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What Hi-fi Best Turntable What Hi-fi Best Turntable


What Hi-fi Best Turntable

Written by: Ardyce Pipkin

Looking for the best turntable? Check out What Hi-fi's top picks for turntables, featuring the latest technology and superior sound quality.

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Welcome to the world of turntables, where timeless music and vintage charm come together. A turntable is not just a device for playing vinyl records; it’s a gateway to a rich and immersive audio experience. Whether you are a seasoned audiophile or a new enthusiast, finding the right turntable can make all the difference in how you enjoy your music.

In this article, we will explore the world of turntables and delve into the topic of the “What Hi-fi Best Turntable.” We will provide you with a guide to top picks for the best turntables available on the market today, as well as important factors to consider when choosing the perfect turntable for your needs. Additionally, we will offer tips for setting up and maintaining your turntable, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

Listening to music on a turntable brings a sense of nostalgia and authenticity that digital music simply cannot replicate. The warm tone and analog sound produced by vinyl records create a unique and captivating listening experience. The resurgence of vinyl in recent years has brought about a renewed interest in turntables, prompting manufacturers to develop innovative designs and technologies to cater to a wide range of audio enthusiasts.

When it comes to choosing the best turntable, personal preference plays a significant role. Some may favor a sleek and modern design, while others are drawn to a more vintage aesthetic. Sound quality, ease of use, and durability are also essential factors to consider. Fortunately, the market offers a diverse selection of turntables that can satisfy varying tastes and requirements.

What Hi-fi is a trusted authority in the world of audio, providing in-depth reviews and recommendations for the best audio equipment. Their expertise and rigorous testing process make their “Best Turntable” selections highly reputable and sought after by enthusiasts.

So, whether you are a vinyl enthusiast looking to upgrade your current turntable or a newcomer to the world of vinyl, stay tuned as we uncover the top picks for the best turntables and offer valuable insights into choosing and maintaining your turntable. Let’s embark on a journey to find the perfect turntable that will elevate your audio experience to new heights!


What Hi-fi Best Turntable: A Brief Overview

What Hi-fi’s annual “Best Turntable” roundup is a highly anticipated event for audio enthusiasts, as it showcases the cream of the crop in terms of turntable performance, features, and overall value. Each year, the experts at What Hi-fi meticulously evaluate a wide range of turntables, considering factors such as sound quality, build quality, ease of use, and value for money.

Their thorough testing process involves listening to various music genres, examining the build quality and design, and assessing the performance of the turntable’s components, including the cartridge, tonearm, and platter. By conducting extensive tests and comparisons, What Hi-fi provides valuable insights and recommendations that can guide consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing a turntable.

What sets the “Best Turntable” recommendations from What Hi-fi apart is their unbiased approach and commitment to delivering honest and accurate evaluations. They prioritize the overall user experience and aim to cater to different budgets and preferences. They understand that not all enthusiasts have the same requirements, and their recommendations reflect this understanding.

In their annual roundup, What Hi-fi categorizes turntables into various price ranges, such as budget, mid-range, and high-end, to accommodate different budgets and needs. They highlight turntables that offer excellent performance and features in each category, making it easier for consumers to find the best option within their desired price range.

What Hi-fi also takes into consideration additional features and technologies offered by turntables, such as USB connectivity for digitizing vinyl records, built-in phono preamps, and Bluetooth connectivity. These features can add convenience and versatility to the turntable, allowing users to enjoy their vinyl collection in new and innovative ways.

Moreover, the experts at What Hi-fi delve into the world of accessories and upgrades that can enhance the performance of a turntable. They review and recommend items such as cartridges, styluses, isolation platforms, and record cleaning accessories, providing additional value to their audience.

By following What Hi-fi’s “Best Turntable” recommendations, you can be assured that you are investing in a turntable that offers exceptional performance, durability, and value for your money. Their thorough evaluations and expert opinions provide a reliable guide for anyone seeking to elevate their vinyl listening experience.


Top Picks for Best Turntables

After careful evaluation and testing, What Hi-fi has curated a list of top picks for the best turntables across various price ranges. These turntables have been selected based on their outstanding performance, build quality, features, and overall value for money. Let’s explore some of the top picks for the best turntables:

  1. Rega Planar 3

    The Rega Planar 3 is a standout in the mid-range turntable market. It offers exceptional build quality and performance, with a sleek design that exudes elegance. Its unique RB330 tonearm and high-quality cartridge deliver impeccable sound reproduction, while the precision-engineered motor ensures consistent speed and accuracy.

  2. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

    For those on a budget, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is an excellent choice. Despite its affordable price, it doesn’t compromise on quality. With a carbon fiber tonearm and Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, this turntable delivers a detailed and dynamic sound. Its sturdy construction and ease of setup make it a popular choice among beginners and vinyl enthusiasts alike.

  3. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

    The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a versatile turntable that offers a range of features at an affordable price. It features a direct-drive motor, allowing for precise playback speed control. With built-in USB connectivity, you can easily digitize your vinyl collection. Its robust construction ensures durability, making it a reliable choice for both casual listeners and DJs.

  4. Rega Planar 6

    For the audiophile seeking a high-end turntable, the Rega Planar 6 is an exceptional choice. Its meticulous design, including a hand-built RB330 tonearm and an upgraded Neo power supply, ensures unparalleled sound quality. The Planar 6 offers precise speed control and vibration isolation, resulting in a clean and detailed audio reproduction that will captivate even the most discerning listener.

  5. Technics SL-1200MK7

    The iconic Technics SL-1200MK7 turntable has been a favorite among DJs and vinyl enthusiasts for decades. With its direct-drive motor and legendary durability, this turntable delivers smooth and precise performance. The SL-1200MK7 features a newly designed tonearm and improved motor control, further enhancing its sonic capabilities. It offers a host of DJ-friendly features, making it the go-to turntable for professional DJs.

These are just a few of the top picks for the best turntables as recommended by What Hi-fi. Each turntable offers its unique set of features, sound characteristics, and aesthetics, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and budget. Whichever option you decide on, rest assured that these choices have been thoroughly tested and acclaimed by professionals in the audio industry.


Factors to Consider when Choosing a Turntable

When it comes to choosing a turntable, there are several important factors to consider. Each factor contributes to the overall performance, usability, and long-term satisfaction you will experience with your turntable. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Sound Quality

    One of the most crucial factors to consider is the sound quality produced by the turntable. A good turntable should offer accurate and detailed sound reproduction. Look for features like a high-quality cartridge and a well-designed tonearm, as these components play a significant role in achieving excellent sound fidelity.

  2. Build Quality and Durability

    Investing in a turntable that is built to last is essential. Look for turntables made from sturdy materials, such as aluminum or high-density fiberboard. Well-built turntables not only provide better performance, but they also ensure longevity and resistance to wear and tear.

  3. Speed Stability

    Speed stability is crucial for accurate playback of vinyl records. A quality turntable should maintain consistent rotational speed to prevent pitch fluctuations. Look for turntables with precise speed control mechanisms and stable motors to ensure a steady and accurate playback.

  4. Features and Connectivity

    Consider the additional features and connectivity options that the turntable offers. Some turntables come with built-in phono preamps, allowing you to connect directly to powered speakers or amplifiers. Others offer USB connectivity for digitizing vinyl records. Choose a turntable that aligns with your specific requirements and desired convenience.

  5. User-Friendliness

    Ease of use is an important consideration, especially if you’re new to turntables. Look for turntables that offer straightforward setup and intuitive controls. Automatic turntables may be preferable for those who prefer a more hands-off experience, while manual turntables give you greater control over the playback process.

  6. Budget

    Establishing a budget is essential when considering a turntable. Turntables range in price from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Determine how much you are willing to invest and consider the trade-offs between price and features. It’s worth noting that investing in a higher-quality turntable tends to result in better overall performance and longevity.

By taking these factors into account, you can make a more informed decision when choosing a turntable that best suits your needs and preferences. Remember, the perfect turntable is the one that aligns with your musical taste, fits within your budget, and provides a delightful and immersive listening experience.


Tips for Setting Up and Maintaining Your Turntable

Setting up and maintaining your turntable properly is essential for optimal performance and longevity. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your turntable remains in excellent condition and continues to deliver exceptional sound:

  1. Placement

    Choose a stable and level surface for your turntable. Avoid placing it near speakers or other sources of vibration that can interfere with playback. Additionally, keep it away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent any potential damage.

  2. Proper Alignment and Tracking Force

    Ensure that your turntable’s cartridge is properly aligned and that the tracking force is set correctly. Improper alignment and tracking force can lead to tracking errors and excessive wear on your records. Consult the turntable’s user manual or seek professional assistance to ensure accurate alignment and tracking force settings.

  3. Record Cleaning

    Regularly clean your vinyl records to maintain optimal sound quality and prevent build-up of dust and debris. Use a carbon fiber brush or a record cleaning solution with a soft cloth to gently remove dirt and dust particles. Avoid using harsh chemicals or rough materials that can damage the records.

  4. Anti-Static Measures

    To reduce static electricity that can interfere with playback and attract dust, consider using an anti-static record brush or a anti-static record mat. These accessories can help eliminate static charges and ensure a clean playback.

  5. Proper Handling

    Handle your vinyl records with care to prevent scratches and damage. Always handle them by the edges and avoid touching the playing surfaces. When placing records on the turntable, use the center spindle and gently lower the stylus onto the record to avoid any mishandling.

  6. Regular Maintenance

    Perform routine maintenance on your turntable to keep it in good working condition. This includes keeping the platter clean, lubricating any moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer, and inspecting the cables and connections for any signs of wear or damage.

  7. Storage

    If you need to store your turntable for an extended period, ensure it is properly packed and stored in a dry and dust-free environment. Remove the cartridge and secure the tonearm during storage to prevent any damage.

By following these tips for setting up and maintaining your turntable, you can enjoy optimal sound quality and prolong the lifespan of your equipment. Remember, a well-maintained turntable will continue to provide you with countless hours of musical enjoyment.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about turntables:

  1. 1. Are turntables still worth it in the digital age?

    Absolutely! Turntables offer a unique and immersive listening experience that digital formats cannot replicate. The warm analog sound, the tactile nature of vinyl records, and the nostalgia associated with vinyl make turntables a worthwhile investment for anyone who appreciates high-quality audio.

  2. 2. Do I need a separate amplifier for my turntable?

    It depends on the specific turntable you have. Many modern turntables come with built-in phono preamps, allowing you to directly connect them to powered speakers, amplifiers, or receivers. However, some turntables require an external phono preamp or amplifier to boost the signal from the turntable to a line-level audio output.

  3. 3. What is the difference between a belt-drive and a direct-drive turntable?

    Belt-drive turntables use a belt to connect the motor to the platter, reducing motor noise and vibrations that can affect sound quality. Direct-drive turntables directly connect the motor to the platter, providing greater torque and stability. Both types have their advantages, and the choice between them depends on personal preference and specific requirements.

  4. 4. Can I play old and new records on the same turntable?

    Yes, turntables are designed to play both old and new records. However, it’s important to ensure that your turntable’s tracking force and cartridge are properly set to minimize wear on all records. Additionally, older records may require more delicate handling, as they can be more sensitive to scratches and damage.

  5. 5. How often should I replace the stylus (needle) on my turntable?

    The lifespan of a stylus can vary depending on usage and the quality of the stylus. On average, a stylus can last anywhere from 500 to 1,000 hours of playtime. It’s important to regularly inspect the stylus for any signs of wear or damage and replace it when necessary to maintain optimal sound quality and prevent damage to your records.

These are just a few frequently asked questions about turntables. If you have any additional questions or concerns, it is always recommended to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek advice from knowledgeable audio professionals. Remember, understanding the ins and outs of turntables can help you make informed decisions and enhance your overall audio experience.



The world of turntables offers a captivating blend of nostalgia, authenticity, and superior audio quality. Whether you are a seasoned audiophile or a curious newcomer, choosing the right turntable can elevate your music listening experience to new heights.

In this article, we explored the concept of the “What Hi-fi Best Turntable” and highlighted the top picks recommended by What Hi-fi. These turntables have been carefully evaluated for their sound quality, build quality, features, and value for money. From the budget-friendly options to the high-end models, there’s a turntable to suit every preference and budget.

Additionally, we discussed important factors to consider when choosing a turntable, such as sound quality, build quality, speed stability, features, user-friendliness, and budget. By taking these factors into account, you can make a well-informed decision and find a turntable that suits your specific needs and listening preferences.

We also provided tips for setting up and maintaining your turntable to ensure optimal performance and longevity. From correct placement and alignment to regular maintenance and proper handling, these tips will help you get the most out of your turntable and preserve your vinyl collection.

Lastly, we addressed some frequently asked questions about turntables, addressing common concerns and providing clarity on various aspects of turntable ownership and usage.

So, whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast seeking the perfect turntable to showcase your collection or a newcomer ready to embark on an analog audio journey, we hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and guidance. Embrace the world of turntables and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of vinyl. Happy listening!

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