Best Turntables To Buy In 2018

The nostalgic vinyl, which everyone assumed long gone, is actually going nowhere and is back with a bang. While the world of music underwent a massive change with Spotify and Apple music, the retro vinyl which belonged to a niche audience became conventional.

With major new releases like music albums, movie soundtracks and podcasts being released on vinyl, reputed brands and some new ones have got into producing best turntables. Right from really expensive models with USB connectivity and audio ripping features, to a simple, retro-styled player, there are lots of models to choose from. Check out the comprehensive guide for finding the best vinyl player to enjoy a new musical experience.

See also: Best Android Tablets

Top Best Turntables

Affordable and delivers high performance

Audio Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt Drive Stereo Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK

The Audio Technica AT-LP3BK is a great choice for amateurs who are venturing into the world of best turntables. In the age of internet streaming, if you are skeptical of spending a small fortune on vinyl and players, Audio Technica strikes a fine balance between pricing and delivering high performance without any compromise.

The player is equipped with a fully automatic belt drive which can be tuned to run at 33-1/3 and 45 RPM, based on your requirement. The arm uses hydraulic lift control for precise movement and has a lockable rest. The pure black finish provides it a premium look. It is equipped with multiple pre-amp modes and has a built-in switchable phono/line pre-amp. The setup also includes an attached dual RCA output cable. If you are a serious audiophile, you can remove the universal head-shell to upgrade the cartridge and receive even better sound from the player.

Standout features:

  • The AT91R dual moving magnet is a solid aspect of this product because of its capability to pick out the nuances from different music genres
  • The removable cartridge further sweetens the deal, allowing you to go for an upgrade when needed

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Best turntables with amazing sound output

Rega Planar 2

Rega Planar 2

The primary purpose of opting for a nostalgic device as the turntable is to enjoy the best sound output that impresses you to the core, leaving a lasting impression. The Rega Planar 2 is right on track and is equipped with some of the best hardware components. They are long-lasting and capable of bringing the musical nuances out of a vinyl record.

The Planar 2 uses RB220 tonearm and has a pre-installed carbon MM cartridge. The plinth is laminated with high gloss acrylic material and uses an 11mm self-securing brass bearing. A unique aspect of the product is that it not only produces brilliant sound but is also available in a range of colors, making it the best-designed turntable that you can show off to a group of friends. The music quality cannot be individually rated, as it may vary based on individual taste, yet most users suggest it has an open sounding. The only drawback is that the motor noise is sometimes audible if the dust cover is closed, but it is something you can easily learn to ignore with regular usage.

Standout features: 

  • Works great on a range of music on your vinyl records
  • The build quality is perfect and it is easy to setup

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Durable player with the capability to rip music to your PC

Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable

Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable

Sony has done an impressive job and provided a long list of features that are sure to make even the most demanding users happy. After all, not many best turntables can provide great build quality, impressive music and additional features such as allowing you to rip your favorite music to your PC, to convert them into digital audio files. The Sony PSHX500 is integrated with all these features and there’s more to explore.

The player supports both phono and line output while being able to deliver audio at DSD quality. The robust build quality comes from the integrated shell, and its heavy base allows the cartridge to function properly. The weight balance which improves traceability is excellent. The HX500 when paired with the bundled compatible software,- allows you to rip audio to high-quality files to your PC or Mac. You can edit tracks on both sides of the album and save them in the highest possible quality to listen to them on your smart-phone, tablet or PC.

Standout features:

  • Capable of delivering superior DSD quality audio, making it a true choice for music lovers
  • Allows you to transfer audio files in high quality to your PC or Mac

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Best turntables with wooden finish and audio Technica cartridge

Fluance RT81 High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable

Fluance RT81

The Fluance RT81 is a hardware that has been meticulously designed from the scratch to produce analog audio as the music composer intended. The product is driven by a high fidelity belt and is equipped with AT95E Audio Technica cartridge, capable of producing outstanding musical output. If you have any questions, the tens of amazingly positive reviews from users and critics stand proof to the claim.

The RT81 is the best analog sounding vinyl player you could buy and surprisingly the best turntables are not that expensive right now. The walnut wooden finish is an additional exquisite aspect of the product. The body is separated using isolation feet and has a rubber slip mat to avoid vibrations. Some of the unique features of this product include a robust, stylish design, great sound, replaceable sound and its auto stop feature that improves the life of the needle.

Standout features:

  • One of the best looking turntables that you could buy to accentuate your home or music room setup
  • Offers great value for money with great sound output and long-lasting hardware components

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Cheapest turntable for beginners

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK

Turntables are not for everyone and even if you love the music, you may prefer to have limited features in it, to keep the pricing low. While Audio Technica has lots of expensive and more premium models available, the AP-LP60BK is the cheapest turntable that you can buy any day. The barebones product has two adjustable speeds to choose from, has anti-resonance and has a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier.

The black matte finish and the physical buttons in front of the player will delight analog lovers. The device doesn’t require any large setup. Just place your record on it, set the speed and it will start playing. The belt-drive design helps keep the cost low and also avoids vibrations caused by the motor, thus leading to better musical fidelity. Audio Technica supplies cartridges to other companies as well, confirming the quality of the products they make, and this one is equipped with the company’s proprietary cartridge. The diamond stylus on it can be easily replaced allowing you to make the most out of this budget-friendly record player.

Standout features:

  • Easy operation with basic functionalities and has a replaceable cartridge
  • Affordable, belt-drive design eliminates vibration


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Fully automatic turntable with gorgeous finish and sound

Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

Denon DP-300F

A quick look at the Denon DP-300F will instantly impress you because it looks stylish. While there is a small caveat with the DSN-85 cartridge which is not accurate all the time, it surprisingly manages to produce airy sound. It makes all your songs and soundtracks stand out, leading to a fun listening experience. It doesn’t have a USB port, but the needle’s life is further extended as it automatically retracts once the record is over.

Denon has managed to come up with a product that is rich in performance. While some lack of features may put off serious turntable lovers, for the price and the performance, this is easily an easy pick for you. The player is equipped with all the basic features and it is fully automatic, saving you the task of manually queuing the albums.

Standout features:

  • Fully automatic features. Also, the needle retracts once the record is over
  • Sound quality is great and the design aesthetics is an added benefit

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Premium turntable with high-end hardware

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC

Serious audiophiles may not mind spending more on the best turntables and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC is an ideal choice for such buyers. The premium turntable is equipped with high-end hardware components, capable of bringing the best out of your records. It uses an 8.6-inch carbon tonearm that looks rigid and does not have any wobbling issues or skip music when in use.

The platter size has been made with increased weight to stay stable when in operation, providing better stability for the vinyl records. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC has an increased platter size and is powered by Sorbothane motor suspension while it plays audio using the Ortofon 2M red cartridge. The premium pricing of the product is justified with all these hardware components and it produces equally good sound. Most users are impressed by its music reproduction quality since it retains the original experience of analog music unlike other players.

Standout features:

  • Brings the original nuances of music with its minor flaws which serious audiophiles will love
  • It uses the best hardware components available

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How do you choose the best turntables?

The vinyl record player which used to be a niche has now joined the mainstream market with latest tracks getting released on this analog platform. There are many best turntables available and it will vary based on your requirement and budget because you can always skip additional features to go for an affordable choice. The premium models are best sounding when paired with compatible audio components and you can opt for it if you already have a setup or willing to invest in one. You can rip your music to your PC or simply listen to the analog version with its fine nuances. Whatever your choice is, vinyl turntables are an excellent and exciting choice to enjoy the other side of music.

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