Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Edifier speakers have a reputation for offering great sound on a budget, and these R1280T models are no exception. They put out 21W (RMS) each, enough for a small to medium-sized room. Because there's no need for a separate amplifier, the R1280T comes with separate bass, treble, and volume dials on the active speaker, as well as a simple remote for mute and volume control. Two sets of RCA jacks allow for dual inputs, so you can share the speakers between your turntable and another source. Both RCA-RCA and RCA-AUX cables come in the box.
The vintage woodgrain finish helps the speakers blend in with most home setups, and the front speaker grill comes off if you prefer. With sound quality much higher than you'd expect for the price, these Edifier R1280T speakers are a great way to get impressive sound from your vinyl without spending a lot of cash.
If you've got the space, floor-standing speakers typically offer better bass response and a bigger sound than their smaller bookshelf equivalents. Hook them up to a good turntable and amp, and you've got the makings of a great audio system.
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent set of floor-standing speakers, and the Polk Audio T50 is an excellent example of that. These four-driver units—one tweeter, one mid, and two bass radiators—look good and sound even better, offering exceptional value for the money. There's plenty of bass response and a crisp overall sound that many more expensive speakers struggle to match. Available in a black woodgrain finish, the speaker grill is removable for a more classic look.
Many listeners will be perfectly happy with a couple of T50s by themselves, but if not, they also form the ideal basis of a larger audio setup. Polk makes a paired subwoofer, center speaker, and bookshelf units that can be added as needed.
Not all of us have the luxury of a large area for listening to our favorite songs, and big speakers can dominate smaller spaces both aurally and physically. When you've only got limited room, it's worth taking a close look at the Klipsch R-14M.
At under ten inches high and six inches wide, it's not hard to find somewhere to fit them on a bookcase, shelf, or desk. Despite each speaker's small size, the four-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter put out a sustained 50W per channel, more than enough to fill a small to medium-sized room.
Equally able to act as left, right, or center speakers in a larger speaker setup, the R-14M's offer remarkably good audio quality for their size and price. As with nearly all small speakers, though, you'll want to consider adding a subwoofer if you enjoy powerful bass.
Portable turntables have become increasingly popular in recent years, which has, in turn, created a market for small, high-quality speakers to connect to them. The Audioengine A2+ powered speakers do the job perfectly, delivering remarkably good sound from a highly-portable setup.
As you'd expect, they perform best with mid and higher frequencies, with a crisp, punchy sound that's ideal for house parties. But the bass performance is still impressive for such a tiny set of drivers, delivering a highly-enjoyable overall listening experience.
At just six inches high and weighing three pounds, these speakers are small enough to take and use anywhere. The flexible inputs (⅛", RCA, and USB) make the A2+ useful in a variety of situations beyond just hooking up a turntable. You can connect a phone or other audio player, for instance, or use the inbuilt DAC via USB from a laptop for improved sound quality.
Available in black, white, and bright red, these speakers are the ideal addition to any portable turntable.
If you're happy spending a bit more, these Wharfedale bookshelf speakers are a great addition to almost any turntable setup. For over 80 years this British company has garnered a reputation for solid, reliable audio gear with impressive sound quality, and this pair of Diamond 10.2's is no exception. The 6.5-inch Kevlar bass driver combined with a pair of rear-firing ports pumps out some serious low-end frequencies, and the speakers sound warm and inviting across the tonal range. These speakers do as much as possible to avoid the vibration and standing waves that can ruin otherwise great-sounding audio gear, with internal cross-bracing, curved sides, and an open-backed design. Plus, they'll look great with your setup.
When you're spending close to $500 on a set of bookshelf speakers, you expect plenty from them, and the ELAC UB5's don't disappoint. The dedicated 5¼" aluminum woofer delivers punchy bass from a relatively small footprint, and paired with the four-inch midrange cone and one-inch tweeter, these speakers deliver audiophile-grade sound for listeners who require accuracy above all else. The UB5's look as good as they sound, with an attractive, minimalist design.
As you might expect, good speakers are only part of the equation for getting the best sound out of your setup. You'll need a powerful amp and quality turntable to really make the most of what the UB5's have to offer, and likely need to experiment a little with room placement as well. But with the right setup, these could easily end up being the best bookshelf speakers you've ever bought.
Happy to spend a little more? The Klipsch R-26F is a little larger and more expensive than our top floor-standing budget pick, but you get more for your money as well.
Designed primarily for small to mid-sized rooms, the R-26F (like all of Klipsch's speakers) uses distinctive horn-loaded tweeters to deliver crisp, powerful highs. That doesn't mean the midrange and bass suffer, however—these are well-balanced speakers that help bring out hidden depths in your favorite vinyl, while still being flexible enough to use in your home theater.
These speakers look as attractive as they sound, especially with the front grill removed to showcase the dual copper woofers that sit behind.
Most people won't need more bass than what the R-26F puts out, but if you do, Klipsch makes a matching subwoofer in the Reference range as well.