How to Connect a Turntable to a Soundbar
Connecting a turntable or record player to a soundbar can sometimes be a bit tricky.
The reason is that most soundbars are not compatible with the analog signal that is outputted by turntables. Most soundbars only feature digital inputs like HDMI and TOSLINK.
But, luckily, there are a few ways to connect soundbars to turntables. Here they are:
- Use a soundbar that has an analog input that is compatible with the analog output on turntables
- Use a soundbar that has Bluetooth connectivity and a Bluetooth turntable
- Use a soundbar that has Bluetooth connectivity and a regular turntable and a Bluetooth adapter
- Use a Sonos soundbar and a Sonos Port “connectivity hub” that is compatible with the analog output on turntables
Let’s explore each of them in more detail.
1. Use a soundbar with analog input
I recently did a lot of research to find great soundbars with analog AUX inputs. And what I found is that most soundbars only feature digital inputs.
I was however able to find a few great soundbars with analog inputs. You’ll find my top recommendations in my 6 Best Soundbars for Turntables and Record Players article.
Connecting a turntable to a soundbar with analog AUX input is relatively straight forward. If your turntable has a built-in phono preamp and the PHONO/LINE switch is set to LINE you simply connect the turntable directly to the AUX input on the soundbar.
If your turntable doesn’t include a built-in phono preamp, then you will need to add a separate phono preamp between the turntable and the soundbar.
If the cable from your turntable (or separate preamp) has RCA connectors (most common) then you will also need an RCA to 3.5mm jack adaptor.
2. Use a Bluetooth turntable
Almost all soundbars feature Bluetooth connectivity. The only exception I know of is Sonos. (I’ll get more into Sonos soundbars later.)
Bluetooth lets your transfer music wirelessly. A turntable with Bluetooth can connect wirelessly to most soundbars. No cables needed.
Please check out our list of top-rated Bluetooth turntables for soundbars.
Because most soundbars don’t include an analog input, using Bluetooth might be the best way to connect a turntable to a soundbar in general.
The exact process for connecting a Bluetooth turntable to a soundbar can vary a bit from device to device. Please visit the user manual for your turntable and soundbar to learn how you put them in “pairing mode”.
3. Use a regular turntable and a Bluetooth adaptor
Almost all soundbars feature Bluetooth connectivity, but most turntables don’t.
If you have a regular turntable and a soundbar without an analog AUX input, the best way to connect the two is probably to use a Bluetooth adaptor.
A Bluetooth adapter basically turns a regular turntable into a Bluetooth turntable.
The adaptor connects to the analog outputs on your turntable and transmit the music signal wirelessly to the soundbar.
You can read learn how to convert a regular turntable into a Bluetooth turntable in our How to Make a Turntable Bluetooth Wireless article.
4. Go Sonos
So there is no way to connect a turntable directly to a Sonos soundbar.
There is however an elegant (but somewhat costly) solution to this.
The soultion is to use the Sonos Port “connectivity hub” together with a Sonos soundbar.
The Sonos Port has analog inputs that let you connect the turntable. When connected to your turntable, the Sonos Port transfer the music wirelessly to the Sonos soundbar.
There you have it. 4 ways to connect a turntable to a soundbar.
I hope this article was helpful and that you find a solution that works for you.
If you know of other (and better) ways to connect a turntable to a soundbar, feel free to pop me an email with your solution.