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How to connect a turntable to a Sonos speaker

You've spent years and hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars building the ultimate Sonos-networked sound system to have digital music flowing throughout your home. But like so many others recently, you've found your gaze turning to today's newest old fad — vinyl — and are wondering if you can connect a turntable to your sweet Sonos setup and avoid shelling out for a whole new analog sound system.

Good news: you can. And with some new additions to Sonos' lineup, like the Sonos Era 100 and Sonos Era 300 speakers, there are more options than ever for connecting a record player to Sonos speakers so you can get to spinning. Doing this will allow you to select the turntable line input through the Sonos app, like usual, and play your vinyl through your Sonos speakers, to multiple rooms if you have that set up.

If you're on the opposite side of this equation and are looking to add Sonos to an existing analog setup with a turntable and third-party speakers, then we'll run through how you can do that too. Let's get started.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Turntable

  • Sonos Five, Era 100, Era 300, Port, Amp, Play:5

  • Bluetooth-capable Sonos: Move, Roam, Roam SL, Era 100, Era 300

  • Sonos line-in adapter

  • Phono preamp (built-in to the turntable or external)

The built-in phono preamp of the Pro-Ject E1 turntable.
The Pro-Ject T1 turntable's built-in phono preamp. Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

What turntable do I need?

First things first: you're going to need a turntable. Any turntable will do, technically speaking, and if you haven't purchased one ye,t we can suggest some that we think are the best.

There is a caveat, though. To connect your turntable with a Sonos speaker or system, you will either need one that has a built-in phono preamp (like the one pictured above) or you'll need to buy an external phono preamp (also known as a phono stage) to connect it to. Why? Because turntables themselves only output a very low signal, and the preamp boosts it so that it can be amplified properly. There are several good preamps on the market, and they can run anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars. In many cases, a good phono preamp can improve the sound of a turntable with a mediocre internal preamp, so that's something to consider as well.

Sonos Era 100 back panel showing microphone switch and USB-C port.
The Sonos Era 100's UCB-C line input. Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Connecting directly to a Sonos speaker

As mentioned above, Sonos now has several speakers that it has outfitted with direct line-in ports. They currently include the Era 100 ($249), Era 300 ($449), Sonos Five ($549), and the discontinued Play:5. The only difference to note is that the two new Era speakers have a USB-C line-in port (pictured above), which will require a 3.5mm-to-USB-C line-in adapter. The Five and older Play:5 feature a 3.5mm line input.

Here's how to connect your turntable to these Sonos Speakers.

Step 1: If your turntable has a built-in phono preamp, connect an RCA cable to the RCA outputs on the back of the turntable, with red going to red and white going to white (right and left, respectively). Depending on the Sonos speaker you have, you can either connect your 3.5mm cable directly to the speaker or to the 3.5mm adapter.

The RCA input of the Pro-Ject E1 turntable.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 2: Connect the other end of the cable to the Sonos speaker's USB-C (Era 100 and Era 500) or 3.5mm input (Sonos Five).

Sonos Era 100 back panel showing microphone switch and USB-C port with analog line-in adapter.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 3: If your turntable doesn't have a built-in phono preamp, and you've purchased an external one (which is usually a small box the size of an external hard drive), the only difference here is that you're going to first connect the turntable to the preamp's input with an RCA-to-RCA cable — same as before, white to white, red to red. If this your setup, you can skip ahead to the 'Play your vinyl with the Sonos app' section below.

The back of a phono preamp.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

Step 4: Then, from the preamp's output, similar to step 1 above, connect to the Sonos speaker's line input. Plug the preamp on to power and you're all set. Jump to the Sonos app section below to get playing.

The Sonos Amp with speaker wires connected to it.
Sonos Amp Sonos

Connecting to a Sonos Amp

The Sonos Amp ($699) is a good solution that allows you to add the Sonos network streaming experience to a set of third-party passive speakers. Its 125 watts-per-channel is ample power, but its Sonos connectivity also allows you to wirelessly stream to any Sonos speaker in the house. It's a good mix of both technologies.

On the back of the Sonos Amp is a set of RCA inputs that you can connect to a turntable. Here's how.

Step 1: From a turntable with a built-in phono preamp: With an RCA cable, all you have to do is connect directly from the turntable's RCA output to the Sonos Amp's RCA input and it's ready to go.

Step 2: From a turntable without a built-in phono preamp: As mentioned in the above section, you have to first connect your turntable to the external phono preamp and then connect the preamp to the RCA input of the Sonos Amp. Plug the preamp in to power and you're ready to jump to the Sonos app section below.

A Sonos Port with a turntable on a desk.

Connecting to a Sonos Port

The Sonos Port ($449) is similar to the Sonos Amp, except it doesn't have any amplification and is designed for those who already have a stereo setup with an amplifier or receiver and a set of speakers, or even a set of powered speakers.

Connecting the Port allows you to add Sonos connectivity to pretty much any existing setup with amplification so you can send music to Sonos speakers in your home, as well as through speakers in your setup.

We won't add any unnecessary steps here, but to connect your turntable to the Port, it's basically the same as connecting the Sonos Amp — with our without a built-in phono preamp. The output of the Sonos Port then connects to an available analog AUX input or line input on your receiver or amplifier.

Someone holding a phone with the Sonos app on the screen.

How to play your vinyl with the Sonos app

Once you have your turntable connected to the Sonos setup of your choice, all you have to do now is use the Sonos app to switch the system over to access the turntable. Here's how:

Step 1: Launch the Sonos app and select the Browse tab (the music note icon) in the bottom panel.

Step 2: Here, you'll see your list of music services, Sonos devices, and ultimately, the Line-in selection. Tap it and choose your turntable's line-in source.

Step 3: It will now appear in the main window, just like one of your streaming service sources, giving you options to select the Sonos speakers on your system to send your vinyl music to. You can also group speakers and send music to multiple speakers/rooms for whole-home vinyl goodness or play vinyl in one room and Spotify in another — it's your choice.

Sonos Era 300.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Play your vinyl via Sonos Bluetooth

There's one last method you can use to play your vinyl records through your Sonos system, and that's through good ol' Bluetooth. While Sonos is widely known as being a Wi-Fi network-based streaming system, in the last couple of years Sonos has embraced Bluetooth by adding it to more of its products.

Starting with the Sonos Move in 2019, then the Roam and Roam SL in 2021, and now 2023's new Era 100 and Era 300 speakers, users can use Bluetooth to connect to these speakers, making it possible to stream music in the absence of a Wi-Fi network or, in the case of the Roam and Move, when on the go.

If you have a turntable with Bluetooth connectivity, like the excellent Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT, you can pair it with one of the above Sonos speakers that can also be used to then send the vinyl music throughout your entire Sonos system — with the exception of the Move, which is limited to playback on just itself because its older Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas are separate, while they're combined in the Roam and Era speakers. Hence, the Move cannot do both at the same time.

Here's how to pair a Bluetooth turntable with a Bluetooth-enabled Sonos speaker. Keep in mind, though, that this might vary depending on the turntable — some use apps, while others do not. Check your turntable's manual for pairing instructions.

Step 1: Place the turntable and Sonos speaker next to each other (within a few feet at most).

Step 2: Put the Sonos speaker that is powered on and awake in pairing mode by pressing and holding the button on the back for two seconds and then releasing it. You'll hear a pairing tone and the light on the speaker will flash blue.

Sonos Era 300 Bluetooth button.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 3: Put the turntable in pairing mode. There will likely be a button on the back to press — follow the instructions of your turntable.

Step 4: The two devices should pair automatically, but you'll hear another pairing tone from the Sonos speaker and the LED light will turn solid blue.

Step 5: Play a record and make sure it's all working. Using the Sonos app with your phone connected to Wi-Fi, you can group the speaker with others in your Sonos system to send the music there, too.

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that playing vinyl through Bluetooth is good in a pinch, but bear in mind that Sonos only supports the standard SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, so while it will sound decent to most people, it won't be anywhere near the clarity or sound quality of either vinyl through an analog system or one of the other line-in options outlined above, which reproduce the analog signal at a much higher quality before sending it out through the Sonos system.

Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl500
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Editors' Recommendations

Derek Malcolm
Contributing Editor – AV + Home Theater
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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