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3 Audiophile Speakers That Will Make Your Music Glow

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Vinyl music is back. In fact, awhile ago we created our guide to Turntable Kitchen’s Top 5 Recommended Turntables and it has proven to be a very popular post around here. Readers stop by nearly every day with questions and tips for help picking out their first turntable. Of course, as you’d expect, even the best turntable on the market is only as good as the speakers it’s connected to. As a result, one of the most popular questions I receive is: “What are the best speakers for vinyl?”

If you’re looking for a recommendations or reviews for the best audiophile speakers for your record player and turntable stereo system, I’m happy to help. I’ve spent hours field testing audiophile speakers both at home and at local hi-fi stores.

My top three speakers for vinyl listening are all what I’d describe as “audiophile speakers” that will provide excellent clarity and range whether you’re listening to your vinyl records or digital music. Because your budget may vary, we’ve provided our recommendations for the best speakers for a turntable at three different price points beginning with the cheapest and ending with the most expensive.

PSB Alpha B1 Bookshelf ($299 for a pair)

When it was time to begin building our own hi-fi setup, we started with the PSB Alpha B1’s and we LOVED them. They’re simply awesome. They are relatively small, but they have big sound for their size. They offer beautiful clarity and a well defined soundstage alongside beautifully crisp, clean highs and mids. You can turn up the dial and they’ll hold up at high volume. And at under $300 they are great bookshelf speakers for a budget.

The only downside is that, as you’d expect, they’re not going to pack the same punch as a full range system. For example, if you’re blasting a little James Blake through these guys, you’re not going to feel the bass. However, that’s an easy issue to address by picking up a good subwoofer.

Ultimately, you’d be hard pressed to find better value for audiophile speakers at this price point. I fully believe that these are the best speakers for vinyl under $500. They sound great, look great, and the small size makes them very space efficient. We highly recommend them for starting out your own hi-fi setup. You can buy a pair here.

Audioengine A5+ ($399-469 for a pair)

Audioengine’s A5+ speakers are promoted as audiophile-quality speakers at an affordable price. Based on my experience with them, I’d say that is a pretty good description of what you’ll get. They offer excellent separation along with surprisingly smooth low end.

What really makes the A5+ speakers an attractive option for many people, though, are some of the extra features that you don’t find in other speaker systems. For example, they offer a built-in power amplifier, a remote control, a 3.5 mm stereo jack (so you can connect them straight to your computer or smartphone as a standalone pair of audiophile computer speakers), RCA inputs, and a USB power port (for charging an iPhone or other device).

These extras make them perfect if you just need speakers to blast music from your iPhone or computer without the need for other components such as a receiver (you’d need a phono-in at a minimum to use them with a turntable though).

All and all, not a bad pick for someone who’ll be primarily playing a lot of digital music at home. You can buy a pair here.

PSB Image T6 Tower ($1299 for a pair)

When it was time to upgrade our Alpha B1’s we immediately looked to the PSB Image T6 Tower speakers. They sport a pair of 6.5-inch woofers, one 5.25-inch midrange driver, and a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter. They’re incredible.

Remember how we said the Alpha B1’s didn’t pack enough punch to fully do justice to a James Blake LP (without a subwoofer that is)? That’s not an issue here. You’ll get enough low end out of these guys to ensure that your neighbors hate you for eternity. These are powerful audiophile home speakers.

Meanwhile, spin Spoon’s Gimme Fiction and you’ll fall in love with the separation and spacious soundstage that the T6 Tower speakers provide. You can close your eyes and almost point to where Britt Daniel should be standing in relation to the rest of the band. They simply provide beautiful clarity at high, mid and low ranges.

At over a grand, they may not be cheap – but they are worth every penny. In fact, when compared to similar products on the market by other manufacturers, they’re a steal at this price. For most people, these are all the speaker you’d ever need.

In fact, they are some of the most highly-reviewed speakers on the market having received Editor’s Choice Awards from everyone from Absolute Sound to CNET. Personally, I can’t say enough good things about them. You can buy them here.

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • CalebArgh

    Audiophile quality speakers for playing low quality audio files.

  • I definitely wouldn’t recommend buying audiophile quality speakers for playing low quality digital files. As the post states in the first paragraph, this guide is for people looking to build an audiophile setup for listening to vinyl records. Unless you’re suggesting that vinyl is low quality audio… but I think most collectors would strongly disagree with you.

  • D. Paul League

    I don’t quibble with anything you wrote. I’ve bounced around for years to find a proper stand mount, and the last was the Monitor Audio Bronze BX2, which is highly rated (5 stars by WhatHiFi). What a disaster they were because they have no real quality mids or high defined highs. They have been relegated to the desk top with a Parasound power amp. When I got the PSB Alpha B1, I already had the Klipsch 8″ downfiring sub (I think it’s the best sub for small speaker, solid to 29Hz). The B1s are truly remarkable, and every great write up doesn’t do them justice. I do believe they shouldn’t be over driven, but they will play loud for music. The detail from my LP records has to be heard to be appreciated. They don’t smooth over mistakes or bad records because all that’s there will be heard. I’m lucky to have a cult CD called Pianos by Sunset (now $35 at Amazon). One of the best CDs ever recorded, and speakers really shine with pianos played as well as any I’ve heard. Unless you have much more than $299, then don’t bother, just buy the B1s. The downside is it takes 30-40 hours to smooth out the speaker.

  • tony gonzalez

    I have the AudioEngine A5+ and they are spot on excellent sounding speakers. I use a Teac turntable and Im very happy with the inexpensive setup, lots of details.

  • Justin Robben

    I added an Onkyo receiver to my simple setup (a AT LP120 tt and a pair of AE A5+s), almost for the sole purpose of having a headphone option. I am a novice… and am unable to get the powered speaker of the A5+ to work with the receiver. The passive speaker works… Is the powered one not going to? Is there a workaround that anyone can help me with?
    Thank you in advance for any guidance.

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