The 10 Best Powered Speakers for Turntables in 2022

So you’re ready to take the next step and up your speaker game? Speaker upgrades are the best way of improving the sound quality and performance of your vinyl setup and are often the first recommended upgrade after purchasing a high-quality turntable.

There are a ton of powered speaker options out there, so how do you know if the ones you’re looking at are the best powered speakers for turntable use? That’s where we come in.

The folks here at HiFi Hippo have years of experience as audio professionals as well as hobbyists. We’ve done the research and testing for you so that when you purchase a set of powered speakers, they’re going to look nice, sound nice, and have all the bells and whistles that are important to you.

We outlined the best powered speakers from sub-$100 budget options, all the way up to three figures for audiophiles who are looking to achieve peak sound quality.

How we pick our powered speaker sets

As mentioned above, the HiFi Hippo curation team is comprised of audio professionals and hobbyists. We’re actively researching speakers on audio forums, Reddit, and other channels.

Speaker technology changes fast and we pride ourselves on actively updating our articles frequently so readers have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Our speakers are carefully selected and ordered using a few ranking factors: sound quality, budget, features, and design. These four pillars allow us to systemically order the powered speakers in the most buyer-friendly manner.

HiFi Hippo is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Table of contents

1: Our top pick
2: Runner up
3: Best budget speakers
4: Best audiophile speakers
5: Best under $100
6: Best under $200
7: Best under $300
8: Best under $400
9: Best under $500
10: Best under $1,000
11: Choosing powered speakers for your turntable
12: FAQs


12: FAQs

Our top pick: Kanto YU6 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Kanto YU6 Powered Bookshelf Speakers with Bluetooth and Phono Preamp

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way ported speaker design
  • Power output: 100W continuous, 200W peak power
  • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Driver sizes: 1″ silk dome tweeters, 5.25″ Kevlar drivers
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz
  • 2-year warranty

Is this Kanto YU6 one of the best powered speakers on the market? We certainly think so!

The Kanto YU6 speakers can handle both low and high ends of the audio spectrum very well, and allow for a subwoofer output should you want additional rich bass tones from a dedicated sub.

Sound quality aside, these are the perfect powered speakers for turntable use because they come with a built-in phono preamp. This allows you to connect a turntable directly to the speakers without a phono preamp or an amplifier. Great for minimalistic audiophile music setups!

Additionally, the YU6 comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity options, optical inputs, and even a USB charging port for powering external devices.

Are speaker aesthetics important to you? Choose from 16 color options to perfectly match these speakers to your room decor.

We’re seriously so impressed with these speakers that it was a no-brainer as our top pick.

Runner up: Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Powered Speakers

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Powered Speakers in black

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way speaker design
  • Power output: 200W peak power
  • Driver sizes: 1″ aluminum dome tweeters, 5.25″ aluminum drivers
  • Frequency response: 40Hz – 20kHz
  • 3-year warranty

The Vanatoo Transparent One Encore powered speakers are a great runner-up option for people who purely value sound quality outside of vast features and design. Vanatoo is a modest speaker brand that has focused its efforts on producing high-quality speakers at affordable prices.

The frequency range of the One Encore is impressive as well as their max power output, allowing for high volumes without distortion. Additionally, Vanatoo has added a treble and bass EQ to the back of the speakers to allow for total control of the music you’re listening to.

Bluetooth connectivity also comes built into these speakers as well as optical inputs and a subwoofer output. In addition, a remote control is even included to adjust music volume, bass/treble, and input channel selection.

These speakers do have a relatively minimal and “industrial” design with no options of wood stain or color.

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore powered speakers are not only perfect for turntable use, but also for use as studio monitors, computer speakers, or home theater use.

Best budget powered speakers for turntable: Edifier R980T Active Bookshelf Speakers

Pair of Edifier R980T speakers

Technical specifications

  • 2-way ported speaker design
  • Power output: 24W peak power
  • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Driver sizes: 13mm tweeter, 4″ woofer
  • Frequency response: 70 Hz – 20kHz
  • 2-year warranty

If you’ve read our other speaker guides, you’ll know we recommend the Edifier R980T active speakers for their good sound quality on a tight budget.

These are small speakers with the essentials built-in: RCA inputs, volume adjustment, and bass EQ.

The frequency range is lacking on the low end, so don’t expect the deepest bass tones coming out of these speakers. Design-wise, the R980T active speakers are nothing to write home about either.

Where these speakers do shine is their price. Coming in a decent amount under $100, these are the perfect speakers for a budget vinyl listening experience. If you’re looking to improve on the built-in speaker of a record player, the Edifier R980T active speakers are a great option!

Best audiophile powered speakers for turntable: ELAC ARB51-GB Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Elac ARB51-GB Navis Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Technical specifications & features

  • 3-way ported speaker design
  • Power output: 300W peak power
  • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Driver sizes: 1″ soft dome tweeters, 4″ aluminum midrange driver, 5.25″ aluminum woofer
  • Frequency response: 44Hz – 28kHz
  • 3-year warranty

For those more involved in the audio world, you’ll know the ELAC Navis ARB-51 is widely regarded as one of the best powered speakers on the market right now.

Created by world-renowned speaker designer Andrew Jones who has also designed many iconic audiophile speakers, the Navis ARB-51 is capable of producing extremely high-quality audio and immersive stereo imaging.

Boasting a 300W peak power output and an incredibly wide frequency response, these speakers will truly make your vinyl records sound amazing.

Inputs include RCA, XLR, and wireless connections.

The design is simple, yet elegant. A dark wood finish makes these speakers easy to pair in most rooms.

If you’re looking for audiophile-powered speakers for turntable use, look no further than the ELAC Navis ARB-51. But don’t just take our word for it, see what Andrew Jones himself has to say about these speakers.

Best powered speakers under $100: Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way ported speaker design
  • Power output: 42W peak power
  • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Driver sizes: 13mm tweeter, 4″ bass driver
  • Frequency response: 75 Hz – 18kHz
  • 2-year warranty

The Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers have long been some of our favorite powered speakers under $100. For the money, you’re getting a powered speaker filled with tons of additional features you don’t often find at this price point.

Starting with audio quality, these speakers are capable of producing good sound quality for the average listener. Of course, music won’t sound as good compared to other speakers at higher price points, but if you’re looking to purchase your first set of new speakers, the R1280Ts are perfectly fine!

Features include RCA and auxiliary inputs, volume and treble/bass EQ, as well as a remote control. Unfortunately, there’s no Bluetooth in this model.

The look of these speakers is classic. However, build quality is a little lacking in the MDF speaker cabinets.

For the entry-level music lover looking to upgrade their sound, these are great powered speakers at an affordable price.

Best powered speakers under $200: Audioengine A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Audioengine A1 speaker set

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way speaker design
  • Power output: 60W peak power
  • Driver sizes: ¾” silk dome tweeter, 2 ¾″ aramid fiber woofers
  • Frequency response: 65 Hz – 22kHz
  • 3-year warranty

The Audioengine A1 bookshelf speakers are a set of compact speakers that pack a punch. Built with high-performance driver components like silk dome tweeters and aramid fiber woofers, these speakers will reduce resonance within the cabinet and output a crisper sound compared to some other lower-end speakers.

While the power output isn’t crazy, 60 watts coming from its class D amplifier is enough to fill a room with music. What’s impressive is the low-end frequency range from such small woofers in a compact design.

The A1 comes with some nifty features as well such as WiFi audio for a small price upgrade, Bluetooth connectivity, and a subwoofer output.

Build and design quality are great, and while they only come in black, they can fit most room settings.

For vinyl enthusiasts looking for a multipurpose set of powered speakers under $200, the Audioengine A1 speakers are the perfect option!

Best powered speakers under $300: Fluance Ai41 Powered Speakers

Fluance Ai41 Powered 2-Way Speakers

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way speaker design
  • Power output: 90W peak power
  • Driver sizes: 1″ silk soft-dome tweeter, 5″ woven, glass fiber driver
  • Frequency response: 35 Hz – 20kHz
  • 1-year warranty

For well under $3oo, the Fluance Ai41 powered speakers are a steal for the performance and features they come with. If you’re at all familiar with turntables, you’ll know that Fluance has been putting out some quality mid-level and high-end turntable models, so it’s only natural they have some speakers to pair with them.

Despite these speakers being under 12″ tall, they’re able to produce impressive low-end frequencies compared to other models in this price range. 90W peak power is plenty of juice to get your music volume up as well. It’s also worth mentioning that the Ai41 speakers can be upgraded to 6″ woofers and 120W for an increase in price, though that doesn’t affect the frequency range according to Fluance.

Inputs to these speakers include RCA, Bluetooth, and Optical. There’s also a built-in subwoofer output if you’d like to further improve the bass tones.

The Ai41 powered speakers also come in a few colors and stains: black and white faces with a dark or light wood stain.

We love these speakers as a nice middle ground of sound quality, features, looks, and price. They’re sure to make the music from your vinyl records come to life.

Best powered speakers under $400: Klipsch R-51PM Powered Speakers

Klipsch R-51PM Powered Bluetooth Speaker

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way ported speaker design
  • Power output: 400W peak power
  • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Driver sizes: 1″ aluminum tweeter, 5.25″ spun-copper woofers
  • Frequency response: 68Hz – 21kHz
  • 3-year warranty

The Klipsch R-51PM powered speakers are some of our favorite speakers to date. The Klipsch build and audio quality is amazing, the feature set vast, and the price – well, pretty reasonable considering what all you’re getting.

These hi-fi powered speakers used to retail for nearly $600 and now can be purchased new for under $400.

Our only criticism is these speakers were made with a subwoofer in mind, that’s why they are little lacking in the low-end frequency range.

Those few hertz are made up for in the fact that the master speaker includes a built-in phono stage, meaning that no external phono preamp is needed to connect this directly to a turntable.

In addition, these speakers come with a standard RCA input, Bluetooth connectivity options, auxiliary input, optical input, and USB input.

The Klipsch R-51PM is one of the best powered speakers for turntable use as well as home theater use, especially when paired with a subwoofer. For under $400, the value is simply unmatched by other speakers in this price range.

Best powered speakers under $500: Audioengine A5+ Plus Wireless Speakers

Audioengine A5+ Plus Speakers

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way speaker design
  • Power output: 150W peak power
  • Impedance: 10K Ohms unbalanced
  • Driver sizes: ¾″ silk dome tweeter, 5″ aramid fiber woofers
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 22kHz
  • 3-year warranty

Audioengine is back on the list with their A5+ Plus Wireless Speakers model. Simply put, these speakers are perfect for easy and convenient use in the modern-day. Audioengine has put a lot of emphasis on the speaker cabinets specifically, creating a wider frequency range with smaller speakers than some of the previous models we’ve looked at.

The A5+ is an impressive pairing of engineering and technology. These two attributes work to create one of the best modern speakers we’ve seen. APTX Bluetooth is built into this system, meaning streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music are just a click away and play at a better audio quality compared to traditional built-in Bluetooth.

Inputs are a little limited, so if you’re looking to connect something other than RCA or 3.5mm you might need to find a work-around. Otherwise, the features are fairly standard.

Last but not least, the design of these speakers is simply elegant. Each wooden cabinet is hand-built and comes in black, white, or bamboo.

Best powered speakers under $1,000: Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker System

Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker System in matte black color

Technical specifications & features

  • 2-way speaker design
  • Power output: 160W continuous power
  • Driver sizes: 1″ titanium dome LTS tweeter, 4.5″ long-throw woofers
  • Frequency response: 50Hz – 25kHz
  • 3-year warranty

The Klipsch The Fives are some of the highest-rated powers speakers under $1,000 on the market today. These speakers have been engineered to produce incredible sound quality and a dynamic frequency range, all within a bookshelf-sized speaker cabinet.

First, starting with the divers, while the woofers and not incredibly large, combined with the rear port, they’re capable of producing frequencies as low as 50Hz while the tweeters can create tones up to 25kHz making for a crisp, full-bodied mix.

There’s no shortage of features on The Fives. Most notable are the metal rotary dials for source selection and volume – a premium feature that goes a long way.

Additionally, these speakers come with APTX Bluetooth for high audio quality wireless streaming. Also, the speakers can be adjusted with the included remote control or the KLIPSCH Connect App.

Inputs include RCA, USB Type-A & B, 3.5mm, and HDMI for connection to a TV.

Lastly, the looks. First and foremost, The Fives are the only powered speaker on this list to come with magnetic removable grilles, allowing for easy exposure of the speaker drivers. Each wood cabinet is hand-crafted with real walnut veneer or a black finish.

While The Fives are starting to work their way into the “audiophile price range,” their sound quality and features justify the expense completely. For those of you interested in drastically improving your vinyl setup and have the money to do so, The Fives is an amazing option.

Advice on choosing powered speakers for your turntable

If you’ve taken the time and money to research and purchase a nice turntable, the next logical step is to purchase a good set of speakers.

It’s important to make sure you fully understand your turntable and the components included. As we saw above, some powered speakers come with a built-in phono stage, but many do not. You’ll need to ensure that your turntable has a built-in phono preamp, otherwise, you will need to purchase an external one. We have a great phono preamp buying guide if you need it.

With this information, you’re ready to pick out your set of powers speakers!

As you probably read above, there’s a lot of information to digest when it comes to the technical spec sheet of a powered speaker. Let’s go through the main factors:

Speaker design

The cabinet design, amount of drivers, and ports.

2-way vs. 3-way speakers

Speakers come in various designs, some with two drivers and others with three or sometimes more. When looking at bookshelf speakers, most designs only include two or three, so we’ll focus on that.

2-way speakers

A 2-way speaker has two divers: a tweeter for high frequencies, and a woofer for low frequencies. These drivers work together through a crossover to produce the whole frequency range of audio. We talk in more detail about how these crossovers work here.

3-way speakers

As you might have guessed, a 3-way speaker has three drivers: a tweeter for high frequencies, mid-range for mid-range frequencies, and a woofer for low frequencies. As you can imagine, having an extra driver dedicated to the mid-range allows for a fuller sound… or does it?

Just because a speaker has three drivers does not automatically make it better than a speaker with two.

Firstly, consider the build quality, crossovers, and components used. Many low and mid-level 3-way speakers still are not capable of producing as wide of a frequency range as a high-performance 2-way speaker.

As a general rule of thumb, 2-way speakers produce a balanced sound and can sometimes lack some low-end frequencies. 3-way speakers are more bass-forward, meaning they can be great for Hip-Hip, R&B, and Electronic music with consistent bass tones.

Power output

Power output speaks directly to how loud a speaker can be pushed. The more wattage, the louder the maximum volume. This also means that if you have a larger room, you’ll want speakers with higher wattage to be able to adequately fill the space.

For smaller setups such as a bedroom, 50-watt bookshelf speakers should be fine to have a pleasant vinyl listening experience with. For larger rooms, a more powerful output of 100-watts or greater is likely necessary.

Driver size

When it comes to driver size, you may assume that bigger is better. That’s not always the case. Drivers are highly dependent on the components they’re made from, so a greatly engineered 4.5″ driver will sound better than a mid-level 5″ driver.

It’s hard to judge a speaker purely by its driver size because there’s so much more to the story. In general though, the larger the driver, the more low end it can produce.

Frequency response

Frequency response is probably one of the best ways to evaluate a speaker. This tells you just how much of the audio spectrum these speakers can reproduce. The wider the range, the better the speakers.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the audible spectrum (AKA human hearing) is between 20Hz – 20kHz. Going beyond this range in speakers does have some benefits, but those are more often felt rather than heard.

Connectivity options

Powered speakers for turntables will usually be using RCA inputs above anything else, however, for multi-channel setups, it’s worth making sure you have options. Bluetooth, 3.5mm, and XLR are often popular choices for other music devices while optical inputs and HDMI are good for home theater setups.

If you’re investing your hard-earned money into a pair of speakers, you want to know you can use them for all the devices in your home.

Warranty

Powered speakers can be a large investment, and you likely want to be sure the money you spent doesn’t go to waste. While all the speakers we suggested have a great reputation for quality, sometimes things happen.

It’s a good idea to have a safety net of a multi-year warranty in case something does go wrong.

FAQs about powered speakers

Here are some of the most often asked questions we see about powered speakers.

How do I connect my turntable to powered speakers?

A turntable can be connected to powered speakers in a variety of ways. If your turntable has a phono pre-amplifier built-in, powered speakers can be connected directly to the turntable itself.

Additionally, if your powered speakers have a built-in phono preamp, your turntable can be connected directly to your speakers.

If both your turntable and powered speakers do not have a built-in phono stage, you will need to buy an external one. If this is the case, check out our best phono preamps buying guide!

For more information on the various connectivity options between turntables and speakers, read our guide on how to connect a turntable to speakers.

Do you need a phono preamp with powered speakers?

You only need a phono preamp with powered speakers if either your turntable or speakers do not have one built-in. You can find this by looking for a “phono/line” switch on either unit. If the switch is there, congrats! You have a phono preamp.

Are active speakers good for vinyl?

Active speakers and powered speakers are quickly becoming great options for vinyl enthusiasts for their versatility and minimalistic equipment requirements. With active speakers, you do not need a separate amp like how passive speakers do.

What is the difference between active and powered speakers?

The primary difference between active and power speakers is that active speakers have an amplifier for each driver while power speakers’ driver shares an amplifier.

Can powered speakers be used as passive speakers?

Powered speakers can be used as passive speakers, but it requires modification. The speaker cabinet will need to be opened and the amplifier removed, then leads added to the passive crossover in order for the speaker wire to be connected.

Final thoughts: the best powered speakers

At this point, you should have a good understanding of what you’re looking for in a powered speaker for your turntable. Speakers come in all different shapes and sizes, you just need to find the ones that work best for you.

It’s also worth noting that speakers should be elevated – check out our speaker stand recommendations!

Thanks for reading!

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