Whilst looking for a vinyl record player you’ll find that there are wired and wireless turntables available.
Whether you're a seasoned audiophile or just getting into vinyl you’re probably wondering which is the best option for you.
First, let's define the terms…
A wired turntable typically has a standard analogue RCA output that you can use to connect to a receiver or amplifier. (note that some turntables have a built in pre-amplifier and can connect straight to speakers, others will require a separate pre amplifier).
A Bluetooth turntable, on the other hand, has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter that allows you to wirelessly connect to a speaker. You’ll still need to plug the turntable into power but you won’t need to connect it to your speakers via cable.
Now, let's explore the pros and cons of each type of turntable in more detail.
How They Compare
Wired turntables offer the best sound quality. Because the turntable is plugged into the speakers/amplifier via audio cable there’s no loss in sound quality due to compression and digitising the audio.
This is especially important for audiophiles who want to get the best possible sound out of their vinyl collection.
- Wired turntables are often more affordable than their Bluetooth counterparts. This is because Bluetooth technology adds an extra layer of complexity and cost to the turntable.
- They are generally easier to set up and use. All you have to do is connect the turntable to your receiver or amplifier using a standard RCA cable, and you're good to go.
- The main drawback of wired turntables is that they require a physical connection to a receiver or amplifier. This can be inconvenient if you want to move the turntable around or if you don't have an amplifier nearby.
- If you want to listen to music on headphones then you’d need an amplifier or speakers with a headphone output.
- The main advantage of Bluetooth turntables is their wireless connectivity.
Let’s say that your speakers are on one side of the room but you want your turntable to be on the other side… this would be awkward with cables but with a Bluetooth turntable you can simply connect the turntable to the speakers wirelessly.
- You can pair Bluetooth headphones to a Bluetooth turntable and enjoy music in peace without waking up the kids or annoying the neighbours.
- The main drawback is that you’ll lose some sound quality when transmitting over Bluetooth. So you’ll trade off some convenience with some sound quality - this may be totally fine if you’re just looking to enjoy records. But if you’re an audiophile then you’ll want to avoid a wireless turntable.
- Bluetooth turntables are often more expensive than wired turntables. This is because the added Bluetooth technology adds to the cost of the turntable.
- They can be more difficult to set up, especially if you are trying to connect to multiple devices. You may need to go through a pairing process each time you want to connect to a new device which can be a hassle.
Which Is Best For Me?
Ultimately the choice between a wired and Bluetooth turntable comes down to your personal preference and what you expect to achieve.
If you prioritise sound quality and don't mind being tethered to a receiver or amplifier then a wired turntable would be the right choice for you and would provide the best sound quality.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to enjoy vinyl records but with the convenience of wireless connections and Bluetooth headphones instead of outright sound quality then a Bluetooth turntable would tick more boxes and would be the better option.
Don’t forget that you can still plug a Bluetooth turntable into speakers and benefit from the best of both worlds.
Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both wired and Bluetooth turntables and the right choice for you will depend on your needs and preferences.
So to recap… if your main priority is sound quality then choose a wired turntable whereas if your main priority is convenience then choose a Bluetooth turntable.
You’ll find wired and wireless turntables from various brands including Audio-Technica, TEAC and more.
If you’re not sure what’s best for you then feel free to contact our expert team and we’ll be happy to help.