Nowadays, most of the music we listen to and enjoy is stored in a digital format on our mobile devices and in the online world. Technology and the internet have changed the way we listen to music.
Nevertheless, many audio enthusiasts are still drawn in by the allure of turntable vinyl players, which may seem like outdated technology compared to pocket music players and smartphones that store music digitally. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), sales of vinyl records increased by roughly 30% in 2020.
Are turntables worth it, though? Especially considering how expensive vinyl records and good vinyl players can be.
There isn’t a single correct answer if turntables are worth it; it mostly depends on the person. If you are willing to build up and maintain a record collection or want to experience nostalgia, better audio, and plan on using your turntable a lot, then it’s a yes. As for the rest, the answer is probably not.
There’s a unique and rewarding experience associated with collecting vinyl records and using turntables, which digital media can never replicate. But at the same time, not everyone appreciates these aspects, nor are most people willing to pay a bit extra or go through the different steps involved to jam out to their favorite music. And that’s fine too.
In this post, we will talk about everything you need to know about vinyl players, the benefits of vinyl records, and their cons, and go a bit more in-depth and try to answer the question fully, are turntables worth it? So keep on reading to find out more!
The Pros: Are Turntables Worth it?
Better Quality Of Music
Vinyl records let you experience hearing uncompressed music, just like how the artist imagined the music to be. Digital and streamed audio always has a loss of tone due to the audio files being compressed. Vinyl records don’t face the same issue.
Additionally, vinyl records are famous for producing warm sounds, which sounds good to most ears. Additionally, most vinyl music also has superior dynamics during mastering, compared to digital music.
Generally speaking, most modern vinyl players also have much better sound quality compared to most Bluetooth-enabled speakers you might have lying around the house.
Last but not least, there’s always a particular sentimental value attached to listening to music through vinyl players, especially for the older generation.
Nostalgia alone plays a huge part in making an already good piece of music sound all the sweeter to our ears. Digital media, although convenient, lack this sentimental aspect.
The Nostalgia Factor
There’s also a special connection with vinyl turntables for most people born when record players were a common sight at every home. They are quite literally little time machines that can help teleport you back to the good old days.
The simple act of putting on music almost feels like a ritual that brings back fond memories of much simpler times.
Additionally, vinyl turntables and records are also seen as pieces of art from different times by many. The physical nature of it all makes for a much deeper connection to the music people love.
A Potential New Hobby To Indulge In
Collecting and creating a library full of vinyl records is a fond hobby of many audio enthusiasts. Hunting down your favorite rare jazz tracks from the 50s or 60s or stacking up and categorizing your records can make for a fun, enjoyable, and rewarding hobby.
Individuals deeply passionate about vinyl turntables are often willing to overlook all the negatives that record players have. Nevertheless, it is essential to discuss the drawbacks of vinyl players as well.
Vinyl turntables and records can cost a significant sum of money, at least a few hundred dollars just for entry-level players. Some more higher-end and expensive alternatives worth thousands of dollars also exist.
The cost of records is also much higher compared to digital music. A record can be roughly 10 or 20 dollars in most record stores, and the cost of multiple records adds up to become a decent-sized chunk of money. Expect to fork out some cash when starting with your vinyl record’s music library.
Less Convenient Than Digital Media
Perhaps the biggest drawback of record players, for those less passionate, is the added inconvenience of owning and using one.
In all honesty, too many records can be a nuisance and aren’t practical either. Sure the experience can be worth it to hobbyists, but for most people, maintaining players, adjusting the stylus, storing physical records, and having to flip records when it ends can be too much of a hassle.
However, it’s never the practicality that allures consumers; the experience and nostalgia factor attracts most audio enthusiasts. Despite the added inconvenience, the number of records and players sold is rising each year. Does this mean that to many people, the answer to the question, are turntables worth it? Is still a definite yes.
Storage Space For Records
Physical records can pile up and end up taking a lot of space. Not to mention, special care also needs to be taken to ensure the long life and safety of your vinyl records. Physical media always has the risk of being damaged; this is something that consumers of invisible digital media never have to worry about.
The equipment alongside the record player, such as the amplifiers and speakers, also can take up substantial real estate in your house. You might have to end up sacrificing a corner of your room just for storing your equipment and vinyl records. This can be annoying to many who have limited space to work with.
On the other side, some would argue that the physical aspect of record players is what makes them so fun.