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Vinyl enthusiasts rejoice! Vinyl is back in style, but you don't have to go digging through your grandparent's garage to enjoy the experience. You also don't have to use all your hard earned cash because even though they're a blast from the past, there are many quality record players for under $500. In the modern age, you have a wide range of turntable options for your individual needs and preferences. The art of record collecting itself is also making a comeback. So whether you're looking to reboot your dad's old records or invest in some classic albums to add to your record collection, having the best turntable is imperative. So whether you're a newbie to the vinyl scene or a long-time sound aficionado, check out these top rated turntables to find the right one for you.
AT-LP60BK Turntable by Audio Technica
At less than $100, the LP60BK is perfect for a small budget. It's also a great turntable for vinyl newcomers, as it is fully automatic—this means no worrying about how to start it, where to place the needle, or if you're going to scratch your records. It can be hooked up to any powered speakers (anything that has a headphone jack, basically), and can operate at two different speeds: 33 and 1/3 RPM (rotations per minute) or 45 RPM.
This top rated record player is versatile, modern, and requires little to no knowledge of record players to begin using—which means you can skip the frustration and get right to the music! And you don't even have to break the bank.
RT81 High Fidelity Turntable by Fluance
Although there are many factors to consider when choosing a turntable, the most important is probably sound quality. That's why Fluance's RT81 is a great option if you're in the market for top rated turntables with incredible sound. This player is simple and stylish, but utilizes innovative technology to ensure that your records are played with the greatest clarity and precision. By using a diamond elliptical tipped stylus and S-type tonearm, this player ensures that the needle rests deep in the grooves of your records, to reproduce your music exactly as it was recorded. So if your main concern is clear, precise sound quality, this record player might be for you.
Planar 1 by Rega
This sleek, ultra-modern record player is great for beginners and experts alike. No matter how much you know before you start collecting vinyl, it's easy to set up, but versatile and high-quality, guaranteed to protect your records from damage while getting the best sound out of them. With central bearing housing and a 24v synchronous motor, this model is designed to get a clear, undistorted sound from your records—just the way they were intended to be heard.
Not knowing much about vinyl and turntables shouldn't stop you from taking the best care of your records. The Planar 1 combines the ease and the quality you want in a record player.
Wireless Bluetooth In and Out Record Player by Wockoder
Wockoder is keeping up with the times. This Bluetooth-compatible turntable combines the retro look of natural wood with all the modern innovations of technological progress. It not only allows you to play your records directly through your iPhone using Bluetooth, but also to convert your albums into MP3 format. With built-in recording equipment, you can easily transfer all of your favorite LPs to your phone, computer, or MP3 player.
The Wockoder is also very versatile, with three speeds (33, 45, and 78 RPM) and compatible with 7", 10", and 12" records. And you don't even have to pay an arm and a leg for all this—you can get all the high-quality sound and innovative technology for less than $150.
AT-LP120BK-USB Turntable by Audio Technica
While the AT-LP60BK is a great option for beginners and those on a limited budget, Audio Technica also makes top rated turntables for your more complicated needs. The LP120 is equally modern, stylish, and high-quality, but is also equipped with some extra tools. You can choose from 33, 45, and 78 RPM for records of any size. The S-shaped tonearm is adjustable by counterweight, anti-skate, and height, so you can make sure it's treating your records right. This model is also USB compatible, so you can hook it up to your Mac or PC.
Although it might be heavy, this player is made with the sturdiest materials, and weighted to prevent skipping and jumping, so you don't have to worry about having people walking by, or playing too loudly and vibrating the floors.
Debut Carbon Esprit SB by Pro-Ject
For the devoted audiophile, an adaptable, high-quality turntable like the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is a dream. It can be adjusted to play at 33, 45, and 78 RPM, at the clearest of high-quality sound. Its minimalist design is almost facetiously simple for everything this table offers. It looks stylish, doesn't take up too much space, and still offers a precision incredible sound quality. Although this Debut Carbon requires some manual work to operate (e.g. to change the speed), it produces the highest quality sound and enables you to take great care of your beloved records, making this player a fantastic option for anyone willing to spend the money. With a lightweight carbon arm and the best dampening technology, you're guaranteed great sound quality without the background noise.
Nostalgic Aviator Turntable Entertainment Center by Victrola
Vinyl has made a major comeback, but not just for that unique sound quality. Victrola understands the appeal of vinyl in all its original, retro glory, incorporating that old-school vibe into their new top rated record players. They made a turntable that combines all the nostalgia and style of old record players with all the awesome new technology we have available today.
Although it might look like it came from your grandpa's basement, this turntable offers all the modern technology you could want: three speeds, Bluetooth compatibility, aux input for non-Bluetooth devices, USB recording ability, and even cassette and CD slots, so you can keep all of you music in one place.
Bluetooth Vinyl Turntable by JOPOSTAR
JOPOSTAR is all about convenience. This turntable is everything you need in one—the record player for your vinyl collection, Bluetooth compatible to play music from your phone or other devices, and built-in speakers. It also boasts the ability to record vinyl to MP3, so your favorite records can go with you wherever you go.
Although convenience often comes at the cost of quality, this all-in-one turntable still produces good sound, and has an aux input if you'd like to hook up your own stereo system.
Portable Suitcase Turntable by Feir
Many of the top rated turntables are made to stay in one place. And while it's nice to have a permanent, fully stocked music system, you also want to be able to take your music with you. This portable suitcase turntable allows you to do just that: it's lightweight and easy to pack up, and the briefcase-style design looks cool no matter where you are.
This player has all the modern features you could want as well: a 3-speed belt, built-in speakers, aux port, as well as a USB port and recording technology so you can put your LPs on your computer as well.
JTA 222 3-Speed Turntable by Jensen
Being on a budget shouldn't mean you can't enjoy the vinyl experience. This little Jensen turntable will run you less than $50, but gives a lot of bang for your price range. Cheap though it may be, it can still play 33, 45, and 78 RPM as well as an sporting an AM/FM radio. You can hook it up to your own speakers, or play directly through the built-in ones. Despite the cool retro vibe, this turntable is fully equipped with all the basics you need to get your records playing again. So whatever your budget, you can still get some use out of your vinyl collection.
Orbit Special Turntable by U-Turn Audio
Another top rated turntable that defies its appearance: The Orbit Special Turntable from U-Turn looks sleek and sophisticated with a minimalist design, but the technology is anything but minimal. What sets the Orbit apart is the external belt drive and the acrylic platter. The acrylic platter, heavier and denser than other platters, guarantees speed consistency and vibration dampening, so you can be sure you're listening at the highest quality. The external belt drive also improves the sound quality by eliminating motor noise, ensuring a crisp, clean playback.