Do you own a vinyl record collection? If so, you are an outstanding person. That classic sound of a record player is truly a timeless pleasure than can never be replaced with all the digital normality of today.
Owning some albums on vinyl is simply a must. But what is an awesome LP collection without a high-quality turntable to play them on?
Shopping for a new turntable may be overwhelming at first. As there are so many to choose from and so many “bells and whistles” to consider, it may be difficult to determine which product is right for you.
Important Factors To Know Before Buying a Turntable
Before we share the top 10 best turntables available on the market, there are some important factors to consider throughout your search.
USB or Non-USB Turntable?
One of the most common factors to consider throughout your search is whether you want a USB or non-USB turntable. A device that features a USB port enables you to easily and conveniently transfer music from your turntable to your chosen device. Therefore, if you’re looking to digitalize your creations, it’s important to have a USB port that allows you to do this.
Alternatively, perhaps you’re looking to just create music in the moment or wish to save your project to the turntable itself. If so, you can significantly reduce your budget by choosing a non-USB unit.
Manual or Automatic Turntable?
Another important feature to consider is whether you want a manual or automatic turntable. Most traditional versions come with a manual queuing system that means you have to lift the arm and lower to record and play music.
However, many beginners may be confused and intimidated by this process as they become concerned about scratching the vinyl. But over time, you’ll learn to adapt and this gives you an overall real sense of creating music.
Perhaps you prefer a simpler life where you can simply press a button and the turntable does all of the work for you so you can focus all of your energy and time into the creative process. Automatic turntables tend to be more expensive and higher-tech with additional features as they’re more recently designed.
New or Used
Depending on your budget or how often you’ll use the turntable, you may choose a used unit. If so, you’ll want to acquire a working condition that lasts a long time. We suggest testing the equipment before handing over your money.
If possible, collect the components yourself, rather than a delivery service dropping them off, as vintage equipment can easily become damaged in transit.
Have a visual inspection of the used turntable. Are there evident scratches and knocks? These won’t affect the sound if they’re not placed near the device or speakers, and generally, aren’t much to worry about. Though, you don’t want to hand over hundreds of dollars for a turntable in poor condition.
Finally, always read customer reviews to gain an honest insight into the seller you’re dealing with. Do they live up to their promises? Are their prices reasonable and the products long-lasting? Perhaps they’ll offer a warranty or money-back guarantee to give you peace of mind. These are all important components to factor into your search for a used device.
Finally, for the sound to be the best quality, you’ll need exceptional speakers. Some turntables come with high-quality speakers, although you may need to purchase separate ones. As a general guide, we recommend spending a similar amount of money on the amplifier as you did the turntable.
You should also search for active speakers that have a suitable connection to your turntable. Do they have digital or wireless components or will you require a USB port? It’s a simple mistake to get so wrapped up in the amplifier’s quality that you completely neglect the compatibility.
Finally, consider what style of speakers you’re looking for. Do you want them to mount on your wall? Or perhaps you’ll place them on the floor?
The Top 10 Best Turntables To Buy
If you are looking for an upgrade or just getting started, you are in luck. This article will provide an overview of 10 different turntables currently on the market to better help you make a buying decision.
Each section will discuss key features, benefits and the pros and cons of each product. There are thousands to choose from, but we’ve done the hard work for you and identified the top 10 best turntables available in 2019. Not to mention there is a product suitable for just about everyone’s budget.
You’ll be enjoying that nostalgic analog sound of your favorite oldie in no time.
Table of Contents
- Important Factors To Know Before Buying a Turntable
- The Top 10 Best Turntables To Buy
- 10. Numark TTUSB Turntable
- 9. Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player
- 8. Crosley CR8005A-TU Cruiser Portable Turntable
- 7. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable
- 6. Jensen JTA-230 Stereo Turntable
- 5. Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
- 4. Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable
- 3. Boytone BT-17DJ 3-Speed Turntable
- 2. Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable
- 1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Turntable
- Which Turntable Should You Buy?
10. Numark TTUSB Turntable
This digital turntable by Numark has some awesome modernized features you won’t want to miss. With its unique USB compatibility, you can connect the player to your Mac or PC. It also comes with cables to connect to a stereo system.
It is also packaged with a special software that you can use to edit out scratchy sounds that vinyls typically have. You can also easily adjust the pitch control and has adjustable anti-skate control for better stereo balancing and sound. This turntable comes with an instruction manual, a USB cable and a software CD.
- Suitable for older vinyl recordings with removal of scratching noises via the provided software
- Can transfer music into an itunes account
- Can preserve older music in digital format
- Does not include a dust lid
- Is not compatible with headphones
9. Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player
For that true authentic, classic feel look no further than the Archer by Electrohome. This stylish turntable comes with all the modern bells and whistles needed, such as USB connectivity and an aux input for smartphones.
Yet it’s designed with the 60s in mind. This turntable is enclosed in a classic wooden suitcase that you can take with you wherever you go. It also has a unique “diamond tipped” ceramic needle to provide better audio performance and prevent harming fragile records.
- Highly portable with built-in speakers
- Available in 2 colors: black and saddle brown
- compatible with headphones
- Does not come with an output to connect additional speakers
- Cannot transfer music to a PC
8. Crosley CR8005A-TU Cruiser Portable Turntable
The Crosley Crusier is a one-of-a-kind. Like the Electrohome Archer product mentioned above, this turntable sits inside of an ultra sheek wooden suitcase. With its Bluetooth capabilities, you can stream music from your smartphone right to the built-in speakers.
It also plays vinyl at 3 distinctive speeds and has an adjustable pitch control feature. It also enables you to connect headphones and comes with an RCA jack to connect additional speakers. The product is available with Bluetooth or without. If you phone does not have Bluetooth capabilities, you can simply use aux input provided.
- Available in multiple colors and designs
- Has dynamic full-range speakers
- Portable and can be taken anywhere
- Does not come with USB port and cannot be connected to a PC
- May have to periodically purchase replacement needles specific to the product
7. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB Direct-Drive Turntable
This turntable option by Audio-Technica comes stocked with a load of especially neat features for true audio enthusiasts. One great one is the option for you to convert your cherished records to digital format in high fidelity during playback over USB using any audio recording program you desire.
This turntable is also fully-equipped with anti-skate controls, variable pitch options and a hydraulically damped lift control for fine-tuned tunes every time you use it. A removable dust cover with hinges keeps this machine perfectly clean whenever it is not in use, while a full 45 RPM adapter allows you to play all manner of records without investing in an additional turntable to handle them.
- Excellent choice for DJ’s and performers
- Comes in both black and silver
- No reverse direction play in this model
6. Jensen JTA-230 Stereo Turntable
This 3 speed stereo turntable by Jensen is perfect for those on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality. It comes with all the key features such as PC connectivity for converting vinyl to digital format, aux and RCA jacks, and adjustable pitch control.
It comes with a special software that can be used to edit audio content once converted to MP3 format. The sound quality on this model is rather modest and is comparable to what your records may have sounded like years ago.
- Inexpensive with a simple design
- Can connect headphones and outside speakers
- Comes with a durable dust cover
- Does not output super high volume, may not be suitable for larger areas
- May have to purchase additional stylus for various RPM records
5. Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
This simple, lightweight design by Sony if fully automatic and comes with a built-in phono preamp. It has USB capabilities with a belt drive system. You can import all of your precious vinyl music right onto your PC and save them in digital format.
It comes with a special Audio Studio software that can be used to organize all of your music and optimize the sound quality. You can also connect this turntable to an outside stereo system.
- Simple design and easy to operate
- Offers 33 1/3 and 45 rpm Speeds
- Comes with a static balance tonearm
- Does not have anti-skate feature
- Software is not compatible with MAC
4. Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable
This is another budget-friendly turntable by Jensen that offers dependability, simplicity and class. With its vintage, wooden case design you will feel like you’ve traveled back in time with each use. It offers stereo speak output jacks and a headphone port for personal listening.
It also comes with 2 built-in speakers in the front that provide excellent sound quality that can be heard throughout your entire home. As an added bonus it comes with that classic AM/FM radio dial. A dustcover and power indicator are also provided.
- Small design, can be stored on any bookshelf
- Simple to use and operate
- Comes with a 90 day warranty
- Lacks PC and Smartphone connectivity
- Tonearm must be manually returned once record is finished
3. Boytone BT-17DJ 3-Speed Turntable
There aren’t too many functions that this player does not have. It is truly the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to turntables. This record player comes with all the modern features such as digital MP3 playback with USB connectivity and SB cards, You can connect it to a PC and convert your vinyl music into digital files.
With the aux jack you can hook up your smartphone, ipod or any digital music player to this unit. For an added bonus it comes with a good ‘ol cassette player, AM/FM radio with a digital display, a wireless remote control and 2 built-in speakers that can blow you away.
- Multi-functional machine, eliminates the need to purchase other music players
- Has bass-boost technology for richer sound
- Comes with remote control
- Needle may be irreplaceable
- Lacks pitch control
2. Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable
This product can make the most classic records sound digitally remastered. The sound quality on this turntable is truly excellent for the price. It comes with many functions such as pitch control, dual playback speeds, anti-skating and a start/stop switch.
This turntable also features a special weighted “s” tone arm. It also comes with a heavy duty dustcover to prevent debris and dust particles getting inside the unit.
- Comes with a 1 year warranty
- Has a stroboscope lamp that illuminates the sides of the unit to easily see adjust the speed
- Has a well balanced counter-weight
- Lacks PC and Smartphone connectivity
- Arm must manually be returned once record is finished
1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Turntable
Audio-Technica always brings forth the highest quality products and the AT-LP120 model is no exception. This professional grade turntable has every modern technological feature you can think of, yet is simple in design and easy to use.
Features include, but are not limited to, high-torque motor, anti-resonance platter with a slip mat, capabilities to convert vinyl music to digital files, direct drive and an s-curved needle.
- Perfect option for DJs and music professionals alike
- Cartridge included
- Has an electronic brake system
- Does not come with built-in speakers
- Heavy/bulky unit
Which Turntable Should You Buy?
In conclusion, this list has given an overview of both simple turntables, such as the Jensen JTA-222 and more intricate ones such as the Boytone BT-17DJ. Making the best selection includes determining the features that are most important to you and are within your budget.
However, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 certainly takes the cake regarding dependability, functionality and value. Although it lacks PC connectivity and you cannot stream your music from your smartphone, it remains a rock-solid turntable that will serve the most important purpose: to play your precious LPs with impeccable quality and sound. The fully automatic belt drive and simple design will take the frustration out of operating the machine. It is certainly the best choice.