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best turntables

The Best Turntables in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Record players are currently making a real comeback and are once again in vogue. Our team reviewed numerous tests on the Internet to create a best list that includes ratings for weight, USB connection, features, sound quality and much more.

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers

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Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

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Vinyl Record Player Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Speakers

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1byone Wireless Turntable HiFi System with 36 Watt Bookshelf Speakers

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Crosley C100 Belt-Drive Turntable with S-Shaped Tone Arm

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Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center

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Record Player, VOKSUN Vintage Turntable 3-Speed Bluetooth Vinyl Player LP Record Player

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Turntables - The New Trend

Vinyl / turntables are back and slowly re-establishing themselves on the market. We have compiled the best vinyls. There is a huge selection players on the current market with many extra features. You can even get a wireless Bluetooth turntable if you want to stream your vinyl selections.

As interest in vinyl has boomed, cheap models have flooded the market. Many all-in-one vinyl systems can be bought for less than US$100. However, you should be very careful here, cheap devices can damage your records. As tempting as some of the cheap players may be, it’s worth paying a little more for better build quality and quality sound.

We will tell you everything you need to know about new trends and popular vinyl brands below. This will help you make a good buying decision.

Turntables - Yesterday & Today

The turntable is a classic way to enjoy music. The devices look back on a long history. After all, the machines have accompanied mankind for a long time.

We clarify about when the practical devices were created. In the process, we also provide information about technological changes. Thus, you will learn about the current connections with which today’s record players are equipped.

The technology of the record player has changed significantly over the centuries. We explain how today’s models work. In the process, you will learn what drives the current devices are equipped with.

In addition, we inform you about how old record treasures can be transferred into the digital age. We also explain the special quality of the sound, which many users of a record player do not want to miss.

The current turntables are manufactured, among others, by well-known companies that almost everyone knows. For example, the renowned Japanese technology company Sony offers several record players. The well-known Panasonic Corporation even produces record players with their Technics devices, which enjoy a particularly good reputation. However, such machines cost at least several hundred dollars.

Other devices are much cheaper. They are often manufactured by smaller German companies, which in this way can place a cheap alternative on the market. We clarify about the different companies that produce record players. When buying a turntable, you should not only pay attention to the design and workmanship. After all, the current models are equipped with different drives.

In addition, not all devices have a USB port that can be used to digitize the records. Therefore, we inform what those who want to purchase a record player must consider. There you will find an important tip that will allow you to purchase the desired turntable at a very special price.

The History Of The Turntables

The history of the record player begins long before the actual invention. After all, decades before the first mechanical record player, there were already various inventors who were concerned with the idea of scanning a record with a needle to produce a sound.

One engineer who was also concerned with tones, needles and sound was the American entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison. He not only contributed electrification to major American cities, but also designed a machine that preceded the record player.

Edison’s phonograph was a “talking machine”, which the famous inventor registered as a patent on December 24, 1877. The user of the phonograph could speak into an opening. The sounds were transferred to a rotating cylinder by means of an arm. The sounds recorded in this way could be played back again with the arm.

Each recording was unique, and a copy could not yet be made with the “speaking machine.” The phonograph was therefore not suitable for the mass market. The phonograph was more of a technical gimmick that anticipated the record.

Therefore, the invention probably inspired another engineer to develop another machine. This inventor was born in Hanover in 1851. From there, however, the young Emil Berliner was drawn to America. The growing academic worked as a bottle washer during the day, and at night Emil Berliner studied at the Cooper Institute. In his spare time, he conceived various inventions, many of which have already been forgotten.

Nevertheless, his efforts paid off. From 1870, the engineer achieved some prosperity. This enabled Emil Berliner to travel the world. Eventually, the travel-loving engineer set up a laboratory in Berlin.


The inventor’s most famous machine was created there. Emil Berliner filed a patent in 1887 describing a sound carrier and a playing machine. It was a disc-shaped sound carrier whose scribed grooves were intended to preserve the recording. The patent also included a playback device. This was the classic gramophone, which was already delighting numerous people with music just a few years later.

Emil Berliner referred to his musical discs in his native language: the successful engineer called his sound carriers “records.” The first players still had to be operated with a hand crank. The ingenious idea was copied by numerous companies.

By the end of World War I, thousands of mechanical gramophones had been produced. From 1920 on, the first devices equipped with a motor came out. At the same time, the recording possibilities were improved. Thus, the lucky owners of a gramophone had access to an increasingly comprehensive range of records.

Further development of the turntables

Over time, only devices equipped with motors and other aids were offered. These electronic gramophones were henceforth called record players.

At the beginning of the thirties, the modern record players had won out over the classic gramophones.

The record players of that time played records made of shellac. In the thirties, the golden age of this record material dawned. The records were pressed in unimaginable numbers.

Some titles were distributed in millions of copies. Even today, shellac records can be found at flea markets or antique shops.

However, shellac records were much heavier and more prone to breakage than today’s records, which are made of a different material. Modern records have been made for more than 40 years from vinyl, which was invented in the 60s of the last century.

Modern vinyl panels

The novel material made unimagined listening pleasures possible. Finally, a stereo signal could be pressed into the extremely smooth and break-resistant surface of the vinyl records. The previous shellac records could only reproduce monotonous mono, because the material did not allow any other quality.

With the new vinyl records, a significant increase in sound quality was achieved, which contributed to the further triumph of records and players. Until the 1980s, records were almost the only way to enjoy high-quality music. It was not until the compact disc (CD) that the record culture, which had flourished until then, came to an abrupt end.

For a while, it was even questionable whether the record player and the record would survive at all. However, there were always music lovers who liked the crackling sound of a record. They insisted that the record was much more likely to provide musical enjoyment. In addition, disc jockeys used the records.

In some subcultures, the record player even became an indispensable companion. For instance, numerous hip hop tracks were created with modern turntables that were connected with the help of a mixer.

Due to the demand, turntables never completely disappeared from the market. Today, numerous manufacturers offer such devices. The numbers prove that the record player is still in demand. For example, in 2005 alone, about 100,000 record players were sold. Industry experts report that sales figures have been rising for years.

A large number of musicians also offer their current albums in a vinyl record version, which are pressed in much smaller runs. These albums are particularly sought after by some fans. Certainly, the record player will continue to be produced and sold in the years to come. So there is no end in sight for the record story. The black records are likely to continue spinning in numerous households for decades to come.

How does a turntable work?

In a record player, the grooves of the record are scanned by a needle made of either diamond, metal or sapphire. The vibrations of the needle, which are generated when the record is scanned, are converted in the record player. The weak vibrations are transformed into electrical currents that must be equalized and amplified before an audible result is produced.

The sensitive needle is located on a tone arm, which is often balanced by a counterweight. However, some units also have an adjustable spring that keeps the arm balanced. Basically, current models can be operated at two different speeds.

Today’s devices can play records at a speed of 33 or 45 revolutions per minute. Sometimes even playback of older shellac records is possible, which must rotate at even faster speeds to provide an appealing listening experience.

Turntable drive

Today’s turntables also differ in different types of drives. There are models with

  • direct-,
  • belt and
  • with friction drive.

The different drives have not only historical reasons. Some drive types were designed for special purposes. For example, the models driven by a direct drive were originally developed for use in discotheques.

In these turntables, the axis of the platter is also the axis of the drive. Thus, the energy generated by the motor is transferred directly to the turntable.

This type of drive results in the required record speed being reached in seconds. The devices are therefore suitable for scratching, for example. Therefore, these special turntables are appreciated above all by DJs who like to use this musical technique.

In addition to the direct drive, there are also turntables that are driven with the help of a belt. In this case, the energy of the motor is transferred to the turntable with the help of a rubber belt.

Turntables equipped with a friction drive use a rubber wheel to transfer the energy of the motor to the turntable. The last two types of drive are intended to provide particularly smooth playback of records.

Many turntables can be connected to a computer with a simple cable. Numerous devices have a USB input. This makes it easy to transfer the rare records to the computer. The resulting audio data can be transferred to other devices. This way, the old records even get onto the MP3 player or smartphone.

How Are Turntables Tested?

We have tested five different turntables. In our tests, we used the turntables with different records. Among other things, we tested which sound quality is achieved with the respective device. We tested numerous other factors. This allowed us to rank the different turntables. We discovered advantages and disadvantages. After careful weighing, we created a tabular order of the tested devices.

On the first place we find the comparison test winner. It is the device that convinced us the most. In second place is another turntable that offers excellent performance despite its low price. It is our price line winner. The other places are followed by other models that also managed to convince us for the most part.

In our series of tests, we checked the packaging of the devices, among other things. The turntables that were packed particularly securely achieved a better result in this category.

Accessories and manual
We also checked the included accessories. We then read through the manual of the turntable under review. The devices that come with detailed instructions convinced us the most.

The appearance of the respective turntable was another factor that went into our comparison result. The devices that stood out with a well thought out design were rated better by us.

We also paid attention to the technical data. We were particularly impressed by devices that are equipped with all the necessary connections.

For all turntables tested, we examined how easy the devices were to operate. The devices that are characterized by intuitive and easy handling were ranked more positively by us.

Usability with a computer
Some turntables come with programs that can be used to digitize the records. We also tested these programs. The ease of use during digitizing was also included in our comparison result.

We also checked how smoothly the record runs on the turntable. We also tested whether older, corrugated records were played by the respective machine. The machines that also played such records without skipping and scratching noises were rated by better than the machines that had problems doing so.

After our test, we weighed the advantages and any disadvantages of using each machine. After that, we came up with our conclusion and final ranking of the turntables. The sound experience was always in the foreground. The turntables that provided musical pleasures during our test series landed on the top places.

Tips For Your Turntable

If you want to buy a record player, you should pay attention to the serious differences between individual models. Some devices have their own small speakers.

These devices are so light that they can be easily moved to another location. Other devices do not have their own speakers.

Instead, these turntables have other connections that can be used to permanently preserve the sound of the records. They are equipped with a USB port that connects the device directly to the computer. Those who only want to listen to records can already be satisfied with a simple device. Other users should pay attention to the connections.

DJs need different turntables than the users who only reach for the record player from time to time. The different requirements are satisfied with a wide variety of models that are available on the market.

The individual turntables differ significantly. Some devices are mainly processed stainless steel. Other models are mainly made of plastic.

Not all drive types are suitable for all purposes. If you want to quickly change records, you need a device that is equipped with a direct drive. For simpler purposes, a model that is operated with a belt drive is also sufficient.

Before making a purchase decision, reports explaining such factors will help. A great help can be the testimonials written by other users of the turntables. With our product reviews, we also want to provide assistance that will help you make a purchase decision.

Meanwhile, the record player is no longer only offered in specialty stores. The current models are offered among other things in the large electronic stores. Sometimes even the classical retail trade offers a record player. Then the record player can be found next to cheese and sausage in the supermarket.

In both cases, the devices are often somewhat more expensive. After all, expensive delivery, personnel and transport costs are added to the final price. So many record players are a bit more expensive there than at other points of sale.

Thus, the record players in various web stores are often sold to the consumer at a much lower price. After all, there are no additional costs here. Thus, in many cases, the record player is somewhat cheaper. The ordered device is also delivered directly to your home. This saves you from stressful shopping in confusing stores. You can even save cash in the process. With a little luck, you may even find a bargain that is easy on the wallet.

5/5 - (7 votes)

Last product update on 2022-06-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate