Best Turntables: Ultramodern and High Class

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 14, 2017
Are you eager to listen to your favorite music in the best quality possible? It doesn't matter whether you're an expert in sound equipment or an amateur who just wants to bring something new into their collection of audio devices. We have selected five best models of turntables available on the market; we hope this review will help you find what you need and you will soon become a happy owner of a new music player. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Design
Drive
Operation principle
Stylus/Cartridge
Records format
Functions
Control
Interfaces
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

Built-in loudspeakers are powerful enough to reveal the whole bandwidth.

CONS

No option to boost a radio performance by connecting the turntable to external audio devices.

OUR VERDICT

This multi-functional device is completely off-line and ideal for creating musical atmosphere in your house.

detailed parameters
Design

Wooden body with a folding cover and two built-in 5W loudspeakers

Drive

Belt drive

Operation principle

Semi-Automatic

Stylus/Cartridge

Diamond (NP6)

Records format

Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"

Speed: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 RPM

Functions
  • Vinyl player
  • Radio (AM/FM)
  • CD-player
  • Cassette player
  • Auxiliary input 
Control
  • Speed control switch
  • Player control
  • Sound control
  • Function switch
  • Radio wave control
  • Line-in switch
Interfaces
  • 3.5 mm audio in
Dimensions

12.5" (L) x 17" (W) x 10" (H)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This turntable is really user-friendly, you can switch it on by pushing a single button.

CONS

Only plays vinyl.

OUR VERDICT

A dual-magnet photo cartridge is integrated into this modern automatic turntable, thus it provides you with high-quality sound.

detailed parameters
Design

Plastic body with a transparent removable cover and a built-in sound amplifier

Drive

Belt drive

Operation principle

Automatic

Stylus/Cartridge

Diamond (ATN3600L)

Records format

Records sizes: 7", 12"

Speed: 33 ⅓, 45 RPM

Functions
  • Vinyl player
Control
  • Speed control switch
  • Player control
  • Size selector
  • Line/Phone switch
Interfaces
  • Stereo RCA audio out
Dimensions

14.17" (L) x 14.02" (W) x 3.84" (H)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

With Bluetooth, linking your mobile phone and playing music without an abundance of wires will be easy.

CONS

It might be difficult to connect certain devices via Bluetooth.

OUR VERDICT

This multi-functional instrument will meet all your needs, whether you want to play an old record for nostalgia's sake or you crave some modern digital music.

detailed parameters
Design

Wooden body with a folding cover and two built-in 6W loudspeakers

Drive

Belt drive

Operation principle

Semi-Automatic

Stylus/Cartridge

Diamond (ITRRS-300)

Records format

Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"

Speed: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 RPM

Functions
  • Vinyl player
  • Radio (AM/FM)
  • CD-player
  • Cassette player
  • Auxiliary input
  • Wireless streaming
Control
  • Speed control switch
  • Player control
  • Sound control
  • Function switch
  • Radio wave control
Interfaces
  • Bluetooth
  • Stereo RCA audio out
  • 3.5 mm audio in
  • Earphone jack
Dimensions

18" (L) x 13.4" (W) x 10" (H)

Warranty

90 days labor, 1 year parts

PROS

With the help of the pre-installed EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software and USB, you will be able to digitize music from vinyl records and connected devices.

CONS

Built-in loudspeakers might not be clear and loud enough.

OUR VERDICT

The iON MAX LP is not only stylish and space-saving, it is also great to convert your old records to a new format and share it with your friends.

detailed parameters
Design

Wooden body with a transparent cover, built-in loudspeakers, and a sound amplifier

Drive

Belt drive

Operation principle

Semi-Automatic

Stylus/Cartridge

Diamond (CZ-800-10)

Records format

Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"

Speed: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 RPM

Functions
  • Vinyl player
  • Auxiliary input
Control
  • Speed control switch
  • Sound control
  • Auto-stop switch
Interfaces
  • USB type B
  • Stereo RCA audio out
  • 3.5 mm audio in
  • Earphone jack
Dimensions

16.14" (L) x 15.23" (W) x 4.05" (H)

Warranty

90 days

PROS

Stereo broadcasting is supported with the radio feature, hence, the sound is much clearer. You will enjoy listening to your favorite radio stations.

CONS

An external audio connection isn't very practical and additional equipment might be required.

OUR VERDICT

This is a classic turntable for vinyl. It has a user-friendly operation and a convenient dust cover.

detailed parameters
Design

Wooden body with a semi-transparent cover, two built-in 3W loudspeakers, and a sound amplifier

Drive

Belt drive

Operation principle

Semi-Automatic

Stylus/Cartridge

Diamond (793-D7)

Records format

Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"

Speed: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 RPM

Functions
  • Vinyl player
  • Radio (AM/FM)
Control
  • Speed control switch
  • Sound control
  • Function control
  • Radio wave control
  • Auto-stop switch
  • Internal speaker shut-off switch
Interfaces
  • Stereo speaker terminals
  • Earphone jack
Dimensions

12.52" (L) x 11.1" (W) x 4.92" (H)

Warranty

90 days

What is a Turntable

Clear sound has always been crucial for all judges of good music. For this reason, turntables are returning to the stage of popular audio players. While one chooses this device for its more natural and analog sounding, the others enjoy the process of a record playing. After all, it is impossible to mistake anything for the record rotation sound and specific creaking between songs. Moreover, it is the quality of the sound that makes this type of music players worth production even despite its high costs. In view of this, many current record companies release their albums on vinyl. In this review, five best models are represented in order to simplify the selection process so you could become one of the happiest owners of a record player.

For those who want to improve the sounding of their TV-sets with the help of a portable audio system, we advise paying attention to soundbars. And if you are a big fan of music and listen to it everywhere, you might find a perfect mp3 player in our selection.

What Features to Compare

Design

The design is always essential when choosing a record player since music players are appreciated not only for their functions but also for being a part of the interior. Undoubtedly, wooden turntables are more appealing compared to their alternative, however, as a rule, they are more expensive. Turntables are the part of a sound system and if you want to save your money on buying additional equipment there are options with built-in speakers and sound amplifier. The cover, on the other hand, is one of the most important parts since it protects your device from dust when it isn't used. The size is also essential as it will be a pity to purchase a record player and find out that there isn't enough space for it. And don't forget to choose the drive type. Many audiophiles prefer a belt drive motor because it absorbs engine vibration and provides smoother sounding. On the opposite, most DJs will select direct drive motor as it holds the replay speed perfectly and allows scratching.

Record Playing
The operating convenience will depend on the features of a record playing and its operating capabilities. First of all, you will need to choose between automatic and semi-automatic principle of operation. On an automatic device, the tonearm will be placed on a record and the playback will start automatically. This type of turntable is great for a novice user. With the semi-automatic device, you will have to place the tonearm on a record manually. Next, a record format will be another good criterion for selection as you can select a turntable based on your collection of records. And finally, the clearness of vinyl sounding will depend on the quality of the stylus (or needle). With frequent use, these parts may wear off but you can always purchase replacements, just check which type is used.

Functions, Control, Connectivity
Modern vinyl players are not limited to just vinyl records. Radio, cassette, CD player and many more can be very useful additions. As far as the convenience of use goes, it won't be a waste to check player control, key parts, and formalities.
Since vinyl players are often a part of the whole sound system, you should also check connection possibilities. The audio output allows you to connect external audio devices to intensify the sound. And if you are interested in digitizing your records, look for the models with a USB port to connect your PC directly.

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Crosley CR704C-PA

The Purchase You Won't Regret

It is the design that you notice first when you choose a vinyl player. TheCrosley CR704C is an etalon of modern players for its presentable appearance. The combination of wood and plywood not only guarantees the durability of the turntable but also creates an antique atmosphere around it. At the same time, the size remains space saving, amounting to 17" x 12.5" x 10". There are two built-in speakers 5W each, hence the Crosley CR704C is an independent multimedia player. As for the records sizes, this turntable goes with 7", 10" and even 12" types of vinyl. And when it comes to speed, here you get 33 ⅓, 45 and 78 RPM. You can listen to any of your favorite records.

Review of Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable

And There Is More

Being a 5-in-1 multimedia player, the Crosley CR704C will allow you to listen not only to vinyl records but also to your favored cassette recordings. And for those who enjoys the digital sound, there is a built-in CD-player that complements the whole appearance perfectly as it replicates the style of the body. Up to 20 tracks can be played with it; repeat one and repeat all functions are implemented, too. And if you want to alter your pastime you can always listen to your favorite radio stations in the AM/FM range.  

Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable in the use

Keep Up With the Times

The manufacturers supplied this turntable with an audio interface to connect your external mobile devices. So even when you don't keep your records, cassettes, or CDs handy, you can still listen to your favorite songs from your mobile phone or MP3 player. Just make sure that the line-in switch is on.

Detailed review of Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable

Two Button Positions

The Cassette Eject / F.F. button next to the cassette mechanism has two options. When pressed half-way in, the fast forward is on. To stop the fast forwarding and get back to playing, press the button again. If you press it completely, you'll be able to get the cassette out, replace it or turn it over.

Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Crosley CR704C-PA
Crosley CR704C-PA
 

Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK

Fresh Look at Old Technologies

If you like the clear sound of vinyl records combined with modern technologies you will definitely like the Audio-Technica LP60. Made in hi-tech style, it will become a perfect addition to a modern blue-ray, DVD player, and other multimedia devices. Though the body is made of plastic it is still very appealing. With two wires with RCA connectors acting as stereo output, this turntable is ready to make your sound system something entirely different. As this type of connection is present on all modern models of loudspeakers, receivers, and various sound systems, the LP60 will fit any of them. A built-in preamplifier is an extra advantage as you won't need to connect the external one. Note that the small phono/line switch is on the back of the player, therefore it is important to place it right, depending on the type of the system connector you use.

Review of Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK Stereo Turntable

It Couldn't Be Easier

Completely automatic control is another advantage of this turntable. All you need to do to turn the device on is press the start button. The drive will be put into action and will start to rotate a record; the tone arm will be placed on it automatically at the same time and the playback will start. When you need to stop the playback, replace the record, or turn it over, just press the stop button. The best thing is that the operation process is completely time-saving since no extra actions are required. And if you want to pause the song you just need to press the lift button. Frankly speaking, if you adjust your device in advance, the operation of the Audio-Technica  AT-LP60BK will be reduced to a manipulation of only three buttons; even a child will be able to use it.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK Stereo Turntable in the use

Advice on Operation

Despite an easy operation assembly, it is essential to remember about the set-up control. You can play 7" and 12" records at 33 ⅓ or 45 rotations per minute. For more accurate signal transmission and to protect vinyl and player from damage, it is crucial to set the switches in the right position. There are only two of them so there won't be confusion.

Detailed review of Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK Stereo Turntable

Key Part

The integral dual-magnet is a photo cartridge with a removable stylus that provides an undoubted quality of a sound signal. In case you need to replace it you should go after the ATN3600L model.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK Stereo Turntable application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK
Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK
 

Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1

It's Time for Nostalgia

If you're nostalgic and feeling like listening to some old records the Victrola VTA-200B is the right choice for you. This wooden turntable can create an antique atmosphere by its appearance only. It is available in two colors: mahogany and graphite. It works on a belt drive motor and allows you to play 7", 10", and 12" records at 33⅓, 45, and 78 RPM speed rate, therefore, you will take pleasure in listening to your favorite records. There is an additional adapter for 45RPM records included in the set and also a built-in amplifier and two 6W loudspeakers. Despite their inimitable appearance, the speakers are not included for looks, they will fill your room with quite a loud sound.

Review of Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1 Turntable with Bluetooth

Enjoy Your Time

Victrola is not just a turntable but a full-scale music player, as it plays vinyl records as well as somewhat more up-to-date music formats. If you have audiocassettes in your collection there is a built-in player for them at the side of the body. It is also not a problem to play a CD on this turntable as there is a LED display on the monitor panel where you can see the number of the song being played. For those who like to listen to the radio, the stylish design of the radio wave scale and controllers will be a pleasant addition. And if your guests want to share their music through a mobile phone or you want to connect yours, a special audio-in connector with a 3.5mm jack will help you with that. There is also a headphone jack next to it so you can listen to music in private.  

Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1 Turntable with Bluetooth in the use

Many More Options

It is built-in Bluetooth that makes the Victrola VTA-200B noticeable among its competitors. You can use this option to connect your mobile phone and listen to your playlist anytime you want. The range of wireless connection is 33 feet so you don't need to stand nearby all the time.

Detailed review of Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1 Turntable with Bluetooth

An Eye for Details

Every detail of the Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1 sends you back in time when similar players were at the height of their fame. And the etching of the model name on the inner side makes it even more aesthetic.

Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1 Turntable with Bluetooth application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1
Victrola VTA-200B 6-in-1
 

ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive

Simple and Elegant

The simplicity of the iON MAX LP is its advantage. A round ended wooden body will fit any interior. A transparent cover not only supports playing when it's closed thus protecting it but also allows you to observe the process. Due to its semi-automatic start, it is completely user-friendly. All you need to do is place the vinyl on the platter and place the tonearm with a needle by hand. One of the distinguishing marks of this model is a small auto stop switch; when the playing is over the tonearm is lifted up above the platter with a record. There is also a cueing lever for moving the tonearm up and down; this lever can be used to stop or start playing. And the last but not least is a small volume adjuster to control the volume of stereo loudspeakers.

Review of ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers

Connect, Convert, Listen

This turntable works with 7", 10", and 12" records at 33-⅓, 45, and 78 RPM speed. You can also digitize your vinyl records with this device. Moreover, there is a USB port on the back panel so you can always connect Max LP to your PC or laptop. In addition, it is supplied with a special software, namely EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter, and even with a cable for connection. One of the useful features of this software is an opportunity to separate files automatically according to the order of songs on the vinyl record. And, finally, you can always connect any other audio device (like a cassette player, for example) to the AUX-in located on the back panel and convert with its help.  

ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers in the use

Make It Louder

Despite the fact that the MAX LP is more for a novice user it is supported with a built-in preamplifier and 2" stereo speakers on each side. If their power isn't enough you can always connect it to your sound system. One of the best solutions will be a receiver as with its help you will be able to control the sounding of all your devices.  

Detailed review of ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers

Enjoy Your Music in Private

You can listen to music through your headphones and enjoy it in private without disturbing your family or roommates since this turntable has headphones output for private listening.

ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive
ION Audio 3-Speed Belt Drive
 

Jensen JTA-222

More Than It Seems

Please don't underestimate the Jensen JTA-222 player for its simple appearance as it has quite impressive features despite it. Firstly, its body is made of wood and looks just like all those years ago when every audiophile had a turntable. Secondly, being a space saving device it has a built-in preamplifier and two loudspeakers, their power is enough to fill your room with excellent sound quality. And for those who want it louder, you can always connect it to your sound system through a special port on the back panel. And finally, the cover is designed very providently. Side slots on a dust cover offer the opportunity to keep the turntable closed even when listening 12" records. it also works with 7" and 10" models thus on the JTA-222 you can playback your whole collection. 

Review of Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable

Minimum Time - Maximum Pleasure

Being semi-automatic, the Jensen JTA-222 is easy to use. Switch it on with the dial-type sound regulator and then set another regulator on "phono". The next step is to choose the correct speed (33-⅓, 45, or 78 rotations per minute), to place a record onto the platter, and set the tonearm in the right position manually. Playback will be started automatically. If you want it to be stopped automatically when the record ends just switch the auto stop function on.

Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable in the use

More Radio Functions

This turntable isn't limited to vinyl records, it also has a radio that turns on with a functional switcher. In addition to the AM/FM radio receiver, there is an FM-stereo indicator that is very useful. When this mode is on, a small red LED will light up. And to tune the desirable wave you just need to use a big convenient dial controller.

Detailed review of Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable

Versatile Connection Opportunities

It isn't necessary to use jacks for external loudspeakers on the back panel to improve the sound of the Jensen JTA-222. If you have special audio cables and an extra RCA adaptor you will be able to connect the turntable to other sound devices via a headphone output. And if you need more options you will always find eligible equipment in our reviews.

Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Jensen JTA-222
Jensen JTA-222
 

FAQ:

Q: Which is better, a direct drive or a belt drive?
A: Although both these systems are adequate there is a difference between them. While a direct drive motor is attached to the platter without a belt thereby providing a better torque which will be an advantage for DJs, a belt drive motor is connected to the platter with a rubber belt, therefore absorbing any vibration. Compared to the belt drive the direct one is noisier since it contacts the platter. However, after some time the belt will need a replacement, although this process is neither difficult nor expensive.

Q: What is the difference between manual and automatic operation?

A: Well, they differ mostly in a number of manipulations with a turntable. Working with manual devices you have to move a tonearm over the record by hand, while in automatic ones it moves on its own when switched on. Manual turntables have fewer parts thus providing smoother playing and causing less vibration. At the same time, a novice user or a DJ is more likely to choose automatic devices as they require much fewer movements and turn on with a single button.

Q: What is a phono pre-amp? Do I need one?

A: The main purpose of a phono preamplifier is to enhance the volume of your turntable since the signal passed by the stylus is not very loud. In other words, turntables broadcast phono output signals that need to be transformed to a line level signal (AUX signal) to work with headphones or speakers. There are built-in pre-amps in some turntables. But don’t worry if there isn’t any since you can purchase them easily, even those of the higher quality are fairly affordable.

Q: Can I add parts?

A: Not everyone knows that this option is available and that you, in fact, can upgrade some parts of your device. You can usually add/change slipmats, a cartridge, a belt (if you own a belt drive turntable), and a tonearm. If you are ready to invest money into your equipment in the future and make the sounding better you should consider a turntable that supports upgrading.

Q: What else can I do to improve my record-listening experience?

A: First of all, you should keep your equipment in a good condition. Even if there is a built-in dust cover on your turntable don’t forget to clean it and your records regularly. You can always purchase specialized tools and cleaning solutions in a shop or online. And remember to replace the removable parts when they wear out.

Q: How often do you replace parts in your turntable?
 A: It depends. If you use your device carefully and tend to it regularly it will be in a long service unless you want to upgrade it. In that case, you will need to purchase the required components which are generally available in any specialized store.

Sources:

1. How to Choose a TurntablewikiHow.

2. Dave Bar Turntable buying guide How to choose the right vinyl record player, Crutchfield. December 7, 2016.

3. A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Turntable, The Art of Manliness. November 9, 2012.

4. Steve Guttenberg How to buy a turntable, CNET. September 22, 2012. 

5. Andy Betts 6 Things You Must Know When Buying a Vinyl Turntable, MakeUseOf. November 11, 2015. 

6. Denis Gallagher Vinyl revival, Choice.  August 27, 2015. 

7. Brad Larson How to Buy a TurntableTechnology Articles. December 16, 2013.

8. Paul Scarpelli Turntable Buying Guideline, Audioholics. February 25, 2016.

9.  Chris Woodford Record players and phonographsExplainThatStuff. July 30, 2016.

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