Reasons to get a receiver for turntable
There are plenty of reasons why you should absolutely get a receiver for your turntable, and the most important reason why is because of the quality of sound. When you think about the sounds coming from a turntable without a receiver, you could say that it’s not very crisp or clear, and it just can be very rough.
With one of the best receivers for turntables, you can turn the low-quality tones into beautiful, clear-sounding music.
What many people may be surprised to know is that a receiver actually has an amp inside of it, which helps direct the sound it is digitally creating to the speakers. Many people opt to choose an external amplifier instead of a receiver, and while you’re most certainly free to do so, just know that these two devices are not the same. An external amplifier will amplify the sound or make it much louder, but not necessarily clearer. For example, if you have your receiver hooked up to your turntable, and you’re looking to have the clearest possible sound and not exactly the loudest, then go with a receiver. On the other hand, if you’re looking to throw a massive dance party in your living room and want to blare it as loudly as possible without caring much for sound quality, then an amplifier is for you.
How to pick the best receiver for turntables
When it comes to deciding how to pick the best receiver for turntables, there are many things you should consider. Some people may have a good idea of what they’re looking for, and that’s great to know what you want. But there are plenty of people who simply have no idea either what to look for or what to focus on. This section is for you. Here, we’ll explain some of the most important features so that you will gain this knowledge to figure out what you should check. The components we’ll cover below include the number of channels, impedance, inputs, outputs, built-in FM radio, wireless connection, dimensions, weight, warranty, and finally, its price.
Number of channels
Whenever you read the term channels as it relates to receivers, the best way to think about them is speakers. The basic number of channels in a receiver is two, and most of the receivers in our list carry only two channels. These two channels often refer to the left and right speakers. When you’re using a turntable, two speakers really are more than enough, and it’s a bit excessive to have more. If you were using a receiver for a home theater surround sound, then having more channels would be better. Also, it’s worth mentioning that channels are often accompanied by a wattage count, and this simply refers to the maximum power output that the receiver is capable of having. If it goes over, the receiver could blow out.
Impedance can be a bit of a complicated term to understand, so let’s attempt to break it down as simply as possible. When you hear the term impedance, it means how much resistance your receiver has in relation to your speakers. Electrical circuits are always fighting the electrical flow, and this is impedance. The ohms measure impedance, and all speakers will have an ohm figure or range. For example, our Editor’s Choice, the Sony STRDH190, has it between 6 and 16 ohms.
With 6 ohms, the speakers will get more power from a receiver. This will obviously reduce a receiver’s ability to churn out a clearer sound. When turning it to 16 ohms, you’re lowering your receiver’s power output.
The inputs on a turntable receiver refer to the different methods you can plug something into it. This one-way flow sends a signal to your receiver. The best receivers for turntables all have different inputs, and it can vary depending on the model you choose. For example, the Denon AVR-X2600H Receiver has a much heavier digital input focus as it has eight different inputs for HDMI to go along with a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antenna. On the other hand, a receiver like the Pyle PTA4 Stereo Receiver Box is a bit more traditional as it has three RCA audio inputs and an auxiliary input.
If inputs process what comes into the receiver, the outputs are where the signal is going to. Once again, this can be different for each receiver, but the general idea for turntable receivers is that the outputs are going to some form of speakers. Some receivers, like our Premium Pick, the Denon AVR-X2600H Receiver, feature ultra-deluxe outputs in the form of surround sound speakers. Also, if you’re spinning some hit tunes, most receivers have outputs that can connect to headphones.
You might be surprised to find out that the best turntable receivers are also able to play FM radio channels. Receivers are generally fairly advanced and can pick up FM radio waves but not necessarily all AM radio waves. Receivers are able to pick up FM radio stations more clearly because it produces an enhanced radio frequency response with less of that fuzziness or audio distortion that you’re probably used to hearing on AM channels.
Usually, modern receivers will come with a certain number of preset FM and AM channels, with 20-50 being a typical range.
If you’re ever feeling in the mood to stream your music to your receiver, you absolutely can with some turntable receivers. This is because many of them today come with built-in Wi-Fi capability. This allows your receiver to connect to your home network so that you can begin streaming your favorite music to your receiver. Once you’re connected, you’ll notice that the sound quality is still very high. It’s also worth noting that many receivers are also Bluetooth compatible, and you can connect your devices to them.
The thing about receivers for turntables is that you’re probably not going to want a big one such as the one you would buy for your surround sound television system. Thus, the dimensions of a turntable receiver will be much smaller in size. As the smallest unit here, we have the Fosi Audio TPA3116 2-Channel Stereo Audio Amplifier Receiver that is only 4.25-inches wide, 3.54-inches deep, and 1.38-inches tall. For most people, you could fit this in your hand. On the other hand, the biggest receiver on our list is the Denon AVR-X2600H, and this one is only 17.1-inches wide, 13.3-inches deep, and 6-inches tall. This is much bigger than our smallest one, yet not all that big.
When it comes to the question if one of these receivers for turntables has a warranty period, don’t be afraid. Most receivers these days come with a warranty, with the only catch being that the policy and length. They can vary across different brands. Generally, we have found that these warranty periods tend to last anywhere between one and two years. If this is something you’re particularly concerned about, it’s best to find out the length of the warranty period and inquire for more information to see what exactly is covered during this period as it may not cover the entire receiver and only certain parts of it.
When it comes to the prices of these receivers, it’s very much true that you can find a model in any range. If you’re looking for a receiver on the more budget-friendly side, our Best Value, the Pyle PTA4 Stereo Receiver Box, comes in at a shockingly low price, around $60. You can also get the Fosi Audio TPA3116 2-Channel Stereo Audio Amplifier Receiver and the Pyle Home PT270AIU for less than $80 as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, our Premium Pick, the Denon AVR-X2600H Receiver, has a price tag of a sky-high $800! If you’re looking for high quality at the best possible price, our Editor’s Choice is fairly priced at only $150.