Why Record Player Is Quieter Than a CD Player – All You Need to Know

Our world is experiencing one of the biggest comebacks of the digital age. Vinyl album sales were up to 50 percent in the United States alone last year. People are cleaning out their record players and starting to play them more often. But, every resurgence comes with adjustment and compatibility issues, like your record player is quieter than a CD player you own. Isn’t it?

Regarding your question, a one-word answer is because of the difference in technologies. The record players are built on analog signals, and CD players are built on digital signals. In addition to these, there are several other reasons that we will discuss in this article.

Why are records quieter than CDs?

You need to know why your CD player is jamming hard, but your record player is quiet through your speakers. The signal level is likely to be the reason when determining what causes a “vintage record player low volume than a player, the signal level is likely to be the reason.

Record players work by transferring a phono signal that the cartridge reads from the grooves to a preamp that processes it further before being sent to an amplifier. The amplifier then sends the signal to the speakers. On the other hand, the CD players work on the LINE signal more robustly than the phono.

Signal Level: Record Player Vs. CD Player

Analog record players use an analog signal that ranges from 0.2 mV to 7.0 mV. The RMS of the phono signal is much lower than the Line Signal, which ranges from 0.316 Volts. In phono equalizers, the poorer signal is amplified to produce a well-formed signal, comparable to the audio on CDs or DVDs. in general, this weaker phono signal makes it less loud in the speakers than the 1500 times stronger LINE signal.


Mastering is the process of creating and optimizing the vinyl’s final master. The final mixes are created, whether the album is whole or single, along with the vinyl levels, equalizer, and dynamic range adjustments. 

It makes it sound better, but it turned out to be a little quieter than the CDs when it comes to sound loudness. Technically, digital CDs offer superior audio quality than vinyl records. The signal-to-noise ratio of CDs is higher.

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Other Potential Causes

There is a set of other reasons that makes record player quieter are:

  • Cartridge 
  • Stylus
  • Speaker Issues
  • Bad turntable
  • Distorted record player

Is vinyl quieter than CD?

The CD player generally has a louder sound than a record player because of the analog and digital differences. If your turntable doesn’t sound better than a CD player, you need to know that its signal is one-third more robust than a phono signal.


We have provided you with the reasons and possibilities why a record player is quieter than a CD player. You can use a better turntable with a built-in preamp with higher gain and a fine amplifier with better sensitivity. Have you learned about the reasons yet? You may look for How to make a turntable louder for better sound quality.