11 Best Turntables of 2020 : The Best Vinyl Record Players for you

Turntables or vinyl records are amazingly well for the ones who love using vintage music items. They have the capacity to deliver with romantic warmth that an audiophile can’t resist. Listening to your favourite music in such a way is pretty addictive.

You would have to choose a portable and battery-operated system to get complete satisfaction. Checking out the lyrics and marvelling at the artwork using such platforms is nothing as compared to CDs or streaming. To experience this, one must need a turntable.

This article roams around the best turntables that one can look forward to buying. Go through the list thoroughly and choose the ones that suit you the best.

A list is included at the last to make you choose the best turntables from the list depending on your budget and requirement.

Without any line, let’s learn about some astounding turntables available out there.

Contents

Top 11 Best Turntables 2020 sneak peek

Rank Image PRODUCT NAME AlliHoopa Score
1
1st Place
Audio-Technica AT-LP7 By Audio-Technica
4.8
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2
Best Value
Fluance RT81 Elite By Fluance
4.7
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3 Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK By Audio-Technica
4.6
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4 Marantz TT-15S1 By Marantz
4.5
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5 Denon DP-300F By Denon
4.6
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6 Yamaha TT-S303 By Yamaha
4.7
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7 Pro-Ject Essential III By Pro-Ject
4.6
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8 Audio-Technica AT LP60 By Audio-Technica
4.4
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9 Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 By Audio-Technica
4.6
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10 Numark NTX 1000 By Numark
4.7
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11 Rega RP3 Turntable By Rega
4.7
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Our Top Picks for Best Turntables

#1 Audio-Technica AT-LP7 : Best Overall Turntable

Considered as one of the best brands in the field of music systems, Audio Technica has always amazed us. The LP7 is undoubtedly a product to consider buying depending on the specs and features offered. The LP7 is a step up from the entry-level turntables in the market.

The LP7 comes with a black slab with a round black feet, black patter along with a black J-shaped tonearm. The dustcover here is also black but with a tinted greyish colour. Overall, it has a classy feel considering the complete blackish colour.

This unit looks pretty attractive, modern with faux wood trim. And being black in colour, it comes with a dustcover. That’s a point one must note while buying it.

This one comes with a completely manual and belt-driven turntable. There’s no auto-lift and shut off at the end. But we do have the electronic switch to operate 33 or 45 rpm. Using the Android phone, one can notice that LP7 can maintain the speed pretty perfectly.

After upgrading, the first thing to notice in LP7 is the built-in phono preamp. Then come the amazingly built cartridge and some decent cables. While the LP7 is on the upper end of the entry-level turntables, it is for sure a good one to get started with.

When it comes to the entry-level turntables, the LP7 can check off almost all the boxes. One can set it up at ease. As discussed, it’s attractive and exceeds in terms of performance. Moreover, when combined with the best soundbar, you can feel the amazing experience

It has a solid feature set and the consistent performance I expect for the price. If you’re in the market for a belt-driven turntable, I’d give the Audio-Technica AT-LP7 serious thought.

Pros

  • Comes with a dust cover
  • Attractive classy black looks 
  • Fully manual
  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Belt-driven turntable

Cons

  • Cables are not that good
  • Some might not like the fact that everything is black in colour

#2 Fluance RT81 Elite : Best Beginner Turntable

Fluance has been pretty popular for their products amongst the hi-fi and home cinema segment. Thye have been growing ever since the company was founded in 1999. They claim that, in Latin, ‘flu’ stands for flowing and ‘ance’ is the state of being.

The RT81 by Fluance has got a solid block of MDF along with a wood veneer. It looks pretty convincing how this setup is crowned with an aluminium platter and rubber slip mat.
The RT81 uses a balanced S-shaped tonearm made from aluminium. That’s where one can fit along with the AT95E cartridge with the elliptical diamond-tipped stylus.

In the RT81, one can switch between the 33.3 and 45 rpm. This can be done with ease using the chunky platter present at the right of the platter.

All the information about the RT81 mentioned above clearly states the brand is pretty specific about their design. Yet this is relatively an affordable desk.

This turntable has an authoritative and hefty kick-drum and toms trading. I’ve heard some of the decks that can aspire a product like this. But what makes the RT81 unique is the originality and agility.

Dynamics is another thing to look forward to. It was capable of delivering performance and sound that was pretty convincing dynamically as well as musically.

One has the option to upgrade it further because of the flexibility offered by Fluance. It can be easily optimised using the phono stage or cartridge. Also, aesthetic coherence is a thing one can’t miss.

Pros

  • Solid Block of MDF
  • Analogue terminals
  • Strong dynamics
  • Chunky dial to switch
  • Great design and engineering

Cons

  • Hefty sound output
  • It can’t get clogged

#3 Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK : Best Budget Turntable

With the AT LP3, they have designed and engineered a turntable that is completely automatic with minimal functionality. This has made using this product from Audio Technica a child’s play.

If we talk about facilitating the entry-level listener, it becomes less imagined that we don’t consider the LP3. Also, as mentioned, this one is the fully automatic product. This means one need not lift up the needle itself. At the end, it has got a built-in phono stage. The use of this photo stage is optional though.

It has also got a foolproof setup and the easily removable cartridge. This means that one can swap the cartridge for another moving magnet or moving coil alternative.

When compared to its competitors, this one is less heavy. Also, it is less sustainable as compared to its brother, the AT LP5.

Being automatic, it has got more switches as well viz., to play and to stop, to change rotation speeds and size of the record.

Let’s get talking about the sound quality and performance of one of the best budget turntables out there. The soundstage is not much spacious. There’s no clipping of the frequencies and no coarseness.

Overall, the performance of this turntable is perfectly enjoyable with the tempting price, one need not think much while buying it. With different cartridges and separate phono stages, it is customisable according to your needs.

Pros

  • Expressive and musical
  • A good amount of space and detail 
  • Built-in phono stage 
  • Fully automatic tonearm
  • Customizable

Cons

  • No coarseness
  • No clipping of frequencies

#4 Marantz TT-15S1 : Best Audiophile Turntable

Vinyl music seems to be remaining somewhere in our hearts for long. Everything in the TT-15S1 is engineered so well that you can’t keep yourself away from finding out the old records lying in your storage. You will thoroughly enjoy listening to the Marantz TT-15S1 with your old records that are completely capable of making you feel nostalgic.

The Marantz combination is an interesting and easy to setup system. In case, you have got some reasons not to buy it, let’s look around for something that may change your mind.

Setting up this device in your living room is like setting up a sofa cover. Simple, isn’t it? Just follow a few sets of instructions provided in the manual guide and you are good to go.

Talking about the specifications, it has got a moving magnetic cartridge along with an ebony case. It has got an independent small sonic character that is way better than the ones offered by the competitors.

The chassis acrylic has the capability to bring out vibrations so as to produce amazing 80dB signal. Also, the drive belt makes sure that platter is rotating smoothly at a perfect speed.

The aluminium tonearm has been anodized ensuring the durability of the product along with the rust-free surface. The magnetic skating device on the tonearm has the capability of adjusting the stylus according to the requirements.

The playback system of the TT15-S1 has a clever clamp to keep LP snug well to the platter. This makes sure that it is flat while playing. Talking about its frequency range, it ranges from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Along with that, you get a channel separation of more than 30 dB.

Pros

  • Clever clamp to keep LP sung to the platter
  • Easy to setup
  • Magnetic cartridge
  • 80 dB signal production capability
  • Anodized tonearm

Cons

  • No dust cover
  • Bass lovers might get disappointed

#5 Denon DP-300F : Best Automatic Turntable

If you are just starting with turntables, this could be the one you can get for yourself. The main reason behind this is that it is the best automatic turntable available to buy in the market out there.

Talking about the design of the table, it looks pretty classy due to the classy black finish. We can’t say that it’s pure black as it seems to be dark grey. This gives it a metallic flake that is pretty beautiful to glance upon.

The DP-300F is a belt-driven turntable which means the platter is made from aluminium. Also, it means that the platter is well damped from the motor vibrations. When compared to other entry-level turntables, the base of this one is well damped yet can pick up more vibrations and footsteps.

The tonearm is made completely from plastic. It features a headshell that is replaceable. This makes the cartridge swapping easier. One, here, has an option to substitute other headshells and attach the cartridge. An extra set of headshells is provided in the box so that you need not hustle much.

One of the best parts of getting this turntable is that it doesn’t require any manual belt change. Thus, you can trade between 33 ⅓ rpm and 45 rpm at ease. Instead, to belt changing, they have provided a small button to get the work done.

There are buttons to switch between the 7” and 12” records as well. In case, those aren’t the sizes you were looking for, optimise the needle at your comfort. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

The Denon DP-300F comes with its own stylus and cartridge. Both of these are on the low end of the sound spectrum. That’s the major reason why the sound produced is of average quality.

If you are one of them, who just wants to listen to their records and need not worry about queueing, the DP-300F is a perfect choice. It has the capability to allow you to listen to the records that are decades old as soon as possible.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly 
  • Completely automatic
  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Belt-driven
  • Classy dark grey and/or blackish looks
  • Extra set of headshells comes packed with the box

Cons

  • Average sound output
  • No support for USB recording

#6 Yamaha TT-S303 : Best Wireless Turntable

Yamaha released their very first turntable for this decade. This was launched almost three decades later as compared to its predecessor. The company organised a dedicated launch even for just this product. be it a turntable or floor standing speakers, Yamaha excels over all of them

Just imagine their hard work and engineering efforts for making this based on the fact that a dedicated event was organised.

The TT-S303 comes with a built-in phono EQ amplifier. This makes it completely compatible with both the amplifiers. The preamp offered is by-passable making it easier for any external phono usage.

A static and balanced tonearm is straight for the lightweight effective mass. It has got the anti-shake and an adjustable counterweight. This makes it easier for the device to create pressure for the stylus. This helps in stable tracking of sound and better sound output or sound production.

The tonearm present here comes with the factory-installed Audio Technica MM photo cartridge. The platter used here is made of aluminium, as it is a belt-driven turntable. It has the capability with a high moment of inertia which is topped by the anti-static felt mat.

The platter is driven by a DC motor fitted with a rubber belt that is completely durable. This helps the device to achieve lower distortion and stable rotation. It is packed with an external DC supply so as to eliminate the electronic interference.

To prevent vibration and perfect the sound isolation, the base of the TT-S303 is built from a material with high internal loss.

Talking about the design, the Yamaha TT-S303 comes with the piano black finish. It comes packed along with a dust cover in the package itself.

Pros

  • Balanced tonearm
  • Die-cast aluminium platter
  • Rigid cabinet
  • Belt-driven high inertia platter
  • Built-in phono preamp

Cons

  • Blet needs to be moved to change speeds
  • A few might find this one a little heavy when compared

#7 Pro-Ject Essential III : Best of the Rest

For actual music lovers, vinyl is back on their list of instruments. Due to this, brands have been trying really hard to make their way through people’s heart with their turntables. Pro-Ject is one such brand who has been into business for too many years now.

The Pro-Ject Essential III is one of their latest editions of turntables for the vinly lovers and if connected with a woofer, you can have the best sound experience. For brand who usually makes turntables rated four stars and five stars only, this is a huge step. Let’s find out what it has to offer us.

With this turntable, they have upgraded the platter and the base to MDF from chipboard. The cartridges and cables have also been upgraded when compared to the predecessors of the same. They now use the Ortofon OM10 on board here.

A belt-driven deck has remained comparatively a much simpler machine. Though, it is not easy to get started with the budget turntables, they have done some really nice work here. For the vinyl enthusiasts, it’s a positive point to be noted down.

To set this one, you just need to put down the platter in the right place and feed the belt around it. Manually switch the belt between the inner and outer ring of the pulley to switch it between 33 rpm and 45 rpm.

Without reading the owner’s manual, one might find it fussy to balance the cartridge by adjusting the counterweight. In case, you are thinking it would be hard to set this up, just follow the instructions. Within ten to fifteen minutes, you will be listening to your favourite records.

Talking about the sound, it is instantly bigger and more open. Whereas, the bass notes are comparatively firmer for a better and more rounded presentation.

Pros

  • Smart styling
  • Relatively simple to set up
  • Open and detailed sound
  • Exciting treble
  • Plinth made of MDF

Cons

  • Built isn’t rock solid

#8 Audio-Technica AT LP60 : Best Turntable under $100

The Audio Technica has been into music industry for so long now. They offer pretty aesthetic and clear output devices. With the launch of AT LP60, they proved that turntables can be bought at a lower price too.

Talking about the outer surface of the LP60, it has got a plastic chassis available for both the classy colours, shiny grey and black. It has got a shiny and tasteful finish on the outer surface. The streamline tonearm mechanics and hood fixings has the capability to pass as a model worth twice the price.

The start button is present on the upfront of the device. It is used to position and lower the tonearm to get spinning of the records started. This all can be done with ease in just about 10 to 15 seconds. Whereas, the stop button is present next to it so as to reverse the process.

The LP60 is said to be the best turntable under $100. This is because of the fact that it can be directly plugged into the system due to the phono stage built-in. Not just an internal photo stage, one has the option to plug-in an external phono stage as well.

Piano accents are well highlighted along with the flow of the simple percussion. Not just that, the vocal composition sounds more natural. Audio Technica has provided enough space between the instruments for coherent sound output. This space is not much so as to make sure that they don’t feel disconnected.

This vinyl allows you to load the records from your PC. Just plug-in the PC to the USB B port of the turntable and you are good to go.

Pros

  • Clear, crisp and balanced sound output
  • Articulate listening
  • Rips records to digital files
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Sound could have been much better

#9 Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 : Best DJ Turntable

Audio Technica has done some wonders with the introduction of AT LP1240 USB Drive Direct Profession DJ Turntable. While its competitors have gone for simplicity and minimalism, they have gone towards guns blazing. The main reason for this is the additional features for DJ. Not just that, it bears an uncanny resemblance to the pretty popular SL 1210 turntables.

Talking about the design of the Audio Technica LP 1240, it is a direct-drive design. It comprises of an aluminium platter along with the electronic speed change (33 ⅓ rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm). The headshell offered here is removable as well. Also, no cartridge is included with the LP 1240. You need to get a seperate from somewhere else.

But apart from the cartridge, there is so much more that makes it fancy as compared to the the other turntables available in the market. A stroboscope is provided so as to offer speed accuracy. This results in creating a disco vibe.

They offer you with a removable stylus target light that helps you to adjust the needle in the dark. Next to this stylus, you get along the start and speed brake adjustments. Also, there’s a slider to adjust pitch with a quartz lock button to bypass that slider.

Keep one thing in mind after buying it, if you’re going to, never touch the reverse button. This might ruin the record and the stylus both at the same time. 

Talking about the sound output, various elements are spread nicely alongside. This makes sure that you hear a clear and balanced audio. Overall, it has nice performance to offer you along with a decent sense of drive.

Dynamically, it has got everything to gain your attention as there is enough texture. However, I think that Audio Technica can manufacture a successor with more subtlety.

Pros

  • Good sense of drive
  • Plenty of features
  • Built-in phono stage
  • Removable headshell
  • Height of tonearm is adjustable
  • USB output for recording

Cons

  • Degree of excess movement in tonearm bearings
  • Could have been more subtle

#10 Numark NTX 1000 : Best Turntable under $500

The NTX 1000 from Numark is an entry level turntable. It is basically a direct-drive turntable. It packs up with a serious punch because of the price offered. It comes along with the modern features that are included with other modern turntables available out there.

The NTX 1000 has a USB port and an RCA jack for output. It is a straight forward turntable for DJs for a budget.

Talking about the design, it comes along with a S-shaped tonearm. To connect the vinyl system to your PC, it offers you with a USB output. Aslo, there’s a switchable phono line output. The adapter packed with the NTX 1000 has the capacity to play along 45 records.

Using this device definitely pays for the price offered. The platter here feels pretty great when compared to the competitors. It has a completely adjustable start and a stop button. This helps to fine-tune and enhance your experience.

The pitch is digitally enabled and the speed can be controlled too. Therefore, it is a nice bonus for everyone who is planning on buying this device. The reason for this is that one just needs to press a single button so as to reset the whole device.

In case, you are looking for an affordable workhouse turntable, it is pretty hard to beat this one.

Pros

  • Good Overall Build Quality
  • Strong Metal Tonearm & Platter
  • Very Strong Motor 4.0 kg (instant starts)
  • Good Pitch Slider Feel
  • Nice Extra Features

Cons

  • Some Lightweight Metal & Plastic Construction
  • No 78 speed

#11 Rega RP3 Turntable : Best Turntable under $1000

Rega, a pretty popular company amongst the hi-fi sound systems. Even since they started introducing the turntables, they have pretty much maintained their respect amongst the customers. With the launch of RP3, they recently upgraded their series of turntables.

The philosophy of this turntable is a lightweight design. The base or the plinth of this device has a textured and lining finish that can hide the particle board underneath. This board underlying the device has channel cut outs so as to break up the standing waves.

It uses a high quality 24 V motor mounted directly on the base of the device. This makes sure that the belt drives the through the metal pulley at ease. The platter of RP3 is made from 100% natural wood, as the company claims. 

This table comes with the latest incarnation of the popular series of tonearm. This new model has been optimised according by using the CAD and CAM design processors. Also, the counterweight included with this table works pretty great.

Setting up this turntable is one of the quickest and easiest of all mentioned above in the list. Just remember to follow all the instructions provided in the manual carefully and you are good to go.

The RP3 represents a pretty significant step towards the iconic turntable line by including several meaningful advances. I mostly recommend this table to those who are looking for a turntable to breeze for their setup.

Pros

  • 24 V motor
  • Light in weight
  • Made from 100% natural wood 
  • Glass with felt mat for platter
  • Designed with CAD and CAM processors

Cons

  • No 78 rpm speeds

Best Turntable FAQ’s

What is the best vintage turntable?

Following are the 8 best vintage turntables 

1. Sansui SR-838
2. Technics SP-10
3. Acoustic Research XA/XB
4. Technics 1200
5. Rega P3
6. Garrard 301/401
7. Thorens TD-124
8. Linn LP 12

Which is a better belt drive or direct drive turntable?

A belt drive turntable is better than a direct drive turntable because they have lower speed playback. On the other hand direct drive turntable are long lasting in terms of use yet people go for belt drive as it has classic design and slow speed playback

What is the best direct drive turntable?

Following are the 5 best direct drive turntable

1. Stanton T
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP5
3. Dual DTJ 301.1
4. Pioneer Pro DJ – PLX-500-K
5. Audio Technica AT-LP120 USBC

Should I buy a vintage turntable or new?

Depending upon your own preference you can choose your turntable. Usually vintage turntables are cheaper as they are old and used. If you are a fan of classic things then vintage is for you and if you want some features then new one is for you.

Are old turntables worth anything?

If you are a fan of history or you want to  hear some classic things then an old turntable is worth buying. They can be  purchased anywhere in between $300 to $1000.

Are Rega turntables any good?

Rega turntables usually provide pure audio. If you are not a pure audio listener and want something different then this is not for you.

Do turntables sound different?

Yes, all turntables sound different. Some may sound very pure in terms of audio and others may sound more bells and whistles. Depending upon their manufacturing parts they all differ from each other. How long do turntable belts last?

How long does a Turntable Belt Last’s?

A good quality of belt can easily last from 3 – 5 years without  any problems. Some cheap belts which are on cheap turntables can last more because the owner hardly notices the problem of the belt.

Why are turntables so expensive?

The turntable manufacturing market is very small, turntables are handbuilt and mostly made for higher class people who want them for their status symbol. The parts which are fitted in turntables are also expensive which increases the price of the turntable.

What is the best Bluetooth turntable?

Following are some of the best bluetooth turntables

1. Victrola 50’s Retro 3-Speed
2. Victrola Nostalgic Aviator
3. Akai Professional BT500
4. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-BT
5. HOFHEINZ Vintage Natural Wood

Do more expensive turntables sound better?

An expensive turntable does not matter if it has a poor  DJ cartridge. It will sound poor only. Sometimes cheap turntables sound better than expensive turntables.

Which dual turntable is the best?

1219 and 1229 can be the best dual turntable option to pick. After both of these there is 1218 and another from 1200 series is 1215.

Where do you ground a turntable?

A single wire must be attached to the ground post and on the back side of the amplifier.

Why is 180 gram vinyl better?

They are better because they have a longer lifespan, they are durable in nature and stronger. As they are stronger they wrap better than any other conventional weights.

Should I buy a CD or Vinyl?

You should buy vinyl as they look better on the shelf and the artwork which is made on them are awesome to look at. You can hear the whole album in vinyl as it is hard to skip the song from it.

Why do record players sound better?

There are a couple of reasons such as in the record player the audio file is not compressed so the details are not missed and can be clearly heard without any problem. So, record players sound better.

Final Verdict

Turntables have been with us for so many decades now. If you are planning to get one of the best turntables to decorate your living or to upgrade your music setup, the above mentioned will help you for sure. Also, to get the best offers, don’t forget to buy the best turntables from the links provided with each of them separately. For more such content, subscribe to our mail letter.