So, you’ve been using a Sonos product for music at home, maybe even a few across the house, and you’re thinking about dipping your toes into vinyl and starting a record collection but you don’t love the idea of having to shell out for a whole new system. Or maybe you’ve already got a turntable at home and you’re wondering how you can make your tunes a little more mobile. We’ve got a few suggestions for you here, regardless of whether you’re a streaming and vinyl pro or taking your first steps into broadening the way you listen.
Let’s start with the newest addition to the Sonos family. The Move is designed to be a wireless speaker that doesn’t move around too much. Whilst it’s the first Sonos product that’s battery powered, it’s also not small in stature and weighs about three kilos, so it’s a bit more of a move-around-the-house proposition than something you might throw in the suitcase before a trip further afield.
More importantly, it’s the first Sonos speaker to feature Bluetooth, which opens up your options considerably when choosing a matching turntable.
Given its Bluetooth functionality, we reckon the Pro-Ject Essential III BT is a terrific piece of partnering kit for the Move. Its Bluetooth functionality means that you can broadcast a signal straight to your Move without any cables. But even better than that is the fact that the Essential III BT has a broadcast range of 10 metres, so you can enjoy your records in the kitchen while they’re playing in the lounge room.
Whilst there’s other ways to get your turntable working wirelessly with Sonos, this has to be the simplest path to getting the tunes going with no-cables-attached.
Next up, another brand new offering from Sonos which is the spiritual successor to the hugely popular Sonos Connect. Welcome the Port to the family, an intelligently designed music streaming hub that also allows you to incorporate an analog device into your wireless setup, like say.... a turntable!
On the back of the Port is an RCA input (the red and white plugs), which will accept a line level signal from any source. In this case we’re plugging a turntable in, but we’ll need one with a phono preamplifier on board. This is the element of the turntable’s design that does some of the grunt work in boosting the very-quiet signal from your turntable cartridge, making it strong enough for an amplifier or streamer to use.
There’s plenty of turntables in the range that offer an onboard phono amp, but in this case we’re going with the Debut Recordmaster OM5e. As well as outputting the signal we need, it also features speed control and a USB output on the back, if you’re the kind of listener that appreciates the simplicity of having a digitised record collection.
Just plug it in to the Port and away you go, music from your turntable broadcast into every Sonos speaker in your house.
Next up comes the Playbar, Sonos’s model for the TV soundbar market. Those that own one know that this whilst this is certainly a great way to beef up the sound coming from your TV, it’s also a formidable music player in its own right.
In terms of turntable connectivity, there’s a couple of turntables in the range that allow you to connect to a Sonos device via an optical connection, and we’re selecting one from the top of the tree.
The Debut Recordmaster Hi-Res is just as well spec’d as the aforementioned Debut Recordmaster OM5e, but with one key difference.
The Hi-Res features a digital output which you may have noticed on your TV or BluRay player. It’s called an optical output, so you’ll need to make sure you ask your friendly retailer for an optical cable to connect your turntable to the Playbar.
Once again, a really simple and elegant solution to get your turntable working with your Sonos system. It’s worth noting too that this solution will work for a Playbase, though it’s a little less elegant because of the way the Playbase sits nestled underneath your TV.
Whilst it’s true that most Sonos wireless speakers don’t feature an input to directly connect your turntable, that’s not true of the Play:5. As is the case with any Sonos product, you’ll need a turntable with a phono stage on board, or an outboard phono stage like the Pro-Ject Phono Box E.
From there, you’ll need to get your hands on a 3.5mm to RCA cable, sometimes referred to as an RCA to Y audio cable. Just match up the red and white plugs with those on your turntable of phono preamp, and the small jack at the other end plugs directly into your Play:5.
The Rest of the Family
There are a number of Sonos products that simply don’t have inputs for you to connect a turntable. They all require a streaming device (like the Port or a Connect Amp) that can send them the signal from your turntable.
So if it’s a One, Play:1, Play:3 or Beam you’re thinking about listening on, then you won’t be able to plug your turntable straight in. If that’s the case, make sure you’re taking a look at one of the streaming devices from earlier in the article.