For most of us, a home isn’t really such if there is no record player. Thankfully, there are loads of affordable turntables now to match the number of new releases and re-pressed LPs. Sales of vinyl records are at an all time high, so the format has definitely made a comeback. Here, we take a listen to the best sounding turntables that leave you with enough cash to grow your vinyl stash.
Regardless if it’s “The Ultimate Guitar Collection” or Beethoven’s symphonies that you’ll spin, any of the machines below will do so excellently. From Audio Technica’s stable of turntables under $300, to Pro-Ject Audio’s stylish selection, you will likely find something here to spin your classical collection. (You might also want to see what others think is the best cheap record player.)
Audio Technica LP120 USB ($247.94)
The LP120 has a USB output that can plug directly to any computer. It also sports a direct-drive motor, and this allows quick start-ups that are specially important for DJs. Furthermore, the LP120 has reverse and forward playback ability, a slider control for pitch, and a selectable pitch lock that is quartz-controlled. But for most of us who only intend to listen to vinyls, the turntable supports all three speeds (33, 45 and 78 RPM) and has excellent sound quality. Some of the other options here have better sound, but not nearly as much features as the LP120.
Music Hall MMF-2.2 ($299)
Music Hall’s MMF-2.2 is a belt driven turntable with a low tag price because of its simplistic build. But with its piano black finish, it definitely looks like it means business when it comes to playing vinyl records. The MMF-2.2 supports 2 speeds, has a replaceable stylus and is pre-installed with a cartridge that’s also already aligned. The record player also comes with a dust cover, but then it might be better to just leave it off while playing.
Pro-Ject Elemental USB ($249)
For a dirt-cheap record player that won’t destroy your vinyls after only a few plays, Pro-Ject’s Elemental is one of the best options. Aside from its USB port that lets you connect to computers, it also has an Ortofon OM cartridge and an integrated phono stage. This makes the Elemental a true plug and play record player while still being flexible to future enhancements. Also, such features save you cash that you can use for building up a sizable vinyl collection.