Turntable holds a special place in the heart of music connoisseurs, so much, that even today in this 21st century there is an appreciable demand for it. There are various well-known brands known for its exclusive range of cool turntables. Zonetop10 brings you the list such popular turntables.
Check out the list of top 10 best turntables under $200. These are the most trusted turntables all over the world.
Points to Consider when Buying Turntables.
Now that you have decided on your model from the top 10 list of turntables available within your budget, you would be equally eager to finish your purchase action at the earliest. Your quest for the most suitable model would be satisfied only when you are able to buy with perfect guidance. To make your purchase a value for money it is highly advisable to consider the below-mentioned points before you actually hand over the cash and complete the deal.
Is it value for money?
Most turntables are not very light in your pocket, so you are here required to pay more attention and shortlist your appropriate device. You need to be aware of the turntable basics to get the best value for your money spent.
A turntable is nothing but a device that is specifically designed to spin the records at a set speed rate to transform the ‘data’ on the disk into electrical signals. How neatly the turntable performs determines how well it can reproduce the music which in turn determines the budget of the device. The turntable is going to be the actual source of music so you should not be hesitant in spending some extra bucks to get a better quality.
Keep in mind that the better your turntable the less you would hear it working and the more soothing would be the music produced.
Manual or automatic
As you have always seen a listener lift the pin at the beginning of the music and again repeating the action every time when the disc finishes, with modernisation in every field the up gradation of this feature has also turned a turntable more user-friendly. The days of physically lifting the arm and lowering it, again and again, has taken a shift making way for the automatic one.
If you are a person who loves to listen to the music relaxed back on your couch with just a tap of a button then you must consider the automatic turntable. Though most high-end turntables are manual, still the automatic turntables are also in high demand these days. Just a touch of the button the tonearm gets lifted moving to the side settles on the lead groove of the album. On the finishing off the record, the arm again lifts up automatically and returns to the original position.
Many though still prefer the originality and simplicity of the manual turntables, still there are music lovers who like to enjoy every single note with a relaxed mind. You need to decide your preference by yourself.
Don’t forget to consider the rotational speed
One main thing about a turntable that demands sincere consideration is the rotational speed. It is nothing but the speed in which the device rotates the disc and is measured in rotations per minute. Most records in the market play in one or two type of speeds. The 7-inch records which are commonly known as the singles play at a speed of 45 RPM while 12 inch records complete 33 RPM to play a track. Both these speeds are played in all the basic turntables available in the market.
While there are turntables as well that gives a third rotational speed of 78 RPM. But you may rest assured that this type is only applicable for older 10-inch records and you need not worry till you are planning for a record collection.
Space where you place it
Never be overwhelmed to find quite antique and age-old high-end turntable, since space is a very big issue that you need to consider before buying a turntable. If you buy a big sized turntable you must have appropriate space to place it properly. It is not a matter of clearing a shelf to give it a room because several things depend on how you place your turntable.
When the pin moves on the grooves in a track a kind of vibration which is generally turned into a humming sound is created. Too much of vibration may also lead to the jumping and skip of the pin. This is why you need to place the turntable on a sturdy surface and eliminate any kind of external interference. If you have real space crunch you may then choose an isolation system or a table that is specially designed to lessen vibration.
10. Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic Style Record Player Turntable with CD Player
Made from original wood, this classic turntable takes you to the past. You get loads of features with this turntable. It has an inbuilt cassette desk, CDs and cassettes player, FM/AM radio, and speakers. The ratio comes with an analog tuner at the front that gives an antique look.
Coming to its sound quality, it’s awesome and fuller. The unit is Bluetooth-enabled that facilitates you to connect it wirelessly to your tabs and smartphones. It also supports 3.5 mm input jack to plug your headphone or external speaker.
9. Victrola VTA-200B Nostalgic Classic 6-In-1 Turntable with Bluetooth
This one is another affordable turntable that fits well into your budget. This three speed played has a strong wooden built that makes you nostalgic. The inbuilt speakers on it play louder and fuller sound. It not just plays your vinyl record, it also plays CDs, cassettes, and radio. You can also pair your smartphones and iPods wirelessly to it. Yes, it’s a Bluetooth-enabled unit.
There is also 3.5 mm input jack available with it to connect the speaker, headphone or other wired devices.
8. ION Audio Max LP 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers
Crafted from glossy wood, this is a lightweight compact turntable. The player looks very simple and sober with two small speakers at its front and a volume tuner. You can also connect your headphone or external speakers to it.
The turntable works at three different speeds. There is also a provision to link it up to your computer and convert the analog music to digital format.
7. Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers
This is one of the most portable and popular turntables that you can buy. It’s a three-speed turntable coming with various cool features. The machine has an inbuilt stereo speaker. On its front dashboard, there are two switches( power and auto-stop) and tuners( for volume and tone).
It comes with a default software that let you convert your vinyl record to digital format. You can also connect the turntable to your MP3, smartphones, headphones or external speaker. Its sound quality is also very loud and impressive.
6. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
A wonderful product from a company that deals with audio related products since 1962. If you are looking for a compact and sleek turntable, this one is for you. This die aluminum casted turntable has very clean and shiny metallic surface. It’s a light and portable turntable.
The turntable runs on two speeds( 33 1/3 and 45 RPM). It lets you convert the analog vinyl records to digital format by Audacity software. You can readily connect it to an external speaker and its powerful sound would always leave you astonished. It’s a popular fully automatic belt driven turntable.
5. Crosley CR8005D-TU Cruiser Deluxe Portable 3-Speed Turntable with Bluetooth
From a distance, it looks like a cute briefcase from the 80’s. The grainy aluminium cover gives it a shining and clean look. You can choose it from ten different colors and style. On the very front are the two powerful speakers. However, you can add extra sound by pairing Bluetooth speaker to it.
You can easily carry this briefcase style turntable to anywhere no matter wherever you are partying.
It also plays music from your smartphones and MP3 players. Altogether it’s a strong contest, with the only downside you could find is the unavailability of USB port to connect to your computer.
4. Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
Working at two-speed range(33 1/3 and 45 RPM), it’s an incredible turntable from well-known brand Sony. This black colored aluminium bodied turntable is quite compact and sleek inbuilt. Thanks to its Audio Studio software that do this task of conversion. Get your favorite music from past year to your latest iPhone and Android devices.
There are four control buttons at the front. You can also connect an external speaker to enjoy music at the loud sound. This turntable from Sony is a great value for your money.
3. Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable with Radio
This compact and classic turntable from Crosley is carved with great details for connoisseurs like you. It is crafted out of veneers and hardwood, giving it a shiny look. It’s a belt driven one and plays in three speed RPM (33 1/3, 78 and 45).
It also plays radio and connects to your phones and MP3 players to play music from them. The sound quality is very impressive. You are going to love this turntable.
2. Victrola VTA-750B Nostalgic Aviator 7-in-1 Turntable Wooden Entertainment Center with Bluetooth
Here is another improved version of the turntable from Victrola with some added features( and also at somewhat higher price). If your pocket allows, you must go for it without ant doubt. Like its previous model, the unit looks quite bulky and fuller crafted from hard and shiny wood.
Apart from features like CD player, cassette player, Bluetooth pairing, inbuilt speakers, FM radio and 3.5 mm jack you get some added features too. It comes with remote control capability and a CD recorder that transform your vinyl record to digital format directly( without the use of a computer).
1. Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable
It’s an ageless design turntable from Electrohome, the brand which has over hundred years of experience in analog audio. The complete wooden body with antique style tuners takes you to your memorable past. It has four inbuilt speakers that churn out music of very high quality. Its fuller and powerful sound would always keep your mood high.
Apart from playing vinyl records, it also plays out radio and MP3. You can also connect your smartphones or tablet to its 3.5 mm input. Not just that, it also converts the music from vinyl to the MP3 format with its inbuilt MP3 encoder.
How upgraded are the parts?
The budget of a turntable is bestowed on its parts being most upgraded. The more upgraded the parts are the more is the range of the turntable. While the entry level devices are made to perform out of the box, the high-end turntables comprise of most upgraded parts contributing to more perfection in quality.
You need to have a look that the turntable you buy has parts that can also be easily upgraded whenever required in future. The most common parts that can be generally upgraded are the cartridge, the tonearm, the belt and the slip mats. You need to know that many low-end turntables are not capable of any kind of change or replacement in future and you get stuck up with what is stocked in it.
USB or Non-USB
With the advancement in technology, the demand for high-tech features in a turntable as well is increasing day by day. Keeping this in mind the turntables with USB enabled technique is more preferred over a non-USB one. With the help of this USB feature in your turntable, you would be able to transfer your favorite tracks right from the disc to the computer and convert it to MP3 or any other formats as per wish.
Here you need to keep in mind that the cost of the inclusion of USB in a turntable is often made up by using a lower quality of other turntable components. So, a good research and knowledge about different models would help you overcome this issue.
Here one point that is worth mentioning is that today every record comes with a download card of the music which enables you to download the track and play on your digital device. Unless it is utmost necessary you may avoid the feature of USB since you have another option available now.
Belt drive or direct drive
Nearly all those turntables available in the market today spin the disc in any of the two ways, one is ‘Belt Drive’ another is the ‘Direct drive’. You need to keep an eye on this mechanism since this decides the audio quality.
A belt driven turntable has an elastic belt connecting the motor and the platter. This actually works as a shock absorber that helps prevent vibration and motor noise from reaching the platter thus providing better sound quality without many disturbances. In a case of a direct turntable, the platter is placed on a shaft connected to the motor directly. The advantages of a such a design are that it provides greater torque and more simplicity and also can be run backward with a better hold on the pitch. This is a feature preferred mostly by DJs.
Knowledge about the Basic parts of the Turntable
Though it is not required here to gain engineer’s knowledge about each and every little aspect of a Turntable, it is always good to have a brief idea about the parts before you buy one. Here is a guide in a nutshell that could help you gain some valuable insights on the important parts of the device.
Plinth or the Base is actually what the name indicates, the foundation on which the rest of the components of a Turntable is supported. This base can be made out of a number of materials like wood, plastic, and metal. The base comes with stands that affirm a stable position of the turntable which in turn is the key to good quality playback.
As the name suggests it is the plate type part of a turntable on which the record is placed for playing. This part of the device is basically powered by the motor and consists of a mat placed between the surface and the record. The mat has several important roles like acts as a cushion to the record, provides a firm grip and helps in vibration dampening.
Here you need to remember that the heavier the platter is the less would be the vibration effect. Thus to get an enhanced quality sound prefer buying a heavier platter.
This is one of the vital parts in a turntable which is the extended hand that projects on the record and brings the pin in contact to the vinyl. The tonearm also plays a crucial role in providing consistent speed or sound throughout the circumference of the record. This is the most sophisticated part of the turntable and needs high care while handling.
Though this particular part of a turntable is denoted by a number of names, the stylus is actually the name of the pin that connects on the record to play the music and the case that holds it is the cartridge. This is the only part of the turntable that makes the actual contact with each minute groove on the record, so, never hesitate to spend a little more on selecting a quality cartridge to enjoy some quality music to refresh yourself.
With these specially crafted guidelines, you are sure to feel more confident in concluding your turntable purchase. Remember that you are the best judge for your tastes and preferences. So, never compromise on what your taste demands while the quality product is assured as you follow the above-mentioned guidelines.
- 1 Points to Consider when Buying Turntables.
- 2 10. Pyle PTCD4BT Bluetooth Classic Style Record Player Turntable with CD Player
- 3 9. Victrola VTA-200B Nostalgic Classic 6-In-1 Turntable with Bluetooth
- 4 8. ION Audio Max LP 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers
- 5 7. Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers
- 6 6. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
- 7 5. Crosley CR8005D-TU Cruiser Deluxe Portable 3-Speed Turntable with Bluetooth
- 8 4. Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
- 9 3. Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable with Radio
- 10 2. Victrola VTA-750B Nostalgic Aviator 7-in-1 Turntable Wooden Entertainment Center with Bluetooth
- 11 1. Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable
- 12 How upgraded are the parts?
- 13 USB or Non-USB
- 14 Belt drive or direct drive
- 15 Knowledge about the Basic parts of the Turntable
- 16 Plinth (Base)
- 17 Platter
- 18 Tonearm
- 19 Cartridge/stylus
- 20 Conclusion