Nowadays, it’s a little difficult to find a good speaker system for a record player. The challenge is even bigger if you want to get a cheap system that costs under 100 pounds.
Well, if you’ve been struggling with making a choice, then let us introduce you to what we think are the top 5 best record player speakers under 100 pounds!
Here we review 5 pairs of speakers well worth buying. All make perfect record player speakers and are reasonably priced, including some top speaker brands.
If you are looking for bass, the Logitech Z333 2.1 speaker system may be just right for you.
The centrepiece of this speaker system is the dedicated subwoofer with a 5-inch driver – by directing the lower frequencies to this subwoofer, the Z333 speaker system will deliver better bass quality and depth than a similarly sized system without a subwoofer.
Rated at 40W RMS, the Z333 2.1 speaker system also promises to deliver solid sound quality and clarity. These speakers certainly aren’t the most powerful out there, but they are on the higher end of the models picked for today’s overview.
In terms of connectivity, the Z333 speaker system offers a 3.5 jack and an RCA input, which is a decent set for a cheaper speaker system. The short 1.5-meter cable is a little underwhelming though, but this won’t be a problem for everyone.
· Decent sound quality
· Solid bass
· 3.5mm jack and RCA input.
· Short power cable.
The key feature of the R1280T speaker system by Edifier is that it can connect to two RCA-enabled audio sources thanks to its double RCA inputs. While not everybody will need this feature, this may be just the thing that you are looking for.
While the R1280T speaker system doesn’t have a dedicated subwoofer like the Z333 2.1 speaker system, it delivers powerful bass thanks to its double 4-inch bass drivers. And even though the power output in the Edifier system is close to that of the Logitech system – 42 watts – expect to get a little better bass quality.
You also have dedicated knobs for bass and treble, which should allow you to adjust the R1280T’s sound to your liking.
While this speaker system only has RCA inputs, Edifier also includes a 3.5-to-RCA adapter for those who want to use their record player’s 3.5mm connection port. And for a little more money, you could get the Bluetooth-enabled variant of the R1280T speaker system.
· Good bass quality
· Double RCA inputs
· Dedicated controls for bass and treble
· Bluetooth variant available if you are ready to pay a little more money.
· No 3.5mm jacks
· Relatively expensive.
If portability and compactness are the most important thing for you in speakers, then have a look at the Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers by Bose.
Needless to say, these speakers aren’t going to deliver the bass and overall sound quality offered by the Edifier and Logitech speakers – the Boss speakers are too small for that. The volume isn’t going to be quite there either.
However, the Companion 2 speaker system has the edge when it comes to portability. If you are traveling with your DJ turntables, a lot or maybe want an all-in-one speaker system that you will be able to use at home or elsewhere, this little system may be the best one. Companion 2 will also be good if you have limited space at home.
In terms of connections, the Companion 2 speakers are decent – this system has an aux and computer inputs, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to plug in some headphones. This is a decent input/output set that should work for most people out there.
· Compact and light
· Aux input and 3.5mm headphone jack.
· Comparatively underwhelming sound quality.
Like the Bose Companion 2 speaker system, the GigaWorks T20 Series II speaker system by Creative is a great option if you are traveling a lot and want to get a more compact speaker system. And it’s again going to work better if you have limited space.
When it comes to sound though, the Creative speakers seem to have an edge.
Creative boasts that this speaker system has a dedicated midrange in it, which leads us to believe that this system will deliver solid mid-range frequencies. Add to this the tweeters for the high ranges and woofers for lower ranges, and you are getting all-around nice sound quality.
Creative also indicates that this speaker system has a 50Hz-20KHz frequency response range, which shows that these speakers are pretty well represented both in the low and high ranges.
The T20 Series II speakers even have dedicated knobs on the front for the adjustment of treble and bass, allowing you to get most out of this system.
Needless to say, these small speakers aren’t going to compare with larger systems in terms of sound quality – there is only so much its small components can do. But for the size, this guy indeed packs quite the punch.
And in terms of connections, the T20 Series II speakers have aux and 3.5mm inputs, which is typical for their form factor.
· Overall very decent sound quality
· Compact and lightweight
· Dedicated bass and treble controls
· Aux and 3.5mm inputs.
· Again won’t deliver the best sound due to its small size
Finally, if you can stretch your budget a little, the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers may be excellent for you.
Boasting 25mm tweeters and 130mm mm bass/midrange cone, the Diamond speakers should deliver the best sound quality of all the speakers on the list. This speaker system may also be be-wired – that is, its high and low frequencies may be separated – which would allow it to deliver even better sound quality and clarity.
The not so good thing about these speakers is that they are passive speakers, meaning that you will need to have a dedicated amplifier for it. If you don’t have an amplifier already and are on a budget, then these speakers probably won’t be suitable for you.
While the absence of an inbuilt amp mainly means that you have to spend money on a separate amplifier, what it also means is that you can actually upgrade the sound quality of the Diamond speakers by switching to a better amp!
· Overall great sound quality
· Can be be-wired.
· Needs to be wired to a dedicated amplifier.
Choosing The Best Speakers For Your Record Player
Now, let’s try to understand what you should be paying attention to when looking for budget speakers!
Since we are talking about cheap speakers, we assume that cost-efficiency is a little more important to you than sound quality. When walking you through the important features of speaker systems, we’ll place an extra accent on cost-efficiency, but we’ll also talk a bit about sound quality.
Inputs & outputs
So first of all, you need to make sure that the desired speaker system has all the inputs you need.
Have a look at what kind of outputs your record player has. Your speaker system needs to have matching inputs, be it RCA, AUX, or 3.5mm. If you can’t connect some speaker system to your record player, then it’s a waste of money.
You could, of course, make use of all kinds of conversion cables, but ideally, you would want to get a speaker that can work with your record player without any conversions.
Some speaker systems also have Bluetooth connectivity, but these tend to be on the more expensive side, not to mention that you need a Bluetooth-enabled record player to make use of the Bluetooth connection.
Also, consider what other audio devices you have. If you want to connect an MP3 player or your laptop to the speaker system, then it should have the proper input for it, which usually is a 3.5mm jack. Make sure that the speaker system will work with all the desired audio devices.
Passive vs active speakers
Speakers may also be active and passive.
A passive speaker draws its power from an external amplifier. What this means is that a passive speaker system cannot work without an amplifier.
Conversely, active speakers have built-in amplifiers and thus don’t need any dedicated amplifiers.
When it comes to shopping on a budget, active speakers are going to be a better option simply because you don’t need to buy an amplifier to make them work.
With that said, passive speakers imply a few benefits, like fewer wires and upgrade opportunities for the amplifier. But unless you have the budget, you should avoid passive speakers.
Size & portability
Speaker systems can get quite bulky, so you should also pay careful attention to the desired system’s size, weight, and portability.
If you will only be using your speakers at home, then size won’t be as big of a concern for you – you will probably be able to free up some space for most speakers available out there. But if you have very little space or need to be able to move the speakers around, then the best bet would be to go for smaller and more portable speakers.
Now, let’s move onto the things that matter in the sound quality, starting with frequency response.
Frequency response is the acoustic range covered by the speakers. Typically, headphones, speakers, and all kinds of other audio devices have a frequency response range around 20Hz-20KHz, which is the range that the human ear can hear.
Unfortunately, not all speaker manufacturers will provide you with figures on their models’ frequency response range. This isn’t too bad since the frequency response range isn’t the most important factor in sound quality, but it nonetheless could give you some insight into how a speaker system will sound.
The Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II speaker system has a frequency response range of 50Hz-20KHz. Is this good? It’s difficult to say for sure, but it’s a fairly decent range that provides good coverage of both lower (bass) and higher frequencies.
To be fair, the frequency response range is more useful for comparison since it’s difficult to make assumptions about sound quality based on the frequencies alone. For example, a speaker system with a frequency response of 20Hz-18KHz would probably have better bass and worse high frequencies than the Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II system.
But which sound system would be better would depend on some other factors as well.
Tweeters, midranges, and subwoofers
Speaker systems usually have at least two types of speakers:
· Tweeters that are responsible for higher ranges.
· Subwoofers that are responsible for lower ranges (bass).
Some speakers also have the midrange that is responsible for the mid-range frequencies, as you could have guessed from its name.
Needless to say, a speaker system with all three speaker types would deliver better sound separation and clarity than a system with only tweeters and subwoofers.
Aside from the speaker type, what matters is the speaker size – larger tweeters, subwoofers, or midranges are likely to deliver better sound quality than smaller ones.
The power rating is also important. More specifically, pay attention to the RMS (root mean square) rating, which is the power under which the speakers may operate continuously. Manufacturers also sometimes give max power that may be several times higher than RMS, but it’s more for marketing purposes – operating a speaker system under max power continuously is impractical and damaging to it.
Generally, the higher the power, the better the sound clarity and loudness. There are plenty of physical processes behind this, but know that higher power usually means better sound.
In general, there is much more to speakers than we’ve described, but this should be enough to allow you to find those best record player speakers under 100 pounds.
Remember that you won’t get spectacular sound quality for under 100 pounds, but do know that some sub-100 speakers are going to be better than others. With that in mind, make sure to understand what you really need in your speakers and what you don’t – that way, you can be sure that your purchase won’t be a waste!
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