Bluetooth turntables have one obvious advantage.
But any time you add a feature to a record player, you sacrifice something else.
Usually that is sound quality.
Are Bluetooth turntables any good then? Or is the sacrifice too great?
Before we get to that, you should also know that the Bluetooth function does not always work the way you think.
Most Bluetooth record players receive only. They do not send. We’ll explain more below.
First, let’s answer the question at hand and take a closer look at Bluetooth turntables and what you sacrifice to get this function.
- 1 Are Bluetooth Turntables Any Good?
- 1.1 Bluetooth Turntable Vs Wired
- 1.2 Bluetooth Record Players: What To Look Out For
- 1.3 Who Should Buy A Bluetooth Record Player?
- 1.4 Who Should Buy A Wired Turntable?
- 1.5 How To Choose A Bluetooth Turntable
- 1.6 Bluetooth Turntables: Additional Questions
- 2 Is A Bluetooth Turntable Worth It: Final Thoughts
Are Bluetooth Turntables Any Good?
Bluetooth turntables can be good. They can also be terrible. In general, you should only get one if you actually plan to use the Bluetooth function.
Whether or not a Bluetooth turntable will be a good choice for you depends on your needs and priorities. If you are looking for the absolute best sound quality, a wired turntable is the way to go.
But if you value convenience over sound quality, a Bluetooth turntable could be the way forward.
Bluetooth Turntable Vs Wired
Bluetooth turntables are easy to set up and use, and they allow you to listen to your vinyl records without having to worry about connecting cables.
They are also relatively affordable, making them a good choice for budget-minded or beginning record collectors who don’t mind the drop in sound quality.
The small drop in sound quality is due to the way Bluetooth compresses the audio signal to transmit it wirelessly, which can lead to a loss of detail and fidelity.
More than that, Bluetooth is not something you tend to see on high end players. It is mainly a feature found on entry-level turntables, meaning they are going to have poorer sound quality anyway.
Overall, Bluetooth turntables are a good choice if you want the convenience of wireless playback without sacrificing too much (of the likely already low) sound quality.
If you are on a budget or you simply don’t want to deal with running cables, Bluetooth turntables are worth checking out. If you are interested, here is what you should look for.
Bluetooth Record Players: What To Look Out For
If you are considering a Bluetooth record player, there are a few things you should pay attention to when looking for a player to buy.
Bluetooth turntables generally have lower sound quality than wired turntables because Bluetooth compresses the audio signal to transmit it wirelessly. This compression can lead to a loss of detail and fidelity, especially in the higher and lower frequencies.
However, the sound quality of Bluetooth turntables has improved significantly in recent years, and many Bluetooth turntables now offer better sound quality than older models, especially when paired with high-quality headphones or speakers.
To get the best possible sound quality from a Bluetooth turntable, it is important to choose a turntable that supports high-quality codecs, such as aptX or LDAC. These codecs compress the audio signal less than the standard SBC codec, resulting in a better overall sound quality.
But again, since this feature is usually only found on low-end or mid-range turntables, the sound quality is not going to be amazing to begin with. It can be very good with some mid-range players, but not on par with the highest quality record players.
Bluetooth turntables are much more convenient to use than wired-in turntables. You don’t have to worry about running and securing cables, and you can place your turntable anywhere in the room, and move it as you wish.
This is especially beneficial if you have a limited amount of space or if you want to be able to move your turntable around your home easily.
Another advantage of Bluetooth turntables is that they can be paired with a variety of different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, and Bluetooth speakers.
This makes them a great choice for people who want to be able to listen to their vinyl records on a variety of different devices or in different places in their homes.
But beware that most Bluetooth turntables only receive signals. They do not send them. This means you can connect your phone to your turntable via Bluetooth, but you can not connect to external Bluetooth speakers to play your music. Make sure the record player you get can also send Bluetooth signals, if that is what you want.
Bluetooth turntables are typically more expensive than wired turntables of a similar quality. This is due to the fact that Bluetooth turntables have additional components, such as a transmitter, that are not needed in wired turntables.
The price gap between Bluetooth turntables and wired turntables has, however, narrowed in recent years. There are now a number of dirt-cheap Bluetooth turntables available on the market. However, as mentioned, most of these only receive signals.
Who Should Buy A Bluetooth Record Player?
Bluetooth turntables are a good choice for people who:
- Value convenience over sound quality
- Have a limited amount of space
- Want to be able to listen to their vinyl records on a variety of different devices or in different locations
Who Should Buy A Wired Turntable?
Wired turntables are a good choice for people who:
- Demand the best possible sound quality
- Have a large collection of high-resolution vinyl records
If you are unsure whether a Bluetooth turntable is right for you, it is a good idea to visit a local audio store and demo a few different turntables before you commit to making a final choice.
How To Choose A Bluetooth Turntable
When choosing a Bluetooth turntable, here are the main factors to keep in mind:
Bluetooth turntables generally have lower sound quality than wired turntables, but the sound quality of Bluetooth turntables has improved significantly in recent years.
If you want better sound quality, look for a Bluetooth turntable that supports high-quality codecs, such as aptX or LDAC, for the best possible sound quality.
Make sure the turntable has a good Bluetooth range so that you can listen to your music from anywhere in your room, home, or even garden. Class-1 Bluetooth devices have a maximum range of 100 meters, while class-2 typically only reach a maximum of 10 meters.
Some Bluetooth turntables have additional features, such as built-in phono preamps, USB connectivity, and speed control. Consider which features are important to you and choose a turntable that can give you what you need.
Bluetooth turntables range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Set a budget before you start shopping so that you don’t overspend!
Bluetooth Turntables: Additional Questions
Next, we will answer some common questions related to Bluetooth turntables. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
Why would you want a USB connection on a turntable?
A USB connection on a turntable is designed specifically to connect to a personal computer via a USB cable. One of the biggest benefits of having a USB connection on your turntable is that it enables you to make backups of your albums in case one gets damaged.
With a high-quality digital version of your favorite records, you can listen to them over and over again without damaging the grooves, and you can also have your music collection on a mobile device for listening to when not at home.
Does Bluetooth 5.0 improve audio quality?
A pair of wireless speakers or headphones that operate with Bluetooth 5.0 won’t give you a higher sound quality than the same speakers or headphones that use an older Bluetooth protocol.
Are record players better quality than digital formats?
Vinyl records tend to offer a deeper, richer, warmer, and more-rounded sound quality, while digital formats tend to give a cleaner, more polished, high-end sound quality.
Is A Bluetooth Turntable Worth It: Final Thoughts
So, are Bluetooth turntables any good? They can be, but the same record player without Bluetooth will always be better or cheaper. Usually better, since manufacturers tend to do their utmost to keep the price down, which means sacrificing quality elsewhere.
If you want the Bluetooth function, it is worth it. If you don’t need it, don’t get it. And, as mentioned, make sure the Bluetooth is capable of sending, if you want to use it to connect to external speakers. Most record players with Bluetooth can only receive, not send.