One of the greatest misconceptions about turntables in general, is that you have to get a $300 model if you want to enjoy listening to records. This is simply not true. Today we are going to show you some of the cheapest models out there, which are deemed the best turntables on the market to start out with. Going with any of these will get you a great balance of price and performance, which will allow you to learn the ropes of using this tech. Later on, we’ll talk a bit about affordable turntables and what to look out for.
Top 8 Budget Record Players Under $100
When it comes to entry level turntables, you do not usually expect to receive a whole lot of features beyond the simple fact that the device will play records for you. 1byone have bucked this trend entirely, and with killer features like vinyl to MP3 recording, this device has a whole lot to offer that you may not find elsewhere.
Jensen have done a great job of packing in a whole bunch of features that you wouldn’t normally find in a turntable of this price range. This has raised the bar for entry level turntables to up their game in terms of offerings. Whilst the native audio isn’t fantastic, it is easy to extend by plugging in your own speakers.
The LP60 is a beautifully-designed turntable for the everyday music lover and first-time buyer looking for quality at a low cost. It offers great value, awesome looks, and is both simple to set-up and use. However, if you’re looking for something to get creative with, there are much better options for you to consider in this price bracket.
With the Vintage 3-Speed, Victrola have managed to create a perfect entry level product for someone who cares about both performance and aesthetic. The device itself is quite something to behold, and with the sheer variety of color combinations on offer, you’re sure to find something that fits your stringent requirements. Sound quality is good, though bass is lacking.
Stylish and compact, with features and connections galore, the Numark PT01 Touring is a unique and very cool portable turntable at a great price. But it’s far from perfect. What you gain in portability and features you lose in sound quality and build. There’s still a lot to like about this turntable, but it’s not likely to be for everyone.
Stunning design and a decent set of features. As portable turntables go, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find one nicer-looking than the Executive for this price. If you need exceptional sound quality, it may be better to look elsewhere, but for the casual listener after a good-value record player, this will do just fine.
Crosley CR6019A-BK is among the most popular affordable choices on the market. It is simple and rich with features at the same time. The type of performance you can expect is mediocre, but there isn't much more we could expect at this price range. If you just want something to occasionally play some records, this is a decent solution.
Boytone BT-17DJB is a jack of all trades, there's no other way to put it. The level of performance it offers is on the same level with the most of its competition, however, it's far more versatile than most. One of the several downsides to owning one of these is the fact that it doesn't really look like a turntable.
What To Expect From A $100 Turntable
Record players found in this price range are going to be the most basic ones you can get. By basic, we mean all-integrated components and very little room given for upgrades. For someone who is just getting into the hobby, that is about exactly what you want. As you gain experience and learn about turntables, you will find out why $500 models cost as much as they do. Control is pretty much everything when it comes to vinyls and turntables, but more controls means higher price tag.
The only real downside to affordable record players is the fact that you won’t be able to upgrade components. An average turntable is a fairly complex machine that is only as good as its core components. However, this level of integration is the price we have to pay in order to have access to affordable turntables. What matters the most is that a $100 can easily get you a good amount of audio quality. There will be some limitations, but the core performance is still going to be there contrary to what some like to think. Starting out on a $100 record player is highly recommended to anyone who’s new to this hobby and are looking to learn how this stuff works.
What To Look Out For With Affordable Turntables
Ever since vinyls became popular again, we’ve seen a surge of super cheap turntables hit the market. You will want to stay away from these if possible. Generally, the cheapest you will want to go is right around $70. Anything below that price point will most likely be junk that is either going to eat up your records, or fail on you after a short amount of time.
Coincidentally, these models are often times the most attractive looking ones on the market. Someone who is just starting out and didn’t do their research, might fall for this type of marketing. Take any of the models listed above and compare them to your average $50 record player. The gigantic difference in both the specs and general opinions should tell you all you need to know.
Getting into turntables will change the way you look at music. The sound you get is going to be more organic and natural sounding compared to just about any digital format out there. Sure, it’s not as easy as just pressing a play button, but good things are always worth the additional effort. Models we’ve shown you above are by far some of the best you can get in this price range. We strongly recommend that you don’t fall for the super cheap ones, as they can easily lead to disappointment. As always, do as much research as you can.