specs come from. Meaning the most power the speaker should take.

Bass power

If you prefer low bass then you should consider a speaker with a bigger woofer as the woofer is responsible for the low bass. The tweeter will produce a higher frequency or treble. Consider your setup, how you want it to look, and of course, what you want to listen to when you invest money in something you love, you cannot make a wrong choice

Conclusion

Your turntable setup is fairly straightforward. All you need is a turntable, internal speakers, and a few records. It is not that simple for those who love to show off their vinyl setup and enjoy their music. The speakers are your link to each record, and the sound of every note takes you away to a long-forgotten place and time where you first heard the record. Your speakers should fulfill your need and get the job done, it is not only about simply playing the music, but it also has to play it well.

Our favorite choice out of the above-mentioned speaker will undoubtedly be the Klipsch R-51PM. This system comes with all the bells and whistles of the modern era and produces good quality sound worth the price. With the Bluetooth function, you are set to go with not only your vinyl but any other Bluetooth pairing device you prefer to listen to through your bookshelf system.

Whatever choice you make for your beloved vinyl system, it is best to include external speakers. The industry for speaker systems is growing day by day you can even consider incorporating your fancy vinyl system with a surround sound system with ceiling speakers the choice is wide and as clear as mud. Enjoy your vinyl.

This article was last updated on November 15, 2021 .

By Charl Jooste

Writing full time from home, Charl enjoys modern technology and advanced gadgets but still has a soft spot for quality reliable appliances. He is passionate about durability and quality going to great lengths to find the very best ideas and leading products to share with readers.