How Does A Bluetooth Record Player Work?
Posted by House of Marley on Oct 15th 2021
Bluetooth devices are embedded in every corner of our homes and workspaces, from bookshelves to backpacks. Now, record players, the century-old music playback machines, are built with Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth record players bring vinyl albums into the digital landscape, giving music fans analog warmth through any Bluetooth-compatible device nearby.
Bluetooth record players are becoming more popular, but what specific features set them apart? In this article, we take a look at the benefits and explain how Bluetooth record players transmit sound to wireless devices.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology used to transmit signals between electronic devices over short distances. Data is sent using a radio wavelength, which falls within a specific frequency range designated for Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth technology continues to improve and many devices are adapting to new protocols for faster and more efficient data transmission.
Record players with internal Bluetooth transmitters can pair with multiple wireless audio devices, including headphones, speakers and earbuds.
Wired vs Bluetooth
Although cable cutting is becoming a hot trend and people are canceling media subscriptions, record players are still here to stay. Bluetooth record players are very similar to wired record players. They both rely on the same mechanics to recreate sound from vinyl records, but Bluetooth record players process audio signals differently. Here’s a closer look at the differences between both styles.
Wired Record Players
Record players that need a wired connection use RCA cables to link a series of other components in a home audio system, like receivers and stereo amplifiers. If the record player doesn’t have a built-in phono stage, an external preamp is connected as well.
Bluetooth Record Players
Rather than being reliant on RCA cables, Bluetooth record players send audio to wireless speakers using an internal transmitter. Although designs vary, Bluetooth record players are built with the same traditional components found on wired record players—platter, cartridge, stylus and tonearm. Most Bluetooth record players, like our Stir It Up Wireless Turntable even allow you to use wired RCA connections if you want to hook up a traditional stereo system.
How Do Bluetooth Record Players Work?
Record players reproduce music the same way, but Bluetooth models use a different method to send signals to the speakers. Here’s a short explanation of how it works.
- The record spins on the platter, and the stylus vibrates from making contact with the walls of the record groove. Within the cartridge, small magnets move back and forth in response to the stylus movements, which result in an analog signal.
- After the built-in phono stage amplifies the analog signal, it’s converted into a digital signal using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC).
- The record player’s Bluetooth module transmits the digital signal to wireless speakers over short-range radio waves.
- Wireless speakers receive the digital signal and produce sound.
Benefits of Bluetooth Record Players
Bluetooth record players are the perfect combination of modern technology and classic style. Here’s a list of advantages you’ll appreciate when you’re spinning your favorite albums.
Listening to vinyl records with a Bluetooth record player is easy—pair it to your Bluetooth speakers or headphones, drop the needle on the record and enjoy. Here’s an example of a step-by-step pairing walkthrough. The details may vary depending on the manufacturer and model.
- Connect the record player to AC power and turn it on.
- Enable the record player’s Bluetooth pairing mode and make sure it’s in range of the device you want to connect.
- Assuming the speakers or headphones are turned on and ready to pair, the record player should connect in seconds.
No Cables Needed
A mess of cables isn’t a pleasant sight, especially if you have long cables running across your listening area. Bluetooth record players don’t need any RCA or ground wire connections—all you need is a power cable and you’re good-to-go. Without all those extra cables, you’ll get a cleaner, streamlined setup to complement the aesthetics of your home.
Preamps are a critical part of the sound record players produce. Some wired record players don’t have phono stages to amplify the signal, which means you have to go out and research a good one to buy and invest extra money in one.
Bluetooth record players have those preamps built in, making it one less thing you have to worry about when shopping for a record player.
Listen at Long Range
Most Bluetooth record players have a range that reaches up to 30 feet, which is plenty of space for home and even backyard use. This gives you the flexibility to place the record player anywhere—desks, bookshelves, coffee tables or wherever is most convenient. Wired record players have to be placed close to the speaker system for the cables to reach. If you decide to put it in a different room, the whole system has to come with it.
Pair with Multiple Devices
Whether listening with speakers, headphones or earbuds, Bluetooth record players can connect to any compatible device of your choice. You might not be able to connect all of them at the same time, but you’ll have plenty of options for any scenario.
Wireless Home Sound Systems
Bluetooth record players are the perfect addition to any wireless audio system. You can enjoy the deep sound of your records in stunning detail throughout every room of your home. Thanks to Bluetooth technology, integrating your record player into a wireless system is effortless.
It’s totally fine if you’re a little overwhelmed. We’ll quickly answer some common questions you might have about Bluetooth record players.
Does Bluetooth Degrade Sound Quality?
Many music lovers question if Bluetooth drastically affects sound quality in a negative way. The short answer is, no. Bluetooth record players can reproduce music faithfully without any noticeable limitations. Additionally, many Bluetooth record players are equipped with audiophile-grade cartridges to trace the vinyl groove more accurately, resulting in improved fidelity.
Can I Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers to My Record Player?
The answer to this question is yes, absolutely, just use our Get Together Duo, which is a set of two Bluetooth speakers that will reproduce music in stereo. Most Bluetooth record players are designed to pair with a singular wireless speaker or a matched pair of wireless speakers. If you want to pair it with an entire array of speakers, we recommend looking into a wireless home audio system instead.
Can I Listen Through Wired Speakers Too?
Using Bluetooth speakers isn’t your only option. Most Bluetooth record players have RCA outputs for listening through your favorite wired speakers too. Typically, this involves connecting your record player to the speakers using RCA cables, then flipping the LINE switch to engage the internal preamp. As always, check with the manufacturer for specific instructions.
Can I Still Use an External Preamp?
Most likely, but it depends on the record player. Many Bluetooth record players have a grounding screw next to the RCA outputs. This allows you to link a grounding wire from an external preamp.
Start Your Vinyl Journey
Bluetooth record players offer the best of both worlds—analog warmth and the convenience of wireless connectivity. In addition to a range of benefits, they allow music lovers to get lost in a classic pastime—listening to albums on wax.
When you’re ready to get started, check out the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable. With a built-in switch preamp, you’ll have an excellent centerpiece for any wireless audio system or home receiver. To take your experience to the next level, pair it with premium wireless speakers, like our Get Together Portable or Get Together Duo.