From the Walkman to the iPod, the music world has long been obsessed with technological advances, and job number one has always been increasing convenience and ease of access. So where does your classic rock vinyl fit into that? After all, vinyl is an outlier, a relic that’s stubbornly refused to bow to the ‘everything now’ culture, but Bluetooth turntables have changed all that.
Essentially, Bluetooth is an old technology being put to fresh use, and a new breed of the best turntables are requisitioning this tech to shake up the vinyl market. Bluetooth turntables wirelessly sync to any speakers within range (around 30 feet) and operate your stereo remotely. They can also be used with the best headphones for private listening sessions. If that tickles your fancy, we’d also recommend you check out the best headphones for vinyl – these beauties are perfect for such use.
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Bluetooth turntables open up the possibility of throwing on a record in one room and listening to it remotely while you’re sat in another, or slapping on your cans to make a sandwich while delving into a forgotten corner of your valuable vinyl records collection.
While you don’t see many Bluetooth record players in the best budget turntables end of the market, they do crop up occasionally, so you won’t have to break your bank to take home one of these tech-enhanced players.
Bluetooth turntables: what to look for
A lot of major audio brands have joined in the Bluetooth record player fun, with spinners from Sony, Cambridge Audio and Pro-Ject available at various price points. The great thing about Bluetooth decks is how simple they are to use…
On one hand they have the potential to remove the need for wires entirely, while on the other, many of the best Bluetooth record players are also available with built-in phono preamps (so skipping a separate preamp to boost the signal from your turntable). That means they’re as plug and play ready as possible, if you choose to go old-school. You will need powered, Bluetooth ready speakers and perhaps a pair of the best budget wireless headphones to enjoy the tech, but otherwise you’ll be up and running with the push of a couple of buttons.
Remember: Bluetooth is a digital addition to an analogue system, so as a result you will likely experience some deterioration in audio quality due to compression. But this will be negligible for the casual listener, and potentially outweighed by the increased freedom offered by Bluetooth turntables.
There are also a lot of high quality Bluetooth record players out there these days, and it’s all about getting what you want from your records and how best to enjoy them. If you need some extra advice, have a read through our guide on how to buy your first vinyl record player.
The best Bluetooth turntables to buy now
Audio Technica have been churning out quality turntables for a long time, and the AT-LP60XBT underlines that fact by stripping everything back. Aimed at beginners and budget buyers, this is the best Bluetooth turntable for beginners and boasts solid sound alongside maximum plug and play user-friendliness.
Packed into this wallet-friendly deck you’ll find a built-in phono stage and balanced sonic performance. It’s also almost entirely automated, so you’ll be delving into your records with absolutely minimal fuss. It’s not the prettiest, but it makes up for that by ensuring that the ride is smooth elsewhere.
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The Sony PS-LX310BT Bluetooth Record Player wants to be all things to all people, and in this case that’s a really good thing as it doesn’t sacrifice one element in order to cram another feature on top. It’s nicely balanced.
It comes with a built in phono stage alongside its Bluetooth connectivity, prioritising ease of use above anything else, and it'll take you longer to decide what to listen to than to get your headphones paired with the deck.
Up to eight devices can be synced, too, while the sound quality is excellent given the entry-level price point. The PS-LX310BT is a fantastic choice when buying a Bluetooth turntable. Plus, it’ll look good when sat on top of one of the best vinyl record storage consoles.
The Pro-Ject Essential III Bluetooth record player enters the ring with a huge pedigree on its side. The base model has long been regarded as one of the finest competitors in the budget to mid range turntable bracket, and here the Bluetooth capability has been drafted in as a new, extra feature.
Boasting a phono stage alongside its Bluetooth functionality, the Essential III channels years of Pro-Ject hits into a fresh package, boasting bright sound, punchy treble and winning sonic versatility.
At £349, this is undoubtedly the best Bluetooth turntable for the money. It has so much to offer and years of tweaking to the Pro-Ject format behind it. It’s an ideal blend of cutting edge and tried and tested. Buy it, you won’t regret it.
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Meet a modern twist on the music centre. Unlike the other models on this list the Pro-Ject Juke Box E Bluetooth record player also boasts RCA inputs and outputs, its own amplification and a receiver, meaning that you can also stream music through it. Bluetooth is a two way street around these parts.
On the vinyl side of things, this setup also has plenty to offer. It takes its job of protecting the Pro-Ject name seriously, balancing dynamic space with a sense of warmth. And, all this still lands comfortably in the mid-range pricing-wise. To borrow a phrase from baseball, this is a multi-tool player.
The Elipson Omega 100 RIAA BT is the sort of Bluetooth record player that covers all the bases, packing eye-catching features into its sleek, well-rounded design. Alongside its phono stage and Bluetooth capability it also has a USB output, enabling you to rip digital copies of your vinyl records from source.
Crucially, though, these bells and whistles are backed by a setup that’s still capable of doing the basics very well. The turntable is comfortable when handling music from a wide range of genres, trading in detail-oriented sound as its bread and butter.
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Cambridge Audio’s tricked-out Alva TT Bluetooth Turntable offers a few key revisions to the format by attempting to answer those potential sound quality concerns while also offering a versatile, easy to use system.
Underneath the bonnet you’ll find a built-in phono stage complementing its Bluetooth capability, while the ace up the Cambridge Audio Alva TT’s sleeve is its aptX HD functionality. That facilitates streaming to devices in 24-bit hi res audio. For those of you worried about sacrificing the sonic pleasures of vinyl in pursuit of convenience, this Bluetooth turntable offers some intriguing answers.
At £1,500 (RRP), this is definitely one of the more expensive Bluetooth record players doing the rounds right now, but it makes a good argument for shelling out the extra cash if you’re in the market for an upgrade.