Best turntable speakers 2024: top-rated speakers for your record player

Without speakers (or vinyl for that matter), your turntable is nothing but a pretty centrepiece, something to admire without actually being functional. Add a decent pair of speakers, however, and you've got the makings of a proper sound system.

The best turntable speakers will ensure you hear your vinyl at its very best and while the best speakers around should nearly all sound just fine with records, there are a few more technical considerations when it comes to choosing speakers for a record player.

The thing about choosing a pair of turntable speakers is that there isn't a "right" way of doing it, even if there are plenty of wrong options to trip you up. We've selected a wide range of speakers in various shapes, forms, sizes, sonic profiles and even prices, so that you've got plenty of options when finding the sound that will best suit your particular turntable. So whether you're after a pair of bookshelf speakers, prefer larger floorstanding speakers or even active speaker systems, there's something for everyone here.

Every pair of speakers on this list has been thoroughly tested by the team of experts at What Hi-Fi? in our dedicated, bespoke listening rooms, ensuring you can trust our buying advice to the letter.

The quick list

The best active speakers

KEF LSX II Lifestyle

KEF’s taken what was already a fantastic desktop speaker system and amplified its appeal across the board. (Image credit: KEF)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. A fantastic, multi-talented streaming system perfect for smaller rooms


Type : Standmounters (active)
Drive units : 19mm tweeter, 11.5cm woofer
Ported : Yes (rear)
Bi-wire : Yes
Impedance : 8 ohms
Sensitivty : 86dB
Dimensions (hwd): 24 x 15.5 x 18cm
Weight : 3.5kg (each)
Finishes : 5 (mineral white, lava red, carbon black, cobalt blue, Soundwave by Terence Conran Edition)

Reasons to buy

Well-rounded sonic performance
Excellent imaging and dynamics
HDMI and USB-C inputs
Best suited to smaller rooms or desktop use

Reasons to avoid

Native 24-bit/192kHz playback requires wired connection

Why we recommend it

The Award-winning KEF LSX II is a stylish streaming system that comes with none of the baggage and boxes a separates set-up brings. Comprising a network streamer, a Bluetooth receiver and an amplifier all built into a pair of stereo speakers, the LSX II is a great option for those looking for convenience and musicality in two compact boxes. Nothing else really comes close at this level.

Design and features: If you’re used to hi-fi kit coming in black, silver and various different wood finishes, the options KEF offers with the LSX II will come as a pleasant surprise. You can choose Carbon Black or Mineral White, but the Olive Green, Cobalt Blue and Lava Red are all rather fetching. There’s also an eye-catching Soundwave edition, which features a kind of snazzy beige pattern designed by Terence Conran.   

These 200-watt speakers run on KEF’s W2 wireless streaming platform, so while the original LSX offered plenty of choices when it came to sources – streaming over DLNA or from Tidal, Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay 2 – the LSX II expands on this with wider streaming support and the modern-day addition of HDMI ARC and USB-C for TV and laptop connectivity respectively. There’s no phono stage, but if you have a record player with one built in the LSX II’s integrated amp means you can just plug it straight in.

An Ethernet port allows native playback of 24-bit/96kHz digital music files, plus KEF’s own low-latency wireless connection supports anything up to 24-bit/48kHz (anything above either is simply downsampled for playback). They can also decode DSD256 and MQA files.

Sound: You don’t have to listen to the KEF LSX II for long to realise you’re in the presence of some very capable speakers. There’s a real sense of refinement and maturity to the sound without being showy; laid back but expressive when required. 

The UniQ drivers produce a bubble of sound with vocals that hang right in the middle of the soundstage. Tonally, the whole presentation is extremely inviting and shows a lot of natural warmth. And this rings true whether you’re listening to the speakers in a more conventional set-up on the stands or you’re sitting more up close and personal using them on a desktop.

Their size limits how low they can go, but there’s enough weight for the bass notes to feel full and wholesome. Bass is tight and controlled, too, with a nice layer of texture on the surface of the notes.

If you’ve got the extra cash to spend and could be tempted into something a bit more hefty, the KEF LS50 Wireless II are £1999, but they don’t come in as many colours.

Read the full review: KEF LSX II

The best active speakers with phono

Triangle AIO Twin with turntable

(Image credit: Triangle)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. A talented, versatile and great-sounding all-in-one system for your turntable


Power: 2x 50W
Drivers: 25mm tweeter; 13cm bass
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL, SBC, AAC
Streaming: Wi-Fi, Internet Radio
Streaming services: Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster
Resolution support: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
Inputs: Ethernet, RCA / Phono MM line level, 3.5mm, optical, USB-A
Output: Subwoofer
App?: Yes
Remote control?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd): 23.5 x 16.5 x 30.4cm
Weight: 10.3kg (total)
Finishes:: 6

Reasons to buy

Enthusiastic and capable sound quality
Elegant design
Versatile features and connectivity
Good app

Reasons to avoid

Built-in phono stage could be better

Why we recommend it

If the turntable you own doesn’t have a phono stage and you want to keep your setup as simple as possible, look no further than the Triangle AIO Twin. This is a neat, elegant system that does it all (nearly), with a built-in phono stage meaning you can simply connect your deck to the dedicated phono inputs and you're good to go. It puts on the kind of sonic performance that makes you want to keep on listening – and you don’t have to pay over a grand for it. 

Design and features: All of the amplification, streaming circuitry and connectivity is situated in the ‘master’ speaker, with a cable to connect the second passive unit, but both house 13cm mid/bass drivers and 25mm tweeters. They’re classy and compact cabinets, which are available in six fetching colours.

The inputs are all neatly labelled, with a key that corresponds to the LED on the front, which changes depending on which source is active. As well as the RCA analogue inputs, there’s also optical, ethernet and 3.5mm sockets, plus wi-fi and Bluetooth if you’d prefer to ditch the cables. It’s all easy to set up and manage thanks to the Triangle AIO app, which also allows you to create a multi-room system if you have other compatible Triangle products. The only thing it’s really missing is some customisable EQ settings.

All the major streaming services are supported – Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Music, Qobuz – and hi-res audio support goes up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Sound: Paired with a decent turntable, such as Pro-Ject’s excellent Debut Pro, these speakers sound peppy enough to get you singing along, but they perform even better when streaming over wi-fi. 

It’s a system that’s incredibly fun to listen to, with a confident and composed delivery. There’s also ample power, space and bass, especially considering the speakers’ dimensions.

It’s also worth noting that they have rear-firing ports, so while you can be pretty flexible with where you position them, you’re advised not to place them too close to a wall as they need a bit of space to breathe.

Read the full Triangle AIO Twin review

The best all-in-one

All-in-one system: Ruark Audio R410

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
A great-looking, great-sounding one-box solution that comes with a built-in phone stage


Power: 120 watts (Class D)
Inputs: HDMI eARC; moving-magnet phono; line-level phono; digital optical; USB-C; Ethernet
Sources: Wi-fi; Bluetooth 5.1; Apple AirPlay 2; Chromecast; Spotify Connect; TIDAL Connect; UPnP; FM; DAB; DAB+; internet radio
Max hi-res support: 32-bit/384kHz
Finishes: x2
Dimensions (hwd): 15 x 56 x 29cm
Weight: 9.5kg

Reasons to buy

Robust, convincing sound from every source
Extensive specification
Stunning modern/retro aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

Can occasionally sound bass-happy
Display could be larger
No control app

Why we recommend it

The concept of an all-in-one music system might seem a little old-fashioned to some, but if you’re looking for something that looks every bit as good as it sounds the Ruark R410 certainly ticks both boxes – and with a moving magnet phono stage onboard you don’t need anything else to connect your turntable either.

Design and features: The Ruark R410 is available in two finishes – walnut and soft grey – but whichever one you choose it’s guaranteed to attract attention and elicit admiring comments. Build quality is equally impressive.

There’s certainly nothing old-fashioned about the R410’s feature set either. There’s dual-band wi-fi, Bluetooth 5.1 (with support for SBC, AAC and aptX HD codecs), FM/DAB/DAB+ and internet radio, and even HDMI eARC in case you want to use it with your TV as well.

With all those options it could do with more controls on top, and a dedicated control app wouldn’t go amiss, but the 4in portrait-style screen on the front is bright and crisp, if a little on the small side. 

Sound: Behind the wooden grille is a pair of 20mm silk dome tweeters and a couple of 10cm paper cone mid/bass drivers, with two bass reflex ports on the bottom to provide low-frequency reinforcement. They’re all powered by 120 watts of Class D amplification.

The result is remarkably consistent no matter the source, offering a genuine sensation of unity and singularity to its sound, and no obvious sensation of crossover. The sonic performance is positive and confident without being brash or overly assertive, although it’s worth knocking a couple of dB off the bass output in the EQ settings. 

It’s perhaps not the most dynamic sound you've ever heard, and it doesn’t create the most expansive soundstage either, but there’s decent momentum and good rhythmic expression, and detail levels are high across the whole frequency range. It has no problem filling a room with sound either, even if it can’t quite reach the very loudest volume levels.

If you’ve got a few more quid to spend, the Sonus Faber Omnia is also worth a look, but if you’re not into the wood finish and don’t need a phono stage, Naim’s excellent Mu-so 2 is also a fine alternative.

Read the full Ruark Audio R410 review

The best smart speaker

sonos speaker on side cabinet

(Image credit: Sonos)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. Sonos’s Era 300 is an immensely immersive experience


Bluetooth: 5.0 (SBC, AAC)
Streaming: AirPlay 2, wi-fi 6
Features: Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, stereo pairing, Sonos voice control, Alexa voice control, Trueplay tuning, adjustable EQ
Connections: USB-C line-in (separate adapters required)
App?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd): 16 x 26 x 18.5cm
Weight: 4.47kg
Finishes: x2 (matte black, matte white)

Reasons to buy

Immense scale of sound
Detailed, spacious, dynamic and cohesive sound
Punchy, impactful, deep bass
Convincing with spatial audio tracks
Wide support for streaming features
Easy to use

Reasons to avoid

Unique design won’t be to everyone’s tastes
Adapter for wired connection is an extra cost
No Tidal Dolby Atmos support

Why we recommend it

Ushering in the era (if you’ll excuse the pun) of spatial audio, this innovative speaker is an excellent way to combine two musical formats from opposite points in history. You need to buy a £19 line-in adapter to connect your turntable, and there’s no phono stage so the deck will need one of those too, but it performs brilliantly no matter whether you’re listening to something mixed in Dolby Atmos or just good old-fashioned stereo.

Design and features: The Era 300’s unusual shape is born out of necessity, with six drivers that are angled to fill every corner of the room with sound. There are responsive touch controls on top, although chances are you’ll operate it almost exclusively via the Sonos app, and you can have one in any colour as long as it’s black or white.

Of course, spatial audio support is the headline feature here, but don’t forget what made Sonos famous in the first place: its excellent multiroom capabilities. This is also the first mains-powered Sonos product to support playback over Bluetooth, plus it can be used as a multi-channel rear speaker as part of a Dolby Atmos surround-sound system.   

Voice control is provided by Sonos’s own AI assistant, although if you want to do more than just control music playback you’ll have to use Amazon’s Alexa instead, which is also onboard. Google Assistant is no longer supported. 

Sound: While vinyl records might not be able to take advantage of its spatial audio skills, even in stereo the Era 300 sounds solid and cohesive. There’s ample detail and fluid dynamics to each song, with songs thrown out into the room with the kind of scale and power we’d normally hear from much bigger speakers.

With Dolby Atmos tracks that effect is even more pronounced, with sound that completely envelops you. It’s so convincing that it’s hard to pinpoint where exactly the music is coming from. How well the effect is communicated does vary depending on the song and how it’s been mixed for spatial audio, but for the most part, we enjoy the effect from the Sonos Era 300.

Spatial audio is only available via Amazon Music and Apple Music, and you need to be using wi-fi rather than Bluetooth, but there’s support for a huge range of streaming sources when it comes to stereo playback. If you’re an Amazon or Qobuz subscriber you can also listen to 24-bit/48kHz hi-res files.

Read the full Sonos Era 300 review

The best budget standmounts

Standmount speakers: Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3

B&W’s latest entry-level 607 S3 speakers win us over with a clean, refined and detailed sound that’s also entertaining in spades. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. B&W’s newest, smallest, entry-level speakers are a delight.


Type: Standmounters
Drive units: 25mm tweeter, 13cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: Yes
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 84dB
Dimensions (hwd): 30 x 16.5 x 20.7cm
Weight: 4.65kg
Finishes: 3 (black, white, oak)

Reasons to buy

Improved clarity, refinement and openness
Punchy, dynamic and lively sound
Knows how to have fun
Classy build and finish

Reasons to avoid

Sweet treble can sound a touch forward
Needs care with system matching
Price rise over predecessors

Why we recommend it

The smallest and most affordable stereo speakers that B&W makes, the 607 S3 are ideal for smaller spaces. Perhaps the best thing about them is that they clearly know how to have fun, which means you need to be careful with how you partner them, but get the balance right and you’ll have fun listening to them too.

Design and features: You can always rely on B&W to produce a classy and well-built product and this third iteration of the Award-winning 607 series doesn’t do anything to spoil that reputation. It might be fairly tough to tell the different generations apart but considering they all look more expensive than they are, that's no bad thing, even if the asking price for the S3 has gone up.

Inside each of the cabinets, which come in black, white or oak, you’ll find a 13cm Continuum mid/bass driver, plus a two-part 25mm decoupled double dome tweeter. The two are mounted closer together than before to improve integration, and B&W has taken technology that was first introduced in its more expensive products and integrated it here for improved all-round performance. That means titanium for the tweeters, with an elongated tube-loading system at the back and new grille design on the front; a more powerful motor assembly backing the mid/bass driver; and a redesigned terminal layout round the back to keep things nice and neat.  

Sound: The B&W 607 S3 need no time to impress and we’re struck by just how entertaining and musical they sound right from the start. Even songs we listen to regularly for testing purposes sound full of pep. 

That doesn’t mean they fall short in other areas though. They sound rhythmically cohesive, agile, and well-organised, with a more open-sounding overall presentation. Clarity is superb and detail is crisply revealed. Despite their small footprint the 607 S3 have no problem filling up a small-to-medium room, with very little distortion creeping in when you crank up the volume, and they even manage to remain tuneful and dynamic when we turn the dial the other way. 

B&W has very much hit the sweet spot between great sound and an affordable price tag with these crowd-pleasing speakers, but if you can’t quite stretch to a pair then Elac’s cheaper Debut B5.2 are an excellent alternative. Got a few more quid to spend? Try the bigger, next-level-up Bowers & Wilkins 606 S3.

Read the full Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3 review

The best premium standmounts

KEF Meta LS50 Lifestyle

Featuring innovative technology and exceptional sound, these KEFs are the best speakers for the money.  (Image credit: Kef)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. These standmounters set new standards at the price.


Type : Standmounters
Drive units : Uni-Q driver array (25mm tweeter and 13cm mid/bass)
Ported : Yes (rear)
Bi-wire : No
Impedance : 8 ohms
Sensitivity : 85db
Dimensions (hwd): 30.2 x 20 x 27.8cm
Weight : 7.8kg
Finishes : 4 (carbon black, titanium grey, mineral white, royal blue)

Reasons to buy

Exceptional sonic transparency
Subtle and precise presentation
Innovative technology

Reasons to avoid

Don't place them inside a bookshelf or up against a wall

Why we recommend it

When KEF launched the LS50 Meta in 2021 it took an already brilliant pair of standmounters and made them even better. Three years later and they’re still top of the class, combining exceptional sound quality, modern aesthetics and solid build – it’s no wonder they’re multiple What Hi-Fi? Awards winners. 

Design and features: Made from a combination of heavily braced and carefully damped MDF, with a curved front panel constructed from Dough Moulding Compound, the LS50 Meta manage to look contemporary without any danger of suddenly becoming dated. After all, the original LS50 were launched in 2012 and they still look fresh. If it ain’t broke…

The big changes are on the inside, where KEF has reworked the Uni-Q driver array and added Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) to cope better with the sound that comes off the back of the 25mm aluminium tweeter dome. It’s proprietary tech that has trickled down from the LS60 Wireless and results in a cleaner, less distorted high end.

At just 30cm tall they’re pretty compact, but don’t take that as an invitation to squeeze them onto a bookshelf or push them right up against a wall; they’ll sound their best on stands with a bit of space around them. These aren’t particularly sensitive speakers either, so it makes sense to partner them with an amplifier that has a bit of grunt, such as Cambridge Audio’s CXA81 or the Arcam A15.

Sound: If you’ve heard an original pair of LS50 speakers the sonic character of the Meta will be immediately familiar, but there’s no doubt they’re a significant improvement. They sound so much cleaner and more sophisticated than before, particularly at higher frequencies.

The sound is surprisingly full-bodied considering their compact dimensions, with a good degree of authority to the presentation and a decent amount of punch to the bass. Large-scale dynamics are handled well and there’s plenty of muscle; these speakers rarely sound stressed unless volume levels are high.

They’re also much more transparent than before, rendering low-level details, such as instrumental textures, much more convincingly. It won’t take long for you to marvel at their delicacy and precision, and the soundstage is expansive and tightly focused, layering instruments convincingly.

If your budget can stretch to the KEF R3 Meta you’ll get more low-frequency reach, refinement and openness, and if you’d prefer a more traditional look, PMC’s Prodigy 1 sound slightly better, but not drastically so. 

Read the full KEF LS50 Meta review 

The best budget floorstanders

Wharfedale 12.3 floorstanding speakers

Affordable, wonderfully refined and supremely well made – these Wharfedales are terrific towers.  (Image credit: Wharfedale)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. These classy floorstanders are entertaining, affordable and a real sonic treat.


Type : Floorstanders
Drive units : 25mm tweeter, 2x 13cm mid/bass
Ported : Yes (rear)
Bi-wire : Yes
Impedance : 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 89dB
Dimensions (hwd): 97.5 x 18 x 34.8cm
Weight : 19.6kg
Finishes : 3 (light oak, black oak, walnut pearl)

Reasons to buy

Superbly balanced presentation
Expressive and revealing midrange
Pleasing build and finish

Reasons to avoid

Perform best if given a little room to breathe
More expensive rivals offer more premium sound 

Why we recommend it

It’s tough to make a truly talented floorstander and sell them for an affordable price, but that’s exactly what Wharfedale has managed with the Diamond 12.3. If you’re looking for a pair of refined, entertaining and well-built turntable speakers, these are a superb, Award-winning buy.

Design and features: At 98cm tall, the Diamond 12.3 aren't a particularly imposing pair of floorstanders, so they'll fit into most spaces with relative ease, but you will still need to give them a bit of room to breathe. As for build quality, the cabinets are carefully crafted with a traditional straight-edge design and a tidy feet arrangement. The 12.3 are available in four finishes – black, walnut, white and a classy light oak – all of which belie their relatively modest price tag.

They utilise a 2.5-way design where the upper 13cm driver covers everything from midrange downwards, leaving the second one to reinforce the lows. A carefully shaped faceplate leaves as much of the 25mm tweeter exposed as possible, and the contouring closest to the dome is there to provide a small degree of horn loading.

Thanks to a relatively sophisticated crossover, the Diamond 12.3 have a sensitivity of 89dB/W/m and a minimum impedance of 5ohms, which means these floorstanders are unlikely to give any decent price-compatible amplifier a problem.

Sound: The Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 deliver a lovely layered sound that’s brimming with detail and dynamic nuance. They resolve a large amount of information but also present it in an organised and controlled way.

The drive units are well integrated, delivering an articulate and expressive midrange, while the low end is agile, satisfyingly rich and textured, with enough weight to satisfy without spoiling the balance of the presentation.

Crank up the volume and these speakers don’t complain, with punch and power when required, but also a level of subtlety that’s rare to find in a floorstander at this price. They also sound good at lower levels, so you don’t have to push them hard to bring them to life.

Read the full review: Wharfedale Diamond 12.3

The best premium floorstanders

Q Acoustics 5040 lifestyle

New cone technology and a shift in sonic character results in an excellent new phase of performance for these floorstanders. (Image credit: Q Acoustics)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 winner. A superbly insightful and entertaining performance from new Q Acoustics floorstanders.


Type: Floorstanders
Drive units: 25mm soft dome tweeter, 2x 12.5cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 91.5dB
Dimensions: 97 x 18 x 28cm
Weight: 18kg
Finishes: x3 (black, white, oak, rosewood)

Reasons to buy

Excellent clarity and detail resolution
Expressive dynamics
Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

Needs care in system matching
Not as forgiving as previous Q Acoustics models

Why we recommend it

Q Acoustics 5040 are even-handed performers that simply step out of the way of the music and let songs shine. When partnered with care they deliver a wonderfully expressive and insightful performance that’s class-leading at this premium level.

Design and features: With their rounded cabinets and four classy finishes – black, white, oak, and rosewood – the Q Acoustics 5040 manage to feel classic and contemporary at the same time, with a fairly modest footprint. Build quality is equally impressive, with a combination of MDF and HDF ensuring that things feel rigid and stable. You need to screw on the aluminium outriggers and add the spikes yourself, and you can block the rear-firing ports with foam bungs if you want to put them close to a wall, but the presentation will lose a little fluidity as a result, so we don’t recommend it.

They use the same driver layout as previous Q Acoustics models, with a twin mid/bass driver and a tweeter in the middle. The three drive units are linked by a relatively simple second-order crossover network, which means the speakers are rated at just over 91dB/W/m sensitivity and have a claimed nominal impedance of 6 ohms. That impedance dips to a minimum of 3 ohms, so it makes sense to partner them with a muscular amp such as Cambridge Audio’s CXA81.

Sound: Get the setup right and pair them with a suitable source and amplifier and the Q Acoustics 5040 serve-up an excellent sound for the money, painting a spacious, focused and nicely layered soundstage, with impressive stereo imaging. They’re wonderfully clear and precise with plenty of detail.

Tonally they’re just on the lean side of neutral, which gives the speakers plenty of agility and grip. We like the way these towers always sound composed and controlled, conveying your music’s momentum with conviction. They’re fast and fun, with plenty of attack but enough in the way of solidity and refinement to avoid accusations of aggression, while low-frequency notes lack nothing when it comes to punch and authority.

If you’ve got more to spend but can’t quite stretch to the Epos ES14N (below), the PMC Prodigy 5 would be our choice from the next level up, but they will set you back twice as much.

Read the full Q Acoustics 5040 review

The best high-end speakers

Standmount speakers: Epos ES14N

(Image credit: Epos)
The ES14N speakers set the performance standards at this level


Type: Two way, rear-ported standmounter
Tweeter: 28mm ceramic-coated aluminium dome
Mid/bass: 18cm mica-loaded polypropylene cone
Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m
Nominal impedance: 6 ohms (4.3 ohms minimum)
Dimensions (hwd): 49 x 25 x 38.5cm

Reasons to buy

Startling clarity and composure
Authoritative, punchy and balanced presentation
Impressive stereo imaging
Pleasing build and finish

Reasons to avoid

Bolts supplied with dedicated stands are of poor quality

Why we recommend it 

Epos might be a hi-fi brand that made a name for itself in the eighties, but the ES14N are as modern as any rival. They are beautifully balanced and insightful, delivering an all-round performance that we haven’t heard bettered for this not insignificant amount of money.

Design and features: When Epos first emerged over 40 years ago it took an unconventional approach to loudspeaker design, and while there are some similarities to its original models, including metal dome tweeters, 18cm polypropylene mid/bass cones and rear ports, these largish two-way standmounters aren’t simply rehashed versions of their predecessors.

The ES14N's relatively conventional crossover is a major departure from the 'simplicity first' philosophy of the older model, so the response is now controlled electrically rather than using the drive units to do the job mechanically, while the larger 28mm tweeter dome copes better at the lower end of its operating range.

The cabinet is broadly the same size as before but Epos has added a sloped front baffle to help with time alignment of the drivers and reduce the build-up of internal standing waves, while the chamfered front panel improves diffraction behaviour and balances the speaker’s upper-mid output over a wide dispersion area.

It’s perhaps slightly divisive styling, but the speakers are undoubtedly well put together and you get three finishes to choose from: black, white, and walnut. 

Sound: The Epos ES14N take a while to get going but once they do you’ll be in no doubt that these are class-leading standmounters that major in analysis, control and organisation.

They reveal low-level instrumental strands and dynamic nuances with impressive clarity and precision, refusing to get flustered even if you ask them to articulate something quite complex. They sound bold, confident and cohesive, keeping their composure at higher volume levels and staying persuasive when things are dialled down.

There’s also a good amount of bass on offer, and it blends nicely with the rest of the frequency range, which renders vocals in a wonderfully natural way. In an ideal world, we’d like just a bit more in terms of rhythmic drive, but we still rarely skipped any of our test tracks, so they must be doing something right.

Read the full Epos ES14N review

How to choose the best speakers for your turntable

When it comes to choosing the right speakers for your turntable, you need to do your homework so you know what you are looking for. The vast majority of speakers will need to be partnered with a stereo amplifier that has a phono preamp (aka phono stage) built-in, so they'll work with your turntable. If your amplifier doesn't have a phono stage, you can always add an external one to your system.

Alternatively, your turntable might come with a phono stage built-in already, but you'll still need an amplifier in between the speakers and the deck.

You can also use powered or active speakers which have amplification built-in, but this still doesn't get around the need for a phono stage in the chain. If you're yet to buy your turntable, it's worth thinking about getting one with a phono stage built-in (although we still stand by our assessment that a purist turntable will always sound better). Also, make sure your active speakers have a volume control if you're going down this route.

If your deck has Bluetooth, though, you can wirelessly connect your record player to any Bluetooth speaker, be it a single unit or stereo pair. It's a convenient way to connect, for sure, but perhaps not the best in terms of pure sound quality. It's a trade-off of convenience versus sound quality – and only you can tell whether it's one you're happy to make.

Of course, it's always worth making sure you check your budget and ensure you're buying a speaker that matches the turntable at the right level. A cheap pair of speakers won't do justice to your turntable that's worth thousands, for instance, and it's always worth auditioning speakers, if you're able to, before making a final purchase.

How we test speakers for turntables

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, including plenty of speakers of all shapes, sizes and types with a selection of our favourite turntables. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers and turntables, trying them with different electronics and with different music. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.

From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended above, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can be confident you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.

You can read more about how we test and review products on What Hi-Fi? here.


See the best speakers to suit all budgets

Cut your spending with the best budget hi-fi speakers

Or cut the cables with the best wireless speakers

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.

With contributions from