The 7 Best Speakers for Record Players of 2021

Bringing your vinyl back to life in a big way

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.

The best speakers for record players are built specifically with the vinyl aficionado in mind. While there's no rule that specifically states that these speakers have to be used exclusively with record players, we've brought together our collection of the best standalone speakers that offer multiple connectivity options, such as RCA, AUX, and Toslink Optical.

Our roundup brings together everything from affordable bookshelf speakers like the Klipsch R-14M at Amazon; to massive, free-standing options like the Polk Audio T50 at Amazon, with its massive sound and robust bass.

If you're looking to round out your record collection, make sure to read our roundup of the best places to buy vinyl records online before diving into our collection of the best ways to round out your listening experience with the best speakers for record players.

The Rundown
Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers:
Edifier R1280T at Amazon
The Edifier R1280T put out 21W (RMS) each, enough for a small to medium-sized room, while the woodgrain finish helps them blend in.
Best Budget Floor Speakers:
Polk Audio T50 at Amazon
The Polk Audio T50 offer exceptional value for the money: there's plenty of bass response and a crisp overall sound.
At under ten inches high and six inches wide, it's not hard to find somewhere to fit the Klipsch R-14M on a bookcase, shelf, or desk.
Best for Portability:
Audioengine A2+ at Amazon
The Audioengine A2+ do a perfect job, delivering remarkably good sound from a highly-portable setup.
Best High-End Bookshelf Speakers:
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 at Amazon
The UB5's look as good as they sound, with an attractive, minimalist design, which you would expect from their price tag.
Best Mid-Range Floor Speakers:
Klipsch Floorstanding Speaker at Amazon
The Klipsch R-26F is a little larger and more expensive than our top floor-standing budget pick but you get more bang for your buck.
in this article

Best Budget Bookshelf Speakers: Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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.

Best Budget Floor Speakers: Polk Audio T50 Standing Tower Speaker

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.

Best for Small Spaces: Klipsch R-14M Reference Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch R-14M Reference Speaker

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.

Best for Portability: Audioengine A2+

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.

Best High-End Bookshelf Speakers: ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speaker

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.

Best Mid-Range Floor Speakers: Klipsch R-26F Floorstanding Speaker

Klipsch R-26F Floorstanding Speaker

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.

Final Verdict

Our favorite speakers for reference-quality sound have to be the Klipsch R-26F for their excellent design and top-notch sound. However, if you need something a little more budget-conscious that won't take up much room, the Edifier R1280T is a fine option for any novice audiophile.

FAQs

Where should I place my speakers?
This can be a little different depending on if you're using a stereo, 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 setup. However, there are a couple of evergreen rules to follow regardless of how many speakers you're using. This will obviously depend on your room layout, but you should try and have your speakers equidistant from each other with surround speakers placed in the corners around your listening area. You should also try to keep your speakers free of obstructions and if you can safely mount them on a wall, even better.

Will the distance of my speakers from the receiver affect my sound quality? 
Yes, while it's not always possible, for the best audio quality, you'll want to keep the length of cable tethering your speakers to your receiver as short as possible. Although your sound quality won't suffer very much unless they're 25 feet or more from your receiver. For any wired speakers, you should use a 14-gauge cable, and potentially using a 12-gauge cable for any speakers extending past 25 feet from the receiver.

How many subwoofers do I need?
This all depends on the size of your room, more subwoofers give you a better bass quality and offer you more flexible placement when looking for the best spot for optimal sound quality. However, having more than a single subwoofer in a small listening area may be overkill. 

Was this page helpful?