So, you have decided to take the plunge and splurge on a Sonos turntable setup to take your listening experience to the next level, transmitting sounds throughout your home instead of just in your secluded little audiophile closet? Or, perhaps you are simply looking to do a little more research before taking said plunge?
Whatever your reason for being here, may I welcome you along as we attempt to elucidate for you how to install a Sonos turntable setup.
What Is Sonos: The Lowdown
In order to better our Sonos turntable setup, we might want to get to know the name a little better.
Sonos, Inc. is a manufacturer of audio products hailing from America, though most famous for their multi-room audio spaces, initially founded in August 2002 by John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Mai, the former wanting to create a wireless service of some kind.
In their own words:
‘Fans of business success stories know the familiar arc they follow…
Hero-entrepreneur dreams up a great idea, finds a sidekick or two to help it come alive, clashes with and defeats the entrenched incumbent, and rides to glory as the credits roll.
‘The story of Sonos might seem like that, from a distance. Its four founders – John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Trung Mai, and Craig Shelburne – conjured a daring vision based on technology that didn’t exist at the time. Fuelled with the insight earned from success in the first phase of Internet-based business-building, they chose as their next mission a new way to bring music to every home – wirelessly, in multiple rooms, from PCs and the Internet, with awesome sound. They hired an amazing team who built amazing products from scratch, and music devotees all over the world found a new brand to fall in love with.’
The intention all along has been to make quality audio something that just about everyone can easily access and that just about anyone can set up with all of the faff that can come with other hi-fi equipment.
For some people, it is precisely this faff that is so appealing, but for others who just want to experience their favorite music without the hassle and fuss, Sonos provides an apposite route through which to do so, with a whole host of wireless products that essentially set themselves up.
Connecting the Turntable to Sonos System
Herein lies the most crucial part of the equation, but one that can very easily be muddled and confused by an unaware user with little notion of turntable setup ideas.
You will need your own turntable to begin with, though these can also be bought in a bundle with various kinds of Sonos units. It is highly recommended that the turntable that you use in a Sonos turntable setup be one that already has a phono preamp built in, lest you wish to purchase your own separate unit.
Thankfully, most modern turntables come with one installed within as standard, though you will want to check before either purchasing a turntable or a Sonos system for your turntable.
Without these kinds of preamps, the raw signal from the turntable and its needle will simply be too quiet. This is a problem for just about any audio setup and stereo system, and so you will undoubtedly be doing your whole experience a disservice by using a turntable without a preamp.
You will likely have to pump up the volume on the Sonos system, which in turn will bring about some likely unwarranted and undesirable distortions, spoiling what might otherwise have been a crystalline high-fidelity musical experience.
Speaking of which, you will obviously need a Sonos system to have a Sonos turntable setup. Sonos themselves recommend using either a Five, an Amp, or a Port, all of which can be purchased individually from Sonos or an external supplier. The former will, however, need an aux to RCA Y audio cable, though these are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased just about anywhere you can imagine online, including from everyone’s favorite human slavery conglomerate.
For more detailed instructions, please feel free to check out our guide, “How to Connect Record Player to Sonos in 3 Easy Ways“.
Five and Play:5
If, for your Sonos turntable setup, you are using the Sonos Five or the Sonos Play:5, then you are going to want to follow these specialized instructions specifically catered for these two units.
For this procedure, you are going to need a specialized cable, as detailed above. These are fairly inexpensive and can be found in just about any electrical or hardware store you can imagine or just about any online store like eBay or Amazon (if that is more your preference).
Using this specialized RCA Y – audio cable, plug the single aux end into the line in port of either the Sonos Five or the Sonos Play:5, making sure afterward to attach the split end of the cable into the corresponding colors of the left and right outputs on the back of the turntable.
Now, it is very possible that your turntable is one that already comes with output cables already attached to the unit, ones that seem unremovable from the entire turntable itself. If you are more technically minded, then you might want to have a look into removing them yourself and soldering in a proper output unit that will enable you to plug any cable you like in.
If, however, the technical side of things is not exactly your forte, then try finding another specialized cable for the job, one that will convert what is called a set of male RCA cables into a set of female RCA cables – i.e., those with an appendage, and those with an orifice (respectively). Oh, well, would you look at that – Amazon has come to the rescue yet again…
If using the Sonos Amp in your own Sonos turntable setup, then you will want to follow these specialized instructions to save you a whole bunch of confusion and head-scratching down the line.
This route will be of particular use to those who are using their own turntable alongside a set of speakers that are not produced or manufactured by Sonos themselves, for they can be connected to one’s Sonos turntable setup directly using the Sonos amp.
And it could not be much simpler, in fact! The Sonos Amp actually comes with the requisite cables to make the entire Sonos turntable setup work as it should. Using this audio cable, plug one end of it into the turntable and the other end into the corresponding colors of the left and right inputs at the back of the Sonos amp.
The speaker setup will work in much the same way. You will use another cable from the package to connect the Amp to the speakers, thereby bridging the gap between the speakers and turntable in a slick and simple way.
This way, you can modernize what can be considered an antiquated and tired format, fed through an Amp that is going to do some serious justice to the sounds being spun.
If instead, you are someone who favors the Sonos Port, then these instructions are going to be of the utmost importance to you in assembling your own Sonos turntable setup. This kind of stereo setup will be of more importance to those who already have an amplifier and a set of third-party speakers.
Where the Sonos Amp seeks to process the audio being sent through it, the Port instead acts as more of a bridge between all the various separate elements you might already have lying around and ready to go, allowing you to use your own amplified audio equipment to bring out the sound of your records through your Sonos system and thus around the whole house.
If you have read through some of the other guidance already listed above, then setting up a Sonos Port as part of a Sonos turntable setup will seem more than self-explanatory.
Simply take the audio cable that already comes with the Port, plug one end into the turntable and plug the other end into the corresponding colors of the left and right inputs at the back of the Port unit.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are feeling somewhat wiser and better informed about installing your own Sonos turntable setup. Perhaps, you were not quite sure about taking the plunge and investing in one yourself before but are now rearing to go!
Or, perhaps you were already sure of yourself but are now foaming at the mouth in anticipation of where this setup is going to take your music-listening experiences!
FAQs Sonos Turntable Setup
How do I connect my turntable to Sonos?
This will depend somewhat on the kinds of turntable you are using, not to mention the kind of speakers and the kind of mediators you are using, though you will be able to more or less follow along no matter your situation. You will need to use either a Sonos Five, a Sonos Amp, or a Sonos Port, all of which act as technological mediators between the signals of the turntable and the speakers in question. Once you have any one of these, the connecting of the turntable to the speakers should be fairly self-explanatory, each using a specialized RCA-type cable to physically connect each individual piece of the hi-fi puzzle together.
Can I connect a turntable to Sonos One?
Not directly, no, It is simply not possible to connect a Sonos One to a turntable directly with an RCA cable or wireless with Bluetooth. You can, however, use a few other Sonos products to bridge the gap between this Sonos equipment and your other speakers and stereo setup, be they Sonos or otherwise. The Sonos Five, the Sonos Amp, as well as the Sonos Port, are all going to allow you to connect your Sonos One and your other audio equipment, acting as sound mediators, each with its own benefits and downsides.
Does vinyl sound good on Sonos?
While this is a point of much contention, I believe that records can sound objectively good on Sonos. Will they sound as pristine as they would on a dedicated stereo system? That is certainly debatable. But they will sound more than decent, and Sonos are known for doing a more than adequate job of audio quality. The real downfall of using such a system is the way that, no matter how high-end the equipment is, if it is transmitting music via the airwaves (Bluetooth, etc.), the quality is going to be inherently less.