Something about the last few months stuck alone at home had quickly made my existing system for listening to music feel a bit underwhelming. With the sudden shift to in-home entertainment, and the cancelation of so many shows. I became obsessed with the idea of updating that system to something that would fill the gap in my heart. I should begin by saying that I in no way consider myself an Audiophile, my quest was to find a setup that made me feel like dancing in my apartment. I knew right away that whatever I came up with had to have streaming at its heart, with the possibility of adding on a record player. Additionally I was prizing simplicity while staying away from systems like Sonos that raised concerns about future proofing with their move to end support for older products back in January. With these guidelines set I scoured the web to pull together a few systems for whichever price point you may find yourself at.
The Little Leaguer: Edifier R1280T/Echo Dot/Audio Technica LP60x/Cable
For just under $250 you get stereo speakers and a record player with Amazon Alexa capabilities, Spotify connect and the ability to plug into your T.V. With 5 stars out of over 4000 reviews the consensus is pretty clear, that you’re hard-pressed to find a better setup than this for less money.
The Collegiate Athlete: Audioengine A5+ /Echo Dot/Audio Technica LP60x/Cable
At just under $550 we have a setup that offers the same streaming capabilities as the setup before it, but we’ve added in the ability to play records, and a much better speaker. Without getting into too much detail the Audioengine A5+ offers a powerful combination of size and sound that punches well above its price bracket. For this setup we are using the same record player as the previous setup as it’s still the best record player you can find for $100.
The Major Leagues: Yamaha Rn-303/Elac Debut 2.0 6.2/Pro-ject Debut Carbon/Turntable Cable/Speaker Cables x2
If you’re looking for a bit of a splurge at the $1000 price range you start to get into the world of separate audio components in this case using a separate receiver from the speakers. The Yamaha receiver offers all the abilities of the echo dot minus voice control, but allows us to bring in a pair of passive speakers. In this case we’re using the Elac Debut 2.0 6.2. These speakers have made waves in the audio industry for their incredible detail given their price. To round it off we’ve added in a Project Debut Carbon turntable which is certain to make all your vinyl dreams come true and is plug and play ready though does require manual changing of the belt if 33s are more your speed.