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Best Turntable for Sonos – Buyer’s Guide

Best Turntable for SonosTurntables have come a long way. At some point, when digital devices became a thing, turntables were practically obsolete.

But, you know, old is gold. Some people still love vinyl players because they just do.

They are not the most convenient or easy to use record players, but they have gained a lot of popularity over the years. Their resurgence has revolutionized the way people listen to music in this digital age.

What’s more interesting, is that turntables have become extremely popular with millennials. This is why big brands, like Sonos, have come up with a way that people who love turntables can use them with their digital speakers.

Sonos has been around for a couple of years already. The company specializes in smart home devices, such as speakers and amps for home entertainment.

What’s great, is that you can connect a turntable to a Sono speaker, as long as the turntable has a built-in amp.

Top pick

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB (2)

  • Playback controls & 33/45/78 RPM speeds
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier
  • Balanced S-shaped tone arm
  • Professional-grade anti-resonance
  • Adjustable dynamic anti-skate control

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With so many features put into one turntable for Sonos, it is easy to see why this is our top pick. With all the things that this product does, the only thing that it can’t do is purchase itself for you.

However, not all turntables are compatible with Sono speakers. You need to do some research to find out which ones are compatible and which ones are not before buying one.

With that in mind, if you are looking for the best turntable for Sonos to add to your entertainment system, the products below might be a good starting point.

Turntables for Sonos Comparison Chart

ImageProductPrice

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

  • Tonearm:  S-shaped
  • Cartridge: AT-VM95E Dual Magnet
  • Speeds: 3
  • Operation: Direct-drive
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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC
  • Tonearm:  Straight
  • Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Red
  • Speeds: 2
  • Operation: Belt-drive
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ION Audio Air LP

ION Audio Air LP

  • Tonearm:  Straight
  • Cartridge: Ultra-robust diamond tipped
  • Speeds: 3
  • Operation: Belt-drive
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Fluance RT81Fluance RT81
  • Tonearm:  S-shaped
  • Cartridge: Audio Technica AT95E cartridge
  • Speeds: 2
  • Operation: Belt-drive
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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus

  • Tonearm:  Straight
  • Cartridge: Ortofon OM5E 
  • Speeds: 2
  • Operation: Belt-drive
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5 Best Turntables for Sonos (as of April, 2021):

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Turntable for Sonos Review

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Review

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Audio-Technica is by far one of the most popular turntables in the market.

The AT-LP120X is the upgraded version of the AT-LP120. Some of the upgraded features include the motor, build quality and sound quality.

The turntable features is an inbuilt-amp for connecting your Sonos speakers. You can upgrade it to an external preamp for improved sound quality.

One thing to note about the inbuilt-amp is that you can use powered speakers. However, if you have a pair of passive speakers, that you would like to use with the unit, you need to use an amplifier.

The sound quality is great, but at higher frequencies, you might notice some distortion.

The direct-drive motor is extremely quiet. You can put your ear near it and you still won’t hear a sound.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Review, Pros and Cons

The turntable is completely manual.

It will continue spinning in case, you fall asleep. If this is a problem for you, you can opt for an automatic turntable, but usually, automatic turntables are not as durable as manual turntables.

The unit comes with USB output when you need to connect to your PC to convert vinyl records to digital.

The company recommends to you use the Audacity software for the conversion, which you would need to download from the official website, since the turntable does not come with it.

The build quality of this unit is solid and hefty, which is great because you are assured of stability. On the other hand, some users say that the older version is much more solid and sturdy.

Maintaining the unit is easy, as it comes with a dust cover to protect it from dust. Additional accessories that also come with the unit include a USB cable, AC adapter, RCA output cable, 45 RPM adapter, counterweight, and felt mat.

Main Features

  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier
  • Balanced S-shaped tone arm
  • Professional-grade anti-resonance
  • Fully manual operation
  • Removable hinged dust cover
  • Playback controls & 33/45/78 RPM speeds
  • Connect to a computer via the USB output
  • Supplied accessories
  • Target light
  • Adjustable dynamic anti-skate control, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock
PROS:
  • High-quality build
  • Great sound quality
  • Stable, solid, and durable
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely quiet motor
  • Comes with three-speed variations
  • Completely manual
  • Connectivity options
  • Popout target light
  • Well-designed tonearm with an anti-skate control feature
  • Comes with a dust cover, felt mat, and high-quality audio cables

CONS:
  • It is not automated

2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable for Sonos Review

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Review

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Pro-Ject is well-known for producing high-quality turntables. The Pro-Ject Debut DC is an affordable turntable with some pretty cool features.

Despite its simple design and low price point, the unit has great quality sound.

It features a built-in preamp, large glass platter, Bluetooth connectivity, and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. It is operated manually and it takes a few minutes to assemble.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Review, Pros and Cons

At first glance, you would think that the Debut is expensive because it has a nice clean look.

The carbon fiber tonearm looks great, it’s lightweight and durable. From a sound perspective, the tonearm is practically immune to resonance.

Usually, you are going to find carbon fiber tonearms on expensive turntables, so the Debut is very unique in its class.

The Ortofon pre-mounted on it is a 2M Red cartridge, which is pretty expensive on its own. To have it on a turntable at this price, it’s a great deal.

The combination of the Ortofon and the carbon fiber tonearm allows the stylus tip to precisely track grooves on records without jumping around. This reduces distortion and increases the life span of your LPS.

When it comes to speed stability, the Debut has a built-in speed box, which creates consistent speeds and reduces vibrations that can reduce sound quality.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC comes in variety of colours

The Debut is offered in a variety of colors, which is great for users who like to match their devices with their furniture.

Main Features

  • Precision belt drive with synchronous motor
  • Stunning carbon fibre arm
  • Large glass platter
  • Dust cover included
  • New Sorbothane motor suspension
  • Felt mat
  • Offered in variety of colours
  • Premium сartridge included
  • It takes a few minutes to assemble
  • Built-in speed box
PROS:
  • Lightweight and durable carbon fiber tonearm
  • Large glass platter
  • Pr-mounted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built-in preamp
  • Simple, sleek design
  • Lightweight build
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Ideal for newbies
  • Extremely affordable

CONS:
  • Some components are not durable

3. ION Audio Air LP Turntable for Sonos Review

ION Audio Air LP Review

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Turntables with wireless connectivity are not easy to come by. It’s great to see that the ION LP turntable is giving its competitors a run for their money with its Bluetooth connectivity feature.

The feature may not impress some old-timers who don’t care much about digital connectivity, but for young folk who love vinyl players, it is a plus point.

You can pair it with your speakers by simply pressing the Bluetooth button on the ION LP.

No scrolling through menus like you would on your smartphone or tablet to access the Bluetooth feature. You simply press a button and you are good to go.

ION Audio Air LP Review, Pros and Cons

 

However, if you don’t want to use Bluetooth, the turntable has RCA ports you can use to connect your speakers and other audio devices.

Another digital-oriented feature the turntable sports is a USB port that allows you to connect to your computer when you want to convert your vinyl records to digital files.

It comes with the conversion software on a CD. Alternatively, you can download the software from the company’s official website.

The best thing about the ION Air LP is that you can use it as a streaming hub to listen to content through your Bluetooth speaker. You can plugin your cassette player to the hub and listen to your music through the speaker thanks to the wireless connectivity feature.

The sound quality is decent, although some users have complained that it could be better.

Main Features

  • EZ vinyl conversion software included
  • Headphone output
  • Cleaning brush
  • USB output for conversion
  • Three playback speeds
  • Ultra-robust diamond tipped ceramic cartridge
  • Ultra-quiet operation with autostop
  • Hinged, protective dustcover
  • Bluetooth-enabled speakers
  • Negative roll feeder & rapid slide feeder
PROS:
  • Sleek looking
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • RCA output options
  • USB port to connect to your computer
  • Comes with an analog-to-digital conversion software
  • Decent sound quality
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:
  • Bluetooth sometimes takes too long to connect

4. Fluance RT81 Review

Fluance RT81 Review

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You have to give it to the Fluance RT81 when it comes to good looks. The turntable is exceptionally good looking.

The walnut finish gives it a great appearance and the wood cabinet gives it a solid feel. The platter is aluminum and it comes with a nice black rubber mat.

The on/off switch speed control button is aluminum and not plastic as reported by some reviewers. It has a solid feel and turns with little resistance and of course, adds to the durability of the unit.

The turntable comes with an Audio Technica AT95E cartridge, which is pre-aligned to ensure that the sound quality is nothing but clear and crisp.

Fluance RT81 Review, Pros and Cons

You can choose to change the cartridge, but if you do, make sure you get one that fits the tonearm.

The tonearm itself is aluminum with a nice matte finish. It comes with a cue lever, so you don’t need to buy that separately.

There is an auto-stop button that stops the platter from spinning once a record comes to the end.

But you need to manually return the tonearm to its resting spot. It’s no big deal, but some people prefer tonearms that can automatically return to their resting positions.

The Fluance is heavy, which means it is stable and sturdy. But because it is hefty, you might need someone to help you put it together.

Main Features

  • Speed control button
  • Built-in Texas instruments preamp
  • Solid wood plinth – walnut
  • Adjustable counterweight
  • Gold plated RCA line outputs
  • Perfect playback
  • Superior vibration control
  • Upgraded elliptical stylus
  • Advanced anti-skating system
  • Low distortion
PROS:
  • Beautifully designed and well-made
  • Aluminum parts for increased durability and functionality
  • Delivers great quality sound
  • Excellent speed quality
  • Auto-stop function
  • Audio Technica AT95E cartridge
  • Comes with a 45 adapter, rubber slip mat, AC power adapter, RCA cable
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:
  • Some users are not satisfied with the sound quality

5. U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Review

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Review

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The U-Turn Orbit Plus is not your typical boring looking turntable. It is one of those turntables that add a wow factor to a room or an entertainment setup.

It has a great design and overall look, and it is available in varying colors including purple, red, green, white, blue, and black.

Besides its good looks, the turntable comes with features to boost your audio experience. It’s an entry-level turntable so it does not come with the bells and whistles you find in some turntables, but it is equipped with all the basic features you need.

It has a built-in preamp to connect your powered speakers for better sound quality. The tonearm comes with an Ortofon OM5E cartridge, which you can replace if you like.

The tonearm is operated manually, it does not come with a cue lever. But you have the option of adding a cue lever for automatic operation.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Review, Pros and Cons

The turntable uses an acrylic platter that helps reduce resonance and improve the sound. This combined with the Ortofon cartridge helps deliver rich, crisp, and clear sound.

When it comes to speed, the Orbit Plus is a belt-driven turntable with two-speed levels, which are controlled by a button.

There is no speed dial or speed control because there is no need for them. But their absence does not in no way affect the sound quality the turntable delivers.

Putting it together is easy and quick. Again, it does not have many features only the basic ones that you need which work well.

The price point is budget-friendly making it ideal for anyone looking for a quality and affordable vinyl record player.

Main Features

  • Adjustable counterweight
  • Built-in pluto preamp
  • Ortofon om5e cartridge
  • Comes with precision tonearm
  • Dust cover
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Affordable price
  • Available in varying colors
  • 2-speed levels
PROS:
  • Available in varying colors
  • Acrylic platter to help reduce resonance and improve sound quality
  • Tonearm with a well-balanced Ortofon OM5E cartridge
  • Great design and look
  • Two-speed belt drive mechanism
  • Built-in preamp
  • Adjustable counterweight
  • Preset anti-skate feature
  • Reasonably priced

CONS:
  • Operated manually

Buyer’s Guide

Buying a turntable is not as straightforward as some people might think. If you have zero experience with turntables, it can be a challenge figuring out the best one to buy.

A turntable comes with components that play an important role in the sound quality it delivers. And it is the quality of these components that are the deciding factor when it comes to the overall build quality and performance of a turntable.

With that in mind, let us look at some key features that you need to consider before spending your hard-earned money on a vinyl player.

Choosing a turntable

New or Second-Hand

It is always better to buy a new turntable than a second-hand turntable. But if you decide to buy a second-hand turntable due to budget issues, get one that is solid, clean, and still works well.

Make sure to ask the seller some questions about the platter, tonearm, cartridge, and other key components. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if the seller is being honest or not.

So take the information you get from the seller with a pinch of salt and make sure that if you are buying it from an online site like eBay, you can return it and get a refund if you are not happy with your purchase.

S-Shaped Tonearm Vs Straight Tonearm

The S-shaped and straight tonearms have some technical differences, but they both produce quality sound. Some people prefer S-shaped tonearms to straight tonearms for aesthetic reasons.

S-Shaped Tonearm Vs Straight Tonearm

Bottom line is that both produce good sound. Choosing which one to have is a matter of personal preference.

Direct Drive or Belt Drive

Direct Drive and Belt Drive turntables differ in the way they operate.

Direct drive turntables have the motor in the middle, which forms part of the platter assembly and when it rotates, it moves the platter.

Belt drive turntables have the motor off to the side and it has a pulley-like mechanism where there is a belt coming off the pulley or shaft.

Direct Drive or Belt Drive turntable

Besides the structural differences, the two differ in performance. Belt drive mechanisms are quiet and vibration resistant.

So the quality of sound is very clean, clear, and crisp. However, they don’t have as much torque as the direct drive mechanisms.

Direct drive turntables have more consistent speed than belt drive vinyl players, and they are also more reliable and durable.

You don’t need to worry about belt degradation or sound inconsistencies. The peeve with direct drives is that they are prone to vibration noises, which can affect sound quality.

In light of that, you can opt for either. But for djing, a direct drive turntable would be the ideal option.

Belt drives, because of the belt, are not the best to use for djing because it will wear out quickly because of all the spinning around.

The equipment you’ll use with the turntable

The equipment you intend on using with the turntable also matters. Do you plan on plugging it into a stereo, amplifier, or other audio devices?

If you already have an amplifier, there is no need of buying a turntable with a built-in amp.

Turntable with a built-in amp

Turntables that come with extra features cost a lot more. If you don’t need the features, you don’t need to fork out the extra cash to buy a turntable that has them.

If you already have a preamp or a stereo receiver just buy a basic turntable. But if you don’t have a preamp or stereo, you might want to buy a turntable with a built-in preamp.

Another consideration is USB connectivity. Do you want a turntable that has a USB port?

If you plan on converting your vinyl records to digital records, you need a vinyl player with a USB port to connect to your computer. Reduce the hassle of connecting your turntable to your PC or laptop when you need to convert or archive your vinyl records.

The Environment

The environment you are going to use your turntable matters.

Are you going to use it in a DJ situation where you need to stream music? Or are you going to use it at home for enjoyment?

Turntable for djing -

For djing, you need a turntable that is direct drive and that has features that allow you to switch from one record to another, stream music, and things like that. In other words, you need a turntable that you can use with different cartridges.

If you want a turntable for home use, you don’t necessarily need an upgradable one. Then again, it would not hurt to get one that you can use with different cartridges for sound quality.

Turntable for home

Keep in mind that some turntables come with the cartridges screwed into the tonearm. In such cases, cartridge swapping can be an issue, particularly in certain situations like djing.

So take into account your situation when buying a turntable. If you need to swap cartridges often, stick with a turntable that comes with a plugin design for the cartridges.

Price

You can spend a lot of money on a turntable, and some turntables are extremely pricy.

But you want to try and get one that has a price point that is within reason. You are not trying to take out a mortgage loan or sell your car to buy a turntable.

So keep it simple. Don’t strain yourself.

Keep in mind that you are not only buying a turntable alone, you are also buying a phono cartridge as well.

Phono cartridge

It does not make any sense to buy an expensive turntable and then fit it with a cheap phone cartridge. Leave room in your budget for a quality cartridge.

Do some research. Check Youtube videos on what other users are saying about different cartridges to get an idea of what’s good and what to avoid.

If you have a decent cartridge, you can use it use with a new turntable. You won’t need to buy another one.

Some turntables are not upgradable. You cannot change the cartridges, so if you plan on buying a cartridge, make sure that your new turntable is upgradable.

Conclusion

The turntables in this review are just to get you started if you are new to vinyl players. You can find many other quality turntables out there that are compatible with Sonos speakers.

But be wise when choosing one. Do the research. Learn more about them before committing to buying one.

Best Turntable for Sonos -

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