From the Walkman and Minidisc through to the iPod and iPhone, the music world has long been obsessed with the advancement of playback technology. The main job of these enhancements has been to boost convenience, but where does that leave your vinyl collection? Vinyl is certainly an outlier in the battle with digital music, but today’s best Bluetooth turntables are here to change all that.
Essentially, Bluetooth is a pretty old technology (first unleashed to the world in 1989) being put to fresh use in the latest tech, from headphones to smartphones, and a new breed of advanced record players are harnessing this tech to shake up the vinyl market. In a nutshell, wireless record players sync to any speakers within range (up to around 30 feet) and operate your stereo remotely.
They can be used with headphones if you prefer private listening sessions too.
The best Bluetooth turntables open up the possibility of spinning a record in one room and listening to it while you’re doing something in another, or slapping on your favourite pair of headphones to make a sandwich in the kitchen while delving into a forgotten corner of your epic vinyl collection.
Best Bluetooth turntables: The Louder Choice
If you’re looking for your first wireless record player and reckon Bluetooth tech would come in handy, the Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT (opens in new tab) is an ideal option for vinyl fans who don’t have a massive budget. Not only is Audio-Technica a trusted brand in the record player world, but this model boasts great sound for the money, plus a built-in phono preamp, making it a true plug and play deck.
Further up the price scale, the Pro-Ject Essential III (opens in new tab) combines the brand’s long-term expertise in turntable manufacture with modern smarts, plus a built-in phono stage alongside the Bluetooth functionality.
If money is no object and sound is your primary concern, the Cambridge Audio Alva TT Bluetooth (opens in new tab) turntable can stream to devices in 24-bit hi-res audio, meaning you get all the convenience of Bluetooth, without any drop in audio quality.
Best Bluetooth turntables: Product guide
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.
Read the full Audio-Technica AT-LP60xBT review
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 preamp 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 wireless record player. Plus, it’ll look good when sat on top of one of the best vinyl record storage consoles.
Read the full Sony PS-LX310BT review
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 preamp 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 wireless record player 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.
Read the full Pro-Ject Essential III review
There’s a lot to be said for being the everyman, and in the Audio-Technica ATLP120XBT-USB we have the record-playing, all-connecting equivalent of a vinyl everyman. If your system is well-established and you’re looking for an affordable deck to slot in, the 120 (as it shall be known from this point) has you covered. If you’re looking to stream over Bluetooth, you’re set. And, if you have a large collection to back up, the 120 will see you right thanks to its USB connectivity.
As a direct-drive turntable with integrated phono preamp, we can also see the 120 being popular with vinyl samplers and producers looking for an easy way to get into crate digging. Simply hook the deck up to your audio interface and you’re good to go. For everyone else, Audio-Technica has once again produced the goods with a superb balance of price, performance and functionality.
Read the full Audio-Technica ATLP120XBT-USB review
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.
Read the full Pro-Ject Juke Box E review
We’re big fans of the ION Audio Air LP, which is arguably the best value entry-level wireless record player. Sound quality is perfectly passable, and we also found the Bluetooth range meant we could position separate speakers in different rooms to enjoy our music wherever we found ourselves.
The Audio Air comes in a couple of classy finish options, and is small enough so as to not dominate the space. Throw in USB connectivity for backing up your collection and you’ve got a package which is, certainly at this price, hard to beat.
Read the full ION Audio Air LP turntable review
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 preamp 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.
Often, when people decide to install a vinyl-playing system at home, they can be put off by the amount of other ‘stuff’ you need. Older record players usually require some form of amplification, meaning people living in small spaces will need to think carefully before they take the plunge. The alternative is to look for something with all the bits you’ll need already included, and with the Lenco LBT-188 there is a perfect Bluetooth record player for small spaces.
The integrated phono preamp and USB connection, along with Bluetooth, means you’ll need only a set of speakers to make the most of this nicely-designed unit. It’s also smaller and more compact than certain others on the list, making it ideal for anyone in cramped apartments who doesn’t want to compromise on style.
As much as vinyl is revered for its unique tonal character, you shouldn’t overlook how the record player itself will fit into your setup. While it shouldn’t matter if the sound is good, record players are not tiny devices and, as such, you should give consideration to how it’ll look perched on your shelf or sideboard. The House of Marley Stir it Up is, like other products from the brand, designed with a sweet sustainable bamboo finish which gives it a great contemporary look.
Sound quality is about on par with what we’d expect in this price range, however there are reports that the Stir it Up does take a bit of tweaking to find the sweet spot. This is, by all accounts, a simple fix however and shouldn’t put you off what is a very attractive deck indeed.
Read the full House Of Marley Stir It Up review
For anyone just getting into vinyl, suitcase style portable record players offer a great way to get started. The Victrola VSC 580BT is a cost-effective, nicely designed option which will have you playing your music in no time.
The Bluetooth functionality here is worth highlighting, however, as it’s something of a one-way street. You can, for example, stream music from your phone or tablet and play it through the built-in speakers but you can’t, on the other hand, stream your vinyl to a set of external Bluetooth speakers.
Understandably, given the price, the speakers contained within the Victrola aren’t of the highest quality - bass and low-end suffer particularly - but what you lose in audio fidelity you make up for with convenience. Plus, thanks to the stereo RCA outputs, you can always hook up to a preamp and better speakers if required.
Best Bluetooth turntables: Buying advice
What is a Bluetooth turntable?
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A Bluetooth turntable is like a traditional record player, with the added bonus that it can connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth-equipped stereo system, powered speaker or wireless headphones.
Choosing the best Bluetooth turntable for you
A lot of major audio brands have jumped aboard the wireless record player train, with slick spinners from Sony, Cambridge Audio and Pro-Ject available all coming in at various price points to suit most budgets and proving that it’s not just a passing fad. For us, one of the greatest things about Bluetooth decks is how simple they are to operate.
On one hand they have the potential to remove the need for trailing wires completely, while on the other, many of the best Bluetooth record players also come complete with built-in phono stage (so skipping a separate preamp to boost the signal from your turntable). That means they’re about as plug and play as you can get, if you choose to go old-school.
You will need powered, Bluetooth ready speakers and perhaps a pair of wireless headphones to make the most of the tech, but otherwise you should be up and running with the push of a couple of buttons.
Do Bluetooth turntables sound good?
Of course, Bluetooth turntables are designed for listening to music, so how much does the extra tech impact the sound? It’s worth remembering that here Bluetooth is introducing a digital element to an analogue system, so as a result you will likely experience some deterioration in audio quality due to the compression involved. For the casual listener this will be a negligible difference, but it could potentially be outweighed by the increased freedom you'll get from your Bluetooth turntable.
That said, up your budget a little and you’ll find plenty of high quality wireless record players out there - 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.
How do you pair a Bluetooth turntable with headphones or a speaker?
As mentioned above, in order for your Bluetooth deck to work, you will need powered Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi) ready speakers or a pair of wireless headphones.
The first step is to get your Bluetooth turntable and speaker or headphones to ‘talk’ to each other. To do this you need to put both into pairing mode. On your Bluetooth record player this is usually accessed by long-pressing the Bluetooth button, with a different coloured light engaging to indicate you’re in pairing mode.
With both your deck and device in pairing mode, position them close together, and they should connect. A short sound or change of light colour will indicate a successful connection. You’re now ready to beam your wonderful vinyl sounds to your chosen Bluetooth device. What’s more, the next time you switch your Bluetooth record player on, it should automatically connect to your paired device.
The process of pairing can differ slightly from device to device, so check manufacturer instructions for the full picture.
How much should you spend on a Bluetooth turntable?
You really don’t have to spend much to get your hands on a deck that’s packing Bluetooth. The Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT is a fantastic budget turntable as it is, but the added Bluetooth functionality makes it an even better proposition. For that you’ll pay around $149/£179 - around the base level of what you should budget for a Bluetooth turntable. Up your budget and that additional cash will mostly bag you better components, like a quality tonearm and cartridge, a tasty phono preamp and, critically, better sound. As with most things turntable-related, when it comes to your budget, the sky really is the limit.
Which brands make the best Bluetooth turntables?
As we’ve already mentioned, Bluetooth tech has been adopted by most of the major turntable manufacturers. Therefore, to find the best wireless record player for you, you simply need to look to the big guns in the traditional turntable world - we’re looking at you Sony, Audio Technica, Pro-Ject and Cambridge Audio and Lenco.
How we test Bluetooth turntables
When it comes to testing the latest Bluetooth decks, we naturally check all the usual elements such as sound quality, build quality, set up and features, and judge those against other products in the field and in that price bracket. But, being Bluetooth record players, it’s important that the connectivity is up to scratch, too. For this, we check for ease of connectivity using multiple devices including headphones and speakers, the stability of the connection (whether we experienced any drop outs) and the range.
For some, Bluetooth is a nice-to-have rather than essential feature, so we ensure that Bluetooth is there for a reason, does the job well and doesn’t indicate that corners have been cut in other important areas such as the tonearm or cartridge.
Read more on how we test products and services at Louder.
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