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 I pick these powered speaker sets

Andrew headshot
Andrew – Lead Editor

As mentioned above, the HiFi Hippo curation team is comprised of audio professionals and hobbyists. We actively test and research 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.

The 8 best powered speakers for turntables

Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker System

My Top Pick

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Quality low-end: You won’t have to worry about muddy bass from these speakers. Every low-end frequency comes out crisp with the definition listeners are looking for in a wide range of genres.

Clear high frequencies: From the other side of the spectrum, high frequencies are muted by a clear low-end. It seems the speakers do a great job of displaying the frequency spectrum evenly, so everything shines through without being overshadowed.

Reliable connections: The inputs built into these speakers are not only reliable but sturdy as well. You shouldn’t have to worry about skipping or dwindling connections after repeated use.

Cons

Missing controls: It would be nice to have more control over the speakers’ sound. This isn’t necessarily asking too much, but without tone control and limited adjustment features, you really need a stereo amplifier to deeply craft the sound.

Needs control: Because The Fives have such a thick bass response, they will need systematically placed in the room to mitigate the bass from becoming overbearing and bleeding into the mid-range frequencies.

Why Klipsch The Fives is my top pick

Pair of Klipsch The Fives powered speakers

The Klipsch The Fives are some of the highest-rated powered speakers 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.

Kanto YU6 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Runner Up

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Easy streaming: Built with Qualcomm aptX included, these speakers make it easy to stream your favorite music, and of course, they can be connected to your turntable as well. This offers a level of versatility that’s great for multi-faceted music lovers.

Great sound quality: Between the handcrafted MDF cabinets, silk dome tweeters, and Kevlar drivers, you get the most out of the entire frequency range. This makes the speakers an excellent choice for many different genres of music.

Signal detection: Get the benefit of automatic standby and power-up modes with its signal detection features. It helps you conserve power while you’re away and creates a somewhat hands-free experience.

Cons

Quality control: Although there’s a good chance your experience will be satisfactory, others have received their order with some parts dead on arrival.

Interference with AUX: I feel that the quality of the AUX connection could be better. With some minor manipulation, I could hear some static and choppy audio when using the AUX feature, regardless of what type of media was being played through it.

Why the Kanto YU6s are a great option

White Kanto YU6 speakers

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.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Best Budget Powered Speakers

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Price: Regardless of your budget, these speakers offer a decent blend between quality and cost. They come with numerous features, and they’re also quite stylish and act as a cost-efficient way to improve audio playback from your vinyl records.

Remote control: Take control of the speakers from a distance, and make adjustments to the volume, bass, and treble. This is great for when you’re switching between genres that sound their best with minor adjustments to the low and high end.

Great audio quality: I’m happy with the speaker’s overall audio quality, and the volume is pretty satisfactory. They may not look like it from their size, but the speakers definitely pack a decent punch.

Cons

Weak wire jacks: It looks like some of the speaker’s smaller components don’t have the best quality and can be considered flimsy to some people. It’s a good idea to be careful with the speakers, even if they look relatively sturdy.

No remote on/off feature: Considering there are some remote features included, it’s a little confusing as to why you can’t turn the speakers on or off remotely. Unfortunately, these speakers require a manual approach any time you want to use them.

Harsh frequencies: You can adjust the bass and treble all you want, but the speakers will weigh heavily on one side or the other. Either the bass is somewhat muddy, or the treble sounds saturated.

Why the Edifier R1280Ts are the best budget powered speakers on the market

Edifier R1280T speakers in front of box

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.

ELAC ARB51-GB Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Best Audiophile Powered Speakers

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Bass amplifier: An excellent choice for those who like a good amount of bass, these speakers come with a 160-watt bash amplifier. It also boasts a mid-range amplifier of 100 watts and a 40-watt Class AB tweeter amplifier.

3-way powered: Users get the benefit of a 1” tweeter soft dome, a 4” aluminum for the mid-range, and an aluminum woofer that’s 5 ¼”. This provides an all-encompassing listening experience for most genres of music.

Frequency response: The speakers are built to handle 44Hz to 28kHz and also handle a crossover frequency of 2.2kHz to 260Hz. In addition, the total power of the amplifier is 300 watts.

Cons

Not a light investment: Although these speakers are geared more toward the dedicated audiophile, it’s hard to ignore the price tag. Sitting at around $2,000 for the set, you’re definitely making an investment by purchasing these speakers.

No remote features: Any adjustment that you need to make to the speaker will have to be done by hand. They don’t come with any automatic or remote adjustments, so you’ll need to be okay with taking a manual approach.

Weight: These speakers aren’t necessarily the lightest, as each one weighs over 17lbs. Wherever you place them, it’s ideal to have them sitting on a secure shelf where they won’t fall and cause any damage, especially considering the price tag.

The ELAC Navis ARB-51s are perfect powered speakers for audiophiles

White ELAC ARB51-GB Navis speakers on stands

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.

Edifier R980T Active Bookshelf Speakers

Best Speakers Under $100

Technical specs & features

  • 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

Pros

2x AUX input: Offering a 3.5mm headphone output jack and a dual RCA output, you have enough connectivity options to utilize different listening methods. You can even connect two devices simultaneously, so you don’t have to give up one device for another.

Power output: With a 24 watts RMS power output, you get a calibrated, flared bass reflex port in front and an audio output that’s more than satisfactory. This is more than sufficient for vinyl records as well.

Cost-efficiency: The price is hard to beat compared to many other options as they’re a little under $100. Regardless of their quality, you won’t break the bank investing in what these speakers have to offer.

Cons

Heavy low-end: Regardless of what type of music you’re playing, the speakers seem to weigh on the low-end more than anything else. This can be jarring for any listener as too much low-end can deliver a fairly muddy sound.

Poor volume range: I noticed that the volume doesn’t get very loud. This isn’t to say I wasn’t able to hear it, but one probably shouldn’t expect any kind of substantial boom.

No treble control: Back on the fact the speakers are bass-heavy, you can’t control the amount of treble that cuts through the speakers. You can adjust bass, but that doesn’t allow you to make adjustments to the full frequency spectrum.

A great choice for powered speakers under $100

Edifier R980T speakers

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!

Audioengine A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Best Speakers Under $200

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Power: You’ll be able to fill a room with high-quality audio thanks to the 60 watts of power that comes with these speakers. For more power, you can connect the speakers to the Audioengine S6 or S8 subwoofer with the help of the LFE variable output.

Bluetooth compatibility: Connect the speakers to your turntable and take advantage of its Bluetooth feature, which allows you to play any song you want. It also comes with an extensive range as you can connect from up to 100ft away, which is a big selling point for some people.

Easy setup: Technical knowledge isn’t needed to get these speakers up and running. The manufacturer has made it simple so you can have them quickly set up and play any of your songs right out of the box.

Cons

Missing dynamics: No matter how you adjust the volume, the sound range isn’t very diverse. These speakers may not be optimal if you’re looking for a broad frequency range.

Lag with Bluetooth: The Bluetooth connectivity isn’t very quick. Whether it’s delays in playback or a spotty connection, it doesn’t seem to be as fluid as advertised.

Limited volume: Even if you aren’t looking to turn up the volume to the max, it’s evident that it comes with some limitations.

The Audioengine A1s are perfect for under $200

Pair of Audioengine A1 powered speakers

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!

Fluance Ai41 Powered Speakers

Best Speakers Under $300

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Neodymium tweeters: Crafted to deliver a satisfying listening experience, neodymium tweeters provide off-axis dispersion which is excellent for clear high-end frequencies. Quality tweeters are necessary for any reputable speakers, and these aim to bring an immersive experience.

Connectivity options: Whether you use Bluetooth 5.0 or via RCA, the speakers offer multiple ways to connect your favorite music. There’s no need for a receiver or even an amplifier.

Wood cabinets: The construction quality of these speakers adds to the full-body sound it aims to provide. Many people may disregard cabinet quality, but it can significantly affect the audio output.

Cons

Spotty frequencies: Although these speakers have power, they seem to miss the mark on a fluid frequency range. Especially when changing between genres of music, they tend to deliver an inconsistent quality that can be rather frustrating.

No levels for bass or treble: You can only adjust the bass and treble via the remote control, but it doesn’t give you any kind of reference on their levels. This means you have to work entirely off how it sounds rather than being able to maintain specific range levels.

Poor customer service: This doesn’t pertain to the speakers themselves, but customer support isn’t helpful if you run into any issues. In some cases, they won’t even accept returns for a range of reasons, and numerous customers have gotten stuck with speakers that don’t work.

For under $300, The Fluance Ai41 is the way to go

Fluance Ai41 speakers on couch with speaker wire

For well under $300, 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.

Klipsch R-51PM Powered Speakers

Best Speakers Under $400

Technical specs & 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

Pros

Full-fledge connectivity: You can connect these speakers to your turntable, TV, computer, and much more. This gives you the ability to play the audio you want, whether it’s your favorite TV show or any of your music.

Dynamic bass EQ: Get the perfect amount of bass with the help of dynamic bass EQ. You can tune the bass to resonate to the best of its capabilities within your particular space, which helps dynamics flourish in their surroundings.

Tractrix horn tech: With the help of the Klipsch 90×90 Tractrix horn, you can ensure unwanted frequencies are mitigated. The high frequencies from the speakers are kept under control, which also helps reduce excessive reverberations.

Cons

Bass heavy: It’s evident that these speakers focus on a bass-heavy experience, but it seems to be a bit jarring for some people. Of course, this can be controlled to some degree, but it can feel a bit overdone depending on the space you’re working with.

Remote issues: When it comes to any wireless connectivity, it can come with a few complications. The remote can be somewhat difficult to pair with the speakers.

Supreme sound for under $400

Klipsch R-51PM speaker set

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 a 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.

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!

Related Articles