Updated May 28, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

The 10 Best Amplified Speakers

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Amplified speakers — also known as active or powered speakers — are equipped with internal amplifiers specifically designed to match the woofers and cones that they're driving. While passive speakers do have their merits, they require an external amp, whereas the models on our list are essentially plug-and-play. We've ranked our picks primarily based on sound quality, cost, value, and reliability. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best amplified speaker on Amazon.

10. Edifier R980T

9. Micca PB42X

8. PreSonus Eris E3.5

7. Edifier R1850DB

6. Audioengine A5+

5. Electro-Voice ZLX12P

4. Klipsch R-51PM

3. Neumann KH 120A

2. Dynaudio Xeo 2

1. Kef LS50

Special Honors

Acoustic Energy AE1 The low-profile appearance of the Acoustic Energy AE1 is the only understated thing about this pair. Its deliciously punchy mid-end, lavish bass, glittering treble, and expansive dynamic range are the result of high-end hardware and expert engineering. This level of audio quality is often unheard of in a powered pair, usually requiring separate audiophile-grade components to attain such high fidelity, but these speakers do it all on their own for under $2000. acoustic-energy.com.uk

Editor's Notes

May 14, 2019:

Our current list features options ranging from below $100 all the way up to $2,000+. If this is your first foray into the world of amplified speakers, the Edifier R980T have lots of appeal. Aesthetics aside, they are pretty fantastic for the cost. They're also easy to set up, but as soon as you push them, you'll feel their limitations—especially in the low end.

While musicians are likely to gravitate towards studio monitors like the PreSonus Eris E3.5 or the Neumann KH 120A (as they should), these models are equally viable as computer speakers.

Our #4 pick, the Klipsch R-51PM, balance convenience, quality, and visual appeal at once with their Bluetooth compatibility, high-quality components, and sleek design, meaning that they'd make a great pair of bookshelf speakers in your living room.

The countless awards the KEF LS50 have won are enough to clue you in: they are in a league of their own. Whether you ask audiophiles, clueless consumers who had enough money to buy the LS50 without knowing much about audio systems, or me, we'll all agree that this pair integrates high fidelity sound with the absolute ease of use that one would hope for in the age of streaming. Their many features aside: these speakers sound incredible.


Daniel Goldstein
Last updated on May 28, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

Daniel is a writer, musician, and frequent traveler with a bachelor’s in creative writing from the State University of New York. In recent years, his writing chops have developed alongside his musical skills, thanks to a rich double life. During the day, he apprenticed with “Rolling Stone” journalist and critic Will Hermes, and when the sun set, he and his NYC-based, four-piece band gigged at high-end venues across the northeastern United States. His affinity for sharing things he's passionate about has culminated in nine years of experience as a music teacher at elementary schools, where he honed his ability to simplify and elucidate concepts to the uninitiated. All considered, he feels most at home writing about instruments, audio electronics and backpacking gear.


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