After testing different external speakers with my Victrola Journey suitcase turntable, I found that affordable powered speakers increased the sound quality dramatically, whereas super-cheap PC speakers didn’t really enhance the sound quality much at all.
Based on my own testing and a lot of research, my pick for best overall speakers for the Victrola is the Edifier R1280Ts powered speakers.
My budget pick is the Edifier R980T powered speakers.
The cheap Logitech Z120 PC speakers I tested did unfortunately not sound noticeably better than Victrola’s built-in speakers, so I don’t recommend that you invest in small PC speakers like these if you want to increase the sound of your Victrola suitcase turntable significantly.
You find my complete list of recommended speakers for the Victrola Journey suitcase turntable below.
PS! Powered speakers are easily connected to the Victrola suitcase turntable using the red and white RCA output connectors on the back.
Best Overall: Edifier R1280Ts
The Edifier R1280Ts is probably the speakers I recommend most often here at Vinyl Restart. I’ve had mine for a while and I am very impressed by how good they perform for their relatively low price.
They are highly rated powered speakers that punch far above their price range. In my research, I have not been able to find affordable powered speakers that are higher rated than these. I read so many good things about them that I eventually had to buy them myself.
When I first hooked my Victrola Journey suitcase turntable up to the Edifier R1280Ts, I was very surprised by how much the sound quality improved. Being a highly affordable turntable with cheaply built tonearm and cartridge, I hadn’t expected the Victrola to perform that good with external speakers.
The Edifier R1280Ts makes the music sound a lot clearer and dramatically increases the bass response that is almost absent when you play records through the Victrolas built-in speakers.
They make the music come alive with the cool beat that is crated with drums and bass instruments fully present in the soundstage.
The Edifier R1280Ts can also play much louder than the built-in speakers. The Victrola’s built-in speakers are only 3 Watts while the Edifiers are rated at 42 Watts. That is a significant difference.
In my experience, the Edifier R1280T transforms the sound of the Victrola. You can’t really compare the sound quality with and without these powered speakers. It is like night and day.
|Size||5.75 x 9.5 x 7 in|
|Frequency Response||55Hz – 20kHz|
|Amplifier Power||42W RMS|
The Edifier R1280T also come in a version with Bluetooth, called the Edifier R1280DBs. They cost a bit more than the non-Bluetooth version.
You don’t really need Bluetooth speakers for the Victrola Journey suitcase turntable, because it doesn’t come with a Bluetooth transmitter feature. The Bluetooth version of the Victrola Journey only comes with a Bluetooth receiver feature that enables you to use it as a powered speaker. It can connect wirelessly to music sources like an iPhone, but it cannot connect wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers.
Choosing the Bluetooth version of the Edifiers do however make it possible to connect phones and computers wirelessly and stream digital music. It is a nice option to have when you don’t want to spin records.
- Popular and highly rated
- Sound great for the price
- Remote control and tone control as standard
- Available with Bluetooth (R1280DBs)
- Bluetooth version costs extra
- Not suitable for the lowest budgets
Best Budget Pick: Edifier R980T
The Edifier R980T is slightly smaller and a bit cheaper than the Edifier R1280Ts that is my top recommendation above.
These are great alternatives if the R1280Ts stretch your budget too far. These will perform nearly as good as their bigger brother above, and they will enhance the sound quality from your Victrola suitcase turntable a lot.
I have not tested these myself, but based on reviewing the specs carefully, it seems to me that they won’t lack too much performance compared to their bigger brothers.
Just as the more expensive Edifier R1280Ts, the R980T comes with a 13mm silk dome tweeter and a 4-inch bass driver. They are, however, fitted with a smaller built-in amplifier that provides 24 Watts compared to 42 Watts in the R1280T.
Other differences are that the smaller R980T doesn’t come with a remote control and may not have the nice look and finish of the bigger R1280Ts.
|Size||5.5 x 8.9 x 7.75 in|
|Frequency Response||70Hz – 20kHz|
|Amplifier Power||24W RMS|
|Tone Control||Yes (Bass only)|
- Trusted manufacturer
- Decent bass response
- Lacks remote control
- Not available with Bluetooth
Not Recommended: Logitech Z120 PC Speakers
When I set out to find great powered speakers for my Victrola, I bought a pair of small $20 PC speakers to see if it was possible to make the Victrola sound better for a small amount of money.
Unfortunately, I did not work out so well. The small Logitech PC speakers sounded more or less exactly the same as the built-in speakers in the Victrola and didn’t really give a noticeable boost in sound quality.
Small PC speakers might be great speakers for many usages, but they come up short to improve the sound from the Victrola Journey.
One explanation can be that they are rated at only 2 Watts. That is lower than the amplifier and speakers that are built into the Victrola, which are rated at 3 Watts per channel.
There might, however, be small PC speakers that are better than the ones I tested. I think you should aim for at least 6 Watts per channel if you are looking for small speakers to enhance the sound of your victrola.
|Size||4.2 x 3.5 x 3.6 inches|
|Amplifier Power||2 Watts|
- Cool design
- Don’t sound much better than the built-in speakers
Best for Big Budgets: Audioengine A5+
If you are building a decent vinyl setup and may consider upgrading the Victrola to a better turntable at some point, it might be worth to invest in higher quality powered speakers from the get-go.
My top recommended powered speakers for Vinyl are the Audioengine A5+. These belong in the upper-midrange category and provides a sound with more details, better dynamics, deeper bass and overall more finesse than the affordable Edifiers we reviewed above.
I believe the Edifiers are better suited for the victrola per se, but the Audioengine A5+ is worth considering if you are ready to invest a bit more money into your vinyl setup.
It is hard to find powered speakers that have received more praise from critics and owners than the Audioengine A5+. They look great, sounds great and features a fully analog built-in amplifier that makes them an absolute gem for vinyl enthusiasts.
When I were researching powered speakers to use with my turntables, I could find anything that could compare with these. At least not at this price point.
They probably deliver the deepest bass in their price range, with a drop of only 1.5dB at 50Hz. They can be bought with or without Bluetooth and come in three different finishes. White, Black and Bamboo.
Audioengine is based in Texas and design and manufacture the drivers and all critical components in house.
|Size||7.8 x 7 x 10.8 in|
|Frequency Response||50Hz – 22kHz|
|Amplifier Power||100W RMS|
|Color||Black, White, Bamboo|
- Great sound
- Deep bass
- Analog class A/B amplification
- Elegant design
- Loved by Hi-Fi critics
- Bluetooth version costs extra
- Bamboo finish costs extra
Also Great: Klipsch R-51PM
Another great option if you are ready to spend a bit more on building a decent vinyl setup is the fantastic Klipsch R-51PM.
Klipsch make awesome speakers that are fun, engaging, loud and emotional. They are leading the trend towards more engaging speakers that have a sound character that relates to listen to live music.
The lively and engaging nature of these speakers in companion with the warm and rich sound from vinyl records will make for a setup that really creates emotions. And for many of us, listening to music is an emotional experience. These are great powered speakers for vinyl. Highly recommended.
The Klipsch R-51PM comes with Bluetooth as standard.
|Size||11.3 x 7 x 9.1 in|
|Frequency Response||68Hz – 21kHz|
- Black Finish only
Why spend money on separate speakers for Victrola Journey Suitcase Turntable?
There are several factors that limit the sound quality from the speakers that are built into the Victrola suitcase turntable.
They are small in size, ultra-low cost, rated at only 3 Watts and driven by an amplifier circuit that only output 3 Watts.
As a result, the sound quality from the Victrola is not great. I think it is fair to say that.
Many owners are fully happy with how it sounds, but it is still not a great sounding device. It is especially the lack of bass (lower frequencies) that makes the music sound a bit flat.
Hooking the Victrola up to external is an efficient way to increase the sound quality a lot. The sound becomes clearer and the bass that is totally lacking when using the built-in speakers magically appears with full strength.
Using external speakers dramatically improves the sound quality. The music comes alive with more dynamics and punch. It makes the music listening experience more enjoyable and more engaging.
Adding external speakers is a nice option to have if you fancy better sound, higher volume and deeper bass.
How to connect separate speakers to the Victrola Journey Suitcase Turntable?
The Victrola Journey Suitcase Turntable must be connected to external speakers with and RCA signal cable.
One end of the signal cable connects to the red and white RCA outputs on the back of the Victrola, and the other end connects to the red and white RCA inputs on the powered speakers.
Even if you have the Bluetooth version of the Victrola Journey, it will not work with Bluetooth speakers since the Bluetooth functionality only can be used to connect music sources like iPhone and computer. Not Bluetooth speakers.
If you want to connect the Victrola to wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers, you will need to use a Bluetooth transmitter. Check out my How to Make a Turntable Wireless article to learn more about how that works.
(Update: The new Plus version has Bluetooth output and connects wireless to Bluetooth speakers without an adapter.)