Best speakers for vinyl: pair your record player to any of these for excellent sound

The best speakers for vinyl make listening to your favorite music so much more enjoyable

Best speakers for vinyl Wharfedale Linton speakers
(Image credit: Wharfedale Linton speakers )

The best speakers for vinyl can revive your record collection and make listening to your coveted LPs feel like an event every time you lower the needle. For it's one thing hopping on board with the vinyl revival, but if you're used to streaming music, the quality just isn't the same. 

And so, if you’ve invested in one of the best record players, these speakers will give the sound a boost. All while retaining some of that gritty audio that vinyl enthusiasts love.

Designed to enhance the authentic depth and warmth of vinyl, the latest speakers will not only enhance your listening experience but can add style to your interior too. With statement designs built to enhance the aesthetics of your media unit, the best speakers for vinyl come in all shapes, sizes, colors, finishes and streaming capabilities. Here's a closer look at some of the best designs around. 

The best speakers for vinyl in 2022 

Wharfedale Linton speakers

(Image credit: Wharfedale Linton)

1. Wharfedale Linton

Best overall speakers

Specifications

Dimensions : H56.5 x W30 x D33cm
Finish options : Black, walnut and mahogany
Weight : 18.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning vintage look 
+
LP storage on extra stand 
+
Timeless feel 

Reasons to avoid

-
Price

Founded in 1932, Wharfedale’s legacy includes the invention of many technologies that are used in speaker designs today. One of the company’s most iconic speakers, the Linton, is a British hi-fi classic that debuted in 1965 and continued in various iterations right through the 1970s. Wharfedale has now brought the Linton back, with a design that’s faithful to the original but re-engineered using the latest techniques and technologies.

The new Linton has a vintage-style wood-veneered cabinet in a choice of walnut, mahogany or black, and its sound delivers deep and well-defined bass, free-breathing dynamics and an expansive scale that brings music to life. But what we love most about this classic speaker is the matching stand, which not only ensures it always sounds its best but is also the perfect size to store LPs! This also ensures the speaker is elevated on a rigid metal frame to dampen any unwanted vibrations and ensure the sound is as impressive as can be. 

These Wharfedales are traditional 'passive' hi-fi speakers, so you need to add a separate stereo amplifier. For vinyl, the amp will need to have a phono stage onboard to handle the low-level output from the turntable’s cartridge – the Audiolab 6000A ($1,199) is a good example. If your amp doesn’t include a phono stage, you can buy one separately – for example, the iFi ZEN Phono ($199).

Price: $1,799 per pair including stands ($1,499 without stands)  

Livingetc rating out of 5: 5 stars

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level speakers

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level)

2. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level Portable Wi-Fi Speaker

Best speakers for portability

Specifications

Dimensions: 34.8 W x 23 H x 5.6 D cm
Finish options: Gold Tone and Natural
Weight : 3.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Eye-catching good looks 
+
Stunning finish 
+
Compact yet powerful 

Reasons to avoid

-
Price 

Known for head-turning design and excellent-quality sound, Bang & Olufsen speakers certainly look as good as they sound. The Beosound Level portable Wi-Fi speaker is one such speaker that is stylish, powerful and designed with sustainability in mind. The speaker can be paired with a record player that also has Bluetooth/Wi-Fi capabilities and also comes with a line-in for attaching to a turntable. You can also then link it up wirelessly to other B&O speakers in your set up so you can stream music all around your home.

The Beosound Level's powerful five-driver set up gives you an immersive and full-range sound with a dynamic bass, all of which adapts to suit depending on where the speaker is positioned. This means clear and detailed listening experience whatever size your room. 

The speaker is portable and you can make use of the its integrated handle and move it from room to room to place wherever you like. You can also elevate and attach it to the wall using a mount – either horizontally or vertically – or lay it down flat on a surface to enjoy its 360-degree sound. 

It also comes with a user-replaceable battery and streaming module, which futureproofs the design for when the current Bluetooth/Wi-Fi standards need updating.

Price: From $1,549 USD (Natural) / $1,799 USD (Gold Tone)

Livingetc rating out of 5: 4 stars

Get Together Duo Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

(Image credit: Get Together Duo Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers )

3. House of Marley Get Together Duo Bookshelf Speakers

Best bundle speakers

Specifications

Dimensions: H20.1 x W10 x D13 cm
Finish options: Bamboo and Rewind fabric
Weight : 2.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Bluetooth convenience 
+
Price 
+
Excellent sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Bamboo finish not for every style

The Get Together Duo Bluetooth Bookshelf speakers from House of Marley each have an excellent 15W bass to ensure your music fills the room, while 5W tweeters ensure the detail stays crisp and clear. They can be bought separately or as part of a bundle with the matching Stir It Up Wireless Turntable. 

You’ll need to follow the instructions to pair with your mobile or any suitable Bluetooth device – with particularly easy pairing to the Stir It Up turntable. The speakers have been crafted with sustainable materials and include a bamboo frame and Rewind fabric. The latter is a soft hard-wearing and woven recycled material.

What we like most about these speakers is that they are not only suitably equipped to pair with your record player, but they are also portable. One speaker is a permanent plug-in home wired speaker with built in RCA and Aux inputs. Meanwhile, the other speaker has a rechargeable battery with 20 hours of playback. This means you can take it out into the garden or to an outdoor area whenever you want to use it a little further afield. 

PRICE: $237

Livingetc rating out of 5: 4 stars

Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

(Image credit: Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2)

4. Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

Best compact solution

Specifications

Diimensions: H17 x W13 x D13.5cm
Color finishes : Rich Walnut veneer or Soft Grey lacquer; lead grey fabric grille
Weight : 1.25kg each

Reasons to buy

+
Compact size
+
Powerful in sound, yet discreet in size
+
Stylish design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size can look out of proportion in larger rooms 

The compact and attractive MRI Bluetooth speakers can be paired with a range of devices to give you impressive sound quality while you’re listening to your favorite tunes. You can pair them with your computer, TV or turntable, for example, and fill the room with rich and dynamic sound. While they may be relatively small in size, they feature tweeter and bass units with powerful ‘neodymium motor systems’, designed to provide a clear and balanced sound.

 Should you wish to use the speaker where mains power isn’t available, you can buy a BackPack 3 add on, from $90. It simply fits to the back of the speaker and charges whenever connected to mains supply. It will give you up to 12 hours of main free listening when you’re on the go – all depending on how high you crank up the volume that is.

Price $457 

Livingetc rating out of 5: 4 stars

JBL L52 Classic

(Image credit: JBL L52 Classic )

5. JBL L52 Classic

Best for statement style

Specifications

Dimensions: H33 x W19.6 x D22cm
Color finishes : Satin walnut veneer frame with black, burnt orange and dark blue grilles
Weight : 5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Head turning style 
+
Stunning sound quality 
+
Choice of retro color finishes 

Reasons to avoid

-
Price 


If you're looking for something that will enhance your decor with its dramatic design, the JBL L52 Classic 2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker is worth considering. Looks wise it will make a statement in your living room as it comes with a satin walnut veneer frame with a choice of vibrantly colored Quadrex foam grilles – we particularly like the burnt orange version.

The L52 Classic is different from your standard speaker in that it comes with a control dial on the front panel so you can adjust the high-frequency. This makes it useful in rooms where the acoustics can benefit from a little tweaking such as ‘bright’ sounding conservatories or ‘flat’ sounding, textile-heavy living rooms.

The L52 Classic is a traditional 'passive' speaker design, meaning, unlike a powered Bluetooth speaker, you need to add a separate stereo amplifier. Check if it includes a built-in phono preamp (AKA phono stage) when considering your amp. A phono preamp boosts your turntable's teeny audio signal making it compatible with the main amplifier. Phono preamps come in different guises – sometimes built into the amplifier, sometimes built-in to the turntable, and as separate little boxes. 

Price: $1,311

Livingetc rating out of 5: 5 stars

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SPEAKERS FOR VINYL

Ruark Audio speakers with record player

(Image credit: Ruark Audio )

Provided you have the means to connect them, almost any speaker will work alongside your record player. 'You do need to figure out if the player has a phono pre-amplifier built in or not,' explains Oliver Kriete, Product Development from Sound United. 'This which dictates whether you can plug straight into need to choose passive or active speakers, or whether you need a separate phono pre-amp and/or a dedicated amplifier to power passive speakers. Also remember: 

1. Active speakers generally have an amp – and generally wireless streaming capabilities, - such as WiFi or Bluetooth – built in.

2. Passive speakers need to be connected to a separate amp to power them.

3. If your record player or turntable does have a phono pre-amp built in, you can connect it to the line input of any active speaker or amplifier.

4. If your player doesn’t have a pre-amp built in, you’ll need to add a dedicated one – such as the AT-PEQ30 from Audio Technica – in between the turntable and line input. Or you can use an amplifier – such as the Marantz PM6007 – which has a phono pre-amp built in, so you connect the turntable to the amp’s phono input, and the amp is then connected to passive speakers.

5. Remember that some turntables now have Bluetooth built in, so you can connect them wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker or amp/hi-fi with Bluetooth.’

How do I get the best speaker sound? 

House of Marley

(Image credit: House of Marley )

There are a number of speakers you can add to your music set up from the likes of Denon, House of Marley, Bang & Olufsen, Wharfdale and many more. But ultimately, if you’re wondering ‘does vinyl sound better? (opens in new tab)’ it does come down to the individual listener. 

‘Remember that if you’re going to exclusively use vinyl as your source for listening, the character of the sound will be influenced by factors such as the cartridge and cable before the signal hits the speakers,’ says Alex Josling from Seven Integration. ‘Vinyl has a reputation for a warmer sound than CD's, and you may want to encourage that with some warmer-sounding speakers. 

On the other hand, adding warmer-sounding speakers to an already warm, more rounded turntable may mean you lose a lot of the detail. You may want to counter the warmth by selecting speakers that are more detail orientated, but then lose some of the appeal of listening to a record.

At the end of the day, the best speakers for listening to vinyl are the speakers that sound best to the listener. We would always recommend listening to a selection of speakers using the source that is as close to your record deck as the dealer can provide. Or, take your deck in with you and ask them to plug it in.’

Where do I position my speakers? 

Isoacoustics speaker stands

(Image credit: IsoAcoustics )

Your turntable stylus will pick up tiny details as it navigates around the vinyl grooves, which can be easily disrupted by the smallest movement such as a vibration from a speaker. That’s why making sure your speakers and turntable and carefully positioned apart is important. Keeping them isolated with an additional stand such as those sold by IsoAcoustics will help you achieve even better results.

‘Airborne soundwaves and structure-borne vibrations from your speakers can cause a loss of detail and clarity and may result in feedback, or it can even cause your record to skip,’ explains Sean Morrison from IsoAcoustics (opens in new tab). ‘If your speakers and turntable are in close proximity to each other  - especially if they are positioned on the same shelf or are connected by a common structure – an isolator will help to balance the sound.’

 

One of the UK's most respected tech and smart homes writers, Emily Peck also covers everything from interiors style to decorating trends. She is a contributor to Wired UK, and has also had a column in House Beautiful. She has written for publications such as Grand Designs, Stylist, Shortlist, Woman&Home, BBC, Ideal Home and House & Garden. She was once the Features Editor of Ideal Home.