I’ve owned many different devices for playing my music over the years and I’ve always been reluctant to discard my old technology – there’s something nostalgic about that old record player. While there’s no doubt that the quality of music from our devices has improved over the years, I still enjoy listening to one of my old records. If you share this love of records, you’ll need to ensure, when purchasing a Bluetooth speaker, that it’s capable of connecting to older devices.

There are several different ways that Bluetooth speakers can connect to music sources, and in general it’s best to look for one that has a lot of options. If you’re looking at a Bluetooth speaker that doesn’t have any other connection options other than the actual Bluetooth option itself, it’s probably best to keep on looking. In this article we explore the different ways Bluetooth devices can connect to music sources and what you should be looking for.

The Obvious Choice is Bluetooth

If you’re not familiar with Bluetooth technology that means you’ve probably been living under a rock. Just kidding about that, but Bluetooth is one of the simplest ways to connect a smart device to a Bluetooth speaker. Essentially, all you have to do is to push the pairing button on your Bluetooth speaker and then find the speaker on your smart phone or tablet and enable it – the whole process takes a couple of seconds at most. Normally, your smart phone or tablet will require you to accept the connection attempt and then you’re off and running.

Connecting Older Devices

If you’ve got an old record player or an iPod, you should definitely look for a Bluetooth speaker that also has an Aux-in port. This is a port with a 3.5 mm jack (headphone jack) for connecting older devices such as these directly to your Bluetooth speaker using an appropriate cord. If your car has one of these ports you can also use it to connect the speaker and boost the sound system in your car as well. It may be an older technology, but it still has a lot of uses these days, and I always look for a device that includes this option.

Load up the TF Card

I must admit, when I first came across a Bluetooth speaker that said it had a built-in TF card slot I had no idea what that meant it all. It turns out a TF card slot is the same as a micro-SD slot, which is a memory card for storing information – in this case, your musical collection. Generally these cards can store anywhere from 16 GB to 128 GB of information. It’s up to you which card you select, but if you have a lot of music you’re always best to go with the higher number. If you’ve got enough music to fill a 128 GB card that’s one impressive music collection!

The More Familiar SD Card

Another form of memory card that some Bluetooth speakers are compatible with is a standard SD card. This is a larger memory card with which most people are fairly familiar. It’s a technology that’s been around a little longer, but it does essentially the same job. These cards are available in ranges anywhere from 4 GB all the way up to 128 GB. If you want the larger card you’ll have to be prepared to pay a little extra money, but if a 4 GB card is all you need you’ll probably find one of these for about $5. It’s a pretty reasonable price to pay to load up your music and leave it in the device.

Why Not Have Them All?

There are of course speakers that have all of the options we’ve mentioned above and, if at all possible, I strongly suggest you look for one of these. Why limit yourself? You’ll want to consider your price range as well, but there are Bluetooth speakers out there with all of these connection options at a price that’s right for most people. In theory you can use an SD card to load all of your music on, an Aux-in port to connect your old record player, and Bluetooth connectivity to connect visitors’ music collections as well. All those musical options will keep the party ticking along nicely.