What Is a Bluetooth Record Player and How Does It Work?

Published Categorized as Vinyl 101

Bluetooth record players combine the classic appeal of vinyl with the convenience of modern wireless technology, making them an exciting option for today’s music lovers. But what exactly is a Bluetooth record player, and how does it work? In this article, we explore the features and functionality of these innovative devices. We’ll break down how Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream vinyl audio to wireless speakers or headphones, providing a blend of analog warmth and digital flexibility. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl enthusiast or new to the world of records, discover how Bluetooth record players can enhance your listening experience and simplify your setup.

Table of Contents

So, What Is a Bluetooth Record Player?

If you are in any way familiar with Bluetooth – either through using  Bluetooth speakers or even by sharing files via Bluetooth, then you will not find it difficult to likewise wrap your head around the concept of Bluetooth record players because they function on the same principles as wireless speakers.

Much like a Bluetooth speaker, Bluetooth turntables are devices that enable the turntable to communicate with external speakers or headphones without being connected to them through wiring. The average range of this Bluetooth connectivity is around 30 feet, a length that would amount to a heck of a lot of cabling.

what is a bluetooth record player

You might be wondering why this kind of thing is not more common,  as it sounds delightful. I can immediately satiate your wonder by bringing up the central issue of wireless technology and Bluetooth technology that attempts to communicate through the airwaves’ valuable sound information: sound quality.

Any audiophile will tell you that the main difference between wired headphones and wireless headphones is the dip in audio quality in the latter. And the same goes for a Bluetooth turntable, which by its very nature struggles to communicate the so-called valuable sound information through the airwaves.

What Is a Bluetooth Record Player

Wireless technology, no matter how fast it has progressed and how far it has come in such a short amount of time, still cannot compete with wiring in terms of the sheer quality of the information imparted. A Bluetooth device does have its uses, however, providing a perfect setup for those looking for something easy to use and convenient enough to take into different rooms of the house without purchasing a more expensive Sonos turntable setup or other good quality powered speakers for turntables.

Well, How Does it Work?

Where a record normally stores sounds analog style, a Bluetooth record player will absorb vibrational data within the grooves that are then converted into louder sound signals by the cartridge and stereo system. The best Bluetooth record players seek to convert these analog signals into digital ones that can then be interpreted and broadcast via a corresponding Bluetooth speaker.

The heavy lifting is done by what is referred to as a built-in DAC, otherwise known as a Digital Analog Converter, which compresses and renders the signals into digital ones that are then able to be understood by the awaiting Bluetooth devices.

What Is a Bluetooth Record Player

The Bluetooth capability then sends the compressed audio signals to the Bluetooth wireless speakers, which, when received, are decoded into a more or less accurate version of the original analog audio. It is after this that the sound is heard as sound. This sound,  to an undiscerning ear, is as good as the real thing. The main advantage of Bluetooth record players, when paired with Bluetooth speakers, is sheer convenience. Essentially, not having to be weighed down to just one room if, say, you have friends over and want to hang out in another room that the record player is not in.

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling somewhat more confident about all of the ideas and themes discussed herein and able to better communicate these concepts with an outside party. Perhaps you are even looking to purchase a Bluetooth record player of your own, as you feel exhausted by how cumbersome a regular old record player can be.

FAQs What is a Bluetooth Record Player

What does a Bluetooth record player do?

In short, a Bluetooth record player seeks to lengthen the gap between the record player and the adjoining speakers without the use of wires. Much as Bluetooth wireless headphones do away with wires to connect them and their respective device, a Bluetooth record player attempts to communicate the valuable analog audio signals to Bluetooth speakers, converting them into digital signals that the speakers can understand, after which they are decoded and presented by the speakers (or headphones) into a more or less accurate rendering of the original analog audio signals.

Are Bluetooth record players better?

At some things, yes. If the competition were one of convenience, then a Bluetooth record player would certainly have a fair chance of appearing in a podium position. Being able to transmit the signals of a record player through walls without the interference of wires will no doubt be a pull to some more than others – perhaps those more interior design inclined. For some, however, the reduction in audio fidelity that a Bluetooth record player comes to represent will simply not do. Wireless technology, despite its plethora of advances, has yet to properly catch up with wired technology in terms of the quality of the information imparted.

Do Bluetooth record players need speakers?

This will very much depend on the Bluetooth record player that you purchase. Some might indeed come with their own speakers, in which case you will be all set to use these, at least until you grow tired of them or simply wish to try a new set of speakers with which to expand your musical and/or sonic palette. Some, however, will not come with their own Bluetooth speakers, perhaps expecting you to have your own seeing as you are knowingly purchasing a Bluetooth record player. They should work with any Bluetooth speaker, however, so one would not be difficult to source.

Can you connect your phone to a Bluetooth record player?

This will very much depend on the Bluetooth record player that you purchase. Some models, for example, might allow you to connect your phone through the record player and into adjoining speakers – some might even downright encourage it! Some, however, might be less able to offer such spirited external connections.

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this information! I’m wanting to purchase a record player for my son so I can hand down all my vynal to him to enjoy. One last question…Does blue tooth record players strictly Bluetooth? Or is there an option for regular sound thru speakers?

    1. Hey there Peggy, hope you are well.

      In attempting to pass on the flame of your love for collecting records to your son, you are doing a great thing! There is scarcely a better way to support artists nowadays than to purchase their merchandise to listen to physically – lord knows streaming platforms like Spotify will not keep them afloat. In answer to your question, all record players with Bluetooth functionality can offer the option of listening to sound through regular speakers, at least among all those I have come across. This will almost always be via the RCA out on the back of the record player, something that can easily be explored cheaply.

      Hope this has helped and I hope your son ends up loving records as much as I do!

      Robert.

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