Turntable VS Record Player-The Major Differences You Need To Know

turntable vs record player
Turntable VS Record Player

“These terms are surely interchangeable and basically mean the same thing” so does a lot of people say when it comes to the discussion of turntables and record players, but this is incorrect. Most articles also have used these terms in place of the other without really knowing the difference. In fact, most of these websites are just in to sell their Amazon products to you and make money without really trying to help you, you can’t really fault them because that is how they make money.

Are you like the other internet folks that are confused about these two vinyl players? A search in google will always try to get you more confused and because these names are always interchanged but are really different.

If you are a connoisseur just like me or a newbie discovering the warm and soothing analog sound of vinyl, you surely and quickly notice the need for best audio turntable or record player. You will surely need the best all in one record player or the best all in one turntable, all in one in the sense that it possesses all features you need, it shouldn’t damage your vinyl but should give you a great sound output.

In this article, ‘turntable vs the record player‘, we are going to deal with the major differences between these two to ease your confusion when next you come across them. This guide will also give you a good about buying a record player or buying a turntable. But first, let us know what turntable and a record player is.

What is Turntable?

oracle turntable

When talking about the longest, oldest technologies still in existence and a strong product in popular manufacture in this modern world, the turntable is every inch worth a mention.

The CD, the cassette tape, the 8-track or the MP3, these are all technologies over the years that have attempted to replace this wonderful piece of technology, but there is still a large number of vinyl music lovers who said no music sound is full and richer than when a turntable is used to play vinyl.

Are you a newbie? It must surely excite you like it’s a magic; The accurate and beautiful sound that oozes from the turntable speakers as the needle moves across the groove of the record.

It’s really a wonder, as the professional DJs conjure up its powerful magic, mixing, manipulating and shifting the sounds that suit the current mood and also keep the record samples in amazing endless loops. Have you experienced this amazing scenario? If no, next time you’re at a party try visiting the DJ and if he is using the turntable, watch him perform magic. LOL.

Curiosity is inbred in us and you might be wondering what really happens between a turntable and a vinyl record, it’s actually straightforward; just like any other music playing method, it’s a data transfer.

Generally, the high-quality sound turntable produces are its upside.

However, the best automatic turntable will let you have control over its settings, and just like every other super tool, you can upgrade its parts and get a higher sound quality for your listeners.

Life is not all a bed of roses and that is also true in the case of turntables as they are not easy to move about, that is its downside, it requires a notable amount of assembling. However, some best affordable turntable comes with inbuilt phono preamps while some require additional extras like speakers, RCA cables, and phono preamps and that is on its downside. Since we have known about the turntable, it’s the main scene of usage, it’s upside and downside, let’s move on to record players and try to siphon out its differences.

What is Record Player?

record player
Record Player

An overall audio system setup that includes an amplifier, a turntable and a pair of speakers is called a record player. This audio system setup has the ability to play other various file formats like the MP3, radio, CD etc.

The main advantage of the record player is the convenience, you really do not need to get any other extra component, as you can simply plug and play. Its possession of speakers and amplifiers makes it a general solution for playing vinyl records.

On its downside, we have to look at its size. The record player is much heavier and larger than turntables, even though they are portable and easy to move about, the record player is usually kept on a dedicated stand at an entertainment center or at home. There is also not much room to upgrade the movable parts to improve the quality of its sound. Even still, the best affordable record player can give you a more appreciated sound output and also be gentle on your vinyl. Now we have known what these two really are let’s elaborate their differences.

Turntable VS Record Player-The Major Differences

There are several differences between turntable and record player. The major differences are given here:


tube amplifire

The record player comes pre-amplified. We refer to this equipment, whatever the brand they are, come with its amplifier and integrated speakers. Simply plug it into the current, put the needle in place and you’re enjoying your favorite records. The record players are not limited to the power of their speakers, you can use them to make your party of the week. They have RCA output, this allows them to be connected to any sound equipment and sound louder and better. The turntables do not have a built-in amplifier, in this case, you need an amplifier that can receive what the turntable commands and be able to take it to the speakers. For a turntable, each component that you add: speakers (with speaker stands), cables, amplifier, and preamplifier, are determinants of sound quality.

The Needle and the Tablet

turntable needle
Turntable Needle

In the case of record players, the needle can only be replaced by the same needle model, it will always be the same, whatever the brand it may be. Regarding the pill, do not worry about it, the pill is built into the arm of the equipment, only the needle is changed. As it is always the same type of needle, turntables have no manual weight or anti-skating adjustment. These two elements are not necessary to adjust because the weight and strength of the needle will always be the same. On the turntables, if you can change the needle and pick up. If the turntable has anti-skating and manual weight control, you can change both parts and find what you are looking for little by little; improve sound, digitize your records, listen to carbon disks, listen to 45s, or listen to 33s. Be aware that each needle and tablet have their counterweight and anti-skating requirements.


portable record player
Portable Record Player

Because the record player has everything incorporated it is very easy to take it from one side to another, plug it anywhere and you’re done. It is the turntables that are going to be heavier and the more delicate music equipment. Think carefully if you are going to move from one place to another since you need to bring your amplifier and speakers (2 of them). A lot of paperwork in the transport.



Another factor that differentiates these two vinyl players is the price, the record players are more expensive than the turntables, but it also should be noted that it comes with the speakers and preamp, unlike the turntable. These additional features it possesses justify its expensive price tag.

Different Approach, Same Purpose: This two-different equipment are built for the same purpose, and that is to play the vinyl, rather each uses a different approach. Record players were designed to be an all-in-one music device that would play vinyl. And by saying all-in-one, we literally mean an integrated pair of speakers, an integrated amplifier and a soothingly simplified mode of operation. However, that is not the case with turntables. Although turntables are being loved by most audiophiles because of their modular nature, the record players have established their place in this modern world.

Turntable VS Record Player-Differences in Their Benefits

What will give you more benefits? Turntable or Record Player? Check the details here:


As mentioned before in this article on the differences between a turntable vs record player, turntables do not work just out of the box, it lacks some major and really necessary components. However, there are few exceptions as this isn’t really always the rule. You might be thinking about all these downsides, why would anyone get a turntable instead of a record player? Well, the answer isn’t really hard to guess because integrated speakers, integrated cartridges and styluses and integrated amplification are not always seen as a benefit. You will have a very serious impact on the performance of your turntable by choosing a standalone version of these components since not every stylus works with every type of turntables or records, nor every phono amplifier sounds the same. Most audiophiles would not love to be caught dead having in their possession a record player because the best budget turntable would get you about 80% of a nice sound, but being able to take that figure to a 100% you will need to customize it.

Record Player

Are you a newbie? The record player should be by far more suitable and user-friendly to you than the turntables. Although that is a fact, you can find some models which are located somewhere in between. That is to say, they will offer some level of control and some upgrade parts to the user. Still on newbies, not having to be overwhelmed with all the buttons, controls and switches is an awesome way to get started if you are still very much a newbie in this tech.

An average record player over a turntable is being loved and preferred by most casual users of this tech because an average record player is fully automatic. Since it just works out of the box, all you have to do is just put the record on the platter and press a button, the record player will lift the record automatically thereby preventing that record from being damaged. Since everyone is all about convenience and doesn’t want to think if their tonearm is dialed perfectly the record player suits them the best.

Final Words

We believe that with these basic differences you can make a good decision about what to buy. Record players are preferred by many individuals or casual users simply because it can be used to play music right out of the box. You would not have to go through a rigorous set-up process, and also CDs and MP3s can be played on it as well. Another feature in which many fans of the record player use it for is the streaming of AM/FM radio.

If you are more serious about vinyl, just like other vinyl lovers, you should opt in for a turntable musical instrument, you should be ready and happy to buy extra stereo components that are required if you do not have one yet in your possession. There is no built-in speaker combo or record player amp that can attempt to match the quality sound of a good receiver connected to a set of quality speakers.
When it comes down to professionalism, and by that we mean the DJs, they really have no choice; they professional DJs are just tied down to using the turntable musical instrument. Even though this is obvious, DJs need the portability of a record player and also the customization of a turntable.

We have dealt with the differences between the turntable and the record player but the question of which musical is right for you really depends on what you need it for. Do you just want to play some vinyl records without hassles? If so get a record player as it is the best for you. However, in the case you need to coax the best quality sound out of your vinyl collection for your personal use or your audience, then your best bet should be the turntable musical instrument.

Finally, a record player is not better than a turntable or a turntable better than a record player. Based on what you are looking for, the purpose should be what is good for you, it depends on which way you want to listen to your music and the best way it should sound to you.

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