How To Convert An Analog Turntable To Digital

If you have a collection of old or new vinyl records, you may well want to expand your experience beyond just chilling out and absorbing the sound from your usual HiFi speakers.

Fortunately, the modern record collector has plenty of options to combine the old of the analog with the modern digital age. Here are some things you can do.

Get a USB or Bluetooth turntable


The easiest thing to do if you're open to getting a new turntable is pick one up with built-in USB and or Bluetooth. Traditional (or old, if you prefer) turntables will require an external amplifier to produce a sound you can hear, but many modern ones have a built-in phono pre-amp so you can bypass this altogether.

So, if you get one with Bluetooth you'll be able to connect directly to your favorite wireless speakers or headphones. It's no more difficult than connecting any other Bluetooth music player.

Likewise, if you purchase a turntable with a USB connection, you're able to hook it up directly to your PC to retrieve the music. By setting the turntable as an audio input device on your PC you can even use the speakers on your PC then to hear your music.

Brands like Audio Technica make some solid turntables with these features for around $150.

Best USB Turntables to Bring Vinyl to PC in 2018

Transfer your Vinyl to digital music files

Vinyl records

The alternative, and a useful one for those with older turntables already that have no USB or Bluetooth features, is to convert the music to a digital file with Audacity. The general principle still involves hooking up your turntable to your PC, though you'll need some kind of interface to do that.

Something as simple as this $20 device from Behringer will do the trick. Don't confuse it with a DAC, which turns a digital file into an analog sound. What you want is the reverse of that.

From there you can either listen to the music through the PC as detailed above or use the free and most excellent application, Audacity, to convert your albums into digital files you can listen to wherever you are.

How to transfer vinyl records to your PC with Audacity

Your tips

If you're a vinyl fan and have some tips or product recommendations to make going digital with your records a great experience, drop them into the comments below.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at