Best Turntable Reviews 2017

Over the years, a lot of turntables have embraced change, thanks to the latest technologies, while others have still managed to maintain their original vintage look and feel. Our turntables review will give you a glimpse into five great turntables for 2016, with a few turntables incorporating new technology while others still maintaining their traditional look, style, and feel. No matter what your preferences may be, we will try and find a record player that has all the features you crave while staying within your budget.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Compatibility
Play Speeds
Recording
Our Top Choice
Audio-Technica Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
Audio-Technica began with phonograph cartridges and today leads the industry in electro-acoustic manufacturing and design. Their Direct-Drive Player is an all-rounder in the turntable world.
Even-handed sound. Strong turntable motor. Reverse/forward play. Pitch range 10% or 20%. USB port to transfer records from Vinyl to computer.
RCA cables permanently attached. Under extreme scratching, the motor slows down. Mostly constructed from plastic. USB recordings are noisy.
Professional Direct Drive
17.72"x13.86"x 6.1"
USB Port, PC and Mac
3 speeds – 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM
Converts to Digital Files
Best Value
Crosley Lancaster Entertainment Center
Crosley prides itself on its stylish, functional turntables. They’ve been leading the way since 1992 which coincided with the new-millennium Vinyl resurgence.
Smaller, convenient, and easy to unit turntable. Sturdy woodwork and attractive design. Plays cassette, CD, FM radio, USB/MP3 files. Adequate sound quality.
Records do not always play till the end. Does not have speakers (can buy separately). Difficulty in balancing the needle because of no control on the stylus.
Vintage Direct Drive
14.2”x 21”x18”
Plays Cassettes, CDs & MP3
3 speeds – 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM
CD Recorder
Teac All-In-One Turntable Stereo System
TEAC America has been leading the way in manufacturing audio systems because of their quality, design, and build, all evident in the LP-P1000 model.
Beautiful design. 25x25 watts output power. Prompt customer support. Plays records and CD’s. Made of aluminum and wood. Wireless music playback via Bluetooth devices.
Sound quality weaker than its competitors. The arm seems flimsy and a bit light.
Belt Drive w/ CD Player
9.13"x15.38"x18.5"
USB Port, PC and Mac
3 speeds – 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM
CD-R/RW Recording
Ion Duo Deck USB Turntable
From compact design to a built-in speaker and powered by four AA batteries, the Ion IT34 duo deck turntable has got everything you need to enjoy your vinyl records or cassette collection.
Compact and slim design and fits readily anywhere. Has a cassette player.
Plays slow and some flutter. The stylus contains a low quality needle.
Vinyl/Tape to MP3 Converter
16.5"x19.1"x7"
USB Port, PC and Mac
3 speeds – 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM
Records to Digital Format
1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Record Player
1byone are a global technical company who strive to create innovative and progressive products. Their Bluetooth Turntable does just this with a combination of technology and tradition.
Awesome auto stop feature. Great sound quality. Nice looks and colors. Bluetooth function to play music. Easy-to-use interface. Old style design.
Arm too light. Perhaps not for an avid audiophile.
Traditional Belt Drive
16.9"x13.9"x6.2"
Bluetooth and Plug & Play
3 speeds – 33 1/3, 45 & 78 RPM
Vinyl-to-MP3 Recording

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Turntable?

Turntables are prized piece of equipment that has been around in their modern form for ages. Despite competitions from digital CD, audio players, and other players, they are still produced in a wide range of price and feature points. Questions such as “How do I choose a record player” depend on what you want. Maybe you are looking for one that has a belt drive rather than a direct drive player. Or maybe, you want a turntable that has a phono preamp, so that you can boost the volume up just a little bit more.

It is important to know that many of these players will not have all these features simply because some were built for professional DJ’s while others were only designed for vintage record lovers, so the final decision will definitely need to take into consideration how you plan on using this piece of audio equipment.

Right now, if you do not understand this information, please don’t panic. We’ll tell you exactly what you should be looking for when buying a record player. We’ll take it step by step to help you find a suitable turntable for your specific needs.

In our quest to find the best turntable for our readers, we found over 1,000 different turntables in these popular categories – belt driven turntables, direct-drive professional turntables, and vintage turntables, among others. Before we turn to our top 5 recommendations, we are going to take a look at the 4 crucial things to consider before purchasing a turntable or record player, to get the most out of your investment.
Price
There are over hundred, if not thousands, types of turntables available in the market today, in a wide range of prices. For example, you can get some record players for as low as $20 to $30 per piece, while others may cost you up to $30,000 or even more designed for professional use.

So, first, you will need to establish a budget so that it will help you narrow down your search.

Turntables that cost less than $100 are considered cheap players, but it will help you get your toes into the water before committing to something substantial.

Turntables that cost between $300 and $500 offer you the most out of your investment. At this price point, you will be able to find brand-new high-quality turntables, without any difficulty, it just depends on what features are a “must-have” for you.

Turntables in the $500 or more price point are really great pieces, particularly designed for collectors and serious audiophiles. But once you get past the $1000 price mark and into tens of thousands of price range, you will be looking at more art pieces and extreme collectibles.

For our review, we wanted to collect a range of five record players that had something to offer the average user and also didn’t break the bank. The turntables in this review range from $129.99 to $322.95, so not for the fanatical audiophile, but a mix of reasonably priced tables for beginners, hobbyists or start-up collectors.
Features
Knowing how to find the 'right' turntable involves assessing what you need and knowing what to look for. Besides the price factor, you should also consider these crucial features before looking for a turntable.

Do you need a belt drive or direct drive turntable?
  • Belt drive turntables are for audiophile community, while the direct drive turntables are for professional disc jockeys (DJ).
  • Direct drive turntables allow DJs to rotate the platter backwards with their hand, which creates cool audio effects. It also offers very consistent rotational speed.
Do you need a manual or an automatic turntable?
  • Turntables are also classified as either manual or automatic. Manual turntables require the user to lift the arm manually and place it on the spinning record, prized by many audio enthusiasts.
  • On the other hand automatic turntables can play itself with just a push of a button, and highly suitable for people who simply want to sit back and enjoy listening to some good ol’ records.
Or, perhaps you want a turntable with a built-in phono preamp that will raise the volume up to a manipulative level.

If you’re stuck choosing, refer to above points to make your decision smoother and hassle free.
Construction and Design
Turntables usually look and operate very simply, but there are many small parts that work together to produce high-quality sound. If you see someone going for a high-end turntable (over $500, for e.g.), then trust us when we say that they are paying for increased precision and stability rather than anything else.

A turntables main purpose it to place a needle on a moving record to produce music. It's such a simple mechanism, you say, but do you know that a single record groove is smaller than a width of a human hair?

Here are key components that play a huge role into re-creating the sound on the record with as much precision as possible.
  • Plinth - It's the foundation of a turntable that ensures its stability for good playback. It could be made from wood, metal, or plastic.
  • Platter - The rotating component over which the record spins. The heavier the platter, the better. Most platters can play at the speed of 33RPM and 45RPM, but you will need to buy an additional turntable if you wanted to play a rather old 78RPM format record.
  • Tonearm - The arm designed to place the needle gently over the record to produce sound, which also maintains a consistent sound/speed of the record.
  • Cartridge/stylus - A stylus is a needle, and a cartridge is a housing that supports the stylus. Many people recommend that you "spend some extra money on a good cartridge" because even a slight upgrade can improve the sound quality of your system dramatically.
Performance and Ease of Use
One should focus on the ease of use before looking for a turntable because you will be using your hands a lot of time compared with other music playing devices.

It's important to assess the original set-up of a turntable right from the beginning, including how easy it is to attach the platter, belt, and any other adjustments that are required before using it. What about the manual? Well, it has to be thorough with easy to understand instructions, clearly explaining speed selection and cueing a track.

If you’re an avid hobbyist then you probably won’t have any problem operating an old-fashioned record player. However, some of you millennials out there might find it easier to start off with a modern, technology based turntable. Kids and their technology nowadays!

What is the Best Turntable?

If you were looking to get yourself a new turntable, here are some of the best turntables available in the market now - from pocket friendly record players for beginners to high-end turntables for music enthusiasts and pros. Rather than choosing the best that money can buy, we’ve opted for variety, with some record players on this review coming in at under $200, while others are more expensive because they boast all the bells and whistles. Either way, hopefully there’s one with the right features and price tag for you.
Our Top Choice
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is a manually operated turntable that can play records at 33.3, 45, and 78 RPM. It comes with a high-torque direct-drive motor for fast startups and a USB output that easily connects to your computer. However, if you were looking for a fully automatic belt drive turntable without USB support, then check out the AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable.
Audio-Technica Direct Drive Professional Record Player with USB Compatibility

Audio-Technica Turntable ATLP120 USB - Silver


Features
Audio-Technica has been a leading brand in electro-acoustic products for decades. Their motto of “always listening” should give you some idea of the types of products they manufacture.

Their passion for music is evident in the Direct Drive Professional Turntable is not just pretty on the outside, but hosts a whole load of great features for beginners or professionals alike.

Let’s take a look at some of the awesome features you can expect:
  • Direct drive desing
  • Target light
  • Stroboscope
  • Reverse switch
  • +/-20% pitch control
  • Playback speeds: 33.3RPM, 45RPM and 78RPM
  • Included are: an aluminum platter, tone arm and AT-P2 cartridge
  • USB port: so you can connect and transfer records to your computer
Although both aesthetically pleasing, you can choose between silver or black as the color of your turntable, to ensure it fits in just perfectly with your style.
Best Value
The Crosley CR42C-PA Lancaster Musician Entertainment Center turntable has a clean and sophisticated design for a vintage appeal. But if you were looking for the next generation that mixes the Crosley’s vintage inspired design with high-tech and high-end features, then look for the Crosley C200A-BK Direct Drive Turntable.
Crosley Lancaster Retro Record, CD and FM Radio Player – Plays USB and MP3 Files

Crosley Turntable CR42C-PA


Features
When you think of Crosley, you think of turntables. They’ve been producing them since before the recent Vinyl resurgence because their founder knew what it meant to play music right.

Clean, sophisticated, and vintage-looking: the Crosley Lancaster Entertainment Center turntable is a turntable, a CD player, and a FM radio player. The sound produced by the Crosley is great and the CD and tape players are equally amazing. The cabinet looks really beautiful and looks real old school, like something your grandparents had in the 30s or 40s. For reliable and crisp playback experience, the turntable uses belt-driven turntable mechanism and a diamond stylus needle.

Other notable features of the Crosley CR42C-PA turntable include:
  • Portable ready - simply plug your MP3 player
  • 20-track memory that is programmable
  • Has "repeat play" and "random play" modes to customize your listening experience
  • Includes a headphone jack, remote control, auxiliary output
  • The hinged lid reveals a three-speed record player - 33.3, 45, and 78 RMP
The Crosley CR42C-PA has got a stylish hand-rubbed finish, available in oak or paprika.
TEAC's LP-P1000 combines vintage style with modern playback options including a CD recorder/player that plays CDs, MP3, and WMA files, supports Bluetooth devices for wireless playback and includes a pair of 2-way speaker units with rear ports. But if you want a more modern-looking turntable with almost similar capabilities and price as the LP-P1000, but a few extras, then check out Teac LP-R550USB Turntable.
Teac All-In-One Record Player Stereo System with Bluetooth - 3-Speeds and 2 Aux Inputs

Teac Turntable LP-P1000-CH


Features
For a number of years, TEAC American has been known as the leaders when it comes to the manufacture of all-in-one home audio systems because of their quality, design, and build. Recently, TEAC added LP-P1000 to their family of turntables and we are sure it will build on their reputation.

The new LP-P1000 turntable is an all-in-one music system, with a FM/AM tuner, CD player, and a Bluetooth receiver. Their retro-modern design and two-way speaker system offers you benefits that most other competitors can't.

Here are some of the features you can expect from your Teac Turntable:
  • Three play speeds: 33.3, 45 and 78 RPM
  • Auto-return tone arm: returns to resting position automatically when finished playing records
  • Vibration-resistant rubber mat: absorbs vibrations and prevents skipping during playback
  • Bluetooth connection: allows you to play music wirelessly through your smart phone or tablet device
  • CD player plays CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and WMA files
  • Playback modes include: shuffle play, program play (max 32 tracks) and repeat play
  • LCD display shows the song titles and artist names
  • Two auxiliary audio inputs, RCA jack on the back and a stereo mini jack at the front
  • PLL synthesized AM/FM stereo tuner stores up to 40 (20 AM + 20 FM) stations
  • Headphone output: left/right balance control
  • 2-way bass-reflex speakers
  • Remote controller: bass/treble control
The Ion Duo Deck turntable's compact design makes it highly mobile: it is ready to go to the beach, college, and even on trips with you. Plus, the clean clutter-free desktop design and the cassette deck makes the Ion IT34 Duo Deck an ideal home or office record player. However, if you were looking for a pure, simple, but easy way to enjoy your records, go for Ion iT51 Audio Vinyl to MP3 Conversion Turntable.
Ion IT34 Duo Deck Ultra-Portable USB Record Player with Cassette Deck

Ion Turntable IT34


Features
The Ion IT34 Duo Deck is a compact turntable with a portable design. It readily fits into a bag, on your office desk, or in your car. It not only plays your vinyl records, but also plays and converts cassette tapes. The built-in speakers allow you to listen to your records and cassettes anywhere you go. Included with the Ion IT34 Duo Deck turntable is an EZ Vinyl/ Tape converter software that converts your records and tapes into MP3 files.

Some other great features from this USB turntable include:
  • Portable design
  • Cassette player
  • 33.3 and 45 RPM play speeds
  • 45 adapter included
  • Retractable tone-arm clip for secure travel
  • Powered by four AA batteries
  • USB connection
  • Wall adapter included
If this isn’t enough to sway you then we don’t know what is. What more could you need in this super-portable USB turntable!
The 1byone Bluetooth Turntable combines the classic style with modern technology with the vinyl-to-MP3 recording system. If you’re someone who’s always on the go and you want to take your turntable with you, check out the 1byone portable stereo turntable, with similar great features.
1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable - Built-in Stereo Speaker, Vinyl-To-MP3 Recording

1byone Turntable 471US-0002-FBA – Natural Wood


Features
1Byone is a popular brand that is developing their business worldwide - by creating products that actually help them connect with the people, experiences, and activities they love. One such product is turntables, a special musical device that sits in a special place in many of their people's hearts, whether they just discovered it or grew up listening to vinyl.

In order to meet the needs of both these groups, 1byone came up with their Belt-Drive turntable to be a time machine that takes you back to the old generation, with its classical wooden design, or to be a powerful tool you can experiment with, with in-built Bluetooth-technology and MP3 recording.

The 1byone Bluetooth Record Player features an auto-stop for both the record player and the USB Flash Drive when the record reaches the end, which is absolutely awesome! The speakers are adequate; though you might get an additional speaker add-on to boost the sound. The turntable comes with a cover which can be closed around everything to prevent your records being scratched by your pets or anything else!

In addition, the 1byone belt-driven Bluetooth turntable comes with these awesome features:
  • Classic design
  • Dust cover – to prevent any unwanted debris or scratches
  • Three selectable speed settings
  • Built-in stereo speakers provide optimized sound and clarity
  • Bluetooth and plug-and-play features – allow you to listen to music from any of your devices through your turntable
If the natural wood design doesn’t float your boat, this Bluetooth turntable also comes in black!

Get the Best Turntable of 2017!

If you went through these top 5 turntables for 2016, you might realize how good they are for beginners as well as hard-core music fans and professional DJs. Whether you were looking to buy your first deck, rip your vinyl using a USB deck, or upgrade to a professional-level model, these turntables will be worth your investment. All of them come well under $500, with the cheapest available just for $100. Feeling excited? Pick your favorite and get the beats playing.

Our Top Choice
Audio-Technica Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
Best Value
Crosley Lancaster Entertainment Center
Teac All-In-One Turntable Stereo System
Ion Duo Deck USB Turntable
1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Record Player