Best Record Player You Should Buy To Crank Up Tunes

Old record player

Old record player

Record players–also called turntables–are enjoying a tremendous renaissance, and we can’t say we’re sorry about it. Few things are more pleasurable than a great album cranked up on a great turntable and fortunately for you, finding the best record player to do just that isn’t difficult.

A record player, however, is an investment, and often requires additional equipment and tools, plus basic expertise. Choose the wrong turntable, and you could end up damaging your records–which aren’t cheap. Lucky for you, we’ve got your guide to finding the best record player.

We walk you through what you need to know before you choose a new turntable–and how to find the right one for your budget and your preferences. Plus, to make things even easier, we’ve lined up the ten best record player options for just about any price range. Let’s get started!

Comparison Table

[amazon box=”B002S1CJ2Q,B07PP41NL3,B002GYTPAE,B01F2EXIFM,B01LYA2OI1,B00YQ6B396,B00IIMXATU,B01JT42M8U,B01MROT166,B072QZH8PT” template=”table”]

Record Player FAQs

Person near vinyl record player on brown surface

To help you learn what you need to about how to choose the best record player, here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about record players.

1. What Do I Need to Know About Record Players?

Here are the key terms you need to know about record players:

  • Arm: technically called the tonearm, the arm is the long piece that holds the cartridge and needle. The goal is to get an arm that is extremely light and completely rigid so that there’s no vibration or resonance. More or less, better record players will have better arms.
  • Cartridge and needle: at the tip of the tonearm sits the cartridge with its needle or stylus.
  • Platter: the round pancake the record will sit on. This can be a direct-drive platter, which means it connects directly to the motor, or it can be a belt-drive platter, which means it connects to the motor via an elastic band. Belt-drive platters typically pass along less movement to the final sound, but direct-drive platters are faster.

2. What Other Equipment Do I Need?

The turntables are just the start. Here’s what else you might need:

  • A preamp: turntables product what’s called a PHONO output signal. It’s relatively weak and needs to be amplified; thus, the need for a preamp. To avoid having to buy a preamp, look for a turntable with a preamp included.
  • RCA cables: if these aren’t included with your record player you might need to purchase some to connect your turntable to your preamp or speakers.
  • Speakers: A stylus force gauge: you’ll need this tool to get your cartridge and needle set up (unless it’s ready to go out-of-the-box)

3. How Do I Find the Best Record Player?

Here are some of the questions you should be asking yourself about what you want in a record player:

  • How much do I have to spend?
  • Do I want a USB connection so I can transfer records to my computer or use my computer to project sound?
  • What features matter to me?
  • Does the turntable’s aesthetic matter to me?
  • Do I want to make sure the turntable comes with a preamp, or am I ok purchasing one separately?

How We Reviewed

To create this list of the best record players, we put in a considerable amount of time and effort to research each of the record players we include below–and a lot of the turntables we didn’t include. We want you to feel comfortable and confident about the record player you choose not just because you’re investing, but because we love turntables and we want you to have a great experience!

Overall Price Range

Record players can vary hugely in price. Honestly, you don’t need to spend more than $100-$200 to get a decent turntable (you can even get one that includes a preamp for that price), and while you can spend more than $1,000, it’s not necessary unless you’re a serious pro. About $400-$1000 seems to be the sweet spot, but you can get a very good turntable for less.

Ultimately, a more expensive model will make sure you get extra features and an included preamp. It will also mean you’re getting a better platter and tonearm. These aren’t deal breakers for everyone, but they might be for you, which is why we’re including record players at a variety of price points.

[amazon link=”B002S1CJ2Q” title=”1. Best Overall: Audio-Technica AT-LP 120-USB” /]

[amazon box=”B002S1CJ2Q”]

This is one of three picks from Audio-Technica; it’s the more expensive of the three, but it comes with a fantastic sound and excellent features for a value price.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Direct-drive
  • USB output
  • All cables and software included
  • Plays forward and reverse
  • Cast aluminum platter
  • Plays at three speeds: 33rpm, 45rpm, and 78rpm
  • Removable dust cover with hinge

This model is priced at around $249.00

Buy the Audio-Technica AT-LP 120 at Amazon

The Audio-Technica AT-LP 120 comes with a US One-Year Limited End-User Warranty.

There are no deals on this model at this time

Pros

  • Audio-Technica AT-LP 120 includes a preamp
  • USB port enables you maximum computer flexibility
  • The sound is clear and crisp,
  • affordable enough to be considered “entry level”
  • sound quality far exceeds what you pay (in a good way)

Cons

  • model has a few known skate issues
  • They’re not huge issues and will likely only bother you if you’re used to high-end tables

[amazon link=”B07PP41NL3″ title=”2. Runnerup for Best Overall: Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor” /]

[amazon box=”B07PP41NL3″]

This Denon is near twice the price as our top pick, but it packs a serious punch when it comes to sound quality.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Three speeds (33rpm, 45rpm, and 78rpm)
  • Curved tonearm
  • Auto-lift and playback stop so you don’t damage your records
  • Built-in preamp
  • The cartridge comes pre-mounted, so there’s no setup
  • The removable hinge also doubles as a record stand

$499.00

Purchase the Denon DP-400 on Amazon.

Denon includes a standard warranty with the DP-400.

No coupons at this time.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • better construction give this belt-drive platter a huge edge when it comes to playing quality
  • The features are smart and well thought-out to ensure maximum enjoyability

Cons

  • The Denon DP-400, however, is one of the most expensive turntables we’ll review today.

[amazon link=”B002GYTPAE” title=”3. Best Budget Turntable: The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 BK” /]

[amazon box=”B002GYTPAE”]

You can’t go wrong with anything from Audio-Technica and while this record player won’t blow your mind, at $99 it doesn’t have to.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Belt-drive for maximum stability
  • Include RCA cords
  • Preamp built-in
  • Plays 33rpm and 45rpm records
  • Fully automatic
  • Removable dust cover

$99.00

You can purchase the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 BK on Amazon.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 BK comes with a one-year limited warranty.

There are no coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • Paying less than $100 for a record player can sometimes get you turntables that damage your records; not the case with the AT-LP60 BK

Cons

  • If you’re used to high-end turntables, you’ll cringe at the sound (it simply can’t compete with, say, the Denon DP-400 or the Audio-Technica At-LP 120)

[amazon link=”B01F2EXIFM” title=”​​​4. Beautiful, Classic Player: The Fluance RT81″ /]

[amazon box=”B01F2EXIFM”]

The RT81 from Fluence has an Audio-Technica cartridge that produces a clear, beautiful sound. And the turntable design itself is beautiful. At the same price as our top pick, this is another terrific option for somebody who wants to start at the lower end of the price range.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Built-in preamp (Texas Instruments)
  • S-type arm
  • Aluminum platter, isolation feet, and a non-slip rubber mat ensure minimum vibrations
  • Lifetime customer support included with purchase
  • Auto-stop feature included to save records

$249.99

You can purchase the Fluance RT81 on Amazon.

The Fluance RT812 comes with a two-year manufacturer’s labor and parts warranty.

There are no coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • Many reviewers claim the Fluance RT81 sounds better than the Audio-Technica AT-LP 120
  • it has a beautiful walnut-grain construction that looks great just about anywhere
  • high-quality components that pair very nicely with its included lifetime customer support (great if you anticipate trouble over the long-haul)

Cons

  • the Fluance doesn’t come with a USB plug

[amazon link=”B01LYA2OI1″ title=”5. Take-Note Design: REGA – Planar 1″ /]

[amazon box=”B01LYA2OI1″]

If you’re looking for a showstopper, look no further. The REGA Planar 1 is as modern and artful as you could wish–and the sound lives up to its design. The tonearm puts out extremely low friction, and the setup on this record player is one of the easiest on the list (you won’t need a stylus gauge).

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Comes in two stunning color options: gloss white or gloss black
  • Brass main bearing to limit vibrations
  • 24V motor
  • Plastic dust cover included

$474.98

You can buy the REGA Planar 1 on Amazon.

No warranty information available.

No coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • On the other hand, if you’re hoping to eliminate the need for setup adjustments, you’ll love the Planar 1–it’s as out of the box ready as they come.
  • If you plan on using your own preamp anyways, however, the Planar 1 is an excellent choice

Cons

  • the biggest drawback to this record player is that it doesn’t come with a preamp
  • this is not a turntable for somebody on a budget

[amazon link=”B00YQ6B396″ title=”6. Great Mid-Range Turntable: The U-Turn Audio-Orbit Plus” /]

[amazon box=”B00YQ6B396″]

U-Turn does a great job of letting you choose the features you want (and don’t want). You can pay more or less depending on the features, but we like this particular model because it requires zero setup and has a fantastic sound quality.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Comes in five different colors: green, black, blue, red, and white
  • Pluto preamp built-in
  • Acrylic platter
  • Adjustable counterweight
  • Dust cover

$379.00

You can purchase the U-Turn Audio-Orbit Plus on Amazon.

Two-year manufacturer warranty.

There are no coupons or deals available at this time.

Pros

  • With a builtin preamp
  • no cartridge setup required
  • U-Turn Audio-Orbit Plus works great for beginners and intermediate turntable owners alike
  • overall it’s simply a great choice for an entry-level record player

Cons

  • None

[amazon link=”B00IIMXATU” title=”7. Best Tonearm: The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC” /]

[amazon box=”B00IIMXATU”]

Another affordable record player, this one from Pro-Ject stands apart from the crowd thanks to its carbon-fiber arm. For around $400, this arm creates exceptional sound quality and, paired with the belt-driven motor, very little rumble.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Carbon-fiber tonearm for maximum rigidity and minimum mass
  • Some setup required
  • Beautiful, modern piano-black finish
  • MDF plinth for added stability

$399.00

You can purchase the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC on Amazon.

The Debut Carbon DC comes with a two-year warranty.

There are no coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • Offers the kind of sound and tonearm quality you get here for less than $400

Cons

  • Setting up the weights and balances can be onerous if you’ve never done it before
  • the Debut Carbon DC doesn’t have an auto return

[amazon link=”B01JT42M8U” title=”8. Best for the Eco-Conscious: House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable” /]

[amazon box=”B01JT42M8U”]

This turntable from maker House of Marley has something the other record players on this list don’t: construction from sustainable and eco-conscious materials. That doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing sound quality; however; most users report a high level of satisfaction.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • USB jack
  • Plays two speeds: 33rpm and 45rpm
  • Replaceable cartridge
  • Crafted from sustainable bamboo
  • Preamp included
  • Aluminum alloy platter
  • Belt-driven

$299.00

You can purchase this record player at Amazon.

House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable comes with a two-year limited warranty.

There are no coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • an included preamp
  • two speeds
  • a replaceable cartridge

Cons

  • It’s slightly more expensive than some of Audio-Technica’s comparable units

[amazon link=”B01MROT166″ title=”​​​​​​9. Low-Priced Three-Speed Option: The Teac TN-400S” /]

[amazon box=”B01MROT166″]

The Teac TN-400S not only plays all three record speeds but comes with a preamp, all for less than $300. The belt-driven platter means your records will vibrate minimally, while the glossy walnut MDF finish is attractive enough to turn heads.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • Coupons/deals
  • Preamp included
  • Belt-driven
  • Weighted MDF cabinet to reduce vibrations
  • Aluminum die-cast platter
  • Plays at 33rpm, 45rpm, and 78rpm

$284.92

You can purchase the Teac TN-400S on Amazon.

Teac provides a limited one-year warranty.

There are no coupons or deals at this time.

Pros

  • it provides a “vintage” sound, making its entry-level pricing even more attractive.

Cons

  • This turntable doesn’t come with an auto shut off , so you’ll have to stay nearby to make sure you don’t ruin your records

[amazon link=”B072QZH8PT” title=”​​​​​​​10. Rock-Bottom Price: The Lauson CL502″ /]

[amazon box=”B072QZH8PT”]

This is the only turntable under $100 that we recommend, and that’s only because most in this price range can cause damage to your records. However, we feel confident that the Lauson CL502 will get the job done without ruining anything–and you might even be surprised by the sound quality.

  • Key Features
  • Pricing
  • Where to Buy
  • warranty
  • COUPONS / DEALS
  • Speakers included
  • Belt-driven platter
  • Includes extra stylus
  • USB jack
  • Included dust cover

$39.99

You can purchase the Lauson CL502 on Amazon.

No warranty information is currently available.

There are no deals or coupons at this time.

Pros

  • included speakers
  • the most portable record player on our list
  • It’s also the cheapest
  • it also means you can save your money for the records

Cons

  • expectations of sound quality very low

This list of record players is by no means exhaustive, but it does offer ten solid choices for you to select from. Whether you’re looking for a budget pick or you’re ready to prioritize sound over budget, every pick on this list should give you ample support for whatever record you want to play. Happy listening!

By Stefan Smith

I am Smith Stefan, my team and I are specialists in many different fields such as technology, health, consumption….With an aim to help people become wise consumers, we will guide you to choose for yourself the most suitable products in the easiest way.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *