Best Record Player for the Money

Best value vinyl players are back in town taking the audio experience to an exciting level. Some major new releases of podcasts, music audios, and even film soundtracks are now being released on Record Player which means Record players are going nowhere, they were here, they are here, and they have come to stay.

Even younger generations now listen to their favorite music on Record Players.  There are lots of models for a budget record player, depending on choice and cost. Before we look at some of these amazing Record Players, let’s go through what vinyl record players are and how they came to be.

BEST RECORD PLAYERS FOR THE MONEY

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Yes, we’ll discuss extensively some best record players that give you more value than what you paid for. These Record players have been carefully selected and you can trust them to deliver a great listening experience for you. We’ll be discussing each and every of the best Record Players together with their prices.

Recommended Read – Best Turntable For Sampling

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB

This Record Player is on sale for $299. The turntable gives more than what users expect and in some great style. Audio Technica’s attempt on AT-LP120XBT-USB is to bring convenience and modernity to the format of the Record Player. The record player has an amazing look with great aesthetics.

Audio technica turntable comes with a switchable integrated phono stage, wireless aptX Bluetooth connectivity, and a usb port output which makes it go beyond a regular or average record player. Aside from arranging the aluminum platter, connecting the cartridge to the tonearm, and fixing the dust cover for setup when it first comes out of the box, every other thing is a plug-and-play arrangement.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB-BK Wireless Direct-Drive Turntable, Black

The connection of AT-LP120XBT can be easily connected to other systems through RCA cables or through a wireless connection using the aptX Bluetooth function to a Bluetooth speaker, an audio system, or a wireless headphone. During any of these connections, you get a detailed, smooth, and warm sound with lots of individual strands of recording coming together in the most amazing manner that gives you the reason why Record Players never went out of vogue.

AT-LP120XBT DESIGN

The AT-LP120XBT-USB has a strong construction, specified tonearm and cartridge, and a neat tidy finish that was inspired by the classic Technics Dj deck. The Recorder has bombproof built and weights 8kg. Most of its parts are made from plastic, an aluminum platter with rubber-made feet that protect it from external vibration and give a self-level that makes it look heftily damped.

On the record player, one can easily access the manual controls; the start and stop regulator, speed selection, and the likes. The 120 plays at 33.3 or 45rpm and if the two speed-selector buttons are pressed at the same time can play at 78rpm in the Technic’s manner. The tonearm is 231mm and has an S-shape, the manner of traditional Audio Technica.

AT-LP120XBT CONNECTIVITY

The main connectivity of the Record player is the aptX Bluetooth connectivity, the USB output, and the switchable phono stage. Moreso, there is the input for mains power, the phono switch, the grounding post, and the stereo RCA outputs. Its 120 phono stage allows for easy slot into different systems. It can also be easily connected to a  computer through USB output to make digital copies of the records. Effective and simple software that is free for Mac and PC  is suitable for the recorder.

Moreso, the aptX Bluetooth that the record player features allows for wireless connection to headphones and speakers, a flexible feature that is not adaptive in wired record players.

AT-LP120XBT AUDIO PERFORMANCE

The record player has a smooth, neat, detailed, and well-integrated sound. It makes corresponding digital copies that can be listened to in a different number of ways. You can also have a better listening experience when AT-LP120XBT is hard-wired into a stereo system through the RCA output. In cases where there is not enough amplification to make the Record player satisfactorily audible, the 120 integrated phono input stage can be switched on to make it more audible.

The Record player plays low frequency better in a warm, smooth, and weighty manner but the bass also sounds accurate but might lack uniformity a bit.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 452.0 mm- 17.80″ W x 352.0 mm- 13.86″ D x 141.6 mm- 5.57″ H
  • Motor: Direct drive Platter: Die-cast aluminum
  • Phono preamp USB
  • Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm Stylus: AT-VM95E
Pros
  • Flexible and convenient
  • Harbors secret DJ fantasies
  • Produces a detailed and warm sound
  • Integrated phono stage and aptX Bluetooth streaming
  • Digital copies through USB output
Cons
  • Wireless performance might sound a little bit faded
  • Might not produce enough dynamic sound
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AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP60X-BK

This is a perfect Record player for beginners or users interested in an inexpensive Record player that does not compromise standards. The Record Player is on sale for $120 and it gives more value than its worth. It has a basic setup that still provides all the necessary features needed for good audio quality. This Record player is one of the best affordable turntables that Audio Technical has to offer.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, 2 Speed, Dust Cover, Anti-Resonance, Die-Cast Aluminum Platter

AT-LP60X-BK DESIGN

For the design of this model, it features some buttons for regulating the speed and a switch for turning on or off of the built-in preamplifier. It has a matt black finish with visible keys that interest users and learners. A rather decent plastic build quality made to withstand storms.

The way the belt drive is designed is to help avoid motor vibrations that result in reduced sound resonance and at the same time help keep costs down. Moreover, the diamond needle in AT-LP60X-BK can be replaced easily to create a great listening experience with the affordable Record player.

SETTING UP AT-LP60X-BK

As mentioned earlier, it has an easy setup by just placing the record, regulating the speed, and starting the device which is almost automatic. Another remarkable feature about the record player is the built-in Bluetooth that allows for connection to any speaker or Bluetooth setup.

What is quite remarkable for this low costing turntable is that it also has built-in Bluetooth so you are able to connect any Bluetooth setup or speaker to it.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 360.0 mm (14.17″) W x 97.5 mm (3.84″) H x 356.0 mm (14.02″) D Motor: Belt drive Platter: Die-cast aluminum
  • Phono preamp Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm
  • Stylus: ATN3600
Pros
  • Features a Built-in Bluetooth
  • High audio quality for its price
  • Beautifying contrasting colors
Cons
  • The use of plastic within build might be inconceivable
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FLUANCE RT81

Fluance RT81 is on sale for $249.99.

The Fluance RT81 is one of the best turntables for its price. This turntable gives a surprisingly stunning pure sound reproduction. It belongs to the group of best when it comes to delivering absolute quality in music performance. It is easily elevated and easy to set up which makes it a perfect option for beginners and audiophiles.

All of its components are of a high standard and it features AT95E, an amazing cartridge from Audio Technica. The setup is also easily upgraded with the switchable built-in amp that comes with it.

Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge, Belt Drive, Built-in Preamp, Adjustable Counterweight, Solid Wood Plinth - Walnut

RT81 DESIGN

The Record player comes in a mature walnut wood casing that gives it a classic aura. The turntable has a rubber slip mat that helps avoid vibration and the body of the turntable is separated with insulating feet.

RT81 SOUND PERFORMANCE

The Record player produces a well-balanced sound thanks to the high-quality preamp. Moreover, its amazingly high cartridge gives room for warmer sounds with distinguishing characteristics of music that users find appealing.

There is also the elliptical stylus that frees the turntable from distortions and noises. The adjustable counterweight of the S-shaped tonearm also complements the notes of the record and prevents scratching giving a perfect groove playback.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 16.5” x 5.5” x 13.75” Motor: Belt drive
  • Platter: Aluminum Phono preamp: Yes
  • Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm Stylus: ATN95E
  • Tonearm wire 36AWG Litz Cable/7 strand Speed 33 ⅓ RPM, 45RPM(78RPM)
  • Signal to noise ratio weighted 67dB Signal to noise ratio unweighted 60dB
Pros
  • A classic feeling walnut casing
  • UpgradablePreamp and Cartridge
  • A high-quality sound performance.
Cons
  • There is a possibility of experiencing a bit of resonance.
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DENON DP-300F

Denon DP-300F is a 2-speed Record player which exhibits its quality feature in one glance. It features a belt-driven DC motor with 33 ½, 45 rotation speed. The DC voltage allows regulations with a push-button between the rotation speeds and helps in ensuring the consistency of the speed. There is a button after the tonearm for speed change and a high-end switch from AC to DC.

Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable with Built-in Phono Equalizer | Unique Tonearm Design | Hologram Vibration Analysis | Slim Design

Another amazing feature of DP-300F is that it is absolutely automatic which can be seen in the only two buttons found on the plinth; one for start and the other for stop. The tonearm would be lowered to the correct height once the start button is clicked, when the record ends or after abruptly clicking stop, the tonearm returns to its previous resting position.

The record player works well with all genres since the sound produced by it is smooth and well-balanced. Denon products have always been known to produce rich music performance which the DP-300F doesn’t lack. Moreso, it includes all the basic needed features, and it is at the same time automatic which gives less manual effort or stress.

DP-300F SOUND PERFORMANCE

Denon DP-300F comes with a phono equalizer which is also the built-in preamp. This feature helps the Record player deliver an open and wide sound stage. It adds amazing features to record without tampering with the original recording.

It has an aluminum construction that enhances a high-quality sound performance level. The rotation on DP-300F is uniform and flutter-free. It produces an absolute mid-range and an amazing treble but a less inspiring bass.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 17-3/32 x 4-51/64 x 15″ (434 x 122 x 381 mm); (WxHxD)
  • Motor: Belt drive Platter: Die-cast aluminum
  • Phono preamp Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm
  • Stylus: DSN-85
Pros
  • Easy to set up and upgrade
  • Absolute automatic playback
  • High-quality built-in preamp and cartridge
  • Great retro styling
  • Awesome sound for its price
  • Gloss design
Cons
  • The sound could be a bit more detailed
  • Lacks USB recording
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AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP3BK

This is another full automatic Record player at even a cheaper price. The is one of the best turntables on sale. AT-LP3BK blends automation with some hi-fi components. The Record player strikes a balance between worth and performance although, it performs much more than it costs.

It features an absolute automatic belt drive that allows tunning to 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM depending on preference. The belt drive takes the listening experience to an advanced level. The tonearm is straightly balanced and is equipped with a ½’’ mount universal headshell together with an AT91R dual moving magnet preamp cartridge that allows users to choose between moving coil cartridges.

Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black

AT-LP3BK is an awesome pick for a low budget price range but an amazing sound performance Record Player. It comes with a built-in external preamp and cartridge that are so very easy to upgrade.

AT-LP3BK DESIGN

The turntable is equipped with a platter that is surrounded by a metallic ring and a red cartridge that suits the eyes. It has a pure black finish that gives the turntable a premium and matured look.

AT-LP3BK SOUND PERFORMANCE

The integrated preamp that comes with it effectively enhances the sound performance of the Record Player. Also, it is equipped with an AT91R cartridge that also does justifications to sound signal pickups giving an amazingly balanced sound that does not discriminate genres. The record player not only work well with detailed sound but also ground heavy music

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 21 x 9 x 19 inches
  • Operation: Automatic Motor: Belt Drive Phono preamp
  • Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm
  • Stylus: AT91R
Pros
  • Upgradable built-in preamp and cartridge
  • High-quality and balanced sound for its worth
  • Absolute automation mechanism
Cons
  • Might not produce the most detailed sound.
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PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON DC

The main reason why this turntable is loved greatly is its hi-fi feel with a high-quality sound at a very surprising price. The Record Player is on sale. The turntable has a minimally unique design. There are no buttons on the casing and it has an Ortofon 2m red cartridge at its end with a straight tonearm.

As one of the best turntables, there are few full automatic features on the Record player. Rather than the automatic features, more effort is put into the high-quality materials to creating an overall sturdy build. The plinth for example has a rather heavy piece which makes the turntable feel heavy and at the same time minimize its resonance. Also, the tonearm is specially made from carbon fiber that makes it to be lightweight and very easy to handle.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Matte Walnut)

Although there is no built-in preamp which is why it is seen as a hi-fi quality but an external preamp can easily be set up with it. The placing of the tonearm, needle, and belt movement on the record has to be done by the user as it is a manual record player. It is an enjoyable experience for audiophiles but new users might want to avoid this due to complexity. The Record Player comes in colors like white, walnut mat, shiny red, or high-gloss black.

The Record-player features an 8.6’’ carbon tonearm with a bigger and heavier platter. It also consists of the new DC power supply that has an ultra-precision frequency DC-driven AC generator which enhances speed stability. It is protected by a dust cover, has a magnetic cartridge option from Ortofon 2m Red and a felt mat.

PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON DC SOUND PERFORMANCE

The Record player produces a balanced and detailed sound. The Ortofon 2m Red Cartridge has done justice to giving a high-quality sound to the Record player. Moreover, other improvements like the increase in the size and weight of the platter enhance a smooth rotation which improves the overall sound quality.

The underneath belt drive design holds an effective motor decoupling, ultra frequency DC-driven AC generator, and a low noise AC motor which all for one enhance the speed stability and also limit unwanted vibration and distortion.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 415 x 118 x 320mm -WxHxD Motor: Belt drive
  • Platter: Aluminum Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm Stylus: Ortofon 2M Red
Pros
  • A very minimal design that features seven bright colors
  • Cartridge Ortofon 2M Red produces an analog and warm sound
  • Sturdy build and materials that reduce distortions.
Cons
  • Might be a bit complex for beginners to handle.
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SONY PSHX500

This award-winning Turntable can only be underestimated calling it a high-quality Record Player. We know when it is Sony, it is so unique. The brand has given us a long list of impressive features in this Record Player that will interest audiophiles and music lovers. One most important feature is its standard ability to convert vinyl records into high-quality audio digital files.

Sony PS-LX310BT Belt Drive Turntable: Fully Automatic Wireless Vinyl Record Player with Bluetooth and USB Output Black

The Turntable comes in an all-black model including its platter, buttons, and straight tonearm. There is only one available button on the record player which functions as the start and speed switch giving it a modern and classic look. PSHX500 is reasonably weighted and has a premium feel to it.

The record player does not only digitize vinyl but also features a USB output which allows for connections to a computer, a unique feature indeed. There is also the recording software package that allows users to simply record, stop, and split separate records. The record can output DSD 5.6 raw waves files, a high-quality audio file that only PSHX500 features.

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PSKX500 DESIGN

The Record Player comes with a fancy new tonearm design with an integrated shell that helps improve stability and durability. It has a less heavy structure that also helps improve traceability.

It also features an extremely stable belt drive system that is optimized by spindle-bearing construction that helps effect a natural sound reproduction. It has a 0.20-inch rubber mat and an aluminum die-cast platter that gives balance to strength and mass. Moreso, it is insulated structured with an acoustic-grade MDF cabinet.

SONY PSHX500 SOUND PERFORMANCE

The sound is dynamic has the Record Player consists of enough space for lots of audio layers giving it a pretty high-quality sound for its price. Its built-in preamplifier and cartridge contribute well enough to its great and balanced sound.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 16.54” x 13.78” x 4.92”; -W x D x H Motor: Belt drive
  • Phono preamp   USB: Yes 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 96kHz / 192kHz (16bit / 24bit) Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm Stylus: Sony 9-885-210-05
Pros
  • Consists of cartridge Ortofon OM5e for good bass and detailed sound
  • US-based U-Turn Audio
  • High-quality materials
  • Available in different colors
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • A DSD 5.6 raw wave file
  • Standard-quality transparent sound.
Cons
  • Could be too complex for beginners
  • Might be a bit expensive.
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DENON DP-400

This is the best Record Player for users interested in the best quality without minding costs. It has a perfect design suitable for interiors with its amazing curves and shiny coating. It has the aura of Apple products and can only be found in either black or white colors. Denon DP-400 is very easy to set up and use. There is already a built-in preamp that lets users connect easily to a powered speaker.

Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor | Specially Designed Curved Tonearm | Supports 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM (Vintage) Speeds | Modern Looks, Superior Audio

The Turntable supports 33 ⅓ rpm, 45 rpm, or 78rpm which is enough for a wide range of rotating speeds. Moreso, it supports MM and MC cartridges to suit users’ preferences with an awesome curved tonearm design, a built-in phono equalizer for an amazing audio experience.

DENON DP-400 SOUND PERFORMANCE

The Record Player produces an amazing sound thanks to its quality cartridge and awesome built-in preamp. These two work to produce a transparent, smooth, balanced, and detailed sound. The difference in the low-end to mid-range can easily be spotted after few minutes of listening. There is accuracy in speed in Denon DP-400 and it produces fewer distortions thanks to the S-shaped curved tonearm.

DENON DP-400 DESIGN

You’ll hardly find something better in terms of materials used. The Record-player has an engineered S-shaped curved tonearm that is optimized by tracking angle which also auto-lift record’s end, playback, and stop. The tonearm auto-lifts while preserving the condition of the album and cartridge when the vinyl reaches the end of playback.

Moreover, the Turntable features a modern removable dust cover that helps eliminate vibrations. There is also the Belt driven platter that comes with an integrated auto sensor which helps prevent unnecessary fluctuations during playback.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 13.46 x 16.3 x 4.13 in Operation: Semi-Automatic
  • Motor: Belt Drive Phono preamp
  • Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm Stylus:​ Moving Magnet
Pros
  • A transparent, smooth, and warm sound with no distortions
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • An auto-stop function that makes it easy to use.
  • Standard for audiophiles and beginners.
Cons
  • Dust cover might be too modern for some users.
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ABOUT RECORD PLAYERS

Record Players are also referred to as Phonographs. They are devices used for reproducing undulating groove sounds that have been recorded on a disk which is referred to as ‘record’. This record is placed carefully on a motor-driven turntable that instantly rotates it at a continuous speed.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB-BK Wireless Direct-Drive Turntable, Black

The turntables come with a tone-arm that has a pickup at an end which is placed on the record. The needle or stylus of the tone-arm is what touches the groove of the record and with the constant rotation, the stylus vibrates due to variations in the record’s groove. This is to say that the stylus is responsible for changing the mechanical vibration into electrical signals.

The electrical signals with the work of an amplifier increase and are passed to loudspeakers which metamorphose it into sounds. The first phonograph to reproduce recorded sound was built in 1877 by Thomas Edison. His records were made out of tinfoil and they were popularly known as the hill and dale recording. There have been other inventions of records and record players since then.

However, the reproduction of recorded sounds was later made standard by the introduction of hi-fi (high fidelity) amplification and other complex speaker systems. Due to these new inventions, records play at lower speeds that at the same time lengthens the size of materials that could be recorded on one disk. There is also the ‘Stereophonic sound reproduction’ which allows the record to reproduce at the same time 2 channels of sounds.

Aside from these musical performances, the phonograph is used to reproduce sound effects for both radio broadcasts and theater presentations. There were a time companies stopped manufacturing records and went for cassette tapes instead, at about now, people are rapidly growing likeness for Record Players.

Conclusion

Record players are still very much in use and in case you want to get yourself one, we have extensively talked about different Turntables from different Brands, and at different prices, you can proceed to opt for your best pick depending on your personal need and budget.

Whatever your choice is, you can be rest assured to experience a detailed, warm, and balanced sound from this list as they are the best options you’ve got and the best record players for the money.

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Lucas Carrolhttps://www.themodernrecord.com
Being in love with music his whole life, Lucas started this blog as the “go-to” place for the most accurate and detailed information about the world of music, and especially pianos! Having worked in a music store for over 10 years, Lucas has found passion in helping others choose the most suitable instrument for them. He is now happy to share his knowledge of the industry here, at themodernrecord.

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