Best turntable speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best turntable speakers you can buy in 2021.
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 big question is: what speakers should you choose?
Before you start compiling a shortlist, 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.
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.
Powered or active speakers 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. Also, make sure your active speakers have a volume control.
Right, that's the technical advice out of the way. Now on with the speakers!
If you're DJing on the go, check out the recently announced Sonos Roam. It's Sonos' latest portable speaker and can connect to your turntable over Bluetooth. It might not match an in situ speaker pair for sonics, but it's mighty on the move.
These budget Elacs will really make your records sing. They're brilliant performers at this price, with a sense of dynamic expression and tonal sophistication to handle anything you throw at them. And they're versatile enough to sound even better when paired with a high-end system. So they far outperform their price bracket.
They might not have the same warmth in the midrange as the Dali Spektors in this list, but they're still well balanced and capable of making every recording sound its best.
Elac has been making speakers since the 1980s, and it shows. But these are some of its finest, and some of the best turntable speakers money can buy. Versatile and sweet-sounding, they're even more impressive given the price tag. They're nothing short of exceptional, and the fact they get better when paired with a more expensive system is the icing on the audio cake. Do your turntable a favour, pair it with these.
Read the full Elac Debut B5.2 review
B&W's 600 range speakers are highly esteemed in the hi-fi world, and with good cause. They use B&W’s Continuum cone technology, as seen on the company’s more expensive ranges. Since the 606 are the cheapest models on which the material appears, it makes them something of a bargain – think of them as a hatchback with supercar performance.
But that's not the only string to their bow. Around the back, you'll find B&W's Flowport, while they have a pair of twin banana plugs for bi-wiring. And build quality is typically excellent, as you would expect from B&W.
The design is smart and stylish, and we love the size – not too big, not too small, just perfectly judged for a bookshelf or desktop. They sound great too – the timing is faultless, with awesome insights, and stirring dynamics to give an upbeat, energetic and punchy performance.
If your budget allows it, the 606 will enhance your turntable with class-leading levels of detail. A truly exceptional pair of best turntable speakers.
Read the full B&W 606 review
These were the first loudspeakers we reviewed from Fyne Audio, and to say they made a good first impression would be something of an understatement.
The F302 are superb all-rounders, with a two-way, rear-ported design that houses a 25mm polyester dome tweeter and 15cm multi-fibre mid/bass driver in each cabinet. Build quality is impressive for the money, with a choice of understated wood-effect finishes – described by Fyne as 'superior vinyl'. Their muted looks will match most turntables.
It's rare to find a pair of floorstanders that can compete in every respect with the wealth of quality standmount speakers available at the same price, but the F302 tick all the boxes and more. They're proof that excellent sound quality doesn't have to cost the earth.
If you want some big, bold but refined speakers to add to your deck, and don't want to bankrupt yourself while doing so, this is the pair for you.
Read the full Fyne Audio F302 review
The original LS50 launched all the way back in 2012, with a killer combination of superb sound quality, build and aesthetics. Now, nine years on, we have the Meta edition, which add to the original in one important way.
They look almost identical, but the Uni-Q driver array has been thoroughly reworked, with the notable addition of Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) to absorb sound and prevent distortion.
Sonically, they're a real improvement on the LS50. While the basic sonic character is instantly familiar, the Meta have gained a level of clarity and finesse the originals only hinted at. The level of delicacy and precision is staggering, and for such small speakers, the presentation is surprisingly full-bodied. And that Metamaterial really works, delivering a much cleaner and more sophisticated sound than their predecessors. Looks like KEF has come a long way in nine years.
Read the full KEF LS50 Meta review
At this price, the competition is fierce – one look at this list will show you that. But with an illustrious heritage, Wharfedale has the chops to take on the best the industry has to offer.
It also has the confidence to scrap what it's done before and start again. These speakers are a case in point. Pretty much everything about them is new, from the drive units to the cabinet construction. But it's all finished to a high degree.
The Diamond 12.1 might stand only 13cm tall, but they have it where it counts. Theirs is a surprisingly bold and full-bodied presentation, managing to sound confident and composed in a way that evades most budget rivals. And they top that with a good degree of refinement.
There's a pleasing amount of detail on show, and it's organised in a cohesive and musical way, with easy-to-follow low-level musical strands and a presentation that doesn’t start to get confused when things get busy. We’re hugely impressed that the Diamond 12.1 can live with the best at the price. A fine partner for your turntable.
Read the full Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 review
Ruark Audio has a bit of history when it comes to wireless desktop speakers. The Mk2's predecessors, the Ruark Audio MR1, were a standout pair, combining retro looks, an intuitive design and superb sound, even over Bluetooth, leading them to pick up two successive What Hi-Fi? Awards.
And we're happy to report the Mk2 are worthy follow-ups. These compact bookshelf speakers are packed with features and hugely versatile with Bluetooth aptX onboard for streaming from a wireless turntable.
They sound even better than the original MR1, which is no mean feat, and only makes them more appealing. If you're short of space but want to add big sound to a Bluetooth turntable, these are the speakers for you, no question.
Read the full Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 review
These are some of the best turntable speakers around thanks to their beautifully transparent sound, which shows up every detail on a recording. The smaller B5.2 (atop this list) picked up a What Hi-Fi? Award in 2019, and their bigger siblings add extra grunt to an already beautifully refined sound.
As well as the larger driver, the innards have been finessed, in terms of tweeter design and port placement. The cabinet is also further braced for greater rigidity, reducing unwanted vibrations distorting the sound. It all makes for a sound that confidently outlines what the rest of your system is doing.
Read the full Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review
Wharfedale's Diamond range is a great bet as a solid budget standmounter, but the firm is yet to make a really outstanding affordable floorstander. Until now.
Because the Diamond 12.3 sound even more impressive than the 12.1 further down this list. And the 12.1 are five-star speakers.
At 98cm tall, the 12.3 aren't massive speakers, but they benefit from having space to breathe. They benefit from a bit of inward angling too, but thanks to their wide sound dispersion you don't have to worry about being millimetre perfect.
Sonically, they're smooth, even-handed and wonderfully refined for the money. Feed them a poor signal and they are skilled at revealing the shortcomings without shouting about them. They’ll round off rough edges and downplay unwanted aggression without sounding like they’re smothering the life out of the music. Great if you want to partner your turntable with a floorstander without breaking the bank.
Read the full Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 review
The BR08 are not short of competition, yet still they manage to stand out. How? It's not the rather basic-looking cabinets, though they are well made and neatly finished. Rather, it's the sound they produce.
Load them up with appropriately quality material, and you're in for a treat. They punch hard, combining high levels of detail with an enviable ability to tie it altogether to produce a cohesive and musical whole. Those twin bass drivers dig deep but, pleasingly, remain agile and articulate too. We can’t think of a better alternative when it comes to rhythmic drive either. These towers charge at full throttle, communicating the energy and momentum of the music brilliantly.
So what about downsides? While stereo imaging is pretty precise for speakers at this level, it’s not as spacious and layered as some we’ve heard. The same can be said about the overall tonal balance, which is even enough rather than ruler flat. You'll need a large room to hear them at their best, and they don't suffer lower-quality partner kit gladly. Still, if you have the right means, these are a great choice for music of all stripes.
Read the full Triangle Borea BR08 review
How do you follow a sterling five-star speaker like the original Mu-so Qb? With a second-gen model that boasts 10 times more processing power, that's how. That means much faster speeds and more pin-point musical accuracy.
It's not short of streaming options either, both online and offline. As well as Bluetooth, you get Chromecast Built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Roon Ready, internet radio and Tidal. But for a Bluetooth-enabled turntable, you'll just need the Bluetooth feature for wireless pairing.
The sound is beautifully open and spacious, a world away from any boxy preconceptions you might have upon clamping eyes on it. It's also more insightful than its predecessor, digging up more detail, while also delivering better timing and a wider dynamic range.
All in all, it's superb. Owners of Bluetooth turntables need look no further. And when you pack your deck away, this one-box solution will keep delivering the music in other ways.
Read the full Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation review
On paper, there’s little to differentiate Dali’s new Spektor 2 from any of their main rivals: the speakers stick to the classic budget standmounter formula like Superglue. They offer everything we would expect from a typical speaker in this price range, from two-way driver configuration and ported bass tuning, right the way through to the 25mm dome tweeter and 13cm mid/bass driver.
But these Dalis are much more than simply the sum of their parts: they offer a degree of entertainment that even their most talented rivals struggle to match. Powerful vocals are delivered with nuance and passion, grabbing the listener's attention, and dynamics are handled with subtlety and class. They're particularly composed at high volume, too, which is always an encouraging sign.
In short, they're some of the best turntable speakers money can buy. They'll do your deck proud.
Read the full Dali Spektor 2 review
The biggest and priciest of Wharfedale's Evo range are packed full of tech. The Air Motion Transformer tweeter is normally reserved for much more expensive speakers, while the dome midrange and twin Kevlar bass drivers also set these floorstanders apart from the crowd.
Make no mistake: these are big speakers that need a big room to thrive. They have a large-scale sound with plenty of authority, and can certainly go loud. So if you're lucky enough to have your turntable in a large space that can do them justice, they should fit the bill.
But they're not just all grunt. They also deliver transparency and subtlety, with a natural, easy-going presentation.
Rivals, such as the excellent Fyne Audio F501, might sound a little more exciting, but over a longer listen, the Evo 4.4’s easier-going presentation is more natural and convincing. This is a superb pair of premium floorstanders that will stand your deck in good stead for many years to come.
Read the full Wharfedale Evo 4.4 review
- Hook up with the best speaker cables
Despite being much smaller than the Q Acoustics 3050i, the Dali Oberon 5 have succeeded in topping our favourite floorstander at this price bracket.
There are no gimmicks or marketing hype, just pure performance thanks to skilful engineering and steady refinements over the course of many years.
Standing just 83cm high, they manage to sound notably larger, offering a great sense of fun, dynamic subtlety and rhythmic precision. They have a brilliantly musical performance, capable of doing any track justice, from Mozart to Stormzy.
They're built incredibly well, and their diminutive stature means they'll fit in most rooms with ease. If you have space to spare, the Q Acoustics are definitely worth an audition, but otherwise, the Dalis' greater sense of fun should seal the deal. Pair with your turntable and let them do their thing.
Read the full Dali Oberon 5 review
Fyne Audio’s standard F501 floorstanders are terrific performers, but these Special Production versions are a far more ambitious proposition, cramming in as much of Fyne Audio’s high-end technology as possible.
It makes a real difference. If you’re looking for excitement and energy we can’t think of an alternative that betters these at the price. The sense of drive and attack make it hard to sit still, while the bass has a surprising amount of weight and authority.
But they're not all about toe tapping. They have the dynamic reach to do classical music justice, beautifully rendering the sound of an orchestra in full flow. Position them well, partner them with the right kit, whack a record on and sit back and enjoy – you won't be disappointed.
Read the full Fyne Audio F501SP review
This active speaker package is actually designed to work two ways: as either a hi-fi system, or to take the place of a soundbar (using the bundled Sound Hub Compact component). It also has aptX HD Bluetooth onboard for wireless connections.
Because they're active speakers, they don't need a separate amp when paired with a turntable, but they will need a phono stage. So leave some room in your budget for that.
Sound is typically Dali – clear, articulate, fast and notably superb with vocals. There is depth and obvious layering to what is generally an open and precise soundstage – and that still rings true with denser compositions. However, as with the Oberon 1, you don’t get the authority or bass volume and depth you would from a physically larger pair of speakers – something that those who need to fill a big room should be aware of.
Read the full Dali Oberon 1 C review
Finnish manufacturer Amphion's ambitious aim of creating versatile speakers that will pair with almost anything – and that you don’t have to rearrange the house to make sound good – is clearly evident. At this price, that skillset is rather hard to come by.
They may fit on most bookshelves, but they don't sound small at all. Instead we're in the business of reference-quality midrange and deep bass from the Argon1’s 13cm aluminium-coned driver, which sits below a 25mm titanium dome tweeter.
Sound-wise, they're effortlessly versatile with their placement, which is a real plus for those of us who don't design our lounges around our listening equipment. There's real bass weight on show, but they don’t sacrifice that mature balance trying to sound bigger than they are. Most importantly the low end is fast and detailed, leaving you the option to pair with a subwoofer if you crave more muscle, but by no means making that a necessity.
That is all complemented by a really strong sense of focus. While relatively mellow in character, the Argon1 have decent stereo imaging, which pans various instruments while placing melodies front and centre. Stick on some vinyl, sit back and enjoy.
Read the full Amphion Argon1 review
Retro speakers like these are often tarred with the nostalgia brush, but in this case at least, there's a lot more to them. They lean heavily on Spendor's first product, the legendary BC-1, which, back in 1969, were considered revolutionary for implementing the speaker design ideals developed by the BBC’s famed engineering department.
These manage to use modern tech while staying true to those ideals. Which translates to a superb sound. Bass is as ample as we had hoped, but with a surprising degree of agility. They time well too, conveying the momentum of the music with skill, and handle high volume levels with absolute sonic authority.
While less forward-sounding then some rivals, they still render vocals with uncommon clarity and grace. It’s a full-bodied, nicely-scaled presentation that makes good recordings sound truly convincing.
Read the full Spendor Classic 1/2 review
Though only a young company, Fyne Audio has already established itself as a contender among the budget and mid-range prices, and now it's taking aim at the high end. Behold the F1-8, the company's current premium offering.
They certainly look the part. The curved speaker cabinet is built from a composite ply (made of various hardwoods) and covered in a lovely walnut veneer with a burr walnut inlay on the front panel, which extends to the top panel. The whole lot is finished in a sumptuously deep high-gloss varnish, with high-quality soft leather in places. Suitably luxurious.
The sound is just as high-end, being taut and able to grab the listener's attention from the off. They prize entertainment over analytics, with an impressive rhythmic flair and sense of drive that few can match.
They're not the last word in tonal neutrality or refinement. They tend to show up sub-par recordings for what they are, for example. But take a bit of care over system matching – let’s face it, at this level you really should – and you'll have no complaints.
Read the full Fyne Audio F1-8 review
These speakers are all about fun, fun, fun. Sure, they may not be the most refined choice around, but they entertain in a way few price rivals can match.
Spec is standard fare for the price, with a 25mm dome tweeter and a ported 16cm mid/bass drive in each box. The speakers are single-wired, but the upside is you can concentrate on a single pair of good quality speaker cables rather than splitting your money between two cheaper alternatives.
Fire them up and it's clear that Revel's engineers have worked hard to optimise those ingredients. Sound is expansive and enthusiastic and doesn't harden at high volumes. There's no lack of authority and presentation, either.
If it's large-scale dynamics you're after, these speakers can stand toe-to-toe with the best in their class. Do you blast out hip-hop, house or other thudding genres from your turntable at high volumes? These are the speakers for you.
Read the full Revel Concerta2 MI6 review
The Rubicon 2 C are no ordinary speakers. They're basically an amalgamation of Dali’s five-star Rubicon 2 passive speakers (using the same drivers and cabinet construction) and the 2018 Callisto active speakers, from which they take the company’s capable Class D amplifier technology plus the third box in the set-up, the Dali Sound Hub.
The Sound Hub is the brains of the system – a streaming preamp that connects to the speakers wirelessly. There are two opticals and a coaxial feeding a Burr Brown PCM1796 DAC, a pair of stereo RCAs, a 3.5mm socket and aptX HD Bluetooth. So, if you want to add a turntable, you need to do it wirelessly or add a separate phono stage. It also supports the BluOS streaming platform, with the likes of Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz, and will connect to other BluOS wireless multi-room devices (such as Bluesound).
Sonically, the Rubicon 2 C’s presentation is wonderfully cohesive across the frequencies: highs, lows and mids are distinctly defined, yet effortlessly coordinated. Such seamless integration is complemented by a pleasing tonal balance that’s solid through the midrange and bass and crisp up top. Voices are a speciality, thanks to the sheer warmth and clarity offered.
Looking for some of the best turntable speakers? You've just found them.
Read the full Dali Rubicon 2 C review
The BR03 deliver a huge sense of scale, much larger than rivals such as the formidable B&W 607. And there's impressive separation to boot.
They deliver detail and insight across the frequency range and, given their size, the quantity of bass is perfectly acceptable. Even better, where previous Triangle speakers may have sounded hard or bright, these are perfectly balanced.
The BR03 are the largest of two pairs of standmounters in the Borea range and boast a distinctive design that's finished to a decent standard. They stand 31cm tall and feature a 25mm silk dome tweeter sat above a 16cm midrange/bass paper driver. Single-wiring is the order of the day, with a neat pair of terminals for 4mm banana plugs on the rear of each cabinet
Overall, the Borea BR03 are savvy musical performers with a great sense of scale and an even greater appetite for presenting music in a transparent and mature manner. Vinyl lovers, these are well worthy of your consideration.
Read the full Triangle Borea BR03 review
Wilson Benesch has never followed the herd. Its first products – a turntable and tonearm – were made using carbon fibre, something considered exceptionally high-tech back in 1989. It’s this forward-thinking approach to materials technology that has shone through ever since.
These are actually the firm's most affordable floorstanders, though they're not cheap by anyone's standards. Build quality is excellent – the enclosure feels reassuringly solid and is finished to a suitably high standard. And inside are the same Tactic 2.0 mid/bass and bass drivers as used in Wilson Benesch’s more upmarket products. So despite the high price, they're actually very good value.
Sonically, they're exceptional. Stereo imaging is well planted, with precisely located instruments and a wonderfully stable presentation. Things stay layered and focused even when the music becomes demanding or volume levels rise. We find the Precision P2.0 have a fairly narrow sweet spot, though, so you need to be careful about where you sit relative to them. That aside, these are superb, and guaranteed not to disappoint.
Read the full Wilson Benesch Precision P2.0 review
Wharfedale may have won plaudits for its Diamond range of speakers, but it has plenty to offer turntable fans at the higher-end, too. Like the Elysian 4.
These speakers are big, and unusually broad by current standards. But they're beautiful to behold, with a wonderfully deep and luxurious gloss that's unmatched at this price. The enclosure sits on widely spaced floor spikes, giving the Elysian 4 a solid and stable stance on a level surface, though oddly they can’t be adjusted and locked into position – something to note if you have uneven hard floors.
These floorstanders deliver a combination of scale, authority and dynamic punch that most (invariably smaller) price rivals can’t match. Large-scale crescendos are dispatched with confidence, the Elysians punching out sound with real venom. They can play at high volume levels without stress too, but also have the less common attribute of still sounding interesting at whisper levels. This is something to take note of if you listen late at night and don’t want to disturb the neighbours.
So if you're starting a party, or just want to enjoy your vinyl on the quiet, the Elysian 4 are a great option for those with slightly deeper pockets.
Read the full Wharfedale Elysian 4 review
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