Which record player with speakers is best?
Listening to music on vinyl has gone through a resurgence in the last few years. Once associated with disco tracks from the ’70s and synth-pop from the ’80s, it overtook CD sales last year for the first time in decades.
The technology that makes a vinyl record player has also improved. For example, you previously needed a relatively large speaker setup, but you can now get record players with built-in speakers.
The included Bluetooth connections also make the record players more appealing to those who didn’t grow up with them. The Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player With Built-In Stereo Speakers is excellent for someone new to vinyl players.
What to know before you buy a record player with speakers
Built-in vs. wireless speakers
Before you set out to find the perfect record player with speakers, consider whether you want a player with built-in speakers or one with Bluetooth. It’s an important consideration as the audio quality on built-in speakers won’t be as good. However, a record player that can pair with Bluetooth speakers tends to cost more and is less portable. On the other hand, if audio quality isn’t much of a concern to you, built-in speakers can do the trick.
Records come in different sizes
When you think of vinyl records, most people imagine the standard 10- or 12-inch record that had to be played at 33 revolutions per minute. But there is a smaller seven-inch record that plays at 45 rpm and the less common 12-inch that plays at 78 rpm. If the record player’s platter is in a box or sits in a recess, ensure that the vinyl won’t touch the sides.
Consider the type of record player
While they all might look the same, there are mainly two kinds of record players that produce sound through different components.
- Belt-drive system: These record players use an elastic belt to turn the record table (or platter). They can take a few seconds to get up to the desired speed, but they are quiet and resistant to vibrations.
- Direct-drive system: The platter on a record player with a direct-drive system is attached to the motor. It can spin up faster and accurately maintain the playing rpm. Direct-drive and idler wheel systems are most popular with DJs.
What to look for in a quality record player with speakers
Unless you have a vinyl collection that plays at only one speed, you’ll need a player that can handle the three vinyl types. So, depending on the vinyl you want to listen to, you must ensure that the record player has a speed-adjustable motor for 45 rpm, 33 rpm and 78 rpm. Otherwise, the sound produced will be too fast or too slow.
Since you are buying a record player with built-in speakers, you might expect the audio to be pretty good. While you won’t get home-theater quality, the sound from these record players is generally sufficient. Remember, audio quality is related to the size of the speakers, so having sizable speakers for clarity is key.
Additional connections and features
Record players can do more than just play your favorite vinyl. Some can have several additional functions, such as a cassette player, FM radio or the ability to record songs on vinyl to MP3 format.
How much you can expect to spend on a record player with speakers
The average price of a record player can vary depending on the manufacturer, and it tends to be a bit higher if it has built-in speakers. For example, a basic player with speakers can retail for $50-$70. But a record player with Bluetooth, multiple connections and speakers can retail for $150-$200.
Record player with speakers FAQ
What is the difference between a record player and a turntable?
A. The term “record player” is often used interchangeably when people talk about a turntable. But technically, they are different devices. A record player typically has all the components needed to listen to music, including speakers. A turntable is only one part of a complete music system and doesn’t have built-in speakers.
Can you connect Bluetooth speakers to a record player?
A. No, and the Bluetooth connection comes with a caveat. The Bluetooth lets you connect a mobile device to the record player so that you can stream your music to the built-in speakers. Unfortunately, the connection rarely works the other way around, so you usually can’t connect external speakers to listen to the record player — but some models allow for this.
What’s the best record player with speakers to buy?
Top record player with speakers
What you need to know: This record player is perfect for the ultimate experience, as it includes a host of audio functions.
What you’ll love: The vintage look will appeal to nostalgic audiophiles, while younger listeners will appreciate the Bluetooth connectivity, the ability to record vinyl tracks to MP3 format and the remote control. The record player has a three-speed, belt-driven platter with two built-in speakers.
What you should consider: You can’t stream the vinyl audio to an external speaker.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top record player with speakers for the money
What you need to know: This record player has a belt-driven platter that can play vinyl at three different speeds.
What you’ll love: The Bluetooth lets you connect the player wirelessly to external speakers, and it has an auxiliary input to listen to music through the built-in speakers.
What you should consider: Larger vinyl will hang off the side as the platter is relatively small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Made from layered wood and metal, this record player invokes a nostalgic ’70s feeling.
What you’ll love: This record player spins at both 33 and 45 rpm and has a belt-driven platter. It has a built-in amplifier that lets you connect it to external speakers, and it comes with a diamond-tipped Audio-Technica stylus cartridge.
What you should consider: Even though it has Bluetooth, you’ll need an RCA audio cable to connect extra speakers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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