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What is a Bluetooth​ Turntable and How to Connect It?

Powered speakers and Hi-Fi systems with wireless Bluetooth capability have become more and more popular in recent years. So have turntables with Bluetooth capability.

One example is the popular Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT Bluetooth turntable that is one of the top selling turntables on Amazon.

In this guide, I will explain what Bluetooth turntables are, how to connect them, and what the pros and cons of Bluetooth turntables are. So stay tuned.

What is a Bluetooth wireless turntable?

A Bluetooth turntable is a turntable that connects to a stereo, powered speakers or headphones wirelessly. It means that no cables are necessary to connect the turntable. Bluetooth makes it possible to play music wirelessly at a distance up to 30 feet.

You will need powered speakers with Bluetooth to connect a turntable wirelessly. Or a stereo receiver, Hi-Fi system, or headphones with Bluetooth capability.

If you have a turntable that doesn’t support wireless Bluetooth, it is possible to convert it into a Bluetooth capable turntable with a Bluetooth adapter. You can read more about that in this article.

How to connect a Bluetooth wireless turntable to wireless speakers

First, make sure the speakers are Bluetooth wireless speakers and not WiFi wireless speakers. Bluetooth and WiFi are two different wireless protocols, and it will only work if you have Bluetooth wireless speakers.

From there, you will need to pair the turntable with the speakers to make them “talk”. When the turntable and speakers are paired the music played on the turntable will be transferred wirelessly to the speakers.

To pair the turntable and speakers, both units must be put into pairing mode.

This is usually done by pressing and holding the Bluetooth function button on each unit until the unit either flashes a light a certain way or give a certain sound to confirm that pairing mode is active. Do this on one unit first and then the other.

(For specific on how to enter pairing mode on your units, check out the user manual or google for specific instructions online since this can vary from unit to unit and from manufacturer to manufacturer.)

When both units have entered pairing mode, place them close together and let them “talk” until they confirm that they are paired. The pairing is usually conformed by flashing a light or by changing the color of the light or by giving a confirmation sound. Again, check the user manual for specifics.

When the turntable and speakers are paired, the system is ready to play music wirelessly.

If you turn the turntable and speakers off, they will automatically connect the next time you turn them on. So the pairing procedure only needs to be done once.

If you are looking for great Bluetooth wireless powered speakers to use with your turntable, then take a look at this article where we pick the very best options for different budgets.

How to connect a Bluetooth wireless turntable to headphones

To connect a Bluetooth wireless turntable to Bluetooth wireless headphones, use the exact same pairing procedure as described above.

Put both units and pairing mode, place them close together, let them “talk” until they confirm that they are paired, and you are good to go.

Can Bluetooth turntables connect to WiFi wireless speakers

Be aware that there are two different wireless protocols that are common on wireless speakers.

That is Bluetooth and WiFi.

Bluetooth is most commonly found on wireless speakers in the low-price part of the segment as it is a more affordable technology, while WiFi is most often used on high-end and more expensive wireless speakers.

A Bluetooth turntable will never connect with or play music on WiFi wireless speakers, so it is important to check that the speakers are Bluetooth and not WiFi compatible.

What is the best Bluetooth turntable?

The short answer to that question is probably the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT. I don’t know a single Hi-Fi critic or vinyl enthusiast that doesn’t have this turntable very high (or on top) of their list of affordable turntables that gives high value for money.

You can read my AT-LP60XBT review here.

Another popular option to consider is the Sony PS-LX310BT.

You can read more about recommended turntables with Bluetooth in this article.

How to make a turntable wireless

There are a few good Bluetooth wireless turntables on the market. Like the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT I already mentioned.

But if you don’t have a Bluetooth compatible turntable and want to connect it to Bluetooth wireless speakers, there is still hope.

You will need a Bluetooth adapter that connects to the signal output on your turntable.

For detailed instruction, please have a look at this guide which cover everything you need to know on this topic.

Pros of turntables with Bluetooth wireless

No signal cables. No need for signal cables. Makes the setup look tidier. No cables to hide.

No need for a Bluetooth adapter. If you already have Bluetooth speakers, and are looking to buy a turntable, buying one with Bluetooth will make it easy to set up the connection without any need for additional Bluetooth transmitters.

30 feet range. The turntable can be placed up to 30 feet from the speakers.

Can be paired with multiple devices. If you have several Bluetooth speakers and headphones, you can pair the turntable with several of them. You can, however, only play wireless music to one device at a time with Bluetooth wireless.

Cons of turntables with Bluetooth wireless

Cost. Having wireless Bluetooth capability will make the turntable more expensive. The extra cost seems to be around $50. An external Bluetooth transmitter costs about half of that so it seems to be a better deal to buy a standard turntable without Bluetooth and buy the transmitter separately.

Sound Quality. The Bluetooth protocol was never developed to transfer music and don’t have the bandwidth to transfer music without compressing it. So the fidelity of the sound will be reduced compared to using signal cables to transfer the music signal.

Limited options. There are very few turntables that offer Bluetooth compatibility, so you will have to choose from a very limited range of models.

Not analog but digital. When using Bluetooth to transfer the music signal from the turntable to the speakers, the signal needs to be converted to a digital music stream. Which for some people is a deal breaker as part of the vinyl record music experience is that the music is fully analog.

Pairing issues. As Bluetooth was never developed to connect stereo components like turntables and speakers, it seems like the engineers never manage to make the pairing 100% bulletproof. So you might experience pairing problems when pairing your turntable to your speakers.

Will not play music to WiFi wireless speakers. Will only work on Bluetooth speakers.

Does a Bluetooth turntable require speakers?

A Bluetooth turntable will still need speakers. Bluetooth capability doesn’t replace speakers. It only replaces the cable that connects the turntable to the speakers.

Does a Bluetooth turntable need a preamp?

All Bluetooth turntables have a preamp built-in and do not require an external preamp or phonostage. In fact, it would not be possible to make a Bluetooth turntable without a built-in preamp because the signal from the phono cartridge must be RIAA corrected before it is applied to the built-in Bluetooth codec.

It is still possible to use an external preamp with a Bluetooth turntable. This can however only be done when it is connected with a signal cable, not when the wireless feature is used. Just remember to disable the internal preamp with the PHONO/LINE switch on the back of the turntable. 

Do Bluetooth turntables sound good?

Shouldn’t vinyl be enjoyed fully analog?

Some vinyl enthusiasts and audiophiles would probably opt to chew on their arm before playing records through a digital music protocol like Bluetooth. Bluetooth is digital, compressed and lossy. And can somewhat compromise the warm and silk-smooth sound of vinyl records.

You will, however, probably need a trained ear and an audiophile stereo to hear that much of a difference between a turntable that connects via a cable and a turntable that connects wirelessly.

If the cable-less wireless transfer is more important for you than keeping the music analog, then don’t care what the enthusiasts say.

Bluetooth will sound more than good enough for most people.

What about turntables with USB output?

The USB port that is available on some turntables is usually put there to convert tracks on vinyl records into a digital format such as MP3 by connecting the turntable to a computer with an USB cable.

The USB port is usually not put on the turntable to connect the turntable to speakers to listen to music.

Related Questions

What is the difference between Bluetooth wireless and Wi-Fi wireless? Bluetooth connects to units directly while WiFi connects the units via a WiFi router/hub. WiFi has more bandwidth than Bluetooth and will not have to compress the music as much as Bluetooth. So WiFi wireless music sounds better than Bluetooth wireless music.

Does Bluetooth wireless music sound good? That is subjective. The Bluetooth wireless sound is compressed which means that it is reduced in quality. One person might be able to hear that and another person doesn’t notice it. It also depends on the quality of the stereo setup. In a very expensive high-end stereo setup, the reduction in sound from Bluetooth might be noticeable. But in a budget stereo setup that doesn’t have the same fidelity, it might be difficult to hear the difference.