Photo courtesy of @tcardamone
There are many ways to connect your turntable to speakers. The simplest way is to connect directly to powered speakers. Unlike passive speakers (which require an external amp/receiver to drive them), powered speakers come equipped with their own amp. This allows you to plug your turntable right into them. Just make sure you have a phono preamp, which is an option on all of our turntables.
Here are some of our favorite powered speakers to pair with any turntable:
As far as entry-level powered speakers go, the Edifier R1280Ts are a great value. The 4" formed paper woofers and 13mm silk dome tweeters provide surprisingly powerful bass and good dynamics. Its class D amp delivers up to 21W RMS of power per channel, which makes it a good fit for small and medium sized rooms.
Want Bluetooth connectivity? Check out the R1280DB with built-in Bluetooth.
Don't let their compact (6 x 4 x 5.25") size fool you. The Audioengine A2+ delivers impactful sound and a respectable 15W RMS of power per channel. All of Audioengine's speakers are driven by dual class AB monolithic amps, which are less prone to distortion than the class D amps used in many speakers (including the Edifiers above).
The A2+ features Kevlar woofers, silk dome tweeters, and a subwoofer output. In addition to the standard RCA input for your turntable, the A2+ has a 3.5mm AUX jack and integrated USB input with DAC for digital sources. Comes in white, black, and red.
We love these speakers, and they get a lot of use at the U-Turn factory. We were running an Orbit Plus through these bad boys at RMAF 2015, and the showgoers couldn't believe their ears. As the Part-Time Audiophile noted
"The sound, especially for a small room, was smooth, evenly balanced and pure analog. To be honest, it put to shame some systems costing far more."
With 50W of power, the A5+ will fill even large rooms with accurate (<0.05% THD) sound. It comes with an RCA input, 3.5mm AUX input, and subwoofer output. The A5+ starts at $399, but you will need to spend a little more to get the slick bamboo finish shown above.
Regardless of what speaker you're using, proper speaker placement goes a long way. Read more in our speaker positioning guide.
Did we leave out your favorite powered speakers? Tell us below!