Now that you’ve got your turntable all set up, it’s time to connect it to some speakers! If you’re not sure how to do that, or what kind of speakers to get, don’t worry – we’ll walk you through the process.
Just keep in mind that different turntables may have different connections, so be sure to consult your instruction manual if you’re not sure how to do it. In any case, connecting your turntable to some good speakers is a great way to really bring out its sound quality and get the most out of your music listening experience.
Can I connect passive speakers directly to a turntable?
You need to use an integrated phono preamp, which will amplify the signal from your turntable so that it can be passed along to your active loudspeakers. This is needed because passive speakers do not contain an amplifier and require an external one to produce sound.
Turntables are analog devices that require electricity but do not have their own internal amplifying power. They typically need to be connected to another device that can amplify the sound in order for it to be heard more loudly and clearly. Typical examples of these include Hi-Fi systems or home theater set-ups where there are built-in speakers, car audio systems that utilize a single central speaker/amplifier unit, computer speaker systems that are self-contained within one box, or any other standalone product which has its own amplifier or internal speakers. In all of these cases, a turntable can be connected using an auxiliary cable to deliver the audio signal from the turntable to the amplifier of the main system.
The setup process is as follows:
- Connect your turntable to your speaker system using an auxiliary cable
- Turn on your speaker system and adjust the volume, either by turning a dial or flicking a switch depending on which device you’re connecting it to
- Place your stylus onto a record and gently lower it until you hear sound emitting from your speakers
How do I use a turntable with powered speakers?
Powered speakers are those that contain an amplifier and do not need to be hooked up to another power source in order for them to work. This makes them particularly convenient and flexible to use, as they can be connected and disconnected from different systems or moved around to different rooms with very little setup effort.
A turntable can be connected to powered speakers by simply hooking up an auxiliary cable between them and plugging it into your amplifier like this:
Connect your turntable to the audio-out jack on your amplifier or receiver using an auxiliary cable connect your powered speakers to the audio-in jack on your amplifier or receiver also using an auxiliary cable. Turn on all devices and adjust the volume of both units to halfway, then slowly turn it up until sound begins coming out of each set of speakers. You may need to readjust each device’s volume if certain sounds are too quiet or loud at any point later down the line. Place your stylus onto a record and gently lower it until you hear sound emitting from both sets of speakers.
Can I connect a turntable to speakers without a receiver?
First, plug one end of an RCA cable into the right channel output jacks on the turntable. Then connect the other end to the red RCA input jack on your amplifier. Repeat this process with each RCA cable and set up your speakers as you would normally for a mono setup.
Second, take 2 of your 1/4 inch to 3.5 mm adapters and plug them into the outputs on your amplifier (one for each speaker). Then take one end of the 1/4″ plug cable and plug it into the left channel output on your turntable, then connect the other end to the remaining jack on your speaker. Repeat this process with the second speaker.
Tips for connecting a turntable to either type of speaker
The most important part of connecting any equipment is making sure all connections are secure. While fiddling with cables can be a pain, it is important to take your time and be precise with the connections. If any cables are loose, this can prevent equipment from working as intended or cause unwanted noise.
Once you have your turntable all hooked up to your speakers, you should try playing a record that you know has great sound quality. A good test record for new speakers is “Hotel California” by the Eagles. It has many instruments and vocals, so it’s easy to hear everything that is going on in the song.
If you notice any change in sound quality after hooking up your turntable to speakers, don’t be alarmed! Most amplifiers/receivers modify lower frequencies, such as those made by a turntable. If your sound quality has changed for the worse after hooking up your turntable to speakers, try adjusting the bass and treble levels of your receiver/amplifier accordingly.