Home>Devices & Equipment>Turntable>What Turntable Should I Buy

What Turntable Should I Buy What Turntable Should I Buy


What Turntable Should I Buy

Written by: Rozelle Wachter

Looking to buy a turntable? Discover the best options and get expert advice on selecting the perfect turntable for your needs.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for AudioLover.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)

Table of Contents


Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking to take your love for music to the next level? Look no further than the world of turntables! A turntable, also known as a record player, is a timeless piece of audio equipment that is sure to enhance your listening experience. Whether you’re a vinyl collector, a DJ, or simply a music lover, a good turntable can make all the difference.

However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right turntable can be a daunting task. That’s where this guide comes in. In this article, we’ll help you navigate through the maze of turntable offerings, and highlight the key factors to consider before making a purchase. We’ll also provide you with recommendations based on your budget and specific needs.

When it comes to turntables, there is a wide range of options available to suit every budget. From entry-level models to high-end audiophile options, there’s something for everyone. The key is finding the turntable that best fits your requirements, whether it’s for casual listening, DJing, or preserving your vinyl collection.

Moreover, the technology behind turntables has evolved significantly in recent years, with many models now offering additional features such as built-in Bluetooth connectivity and USB output for digitizing your vinyl records. These advancements have made turntables more versatile and convenient than ever before.

So, whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or just starting your vinyl journey, let’s dive into the world of turntables and find the perfect one for you. From budget-friendly options to high-end masterpieces, we’ll explore what’s available and help you make an informed decision. Let the music spin!


Considerations for Buying a Turntable

Before diving into the vast array of turntable options available, it’s essential to consider a few key factors to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some essential considerations when buying a turntable:

  1. Sound Quality: One of the most critical factors to consider is the sound quality of the turntable. Look for models that offer excellent audio reproduction, balanced tone, and low distortion. High-quality cartridge, tonearm, and platter materials all contribute to better sound performance.
  2. Drive Type: Turntables typically come in three drive types: belt-drive, direct-drive, and idler-wheel drive. Belt-drive turntables are known for their quiet operation and low motor noise, making them ideal for audiophiles. Direct-drive turntables, on the other hand, are favored by DJs and offer better torque and responsiveness.
  3. Tonearm: The tonearm of a turntable is crucial for accurate tracking and playback. Look for models with adjustable tracking force and anti-skate features to ensure optimal performance and minimize record wear. Additionally, consider the tonearm material, length, and adjustable height options.
  4. Speed Variability: Most turntables offer the standard 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds. However, if you have a collection of 78 RPM records, make sure to choose a turntable that supports this speed as well. Some turntables even offer precise speed adjustments for fine-tuning playback.
  5. Build Quality: Durability is essential when investing in a turntable. Look for models constructed with quality materials, such as heavy-duty plinths, solid chassis, and robust components. A sturdy build not only ensures longevity but also helps minimize vibrations and external interference.
  6. Upgradability: Consider whether you would like the option to upgrade your turntable in the future. Some turntables allow for cartridge and tonearm upgrades, providing flexibility to improve sound quality without having to invest in a brand new turntable.
  7. Additional Features: Depending on your needs, you may want to consider turntables with built-in preamps, USB connectivity for digitizing your vinyl, and Bluetooth capabilities for wireless streaming. These features can add convenience and versatility to your turntable setup.

By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to find a turntable that suits your audio preferences and specific requirements. Now, let’s dive into the different turntable options available at various price points to help you choose the perfect one.


Budget-Friendly Turntable Options

If you’re just starting your vinyl journey or have a limited budget, there are still plenty of excellent turntable options available to you. Despite their affordability, these turntables offer decent performance and sound quality that will satisfy most casual listeners.

One popular budget-friendly option is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X. This fully automatic belt-drive turntable offers a sleek design and is easy to set up. It comes with a built-in phono preamp, allowing you to connect it directly to powered speakers or an audio receiver. The AT-LP60X also includes a replaceable diamond stylus for consistent playback and good sound quality.

Another great budget option is the Sony PS-LX310BT. This turntable combines modern features with affordability. It features a built-in Bluetooth transmitter, allowing you to stream music wirelessly to your favorite speakers or headphones. The PS-LX310BT also features a belt-drive system for smooth playback and a USB output for digital archiving of your vinyl collection.

For those who prefer a portable option, the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is worth considering. This stylish suitcase-style turntable is easy to transport and includes built-in speakers, making it perfect for on-the-go listening. While it may not offer the same level of sound quality as higher-end models, the Cruiser Deluxe is an excellent entry point for vinyl newcomers.

Another notable budget-friendly turntable is the Fluance RT80. This belt-drive turntable boasts a solid MDF plinth for improved stability and reduced vibrations. It comes equipped with an Audio Technica AT91 cartridge, known for its reliable tracking and clear sound reproduction. The RT80 also includes an aluminum platter and an adjustable counterweight for better tracking force control.

While these budget-friendly turntables may not offer all the bells and whistles of their higher-end counterparts, they provide an affordable entry point into the world of vinyl, allowing you to enjoy your favorite records without breaking the bank.

Now, let’s explore some mid-range turntable options for those looking to take their vinyl listening experience to the next level.


Mid-Range Turntable Options

If you’re willing to invest a bit more in your turntable setup, the mid-range options provide a noticeable step up in terms of sound quality and features. These turntables offer a balance between affordability and performance, making them a popular choice for both casual listeners and enthusiasts.

One standout mid-range option is the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. This belt-drive turntable is known for its exceptional sound quality and build quality. It features a carbon fiber tonearm with precision bearings for accurate tracking, and a heavy acrylic platter for improved speed stability. The Debut Carbon also comes with the highly regarded Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, which further enhances the audio experience.

Another mid-range contender is the Rega Planar 2. Rega is renowned for their attention to detail in turntable design, and the Planar 2 is no exception. It features a lightweight yet rigid plinth, a precision RB220 tonearm, and a low-noise 24v motor. With its smooth playback and natural-sounding audio, the Planar 2 has garnered high praise among audiophiles.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is another mid-range option worth considering. This direct-drive turntable offers a range of features at an affordable price. It comes with a built-in phono preamp, a USB output for digitizing your vinyl records, and a quartz-controlled pitch lock for precise speed adjustment. The AT-LP120XUSB also includes the popular AT95E cartridge for accurate audio reproduction.

For those who value aesthetics, the U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus is a visually stunning turntable that delivers on sound quality as well. It features a beautiful solid hardwood base, a precision tonearm, and an acrylic platter for improved speed stability. The Orbit Plus also offers the option to upgrade to higher-quality cartridges for even better performance.

These mid-range turntable options provide a noticeable step up in sound quality, build quality, and overall performance compared to budget models. They strike a balance between affordability and audiophile-grade features, making them a popular choice for discerning music lovers.

Next, let’s explore high-end turntable options for those seeking the ultimate listening experience.


High-End Turntable Options

If you have a larger budget and are looking for the crème de la crème of turntables, high-end options offer unparalleled sound quality, precision engineering, and exquisite craftsmanship. These turntables are designed for the most discerning audiophiles who demand nothing but the best.

One of the most renowned high-end turntables is the Technics SL-1200GR. Known for its legendary build quality and exceptional performance, the SL-1200GR is a direct-drive turntable that has gained a cult following among DJs and audiophiles alike. It features advanced motor control technology, a high-dampening platter, and an ultra-stable tonearm for flawless tracking and superlative audio reproduction.

The Clearaudio Concept is another top-tier turntable that has garnered widespread acclaim. It boasts an elegant design, featuring an acrylic plinth and a magnetic-bearing tonearm. The Concept utilizes a belt-drive system for smooth playback and includes a high-quality moving magnet cartridge for accurate sound reproduction. The precision engineering and attention to detail make the Clearaudio Concept a true audiophile’s delight.

For those seeking the pinnacle of turntable performance, the Vertere SG-1 is a standout option. This turntable represents the epitome of precision engineering and craftsmanship. The SG-1 features a unique suspension system that virtually eliminates external vibrations, a one-piece aluminum platter for optimal speed stability, and an advanced tonearm with exceptional tracking ability. While its price tag may be steep, the Vertere SG-1 delivers an unparalleled listening experience.

Another high-end option that deserves mention is the VPI Prime. This American-made turntable offers exceptional build quality and sonic performance. It features an inverted bearing design, a machined aluminum platter, and a high-performance JMW 3D tonearm. The VPI Prime is known for its remarkable detail retrieval and dynamic sound reproduction, making it a favorite among audiophiles.

These high-end turntables represent the pinnacle of turntable technology, offering superior build quality, precision engineering, and audio performance that surpasses expectations. While they come at a premium price, they are investments that will provide you with a truly remarkable listening experience.

Now that we’ve explored budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end turntable options let’s move on to discussing essential turntable features to consider when making a purchase.


Turntable Features to Look for

When considering a turntable purchase, there are several key features that can significantly enhance your listening experience and convenience. These features can vary across different models, so it’s important to understand which ones align with your needs and preferences. Here are some essential turntable features to look for:

  1. Built-in Preamp: Many turntables come with a built-in phono preamp. This feature allows you to connect the turntable directly to powered speakers or an audio receiver without the need for an external preamp. If you don’t already have a preamp or prefer a hassle-free setup, a built-in preamp can be a convenient option.
  2. USB Output: If you’re interested in digitizing your vinyl collection, look for a turntable with a USB output. This feature allows you to connect the turntable to your computer and record your records into a digital format. It’s a great way to preserve and enjoy your vinyl collection on-the-go.
  3. Bluetooth Connectivity: Some modern turntables now offer built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This feature allows you to wirelessly stream music from the turntable to Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones. If you prefer a wireless setup and want the freedom to play your records without being tied to a physical connection, look for turntables with Bluetooth capability.
  4. Automatic vs. Manual Operation: Consider whether you prefer a turntable with automatic or manual operation. Automatic turntables feature a mechanism that lifts and places the tonearm onto the record automatically, while manual turntables require you to manually lift and lower the tonearm onto the record. Automatic operation can be convenient for casual listening, while manual operation offers greater control and precision.
  5. Speed Control: Look for turntables that offer precise speed control. Some models allow you to adjust the speed for accurate playback, which can be useful for ensuring your vinyl records are playing at their intended speed.
  6. Upgradability: If you have plans to upgrade your turntable in the future, consider models that offer upgradability. Some turntables allow you to replace the cartridge, tonearm, or even the platter, offering you the flexibility to improve the sound quality and performance without having to invest in a completely new turntable.
  7. Vibration Control: Vibration can negatively impact turntable performance and sound quality. Look for turntables with effective vibration control mechanisms, such as heavy plinths, suspension systems, or isolating feet, to minimize unwanted vibrations and external interference.

Considering these features will help you find a turntable that matches your preferences and requirements. Now that we’ve covered the essential features to look for, let’s explore some of the best turntables available for vinyl collectors.


Best Turntables for Vinyl Collectors

For vinyl collectors, finding a turntable that delivers exceptional sound quality, preserves your precious vinyl records, and offers convenience is essential. Here are some of the best turntables on the market that cater specifically to vinyl enthusiasts:

  1. Rega Planar 3: Rega has long been known for their dedication to precision engineering, and the Planar 3 is no exception. With its high-quality tonearm, sturdy plinth, and exceptional audio performance, the Planar 3 is a top choice for discerning vinyl collectors.
  2. Pro-Ject X2: The Pro-Ject X2 combines elegant design with outstanding performance. It features a resonance-optimized plinth, an electronic speed control mechanism, and a precision-crafted tonearm. The X2 offers a high level of detail retrieval and accuracy, making it a favorite among audiophile collectors.
  3. Technics SL-1500C: The Technics SL-1500C is a direct-drive turntable that combines classic design with modern features. It features a high-quality tonearm, a built-in phono preamp, and an auto-lift function. The SL-1500C offers excellent sound quality and convenience, making it a great choice for vinyl collectors.
  4. Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon: The Pro-Ject RPM 3 Carbon is a turntable that excels in both aesthetics and performance. It features a unique skeletal design, a precision-machined platter, and a carbon fiber tonearm. The RPM 3 Carbon offers exceptional audio reproduction and is sure to be a centerpiece in any vinyl collector’s setup.
  5. Audio-Technica AT-LP7: The Audio-Technica AT-LP7 is a feature-packed turntable designed for vinyl enthusiasts. It boasts a J-shaped tonearm, an adjustable counterweight, and an anti-resonance plinth. The AT-LP7 delivers accurate sound reproduction and includes a built-in phono preamp, making it a versatile choice for vinyl collectors.

These turntables combine superb craftsmanship, innovative design, and high-quality components to offer vinyl collectors an exceptional listening experience. Whether you’re looking for precise sound reproduction, convenience features, or a balance of both, these turntables have got you covered.

Now that we’ve covered turntables for vinyl collectors, let’s move on to discussing turntables specifically tailored for DJs and scratching.


Turntables for DJing and Scratching

For DJs and turntablists who are looking for turntables specifically designed for their craft, there are several key features to consider. These turntables are built to withstand the rigorous demands of DJ performances and deliver precise control for scratching and mixing. Here are some top choices for DJing and scratching:

  1. Technics SL-1200MK7: Technics has long been the go-to choice for DJs around the world, and the SL-1200MK7 continues that legacy. This direct-drive turntable offers exceptional torque, allowing for quick start-ups and precise control. It also features a highly responsive pitch control and a rugged construction to withstand heavy DJ use.
  2. Pioneer DJ PLX-1000: The Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 is a professional-grade turntable designed with DJs in mind. It features a high-torque direct-drive motor for excellent performance, a heavy-mass zinc die-cast chassis to minimize vibrations, and a detachable power and audio cable for easy transportation. The PLX-1000 is a reliable choice for DJs seeking a robust and reliable turntable.
  3. Numark NTX1000: The Numark NTX1000 offers exceptional value for DJs seeking a turntable with reliable performance and durability. It features a high-torque direct-drive motor, adjustable pitch control, and robust construction. The NTX1000 is an excellent choice for DJs of all skill levels.
  4. Reloop RP-8000 MK2: The Reloop RP-8000 MK2 is a feature-packed turntable designed for professional DJs. It offers a hybrid design, combining a powerful direct-drive motor with the convenience of MIDI control. The RP-8000 MK2 includes a range of performance features, such as adjustable torque, a built-in digital display, and performance pads for live remixing.
  5. Stanton ST.150 MKII: The Stanton ST.150 MKII is a turntable built with the needs of DJs in mind. It features a high-torque direct-drive motor, adjustable brake speed, and a durable construction. The ST.150 MKII also includes a removable target light for enhanced visibility in low-light environments.

These turntables are designed to excel in the demanding environment of DJ performances, providing precise control, durability, and rugged construction. Whether you’re scratching, beatmatching, or mixing, these turntables will deliver the performance and reliability you need to take your DJ skills to the next level.

Next, let’s explore turntables that offer built-in Bluetooth and USB connectivity for convenient modern-day listening.


Turntables with built-in Bluetooth and USB connectivity

In today’s digital age, turntables with built-in Bluetooth and USB connectivity have become increasingly popular. These turntables combine the warmth and nostalgia of vinyl with the convenience of modern technology. Here are some standout options that offer these versatile connectivity features:

  1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT: The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT is a direct-drive turntable that combines classic design with modern features. It not only includes a built-in phono preamp but also features Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to easily stream music wirelessly from the turntable to Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones.
  2. Pro-Ject T1 BT: The Pro-Ject T1 BT is a belt-drive turntable that boasts a sleek design and excellent sound quality. It features a built-in phono preamp and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly stream music from the turntable to your preferred speakers or headphones.
  3. Denon DP-300F: The Denon DP-300F is a fully automatic turntable that offers the convenience of USB connectivity along with its built-in phono preamp. This allows you to connect the turntable to your computer and digitize your vinyl collection easily. Additionally, it features a high-quality tonearm and a heavy die-cast aluminum platter for reliable performance and accurate playback.
  4. Sony PS-HX500: The Sony PS-HX500 is a turntable tailored for vinyl enthusiasts who want to preserve their records in high-resolution digital formats. It features both USB and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect the turntable to your computer or stream music wirelessly. The PS-HX500 records your vinyl in DSD format, capturing every detail of your record collection.
  5. Rega Planar 1 Plus: The Rega Planar 1 Plus is a turntable known for its excellent sound quality and minimalist design. It features a built-in phono preamp and Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to connect to wireless speakers or headphones. The Planar 1 Plus offers a hassle-free setup and a compelling listening experience.

These turntables with built-in Bluetooth and USB connectivity offer the best of both worlds, allowing you to enjoy your vinyl collection in traditional analog form or easily connect to modern audio devices. Whether you want to stream music wirelessly or digitize your vinyl, these turntables provide convenience and versatility.

Now that we’ve covered various turntable options, let’s summarize the key points and wrap up our exploration of the world of turntables.



Choosing the right turntable is a personal journey that depends on your budget, preferences, and specific needs. Whether you’re a vinyl collector, a DJ, or simply a music enthusiast, there is a turntable out there that will suit you perfectly.

For those on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options available that still offer decent sound quality and functionality. Models like the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X and Sony PS-LX310BT provide excellent entry points into the world of vinyl, allowing you to enjoy your favorite records without breaking the bank.

In the mid-range segment, turntables like the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon and Rega Planar 2 deliver a significant step up in sound quality, build quality, and overall performance. These turntables strike a balance between affordability and audiophile-grade features.

If you’re looking for the ultimate listening experience, high-end turntables like the Technics SL-1200GR and Vertere SG-1 offer unparalleled craftsmanship, engineering precision, and audio performance. These turntables are investments that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles.

For DJs and turntablists, features like high torque, precise control, and durable construction are essential. Turntables like the Technics SL-1200MK7 and Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 are designed specifically for DJing and scratching, ensuring optimal performance in demanding live environments.

For those who appreciate the convenience of modern technology, turntables with built-in Bluetooth and USB connectivity offer seamless integration with wireless speakers and the ability to digitize your vinyl collection. Models like the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT and Sony PS-HX500 provide a perfect blend of traditional vinyl playback and modern-day convenience.

Ultimately, the best turntable for you is the one that meets your specific requirements, aligns with your budget, and brings you joy in the experience of listening to vinyl records. So explore your options, consider your needs, and let the music play on a turntable that resonates with your love for music.

Related Post