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Best Turntables and Vinyl Record Players for The Money: Teac vs Audio Technica vs Pro-Ject & More!

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Best Under $200
Audio Technica logo
Best Under $300
Audio Technica logo
Best Under $500
Pro-ject logo
Best Under $1,000
Rega logo

Sure, it’s been decades since vinyls were the go-to music source, but the tide has turned. If you’re not already in the know, there’s a vinyl revolution these days. Are you into it? There’s nothing like a vinyl experience to get your music vibe going, especially for hard-core music lovers.  Join us in our vinyl countdown of the best turntables and vinyl record players for the money. We’ve done our research on the latest and greatest products.

Best Turntables and Vinyl Record Players for the Money

Whether you’re trying to return to your youth with vinyls or are just getting started exploring the record-playing experience, we’ve got you covered. We based our turntable reviews on several factors, including value, sound quality, features and more.

Under $200Under $300 | Under $500Under $1,000BluetoothSonos | Portable | Record Player with Speakers

Best Turntable Under $200: Audio Technica LP60 Review

Audio Technica LP60View on Amazon

The Audio Technica LP60 is, without a doubt, the best record player you’re going to find under $200. For this price range, you get a surprising number of features and good sound quality. This fully-automatic belt-drive turntable includes a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier with RCA output cables so you can connect to audio systems and powered speakers. And if you can drop a few more dollars, the LP60 comes in additional models with Bluetooth or USB capability. All in all, the Audio Technica LP60 is an excellent value.

Pros

Cons

  • Fully automatic
  • Integral Dual Magnet phono cartridge with replaceable diamond stylus
  • Built-in pre-amplifier with RCA output cables
  • Bluetooth and USB equipped models available
  • Lacks 78 RPM speed
  • Sound quality is shallow compared to higher end turntables
  • Can’t upgrade the cartridge

Pricing

All models include two output adapter cables, a removable hinged dust cover and a 45 RPM adapter.

  • $89.00
  • Check on Amazon with Bluetooth
  • $99.00 with USB & Analog
  • Dimensions: 14.17″W x 3.84″H x 14.02″D
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • Available in black or silver
  • 1-year limited warranty

Best Turntable Under $300: Audio Technica LP120-USB Review

Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional TurntableView on Amazon

The Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is our pick for the best record player under $300. This three-speed turntable gets a lot of nods as the best value for its impressive sound quality. And it’s equipped with a USB port and PC and Mac compatible software so you can burn audio files. The AT LP120 also features  +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjust, a high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock and an S-shaped tonearm. Major audiophiles may be turned off by the direct drive, as many believe belt drives to be superior. But the casual listener shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Pros

Cons

  • 3-speed
  • Skip-free groove tracking
  • Pitch adjustment
  • Built-in pre-amplifier with RCA output cables
  • USB port and PC and Mac compatible software
  • Direct drive (experienced users usually prefer belt drive)
  • Sound not as good as higher-end turntables
  • No Bluetooth option

Pricing

  • Out of stock, includes headshell/cartridge, dual RCA output cables, 45 RPM adapter, USB cable and recording software
  • Dimensions: 17.72″ W x 13.86″D x 6.1″H
  • Weight 23.5 lbs.
  • Available in black or silver
  • 1-year limited warranty

Best Turntable Under $500: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

Pro-Ject Debut CarbonView on Amazon

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon gets our vote as the best record player under $500. This belt-driven turntable is a popular choice for vinyl enthusiasts looking for a higher-quality sound than cheaper alternatives. It’s designed to be an affordable alternative to the Hi-Fi, mid-range turntables, and it boasts a beautiful sound quality and cool design. The heavy metal platter (with felt mat) and carbon tube tonearm are features usually found in high-end, $1,000+ turntables. And the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon also uses an ultra-quiet DC-power motor and Sorbothane motor suspension.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent clarity and sound resolution
  • Well damped against vibration
  • High-quality carbon tube tonearm and Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge
  • Stable metal platter
  • Ultra-quiet motor
  • Stylish design
  • No built-in pre-amplifier
  • Lacks 78 RPM speed
  • No USB port
  • Requires manual belt adjustment to change speed

Pricing

  • $399.00, includes a removable dust cover
  • Dimensions: 16.33″W x 12.59″D x 4.64″H
  • Weight 12.35 lbs.
  • Comes in 7 glossy colors
  • 2-year limited warranty

Best Turntable Under $1,000: Rega Planar 2 Turntable Review

Rega Planar 2View on Amazon

The Rega Planar 2 turntable is our choice for the best record player under $1000. What’s the selling point for this turntable? It’s stellar sound. For sound quality alone, it beats all the other turntables we’ve reviewed, hands down. But you also get some high-end features at a reasonable price. The Rega Planar 2 includes a high-end cartridge, a custom aluminum arm tube, advanced low friction technology and a 24-volt synchronous motor. Major vinyl enthusiasts give this turntable a big thumbs up for its sound quality at this price range.

Pros

Cons

  • Superb, detailed sound and clarity
  • Good stability, low-vibration and enhanced speed stability
  • High-end Rega carbon MM cartridge
  • Quiet, 24-volt synchronous motor
  • Modern, sleek design
  • Easy, plug-and-play set up
  • No built-in pre-amplifier
  • Lacks 78 RPM speed
  • No USB port
  • Requires manual belt adjustment to change speed

Pricing

  • $675.00, includes a removable dust cover
  • Dimensions: 17.5″W x 15″D x 4″H
  • Weight 12 lbs.
  • Comes in glossy black, white or red
  • Warranty information unavailable

Best Bluetooth Record Player: 1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable Review

1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth TurntableVisit Website

The 1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speaker earns our nod for the best Bluetooth turntable. The 1byone is perfect for any casual listener who wants to combine old-school vinyls with today’s technology in one product. Most users report excellent Bluetooth connectivity with multiple devices. And you can record your vinyls to MP3 files. The built-in speakers are decent for this price point (nothing to write home about), but this turntable includes a line out so you can connect to better speakers.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy plug-and-play
  • Bluetooth equipped and compatible with smartphones, tablets, PCs, MP3 players, etc.
  • Vinyl-to-MP3 recording via USB port
  • 3 speeds
  • Attractive, retro design
  • Built-in speakers could be better
  • No built-in pre-amp
  • Several user complaints about skipping problems

Pricing

  • Out of stock, includes dust cover
  • Dimensions: 16.93″W x 13.9″D x 6.22″H
  • Weight 7.1 lbs.
  • Comes in black or natural wood
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 1-year warranty

Best Turntable for Sonos: Fluance RT81 Review

Fluance RT81 High Fidelity turntableView on Amazon

Do you want simple connectivity to your Sonos player? The belt-driven Fluance RT81 High Fidelity turntable is an awesome choice. Sonos and some other stereo systems require pre-amps. While you can modify your system by placing a pre-amp between the turntable and your Sonos player, the Fluance RT81 makes set up a breeze. That’s why we’ve chosen this as the best record player for Sonos — for its price and sound quality, so you can do your Sonos player justice.

Pros

Cons

  • High fidelity sound is better than comparable turntables
  • High-performance AT95E Audio Technica cartridge
  • Diamond elliptical tipped stylus and aluminum S-type tonearm track record grooves with greater precision & accuracy
  • High-quality Texas Instruments built-in pre-amp
  • Classy walnut finish made from audio-grade (MDF) wood to reduces vibrations
  • Lacks 78 RPM speed
  • Not USB or Bluetooth equipped
  • Some user complaints about speed variations

Pricing

  • $249.99, includes dustcover
  • Dimensions: 16.5″W x 13.75″D x 5.5″H
  • Weight 14.1 lbs.
  • 2-year limited warranty

Best Portable Turntable: Victrola Nostalgic Suitcase Turntable Review

Victrola Nostalgic 3-Speed Vintage Bluetooth Suitcase TurntableView on Amazon

The Victrola Nostalgic 3-Speed Vintage Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable is an Amazon best-seller and a solid choice for the best portable record player. There are many suitcase turntables on the market, which vary in quality and sound. Keep in mind; these are low-end turntable systems. You’re not going to get excellent sound out of any of them, but the Victrola is one of the best. This turntable features Bluetooth connectivity, a 3.5mm aux-in jack for playing music from any non-Bluetooth device, an RCA jack and headphone jack. And a plus is that you can connect this turntable to better speakers.

Pros

Cons

  • Plug and play
  • Built-in Bluetooth that works from 33 feet away
  • 3-speed turntable
  • Lightweight and easily portable with a fold-up suitcase design
  • Retro design that comes in 17 colors
  • No USB port
  • Speaker sound quality is limited but good compared to similar products

Pricing

  • $42.01
  • Dimensions: 16.65″W x 12.8″D x 7.28″H
  • Weight 5 lbs.
  • Available in 17 colors
  • 1-year limited warranty

Best Record Player with Speakers: Teac MC-D800-CH All-In-One Review

 Teac MC-D800-CH All-In-One Turntable Speaker SystemView on Amazon

One of the best features of the Teac MC-D800-CH All-In-One Turntable Speaker System is that the included speakers are separate and not built into the base as you find with most all-in-one turntables. Why does that matter? You get better sound out of your system, and you eliminate vibration problems that plague built-in speaker systems. You get a lot of features with this system — Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port for MP3/WMA playback, a CD player and an AM/FM tuner. And Teac has an excellent reputation for high-quality audio products.

Pros

Cons

  • Good sound quality for price range
  • Includes two detachable speakers with rear bass port
  • Bluetooth with instant pairing, USB port, CD player, AM/FM tuner
  • Auto-return 3-speed turntable with sapphire stylus
  • Programmable track list and sleep timer
  • Wireless remote control
  • On the pricey side
  • No recording function from vinyl to MP3
  • Not the most stylish design

Pricing

Is There Really a Vinyl Revolution?

Yes! Vinyls are making a big comeback after many years of “new” audio technology taking its toll on the turntable industry. Check out this CBS News report about the welcome resurgence of turntables within the last couple of years.

Want the Best of Both Worlds?

Do you love exploring vintage vinyl but are still a fan of the latest audio technology? You most certainly don’t have to sacrifice one for the other if music is a huge part of your soul. Most higher-end turntables don’t include Bluetooth or USB connectivity. But if you want to turn your home into a music lover’s dream, we’ve got some additional suggestions for you.

If you don’t have time to savor your vinyls and just want to listen to your downloaded or streaming music on the fly, be sure to read our reviews of the best Bluetooth speakers and best streaming music services. And if you’re looking for easy surround sound for your home in addition to your turntable stereo system, check out our best wireless surround sound system reviews for the total home audio experience.

What features are most important to you in a budget-friendly turntable?

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Sally is a passionate writer but her interests do not stop there. She spends a lot of time daydreaming about the beach, however, she spends most of her time taking advantage of all the activities her town has to offer in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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1 Comment on "Best Turntables and Vinyl Record Players for The Money: Teac vs Audio Technica vs Pro-Ject & More!"

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DJ Shenkalicious
DJ Shenkalicious
We had one of these at our mountain rental house over the holiday and it was so awesome we are going to get one now!
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