Four powered speakers your turntable will love
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 a bluetooth input for your wireless 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.
The HD6 is Audioengine's flagship powered speaker system. It delivers the room-filling power of the A5+, but with more clarity and connectivity. In addition to the standard analog inputs, it comes equipped with aptX Bluetooth 4.0. This Bluetooth sounds and works better than any other we've used.
The cabinets feature furniture-grade wood veneer, aluminum trim, and detachable magnetic grills (the walnut HD6 matches our Orbit Special beautifully). Larger drivers and a thicker, more sturdy cabinet give the HD6 an edge over the A5+ when it comes to acoustics.
Regardless of what speaker you're using, proper speaker placement goes a long way. Read more in our speaker positioning guide.