Best Turntable: Top Full Guide 2020

Best Turntable

The best turntables in 2020 are drastically improved compared to the clunky old systems you might find gathering dust in your attic.

Over the past few years, we’ve been reviewing the best record players you can buy. We’re happy to report these are all genuinely modern devices, which come in a wide range of styles and sizes –whether you like the classic look of record players from the past or you’re only interested in the most modern aesthetic.

Many of these devices also come with modern features, such as Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. With a USB output, you can record all of the LPs you already own directly to your computer. This brings a bonus of allowing you to listen to your vinyl wherever you are.

That means if you’re a music lover and you can’t get enough of the warm sound of vinyl, it’s time to pick one of the best turntables from this list they’re a must-have for your at-home audio setup. Let Colorfy show you more selection in this guide.

Greatest Turntable in 2020

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

Dimensions: 450.0 mm (17.72″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 157.0 mm (6.1″) H | Motor: Direct drive | Platter: Die-cast aluminum | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm | Stylus: AT95E

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality for the price
  • Great for newbies and pros alike

Cons:

  • Plastic build
  • Mediocre USB output

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is an excellent introductory turntable for any budding vinyl enthusiast, with an easy setup that won’t take all the fun out of spinning your records.

Out of the box, it features the ability to play 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM, which means there will never be an album you can’t play. There’s also a built-in phono preamp, so you never have to worry about finding one on your own.

New record collectors will love the easy setup and features. In contrast, more vetted users will love the option to dial in the vertical tracking angle, tracking force, and easily replaceable headshell. Sure, it looks like a Technics SL-1200 ripoff, but it’s entirely worth it at a fraction of the price.

The AT-LP120-USB also comes with a USB output that allows you to record your record collection. To put it simply, this record player strikes the perfect balance of ease of use for beginners while still including some more advanced features for you to grow into.

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60

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: Yes | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: ATN3600

Pros:

  • Fully automatic
  • Excellent value

Cons:

  • Can’t replace the cartridge
  • Passable sound

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on the best turntable in the world, and you’re not worried about squeezing every last drop of fidelity from your LPs, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 is a perfect starting point.

It’s portable, can play most vinyl, and is the most inexpensive turntable we have on this list. This turntable is also totally automatic, meaning it’ll queue a record and return the arm to resting position without requiring a manual lever.

The only caveat with a turntable this cheap is that it won’t grow with you as your vinyl collection expands. The built-in phono preamp means you’re stuck with it. However, you can replace the needle once it wears out.

While there are cheaper, poorly engineered turntables on the market, it’s not worth it, as you risk damaging your precious records with poorly aligned and improperly weighted tonearms. Vinyl is expensive, so we recommend the AT-LP60 for beginners just looking to get started.

3. Rega Planar 3

Price: $945|Type: Belt Drive|Speeds: 33⅓, 45 RPM|Cartridge Included: No|Phono Preamp Included: Yes

Pros:

  • Great build with a sound that is both realistic and immensely fun.

Cons:

  • Needs careful tuning and positioning before use.

4. Sony PS-LX310BT

Price: $198|Type: Belt Drive|Speeds: 33⅓, 45 RPM|Cartridge Included: Yes|Phono Preamp Included: Yes

Pros:

  • Simple Bluetooth and automatic operation make this turntable a dream to use.

Cons:

  • Better-sounding alternatives at this price point.

It’s crazy to ask if Bluetooth still isn’t ubiquitous in the turntable world—especially when you consider how well the Sony PS-LX310BT does it. Pairing takes seconds, and it means you can listen to vinyl through wireless headphones or a wireless speaker.

Bluetooth audio can sometimes sound a little tinny and stripped-down, but that’s not a problem here. The audio is crisp and clean, and the PS-LX310BT is incredibly simple to use we’d compare it favorably with the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X, above so simple it practically runs itself.

One thing we can’t get away from is that while the PS-LX310BT provides a superb wireless experience, there are better-sounding alternatives at this price point.

The top-ranked Audio-Technica AT-LP120, for example, only costs around $30 more but is light years ahead in sound. Even the $179 Crosley C6, below, arguably sounds better.

Neither of those models is wireless, and no model on this list does wireless quite as well as the PS-LX310BT, but it’s far from the best-sounding model here.

5. Victrola Vintage

Price: $60|Type: Belt Drive|Speeds: 33⅓, 45, 78 RPM|Cartridge Included: Yes|Phono Preamp Included: No

Pros:

  • Portable design with a handy Bluetooth connection, and funky looks.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not that subtle

6. Technics SL 1500c

Dimensions: 453 x 169 x 372mm (W x D x H) | Motor: Direct drive | Platter: Aluminum diecast | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm | Stylus: N/A

Pros:

  • Bomb-proof build quality
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Remarkable clarity

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not that subtle

Meet the budget-friendly Technics SL-1500C that will only set you back £899 / $999 / AU$2499. It’s still not the most affordable turntable on the market, but it’s first the reborn Technics has so far delivered to remind listeners of what they loved about the brand in the first place.

Sound-staging is impressive, with recordings given plenty of elbow-room for individual instruments to make their presence felt. There are depth and height to the Technics’ stage and width, but despite all this breathing-room, there’s no lack of unity to the sound the SL-1500C record player delivers.

7. Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable

Dimensions: 17.12” x 14.48” x 5.47”; (W x D x H) | Motor: Direct drive | Platter: Polyoxymethylene | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: Elliptical

Pros:

  • Hi-res aptX HD wireless streaming
  • Simple to set up
  • Built to last

Cons:

  • Not the last word in dynamism

$1700 / £1500 (around AU$2750) for a record player is expensive no matter the brand, and it’s Cambridge’s most expensive-ever turntable by a mile. But it’s uniquely specified and intends to deliver all the many and various advantages of the vinyl format with very few compromises.

The fact it’s able to stream wirelessly to a 24bit/48kHz aptX HD standard makes it number one in one field. No other record player from any better-established brand in this sort of market – Rega, or Clearaudio – can come close to this convenience level.

Final thought

If you’re starting, you probably don’t need to be fooling around with an elaborate turntable with an adjustable vertical tracking angle, anti-skate, and azimuth. You may even want a turntable that connects to your speaker wirelessly over Bluetooth. Do you want to rip your vinyl to your digital library? If so, look for a turntable with a USB output and reliable software to get the job done. Colorfy hopes that our guide can help you know more about Turntable. 

Best Turntable FAQs

Is there a difference between a turntable and a record player?

In its basest form, a turntable is simply a significant component of a record player. It is the part of the player that holds the record and spins it. … In this sense of the word, a turntable is similar to a record player, except it does not come with built-in speakers or an amplifier.

Are vintage turntables better?

The only reason to suggest that an older turntable might sound better is that it will add some more distortion to the records or not track them as well, which you might find pleasing for nostalgic reasons. … The best way to make your vinyl sound as good as it can is to take care of it

Should I buy a vintage turntable or new?

Fact 1: Old Turntables are Cheaper Than New Turntables. The presence of the matter is that old turntables are almost certainly sonically better than new ones for the price. There are, of course, exceptions, with turntables with a cult following fetching outrageous prices on eBay.

Rega built their name making class-leading (and expensive) turntables, so it’s a pleasant surprise that their new Planar 3 is relatively affordable. For a turntable under $1,000 to sound this good is unheard of.

The audio quality pulls off a smart trick, managing to sound both realistic and clean while never losing its sense of fun.

It’s a much more enjoyable turntable than the somewhat stuffy $1,700 Cambridge Audio Alva TT, below. It also helps that the Planar 3 is built like a tank, with a design that matches the price tag. All in all, it’s a superb high-end turntable.

One thing you need to be prepared for is the setup. Like all high-end turntables, you’ll need to spend a little time balancing the tonearm and setting the tracking weight. For some reason, the Planar 3 can be very demanding here, meaning there’ll be extra time spent on the setup.

Even changing speeds requires manually moving the belt! The sound is rewarding, but if you like your turntables to be plug-and-play, it may be worth checking out options like the Music Hall MMF-5.3.

While the model we’ve listed here comes without a cartridge, there’s an option to add an Elys 2 cartridge to the package elsewhere on Amazon. It’s around $200 more expensive, but it will super-size the sound.

VIDEO: Best Turntable of 2020

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