Can I Use Phono Input For Aux? Experts Weigh In

Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking to connect your turntable to your receiver?

You may have heard conflicting information about whether or not you can use the phono input for your aux connection.

In this article, we will explore the differences between phono and aux inputs, and whether or not it is possible to use one for the other.

We’ll also provide tips on how to get the best sound quality from your turntable setup.

So, grab your favorite record and let’s dive in!

Can I Use Phono Input For Aux

The short answer is no, you cannot use the phono input for your aux connection.

Phono inputs are designed specifically for turntables and have a built-in phono preamp that boosts and adds RIAA equalization to recreate the original sound of vinyl records. This is necessary because turntables produce a very low-level signal that needs to be amplified before it can be played through speakers.

On the other hand, aux inputs are clean inputs that do not have a built-in phono preamp. They are designed for line-level signals, such as those produced by CD players or smartphones.

If you try to use the phono input for your aux connection, you will likely experience low volume and poor sound quality. This is because the phono input expects a different type of signal than what is produced by an aux device.

Understanding Phono And Aux Inputs

To better understand the difference between phono and aux inputs, it’s important to first understand how turntables work. Turntables use a stylus that follows the contours inside the walls of a record’s groove. As the stylus moves, a magnet attached to the other end, inside the cartridge, also moves and induces current in two coils of wire in there, creating electrical signals that are fed to the amplifier. These signals are exceedingly weak, far weaker than the signals from other sources like CD players or smartphones.

This is where the phono preamp comes in. The phono preamp is responsible for amplifying these weak signals and adding RIAA equalization to recreate the original sound of vinyl records. Without a phono preamp, the sound produced by a turntable would be tinny and faint.

Phono inputs on preamplifiers, amplifiers, or stereo receivers have a built-in phono preamp that boosts and adds RIAA equalization to recreate the original sound of vinyl records. This is necessary because turntables produce a very low-level signal that needs to be amplified before it can be played through speakers.

On the other hand, aux inputs are clean inputs that do not have a built-in phono preamp. They are designed for line-level signals, such as those produced by CD players or smartphones. If you try to use the phono input for your aux connection, you will likely experience low volume and poor sound quality because the phono input expects a different type of signal than what is produced by an aux device.

Therefore, if you want to use your turntable with an aux input, you need to make sure your turntable has a built-in phono preamp or use a standalone phono preamp between your turntable and your receiver’s aux input. This will amplify the low-level signals produced by your turntable and ensure that you get high-quality sound from your speakers.

Why You Can’t Use Phono Input For Aux

There are a few reasons why you cannot use the phono input for your aux connection. First and foremost, phono inputs are designed to work specifically with turntables. They have a built-in phono preamp that is necessary to boost the low-level signal produced by turntables and add RIAA equalization to recreate the original sound of vinyl records.

On the other hand, aux inputs are designed for line-level signals, such as those produced by CD players or smartphones. They do not have a built-in phono preamp and are not equipped to handle the unique signal produced by turntables.

If you try to use the phono input for your aux connection, you will likely experience low volume and poor sound quality. This is because the phono input expects a different type of signal than what is produced by an aux device. The signal from an aux device is already at line-level and does not need to be amplified in the same way as a turntable signal.

It’s also worth noting that some turntables have the option to disable the built-in phono preamp. In this case, you could potentially use the aux input if you have a standalone phono preamp to amplify the signal. However, it’s important to note that not all turntables have this option and using a standalone phono preamp can be an additional expense.

How To Connect Your Turntable To An Aux Input

If you want to connect your turntable to an aux input, there are a few things you need to consider. First, check if your turntable has a built-in phono preamp. If it does not, you will need to purchase an external phono preamp to boost the signal before it can be played through an aux input.

Once you have a phono preamp, you can connect your turntable to the aux input using RCA cables. Connect the RCA cables from your turntable into the “Input” RCA inputs on the phono preamp. Then, connect the ground wire from your turntable to the metal screw on the phono preamp to remove any hum or buzz sounds.

Next, connect a pair of RCA cables into the “Output” RCA connections on the preamp and connect them to the Aux input on the back of your receiver or mini-system. Make sure to select Aux on your receiver or mini-system and begin playing your turntable to enjoy music.

If you have a Sonos speaker, you can still connect your turntable using a preamp. Simply connect the output of the preamp to the line-in port on the Sonos speaker using an RCA-to-3.5mm cable.

Tips For Getting The Best Sound Quality From Your Turntable Setup

If you want to get the best sound quality from your turntable setup, there are a few tips you can follow:

1. Use a high-quality phono preamp: The quality of your phono preamp can greatly affect the sound quality of your turntable setup. Invest in a high-quality phono preamp that can accurately amplify and equalize the phono signal.

2. Use high-quality cables: The cables you use to connect your turntable to your audio equipment can also affect the sound quality. Use high-quality cables that are shielded to reduce interference and noise.

3. Keep your turntable clean: Dust and dirt can affect the sound quality of your turntable setup. Keep your turntable clean by using a soft brush to remove dust and using a cleaning solution to remove dirt and grime.

4. Position your speakers correctly: The position of your speakers can also affect the sound quality of your turntable setup. Position your speakers at ear level and ensure they are not too close or too far apart.

By following these tips, you can get the best sound quality from your turntable setup and enjoy the full potential of your vinyl records.

Conclusion: Which Input Should You Use?

When it comes to choosing which input to use, it ultimately depends on what type of device you are connecting to your amplifier or receiver. If you are using a turntable, then the phono input is the best choice as it is specifically designed for this purpose and has the necessary preamp to boost the low-level signal. However, if you are connecting a CD player or smartphone, then the aux input is the better choice as it is designed for line-level signals.

It is important to note that some turntables come with a built-in phono preamp, which means they can be connected to an aux input. In this case, you would not need to use the phono input.

If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp and you want to use an aux input, then you will need to purchase a standalone phono preamp. This will allow you to connect your turntable to the aux input and still get the necessary amplification.

In summary, it is important to match the input type with the device you are connecting. If you have a turntable, use the phono input. If you have an aux device, use the aux input. If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp and you want to use an aux input, then invest in a standalone phono preamp.