If you like to listen to records, but don’t feel like complicated wiring of the player, you will quickly think of wireless signal transmission. This is exactly what turntables with built-in Bluetooth or Wifi transmitter modules are for.
This guide explains the easiest way to send analogue music from your LP wirelessly to a digital system.
Simply wireless without cables
Connecting a record player to the stereo system is somewhat of rocket science for many music listeners: you need an appropriate preamplifier in the stereo system or in the record player. With analogue wiring in particular, there are a lot of things you can do wrong that can lead to hum or other sonic problems. This is especially true when players and amplifiers are far apart.
A wireless transmission, usually via Bluetooth, is much more hassle-free. The record player may be placed where the owner wants it to play. From there, it transmits its music to a Bluetooth speaker or a suitably equipped stereo system. Of course, it does this only afterthe has switched it on and the tone arm has been placed on the record. Because fully automatic players are still the exception even among Bluetooth turntables.
Record players with Wifi connectivity are still a rare exception: these stream the music sampled from the record via Wifi into a multi-room streaming environment.
What is to consider?
Experience has shown that the connection of the Bluetooth transmitters with the terminal device works in most cases without any problems. However, the usual turntables with Bluetooth transmitters do not offer a volume control built in. Therefore, they always send the music at maximum gain level. If you want to stream wirelessly to headphones (or very rarely: speakers) without offering a local volume control, you might end up with a huge problem. After all, they always output the full volume. So you’d better make sure before you buy a wireless turntable that your speakers or headphones actually control the level by themselves, rather than relying on the digital source device to do such before Bluetooth transmission.
Market overview: Turntables with Bluetooth transmitter
- Aiwa GBTUR-120 BKMKII
- Akai Professional BT 500
- Akai Professional BT 100
- Audio Technica AT-LP 60 XBT
- Audio Technica AT-LP 120 BTUSB
- Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2
- Cambridge Audio Alva ST
- Dual DT-230 BT
- Ellipson Omega 100 RIAA BT
- House of Marley Stir it up
- Ion Audio Air LP
- James Spun Out
- Lenco L-85
- Lenco LBT-188
- Pro-Hect VT-E BT R
- Pro-Ject Essential III BT
- Pro-Ject T1 BT
- Reloop Spin
- Sonoro Platinum
- Sony PS-LX 310 BT
- Teac TN-180 BT
- Teac TN-280 BT
- Teac TN-400 BT
- Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500
Alternatives: Phono amplifier with digital output or system with phono input
Especially those who want to listen to their LPs in higher quality will quickly reach the dynamic limits of Bluetooth audio. In this case, a digital wiring and a turntable equipped with a high quality cartridge and higher data rate will help with the A/D conversion. Here again, however, one should be choosing gear carefully. Finally, most turntables with wired digital output only offer USB output. And it is usually used to connect to a computer. However, most hi-fi systems cannot handle such signal stream. Therefore, an optical digital output or analogue line-level would be more suitable.
Buying guide: Turntables with digital output
Buying guide turntables with analogue output and phono amplifier
You should be careful when buying a model not mentioned here: In many online shops turntables are only listed and filtered according to available functions. But there are also such models on the market that offer Bluetooth input and can not stream the signal from the record wirelessly by themselves.