The 8 best mid-range speakers for vinyl

By in Features, Turntables & Tech

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Take your boxes up to the next level.

When you look at speakers that emerge from the mid-range then things get a little tricky. Mainly because the mid-range price point is the place that, as it where, budget speakers are ‘done right’.

Budget speakers are not just ‘budget’ in terms of the price that you pay, they are ‘budget’ in the reservoir of cash available for their design. This means that the word ‘compromise’ is the principle topic of conversation. What the midrange speaker design gives you is, in some ways, a no-holds barred, luxury, top of the range, ‘budget speaker’.

Mid-range speakers should sound a lot better than a budget offering. Mid-range speakers should provide an immediate response of, “Yes, they sound good” or “Nah, hate them.” No pussy-footing around.

You won’t get the real ‘wow’ factor with mid-range speakers. Not the jaw-dropping thing. Not really. That sort of thing is reserved for your higher-end stuff. I’m not saying that mid-range designs are boring, though. Far from it. Mid-range speakers should offer solid performance but they should also excite, engage and involve you.

Look at the following list as a rough guide. I’m very aware that there are other offerings out there that also require your attention but I need your help in this bit. I’m reduced – by space – to just eight models here. Please add your missing favourites below for other readers to see and consider. I look forward to hearing from you.

NOTE: Mid-range means different things to different people. We’ve plumped for £400-£800. To some, this is still ‘budget’. Others see it as high-end. We had to put the pin somewhere…


Cambridge Audio Aeromax

Price: £450
www.cambridgeaudio.com

That upper unit isn’t a tweeter but a BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator). BMRs handle a wider frequency range than your basic tweeter. The idea is to transfer music from the upper to the lower frequencies at a point less distinguishable to our ears during that cross-over. The result is mid-range precision and confidence.


Quad S-1

Price: £500
www.quad-hifi.co.uk

The smallest of the ’S’ series speakers from the company and they are beautifully finished. Featuring MDF sandwiched with high-density particleboard, to reduce resonances, they feature bespoke ribbon tweeters.


Dali Ikon 1 MK.2

Price: £530
www.dali-speakers.com

A pair of stand-mounted speakers featuring a hybrid tweeter or, for some, two tweeters. That is, a standard model and a ribbon design that work together. As such, they offer superb clarity and detail.


Q Acoustics 3050

Price: £549
www.qacoustics.co.uk

A superb sounding set of floor-standing speakers combining punch with elegance. They feature Aramid fibre mid-bass cones: Kevlar to you and me, the bullet-proof material. So, don’t waste your time shooting at these speakers. Save your ammo.


Triangle Esprit Titus EZ

Price: £600
www.triangle-fr.com/en

The only stand-mounters in the Esprit range and nicely finished they are too. They need running in to sound good, though. If you dislike brighter speakers, think twice here and be careful how you match them with other hardware.


Dynaudio Emit M20

Price: £600
www.dynaudio.com

Includes a 28mm soft dome tweeter and 170mm magnesium silicate polymer mid/bass driver. The relatively large mid-bass driver provides bass depth and control with open upper frequencies.


Focal Aria 906

Price: £760
www.focal.com

Well, here’s a novelty. These speakers feature cones made from… flax. The same plant-related stuff utilised by the ancient Egyptians. Apparently, they are self-damping but rigid. Offers a big soundstage and lots of meaty bass. Who knew that the ancient Egyptians were so groovy?


Guru Junior

Price: £800
www.guruaudio.com

A little known Swedish design they might be and they might look less than inspiring but these speakers – which work best butted up against the walls – offer superb bass control and mid-range clarity plus great timing. You need the Swede.


Need more inspiration? See you guides to the best budget, mid-range and high-end turntables.

  • Robert Castro

    Another recommendation, and a speaker that will out-perform all the above, for just £775 is the Tekton Design Lore speakers. I’ve had them for only 3 months running, and I can’t believe that I only paid that much for the pair. Google around for reviews about this and their other models.

  • Copywryter

    I’d appreciate a little more detail on these

  • Matthew McFaden

    ELAC B6 Debut? Bueller… Bueller… Bueller?

  • Tom Hammer

    This says The Best mid range turntables on the homepage but here it is correctly ‘the best mid range speakers…”

    Otherwise, great article.

  • Krzysztof Maj

    I would recommend Dali’s Mentor 2 as well and Tannoy XT series – XT6F or 8, but that’s probably above the budget.

  • Winston Setiawan

    Dynaudio Emit M10 is as good as its bigger brother.

  • Dominic Watson-Hayes

    No Monitor Audio? Hmmm. Have you really tested all that’s out there in this price bracket or just taken a nice bung to advertise these particular brands. Article or advertising? Dubious!

    • Pena Schmidt

      Monitor Audio Bronze 2 will outperform some of this list, granted.