Turntable vs Record Player: What's the Difference?

Turntable vs Record Player: What's the Difference?

Posted by House of Marley on Apr 21st 2023

Within the realm of vinyl records, the terms "turntable" and "record player" often emerge, and while they may seem synonymous, these two audio devices possess distinct characteristics. Continue reading to explore the nuances between turntables and record players, and ultimately learn how to choose a record player or turntable that is the perfect fit for your needs.

What Is a Turntable?

At the heart of the vinyl record listening experience, turntables consist of a rotating disc to support the record, a tonearm to navigate the needle over the record's grooves, and a phonograph cartridge that converts stylus movements into audible signals. Turntables require additional components like external speakers, amplifiers, and preamps to play music, making the audio equipment a customizable option for audiophiles looking for a tailored audio experience.

Sound Meets Sustainability in our Premium Turntables

Advantages of Turntables

  • Customizable: Turntables offer a high degree of customization, allowing you to choose the components that best fit your preferences and budget.
  • Superior Sound Quality: With the right combination of components, turntables can deliver an unmatched audio experience.
  • Upgradeable: Turntables can be upgraded over time, allowing you to improve your audio setup as your budget and preferences evolve.

Disadvantages of Turntables

  • Requires Additional Components: Turntables necessitate the purchase of separate speakers, amplifiers, and preamps, which can increase the overall cost.
  • More Complex Setup: Assembling a turntable setup can be more complicated and time-consuming than using a record player.

Sustainability is at the heart of House of Marley, and we believe in using mindfully sourced materials for our turntables. Our turntables feature sustainably sourced bamboo and recycled aluminum, plastic, fabric, and silicone, demonstrating our commitment to environmental causes like global reforestation through Project Marley.

What Is a Record Player?

A record player is an all-in-one device that includes a turntable, speakers, and amplifier in a single unit. Record players are perfect for those looking for a hassle-free, plug-and-play vinyl listening experience. Offering a hassle-free way to indulge in your cherished tunes, record players eliminate the need for extra equipment, making them an ideal option for occasional listeners or those with limited space to spare.

Advantages of Record Players

  • All-in-One Solution: Record players include all necessary components for vinyl playback, making them a convenient choice for casual listeners or those with limited space.
  • Easy to Use: How does a record player work? Record players provide a plug-and-play experience, requiring minimal setup and expertise.
  • Budget-Friendly: Record players are often more affordable than turntables, particularly when considering the cost of additional components.

Disadvantages of Record Players

  • Limited Customization: Record players offer less opportunity for customization, which may be a drawback for audiophiles seeking a tailored audio experience.
  • Inferior Sound Quality: While some record players provide satisfactory sound quality, they generally cannot match the audio performance of a well-configured turntable setup.

As a brand connected to Bob Marley's legacy, House of Marley aims to carry on his love for music and the planet. By offering vinyl players with speakers that embody both quality and sustainability, we provide a genuine and grounded audio experience for all listeners.

How Are Turntables and Record Players Different

How Are Turntables and Record Players Different?

To better understand the key differences between turntables and record players, components such as design and functionality, sound quality, and price come into play.

Design & Functionality

A noticeable difference between turntables and record players lies in their overall design. Turntables are sleek and minimalistic, consisting only of the components needed for vinyl playback. This simplicity allows turntable owners to customize their audio setups by choosing their preferred speakers, amplifiers, and preamps.

Conversely, record players feature integrated speakers and amplifiers, resulting in a more compact design and user-friendly experience. Vinyl record players are a more convenient option for those who want a simple, all-in-one solution for playing their vinyl collection. Be sure to learn about the different parts of a record player to fully understand how they work.

Sound Quality

In terms of audio performance, turntables frequently have an edge over record players. Turntables are engineered with personalization in mind, enabling music enthusiasts to optimize their sound systems by choosing top-notch speakers, amplifiers, and preamps tailored to their specific preferences. This flexibility enables turntables to deliver a more powerful and immersive audio experience.

While record players may not offer the same level of customization as turntables, they still provide a satisfying listening experience. House of Marley's turntables are designed with our "Signature Sound," which emphasizes powerful bass, precise mids, and energized high-end audio through custom tuning, ensuring a high-quality audio experience that remains true to our commitment to superior performance.


In general, turntables are typically pricier than vinyl record players due to their better sound quality and customizable options. Nonetheless, it's important to consider the costs of additional components such as powered speakers, amplifiers, and preamps when estimating the total price of a turntable system. For those seeking a budget-friendly alternative, a record player may be a more economical choice, as it encompasses all the required elements in a single unit.

That being said, for those especially enthusiastic about audio performance and personalization, investing in a top-notch turntable can be a valuable decision. As a socially responsible and charitable brand, House of Marley is dedicated to creating positive change in the world by offering turntables and record players that balance both affordability and quality.

Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding between a turntable vs record player is contingent on your personal preferences, financial constraints, and space availability. 

If you possess a more generous budget, and your focus is on customization and sound quality, a turntable might just be the perfect selection for you. Turntables allow you to create a tailored audio experience by selecting the components that best suit your needs.

Conversely, if a hassle-free, integrated solution that is user-friendly and easy on the wallet appeals to you, then a record player could be the more fitting choice. Record players provide a straightforward way to enjoy vinyl records without requiring additional equipment or setup.

Explore House of Marley Turntables Today

At House of Marley, we're dedicated to providing high-quality, sustainable audio products that empower you to connect with music and the planet.

By choosing House of Marley, you'll not only be investing in a high-performance audio experience, but you'll also be supporting our commitment to giving back through partnerships with organizations like One Tree Planted. Together, we can create a more sustainable future and continue to carry on Bob Marley's love for music and the environment.

Explore our range of wired and Bluetooth turntables and record players today, and join the House of Marley community in embracing a world of music, sustainability, and positive change. You can also take a look at our specially curated turntable bundles for an all-in-one audio solution that combines quality, convenience, and our commitment to eco-friendly practices.