Top 10 Best Stereo Turntables For Beginners in 2018

Get the right vinyl record player for your needs in the year 2018

After spending over 2 days comparing turntables we think that the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is the best stereo turntable for most people. It is adjustable, has a built-in phono preamp for easy setup, and sounds fantastic. Other good options are Akai Professional BT500 or Musitrend LP 3-Speed turntable. If you just want something basic that works, the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT is a cheap stereo turntable that does the job.

 

The vinyl record has never gone away.

No matter the huge digital music convenience, the popularity of vinyl has continued to grow.

Do you have a lot of vinyl and want to listen to them? 

If not, consider spending the money on digital music.

Sorry to say it this way, but you need to spend a lot of money on a good stereo turntable, so your vinyl does not sound like… The truth is you can find some really good sounding turntables for $200 but that is the minimum and then you need to buy speakers and amplifier. This is only true if you are an enthusiastic audiophile. A person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Best Stereo Turntable – Summed-Up

 

♦ Best Overall – Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

♦ Best Budget – Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT

♦ Best Sounding – Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable

 

Best Stereo Turntable under $100

 

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Stereo Turntable

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK
Audio Technica AT-LP60BK – image source: ebay.com

Key Features:

  • Fully automatic operation
  • 2-speed turntable – 33 and 45 RPM
  • Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier 

Pros: Automatic start and stop, overall easy to use the unit. Sleek and modern design. Decent sound quality.
Cons: No adjustable tracking or anti-skate. Nonreplaceable cartridge.

This is beginner’s turntable for the vinyl revival. The fully featured turntable includes a premounted phono cartridge, a built-in phono preamplifier, a metal platter, and a clear plastic dust cover. It is super easy to assemble and the usage is good enough for an average listener. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK is not perfect, but compared to other similar priced stereo turntable, it beats all of them.

 

➤ Audio Technica AT-LP60BK

View on Amazon

 

 

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable
1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable – image source: 1byone.com

Key Features:

  • Vinyl-to-MP3 recording
  • Selectable speeds – 33 / 45 / 78 RPM speed settings
  • Protective dust cover
  • Front panel with playback controls

Pros: Very good build quality, 3 selectable speeds, digital playback and easy to connect to home sound system option
Cons: Small speakers, missing screen for USB controls

The 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable is not a device from an audiophile’s dream. but for a small budget turntable with built-in speakers, it is a decent choice. It has 3 adjustable speeds for each of type vinyl, you can also insert a USB flash drive and with just a single press of the button, the turntable will convert the record on vinyl to mp3. This is a nice turntable for this price point and with the look and quality, you are looking for an inexpensive way how to play an occasional vinyl.

 

➤ 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed

View on Amazon

 

 

CMC Portable Bluetooth 3 Stereo Speed Turntable

CMC Portable Bluetooth 3 Stereo Speed Turntable
CMC Portable Bluetooth 3 Stereo Speed Turntable – image source: FAN-KEY.com

Key Features:

  • Bluetooth supported, SD and USB play function
  • 33/45/78 RPM selectable speed
  • Built-in stereo speakers

Pros: Lightweight and portable, plays various record types and sizes
Cons: Sometimes is it hard to connect it to other speakers

This versatile unit has almost everything you need to take your vinyl records on the road. With a single look at the picture, you see a convenient briefcase that includes a normally sized turntable with integrated stereo speakers. You can play 45s, 78s, and LPs, convert the vinyl record into digital files or use the SD card slot for playing your favorite music. Thanks to the standard RCA outlets you have a nice option to connect the CMC portable turntable into your home stereo system.

 

➤ CMC portable turntable

View on Amazon

 

 

Best Stereo Turntable under $200

 

Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable

Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable – image source: bhphotovideo.com

Key Features:

  • 33 and 45 RPM Speeds
  • Fully automatic operation
  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Static balance tonearm
  • USB audio output
  • Belt Drive System

Pros: Easy to use, USB connection for transcoding to PC
Cons: Very basic turntable abilities, difficult USB playback

Just another good option for beginners looking to start small without breaking the budget. Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable is a decent turntable for easy use to play your vinyl records with an average sound quality. Its USB connectivity makes this unit easy to transfer the vinyl audio to digital format, so now you can enjoy your vinyl records everywhere you go. Overall, this is an interesting cheap turntable, ideal for a beginner.

 

➤ Sony PSLX300USB

View on Amazon

 

 

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT
Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT – image source: target.com

Key Features:

  • Built-in phono stage
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm line/phono output
  • Auto-start and auto-return
  • 33/45 RPM

Pros: Compact and affordable turntable with a pretty good sound
Cons: No upgrade potential

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT is a turntable built for the modern age. It is equipped with wireless technology that allows you listen to vinyl without the cords. Its Bluetooth functionality lets you easily synchronize the turntable with wireless speakers in your home stereo system. The AT-LP60BK-BT is a convenient, very simple and compact vinyl solution that sounds pretty good for what it is.

 

➤ Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT

View on Amazon

 

 

1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable

1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable
1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable – image source: 1byone.com

Key Features:

  • Traditional style
  • Vinyl-to-MP3 recording
  • Selectable 33, 45, 78 RPM speeds settings
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Bluetooth

Pros: Elegant design, built-in speakers, and an auto-stop option
Cons: Often skips part of the first song

This turntable from 1byone comes in a styled black or brown wood look finish. It offers built-in speakers in a two-way system that provides a clear, full and rich sound. 1byone Bluetooth turntable is a decent choice if you want to listen to 33, 45, or 75 RPM vinyl format recordings. And this is not all, you can easily transform the vinyl record to MP3 format and the Bluetooth feature allows you connect the turntable to all modern devices like iPhones, PC, tablet, smartphone or MP3 player. 1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable is an elegant combination of old-style music with current technology.

 

➤ 1byone Belt Driven

View on Amazon

 

 

Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable

Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable
Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable – image source: basevinyl.com

Key Features:

  • Solid wood finishing
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Vinyl-to-MP3 recording
  • Auto stop ON/OFF switch

Pros: Sounds great and looks classy. Great quality for the price
Cons: Nothing yet

The Musitrend LP 3-Speed turntable has an elegant vintage look. The wooden design is awesome and the plastic dust cover will protect it and keep it still looking nice. The 3-speed settings is a must – standard 33, 45, or 78 RPMs. As well as most of the stereo turntables on this list, so with the Musitrend turntable you can very easy format your vinyl records into MP3 files and have the classic vinyl sound on your smartphone or music player. Its style, smooth playing, availability, price, just everything fits so perfectly, so you can enjoy the vinyl again.

 

➤ Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable

View on Amazon

 

 

Electrohome Wellington Record Player Retro Vinyl Turntable

Electrohome Wellington Record Player Retro Vinyl Turntable
Electrohome Wellington Retro Vinyl Turntable – image source: newegg.com

Key Features:

  • Old-fashioned and retro-inspired look
  • Fully-automatic belt-driven turntable
  • 4-in-1 configuration
  • Speeds of 33, 45 and 78 RPM
  • Built-in stereo speakers

Pros: 4-in-1 turntable stereo system, durable materials, classic vintage design
Cons: No auxiliary output to connect external speakers

Electrohome Wellington Vinyl Record Player is one of the bestselling vinyl record players on the market, and for a good reason. The awesome retro design, the modern technology inside and an attractive price, that is a recipe for success. The Electrohome Wellington can play classic vinyl record, CDs, streaming AM/FM radio and standard audio files from smartphones and tablets. It also comes with built-in stereo speakers that will fill the room with a high-end hi-fi sound. Overall, Wellington is one of the best affordable turntables stereo systems you can find on the market right now.

 

➤ Electrohome Wellington

View on Amazon

 

 

Best Stereo Turntable under $500

 

Akai Professional BT500

Akai Professional BT500
Akai Professional BT500 – image source: bhphotovideo.com

Key Features:

  • Tonearm with adjustable counterweight for precise tracking
  • Leveling bubble with adjustable feet
  • Die-cast anti-resonance aluminum platter
  • Non-slip rubber mat

Pros: Elegant and simplistic design, Bluetooth turntable with a streaming option, simple to use
Cons: Focus too much on design, performance suffers a bit

Now, it is time to introduce you two best stereo turntables of 2018. Akai Professional BT500 is a beautiful device that successfully combines the worlds of prosumer hi-fi and modern digital music consumption. The sound is amazingly warm, up-close and gorgeous to listen to. With the elegant minimalist design, the Akai BT500 is an awesome piece of musical equipment, and with the modern wireless Bluetooth streaming technology, it is a living dream for any casual listener. For the price, Akai Professional BT500 is a winner.

 

➤ Akai Professional BT500

View on Amazon

 

 

Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB

Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB
Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB – image source: asavings.com

Key Features:

  • Counterweight
  • Antiskating
  • Pitch adjust and pitch lock
  • Internal stereo phono preamplifier
  • Professional cartridge

Pros: Made of metal, feels extremely durable, fantastic sound, easy to use
Cons: Doesn’t have built-in speakers or a headphone jack

The best home stereo turntable we found for a reasonable price. The AT-LP120BK-USB is one of the most impressive turntables that you can see on this list. It easily plays 33, 45 and 78 RPM records, features reverse playback capability and pitch adjustment. The Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB is a high-quality digital record player that excels in accuracy and reliability. Without a question, one of the best stereo turntables for vinyl records available.

 

➤ Audio Technica AT-LP120BK-USB

View on Amazon

 

 

How to buy the best record player or turntable

 

stereo turntable for vinylBefore you go and buy a new turntable, we create this simple and easy to understand buyers guide for you.

If you are totally new to the vinyl, you might be safe to look for a plug-and-play turntable. These devices have a tonearm and cartridge pre-fitted and offer their own phono stage, so you can be connected directly to your speaker system.

How much should you spend – High-end turntables can cost a huge amount of money, but on this list, we found ones that will give you great sound quality, are for beginners and cost less than $200. It’s a good idea to pay beyond the bare price minimum, leaving you with room to grow, but it is easy to end up spending more than you wanted to, so be careful.

Record Player vs Turntable – In the technical speech, a record player is a standalone device that spins vinyl records and includes a built-in amplifier and speakers, so you can listen to the music without connecting it to a stereo system. Turntable relies on a separate amplifier and speakers to make a sound.

Manual vs Semi-Automatic vs Automatic – When you are buying a turntable, you can choose between manual and automatic device. We mean a method used to place the needle on and remove it from the record. When you are using an automatic system, all you need to do is push a button. On a manual system, you have to lift the arm and place it on the record. On a semi-automatic turntable, you place the needle manually but it is lifted off at the end.

Rotational Speeds – Most available records play at one of two different speeds – revolutions per minute (RPM). Singles (7 inches records) play at 45 RPM, EPs (12-inch) play at 33. Some turntables support the third speed of 78 RPM. This speed is for older 10-inch records, often manufactures before the 1950s.

 

What Is The Best Turntable Brand?

 

People love the “best” lists, so we created our own list – the best brands that are making turntables today. Each brand we listed below has a unique niche in the market, and each has their own fanbase. Here are the 5 companies we love the most.

 

Top 10 reasons to buy a turntable

 

This is just a summary of the original article published on Turntable Kitchen.

  1. Vinyl Records Sound Better
  2. Most Vinyl Records Include Digital Downloads
  3. Records And Record Players Look Great
  4. Records Are Collectible
  5. Records Are Fun To Hold
  6. Vinyl Album Art Is Cooler
  7. Playing Records Is Immersive
  8. Crate Digging Is Fun
  9. Some Albums Are Only Available On Vinyl
  10. You Need A Record Player To Play Your Turntable Kitchen 7″

 

How I Listen To Records

 

 

How Upgradeable Are the Parts?

 

There are few parts of a turntable that can be changed, some are easier than others.

Platter – A spinning plate that the record sits on is called platter. Generally speaking, the heavier platter is better because it reduces vibration.

Tonearm – This is a part that swings across the record and enables the needle to make contact with the vinyl. The quality of the tonearm has a significant impact on the accuracy and consistency with which the vinyl record rotates.

Stylus – Better known as the needle. The needle makes direct contact the record and is responsible for the accuracy and overall sound performance. It is good to know that the stylus should be replaced every 1,000 hours.

 

Sources

4 Reasons Why Vinyl Is Better Than DigitalMakeUseOf

Do Vinyl Records Really Sound Better? A Case Study, Spinditty

Beginner’s guide to turntables, Turntable Lab

 

 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Nechstar team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners, including Amazon.

Clicking the device names, images or check price buttons will redirect you to the product listing on the appropriate Amazon.com (.co.uk, .de, etc.), where you can find the updated prices, customer reviews, and more product details.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

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