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Why Is A Record Player Quiet? (5 Common Issues)

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If you just recently started listening to records or have just recently noticed an issue with your player not being as loud as it used to be then this article is for you! In this article we will discuss what those things are that might be causing the issue and what you can do to fix it. 

So, why is my record player quiet? 

There are a few possible reasons why your record player is quieter than it has been before. It could be an issue with:

  • Your cartridge
  • Your needle
  • Your tonearm
  • Your speakers
  • Poor quality record player

I will discuss each of those in more detail in the rest of this article. 

Before we begin it is important to understand that all of the music you  will listen to with your record player will be noticeably quieter compared to the music from a CD player or even from bluetooth speakers connected to your phone. 

Records are older technology so there is no way they are going to be as loud as the newest stereos or record players will be. 

If your record player has become quieter over time then this isn’t the issue and you should keep reading for possible solutions. 

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1. Record Player Cartridge issues 

One possible issue when it comes to the volume not being loud enough on your record player is an issue with your cartridge. Cartridges will wear out over time so the low volume could be caused by it wearing out. 

The easiest way to know if this is the issue is to replace it and see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn’t you simply return the new cartridge and put the old one back on your player. Cartridges will last much longer than the needle so if your player is relatively new than this shouldn’t be the issue. 

If you are unsure how to replace the cartridge then check out the video below for more information. 

2. Record Player Needle Issues 

The needle or stylus is an important part of any record player. As your needle begins to wear down it can hurt the sound quality that the player produces and even cause issues with the volume. If you are experiencing sound quality issues along with volume issues then in all likelihood the needle is causing the issue. 

Changing out the needle on your record player is a relatively simple process. It simply requires you to use a small flathead screwdriver, pop down the tab and slide the needle right off. 

Putting the needle back on is almost just as fast and is just the opposite of the way you took it off. 

Needles are relatively inexpensive for most players so this is one of the first things that you should replace if you are having sound quality or volume issues. 

If you want to see how easy it is to change out a stylus just watch the short video below. 

3. Record Player Tonearm Issues

The tonearm is the long arm that holds the needle and cartridge on to the record itself. Sometimes the tonearm will be manual and other times it will automatically start and stop when the record is done playing. 

The main issue that you might have with the tonearm is that it is not balanced properly. This is a little more technical of a process so rather than me explain it here I will let you watch the videos below on how to balance the tonearm properly. 

4. Record Player Speakers Issues

I saved this one for last because this isn’t often going to be the problem with your player. Normally if you had loud sound and now it is softer than one of the issues above would be what is causing the problem. However, I didn’t want to leave this one off as it is certainly an issue sometimes. 

The speakers whether inside the player or seperate can certainly go bad and stop working. This is especially true if they are cheaper speakers or built in to a cheap record player. Often speakers will simply stop working and won’t just decrease in sound so that is why I saved it for last. 

If your speakers are built into your player there should also be a line out plug that you can use to test the audio using a seperate set of speakers. Assuming your player has this option this is a great way to check and see if the speakers are the issue. 

If you plug in a new set of speakers and still don’t have loud enough sound then it is something else causing the issue. However, if the new speakers fix the problem then you can be sure that the speakers were really the issue. 

5. Cheap Quality Record Players

This isn’t really an issue as much as it is a warning. The cheap quality suitcase style record players are going to give you issues sooner rather than later. The issues might be soft volume, or a whole host of other things going wrong. 

When you pay under $50 for a record player you aren’t going to get the best quality anything. If you are having issues with your suitcase style record player not playing loud enough rather than going through the above process it would be better to simply buy a higher quality player. 

Yes, you will spend more money on a better player but they will last much longer and they won’t cause you a bunch of headaches trying to fix issues like you will with a poor quality player. 

Some people even believe that the cheap suitcase style record players will damage your records long term (that is my opinion also) so not only are you giving yourself additional headaches every time you use it but you are also hurting your record collection too. 

If you want to learn more about the possible issues that these cheap players have you can watch the video below to learn all about them. 


There are a variety of different reasons that a record player might not be putting out the volume that you expect. Hopefully after reading this article you have been able to find the issue with your player and get it fixed. 

If you haven’t or simply realized that there is a lot more to fixing your player than you first thought then reaching out to a professional is a good idea. If you contact your local record store they might have someone there who also works on players or at minimum they can point you in the right direction. 

Just because your record player’s sound isn’t working properly doesn’t mean it is destined for the trash. There are tons of different things that you can do to fix it and help it play like new again.