5 Powered Speakers For Your Minimalist Turntable Setup

5 Powered Speakers For Your Minimalist Turntable Setup

Many turntable users, both beginners and advanced, are opting for "minimalist" turntable setups. This refers to a turntable that plugs directly into powered / active speakers (meaning amplifiers are built in to the speaker), bypassing the traditional stereo rack. These setups have two main benefits: less cost and less stuff. Here we run down 5 of our favorite powered speakers for home listening. New to turntables? Also check out our  Beginner's Guide To Turntable Setups.

TIP: How do you know if a speaker is powered or passive? Powered speakers will have a power plug.

the industry standard compact

Audioengine A2+ ($249 pair)

In A Nutshell

  • At the sub-$300 (per pair) price range, the A2+s are the industry standard
  • Compact and loud, great for vinyl. Want bigger and louder? Check the A5+
  • Overall build quality is excellent, a solid pair of speakers. High satisfaction product.

Top Features

  • Great design, look and feel from company that perfected this category of speaker
  • Designed for audiophiles, maintains essential features while removing extra features that might interfere with audio output
  • Built-in DAC, plug in your computer via USB for improved sound when playing digital files
  • We especially like them with the DS1 Speaker Stands
  • Available in multiple colors view all

Limitations

  • No built-in Bluetooth (you could add something like the Arcam miniBlink and plug it into the Aux input)
  • No adjustments for bass and treble

ideal size + all the features you need

Kanto Yu4 ($299.99 pair)

In A Nutshell

  • Mid-sized bookshelf that falls into sweet spot of loudness + compact size
  • Packed with features including AptX Bluetooth and built-in phono preamp
  • User friendly design with front-panel control knob + remote control
  • Customization / design-friendly, available in wide range of colors + finishes

Top Features

  • AptX Bluetooth connectivity: in addition to your records, wirelessly stream phone / computer
  • Built-in switchable phono preamp: works with all turntables
  • Remote control: controls input, volume, L/R balance and bass + treble levels
  • Optical inputs, subwoofer output, USB charge port

Limitations

  • Audiophiles may want more of an emphasis on sound quality

performance + features at impossible price

Edifier: R1280DB Powered Speakers ($129 pair)

In A Nutshell

  • Impossibly priced: great sounding + full featured speakers for $129 per pair?
  • Features Bluetooth connectivity, RCA + optical / coax inputs
  • Features on-board bass + treble controls, plus remote

Top Features

  • Best budget speaker under $150, hundreds of positive reviews
  • Versatile inputs: (2) separate RCA inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, optical / coax for TV / Gaming
  • We really like the on-board bass + treble controls, especially for listening to vinyl
  • Available in Black + Wood Brown

Limitations

  • Build-quality not equal to other speakers on the list

smartly designed single speaker unit

B&O Play: Beolit 17 ($499)

It's a common misconception that turntables require specialized stereo speakers. High-quality Bluetooth speakers also work well with turntables. 

In A Nutshell

  • Great-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker that works well as a home speaker
  • Connect a turntable via stereo 3.5mm jack (an adapter may be required)
  • Excellent design combined with quality build + materials 

Top Features

  • Rechargeable battery with up to 24 hours of play time
  • 360 sound: fills room with sound
  • Pair a second unit for stereo sound
  • Basic and advanced controls using Beoplay app

Limitations

  • Not true left-right stereo sound, however with this particular model, you can pair 2 units for stereo play
  • You may need an RCA to 3.5mm adapter to connect your turntable, we recommend this one.

easy option for merging digital and analog music 

Sonos Play:5 ($499, available at our NYC Storefront)

In A Nutshell

  • Connect a turntable to the Play:5's 3.5mm input or to the RCA inputs of the Connect (Further reading: our Guide To Using A Turntable With Sonos)
  • Get benefits of both digital and analog setups

Top Features

  • Build your system by adding more Sonos units
  • Ease of setup and ease of use

Limitations

  • Audiophiles prefer to build and customize their own audio system, rather than being tied to Sonos' technology

looking for your own minimalist turntable setup? 

Minimalist Turntable Setup

Turntable Lab specializes in these setups, check them out here.

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