Some record players have internal speakers.
Obviously, you do not need to buy additional speakers for those.
But you still may want to. Those internal speakers are never all that great.
But what about other models? Do you need speakers for a record player that does not have internal speakers?
If so, that would add a large additional cost to your budget. Good speakers cost money.
Our article on the best speakers for record players does have some budget options, but none are what I would call cheap.
Can you get away without buying speakers for your turntable?
Keep reading to learn whether you need speakers for your record player. We will cover everything you need to know about the need for additional speakers when getting a record player.
- 1 Do You Need Speakers For A Record Player?
- 2 Do Most Record Players Have Built-In Speakers?
- 3 Do I Need Speakers For My Record Player: Final Thoughts
Do You Need Speakers For A Record Player?
Yes. You need speakers to hear the audio from a record player. But you may not have to buy any. Some turntables come with built-in speakers. That said, those built-in speakers are never very good, so you’ll probably want to get external ones anyway.
When you play a vinyl record on your record player, the stylus reads signals from the record. A preamplifier then boosts these signals to give them more power. After that, the signals need to be amplified once more before they are ready for the speakers, which turn them into audio we can hear.
Again, whether you need a set of speakers for your record player depends on whether your model has speakers built in. But even if it does, external speakers will give you much better sound. Let’s look at 5 reasons to get external speakers for your turntable.
5 Reasons You Need Speakers For Your Record Player
Record players need a speaker for the following reasons.
When the stylus of the player reads the signal from the record’s grooves, the signal is very weak. This weak signal needs to be amplified twice. Amplification makes it so we can hear the audio and also helps enhance the audio quality
A preamplifier performs the first amplification. Your player may have a preamp built-in, or there is one in your receiver. You can also use an external one.
The speakers themselves (if they are powered) perform the second amplification. If they are passive, you will need an amplifier. Most people use the one in their receiver to amplify the signal and send it to the speakers.
They Are A Necessity In Certain Players
In some record players, speakers are a must. This is because they do not have any built-in speakers. When the stylus of the record player reads the physical signals from the groves, there is no sound in audible form.
The player relays those physical signals into electrical signals which need to be converted back into audible sound waves. The speakers do this job. Some players have built-in speaker, while others may need an external speaker or two to perform this job. You will have to set up the turntable and the speakers.
Better Volume Control
You can use external speakers with volume control to increase or decrease the audio’s volume to your preferred level. With many receivers and some speakers, you also have other controls to help shape the sound, like bass or treble knobs.
Speakers offer you the versatility to enjoy your music in various ways. You can further connect them to Bluetooth devices or a PC to increase your listening options.
Improved Audio Quality
When you use high-quality speakers with a record player, you can improve the quality of sound from the player. Good speakers also improve the sound’s fidelity.
Many people report having a more immersive and engaging experience when they listen to vinyl records through good speakers. Speakers help you better appreciate the music from the records.
Do Most Record Players Have Built-In Speakers?
Whether or not a record player has built-in speakers depends on its model and design features. You will find that high quality turntables never have speakers.
That is because internal speakers can never match external ones and no one who buys an expensive record player is going to want to listen to their records on weak internal speakers. That would be a huge waste.
It is usually the cheaper models that have speakers in them, especially all-in-one units and portable record players. The all-in-one units would not be all-in-one without speakers, and portable turntables would not truly be portable, if they had no speakers through which to actually hear the albums.
If you are trying to decide on a record player and speakers are an important feature for you, just know it is difficult to find good models with internal speakers. This is an expensive hobby all around, so it just does not make much sense to spend so much on everything, but then not spend on a good set of speakers.
Do Turntables Make Sound Without Speakers?
No, turntables can not make sound without speakers. In its simplest form, a turntable consists of a rotating metal or plastic disc on which you place a vinyl record. The turntable’s needle (or stylus) reads the record’s grooves by gently running through them.
It records the physical vibrations and converts them into electrical signals. The electrical signal is then amplified and converted back to audible sound waves.
For this purpose, you need speakers or headphones to turn those signals into audible sound waves. Otherwise, you will not be able to hear the electrical signal as sound.
Why Is My Record Player So Quiet?
Your record player may be quiet for a number of reasons. Here are the most likely ones.
- Low volume: Sometimes, it may be something as simple as low volume on the speakers which you need to turn up using the knob or button on the speakers themselves, or on the receiver or turntable.
- Damaged player: Key parts of your record player could be damaged. The needle that reads the grooves could be worn out or the cartridge may need to be replaced.
- Damaged record: The record could be scratched or it might have been recorded on low volume.
- Loose connections: The record player and the amplifier or speaker may not be connected properly or the connections may be loose.
- Inadequate amplifier or speaker strength: You might need a more powerful amplifier or speaker to produce the volume you desire.
How Do I Add Speakers To My Record Player?
To add speakers to your record player, you need to ensure that the model of the player has the facility to add speakers.
Check the player’s backside and look for a speaker output. This should be in the form of an RCA jack. It is usually labeled as ‘line out’. You can also add certain kinds of speakers using a headphone jack.
If your player has a line out, you want to choose an appropriate speaker having the right impedance. Impedance is measured in ohms and the record player or amplifier might mention this value. You can also choose speakers to connect with your record player based on the volume desired.
While connecting the speakers, make sure to follow the negative and positive terminals properly. If needed, use the speaker’s, as well as the amplifier or record player’s manuals and follow the instructions given.
Try to find a good location for the speakers. You want to keep them a good distance from the player if possible, to isolate the record player from the vibration. You could also place a foam mat or something similar beneath the speakers to help dampen any vibrations.
For Bluetooth speakers, the process is usually quite simple, but problems are not uncommon. We have a step-by-step guide on how to connect a turntable to Bluetooth speakers. Finally, you can also use computer speakers with your turntable, though both computer and Bluetooth speakers tend not to give you the best sound quality.
How Much Is A Decent Speaker?
The price of a speaker can vary a lot, depending on the type, size, design features, and brand. You can get speakers ranging from $100 to thousands of dollars.
Simple bookshelf speakers cost around $100 to $500 while floor-standing speakers could cost between $500 to more than $1000.
When selecting speakers, your budget may be your primary criterion for selection. Sure, there are great options in speakers available these days for lower price points, but it may be worthwhile investing in high-quality speakers that enable you to enjoy high-quality sound output.
Again, this is an expensive hobby, so why skimp on the one component that actually plays the audible sound?
You should also consider the following factors when selecting speakers:
- The amplifier/receiver’s output impedance.
- The size of the room where you’ll use the speakers.
- The range of music you will play.
If possible, try listening to the type of music you like on various speakers and choose the one that sounds best to you.
Do I Need Speakers For My Record Player: Final Thoughts
All record players need speakers to produce audible sound, but some do come with internal speakers built in. If you have one of those, you do not need to buy additional speakers. Otherwise you do.
That said, even if your turntable has speakers, you may want to buy a set of external ones anyway. The internal speakers never sound good. How can they, given the size constraints of including speakers inside the unit?