Electronics

The 10 Best Turntables

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Much Needed
29 January, 2020 Updated 18 days ago
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Listening to music on vinyl was a way of life for millions of people. But it wasn’t always that way.

Although vinyl records were among the first mediums of recorded music, they weren’t always the most popular. During the turn of the century up until the start of the Great Depression, vinyl records competed with phonograph cylinders for popularity. Although the sound quality of flat records wasn’t any greater than that of phonograph cylinders, the records themselves were cheaper, and vinyl became the dominant medium until cassette tapes and CDs grew in popularity in the 1980s.

Vinyl lost out to cassette tapes and CDs because record players were bulky and expensive. Cassettes were small and portable. You could outfit your car with a tape deck or carry a Walkman, and your soundtrack would travel with you. What was novel in the 1980s became a way of life, and now phones, iPods and mp3 players make it so that anyone can listen to any music, anytime.

But turntables are mounting a comeback.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable

Thanks to a reassurance of vinyl, which is now considered cool again, there has been an increase in the number and variety of turntables for sale. More than any other medium, listening to a record on vinyl is an experience. Thanks to modern technology, you can enjoy 33 ½ RPM records old and new with modern sound equipment that sounds better than ever before.

Things to Consider

As it was in days gone by, there are a lot of different brands and models of a turntable on the market. Everyone has

1. Upgradability

One of the things that set a turntable apart from other music players is its ability to be customized to your preference. Some people just want a turntable to use out of the box, and others want to be able to fully control their experience. The parts of a turntable that can be customized include the platter, the tone arm and the needle.

2. Rotational speed

The speed of a record is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and most vinyl play at one of two speeds. Singles, or seven-inch records, play at 45 RPM, while the 12-inch records commonly known as LPs play at 33 RPM. Every turntable can support both sized records. Older, 10-inch records played at 78 RPM, and not every turntable can play this type of record. Production stopped on 78 records by the late 50s, so unless you have copies of those old records, you don’t need a turntable that can play them.

3. Manual or automatic

Turntables can be automatic or manual. This refers to whether the needle that starts the record. Automatic turntables are quicker and easier to use and can be played at the push of a button. If you’re looking for a more traditional, authentic experience, however, you’ll want to buy a manual turntable.

4. Usage

Since there are so many different ways to listen to music today, try to think how often you intend to use a turntable. If vinyl records are your favourite way to listen to music and you use them frequently, then it makes sense to buy a nice turntable. But if you only plan on using it occasionally, you might be better off saving some money.

5. Price

All of the things listed above are factors that contribute to the price of a turntable. Because there are so many ways to listen to music today, turntables are more of a luxury than record players ever used to be. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy a turntable for a reasonable price, but if you have high expectations, be prepared to pay for them.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Turntables


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
  • Sony’s high-quality audio technology ensures the best possible analog playback
  • Digitally archive the music from your favorite vinyl recordings in Hi-Res
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Sony’s high-quality audio technology ensures the best possible analog playback
  • Digitally archive the music from your favorite vinyl recordings in Hi-Res
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
MOST REVIEWED
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Gold-plated terminals resist oxidation
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Gold-plated terminals resist oxidation
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
TOP PICK
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • High-torque multi-pole motor ideal for DJ use
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1000
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • High-torque multi-pole motor ideal for DJ use
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1000
BUDGET PICK
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Fully automatic needle
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Fully automatic needle
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
BUDGET PICK
  • Turntable can play 33, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • Pitch controller lets you adjust record speed
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
  • Turntable can play 33, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • Pitch controller lets you adjust record speed
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
EDITOR’S PICK
Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable
Vinyl goes portable.

After reviewing various Power Towers, we found that the Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable is The Best Turntable in the market right now.

  • Sony’s high-quality audio technology ensures the best possible analog playback
  • Digitally archive the music from your favorite vinyl recordings in Hi-Res
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Best Turntables Under $50

Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable

This Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built-in Speakers is a great entry level turntable for those who are just starting to explore the possibilities that vinyl records have. This model boasts a USB Port with cable included so that you can easily convert your favorite vinyl records to digital format. The turntable even has software included so that you can convert the vinyl, as well as for editing and recording audio in MP3 format.

This Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built-in Speakers has an auxiliary input jack so that you can connect your digital audio player directly to it. Also, the turntable has RCA Line-out jacks as well as a stereo headphone jack so that you can enjoy the sounds that your vinyl make.

Other great features of this Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built-in Speakers is that it has pitch control capabilities so that you can adjust record speed, there are also record speed, volume and tone controls. The turntable comes with a specially fitted dust cover to keep the device clean and dust free.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
  • Pitch controller lets you adjust record speed
Cons
  • Speakers aren’t very loud

Best Turntables Under $100

Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Turntable

With this Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, you can rediscover your classic 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records. The turntable won’t set you back by much as it is under $100 and therefore you will be able to really enjoy your records affordably.

The turntable is fully automatic and belt-driven. It features a built-in switchable phono preamp which is sure to produce a great sound from your favorite vinyl records. What is more, the AT-LP60 turntable can be easily connected directly to your computer, home stereo, powered speakers and other components so that you can enjoy the sounds of your vinyls digitally and so you have the option of converting the vinyls to digital format for listening to at a later time.

Other great features of this turntable are that it is supplied with an integral Audio-Technica Dual Magnet phono cartridge, has a replaceable stylus and boasts an anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Fully automatic needle
  • RCA output connects with powered speakers
Cons
  • Does not have independent speakers

Best Turntables Under $150

Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable

The Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable is sleek, cool and compact. With this turntable, you can not only listen to your favorite vinyls, but you can also transfer the vinyl albums to your digital music player.

The PS-LX300USB USB Stereo turntable from Sony has been designed so that you can use the USB connection to import all of the vinyl music into your computer and create MP3 files. By converting your vinyl music to the digital format, it means that you can store it on a PC or upload it to you favorite portable player.

The Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable features 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speeds so you can play singles and albums. What is more, the turntable is fully automatic in its operation so there is no need for you to worry about setting things up. Furthermore, the turntable boasts a static balance tonearm for music quality.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Fully automatic needle
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
Cons
  • Does not have independent speakers

Crosley C100 Belt-Drive Turntable

With this Crosley’s C100 Turntable with an S-shaped tone arm with an adjustable counterweight, you will be able to take your vinyl listening to the next level. The turntable also features an adjustable strobe pitch control, and a built-in phono preamp, all in a super cool, sleek and classic black and silver case. As this turntable not only look great, but is also seriously good quality, it would make for the perfect accompaniment to any current home speaker system.

Thanks to the Crosley’s C100 Turntable design with its adjustable counterweight and anti-skate adjustment on the S-shaped tonearm the turntable can protect your valuable vinyl records, as well as tune out skipping and distortion so that you can listen to your vinyl music in the best way possible.

What is more, the turntable is powered by a belt mechanism which can play 2 speeds 33 1/3 and 45 RPM and as a result singles and albums can be played with this turntable. What is more, the turntable has a high-tech ABS construction with transparent protective lid and anti-skate adjustment so that you can enjoy your vinyl records in the best quality possible.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • RCA output connects with powered speakers
  • Pitch controller lets you adjust record speed
Cons
  • Does not have independent speakers

Best Turntables Under $200

Electrohome EANOS700 Turntable

The Electrohome EANOS700 Vinyl Turntable is their signature classic retro inspired record player that delivers room-filling sound with a perfectly tuned acoustic cabinet and four speakers for high-fidelity audio performance.

Some of its distinguished features include  a Diamond tipped ceramic needle which provides better audio performance with a warm and natural tone that preserves the natural sound of the vinyls. Electrohome’s has over 100 years of experience developing analog audio systems but don’t let the looks fool you.

This turntable is as modern as any of its counter parts with advance features like AM/FM radio, CDs, MP3s through USB and includes a 3.5mm auxiliary input for music from your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other smartphone or tablet. Now that is what you call a complete package.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
  • Four speakers combine for 40 watts of sound
Cons
  • Cannot connect to external speakers

Best Turntables Under $300

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Turntable

The Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120-USB direct-drive, a high-torque professional turntable is ideal for those who are seriously into music. The turntable would make a great addition to the music technology set up of DJs and other music enthusiasts. With this turntable, you can release your inner DJ thanks to the ‘table’s pitch-adjustment feature, with variations ranging from either +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent.

With this Audio Technica ATLP120 turntable, you can connect the turntable to your computer via a USB output so that you can digitize your old LPs and enjoy them when you are out and about. USB cable and adapter cables are included. The turntable also includes a selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and a USB output.

The AT-LP120 turntable boasts a number of great features such as an S-shaped tone arm, an adjustable counterweight, an antiskate adjustment, a tone-arm height adjustment and lock, a tone-arm lift with hydraulic action and lift lever, and even a tone-arm rest with a locking mechanism to keep the arm stable during transport.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Gold-plated terminals resist oxidation
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
Cons
  • Does not have independent speakers

TEAC TN-300 Analog Turntable

The TN-300 is a Turntable with Built-in Phono Pre-amplifier & USB Digital Output. The turntable is a belt-drive analog record player that has a stylish chassis and built-in MM Phono equalizer amplifier with USB output. This turntable also includes both Phono and Line outputs so you can play vinyl with a stereo that isn’t equipped with Phono input. A great feature that is not available in most other turntables.

The TN-300 turntable has aUSB Digital Output transfer music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC, using the USB digital output and optional recording software. This means that you can preserve your vinyl record in CD-quality digital quality.

This will allow you to enjoy vinyl records with a smartphone or Digital Audio Player. Further to this, the turntable features audio-technica’s AT95E VM cartridge, which lets you enjoy high accuracy tracking sounds as soon as you set the turntable up. Furthermore, the turntable has an aluminum die-cast, high inertia platter also contributes to solid playback quality.

All the features of this turntable make it the perfect item for any music lover who wants to be able to appreciate the high-quality sounds of vinyl combined with the turntables sturdy yet stylish design.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Gold-plated terminals resist oxidation
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
Cons
  • Does not have independent speakers

Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable

The PS-HX500 is a seriously high quality and a cool looking turntable that has been equipped with a high-quality A/D convertor. This means that you can connect the turntable to your PC with a USB cable and record your vinyl as High-Resolution Audio tracks- ideal if you want to backup your vinyl collection or take your favorite tracks with you.

Finally, the dust cover the shape of the turntable has been designed for minimal vibration so that you can get top quality audio even when played with the cover on.

The PS-HX500 from Sony combines all the advantages of digital audio, including a frequency response in excess of 100 kHz and ample dynamic range, but with the natural sound of an analogue recording. The Sony turntable has a super high-quality audio component system which will allow you to enjoy all your vinyl records with all the raw realism that they can offer.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Built-in phono equalizer
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
Cons
  • Difficult to swap out the cartridge

Best Turntables Under $500

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Turntable

The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable is cool, compact, and highly functional. It would make for an awesome addition to any music lovers kit pack as it has been superbly made and is of professional quality. In fact, this turntable has been designed specifically for DJ’s to use in nightclubs, but it could also be used by music lovers who would love to play their vinyl record collection.

The turntable is sleek, elegant and glossy and as a result, it would fit in with any home entertainment system. The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable has a built-in switchable phono preamp which enables it to be used with a wide variety of receivers, powered speakers and other A/V components.

What is more, the turntable comes with a USB output that allows direct connection to a computer for easy LP-to-digital conversion. This turntable also offers all three speeds (33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM and 78 RPM) and as a result, you can listen to any vinyl disk that you like.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33, 45 and 78 RPM records
  • High-torque multi-pole motor ideal for DJ use
  • USB port and software records audio into MP3 format
Cons
  • Only compatible with 120V outlets

Best Turntables Under $1000

Pro-Ject – 1Xpression Carbon Classic

The 1Xpression Carbon Classic turntable has a classic design that would look amazing in any home. Brilliantly, this turntable is ready to use right out of the box. The turntable features an 8.6″ carbon fiber tone arm which boasts the new gimbal design that offers a resonance damping counterweight for the best performance from any cartridge. What is more, the 1Xpression turntable has an amazing improved belt-drive design which uses a low-noise AC motor with effective motor decoupling to help keep vibration out of the signal chain.

The 1Xpression Classic turntable has a number of features that reduce vibrations to improve music quality. Also, the plinth is very effectively decoupled from structure-born vibration and other noise through Pro-ject’s use of special absorber feet that employ TPE technology and also reduce the risk of acoustical feedback. This turntable would be an amazing investment for any music lover.

Pros
  • Turntable can play 33 and 45 RPM records
  • High-torque multi-pole motor ideal for DJ use
  • Heavy aluminium sandwich platter for better resonance and damping
Cons
  • Only compatible with 120V outlets

Conclusion

Finding the right turntable can make all the difference in terms of what your vinyl records sound like. As vinyl is becoming more and more popular, now is the perfect time to get into vinyl and to buy a turntable.

As vinyl records are a great asset, it is important to find a turntable that will allow you to enjoy them as they should be enjoyed. In order to help you find the perfect turntable, we put together this list of considerations for you to look over. Happy shopping!

*All prices mentioned above were at the time of publishing.

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