In the age of dematerialized music, vinyl is resisting and continues to get new customers every year. If you have decided to take the plunge into the world of black cake, now it is the time to choose the best turntables that will offer you a whole new music experience.
But first, you must choose a turntable according to your current hi-fi equipment and the intended use. If you want to pair it with an amplifier or hi-fi system, make sure your hardware has a phono input. If this is not the case, the purchase of an external phono preamplifier or a pre-amplified vinyl turntable will be essential.
Today the Hi-Fi systems are integrated with many new audio devices; hence the choice of a vinyl turntable must be made in line with the quality of the other components of your installation.
The choice of a vinyl turntable can be tricky. There are many elements to pay attention before making your choice and it can quickly become a puzzle for neophytes.
In such a case, this article will be handy for buying the best turntable according to the individual needs and expectations. So let's quickly start with the review of the best turntables available on the market.
Table Of Contents
- BEST TURNTABLE REVIEWS
- 1) FLUANCE RT85 - BEST WARM SOUNDING TURNTABLE
- 2) DENON DP-400 - BEST SEMI AUTOMATIC TURNTABLE
- 3) VICTROLA NAVIGATOR - 8-IN-1 CLASSIC TURNTABLE
- 4) ION AUDIO MUSTANG - CLASSIC CAR STYLE TURNTABLE
- 5) PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON EVO
- 6) CROSLEY C6 - THE BEST AUDIOPHILE TURNTABLE
- 7) AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP120XUSB
- 8) U-TURN AUDIO - ORBIT SPECIAL TURNTABLE
- 9) SONY PS-LX310BT BELT DRIVE TURNTABLE
- 10) VICTROLA VINTAGE PORTABLE SUITCASE TURNTABLE
- FEATURES TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A TURNTABLE
- TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR NEW TURNTABLE
BEST TURNTABLE REVIEWS
1) FLUANCE RT85 - BEST WARM SOUNDING TURNTABLE
The Fluance RT85 has taken the audiophile market by storm. If you are looking for an HiFi turntable under 1000, then RT85will be an ideal option for you. The RT85's performance is described as warm and luxurious, delivering a balanced and unified performance, excelling in timing and rhythmic fidelity.
This turntable has a servo-controlled belt drive motor that comes with speed regulating optical sensor. The motor is isolated from the base to reduce the motor vibrations reaching the stylus. An optical sensor analyzes the speed rate 500 times per second for a speed variation of only 0.10% and a wow and flicker of only 0.07%.
The S-shaped tonearm made up of aluminum provides better tracking performance. Since the acrylic platter has a high density and greater mass, it tends to provide higher inertia to maintain consistent speed, and at the same time, it damps unwanted vibrations by trapping them and dissipating them.
There are also three adjustable feet with tip dampen resonance (the design of the feet with tip minimizes contact with a surface that could conduct vibration) and complete a solid MDF base.
Fluance equips the RT85 with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. It's the entry-level model in the audiophile line with a bare elliptical stylus with a real diamond instead of a diamond tip attached to a metal bracket. There is no preamplifier on the RT85. You can use the possible external phono preamplifier or a receiver with a PHONO input.
The records played on the Fluance RT85 have significantly more bass, and everything sounds more dynamic. There is less static electricity and no rumbling between tracks, even at high volume. Plus, the RT85 maintained superb tracking force, even on warped discs, and is one the best turntables that will bring you a fantastic warm sounds vinyl experience.
Along with the package, it includes a power adapter, 3 feet of RCA cables, 3 feet of ground wire, 45 RPM adapter, spirit level, gloves.
2) DENON DP-400 - BEST SEMI AUTOMATIC TURNTABLE
I must talk about this brand first. Founded in 1910, this company holds its root in Japan and has a deep heritage of 'firsts' in audio technology. This company is best known for manufacturing quality products at an affordable price. So if you are in search of good quality product at a reasonable price, then this is your pick.
The Denon DP-400 is designed entirely in aluminum which is more modern and fits easily with any of your hi-fi systems. Its thick table and large platter inherent all the qualities in a high-end record player. This turntable allows you to enjoy your vinyl records at 33, 45, or 78 RPM speed. Its plate is a belt-driven turntable equipped with an automatic sensor to maintain a constant rotation speed.
This turntable boasts that it has a strong-built construction that offers both strength and high-density required to reproduce in-depth resonance-free music. Also, with its cabinet walls and a heavy platter, it gives the optimal surface for your vinyl collection.
The turntable features an S-shaped tonearm which is configured with an optimized tracking angle. The tonearm is designed to reduce harmonic distortions, thereby reproducing a clear and natural sound signal. The arm has an automatic lifting function that limits the aging of the diamond by avoiding prolonged contact with the vinyl record.
This vinyl turntable has a phono preamplifier that allows it to connect with any amplifier. It can also be connected to a phono input. To do this, you will only have to deactivate the preamplifier. The latter is compatible with MM and MC cartridges. It has great flexibility that adapts to your audio preferences.
Note that this model comes with an MM cell. This turntable combines quality and simplicity. This model will appeal to both beginners and experienced audiophiles. With the Denon DP400 turntable, you won't have to make any adjustments. Just plug it in with your hi-fi system or amplifier, and you're good to go.
I would say that if you aren't considering this product, then you are doing yourself a disservice.
3) VICTROLA NAVIGATOR - 8-IN-1 CLASSIC TURNTABLE
Do you really want something ancient to hold a place in your living room? Then look no further, as Victrola Navigator is the best so ever turntable that has a freaking ancient design that can turn heads.
The design of the Victrola VTA-600B combines both classic Bluetooth turntable and modern technology to creates a hybrid turntable. This wood turntable/record player is well recreated with a nostalgic design, perfect for everyone who is looking for a modern turntable with a vintage look.
There is the insertion for cassette tapes on the right face of the turntable. Also, you can find various buttons that switch between the various playback devices along the front of the music player.
The Victrola VTA-600B is an 8-in-1 Bluetooth music entertainment center. The reason for this name is, it offers eight ways to play music: 3-Speed Turntable (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM), Bluetooth, CD, and Cassette Player, FM Radio, Headphone port, USB, and Aux-In Jack.
Nothing beats the warm sound of vinyl records. The Victrola VTA-600B has inbuilt speakers to reproduce the vinyl's high-quality sound. Of course, this wasn't the only way to play music.
Despite its design, it incorporates a turntable with built-in speakers, CD player, cassette player, Bluetooth radio, and the ability to scan vinyl from its USB output and connectivity to listen to content from a Smartphone. As we already mentioned, integrating new technologies with an old turntable is one of the important strengths of this turntable.
Another great feature of this amazing turntable is its 3-speed turntable. This turntable not just plays vinyl records but also doubles the recording device. Since it is equipped with USB cable, you can take old vinyl records and CD player cassettes, record them, and convert them to MP3 files. These are best turntables are one of a kind, and Victrola always comes up with such incredible turntables.
4) ION AUDIO MUSTANG - CLASSIC CAR STYLE TURNTABLE
Mustang turntable is inspired by a sports car (the 1965 Mustang, to name it no more), hence its car dashboard look. This is much more noticeable when the lid is open; when viewed from the front, it looks like a Mustang with the hood open and showing a running horse, the logo of the eponymous car.
It is a parallelism that makes it possible to relate, from a graphic point of view, we can compare the car's performance to our record player's performance. The ION Audio Mustang LP turntable is compact and easy to use. What is surprising is that this vinyl is equipped with a lot of technological components despite this low weight.
The mixture of 4 audio functions distinguishes this model: a vinyl turntable whose rotation is enabled by a silent belt is capable of playing any record. This function has three speeds which give you the freedom to choose the beat of the music, like a real DJ.
Then there is the USB port which is located in the front. It can connect to any standard USB media. This is connected to the vinyl turntable by a complementary link which means that the songs played by the vinyl can be automatically recorded on the USB key.
Mustang audio version has an internal amplifier and a pair of loudspeakers (baffles), distilling loud or medium music according to your desire. This means that this device is autonomous from the point of view of the diffusion of sounds; on the other hand, it demonstrates remarkable sound performance in quality and intensity.
Fortunately, the designer has absolute control over the device thanks to the volume button located to the left control panel. And, if you prefer to follow your music silently without upsetting the world around you, there is an AUX socket on this equipment for headphones. This makes Mustang an all in one stereo systems with turntable.
To finish, your audio player has a radio function that allows you to receive short (FM) and long (AM) waves; this function is visible on the front and is controlled with the button to the right of the control panel. This will allow you to continuously follow your favorite radio stations and be aware of all the music news.
5) PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON EVO
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO, the evolution of one of the most famous turntables of the last 20 years. Still made in Europe and equipped with an excellent Carbon arm.
It is now equipped with many critical improvements like heavier chainring with TPE damping, improved engine suspension, adjustable feet, automatic 33 / 45t selection. This turntable is a fully manual belt-driven model with a sober and classic design.
The turntable features an MDF chassis combined with a brand new 300mm steel chainring weighing 1.7kg. Designed to provide excellent inertia, the platter is covered with a layer of TPE on the inside, which absorbs unwanted vibrations and reduces wow and flicker.
The motor of the turntable benefits from an entirely new suspension system which allows it to be decoupled very efficiently. The turntable is featured with a solid 8.6" carbon tonearm designed to absorb vibrations effectively. The use of carbon is a design method that 'regularly found in high-end turntables to devoid noise and distortion.
It is equipped with a pre-assembled and preset Ortofon 2M Red cartridge that makes the stage ready for use without any manual configurations. This new design element makes it easy to adjust the playback speed for listening to 33 RPM or 45 RPM records without removing the platter and changing the pulley belt manually. Still, it ensures an even more precise rotational speed.
The variations contained in the grooves were transcribed by an MM (Moving Magnet) technology generator. This reference model from the famous Danish manufacturer is composed of a diamond with an elliptical profile guaranteeing very good tracking of the groove of vinyl records.
6) CROSLEY C6 - THE BEST AUDIOPHILE TURNTABLE
RPM The Crosley C6 is a fully manual two-speed turntable designed to provide music lovers with a true analog experience. The MDF plinth is wrapped in walnut veneer to match your style. A weight keeps vibrations at bay, and a sturdy steel bowl acts as solid support for your vinyl while playing.
Under the disc is a synchronous motor emitting low vibrations, connected via spiders that can register 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. You can easily move the belt from one groove to another to achieve the correct speed.
The turntable has a pre-mounted Audio Technica moving magnet cartridge but uses a standard mount, thus offers the flexibility to change or upgrade the cartridge.
I’m pretty much impressed with the preconfigured features. All we need to do is plug in the powered speakers, play the record, and we are ready to rock. If you are not satisfied with the inbuilt pre-amp sound quality, change it to line output mode and connect with some high-end external phono pre-amp.
The dual RCA outputs can switch between Phono output to an amplifier that accepts Phono input. The inbuilt pre-amp lets you directly connect any self-powered speaker. With a suitable RCA cable (dual RCA to 3.5mm AUX cable), you can also connect this turntable to a wireless speaker with AUX input.
The matching MDF speakers look the same as the turntable, and each one has a combination of a midrange speaker and a tweeter. The matte black aluminum tonearm has an adjustable counterweight and comes pre-assembled with a moving magnet cartridge.
Of course, the cartridge is mounted with the standard 1/2 ”holder, so you can always upgrade your cartridge/stylus combo as your vinyl collection grows. The disc sits on a heavy steel platter that helps hold the C62 firmly in place on its three vibration control feet.
7) AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP120XUSB
The LP120XUSB is the next generation of the critically acclaimed LP120USB turntable, which features a streamlined design and enhanced functionality. This turntable features a new DC direct drive servo motor, improved adjustable traction control, and selectable phono preamplifier.
Its motor requires less power, which reduces the noise of the mechanism perceived by the diamond. It now also has detachable cables, the possibility of connection to a ground loop, as well as an external transformer to ward off electrical radiation that could degrade the quality of the audio signal.
The fully manual turntable plays 33-1 / 3, 45, and 78 rpm records and is equipped with a USB output that allows it to be connected directly to a computer. In addition to the USB output, the turntable also features a detachable dual RCA output cable and a selectable phono preamplifier to connect it directly to a stereo system, whether or not it has a dedicated turntable input.
The turntable features an S-shaped tonearm with adjustable downforce and an AT-HS6 ½ "universal pickup head with an AT-VM95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge. Whether you're using your home stereo system or your computer, the AT-LP120XUSB's professional controls let you define your high-fidelity listening experience.
8) U-TURN AUDIO - ORBIT SPECIAL TURNTABLE
This is one of the best turntables under $ 500, featuring a sturdy solid maple frame (the model is also available with a Rift Walnut hardwood plinth) and plenty of upgradeable options.
Audiophiles appreciate the flexibility it gives them to control and enhance features, such as preamp, wood and platter type, and cartridge to their liking. It is preinstalled with an Ortofon 2M Red-type moving magnet cartridge but does not have a built-in preamp or USB output.
The belt drive design isolates the motor from the chainring using rubber dampers to reduce noise and vibration and lets you shift from 33-1 / 3 to 45 RPM by moving the belt.
The precision gimbal acrylic tonearm, operated by a selector lever, eliminates distortion to improve groove tracking accuracy. It also includes anti-slip control and an adjustable counterweight for balance.
A handy on/off switch is located on the side, and the rubber feet provide traction and reduce background noise. When you purchase this turntable, you also receive an AC adapter, RCA cables, and a protective cover.
9) SONY PS-LX310BT BELT DRIVE TURNTABLE
Sony's PS-LX310BT has an all-plastic, all-black design that looks very sleek, with buttons flush on the device. It is equipped with a straight aluminum tonearm which allows stable reading. The Sony PS-LX310BT tonearm comes fully balanced with a stylus already installed, ready to use to play your favorite vinyl records.
It is also equipped with a sturdy aluminum chainring that works perfectly with the belt motor that drives it. The platter is very stable, which reduces vibrations. To protect your records and the turntable, Sony offers a thick, tinted protective cover. The protective cover is removable if you prefer to play records without the cover, and a 45 RPM adapter for 7 ″ records is also available.
Sony's PS-LX310BT is one of the easiest to assemble turntables we've tested. After turning on the Sony PS-LX310BT, we connected to our stereo in seconds with just a push of the turntable's Bluetooth button. We placed one of our favorite records on the turntable and hit start.
The tonearm of the Sony PS-LX310BT automatically skipped to the first track on the disc and started playing. The tonearm moves smoothly, and the belt-driven motor quickly turns the records on. The tonearm and stylus work well together to produce crisp sounds and precise low frequencies.
For an entry-level turntable, the sound is rich, with nice tones in the highs and mids and acceptable bass response. Although Sony's PS-LX310BT turntable can connect via Bluetooth, we noticed that plugging the turntable into an amplifier really increased the heat of the playback.
Connecting directly to an analog amplifier reduces crackling noise due to interference on a Bluetooth connection. This easy-to-use player is well designed, and you'd be hard-pressed to find better value for this price
10) VICTROLA VINTAGE PORTABLE SUITCASE TURNTABLE
Contrary to what one might imagine, these turntables combine old charm and technology. Victrola is often out with the best entry-level turntables on the market. This particular turntable model is a modified version of the suitcase record players, which was once popular in the 60s and 70s.
The whole turntable sits perfectly inside a compact, portable, and durable suitcase with a carry handle and snaps. Victrola VSC-550BT is remodeled and equipped with plenty of modern features.
It has inbuilt speakers and a custom-tuned pre-amp; hence you need not purchase any additional components. This turntable has a Bluetooth controller that allows it to broadcast music received wirelessly from a smartphone, tablet, or compatible computer to its speakers. A 3.5mm mini-jack input is also available to easily connect a wired source such as a CD player, TV, or network player.
The system has 3 playback speeds and can therefore be used to play any 33, 45, or 78 rpm vinyl record. Considering the price of the model and the features, the turntable works impressively well without any distortion, lag, or any other issues as you play your favorite record.
The audio quality is much better than expected. However, if you want your turntable system with a heavier bass response, then you have to connect it with some external speakers.
The biggest selling point of this turntable model is the customization options. It offers over 33 different custom color ranges. Besides its appealing good looks and wide range of custom color options, the Victrola VSC-550BT- TPG model manages to outperform many higher-priced suitcase turntables easily.
If you’re looking for a turntable that you can take with you when you travel aboard or for a road trip, then getting a portable turntable will be an ideal choice for you.
FEATURES TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A TURNTABLE
So what are the characteristics that influenced our selection? These are the features we take into consideration to test the best turntables, whether it's under $500 or over $ 1000.
Most decks are equipped with belt drives or direct drive platters. Belt-driven stages consist of an elastic band that connects the motor and the chainring. The elastic band isolates the motor to reduce its vibratory effects on the stylus and disk and improves speed consistency. In direct-drive models, the motor is connected directly to the chaining, resulting in higher torque and faster response.
This is the read speed supported by the turntable. It is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). There are three main types of vinyl records: 12-inch, 7-inch, and 10-inch records. These rotate on the turntable at a speed of 33⅓, 45, and 78 rpm, respectively.
The majority of turntables can play the first two sizes of discs, but 10-inch discs are rarer and have wider grooves that require a special stylus and cartridge to play them at 78 RPM. Decks with this capability typically include three-speed support in their description, and they're not necessarily expensive.
Turntables with USB connectivity can be connected to computers to convert music from your vinyl record to digital formats, such as MP3, WMA, and WAV. This helps preserve your vintage collection and increase the readability of music on various devices.
The advantage of having a built-in amp is that you can listen to music just by plugging it into a phono input. You can also connect the turntable to other audio devices using its auxiliary input to amplify the sound from the built-in speakers. A preamplifier also amplifies and equalizes the sound signal to maintain the same quality as the original sound.
Decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits the space you have and what you want to do with it. The appropriate size will be determined by where you mount your turntable and where you use it. You can choose a large model if the turntable is set up in the home where it won't need to be constantly moved, but portable turntables will be more suitable for DJs on the go for entertainment on the go.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth turntables use radio waves instead of cables to connect to other turntables. This wireless feature allows you to listen to your music remotely or from other rooms.
- Dust Cover: Most turntables come with a cover that protects the platter and your records from dust, dirt, children, and pets.
- Auto Stop: It automatically stops the turntable from rotating once the record is finished to prevent stylus wear. Otherwise, you have to manually lift the tonearm back into place after playing the record.
- Software: Recording software like Audacity, present in the Audio-Technica AT-LP5, helps convert vinyl records to digital formats.
- Speakers: Turntable with in-built speaker are considered as record players. They are more than just turntable and offer playing options, ranging from CDs to AM/FM radio, USB & Bluetooth connectivity and are highly portable.
- Adapter: It allows you to play discs whose rotation speed is not supported by your turntable.
- Design: Turntables vary in design from model to model. Since great sound quality depends on various components and not on aesthetics, you can find a great turntable with a bland, minimalist design. Ultimately, the best turntable design comes down to individual preference.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR NEW TURNTABLE
- Tips for maintaining your new record player
- Place your turntable on a flat, vibration-free surface nearby to prevent sound distortion.
- Clean the stylus with a carbon fiber brush and alcohol to prevent pops, scratches, or scrambled sound. Consult the manufacturer to determine the lifespan of essential record player accessories like stylus needles, belt, mat and much more, so that it can be replaced if needed.
- Turn off the device and unplug it before connecting cables to avoid accidental shock.
- To avoid popping the stylus and wearing out your discs, make sure the height, tracking force, and anti-skate settings have been properly calibrated.
- If necessary, use the locating lever, as on U-Turn Audio's special Orbit turntable, to place and remove the needle.
- Replace the dust cover after playing to keep your turntable clean.
We have listed the latest and top branded turntable for. Most of these turntables come with new and advanced features such as Bluetooth and USB ports that allows you to record the vinyl to computer. We have pretty much covered everything you will expect to know about turntable.
Whatever your preferences, the list we provided got covered and will help you decide on the perfect turntable for you. So, if you are a music lover who is looking for warm sound of vinyl, then investing in one of the turntables from our list will help you to find the best turntable that suits your needs.
In the Hi-Fi industry, as in many other areas of electronics, the brand can make a big difference. Despite the fact that in recent years the products of practically unknown manufacturers have spread, because being extremely cheap.
The manufacturers who made vinyl history remain the most reliable, representing a guarantee for users who, over time, have learned to appreciate the quality of their turntables. Among the most famous are Pioneer, Thorens, and Audio Technica, whose catalogs include models of different price ranges, able to meet the vast majority of needs.
My personal favorite is the Belt-drive turntable. Indeed, they make it possible to maintain a constant speed while the turntables with belt drive are much more sensitive to jolts.
With a direct drive, the motor is installed below the chainring, which provides faster transmission of speed than with a belt with a motor placed on the side. These days, belt-driven turntables are mostly used for listening to vinyl at home, not for mixing.
This is the number of revolutions per minute made by the vinyl (Rotations Per Minute, in English). In other words, it is the speed at which the platter spins when the diamond is placed on the vinyl. Therefore, most turntables have a button to choose between 33, 45, or more rarely 78 RPM.