Can I Plug a Turntable into AUX? An Easy Guide

If you have recently purchased a turntable or have a vintage one lying around, you may be wondering if you can plug it into the AUX input of your audio system. With the popularity of digital music and streaming services, it may seem like turntables are relics of the past. However, many people still appreciate the warm, authentic sound that vinyl records provide. Fortunately, you can easily connect a turntable to the AUX input of your audio system and enjoy the unique listening experience that vinyl records offer.

In this article, we will provide you with a straightforward guide on how to plug a turntable into the AUX input of your audio system. We will discuss the necessary cables and adapters you need, as well as any additional equipment that may be required. Whether you are a vinyl enthusiast looking to upgrade your audio setup or simply curious about connecting a turntable to the AUX input, this article will provide you with the necessary information to get started.

Understanding the basics: Explaining the functionality of a turntable and AUX connections

When it comes to plugging a turntable into AUX, it’s essential to understand the basics of how both the turntable and AUX connections work.

Firstly, a turntable is a device used for playing vinyl records. It consists of a rotating platter, a tonearm, a cartridge, and a stylus. As the vinyl record spins on the platter, the stylus reads the grooves and converts the analog audio into electrical signals.

On the other hand, the AUX connection, also known as an auxiliary input, is a common feature found on many audio devices, such as amplifiers, speakers, and car stereos. It allows external audio sources to be connected, such as MP3 players, smartphones, or in this case, a turntable.

While turntables traditionally connect to audio systems via RCA cables, it is possible to connect them to AUX inputs using the appropriate cable. However, it’s important to note that not all turntables have a built-in preamp. If your turntable lacks one, you’ll need a phono preamp to amplify the signal before connecting it to AUX.

Understanding the functionality of a turntable and AUX connections is crucial for setting up a proper connection and achieving optimal audio performance.

Selecting the right cable: Making sure you have the appropriate cable for connecting a turntable to AUX

When it comes to connecting a turntable to an AUX input, selecting the right cable is crucial for a proper connection and optimal sound quality. The two main types of cables commonly used for this purpose are RCA cables and phono preamp cables.

RCA cables are the most common choice when connecting a turntable to an AUX input. These cables have two connectors, one red and one white, which match the corresponding labels on the turntable and AUX input. It is important to ensure that the RCA cables you choose are of good quality and properly shielded to minimize interference and maintain audio clarity.

Alternatively, if your turntable does not have a built-in preamp, you will need a phono preamp cable. This type of cable has RCA connectors on one end and a preamp built-in on the other end. The preamp helps boost the signal from the turntable to a level suitable for the AUX input.

It is essential to check the documentation or specifications of your turntable and AUX input to determine the exact type of cable you need. Additionally, consider the length of the cable required to ensure convenient and flexible placement of your turntable. By selecting the right cable, you can ensure a seamless connection and enjoy high-quality audio when plugging a turntable into AUX.

Connecting the turntable: Step-by-step instructions on how to physically connect a turntable to the AUX input

When it comes to connecting a turntable to the AUX input, following the correct steps is crucial for a successful setup. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

1. Gather the necessary cables: Start by ensuring you have the right cables for the job. You will need an RCA-to-audio jack cable that has red and white connectors on one end and a 3.5mm audio jack on the other.

2. Prepare your turntable: Before connecting, make sure your turntable is set up properly. Check that the cartridge is securely mounted and the tonearm is balanced. Keep in mind that some turntables may require a separate preamp.

3. Locate the AUX input: Locate the AUX input on your audio receiver or amplifier. It is usually labeled “AUX” or “Line-In” and often found on the back panel.

4. Connect the cables: Take one end of the RCA-to-audio jack cable and plug the red and white connectors into the corresponding red and white “Line-Out” ports on the back of your turntable. Then, plug the 3.5mm audio jack into the AUX input on your audio receiver or amplifier.

5. Power up and test: Power on your turntable and audio receiver or amplifier. Set the input source on your audio receiver or amplifier to AUX. Play a record on your turntable and check if the sound is coming through the speakers connected to the audio receiver or amplifier.

By following these steps, you should now have your turntable successfully connected to the AUX input, allowing you to enjoy your vinyl collection with ease.

4) Adjusting audio settings: Tips for optimizing the audio output when using a turntable with AUX

When using a turntable with an AUX connection, it is important to optimize the audio settings to ensure the best sound quality. Here are some tips to help you achieve optimal audio output:

1. Check the input level: Most turntables have a built-in preamp that allows you to adjust the input level. Make sure the input level is set properly to avoid distortion or low volume issues. Consult the user manual of your turntable to find the exact location of the input level control.

2. Use equalization: Turntables produce sound in a different way compared to digital audio sources. To compensate for this, it is recommended to use the equalization settings on your amplifier or receiver. The most common equalization curve for vinyl records is the RIAA curve, so make sure your amplifier or receiver is set to this curve for accurate sound reproduction.

3. Grounding: Grounding is essential to minimize unwanted noise and hum. Most turntables have a grounding wire that needs to be connected to the amplifier or receiver. Follow the instructions in your turntable manual to properly ground your turntable.

4. Experiment with placement: The placement of your turntable and speakers can significantly affect the sound quality. Avoid placing your turntable near speakers or other electronics that can cause vibrations or electromagnetic interference. Experiment with different placements to find the best soundstage and minimize any potential interference.

By following these tips, you can optimize the audio output when using a turntable with AUX and enjoy high-quality sound while listening to your vinyl records.

5) Troubleshooting common issues: Addressing common problems and offering solutions for seamless turntable-AUX integration

When plugging a turntable into an AUX input, you might encounter a few issues that can disrupt the audio quality or prevent proper integration. However, these problems can usually be fixed with a few simple troubleshooting techniques.

One common issue is a hum or buzzing sound coming from the turntable’s speakers. This can be caused by a ground loop, where multiple devices are connected to different power sources, creating an electrical imbalance. To eliminate the hum, try using a ground loop isolator or connecting all devices to the same power strip.

Another issue is low audio volume. Make sure that both the turntable and the AUX input are set to an appropriate volume level. Additionally, check if the turntable has a built-in phono preamp, as some models require an external one to boost the signal. If necessary, connect the turntable to an external phono preamp before plugging it into the AUX input.

If you’re experiencing distorted or muffled sound, check the condition of the stylus or needle on your turntable. Worn out or dirty stylus can affect the audio quality. Cleaning or replacing the stylus might solve the problem.

Lastly, if there is no sound at all, verify that the turntable is properly connected and that the AUX input is selected as the audio source. Additionally, check if the turntable’s built-in preamp is enabled, if applicable.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can ensure a seamless turntable-AUX integration and enjoy your vinyl records with optimal sound quality.

6) Enhancing the sound quality: Optional techniques and accessories to improve the overall sound performance when plugging a turntable into AUX

When plugging a turntable into AUX, there are several optional techniques and accessories available to enhance the sound quality and overall performance.

One way to improve the sound quality is by using a preamplifier or a phono stage. These devices help to boost the low-level and often unbalanced signal that comes from the turntable’s cartridge, resulting in a cleaner audio output. Additionally, using a high-quality interconnect cable between the turntable and the AUX input can minimize signal loss and interference.

Another technique to consider is grounding the turntable. Grounding helps to eliminate unwanted hum or buzzing sounds that may occur during playback. Most turntables have a grounding wire or terminal that can be connected to the appropriate grounding point on the receiver or amplifier.

Additionally, using external audio processing equipment such as graphic equalizers, audio enhancers, or tube buffers can further enhance the sound quality. These devices allow for fine-tuning the audio output to match personal preferences.

Furthermore, investing in high-quality speakers or headphones can greatly impact the overall sound performance. Speakers with a wide frequency range and accurate sound reproduction can bring out the best in your vinyl records.

By utilizing these optional techniques and accessories, you can significantly improve the sound quality and overall listening experience when plugging a turntable into AUX.


1. Can I connect a turntable to the AUX input of my audio system?

Yes, most turntables can be connected to the AUX input of an audio system using a suitable audio cable. However, depending on the specific turntable and audio system, you may need additional equipment or converters.

2. What kind of audio cable do I need to connect a turntable to AUX?

You will typically need an RCA to AUX cable. One end of the cable should have RCA connectors (red and white) that plug into the turntable’s output ports, while the other end should have a 3.5mm AUX plug that connects to the AUX input of your audio system.

3. Are there any specific settings I need to adjust when connecting a turntable to AUX?

In most cases, you will need to switch the audio system to the AUX input mode. Additionally, some turntables may require you to adjust the phono preamp settings if they have built-in preamps. Consult the user manual of your turntable and audio system for specific instructions.

4. What if my turntable doesn’t have a built-in preamp?

If your turntable lacks a built-in preamp, you will need to connect it to an external phono preamp before connecting it to the AUX input. The phono preamp boosts the turntable’s signal to line level, which is compatible with the AUX input of your audio system.

5. Can I use an AUX to USB adapter to connect my turntable to a computer?

While AUX to USB adapters exist, they are typically designed for connecting media players or smartphones to computers. To connect a turntable to a computer, you will need a USB-equipped turntable or an analog-to-digital converter that connects to both the turntable and the computer’s USB port.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while it is technically possible to plug a turntable into an AUX input, it is not the ideal method for connecting your turntable to a sound system or speakers. Turntables require a phono preamp to amplify the low-level signal produced by the turntable’s cartridge. Without a phono preamp, the sound will be weak and distorted when connected directly to an AUX input. Therefore, it is recommended to use a dedicated phono input or a separate phono preamp to ensure optimal sound quality when connecting a turntable to a sound system.

Furthermore, using an AUX input for your turntable may also result in a limited range of sound control. Most turntables have built-in adjustments for tracking force, anti-skate, and equalization, which are essential for obtaining the best sound quality. However, when connected to an AUX input, these adjustments may not be accessible or may be limited, thereby compromising the overall listening experience. Therefore, it is advisable to use the appropriate inputs and equipment specifically designed for turntable use to fully utilize the capabilities of your turntable and enjoy the highest quality sound reproduction.

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