Turntable vs Record Player: Difference and Comparison

Music has entertained us for generations, but it was not always a click away. The record industry made the impossible possible- it brought music to peoples’ drawing rooms.

Thereafter, it was the fusion of technology and music that revolutionized the record industry. While record players introduced us to the soothing tunes of vinyl music, turntables modernized our perspective on vinyl players.

Key Takeaways

  1. A turntable is a component of a record player that plays vinyl records, while a record player is a complete system that includes a turntable, amplifier, and speakers.
  2. Turntables can be used with other audio systems, while record players cannot be easily integrated with other systems.
  3. Turntables are generally more expensive than record players.

Turntable vs Record Player

Turntables are designed for audiophiles who prioritize sound quality, allowing for more control over the playback speed, tonearm, and cartridge, which can significantly impact the sound produced. Record players are designed for casual listeners who prioritize convenience and simplicity.

Turntable vs Record Player

A turntable is a flat disc that is used to spin a vinyl record, and it also picks electric signals. It is a single device and does not come with an amplifier or speakers. However, it can be customized according to one’s desire.


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Turntables have a modern ring to them as most of the youngsters find themselves grooving to the tunes of a DJ’s turntables.

On the other hand, a record player consists of a turntable and has built-in speakers to amplify the sounds of the vinyl record. Cassettes and CD players could not replace people’s love for record players completely.

Therefore, in the modern-days, record players have been modified to make them easily portable and available with Bluetooth features too.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTurntableRecord Player
ComponentsA turntable has a flat disc, a tonearm, a stylus, and a cartridge.It consists of a turntable, a tonearm, a stylus/needle, a cartridge, in-built speakers, and amplifiers.
Size and WeightIt is compact and small; therefore, it also weighs less.Since it has an in-built speaker, it is big and occupies a lot of space, thereby being difficult to be lifted.
FeaturesLimited. Modern editions feature Bluetooth, software, and USBVersatile. Can play vinyl records. Mix and play vintage songs with modern audio facilities.  Feature Bluetooth, AM/FM radio, audio converter, and recorder
ConvenienceIt is highly convenient.Record players are quite heavy and cannot be carried around with ease.
CustomizationIt can be entirely customized.It cannot be customized.

What is Turntable?

A turntable is a musical device that consists of a disc, a tonearm, and a needle attached to the tip of the tonearm that is placed in the vinyl record’s groove.

This is what spins the record. Usually, it is the cartridge on the needle/stylus that takes electric signals to play audible music.

It does not come with a built-in speaker, but they have ports to add speakers. Since a turntable is compact, it is easily portable, and the new versions of turntables feature Bluetooth connections and USB ports, too.

Turntables are vastly used by the record industries and DJs for scratching, that is, playing a record backward. This creates completely different music, which is then added to modern songs or classic vinyl records with the help of new techniques.

A turntable happens to be the main part of a record player, as this is what spins the record. But buying an independent turntable is quite budget-friendly. A turntable does not come with in-built facilities, which is what makes customizing it so fascinating.

Not only does a turntable provide us with the freedom to choose our favorite brand, but it also allows us to set it up as per our desires. The satisfaction of customizing something is unparalleled.


What is Record Player?

Our grandparents have enjoyed the melodies of vinyl records, and modern-day record players grant us the fortune of experiencing what they experienced but only with the latest features.

The appearance of a record player is much like a turntable, only bigger because it comes with a built-in amplifier to make the musical journey all the more pleasant.

Like a turntable, a record player also has a cartridge at the tip of the needle/stylus that draws electric signals to produce the music.

The built-in speakers make the record players heavy, therefore, making it tough to be moved around. Nowadays, record players come with built-in CD drives or FM radio, making it an all-encompassing audio entertainment set.

Record players cannot be used for scratching but can be used to create fusion music with vintage records and modern audio. They also come with Bluetooth connectivity and feature FM radios which makes them easily accessible from our cell phones.

Keeping up with the latest technological advancements, now record players also have audio converters and recorders. Professional musicians can use record players to record and transfer audio files from vinyl records to digital devices.

Since record players come with amplifiers, CD drives, Cassette tracks, and FM radios, there is not much left to customize.

record player

Main Differences Between Turntable and Record Player

  1. Turntables are compact, weigh less, and are easily portable. In contrast, record players are big, weigh more, and cannot be carried around with ease.
  2. Scratching can be done only using turntables, while record players cannot be used for scratching purposes.
  3. A turntable is a singular set and does not come with internal amplifiers but has ports to put external speakers into. In contrast, a record player has a built-in speaker.
  4. Turntables provide limited features- Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. On the other hand, a record player features Bluetooth connectivity, FM/AM radio, Cassette tracks, CD players, an audio converter, and an audio recorder that makes transferring audio files from vinyl records to digital devices a reality.
  5. While a turntable provides ample scope for customization, a record player leaves no room for customization.
Difference Between Turntable and Record Player
  1. https://poptronics.fr/IMG/pdf_Lupa-DJSniff.pdf
  2. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.383991?journalCode=jas

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