If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best record player money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. Buying a record player nowadays isn’t as easy as you may think. That’s the reason we have gathered a lot of info in regards to the best vinyl record players that can be found on the market today. We did our research by looking at thousands and thousand of models, as well as owner feedback, expert review sites, and even social media activity. What’s more, we analyzed the overall brand quality and did our best to estimate the value offered for the price of each unit. After all this research, we’ve come to the conclusion that the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is the absolute best product on the line. The player comes with all the features one might ever be looking for, and its fully automatic operation has been praised in countless user reviews. Besides, it’s among the most popular products we’ve found, but that should not surprise you considering its specs. It’s also worth noting that this unit is remarkably affordable and has an outstanding value to cost ratio. Since sometimes it is difficult to get this exact model, perhaps you’d like to check out the second best unit in the category, the Electrohome Archer EANOS300.
Your favorite artist’s music ultimately sounds better on a newly-minted 200-gram LP than on a sleek compact disc or DVD. Avid collectors of vinyl records agree that music infinitely sounds more profound on a record player than on the latest model of DVD or CD player. This is why the best record player reviews still enjoy a wide audience in the modern world.
Digital listening can seem a bit more casual, compared to vinyl record listening that takes a more involved approach, from dusting off the record to putting it on the turntable and listening to the audible thump of the tonearm shortly before the music is played. The sentimentality of the lyrics becomes deeper and more committed to memory, proving more poignant and bittersweet as the music progresses. This is exactly why people never tire of searching for the best rated record player available on the market.
A turntable spins a vinyl LP at a constant rate, enabling the listener to catch the tiniest nuances in the recording. It can have either a belt-drive or direct drive system. Belt-drive systems units have their motor mounted off to the side, with the platter connected to the motor and spun by it via an elastic belt. Direct drive units have the motor directly under the record player’s platter. Many of the best rated products that are patronized by professional DJs are direct drive units due to the highly consistent speed they provide for accurate sound reproduction with reduced flutter and wow. Their relatively simple design also ensures a good level of reliability.
Other important features
Manual turntables allow start of playback to whatever part of the record you want to be played. The convenience offered by automatic units is what attracts buyers to them. Phono amplification may be internal or external. Most audio systems used to carry the needed circuitry for amplification. Today’s receivers however lack the required inputs for connection to a turntable. Built-in phono preamps are simple and provide the best value for the money for a record player. Outboard or external preamp can rival that value with their better sound quality.
If you’re thinking of the perfect gift for Christmas, get a product with a good-quality phono cartridge. A moving magnet cartridge provides good value for the price, compatibility with a wide range of receivers and amplifiers, and good performance. A built-in USB port would be useful for transferring music from records to the PC for conversion to mp3 format.
The platter has to weigh considerably enough to keep the speed constant and to shield the record from the vibration of the motor to ensure high-fidelity playback. Speed variation or wow and flutter has to be low so the turntable is able to spin the platter at a precise level.
Score the best Black Friday deals on units with a high signal-to-noise ratio. This ensures the right level of background noise that can be expected from the machine for a given music signal level. This means there is more music compared to noise.
Make sure the proper rotation speed is available for the records you want to enjoy on your audio equipment. Most products offer 33 1/3 and 45 RPM capability. But if you own rare 78 RPM vinyl records, check that the product you get also offers this speed. In conclusion, the best record player 2018 has to have the elements presented in this buying guide.
Things to consider:
- High signal-to-noise ratio, preferably higher than 70dBA, to ensure exceptional music enjoyment quality
- Heavy-enough platter weight to keep spinning speed constant and at the right levels
- Rotation speed that’s a match to the record to be played, for optimum sound enjoyment
- Ample provisions for phono amplification, whether external or internal, to ensure optimum playback performance, and convenient conversion to mp3 format using a computer and via a built-in USB port
Top Rated Record Players in 2018
This is the best product on the market because it’s very easy to use and requires little to no intervention on the part of the user. It’s beautifully designed and affordable enough to fit the budget of many buyers in the United States.
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 performs very well, as emphasized by the many positive ratings it has acquired in this sense. Since it’s fully automatic, owners have only to press the Start button and place the record in its position in order for the unit to start functioning. With other models, the user had to go through the hassle of placing the needle on the surface of the record. Sometimes, this is a rather risky thing to do, as there have been cases where users have scratched their vinyls by accident.
While the Audio Technica AT-LP60 might not be able to play music from other audio players or smartphones, it does take the cake in regards to connectivity. It comes with all the cables one might require for the unit to work with multiple systems or speakers.
As previously discussed, this is among the most affordable models we’ve come across, as it can often be bought for as little as one hundred dollars. Of course, it depends on the marketplace you choose for your purchase.
Some users claim that the finish doesn’t seem all that high-quality, but other owners contradict this and state that the looks of the finish are by no means a deal-breaker.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)
This model is the second best product out there because it’s stylish and incredibly versatile and convenient. It works with all audio devices a user might ever own and is very easy to handle and maintain. It might be worth noting that it’s among the most elegant and classic vinyl players on the market today.
Since it comes with its own carrying case, some might say that the Electrohome Archer EANOS300 is the best portable record player out there. Aside from the breathtakingly beautiful design, you might want to consider that this unit is truly versatile. For one, it can play MP3 files via the USB port or the 3.5mm auxiliary input of any audio player. Also, it does a great job when it comes to connecting to iPhones and Android mobile phones, so you’ll be able to use it as a regular music player.
Another advantage of taking this product into account is that it comes with built-in speakers. It’s true that they might not even compare to the cutting-edge audio systems that can be linked to the record player, but in terms of audio performance, the model manages to impress its owners. The wood acoustic cabinet sure does its job regarding sound quality.
If you’re looking to take your record player on the road, this might be the best option you have on your hands, as its case has been specially designed to be taken on the go.
The flimsiness of the tone arm has been pointed out by some reviewers.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.97)
The Jensen JTA-230 3-Speed Stereo Turntable is a popular choice for the best record player 2018 thanks to its ability to play vinyl records at three speeds: 33; 45; and 78. It is a belt-driven turntable, so the belt serves as a shock absorber that isolates the platter from noise and vibration generated by the motor for less noise transmitted through the tonearm and audio system. You can connect your music player, iPod or other portable digital audio device. You can employ the USB cable and software that come in the package to encode from the record player or auxiliary line in straight to your computer. The Jensen JTA-230 has RCA Line-out Jacks for easy connection to your choice of device. It has Pitch Control for adjusting the Record Speed, plus Volume Control, Tone Control, Power Indicator that allow accurate sound reproduction and customization.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($48.54)
This belt-driven portable turntable with NP6 needle works hard to deliver accurate sound playback. With the belt acting as an effective shock absorber, less vibration and noise are generated from the motor to the platter and the tonearm, making great sound come from the audio system. The manual return tone arm enables you to start playback at whatever section of the record, so you can skip the parts you don’t like and listen to those that you genuinely love. The Crosley CR8005A-TU Cruiser Portable Turntable plays three speeds for optimum record listening enjoyment: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records. It has dynamic full range stereo speakers of maximum audio enjoyment. It comes with RCA and headphone jack outputs for connectivity and to enable private listening.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
The Pyle Home PNGTT1R Classic Horn Phonograph/Turntable carries the classic design of the original Edison phonograph and combines it with modern day’s silicon-based technology to create a one-of-a-kind and state-of-the-art audio equipment. Two built-in bass/mid-range speakers combine with the working horn to offer a full range of sound without need for extra hardware. The horn actually amplifies and defines the audio quality aside from giving the unit extra charm. The record player has a 3.5-mm aux in port so you can connect your portable device or music player for convenient music playing. You can also do data transfer through the USB cable, turning your favorite vinyl records into digital music via the supplied computer software. Built-in speakers offer sound that readily fills the room.
Click to see the price on Amazon!