Vinyl records have been gaining popularity among music enthusiasts, but you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy analog music’s warm and nostalgic sound.
This article has compiled a list of the 8 best cheap turntables around $200 you can buy in in 2023. Despite their budget-friendly price tags, these turntables offer impressive features and performance to enhance your vinyl listening experience without compromising quality.
1. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
Pros: Fully automatic operation, built-in phono preamp, good sound quality for the price.
Cons: Non-upgradeable cartridge, lack of manual control may limit customization.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is a high-quality, fully-automatic belt-drive turntable, suitable for beginners and casual listeners.
It features an upgraded design for improved audio clarity and a redesigned tonearm base and headshell for better tracking and reduced resonance. With two speeds (33 1/3 and 45 RPM), a built-in phono preamp, and an easily replaceable stylus, it offers a solid, convenient, and cost-effective entry into vinyl playback.
Its sleek and compact design fits into various decor styles, and its easy setup ensures a smooth user experience.
2. Victrola Vintage 3-Speed
Pros: Vintage design aesthetics, built-in stereo speakers, affordable price.
Cons: Sound quality may not satisfy audiophiles, non-upgradeable components.
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player is a versatile, retro-styled turntable with modern features.
Encased in a suitcase-style shell, it’s portable and easy to use. It offers three speeds (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM) to play all types of vinyl records. With built-in Bluetooth, it can wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. It includes built-in stereo speakers, providing decent sound without needing additional equipment.
Its classic aesthetics, combined with contemporary functionalities like an aux-in and headphone jack, make it an appealing option for those seeking a blend of old and new.
3. ION Audio Max LP
Pros: Built-in stereo speakers, headphone output for private listening, simple setup.
Cons: Sound quality may not satisfy audiophiles, non-upgradeable components.
The ION Audio Max LP is a three-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM) belt-drive turntable with a modern, sleek design. Its wooden finish gives it a classy look, while its built-in stereo speakers offer convenient, space-saving audio output.
Besides vinyl records, the ION Audio Max LP has an auxiliary input for connecting other devices. A unique feature is its USB port and included software for converting vinyl records into digital formats.
Its automatic stop feature provides convenience and extends the life of the stylus. It’s an ideal choice for vinyl enthusiasts seeking digitization capabilities.
4. Crosley C6
Pros: Adjustable tonearm, anti-skate control, built-in phono preamp.
Cons: Sound quality may not satisfy audiophiles, some users reported build quality issues.
The Crosley C6 is a two-speed (33 1/3 and 45 RPM) manual belt-drive turntable, marrying vintage charm with modern sound quality.
Its design features a built-in preamp, an adjustable tonearm counterweight for precise tracking, and an Audio-Technica moving magnet cartridge for superior audio fidelity. The turntable has a stylish wooden base in different finishes, giving it a vintage aesthetic.
The C6’s high-quality components, attention to detail, and the ability to switch the built-in preamp on/off for more flexibility make it a solid choice for those wanting to explore the vinyl hobby with a well-made, stylish piece of equipment.
5. Sony PS-LX310BT
Pros: Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming, easy setup, integrated phono preamp.
Cons: Limited manual control, some audiophiles may prefer wired connections.
The Sony PS-LX310BT is a fully automatic Bluetooth turntable for modern music enthusiasts. Its sleek and user-friendly design lets users connect to speakers or headphones wirelessly.
Its built-in Bluetooth technology enables easy pairing with compatible devices, eliminating the need for messy cables. The turntable features a high-quality aluminum tonearm and a stable belt-drive system for precise playback.
Users can choose between 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm speeds to enjoy their vinyl records. The Sony PS-LX310BT offers a convenient and enjoyable way to experience the warm sound of vinyl with contemporary convenience.
6. Fluance RT80
Pros: Impressive sound quality for price, elegant design, Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge is pre-installed as standard.
Cons: does not have an automatic tonearm return and some users may prefer direct drive over belt drive.
The Fluance RT80 is an entry-level turntable with a glossy black finish and an elegant design.
It features a high-density MDF plinth for stability and comes with an Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge pre-installed. While it offers good sound quality for its price range, it lacks automatic operation and has a plastic platter.
The built-in preamp might not satisfy audiophiles and has limited upgrade options. Overall, it’s suitable for beginners and casual vinyl enthusiasts seeking an affordable and visually appealing turntable.
7. Denon DP-29F
Pros: Automatic operation, well-built construction, built-in phono preamp.
Cons: Non-upgradeable cartridge; some users may prefer manual control.
The Denon DP-29F is a fully automatic belt-drive turntable designed for straightforward, effortless vinyl playback. With its compact design, it’s suitable for small spaces.
The built-in phono preamp allows direct connection to amplifiers or powered speakers. The turntable comes with a pre-installed MM cartridge, ensuring decent sound quality.
However, its lightweight construction may lead to some susceptibility to vibrations. While the automatic operation is convenient, audiophiles seeking a more hands-on approach may find it limiting.
The Denon DP-29F is a user-friendly option for beginners and casual vinyl enthusiasts.
8. Uturn Orbit Basic Turntable
Pros: Stunning design & color options; Audio Technica stylus, Consistent tone arm for tracking.
Cons: Non-adjustable tracking force, no anti-skate adjustment, or a built-in phono preamp.
The U-Turn Orbit Basic Turntable is a highly regarded entry-level model that delivers impressive performance and quality.
Its minimalist design includes a precision tonearm and an acrylic platter for excellent sound reproduction. While lacking automatic operation, the manual control adds to the vintage appeal and audiophile experience. It comes with a pre-installed Audio-Technica AT91B cartridge, which produces clear and detailed audio.
However, more advanced features like adjustable tracking force and anti-skate settings are absent. Despite potential upgrade costs, the Orbit Basic remains a cost-effective option for vinyl enthusiasts seeking a solid foundation to start their analog journey with remarkable sound and build quality.
FAQs about Cheap Turntables:
Are cheap turntables worth it for vinyl enthusiasts?
Cheap turntables can be a good starting point for beginners or casual listeners on a budget. They offer a way to enjoy vinyl records without investing heavily, but they may lack advanced features and could compromise on sound quality.
What are the common drawbacks of inexpensive turntables?
Cheap turntables often have lower build quality, lightweight materials that are prone to vibrations, and non-upgradeable components. They may lack a built-in preamp, anti-skate adjustment, and adjustable tracking force, limiting their overall performance and flexibility.
Can I expect decent sound quality from affordable turntables?
While some cheap turntables can provide decent sound quality for casual listening, they might not deliver the same level of fidelity and accuracy as higher-end models. Audiophiles and music enthusiasts seeking superior sound should consider higher-priced options.
Do cheap turntables damage vinyl records?
Poorly built turntables with low-quality components can potentially harm vinyl records over time. The lack of proper isolation and incorrect tracking force might cause excessive wear and reduce the longevity of your vinyl collection.
Should I upgrade to a better turntable in the future?
If you become more severe about vinyl listening and appreciate higher-quality sound, upgrading to a better turntable can significantly enhance your listening experience. Better turntables offer improved build quality, sound reproduction, and features for audiophiles seeking the best performance from their vinyl records.