Is Vinyl Worth It? Pros and Cons of Vinyl Records

Is Vinyl Worth It? Pros and Cons of Vinyl Records

Posted by House of Marley on May 21st 2024

Against all odds, vinyl has made a comeback. Evidently, there's something to the experience of placing a needle on a record and letting the music fill the room as you hold the picture sleeve in your hands.

Thanks to eco-conscious companies like House of Marley, it is now possible to enjoy this passion with a clear conscience, without sacrificing quality or style.

On the other hand, building a record collection requires time, patience, and money. If you're thinking about starting one, here are some pros and cons of vinyl records that you should consider.

The Pros of Vinyl Records

Let’s begin with the upsides. Vinyl has stuck around for about a century, and it has staying power for a reason—well, several reasons.

The Nostalgic Appeal

As the American diplomat George Ball succinctly put it, "nostalgia is a seductive liar."[1] But are we not allowed to lie to ourselves from time to time? There is nothing wrong with reliving your youth, and if listening to an old vinyl record helps you do that, you have no reason not to indulge yourself.

And while it may not be possible to truly feel a sense of nostalgia for a period you have not actually lived through, having an appreciation for an era that precedes your birth is not just common, but also a way to truly connect with the art of the time. Listening to a vinyl record can help you get there.

Superior Sound Quality

It's not your imagination: Natty Dread sounds better on vinyl. This has nothing to do with nostalgia, and more to do with the recording process.

When a musician records music, it is initially recorded on a master disk, which is then used to press the vinyl. This is the closest we can get to "lossless" audio transmission. In other words, vinyl is more faithful to the original recording, so the sound quality is warmer and richer than other formats.[2] To learn more about why many believe vinyl offers superior sound quality, explore our article, ‘ Does Vinyl Sound Better?’.

Physical Collection and Artwork

With digital music, having music available at the tip of your fingers is wonderfully convenient, but anyone can make a Spotify playlist or subscribe to a band's YouTube channel.

On the other hand, few have respectable record collections nowadays. Collectors who do, understand how valuable their records are, and not just in the monetary sense. Admiring the artwork and reading the lyrics inside the sleeve, while blasting your favorite album through a quality speaker system, is an experience no digital format can offer.

Enhancing Music Appreciation

Listening to music can be a primal and emotional experience, but the extent of immersion is dictated by the medium through which it is consumed. Vinyl records are inherently more immersive than other forms of audio consumption due to their physical, analog nature.

Vinyl records encourage active listening by default, which doesn't just contribute to immersion, but also provides a deeper appreciation for music as an art form.

The Cons of Vinyl Records

Naturally, there are also downsides to vinyl records. They may not be a deal-breaker for most people interested in music, but they're worth considering, especially if you're someone who has never owned a record player.

Maintenance and Care

Vinyl records require a lot of maintenance and care. If you want your records to last, they need to be handled with care and kept in a clean, dry place. You should always store them vertically, and you’ll need to clean them every so often to remove dust and dander.[3] Learn how to clean vinyl records in our blog.

If you’ve got a scratched record, learn how to fix scratches on vinyl records for a long-lasting and rich musical experience.

Limited Portability

Having a record collection is great, but if you're one of those people who listens to music all day every day, you need a portable device. A record player can’t fit into your pocket, but a smartphone definitely can.

Vinyl records will never be mobile or portable, and that's one massive advantage modern technology and digital music formats have over them.

Cost Considerations

How many albums have you listened to throughout your lifetime? Hundreds? Thousands? On average, a new vinyl record costs around $30.[1] If you want to have a decent collection, you have to spend a considerable amount of money, and not everyone is willing to do that.

Plus, you need to get a turntable, or a wireless turntable if that’s what you prefer, and a solid sound system. And you need to maintain your records. You can't undelete it like an MP3 file, nor can you get your $30 back.

Surface Noise and Vulnerability

That warm and fuzzy vinyl enthusiasts always talk about is not universally appreciated. Some people prefer the clear, crisp sound of music in a digital format. You might be one of them.

Vinyl records are very delicate, they get worn out and damaged easily. This creates surface noise, which turns that warm and fuzzy sound into a distraction, taking away from the experience of listening to music instead of adding to it.


So, Is Vinyl Worth It For You?

You now hopefully have a clearer picture of what owning and managing vinyl records actually entails. Is vinyl worth it for you? If you don't mind a bit of extra effort in maintenance and have the space to store records, then it certainly is.

If you're someone who can't go a day without listening to music, then the answer is definitely yes, provided that you don't mind spending money on records and occasionally dealing with surface noise.

Ready to begin your vinyl adventure? Find more valuable insights and tips in our guide on how to start collecting vinyl today.

Explore House of Marley Turntables Today

If the pros of vinyl record collecting outweigh the cons for you, the first thing you need to do is buy a turntable.

At House of Marley, we’re proud of our wide selection of high-quality record players, from budget-friendly options for beginners to premium models. And whether you prefer to listen to music through a set of portable speakers or over-ear headphones, House of Marley has got you covered there, too.

Inspired by Bob Marley's legacy, House of Marley is socially responsible and deeply committed to environmental causes, so all products are made of mindfully sourced materials.


University of Victoria. Nostalgia and Me: A Complicated Relationship.

The Sound of Vinyl. Does Vinyl Actually Sound Better?

Cambridge Audio. How to Take Care of Your Vinyl Collection.

Billboard. Four Takeaways From RIAA’s 2022 Year-End Report: Paid Subscription Growth, Ad-Supported Dip & Vinyl Vinyl Vinyl.