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10 Best Turntables (Record Players) from $100 to $1000

10 Best Turntables

In this guide, I have picked the very best turntables and record players between $100 and $1000.

You can get a decent turntable for as low as $100. My budget recommendation below has impressed me every time I have tested it. $100 to $300 is a decent budget for a turntable if you are just starting out.

The very best midrange turntables cost from $300 to $600. This is a good price range if you want a good sounding turntable that can be your trusted vinyl companion for decades. I have included some very good picks below. Turntables that are considered the very best in their class.

If you have $700 or more to spend, we start to enter the audiophile price spectrum. Turntables with the ability to reproduce music with very high fidelity. I have included two great options for you if you want to spend this kind of money on a turntable.

I do not recommend that you buy a turntable or record player that cost significantly less than $100. For many reasons. I explain why in more detail towards the end.

Here they are. 10 great turntables from $100 to $1000.

1. Rega Planar 1

Best turntable overall

Rega Planar 1

If you are looking for a great all-round turntable that sounds good, looks elegant, and feels very expensive and well-built, then the Rega Planar 1 is my top recommendation.

Rega is one of the highest respected turntable manufacturer in the world. They have made award-winning turntables since the 1970s. And the Rega Planar 1 is their most affordable and best-selling model.

The Rega Planar 1 is a traditional purist turntable. It doesn’t come with digital features like USB and Bluetooth. What you get here is great sound, elegant design and great build-quality. Not flashy features.

Personally, I don’t think there is another turntable brand that can match the combination of great sound and elegant design that Rega offers. Their turntables simply look and feel more expensive than their competitors’.

Click here to check price on Amazon (Rega Planar 1)

The Rega Planar 1 is also available in a version that includes a preamp. The Rega Planar 1 Plus.

The Rega Planar 1 Plus combines the award-winning Rega Planar 1 turntable with the award-winning Rega Fono Mini A2D preamp into a package that costs significantly less than buying the components separately.

With a built-in preamp, you won’t need a separate preamp, or a receiver with a preamp built-in.

Click here to check price on Amazon (Rega Planar 1 Plus)

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveBelt
PreampOptional
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgeRega Carbon

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X

Best budget turntable

If you are just starting out with vinyl or just don’t want to spend too much on a turntable, then the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is my top budget recommendation for you.

The AT-LP60X is probably the most popular entry-level turntable on the market right now, and it has probably got more positive reviews than any other turntable. Even Hi-Fi critics tend to love this little machine.

As opposed to many other cheap turntables and record players, it is well built and doesn’t have a reputation for destroying records.

The AT-LP60X is fully automatic and very easy to set-up and use. With a push of a button, the turntable starts and places the needle at the beginning of the record. When the record ends, it automatically return the tonearm and shuts off.

I have used my AT-LP60X for several sound tests and comparisons against more expensive turntables which you can read about on this site. In those tests, the AT-LP60X has simply impressed me every single time.

For the money, it sounds very good.

You can read my full AT-LP60XBT review here.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

AT-LP60X can also be had with Bluetooth functionality. This allows you to connect it wirelessly to wireless headphones or wireless speakers. You will have to spend a bit more if you want the Bluetooth version, so it is not the optimal choice if you are on a tight budget. I have included the Bluetooth version further down the list.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationAutomatic
DriveBelt
PreampYes
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgeATN3600L

3. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)

Best runner-up

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC) is one of the most popular and highest regarded midrange turntables on the market.

It is known to sound fantastic for the money. And it looks quite elegant.

I have still put it as a runner-up for best turntable overall, because I don’t think it can fully match the elegant look and expensive feel of the Rega Planar 1. It is close, but not fully there.

The benefits of choosing a Project Debut Carbon (DC) over a Rega Planar 1 are, however, a slightly lower price and a slightly better cartridge as standard. Sound-wise, it will probably match the Rega Planar 1 with stock cartridges.

It comes with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge as standard. It is a cartridge that costs about $100 to buy separately. It is very rare to find such a high-quality cartridge on a turntable in this price range. Together with the highly appreciated carbon tonearm, it makes for a wonderful sounding turntable.

The Debut Carbon is a traditional purist turntable. In its standard version it doesn’t come with features like built-in preamp, USB or Bluetooth. With is exactly what many vinyl enthusiasts look for. A purist turntable that focuses on sound and feel, not on flashy features.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveBelt
PreampNo
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgeOrtofon 2M Red

4. Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT

Best under $150

This is the Bluetooth version of the amazing AT-LP60X that we reviewed as our best budget turntable earlier.

This is the same great turntable as the standard version, only with Bluetooth functionality added to the package.

With Bluetooth, you can listen to vinyl wirelessly with wireless headphones and wireless Bluetooth speakers.

To learn more about Bluetooth turntables, check out our What is a Bluetooth​ Turntable and How to Connect It article.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationAutomatic
DriveBelt
PreampYes
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothYes
USBNo
CartridgeATN3600L

5. Sony PS-LX310BT

Best under $200

If you are looking for an affordable turntable that also has a traditional turntable design, then the Sony PS-LX310BT is your best option in our opinion.

It looks very elegant, feature Bluetooth as standard and is known to sound very good for its price. And it probably doesn’t hurt that it is built to the quality standards of one of the leading electronics manufacturers in the world.

It is fully automatic, so you only have to push a button, and the turntable automatically places the tonearm at the beginning of the record. When the record ends, it automatically returns the tonearm and shuts off. Very easy to use.

When the leading Hi-Fi publication What Hi-Fi tested the Sony PS-LX310BT, they said that it has a surprisingly musical sound and that it is one of the best turntables they have heard in this class. And gave it a top score. Five out of five stars.

I think this is the best turntable you can buy in this price range. It scores high on sound, design, features and quality. What more can we ask for?

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationAutomatic
DriveBelt
PreampYes
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothYes
USBNo
CartridgeMM

6. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

Best under $300

If you are looking for a great affordable turntable with DJ capability and lots of features, then the AT-LP120XUSB is probably the one to buy.

It is super-popular and has a huge following in the vinyl community. It was the first turntable I bought when I got back into vinyl records a while back.

It is a DJ style turntable that mimics the legendary Technics 1200 which is the go-to turntable for many of the world’s most known DJs.

Its robust direct drive makes it great to use for scratching, and it has all the important DJ features like pitch control and reverse play.

Straight out of the box I was really impressed with how solid and well built the LP120 felt. It is a heavy beast that feels totally over-engineered for its price.

It comes with USB functionality to rip records, but doesn’t feature Bluetooth. That can however be fixed with a Bluetooth adapter.

It is direct-drive, manually operated and plays 33, 45 and 78 RPM records. And it has a built-in preamp.

The AT-LP120XUSB can very easily be upgraded with a cartridge upgrade since it has a removable headshell. It offers plug and play cartridge upgradeability.

In short, this is an impressive package. It easy to understand why it is so popular.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveDirect
PreampYes
Speed33, 45 and 78 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBYes
CartridgeAT95E

7. U-Turn Orbit Plus

Best Under $400

Designed and manufactured in Massachusetts by authentic turntable enthusiasts, the U-Turn Orbit Plus has become a huge success since it was launched in 2012. It is well reviewed by Hi-Fi critics and owners.

For a midrange turntable, it offers the perfect balance between price, performance, and design in my opinion.

It has a clean and elegant look, plays 33 and 45 RPM records and offers very high-value for money. Especially if you live in the US, where it sells for a very competitive price.

If you want a very good, but still affordable puristic turntable to start out with, you will not go wrong with the U-Turn Orbit Plus.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

The Orbit Plus is also available with their great Pluto preamp built-in. The U-Turn Orbit Plus with preamp.

With a built-in preamp, you won’t need a separate preamp, or a receiver with a preamp built-in.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveBelt
PreampOptional
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgeOrtofon OM5E 

8. Audio-Technica AT-LP5

Best under $500

Another great midrange turntable that naturally deserves a spot on this list is the Audio-Technica AT-LP5.

It is a great direct-drive alternative to the belt-drive Rega Planar 1 and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon if you looking for a great turntable in that $400 to $500 price range.

Being direct-drive, there is no belt that will wear out and needs replacement down the line.

The AT-LP5 comes with a preamp built-in, USB functionality and a AT95EX cartridge which is specially designed to match the AT-LP5’s tonearm.

It is know to be a well-built and well engineered turntable that has a lively and musical presentation. It simply sounds great. And it might be Audio-Technica’s most elegant looking turntable.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveDirect
PreampYes
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBYes
CartridgeAT95EX

9. Rega Planar 2

Best under $750

At this price point, we are starting to approach the audiophile turntable segment. And the Rega Planar 2 might be the cheapest audiophile-rated tunable on the market.

I use a Rega Planar 2 as my current reference turntable. And I love it. It looks amazing, sounds great and feels very expensive. And it should. It is a Rega.

It is something Rega does that make their products feel more expensive than their competitors’ products. They have a higher level of attention to details.

What do you get extra when choosing a Rega Planar 2 over the more affordable Rega Planar 1 that holds the number one spot on this list?

Here are the main differences between the Planar 1 and the Planar 2.

  • The Planar 1 has a plastic platter while the Planar 2 has a glass platter
  • The Planar 1 comes with the RB110 tonearm while the Planar 2 comes with a more sophisticated RB220 tonearm
  • The Planar 1 can be bought with a built-in phono preamp (Rega Planar 1 Plus) while there is no option for a built-in preamp for the Planar 2

The Raga Planar 2 is another purist turntable and can’t be had with features like built-in preamp, USB or Bluetooth. Which is exactly what we want at this price point. The focus is on great sound, elegant design and great build-quality. Not a long list of features.

I love my Rega Planar 2 and it is a turntable that I very confidently recommend to dedicated vinyl spinners. Even my crazy audiophile friends with $5,000 turntables are a bit impressed with how it performs.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveBelt
PreampNo
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgeRega Carbon

10. Pro-Ject X1

Best under $1000

In hard competition with the Rega Planar 2 that we reviewed above, I believe that the Pro-Ject X1 is the best turntable under $1000.

The Pro-Ject X1 is a heavily upgraded iteration of the Pro-Ject one, which is the original Pro-Ject turntable that started the brand in the early 1990s.

Pro-Ject’s goal with the X1 is to design a turntable that is as affordable as possible without significantly compromise on quality of any core parts.

In other words, make an affordable audiophile turntable.

It features a new, heavy, non-resonant Acryl platter, a super-stiff Carbon/Alu sandwich construction tonearm and a Pick it S2 MM cartridge that is designed by Ortofon to perfectly match the X1 turntable.

It is a traditional purist turntable that is designed to make your vinyl records sound fantastic and create the music listening emotions we are looking for. And it doesn’t include a single flashy feature that doesn’t contribute to that goal.

The Pro-Ject X1 is handmade in Europe and has received very good reviews by Hi-Fi critics.

Click here to check price on Amazon.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

OperationManual
DriveBelt
PreampNo
Speed33 and 45 RPM
BluetoothNo
USBNo
CartridgePick it S2 MM

Conclusion

The 10 Best Turntables from $100 to $1000 are:

  1. Rega Planar 1
  2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
  3. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)
  4. Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT
  5. Sony PS-LX310BT
  6. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
  7. U-Turn Orbit Plus
  8. Audio-Technica AT-LP5
  9. Rega Planar 2
  10. Pro-Ject X1

What about more expensive turntables?

If you are ready to spend more than $1000 on a turntable, then check out our Best Audiophile Turntables article.

What about cheap all-in-one record players?

Vinyl Restart doesn’t recommend buying the absolute cheapest and cutest-looking all-in-one record players.

The problem with them is that they can hurt both your ears and your records.

These cheap all-in-one record players do unfortunately have a reputation for destroying records (worst case), they are built with very low quality parts, and the tiny speakers that are built into the cabinet don’t produce sound of decent quality.

They definitely have their place in the market, and we have all the respect for vinyl spinners that enjoy them. But it is hard to put them on a list of top recommended turntables as they aren’t genuine quality products.

If you want to get into vinyl records as cheaply as possible, then I encourage you to check out our Best Way To Play Vinyl Records On A Budget article.

What about preamp? Do you need one?

If you choose one of the turntables above that isn’t available with preamp, then you will need a separate phono preamp.

Except for if you have a receiver or powered speakers that features a built-in preamp (PHONO input).

Check out our Do I Need a Preamp for My Turntable article to learn more about preamps.

We also have a 10 Best Phono Preamps from $10 to $500 article that can help you pick the one that best suits your needs.

FAQ

Can I connect a turntable directly to speakers?

You can connect a turntable directly to speakers if the speakers are powered.

Powered speakers have the amplifier built-in.

But a turntable cannot drive traditional passive speakers. With passive speakers, you will need an amplifier or receiver between the turntable and the speakers.

To connect a turntable directly to powered speakers, you must make sure that there is a preamp included in the turntable or in the speakers.

If you consider powered speakers, feel free to check out our 10 Best Powered Speakers for Turntables guide to choose the best ones.

What do I need with my turntable?

If you choose a turntable with built-in preamp, then you only need powered speakers and you are ready to spin vinyl.

A turntable connected directly to powered speakers is the simplest and most affordable vinyl setup.

There are however many ways to configure a vinyl playing stereo. The ‘audiophile’ way is to have the turntable, preamp, amplifier and speakers as separate components.

Every vinyl setup needs four components to work.

  1. Turntable
  2. Preamp
  3. Amplifier
  4. Speakers

These components can be separate or bundled together in various combinations.

What is direct drive?

On a direct drive turntable, the motor is mounted directly under the platter and connects directly to the platter.

What is belt drive?

On a belt drive turntable, the motor is mounted to the side of the platter and drives the platter through a rubber belt.

What is manual operation?

On a manual turntable, you have to manually place the tonearm at the beginning of the record and manually return the tonearm when the record is over.

What is automatic operation?

An automatic turntable automatically places the tonearm at the beginning of the record and automatically returns the tonearm when the record is over.

What is a phono cartridge?

A phono cartridge is the device that sits on the far end of the tonearm and contains the stylus (needle). When the stylus reads the grooves in the record, the cartridge transforms the tiny vibrations into an electrical signal that represents the music that is carved into the record.

What is Bluetooth turntable?

A Bluetooth turntable can play records wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones. It is a regular turntable that includes Bluetooth functionality as an extra feature.

Recourses

Rega Research

Audio-Technica

Sony

Pro-Ject Audio

U-Turn Audio