Remember when Hi-Fi systems used to sit in a unit with built-in speakers? They were often large, bulky systems that could play vinyl, CDs, and the radio, and if you wanted to listen to music in the next room, you had to crank up the volume and deal with whatever music made in through to that room.
For those too young to remember, this was before online music streaming went mainstream and the world shifted to digital technology – basically before the middle of the 2000s.
Today, it’s a completely different story thanks in part to WiFi and Bluetooth technology. Home audio systems, like the cutting edge Sonos systems, can now connect to speakers in each room wirelessly, meaning you can play music from a device in the living room and listen to it in the dining room.
Update September 2022: Victrola just released the first ever turntable that integrates natively with your Sonos system! The Victrola Stream Carbon has a beautiful design that fits very nicely with the Sonos products it integrates with. At the time of release, the price is $799.
Such flexibility is not just reserved for digital music consumption, though. Vinyl music fans can also take advantage of wireless speakers, with Sonos leading the way when it comes to modern home audio systems that have some compatibility with turntables.
Right now, you may be thinking, “This all sounds great, but can I add a turntable to my Sonos system?” Fear not, vinyl fans. Sonos speakers may have been developed with digital music in mind, but they also operate well with vinyl, as long as the turntable can be connected.
My recommended turntable for Sonos is the Audio-Technica AT-LP120xUSB because of its built in preamp and overall value for a high quality name brand record player. Check it out at Amazon.
Turntables for Sonos – What to Look For
For a turntable to work with Sonos, it should have a built-in preamp that allows it to send the proper signal directly to the Sonos device, also known as a “Line out.”
Line Out on the turntable can come in the form of a RCA outputs or a 3.5mm output (sometimes called an aux cable or headphone jack). Line Out on the turntable can come in the form of a RCA outputs or a 3.5mm output (sometimes called an aux cable or headphone jack).
The alternative to Line Out is Phono Out. Phono Out is lower-powered and will require an external phono amplifier to reach the necessary power to work with Sonos.
A cable (i.e. RCA-to-3.5mm cable) will connect the turntable’s Line Out output to the Sonos device’s Line In input, based on the specific configuration of the turntable and your Sonos device.
The current Sonos products with the required line-in inputs are the Sonos Five (aux/3.5mm input), the Sonos Amp (RCA inputs), and the Sonos Port (RCA inputs).
Another consideration is that newer, modern turntables tend to be more compatible with Sonos products. For optimum output, go for a mid-range turntable instead of a cheaper option to get the most out of an investment in Sonos gear.
With all of that in mind, the products below have been selected for their suitability (e.g., built-in preamp), as well as their stand-out features and overall performance as a turntable.
Best Turntable for Your Sonos System
U-Turn Audio – Orbit Special
U-Turn Audio is an independent American turntable maker based in Woburn, Massachusetts, and distributes within the USA and Canada. U-Turn Audio’s mission is to make great sound more accessible, and with the Orbit Special, it does just that.
Check out the U-Turn Audio at Amazon
With a hardwood maple or rift walnut base (sustainably sourced, of course), and an acrylic platter for speed consistency and improved acoustics, this turntable is as stylish as it is functional.
It features the award-winning Ortofon 2M Red cartridge and a cue lever (used to cue records) to provide an easy tonearm operation.
It has an external two-speed belt drive to reduce motor noise and ensure speed consistency (33/45 RPM) and a precision gimbal tonearm. It also has a built-in Pluto Phono Preamp – essential for Sonos compatibility.
Rega Planar 1 Plus
Rega is well-renowned among audiophiles for its exceptional design and sound quality. The name pops up on many top turntable lists, and for a good reason, particularly when it comes to pairing a turntable with Sonos speakers.
For those that aren’t familiar with Rega, it is a British company that has grown from a small side project in the 1970s to a global brand with a reputation for manufacturing great audio products.
Check out the Rega Planar 1 Plus at Amazon
The Planer 1 Plus was released onto the market just two years ago and is the sibling of the Planer 1. A new built-in stage can be connected to almost any audio system through the built-in preamp.
It comes with a Rega Carbon moving magnet, a 24v AC motor, and an aluminum pulley to ensure low noise and better speed stability. It also comes in two colors – gloss black or gloss white.
Pro-Ject Debut RecordMaster
Pro-Ject Audiosystems is an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality audiophile equipment. It was founded in the 1990s during the golden age of the Compact Disc to offer vinyl fans the best analog experience at reasonable prices.
All Pro-Ject products are designed and handmade in Europe and are shipped to more than 80 countries worldwide.
Check out the Pro-Ject at Amazon
The Debut RecordMaster has a walnut base with USB connectivity and a built-in preamp. It has a button-control speed change (33/45 RPM) and an 8.6″ aluminum tonearm with a pre-mounted Ortofon OM5e Cartridge.
It has a heavy, large steel platter for smooth playback and can be simultaneously connected to an amplifier via RCA and a Mac or PC via USB.
The RecordMaster certainly ticks all of the boxes for functionality, ease of use, and design and has been described as a “sonic pleasure” by Pro-Ject fans.
Another entry here from Audio-Technica – this time, it’s the AT-LP120-USB. As an award-winning audio manufacturer, it’s no surprise that Audio-Technica has produced more than one turntable that can be used with Sonos, and this one comes with additional USB connectivity.
Check out the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 at Amazon
The AT-LP120-USB has a direct-drive, high-torque motor and a die-cast aluminum platter with a slip mat for reduced vibration.
It has an AT95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge and long-life diamond stylus, plus a balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest. And that’s not all – it also has playback controls with a stroboscopic platter and a pop-up stylus target light for easier cueing in low light.
Reviewers regularly rate this turntable as great quality at an affordable price, which is synonymous with many Audio-Technica products.
Audio-Technica is a Japanese company that designs and manufactures a range of audio products, including turntables. It has been around since the 1960s and has won numerous industry awards over the decades.
The AT-LP60X is a fully automatic belt-drive stereo turntable in sleek black. It is powered by a DC servo-controlled motor and comes with a built-in phono preamp for that crucial wireless connectivity.
Check out the AT-LP60X at Amazon
This flexible product plays both 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records and features an Audio-Technica Integral Dual Magnet phono cartridge with a replaceable diamond stylus.
The platter is made from die-cast aluminum for anti-resonance and superior sound. Overall, this is a stylish device for the modern vinyl music fan that won’t break the bank.
The five turntables listed above are not a definitive list of the top turntables on the market, but they do represent a selection of the best products available to use with Sonos and a way to integrate vinyl music into the 21st Century.
There has to be a winner, though.
The final verdict on which product is the best turntable to use with Sonos goes to the Rega Planer 1 Plus!
Not only does it look great and ticks all of the right boxes, but many audiophiles and experts agree that Sonos and Rega are the perfect musical pairing for the digital age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Bluetooth turntables work with Sonos?
Sonos offers some portable speakers that work with Bluetooth as well as WiFi, specifically the Roam and the Move. Aside from those two products, current Sonos products are not compatible with Bluetooth, only WiFi.
One workaround is that if your Sonos has a line-in option (such as a Sonos Five, Port, or Amp), then you could add a rechargeable Bluetooth receiver to it and connect that to your Bluetooth turntable.
Which Sonos products have an Aux input?
The current Sonos product with a 3.5mm input (also known as an Aux cord or headphone jack) is the Sonos Five.
The discontinued Sonos Play:Five, the Sonos Five’s predecessor, has a 3.5mm input as well.
Which Sonos products have RCA inputs?
The current Sonos products that feature RCA inputs are the Sonos Port and the Sonos Amp.
RCA inputs are also available on the discontinued Sonos Connect:Amp, which is the predecessor to the newer Sonos Amp.
What is Sonos?
Sonos is an innovative company that manufactures wireless speakers and smart home sound systems that use higher quality audio transmission through WiFi internet. Sonos likes to think outside of the box and is constantly reinventing the audio wheel. Sonos was founded in 2002 and is based in Santa Barbara, California.
What is special about Sonos?
Sonos uniquely focuses on wifi connectivity to offer higher quality sound throughout your entire house, and uses that technology within their ecosystem of beautiful award-winning home audio products.
They have the widest variety of streaming services that allows you to stream premium sound around the house. Their speakers sound awesome, and their app and setup are just about foolproof.
Sonos is also focused on simplicity and credits itself with creating easy-to-use products and systems, and a trade-up program to recycle older Sonos products and provide customers with a discount for new Sonos products.