Passive or Powered Speakers for Vinyl Turntables? Which is Better – Find Out

If you’re a music lover who has either just started collecting vinyl records, or perhaps have been for years, chances are you have a nice quality record player with a built-in speaker.

There are many different types of speakers on the market at the moment but nothing quite compares to powered speakers. Not only can they give your room that really retro feel but they offer an endless supply of features and benefits.

In this article I will be exploring what the best powered speakers are, which ones might suit vinyl enthusiasts and also how to get the most out of them.

Table of Contents

1. Passive Speakers:

Passive speakers are the ones that come standard with your record player (or even built into your computer tower). They work by using magnets on the back of the speaker to move parts of the construction on it.

Therefore, sound waves are emitted directly out of these speakers which means they deliver very little music quality. This can be a great advantage if you are looking for a decent background noise, but if you want great sound quality this is not for you.

What’s more is that because they have little magnets on them these speakers tend to have a lot of static which can be quite annoying. As well as this, they also wear down quickly and need replacing every now and again.

Why Choose Passive Speakers for Vinyl Turntables?

There are several advantages to choosing passive speakers. One is that they are very affordable which is excellent if you’re looking for something affordable to get you started with your vinyl collection or if you’re on a budget.

Another reason why some people opt for passive speakers is because the sound quality isn’t too bad. If all you want is background noise while you work these might be a good option for you. They also don’t have many moving parts so they tend to last longer than powered speakers and don’t have as many issues with static in the sound system.

However, these speakers often do not deliver the best quality sound. This can be helpful if you want to play music softly in the background, but it makes it very hard for you to fully appreciate the noise of your records.

Also, these speakers are not waterproof at all which can make them a much less attractive option for people who have them in their garage or shed.

2. Powered Speakers:

Powered speakers are exactly what they sound like, speakers that are attached to the machines themselves, but they are powered by batteries rather than magnets.

This means these speakers can move parts of the construction on them much more quickly meaning the sound will be much clearer and offer much better quality.

However, this does not mean that powered speakers are always better than passive ones. There are many benefits to both types of speaker and if you have a record player with built-in speakers you should definitely consider investing in a pair of powered ones.

There are many different types of powered speakers but the main advantage to these is that they offer much clearer sound quality.

The other great thing is that because they are powered by batteries the music will not be interrupted. This means if you spend time tinkering in your shed or garage, or perhaps you like to take your records into another room to play, these speakers will give you high quality music no matter where you choose to play them.

Why Choose Powered Speakers For Vinyl Turntables?

Passive speakers might be worth considering if you’re just starting out with your vinyl collection but there are much better options out there. If you’re serious about having a good music experience when playing vinyl then investing in a pair of powered speakers is definitely something to consider.

Powered speakers offer much clearer sound quality, so you can reproduce the sound of your records much clearer and easier. They also don’t break down as often, don’t have static and they always deliver great quality.

The other great thing about powered speakers is that they do not need to be connected to the record player in order to work. You can just use them on their own or grab a Turntable Amp and plug the Amp into your record player.

This means that you can play music in different rooms without having to worry about complicated connections or having to use a speaker cable every time you choose to move around your room.

The Difference

Passive speakers are usually cheaper than powered ones, but they offer much poorer sound quality. This is because the sound is emitted directly from these speakers which means it suffers from static and other issues.

On the other hand, powered speakers are much better at offering higher volume and clearer sounds. They also do not wear out as quickly, but they are usually more expensive than passive ones.


The point in all of this is that whether you choose to go for passive or powered speakers, one thing is for sure. Whether you are using your turntable in the living room, in the garage or in another room, they are both useful records for any vinyl enthusiast.

Whether you choose to go with passive speakers which are cheaper but offer much less sound quality or go with powered speakers which are much more expensive but give much better quality sound.

Either way, once you invest in them they will provide you with years of good music time!