Key Features to Consider in a Record Player

Some modern upgrades have transformed the old school record player.

byLauren Brown West-Rosenthal|
Key Features to Consider in a Record Player
Time to dig up your old record collection. (Or start one anew!). Pexels

Maybe you kept your stack of vinyl records from your youth and want something modern to play them on. Or perhaps you’ve newly discovered this retro way of listening to favorite albums—past and present. The feeling of taking a large record out of the sleeve and gently placing a needle on it to play is unlike the sound, feel, and experience of playing a CD or MP3. Though today’s record player options can feel overwhelming, here are some basic tips on what to look for so you can decide which one best fits your needs—and space.

Can also stream songs from devices like your smartphone, tablet and PC.

Consider portability in your record player—especially if you want to move from room to room or be able to use it outside of your home. If so, look for one that folds into a convenient built-in carrying case.

Vintage looking on the outside with modern features throughout on the inside.

There are two types of Bluetooth record players to consider. A Bluetooth-IN record player has the signal going into the record player. You then have the option to wirelessly connect your smartphone or MP3 player and play digital music through the internal record player’s speakers. A Bluetooth-OUT turntable means the signal connects to your existing Bluetooth speakers to make your records louder.

Available in over 30 colors and styles including hot pink, mint green, and more.

There are three types of arms that your record player can come with: fully automatic, semi-automatic, or manual tonearms. A fully automatic one moves towards the record without you touching it and automatically returns to the beginning once the record ends. While a semi-automatic one must be manually placed on the record (or song of your choice), it also automatically returns to the beginning when the LP is finished. Finally, a manual arm is just that—you manually move it onto the record and must manually move the arm back when the record is over. Most retro record players have a manual tonearm, while newer turntables are fully automatic.