Guide to Seamlessly Connect Record Player to Soundbar for Better Audio Experience

Published Categorized as Vinyl 101

Want your soundbar to be fed the sweet sounds of your hi-fi but don’t know how to go about it? Are you worried that your record player won’t be able to accommodate the wirelessness of the soundbar, or are you worried that the soundbar won’t be able to deal with the wires? Want your record player to soundbar connection to be rid of all the worry?

Then join us as we explore a few methods by which you might connect the soundbar to a record player as well as something to duly consider along the way.

Record Player to Soundbar

Table of Contents

Soundbar vs Turntable

One of the key points of tension between the connection of a soundbar and a turntable is the fact that the parts of each are made very differently. Where a soundbar’s parts are typically digital, the parts of a turntable are more often than not analog. This can mean some interesting things for sound quality, especially when the phono preamp of each is made differently.

Still, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get each of them to communicate with one another. As the turntable in question has phono preamp audio cables, you should be fine.

Preamp vs Amplifier

Here, it would be worth making note of the differences between a preamp (whether a built-in phono preamp or not) and an external amplifier.

Converts several input signals into one for the amplifier to processSends the output signal from the preamp to an external speaker
Found in many audio and video receivers to prepare the signal for projectionRequires several different channels in order to function
Filters and increases the volume of sound to avoid noise and distortionAmplifies the sound elsewhere to speakers so that it can be heard loud and clear

Things to Consider Before Connecting

While connecting a turntable to a soundbar doesn’t require professionalism, it is still worth checking your knowledge of Bluetooth connectivity and whether or not there is an analog aux input.

Even if you are working with a Bluetooth turntable, it will inherently need a phono preamp to convert the relatively weak phono signal to something that is going to be audible and clear for the speakers. It is unlikely that the soundbar is going to have one, so to send the signal from the turntable to a soundbar, you will need a phono preamp (if there isn’t already one built into the turntable of course).

Does Your Turntable Already Have a Built-in Phono Preamp?

Here’s how you can check whether your turntable already has a built-in phono preamp as well as the Bluetooth adapter and analog outputs:

  • Check behind the turntable for a switch labeled phono/line. If so, then your turntable has a built-in preamp which you can activate by switching it to Line.
  • Heck, the soundbar might even have one, so check for an input option that is labeled Phono.
  • If neither has a preamp, then you are going to have to source your own (the Pyle below is incredibly good value for money).
Pyle Output PP777 Phono Turntable Preamp Mini Electronic Audio Stereo Phonograph Preamplifier Input, RCA Output & Low Noise Operation Powered by 12 Volt DC Adapter

Connecting Turntable to Soundbar

So, there are a few ways you can go about this:

RCA/AUX (Direct Connection)

If your turntable does not require the use of an external phono preamp, then connecting it to a soundbar will be as easy as using turntable audio cables to bridge the gap between the two pieces of technology.

Flip the switch behind the turntable to LINE (if you haven’t already) and then connect the AUX/RCA cable from the turntable to the input option on the soundbar that says LINE.

You should then find no further issues!

Bluetooth (Wireless)

A large number of soundbars do, however, come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, eliminating the need for wires to get all up in a knotted fuss, typical of the back end of a hi-fi setup. If your turntable also offers Bluetooth connectivity, then you can feed it through the built-in phono stage and bypass the phono inputs of the soundbar entirely, opting instead for digital inputs.

Turn both devices on and let them pair by following the instructions in each of their respective manuals – pairing methods can differ from brand to brand.

Bluetooth Adapter

Of course, though it might be fairly commonplace for a soundbar to have Bluetooth connectivity, the vast majority of record players and turntables have to rely on the phono input to survive.

In such instances, there is a way to bridge the gap: the use of a Bluetooth adapter that is compatible with analog inputs like AUX or phono that can then send the signal to a Bluetooth-compatible device.

Follow the instructions in the manual carefully to avoid disappointment and ensure that the bandwidth is following Bluetooth protocol to ensure the best sound quality possible.

Bluetooth Audio Adapter for Music Streaming Sound System, Esinkin Wireless Audio Adapter Works with Smartphones and Tablets, Wireless Adapter for Speakers

Analog Soundbars

Working with an analog soundbar is a little different as you are going to be relying wholly on a direct connection. This can work whether or not you have a built-in phono preamp too!

If you do, then just confirm that the phono switch is set to LINE and then connect it directly to the AUX port on the soundbar to avoid distortion by using two phono preamps simultaneously.

If you don’t, then just connect to the preamp port on the soundbar and allow the built-in preamp within the soundbar to do its work.

The Best Soundbars for Turntable

Here are some of the best examples of the format:

Polk Audio Signa S2

This is a great budget soundbar that even comes kitted out with a wireless subwoofer, an AUX analog input, Bluetooth, HDMI, and TOSLINK connectivity!

Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar | Works with 4K & HD TVs | Wireless Subwoofer | Includes HDMI & Optical Cables | Bluetooth Enabled, Black

Sonos Beam+ Port

This is a small soundbar from Sonos though with a significant number of streaming features. There is, though, no AUX analog input as this is completely wireless, so you will require a Sonos port to connect it to a turntable.

Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - White

Bose TV Speaker

This is an esteemed soundbar of the highest quality that produces a clear sound from a great and solid design. It even comes with an AUX analog cord to get you started connecting anything to it!

Bose TV Speaker - Soundbar for TV with Bluetooth and HDMI-ARC Connectivity, Black, Includes Remote Control

Vizio Soundbar

Vizio offers plenty of different varieties of a soundbar, though this is likely the best as it comes with the choice of analog inputs and Bluetooth inputs.

VIZIO M-Series All-in-One 2.1 Immersive Sound Bar with 6 High-Performance Speakers, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Built in Subwoofers and Alexa Compatibility, M213ad-K8, 2023 Model

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you have been able to marry your setup and soundbar together in perfect communion!

FAQs Record Player to Soundbar

Can I connect a record player to a soundbar?

Indeed you can, either by using Bluetooth or wired connections. It should be as simple as turning it on and pressing play with the addition of plugging in a few wires, of course.

How do you connect a turntable to a soundbar without an aux?

Your best bet is to use Bluetooth. If your turntable does not have Bluetooth capabilities, then you can always buy a separate Bluetooth connector which will convert your phono signals into Bluetooth signals to be interpreted by the soundbar after the fact.

How do I connect my record player to my sound system?

You can choose between either wired or wireless connections. The former will involve using an AUX or RCA cable to bridge the gap, whereas the latter will usually involve the use of a Bluetooth connection between a turntable and a sound system.

How do I connect my Victrola record player to my soundbar?

You can do so either through a wired connection as with an AUX or RCA cable, or you can use a Bluetooth connection, though you will likely need a converter to render the phono signals into Bluetooth signals first.

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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