Once upon a time, there was a great music format known as the analog. People all over the world loved it so much that they celebrated each day by playing their favorite vinyl records. They praised its exquisite sound quality, and danced joyfully to every beat. The analog was a part of everyone’s lives.
Until one day, a technological wave took society by storm. Modernized music – known as the ‘digital format’ – invaded every household and casted analog aside. At first, everyone was uncomfortable with the digital format’s robotic presence. But soon enough, the world embraced the foreign concept and fell in love with its offered convenience.
The world of music forgot its first love, the analog. Feeling betrayed, vinyl records all around the globe gathered an army of devout followers who were then tasked to someday initiate the analog’s return.
That may be the reason why vinyl records exist and persist to this very day. It is not so easy to let go of a classical medium, especially if it has this much significance to the music industry. Not to mention that vinyl records really do sound great and they also have that nostalgic factor to add to the equation.
Now if you are one of those people who consider themselves ‘vinyl lovers,’ then rejoice! You just found the ultimate guide for your LP playing needs.
Here you will see some of the best turntables that you can use for your collection. You can even see which machines fit your budget best, since I will be listing down two record players for each price range. Let’s have a look:
The Reviews of The 10 Best Turntables and Record Players For The Money
For almost $100 dollars, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 gives you exactly what you are looking for in a turntable: excellent audio quality. Most reviewers were blown away by this simple 8.4-pound machine. They did not expect much, and certainly did not identify themselves as audiophiles, but were still amazed by its sound output.
It has a professional-looking aluminum platter that saves your LPs from annoying scratches, and assures that you get a high-quality audio experience.It gives you two speed options to choose from: either 33-1/3 or 45RPM. That means if you have a record that will only play with a 78RPM speed, you ought to look for a different turntable.
Other than that, it has a switchable pre-amp, meaning you can use either Phono or Line Level for whichever your speaker is compatible with.It gives you all of these options for a very affordable price, and also produces great sound. That should please most vinyl lovers.
Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers Digital LCD Display AM/FM Radio + Supports USB/SD/AUX+ Cassette/MP3 & WMA Playback /Recorder & Headphone Jack + Remote Control
This turntable is the gift that keeps on giving. For something currently priced less than $80 dollars, the Boytone BT-17DJ does more than just play your favorite vinyl records.
First of all, it has a built-in AM/FM radio with a digital display and a frequency of 88-108MHz for FM, and 540-1600kHz for AM. It comes with two built-in speakers, and even a cassette player! All of these can be accessed with a touch of a button through a remote control.
Other than that, the record player itself is pretty impressive. With its black, modern design, this direct drive machine plays your music at one of three speeds, either 33-1/3, 45, or 78RPM.
As if all of those features weren’t enough, this turntable also lets you convert your old LPs into digital MP3 files by putting in a blank CD.
This amazingly cheap record player gives you lots of freedom to enjoy your music every which way you want it.
Who would expect that at a price of less than $200 dollars, you could get yourself a professional quality turntable? This is great news for anyone who plans to start a career as a DJ, and wants an affordable record player to begin with.
The Stanton T62 is willing to compete with its pricier counterparts by simply putting into display the basic features that a turntable must have. Based on the Stanton T.60, the T62 offers high quality reproduction of your music by using its high-torque direct drive motor, which barely makes a sound while in use. It’s no surprise that this incarnation can live up to the expectations of the fans of its best-selling predecessor.
The straight tonearm does exactly what it is supposed to do, and even has a slight tracking improvement to suit the needs of DJs who like to scratch their records. This machine is easy to use, and will please its user just as easily.
Just one look at this retro-inspired record player will make you want to take it home based solely on its creatively-made design. Wait ‘til you here about all of the amazing features that have been jam-packed into this affordable record player.
The Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player Classic delivers room-filling sound, using an acoustic cabinet that is equipped with four powerful speakers.
Not only can it play your vinyl records, it also comes with an AM/FM radio, for those days when you don’t feel like taking out your LP collection.Also, this seemingly old-fashioned machine is given its fair share of hi-tech features by allowing you to play any kind of music, be it through a USB drive, a CD, or a direct connection to your smartphone. This vintage beauty has it all.
When talking about audio quality, most reviewers praise this wooden turntable, saying the authentically handcrafted machine does justice to any record or MP3 file they play. What else can we say about a record player that has both the looks and the quality to back it up?
Did you know that you can get yourself a professional turntable without even reaching $300 dollars? That is one of the main selling factors of the Audio Technica AT-LP120. It was created for DJs so that they can have an affordable option for a worthy turntable, which they can use for their performances. But not only that, this direct drive machine is actually friendly to casual listeners as well. That has ‘good news’ written all over it.
With its high-torque motor and professional cartridge, this record player is sure to take you for an amazing, high-quality ride. You can select between three play speeds, including 33-1/3, 44, and 78 RPM. It even has a forward and reverse play capability! The best part is that no one is stopping you from getting this from the store and becoming your living room’s resident DJ. Who says you’re not allowed to live your musical dreams? This turntable sure isn’t.
The Pioneer PL-30 has the word ‘audiophile’ on its full name, so from that alone, we can say it is pretty confident about its track-spinning capabilities. And it should, because it has an impressive array of features and components that should get an approving nod from those who consider themselves audiophiles.
It is fully automatic, meaning it is ready to serve your eardrums as soon as you push the ‘On’ button. It lowers itself gently over the grooves of your pristine LP, and then glides along perfectly to produce an unbelievably accurate sound. It has a built-in Phono preamp so you don’t have to spend more on buying an external one.
It is a belt drive turntable that works with a DC-servo-controlled motor that offers a low amount of vibration. The die-cast headshell is also easily removed, so that you can further upgrade its quality with a replacement cartridge of your preference. With this machine, even audiophiles no longer have to spend tons and tons of money to reach that ‘musical nirvana’ they crave for. Pioneer are famous with thier top notch studio monitors, but this particular player is very hard to ignore.
Alright, just because it has the word ‘DJ’ on it, doesn’t mean you have to be one before buying this. The Audio Technica AT-LP1240 can suit your listening needs just fine, even if you only intend to use it at home.
While it was designed to be DJ-friendly, this sleek, black-and-silver machine is packed with features that would please casual listeners as well. Currently at a price of almost $400 dollars, it has a damped aluminum platter that comes with a slip mat, to ensure a smooth audio performance from any of your records. It has a powerful, direct drive motor that can handle 33-1/3, 45 and 78 RPM, for added versatility.
It even has a few hi-tech features that old turntables did not have such as a USB output for instant computer connection. As a bonus, it comes with a PC- and Mac- compatible software called Audacity, used for converting your records to MP3, WAV, or other audio formats.
DJ or not, you will appreciate the functionality of this glossy piece of tech.
The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC was created with the goal of establishing the successful reemergence of analog products. That alone tells you that this turntable is no pushover when it comes to performance. It has a simple, basic design that houses a slightly bigger and heavier platter, for better audio clarity.
The tonearm is made of carbon, which is unusual for a product that is aimed for the mass market because of its higher production cost. Needless to say, the 8.6” carbon tube provides a decreased resonance, meaning enhanced sound quality.
The best part about this record player, other than its dead quiet service, is that it is currently priced at around $400 dollars. Not only can it play your records without making much noise, it can also keep your wallet quiet for a very long time. A few reviewers even claim that they thought this thing was broken when they first bought it, because it is just that silent. It is definitely ready to impress potential buyers, until it fulfills its mission of bringing analog back to life.
The simple but professional-looking design of the Pro-Ject Audio 1-Xpression Carbon is often the first thing people notice about it. For something that is named ‘Xpression,’ it surely does not have a very expressive appearance. However, the black exterior does give off a serious, performance-driven vibe, which is a plus point to its favor.
What it lacks in aesthetic, it more than makes up for with its audio reproduction capabilities. So if you were wondering why this turntable is currently priced at more than $700 dollars, you’re going to have to look beyond the exterior.
This belt drive machine boasts a stainless steel bearing and an 8.6” carbon tonearm for maximum effectiveness and optimal tracking. You can also change the playing speed manually from 33 to 45 RPM and vice-versa, to accommodate most of your LP records.
Looking into this machine’s components can easily convince any audiophile to take it home.
For a price of less than $800 dollars, you can have the peace of mind that only a well-functioning record player can offer. The Thorens TD 190-2 gives you exactly that.
While it does not promise a lot of features, this sleek machine assures you that it can play everything you have in your collection, and will do so to the best of its ability. It has three play speed options, 33-1/3, 45, and 78RPM, meaning it can play almost every single LP record out there. This black beauty also has an electronically-controlled DC motor that runs very quietly, so you don’t have to worry about hearing noise while you play your favorite tunes. It is much easier to relax that way, isn’t it?
The best part about this machine is that it is fully automatic. That means you simply have to place your record on the platter and push a button to make it work. This hassle-free turntable lets you have all the rest you deserve.
There is no doubt that the analog format is still alive and doing very well. You are a proof of this statement, since finding the right turntable is just your way of showing support to this classic medium. Now that you know some of the best ones out there, you might as well pick one that can fulfill your needs, so that you can strengthen your appreciation for the classic musical art form.
And although analog is not likely to reclaim its throne from the digital format anytime soon, this medium is available to those who seek it. Analog is not for the average consumer looking for soundbar reviews to complete his TV system. Like a treasure chest waiting to be uncovered, LP records can surely amaze anyone who tries to unlock it and discover its contents. Everyday more and more people realize how beautiful the world was when analog was the king. Yes we are still fans of the good old bookshelf speakers, or a great pair of bluetooth speakers, but turntables carry a charm that is hard to ignore.
Like a childhood friend who is always ready to hang out, the analog format is ready to welcome you whenever you come over to his house for a visit.
Maybe someday we will see record players as a standard component of everyone’s sound system again. One thing is for sure, no one can beat a classic…especially if it has been immortalized by millions of devoted fans.