Best Phono Cartridges Under $200

If you really like vinyl albums/records, there’s a fair chance you’ll know the value of a good, high-quality phono cartridge; because of this a tool that births that. However choosing one that satisfies all your desires, and one that’s well priced isn’t an easy feat. That’s why in this write up I’m going to highlight and explain the best phono cartridges under $200 that you can buy.

Best Phono Cartridges Under $200 2021

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What’s a Phono Cartridge?

You may already know what a record player needle does. It’s exactly what touches the record. Now, the phono cartridge is the whole thing, the needle, and what surrounds it. It’s not super complex equipment and many people would even say needle while they’re talking about a phono cartridge.

How Do You Know You Need a Phono  Cartridge?

Given the overwhelming amount of options that are out there when it comes to phono cartridges, it can seem a little intimidating at first, but after you figure out what type of record player you have, it’s easy to find a compatible phono cartridge.

You want a better sound, then you definitely need a Phono cartridge. You wouldn’t want a Phono cartridge that is not worth the price you bought it, therefore in choosing or buying a Phono cartridge, look out for the very best. Here are the best Phono cartridges that you can purchase under $200. 

Best Phono Cartridges Under $200 – 2021 Quick Review

  1. Audio-Technica AT91R Phono Cartridge

This Phono cartridge sounds pretty amazing in both low mass straight tone bars and medium mass S-shaped tone bars. With the aid of this tool, you will still have a chance to very much appreciate vinyl albums, since it helps to cover all the flaws and noises of pop music.

Audio-Technica AT-VM95E/H Turntable Headshell/Cartridge Combo Kit

 

The construction standard of this particular Phono cartridge is perfect for daily use and for those who are referred to as audiophiles. It is worth remembering that this model has a conical shaped needle.

Also, the frequency response which is about 20 – about 20,000 Hz is adequate to start playback after a good installation and launch of the vinyl player. It is quite cost-effective and with its budget, this particular model proves that retro jazz can still sound good.

Pros
  • The needle or stylus and the cartridge body have a rectangular shape, making it easier to align the cartridge.
  • The sound it produces are good for the ear, they sound pretty and cool.
Cons
  • The bass is a bit muddled up.
  • Sometimes from time to time, the sound can be two-dimensional and a little rigorous.
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  1. Audio-Technica AT95E Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge

This particular model of Phono cartridge is highlighted as a very sensitive audio device. For the installation of this device, all you need is a pair of pins, and once installed, this phono amp will be a wonderful addition; thus making your vinyl playing enjoyable and delightful.

Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge

 

This tool easily collects or extracts nice music from old vinyl albums. It helps to iron out the roughness of the raw music and creates a very clean and deep tone whilst it is playing. The Phono cartridge is sometimes replaced by a flexible needle. It is quite a thin component, and it may be lost occasionally, but you shouldn’t be readily worried or think too much because it’s a very solid cartridge.

For some of the users of this model, it is one of the best as it satisfies their desires, It comes with a purchasing price of under $200. You can go for it, it is a solid cartridge and its challenges or issues can be fairly handled.

Pros
  • It’s coming at an inexpensive price.
  • It has got a fantastic and nice tone.
  • This Phono cartridge easily collects or extracts nice music
Cons
  • Its manual is difficult to read and understand.
  • Its alignment process is very lengthy. You may need to go online to watch videos so that you can conduct all your operations correctly.
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  1. Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge 

It’s pretty easy to install this phono cartridge. This model of Phono cartridge is a little over $100, and it’s the cheapest phono cartridge that Ortofon has to sell. It’s also a great cartridge for someone who’s trying to update their current one, or maybe trying to buy a new one for an aging record player that they’ve picked up elsewhere.

 

Ortofon - 2M Red MM Phono Cartridge & Audio Additives - Cartridge Mounting Kit BUNDLE

The echo output of this machine is perfect, and it will sound good to the ear. One of the best aspects about this model is that it showcases how vinyl is great, It simply spells it out without having to invest a lot on it.

While the consistency of the sound is nice, there’s something else that’s amazing about it, and that’s its architecture. It looks really good and alluring, with its red style and a headshell that manages to contribute to the overall look. If you want decent sound at a reasonable cost, you’re not going to go wrong with this one.

Pros

  • It’s proven to work on a number of various turntables.
  • It’s coming at an inexpensive price.
  • It’s pretty easy to install.
  • It’s got a cool/beautiful red style.
  • The split pole pin gives a sweet, clean tone.
Cons
  • The treble of this machine can be a little bit on the nose.
  • Its headshell is a little light.
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The tone that Ortofon 2M RedPhono Cartridge Installed on SH-4 Headshell provides would be stronger than the default cartridge that your record player already has. But if there’s one thing that can be called into question, it’s the fact that the treble can be a little big on certain albums. But, of course, depending on the type of album you’re listening to, it could turn out to be no problem.

If you’re one who’s susceptible to pitch changes, that is something you might hear when using this Phono cartridge.

  1. Denon DL-103R Phono Cartridge 

Although the price of this Coil Phono Cartridge can seem to be a little high (very close to $200), particularly for those on a budget or fixed salary; one positive way to think of this cartridge is that it gives you a fantastic and high-quality tone and it comes at a fraction of the price that some of the higher-end cartridges are demanding.

Denon DL-103 Moving Coil Cartridge

 

The bass and the treble both sound unbelievable, and it doesn’t matter if you’re rocking out to any genre or type of music. The sound of this device is fantastic and needs very little set-up. Even though this is one that is more targeted at those who fancy themselves as audiophiles. It’s something that even a beginner will be able to bring together without a challenge.

What really makes people like this model of Phono cartridge or what makes it stand out is its style, and even though it’s used with older looking turntables, it doesn’t look out of place.

Pros
  • It’s got a fantastic tone. What’s amazing about this, though, is that even when you crack it in, the sound is always going to be awesome.
  • It’s got an amazing bass
  • It’s pretty easy to set up
  • It’s got a smart interface
  • Its price and consistency are good. When it comes to its price, we believe that the price of this model is very fair, and certain consumers will be turned off. But if you’re looking for high-quality sound, and you don’t want to pay so much, you may want to consider getting this unit.
Cons
  • It’s got to be broken in. Like any of the other more high-quality products available on the market, this particular Coil Phono Cartridge will require you to break it in first. So, you’re going to have to give it a great 8 to 10 hours of use so that it can be at its best
  • Its price tag could be big for some consumers.
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  1. Clearaudio Concept MM Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge

The Clearaudio Phono cartridge has a fairly simple outlook, but that shouldn’t fool you, because the designers of this style Clearaudio have been in the business of making vinyl sound amazing for over four decades. It is a thing to love how basic the design of this model looks, often phono cartridges go over the top when it comes to their design, but the way Clearaudio kept the design of this model minimal works so much to its advantage, and it’s a big bonus.

 

Clearaudio Concept MM Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge

This model has about the right weight when it comes to making sure that the needle or stylus is at the right depth and does not slip around too quickly. What this means is that you do not have a lot of noise, and even on the albums there are only a few cracks on them, This implies that they can play really well, and they don’t have any defects in vinyl that can be annoying.

Pros
  • It’s got the right size
  • The nature helps the sound to be fantastic
  • It’s got very little noise or whatsoever.
  • Its sound depth is fantastic.
  • Setting up this machine would only take a few minutes.
Cons
  • It takes a perfect setup for you to get the most out of it.
  • There are a few things that need to be done with. First up, you need to break in, and to break in, you’re looking to spend about 10 hours.
  • Although the sound is something we’ve grown to appreciate, you’d need to be sure that you have a decent set of speakers and that your rig is all set up in the right way and you’re going to take the time to do this, 
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  1. Audio-Technia AT-F2 Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

The nature of the Audio-Technica AT-F2 Moving Phono Cartridge is so brilliant that you know that the designers of this machine are audiophiles themselves and that they really enjoy vinyl. This is really highlighted in the tool as it is made to make your albums sound as straightforward, nice, and awesome as you want it to be. That’s the type that makes it feel like they’re listening to their favourite songs for the first time.

 

Audio-Technica VM540ML MicroLine Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Turntable Cartridge

The components fused, materials used, the orientation of the needle or stylus, and the form of the needle or stylus, have all been deliberately selected to ensure that every record that is played on the stylus is astounding. The price of this device is very close to $200, but it is worth your money and this is just amazing. There are even high-end Phono cartridges on the market that don’t have such a good sound as this one, making it a big advantage to have this machine.

Pros

  • This is the sort of Phono cartridge that’s always going to make the best phono cartridge list because it’s just too good.
Cons
  • Its price tag could be big for some consumers.
  • It takes about 10 hours to crack in. This particular model of Phone cartridge is not targeted at those who are new to the world of vinyl compilation and the fact that while the sound is fantastic after it’s pulled out of the box, it needs to have a break-in time of around 10 hours before it begins to locate the grooves on your records perfectly.
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Conclusion

This write up has highlighted the best Phono cartridges you can purchase under $200. Indeed, all of these are often priced below $100, but in terms of consistency between $0 and $200, there is not much variation between the items. Moving close to the $200 mark would get you a far better quality listening experience, with makers like Audio-Technica, Clearaudio, and Ortofon providing professional-level equipment.

However, if you’re only trying to swap the cartridge that came with your turntable, and you’re a little more concerned about the price, it’s going to give you decent sound quality for that price. It can also be remembered that these are very good all-around Phono cartridges, Therefore make a purchase today, also recommend this write-up or share with others so they can make an informed decision in buying or making a purchase of a Phono Cartridge.