The model comes equipped with a double-layered chassis and a 4-mm metal bottom plate which protects the turntable against undesired vibrations. The aluminium platter and the aluminium die-cast tonearm prevent any of the remaining vibrations from affecting the sound, so the musical signal remains pure and untouched.
The rotation speed slows down after some time.
The Pioneer PL-30-K is a clear example of the absolute best that the world of turntables has to offer in terms of sound quality. We can wholeheartedly recommend you to drop a few extra pounds if you wish to experience your favourite tunes the way they were meant to be.
A plastic case and a dust cover
Audio Technica MM (Moving Magnet) cartridge
Records sizes: 7", 12"
Speed: 33 1/3, 45 RPM
Speed button, Start/Stop button, Size select lever, Adapter for EP record
Stereo RCA audio out, AC IN terminal
43 x 11 x 37 cm
A 24v synchronous AC motor comes with an entirely new Printed Circuit Board and an aluminium pulley that reduce the vibration transfer, produce far less noise, and deliver a much better speed stability. This vinyl player also includes a 23-mm, higher mass, phenolic platter that features an upgraded flywheel effect.
The model tends to accumulate dust due to the lack of a proper cover case.
The Rega RG-Planar-1-BK is the kind of vinyl record player that you can easily recommend to any of your friends that can appreciate a contemporary design and tend to value a clear and stable music signal.
A shiny plastic case with non-slip feet
Rega Carbon cartridge
Records sizes: 7", 12"
Speed: 33 1/3, 45 RPM
On/Off Switch, Speed change through the belt drive
Stereo RCA audio out
19 x 51 x 42 cm
lifetime warranty against manufacture defects
The turntable is capable of handling 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch records at three different speeds, including 33, 45, and a whopping 78 rotations per minute. You will be able to play these compact singles using the 45 adapter that is included in the package.
The stylus needle can sometimes scratch the record.
The Crosley CR6019A-BR could arguably be described as the best portable turntable. And even if you do not care about mobility, this versatile and flexible device will certainly present a few features that would prove to be worthy of your attention.
Executive Briefcase Style
Diamond Stylus Needle
Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"
Speed: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM
On/Off button, Volume control, Speed button
Headphone jack, Auxiliary input and output jack, USB enabled for connection with PC and Mac
30 x 35 x 12 cm
Sporting a traditional look with a solid wood appearance, this vintage style record player has that mid-century charm that will be able to class up any interior. With vinyl-to-MP3 recording function, you will be able to effortlessly transform audio from vinyl records into MP3 format files.
The stereo speakers are relatively quiet compared to the analogue sound.
The 1byone 471UK-0002 is a record player with Bluetooth that will easily be able to attract some of the more old-school crowd but will also satisfy a younger audience thanks to a number of inputs and modern solutions that make this retro player a piece of high-end technology.
Classical Turntable Design: solid wood appearance, dust cover
Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"
Speed: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM
Speed button, Size select button, Power & Volume control, Function control
Bluetooth, 3.5 mm audio input, RCA Line-Out
43 x 35 x 15 cm
The device boasts a couple of dynamic built-in stereo speakers, an auxiliary input for your mobile device and home stereo systems, a 3.5mm headphone jack if you feel like listening to some of your favourite artists in private, and an RCA output that could prove useful for some of the older devices out there.
The stylus tends to bounce off after a few hours of use, thus reducing the quality of sound.
This model is, without a doubt, the best budget turntable out there. It is a mobile solution that will allow you to connect any device you want, record mp3 music from a vinyl record, and take it with you wherever you go.
Portable Suitcase Design: wooden cabinet with PU leather wrapping
Records sizes: 7", 10", 12"
Speed: 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM
Digital mode button, Skip Foward button, Play/Pause Delete button, Skip Back button, Speed Switch, Power & Volume control
Bluetooth, RCA output, Headphone jack 3.5 mm, USB, SD/MMC
What Is a Turntable?
Clear sound has always been crucial for all judges of good music. For this reason, turntables are returning to the stage of popular audio players. While one chooses this device for its more natural and analogue sounding, the others enjoy the process of a record playing. After all, it is impossible to mistake anything for the record rotation sound and specific creaking between songs. Moreover, it is the quality of the sound that makes this type of music players worth production even despite its high costs. In view of this, many current record companies release their albums on vinyl. In this review, five best models are represented in order to simplify the selection process so you could become one of the happiest owners of a record player.
For those who want to improve the sounding of their TV-sets with the help of a portable audio system, we advise paying attention to soundbars. And if you are a big fan of music and listen to it everywhere, you might find a perfect mp3 player in our selection.
What Features to Compare
The design is always essential when choosing a record player since music players are appreciated not only for their functions but also for being a part of the interior. Undoubtedly, wooden turntables are more appealing compared to their alternative, however, as a rule, they are more expensive. Turntables are the part of a sound system and if you want to save your money on buying additional equipment there are options with built-in speakers and sound amplifier. The cover, on the other hand, is one of the most important parts since it protects your device from dust when it isn't used. The size is also essential as it will be a pity to purchase a record player and find out that there isn't enough space for it. And don't forget to choose the drive type. Many audiophiles prefer a belt drive motor because it absorbs engine vibration and provides smoother sounding. On the opposite, most DJs will select direct drive motor as it holds the replay speed perfectly and allows scratching.
The operating convenience will depend on the features of a record playing and its operating capabilities. First of all, you will need to choose between automatic and semi-automatic principle of operation. On an automatic device, the tonearm will be placed on a record and the playback will start automatically. This type of turntable is great for a novice user. With the semi-automatic device, you will have to place the tonearm on a record manually. Next, a record format will be another good criterion for selection as you can select a turntable based on your collection of records. And finally, the clearness of vinyl sounding will depend on the quality of the stylus (or needle). With frequent use, these parts may wear off but you can always purchase replacements, just check which type is used.
Functions, Control, Connectivity
Modern vinyl players are not limited to just vinyl records. Radio, cassette, CD player and many more can be very useful additions. As far as the convenience of use goes, it won't be a waste to check player control, key parts, and formalities.
Since vinyl players are often a part of the whole sound system, you should also check connection possibilities. The audio output allows you to connect external audio devices to intensify the sound. And if you are interested in digitizing your records, look for the models with a USB port to connect your PC directly.
Leave It to Pioneer
While a turntable is obviously a very specific piece of music technology, there's something that the absolute majority of them share in terms of customer experience and the aforementioned device is no exception to this phenomenon. To put it in simpler terms, this unwritten rule states that if what you want is the absolute best that the music industry has to offer in terms of technology and equipment, you should probably look towards Pioneer. The company in question isn't just one of the oldest and biggest manufacturers of consumer electronics in general and musical instruments in particular but is also one of the more respected business enterprises renowned for designing and developing some of the best recorders, players, and different kinds of DJ equipment.
This Pioneer turntable doesn't just follow in its predecessor's footsteps but actually one-ups most of them, especially as far as the quality of sound goes. The model was clearly designed with a specific purpose in mind: to extract every possible bit of information which lies in the grooves of analogue records, all with the purpose of securing and delivering the most exceptional musical experience. In order to do that, a few internal elements had to lend the overall model a helping hand. The first one is an exchangeable high-quality Audio Technica Moving Magnet cartridge. This exceptional transducer forms a minuscule electromagnetic generator that allows it to follow the groove more faithfully while requiring far less tracking force. And since it is an exchangeable model, you can always upgrade the cartridge wherever you want.
Vibrations Shall Not Pass
As some of you are probably aware, one of the biggest factors that differentiate the sound of a great turntable compared to an average one is the device's ability to remove or minimise vibrations. The problem with the latter is that, unless they're eliminated, the vibrations will be picked up by the needle and the cantilever, which will, in turn, corrupt the mechanics of the cartridge, reducing the quality of the sound.
This Pioneer turntable refuses to have anything in common with all that jazz, which is why it comes equipped with a double-layered chassis and a 4-mm metal bottom plate. Both of these elements do an exceptional job protecting the turntable against undesired vibrations. On top of that, the aluminium platter and the aluminium die-cast tonearm prevent any of the remaining vibrations from affecting the sound, so the musical signal remains pure and untouched. Heck, even the 5-mm thick rubber mat located on top of the platter is there in order to stop vibrations.
Another thing that separates this vinyl record player from the rest of the competition is the built-in phono pre-amplifier. This impressive tool utilises high-quality capacitors in the signal path, with the latter securing the best musical performance imaginable. On top of that, this phono pre-amplifier also grants the user the ability to connect this model directly to essentially any amplifier, AV-Receiver, or compact system.
The last aspect we would like to talk about and the remaining unique quality that cements the title of the best turntable to this product is the fully automatic operation principle. What that means is the tonearm will be placed precisely on top of the very first grooves of the record and will then be slowly but surely lowered to start the music. Once the record is finished playing, the tonearm will automatically return to its base. So, without wasting any more of your time, we can definitely come to the conclusion that the Pioneer PL-30-K is a clear example of the absolute best that the world of turntables has to offer in terms of sound quality. If music to you isn't just something you use to fill in the silent background, we can wholeheartedly recommend you to drop a few extra pounds if you wish to experience your favourite tunes the way they were meant to be experienced.
A Contemporary Classic
Turntables aren't necessarily television sets or smartphones, in a sense that these devices don't have a single thing in common with the latter in terms of popularity. There's a very specific target audience for these pieces of technology and, not unlike the majority of similar situations out there, this already limited group of people tends to split between different camps, with some valuing one aspect over the other, and with certain individuals sticking to particular companies, design elements, or sound solutions. Satisfying all of these people is next to impossible and even attracting the attention of most of them is quite a task in itself. But if there's any device that comes close to achieving that goal, it would definitely have to be the Rega RG-Planar-1-BK.
People that have been around the world of vinyl turntables for quite some time now would certainly be able to recognise the name of this model thanks to the rather famous previous iteration of this device. However, although the RP1 was an impressive player in itself, the Planar 1 could be described as an entirely new gadget compared to its ancestor, with the only things remaining untouched being the drive belt, a sub platter, and a dust cover. First of all, the new model incorporates an entirely new RB110 tonearm built with the latest Rega zero play bearings featuring an ultra-low friction performance. On top of that, it also includes a new bias assembly and integrated arm clip. The said bias adjusts automatically, thus completely eliminating the need for the user to set the bias on his own. All in all, this has got to be one of the most "Plug and Play" vinyl turntables that Rega ever had the pleasure of producing.
Stable Music Signal
Although what we have on our hands is still, technically speaking, an entry-level turntable, that didn't stop the manufacturer from implementing a 24v motor. This synchronous AC motor comes with an entirely new Printed Circuit Board and an aluminium pulley that reduce the vibration transfer, produce far less noise, and deliver a much better speed stability. However, the improvements to the previously mentioned speed stability do not stop there, since this vinyl player also includes a 23-mm, higher mass, phenolic platter that features an upgraded flywheel effect responsible for securing a steady and reliable music signal. The last aspect of sound quality worth mentioning is the factory fitted Rega Carbon cartridge that is easy to set up, install, and, above all else, outstanding when it comes to accurately reproducing music.
As far as the looks go, the model clearly does not intend to trail behind either, featuring an entirely new thermoset, gloss laminated plinth with an incredibly stylish and improved appearance sporting a remarkable modern design and a new ergonomically positioned on/off switch located on the underside. The only real downside to this contemporary look is the lack of casing, so, even despite the presence of a dust cover, the model still tends to collect the said dust. But, other than that, the Rega RG-Planar-1-BK is the kind of vinyl record player that you can easily recommend to any of your friends that appreciate a contemporary design and value a clear and stable music signal.
A Jack of All Trades
The title of a jack of all trades, master of none can certainly have a bit of a negative connotation, despite the fact that the bigger not-so-underlying theme of this expression is obviously more that of a compliment than an insult. Consequently, this is exactly the kind of mindset we want you to have going into this review, because this Crosley turntable is, by all means, a jack of all trades in the most positive sense of the word.
To start with, we would first like to talk about the design and the entire exterior of this model. With 30 centimetres in length, 35 in width, and 12 of them in height, this is one of the most compact solutions on the turntable market. And given the item's weight of slightly above 3 kilograms, you can easily pick up this suitcase and take it with you to whatever your next destination may be. By the way, calling this model a suitcase was not a typo or some sort of a clerical error since this product rocks a sharp executive briefcase style that will make you look like a dapper gentleman from the 1960s going on a business trip across the country. However, despite this seemingly orthodox look, this is a highly technological model that is capable of synergising with your computer and pulling music from vinyl records into MP3 files through a USB port. Regardless if you are a Mac user or if you have a regular PC, you'll be able to connect this portable vinyl turntable easily and effortlessly.
Master of Some
As we have already hinted at, the model is one of the more flexible options out there, which is why it shouldn't come as a surprise that it is capable of handling 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch records at three different speeds, including 33, 45, and a whopping 78 rotations per minute. You will be able to play these compact singles using the 45 adapter that is included in the package. All it takes is a single twist of a knob and you'll be able to change the speed and the tone.
Without a doubt, one of the more interesting features of this Crosley executive USB portable turntable is the fact that it comes equipped with twin stereo speakers located at each side of the suitcase, which will be perfect for an intimate space or to share your favourite music with a close group of friends. And if you were to take a look at the back of this device, you'll be able to find a myriad of RCA connectors, including a headphone jack and an auxiliary input and output jacks that will let you hook up any type of speaker and escape the noise and other types of distractions of the outside world. And if we add the price of this item into the equation, we could safely arrive at the conclusion that the Crosley CR6019A-BR could arguably be described as the best portable turntable. And even if you do not care about mobility, this versatile and flexible device will certainly present a few features that will prove to be worthy of your attention.
Relive Your Childhood
Vinyl record players often hold a particularly special case in many people's hearts, especially when it comes to those individuals that grew up with them, thus associating these pieces of vintage technology with their childhood. And just because you can't turn the time and bring the days of your childhood back doesn't mean that you can't revive some of these memories and relive the best moments of your youth. All you have to do is purchase the 1byone 471UK-0002 and you will be able to experience that happy nostalgic feeling of listening to your favourite music on vinyl over and over again.
Without beating around the bush, we can definitely say that the model in question is a retro turntable. Sporting that traditional look with a solid wood appearance, this vintage style record player has that mid-century charm that will be able to class up any interior. Even if you're not a huge fan of vinyl, we could honestly suggest anyone look into this model simply as a lavish accessory that could easily impress any of your guests and make your apartment seem so much more sophisticated and refined. With 43 x 35 x 15 centimetres in overall dimensions, it will occupy just the perfect amount of space in order to attract some deserved attention without taking away too much room. And thanks to a reliable dust cover, you won't have to worry about the longevity of this vintage player.
Youngsters Are Welcome Too
While this particular device obviously pays homage to that old school record player style, you shouldn't get too discouraged if you are part of the newer generation that didn't grow up with one of these in your house. Sure, the model may look the part, but it is actually quite a high-end piece of technology that anyone will be able to appreciate, regardless of their age. With vinyl-to-MP3 recording function, you will be able to effortlessly transform audio from vinyl records into MP3 format files for later playback on your mobile devices anytime, anywhere.
Furthermore, this product features built-in full range stereo speakers, a 3.5-mm audio input, and an RCA Line-Out, so you shouldn't have any troubles trying to connect this device to any type of external speaker. And if you don't feel like messing around with cords and cables, the developers have you covered with a built-in Bluetooth that is capable of converting this elegant piece of technology into a wired speaker. All you have to do is just connect your smartphone to this Bluetooth turntable and you shall have the opportunity to experience your favourite music through a much better sound source. Of course, if you do not care for all of this latest technological gizmo, you can always play 7", 10", and 12-inch records at three drastically different speeds. The operation principle when it comes to playing the aforementioned recording is semi-automatic, utilising a stylus needle in order to deliver the kind of sound quality one comes to expect from a vinyl player. So, in case we haven't made ourselves clear yet, the 1byone 471UK-0002 is a record player with Bluetooth that will easily be able to attract some of the more old-school crowd but will also satisfy a younger audience thanks to a number of inputs and modern solutions that make this retro player a piece of high-end technology.
An Elegant Travel Buddy
It's no secret that a turntable is a rather particular device for a large variety of obvious reasons. But if there's one more thing that'd make it even more extraordinary compared to the majority of different kinds of products out there, it would have to be that these devices are essentially one of those rare cases when it comes to technologies where the look is just as important as the performance aspect itself, if not more so. Although the quality of sound and other characteristics are obviously important, nobody is going to purchase a turntable that looks plain bad and uninspiring.
Well, the MUSITREND USB is absolutely no slouch when it comes to the look department, sporting that portable suitcase design that appears classy and professional at the same time. The wooden cabinet adds just a touch of retro and the PU leather wrapping compliments the entire thing, providing a sense of elegance and splendour. But, we aren't necessarily sure if this undoubtedly impressive design is the biggest selling point of this vinyl player since it absolutely refuses to trail behind in terms of mobility and versatility. While it is up for debate whether this is the best portable turntable out there, with a built-in rechargeable 2100mA battery, a Bluetooth connection, and a convenient suitcase design, we can guarantee that you won't face any challenges having with this debonair piece of music technology as your travelling companion.
Record Your Music
In terms of the aforementioned versatility, aside from the Bluetooth connection that we have already talked about, the model also boasts a couple of dynamic built-in stereo speakers, an auxiliary input for your smartphone or a home stereo system, a 3.5-mm headphone jack if you feel like listening to some of your favourite artists in private, avoiding the possibility of being distracted by any uninvited outside noise, and an RCA output that could prove useful for some of the older devices out there. On top of that, it is also capable of recording high-quality MP3 music from a vinyl record to an SD card or via USB for later playback on your computer and different kinds of mobile devices.
Other than that, this vinyl turntable is capable of playing 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch records at the same 3 speeds that you will be able to find in the majority of vinyl players out there, with 33, 45, and 78 possible rotations per minute. Furthermore, you will also receive a manual in English and one replacement stylus needle. And if you're still not convinced whether this device is going to be right up your alley, let it be known that this is also one of the cheapest options you could possibly find on the market. So, without wasting any more of your time, the MUSITREND USB is without a doubt the best budget turntable out there. It is a mobile solution that will allow you to connect any device you want, record mp3 music from a vinyl record, and take it with you wherever you go.
Did you know?
The Name Itself
Play Your Music Creatively
Q: Which is better, a direct drive or a belt drive?
A: Although both these systems are adequate there is a difference between them. While a direct drive motor is attached to the platter without a belt thereby providing a better torque which will be an advantage for DJs, a belt drive motor is connected to the platter with a rubber belt, therefore absorbing any vibration. Compared to the belt drive the direct one is noisier since it contacts the platter. However, after some time the belt will need a replacement, although this process is neither difficult nor expensive.
A: Well, they differ mostly in a number of manipulations with a turntable. Working with manual devices you have to move a tonearm over the record by hand, while in automatic ones it moves on its own when switched on. Manual turntables have fewer parts thus providing smoother playing and causing less vibration. At the same time, a novice user or a DJ is more likely to choose automatic devices as they require much fewer movements and turn on with a single button.
A: The main purpose of a phono preamplifier is to enhance the volume of your turntable since the signal passed by the stylus is not very loud. In other words, turntables broadcast phono output signals that need to be transformed to a line level signal (AUX signal) to work with headphones or speakers. There are built-in pre-amps in some turntables. But don’t worry if there isn’t any since you can purchase them easily, even those of the higher quality are fairly affordable.
A: Not everyone knows that this option is available and that you, in fact, can upgrade some parts of your device. You can usually add/change slipmats, a cartridge, a belt (if you own a belt drive turntable), and a tonearm. If you are ready to invest money into your equipment in the future and make the sounding better you should consider a turntable that supports upgrading.
A: First of all, you should keep your equipment in a good condition. Even if there is a built-in dust cover on your turntable don’t forget to clean it and your records regularly. You can always purchase specialized tools and cleaning solutions in a shop or online. And remember to replace the removable parts when they wear out.
1. How to Choose a Turntable, wikiHow.
2. Dave Bar Turntable buying guide How to choose the right vinyl record player, Crutchfield. December 7, 2016.
3. A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Turntable, The Art of Manliness. November 9, 2012.
4. Steve Guttenberg How to buy a turntable, CNET. September 22, 2012.
5. Andy Betts 6 Things You Must Know When Buying a Vinyl Turntable, MakeUseOf. November 11, 2015.
6. Denis Gallagher Vinyl revival, Choice. August 27, 2015.
7. Brad Larson How to Buy a Turntable, Technology Articles. December 16, 2013.
8. Paul Scarpelli Turntable Buying Guideline, Audioholics. February 25, 2016.
9. Chris Woodford Record players and phonographs, Explain that Stuff. July 30, 2016.