3 Turntable-Speaker Combos That Will Make Your Friends Jealous

They sound even better than they look.

by Jon Langston

It’s never been easier, cheaper, or more convenient to set up a solid sound system. Get a good Bluetooth speaker, a music streaming service, and voila! — a world of music will wash over your living space. There’s nothing wrong with this setup. It’s awesomely convenient and, well, it does the trick. But for those who care about sound quality, miss the tactile feel and look of an album, or want music to be the centerpiece of a room, a turntable, receiver, and pair of speakers is a must. Plus, of course, a respectable vinyl collection.

Sure, you’ll need to pay more than you would for your average-quality Bluetooth speaker — but not that much more. That is, unless you’re looking to. If you want to go truly high-end on a turntable-receiver-speaker combo, you can easily drop a second car’s worth on the whole thing. So where to start? We’ve got you. Here are three setups for three budgets.

For the Newcomer

If you’re looking to explore the vinyl revival but aren’t sure where to start, this entry-level turntable from renowned brand Audio-Technica looks pro, sounds great, and you can get it for less than $150. Pair it with a solid set of powered bookshelf speakers — don’t skimp too much because speakers are the key to great sound quality. This pair from Edifier uses an internal preamp, so you don’t need a separate receiver.

For the Enthusiast

If you already have some records and are ready to upgrade from a basic setup, there are plenty of turntable options in the $300 to $500 range. The Fluance RT85 sits at the higher end, but the acrylic platter and solid wood plinth ensure stability and durability. You can afford the turntable because of the bargain Yamaha receiver — a powerful and versatile model that consistently beats out the pricier competition. German-made ELAC speakers have a thick, MDF housing with bracing to reduce vibration. Front-firing bass ports mean you can tuck these up against a wall, or bookcase, without sacrificing low-end sound.

For the Affluent Audiophile

a ridiculous $15,000. But you can score luxury quality for a fraction of that with Pro-Ject’s RPM 5 Carbon. It’s as much a conversation starter as the platters that it spins. Pair it with a Marantz receiver that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, and voice control compatibility so it works not only for vinyl and streaming, but also for your TV setup. While you can drop the cost of a decent used car for some tower speakers, we’d take versions from Klipsch. Still pricey, yes, but remember, speakers are the key to a great stereo, and these towers will turn a living room into a concert hall.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.