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The Best Speakers for Vinyl Under $500

Vinyl records have been experiencing a revival in the past few years. Everyone loves vinyl. It’s a classic, timeless way to listen to your favorite music and still be connected with the artists themselves. It also has a soothing sound quality that is amazing for relaxing in your living room after a long day.

However, to get a great sound from your records, you must pair your turntable with a great pair of speakers. There are tons of choices in the market and each one of them has its own features and characteristics and will suit different budgets and tastes.

In this article, we’re reviewing 7 products to find the best speakers for vinyl under 500. We will go through all the important factors you should pay attention to when shopping, such as frequency response, build quality, and speaker type.

Related Article: 2-Way vs 3-Way Speakers

Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers with Bluetooth and Phono Preamp

We Tested 7 Products and found the Kanto YU4 to be the Best Speakers for Vinyl Under $500

The Wharfedale – Diamond 220 was our Runner-Up

7 Best Speakers for Vinyl Under $500 – Reviewed in Detail

Table of Contents

  1. Wharfedale – Diamond 220
  2. KEF Q100
  3. Audioengine A5+
  4. Kanto YU4
  5. Yamaha Audio NS-F150
  6. Sony SSCS5
  7. Polk Audio Monitor XT60

1. Wharfedale - Diamond 220

Wharfedale - Diamond 220

The Wharfedale – Diamond 220 is a versatile speaker that offers great value for the price. The speaker has a frequency response range of 45 Hz24 kHz, which is impressive compared to other speakers in this review. The sensitivity of these speakers is also quite good, at 85 dB.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Passive Speakers
  • 1″ Soft Dome Tweeters
  • 5.1″ Kevlar Woofer
  • Speaker Type Input

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Wharfedale – Diamond 220 has a relatively small size and is quite light, at only 6 pounds per speaker.
  • The sound quality from the Wharfedale Diamond 220 is very pleasant. The deep bass response from these speakers is quite powerful.
  • The tweeter in these speakers is larger than average, providing a more natural sound in the mids and highs of your songs.
  • These have a very nice finish and the removable grills look great too. They will definitely stand out in a room and give it a touch of character.
  • The sound quality is excellent and they are capable of producing loud sounds without any distortion or rattling sounds at all.
  • These speakers are available in various colors to choose from.

Cons

  • Not the most compact pair of speakers.

Conclusion

The Wharfedale – Diamond 220 are a great set of speakers for vinyl and we would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a powerful product to pair with their turntable. They are excellent for any kind of music where low frequencies are important.

Furthermore, the tweeter on these speakers is larger than average, which means that they provide excellent performance in the mids and highs and a clear sound. They also won’t distort even if you listen to music at very high volumes.

Be aware though that these are passive speakers. They need an external amplifier to function properly. Most turntables have a built-in one so make sure it is the case with yours.

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2. KEF Q100

KEF Q100

KEF, a well-known company in the audio industry, has been around for a long time now. They produce some of the best speakers on the market and are loved by audiophiles all over the world. The Q100 looks great and performs great as well.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Passive Speakers
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • 5.25″ Woofer
  • Speaker Type Input

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The KEF Q100 is one of the speakers for vinyl at the most affordable price. It’s an easy way to get started with vinyl without breaking the bank.
  • These stylish bookshelf speakers have wooden cabinets that give them a great appearance while also protecting them from external damage.
  • The Q100s also come with something called Uni-Q driver which delivers an amazing listening experience by producing room-filling, uniform sound.
  • The low-end response is great. The Q100 has impressive bass sounds.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Compatible with other KEF speakers as well as other brands of speakers, for daisy-chaining.

Cons

  • No Bluetooth or wireless technology. These are passive speakers so you only get one type of connection.

Conclusion

The KEF Q100 speakers are a great choice. They have an amazing, clear sound and are very versatile. They can be mounted on the wall or placed on stands. These speakers are great for small to medium-sized rooms. Also be aware that they are passive, meaning your turntable must have enough power to supply them or you need an external amplifier.

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3. Audioengine A5+

Audioengine A5+

Compact and lightweight, the Audioengine A5+ has a unique design inspired by bamboo colors. These are also versatile as they offer most of the latest technologies and connections, including Bluetooth. So whenever you don’t feel like listening to your songs on vinyl, you can still use these speakers to enjoy them on your favorite music streaming service.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • Aramid Fiber Woofer
  • Power: 150 Watts

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Audioengine A5+ is a perfect choice for those who don’t mind making a larger investment since their quality matches the price. It’s also durable and reliable, so you can be sure it’ll last for years.
  • This speaker system has a nice design that will match most home decorations. The bamboo finish gives it an elegant touch. It is also available in black and white colors.
  • As these stereo speakers come with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, you can easily connect them to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone without having to deal with wires when not listening to music on vinyl.
  • Easy setup process.
  • Plenty of power. Impressive, considering the small and compact size of the Audioengine A5+.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

While not the most affordable option on the list, you get nothing but quality with the Audioengine A5+. These speakers are, in fact, an investment and will last for many years to come. The fact we liked the most is that it is compatible with a large array of connections and even Bluetooth, so you’re not limited to using them only with your vinyl player.

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4. Kanto YU4

Kanto YU4

Similar to the Audioengine A5+, the Kanto YU4 is extremely versatile. These active speakers are compact, easy to transport, and offer many other possibilities apart from connecting it to your vinyl player, including Bluetooth.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Powered Speakers
  • 1″ Silk Dome Tweeters
  • 4″ Kevlar Woofer
  • AUX Input
  • RCA Input
  • Optical Cable Input
  • USB and Bluetooth

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • This bookshelf speaker is quite affordable, considering everything you get with the product. They are similar to the Audioengine A5+ but lower priced.
  • There are tons of connection possibilities. Apart from connecting your vinyl player to this active speaker, you have an AUX input, RCA input, and even Bluetooth capability.
  • Comes with a remote control for switching parameters on the fly.
  • High-quality cables are included in the package.
  • These have one of the best designs among all of the speakers on the list. There are 9 colors available.

Cons

  • None.

Conclusion

The Kanto YU4 is one of the best bookshelf speakers on the list. We say that because for that price and considering the amount of features you get with this product, it can’t be beaten. It allows you to enjoy your vinyl records without any unnecessary hassle and even connect your smartphone. Not to say that the design looks great and the build quality is excellent.

Also Read: Best Speakers for Harley Davidson 

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5. No products found.

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Yamaha Audio produces some of the best audio equipment in the world. Their speakers are no exception, and the NS-F150 is one of their most popular models. It features an exciting design with a black ash finish and black vinyl end caps. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a speaker that will fit into any room in your house.

Product Specifications

  • 3-Way Floor Standing Speakers
  • Dual 6-1/2″ Woofers
  • Tweeter: 1″ Soft Dome
  • Peak Power: 180W

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • This product is built very well and is easy to set up. It produces excellent audio quality, and it’s a great value for the price.
  • The bass on this product is surprisingly deep for its size, which means that it will be an excellent choice if you enjoy listening to music that has a lot of low-frequency content.
  • The NS-F150 comes with grills and mounting brackets so you can easily mount them in your room or entertainment system. This makes them very easy to use and provides a great deal of flexibility
  • It also features dual 6.1 surround sound capability so they can also be used in a home theater setup.
  • Built inside a thick case that helps to dampen rear sound pressure.

Cons

  • Not many connection options so these are not as versatile as some other options on the list.
  • Large size.

Conclusion

This is a great choice if you’re looking for speakers that can produce a lot of bass without taking up too much space. It’s an excellent option if you want something that will produce a good and clear stereo sound while also being easy to set up and use. The Yamaha NS-F150 has a great value for the price and delivers lots of features.

While not the most compact speakers on the list, are an excellent option to be used in a home-theater setup too.

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6. Sony SSCS5

Sony SSCS5

The Sony SSCS5 packs in a professional design and can be mounted on walls and stands. It also has an amazing price point, considering everything you get with these bookshelf speakers: around $120, by the time this article was written.

Product Specifications

  • 3-Way Passive Speakers
  • ¾” Supertweeter
  • 1″ Soft Dome Tweeter
  • 5.12″ Woofer
  • RCA Inputs
  • Power: 100 Watts

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The sound quality is amazing, especially for their price point. These are very affordable speakers.
  • They can be mounted on walls and stands, making them perfect for an environment where space is limited.
  • There is an additional supertweeter in the Sony SSCS5. This driver configuration will give you a more detailed sound in the mid-range and crisp high-end.
  • These can deliver a lot of power: 100 watts. It is impressive considering their small size.
  • Can also be used in home-theater setups.

Cons

  • May need an external preamp to function properly. This will highly depend if your vinyl player has enough power output to supply energy to the SSCS5.

Conclusion

This is one of the most affordable high-quality speakers on the list. For as low as $120, you can get a set of these. The Sony SSCS5 delivers a pretty impressive sound performance especially on the mids and highs, considering that it has an extra super tweeter on its configuration. These are passive speakers though and may need a preamp depending on your record player.

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7. No products found.

No products found.

Our last product on the list is the Polk Audio Monitor XT60. Apart from a tweeter and a woofer, there are dual 6.5 passive resonators for an even better response in the low frequencies, ensuring you a loud and powerful sound without any distortion.

Product Specifications

  • 2-Way Floor Standing Speakers
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • 6.5″ Dynamically Balanced Woofer
  • Dual 6.5 Passive Resonators

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Like we said before, there are dual 6.5 passive resonators. The job of these components is to give you a better bass response.
  • Low distortion, even on loud settings.
  • Dynamically balanced woofer. This shows Polk Audio’s attention to detail and ensures that you’re getting a quality product.
  • Compatible with surround sound technology, these can not only be a great set of speakers for your vinyl player but also for your home theater system.
  • The excellent design looks sleek, professional and will fit most room decorations.
  • Unlike most floor-standing speakers, these have a built-in amplifier for more compatibility with audio systems.

Cons

  • Large size.

Conclusion

Packing a great design with interesting features, the Polk Audio Monitor XT60 is a high-quality floor-standing speaker that can be used with vinyl players. While these are larger than bookshelf speakers, they have a great and sleek design. Another benefit with these is that they have a built-in amplifier and can also be used on home theater systems.

Also Read: Best Powered Speakers for Live Band

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Speakers for Vinyl Under 500 – Things to Look For When Shopping

Speaker Type

Here are the most common types of vinyl speakers you will find in the market. Each one has its own characteristics:

2-Way Speakers

2-way speakers have two drivers. A woofer and a tweeter, which will reproduce the low and mid frequencies and the high-end of your audio signal, respectively. These are the optimal design for small rooms.

3-Way Speakers

3-way speakers have three drivers. A woofer, a tweeter, and a supertweeter. These will take care, respectively, of the low frequencies, the mid frequencies, and the high frequencies. Compared to their 2-way counterparts, they offer a deep bass response and a clear sound.

4-Way Speakers

4-way speakers have four drivers. A subwoofer, a woofer, a tweeter, and a supertweeter. The addition of a subwoofer is to get an even better response from the bass frequencies, so these are the optimal choice if you listen to music genres with lots of low-end.

Size of the Speakers

Obviously, you need a pair with a size that is compatible with your system, but what many people don’t realize is that the size of a speaker has a lot to do with its sound quality.

As low frequencies travel through solids, the larger a speaker is the louder its bass response will be. However, that will depend on the model of the speakers themselves: most compact products from reputable brands are still very effective-engineered to give you the best low-frequency content possible.

Frequency Range and Frequency Response

When shopping for speakers, you will most likely come across the word frequency range. It simply determines how low and high the speaker can go in the frequency spectrum. For example, a speaker with a 20Hz to 20kHz range can reach both ends. The wider the frequency range, the better because you will have more content on the extremes of your sound.

The frequency response is a totally different term. Usually represented as a graph, it shows if a particular speaker has any dips or boosts in different frequencies across the frequency spectrum. Ideally, you want the flattest frequency response possible, so as to get a well-balanced sound, but certain “exaggerations” in some areas of the graph may be desirable depending on the music genre you’re listening to.

Versatility

While this article is about speakers for vinyl, most people would benefit from a product that is compatible with other technologies too, as the majority of music lovers also listen to their songs on their smartphones, for example. In that case, Bluetooth connectivity would come in handy.

Power

You need to make sure that your turntable is able to power your speakers, especially if you’re buying passive speakers. For that matter, pay attention to the power output/peak power of the speakers you’re interested in buying. This is important to avoid any damage to your products.

If you’re buying powered speakers, then this shouldn’t be a concern since all of them already feature some sort of a built-in amplifier that is powerful enough to supply the drivers with the energy needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need an Amplifier in my Vinyl Speakers? Does it Impact Sound Quality?

Only if you’re buying passive speakers. Passive speakers don’t have a built-in amplification system so you will need an external device to give them the proper amount of energy and therefore have the best sound quality possible.

The quality of an amplifier will, in fact, impact the quality of your sound, so it is best to make a proper investment when buying this type of product.

What is the Difference Between Floorstanding Speakers and Bookshelf Speakers?

Best Floorstanding speakers are larger and are meant to be placed on the floor. They are also usually designed for home theater setups, though this is not always the case.

Bookshelf speakers are smaller and can be placed on desks. They are the optimal choice if you want a small and compact product.

Conclusion

All of the 9 products tested in this article are high-performance speakers that can provide you with a precise sound on a budget. However, two of them were our favorites: the Kanto YU4 and the Wharfedale – Diamond 220. Keep reading to learn why we chose them.

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Kanto YU4 – Overall Best Speakers for Vinyl Under 500

It is not the first article where we pick the Kanto YU4 as our favorite, but these small speakers surprised us once again. At an affordable price, we chose these because they offer a premium sound, are versatile, and pack in lots of great functionalities: they can connect not only to record players but also to smartphones and other devices via Bluetooth.

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Wharfedale – Diamond 220 – Runner-Up

The Wharfedale – Diamond 220 stands at second place in our list. While these are passive speakers, meaning you may need an amplifier to power them depending on your turntable, they provide an incredible listening experience and are one of the best vinyl speakers in the market.

How to Buy

The link to each product is at their respective titles on the list. Be sure to research extensively and make sure your record players are compatible with your new speakers. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!