Best Beginner Turntables

In an age where a tremendous horde of music is just a click away, a good beginner turntable is something that sets you apart from the crowds and is your start to a lifelong journey to the best music listening experience.

Now, if you’re reading this review, then it is very much possible that you’re the type of person that loves life and loves music as much as loving life! This is the story of how a music enthusiast beginner can easily choose the best beginner turntable. So, lets get started!
Product Features Price Where to Buy
Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Turntable Review ✅ Expert's favorite
✅ Good for the conventional record playing
✅ USB function adds extra benefits for modern uses
$$ Amazon
Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable Review ✅ Best value
✅ All in one feature
✅ Touch of class and nostalgia
✅ Perfect for cozy rooms
$ Amazon
Jensen JTA-230 Turntable Review ✅ High-End beginner turntable
✅ Selectable 33, 45 and 78 RPM
✅ Pitch Control
$$$ Amazon
1byone Belt-Drive Turntable Review ✅ Budget choice
✅ Balanced tone arm
✅ Soft damping control
✅ Selectable 33, 45 and 78 RPM
$ Amazon
Jensen JTA-222SE Turntable Review ✅ AM/FM Radio
✅ Built-in speakers
✅ Can play all disk formats
$$ Amazon
1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable Review ✅ Bluetooth & Plug and Play
✅ Compatible with smartphones
✅ Automated lever action
$ Amazon
Sony PSLX300USB Turntable Review ✅ Playback and Convert records in your PC
✅ Automated lever action
✅ Excellent professional grade sound quality
✅ Built-in phono preamp
$$ Amazon

Let’s do a little “Turntable 101”

Boring we know, but knowing the basics will help you to come to a better decision about buying the best beginner record player and why you actually need a record player. In a general sense, it is a record player that plays vinyl disks. Now in order to make sense of why a person would get into turntables, we also need to know what goes into making a vinyl disk.

A vinyl disk is made by cutting “grooves” or patterns into a lacquer disk. These grooves are tiny little waves that are the exact same copy of the sound waves generated from the music source. Which means that the sound that is going to be generated from these records are going to be almost exactly the same way the music was intended to be heard. The quality of music from a vinyl disk is much higher than any CD, DVD, Blu-ray or other digital formats. This is because all digital audio formats are some form of “compressed data”. It is the reason why some sound data gets lost and the final digital music might not be as good as the original record. It’s not bad at all, it’s just not original. In simple terms, vinyl disks have a “higher resolution” of music with a more dynamic range that gives you the best musical experience.

Since music feeds the soul, vinyl disks are the gourmet of the music palate. And that is the reason why you are considering to buy a turntable.

So how does a turntable work?

Turntables simply put are an analog music player. It plays music by reading the grooves on the vinyl disks by the needle at the end of the handle that moves up and down as the vinyl spin. These tiny vibrations make sound and current signals projects these sounds to an audio source like speakers.
Now, in order to play these records, you will obviously need a good turntable. The world’s best turntable will be able to provide the most exquisite sound from these records. But considering you a beginner, more affordable or reasonable approach will be better suited towards your needs. We have carefully compiled a few of the best affordable turntables out there that you can consider as your first turntable.

BRIEF BUYING GUIDE

While looking for turntables, our suggestions will be to keep a couple of things in mind. You should know that turntables have wide arrays of specifications, features, modes, systems and price points. Our suggestion will be to learn it a little bit and select your first turntable with your judgment. Let us show you the factors that should be considered when you are buying a turntable for your desired needs and lifestyle.

Evaluating the Price Point for Beginners Turntable

If you were a seasoned audiophile, you would probably be looking into something with a bit more functionality and character. Which can cost you upwards of $500 to $30,000 or maybe even more? However, since we’re looking for something to get you right in the game of turntables, we would suggest you to start with a budget-friendly option. We would recommend you to not go below $70 and not above $200. Players less than $70 probably will not have all the necessary features and will leave you unsatisfied. On the other hand players over $200 dollars might offer something extra, but might also give you a buyer’s remorse if it turns out that you’re the kind of person that likes the ease of digital music. The difference between a $100 and a $500 is minimal and can only be felt by a seasoned audiophile. After all, turntables do need a little bit of work to get that smooth dynamic music experience.

Considerations for the Specs and Features

Turntables have 3 basic components

I) The lever with the needle, toner and the cartridge. This reads the disks. Should be of a good quality as they do deteriorate over time and needs to be replaced.

II) The driver. The component that actually spins the disk using a motor. The belt driven ones are cherished by the most elite and enthusiastic individuals but can become a hassle. The automatic ones are reversible and hassle-free with a more modern touch, generally sought out by DJ’s and professionals.

III) The revolving table. This needs to be of good quality and aluminum material as it absorbs vibrations from the spinning motor. The best revolving ones are great at eliminating vibrations and you should go for them in a case cleaner sound is your main concern.

The basic variances in different ranges of turntables are in this components. There’s also a matter of disk size modes, disk speed capacity and audio output source and format and switching options. Now if you are planning to get a beginners turntable, you should be looking for something with an automatic driver that has both 33 and 45 RPM disk running capacity and a good quality needle. The perfect beginner turntable should also have modern audio output options like 3.5 mm jacks and RCA output functionality. You should remember that the audio output method of turntables works differently considering the listening devices we normally use. This can result in very dim output current and a very specific amplifier might be required to properly run some turntables. Of course, we will be avoiding these turntables from our beginner’s choices.

What’s the Catch?

The first and foremost practical function of a turntable is to obtain that smooth, high quality, original and wide dynamic sound of music. This high depth quality of sound can only be produced from a turntable. But that’s not the only purpose it serves. Since the old classics were in the form of vinyl you might even consider igniting a hobby of the vinyl collection. And a turntable is just the right thing to fire up an old Beatles track. This will surely bring you back in times of a richer culture.
Moreover, a turntable is a great furniture piece for the engaging conversation starter. It adds a touch of class and character to your lifestyle.

Finally, some turntables also have USB interfaces. With which you convert your old records into a digital format for collection and restoration of memories.

We tested a lot of turntables and these 7 really are remarkable choices for beginner audiophiles. Let’s see which one you like the most.

OUR CHOICES

Audio Technica AT-LP60BK-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

The “Audio Technica AT-LP60BK” is probably the Best Choice for a beginner at below $100 mark. Not only is it the most budget friendly-value wise but it’s also loaded with some essential features.

This is a fully automated operating machine. You can easily convert your vinyl records to digital audio files using the USB interface. It also includes the PC and Mac compatible software required for conversion. It is driven by a fully automatic belt-drive turntable operation with two speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. Moreover, the “Anti-resonance” and die-cast aluminum platter reduces any vibrations made from the spinning of the disks. This includes an Integral Dual Magnet phono- cartridge with the replaceable diamond stylus for some added ease. Probably the most attractive feature for this beginner record player is the built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier with RCA output cables to connect to most common audio systems and other powered speakers. The included cartridge is an AT3600L.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing.
• USB Function: The including USB function adds extra benefits for modern uses.
• Bluetooth: Unfortunately this model does NOT have any Bluetooth capabilities.

Pros: This is the best choice for a budget turntable. Being a bit more priced than others, gives those additional bells and whistles that make the purchase more worthwhile.

Cons: Not having the Bluetooth functionality is a bugger for this model in an age where almost everything seems to runs on Bluetooth devices.

Audio Technica is a trusted brand in the turntable community. From all the carefully evaluated turntables in this list evaluated for their price points and functionality for the beginner audiophile and music lovers, the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK is a piece that really has the daily using allure and accessibility to meet the basic vinyl requirements with its variable output switching capabilities and a belt driven table. The black and silver lining aesthetics also gives the room a classy vibe as well.

Musitrend LP 3-Speed Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers

Want to play multiple record types in one device? Then the “Musitrend LP 3 Speed” is the one you’re looking for at an $80 mark. It is the best choice for value in our list. It comes in a warm vintage wood finish to give you that authentic old school look and feel. The automated arm is also an added feature that puts you at an ease. And being a bang for buck, it also includes a 2 way stereo speaker built-in. A true all in one.

The overall design is based on a nostalgic style with its solid wood finishing and belt driven selectable 33, 45 and 78 RPM speeds settings. And then it surprises you with a 45 rpm adaptor included as well. The built-in stereo speakers, which is an active 2-way stereo system, provides loud and clear sound good enough to fire up that old record right away. With its USB interface and included software you can easily transform audio from vinyl records into MP3 format files for later playback on mobile devices. The arm is perfectly balanced with a push lever to automatically set it down to start the playback. This is surely one of its best features. The clear see-through dust cover is the ultimate design choice that just makes this turntable “complete”. The added “Autostop – ON/OFF switch” will automatically stop the playback when the record finishes playing.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing.
• USB Function: The including USB function adds extra benefits for modern uses.
• Built-In speaker: Includes 2 x 3W built-in dynamic stereo speakers for instant playback.

Pros: The best choice for value with its all in one feature. It practically requires no other work while still adding a touch of class and nostalgia that goes perfectly with your room and furniture.

Cons: Having no Bluetooth functionality is a slight inconvenience, it being an all in one.

Mustrend is a brand that has been satisfying customers for over 10 years. It has a noticeable fan community. The Musitrend LP 3 speed, is a piece that has been meticulously designed for expressing a fully featured classic turntable with all the modern features. It is surely the best-valued choice for a classic and stylish look.

Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable

At below $50 price point, the “Jensen JTA 230” is a very cheap choice on our list. However, it does not come short in any features. It has all the must-have features for any modern day turntable. It will actually surprise you with its features at such a low price. However, if you’re getting into turntables as a showpiece, then this is probably not the greatest choice, as it really does not have good aesthetics and looks. But for a beginner who’s looking for a basic device loaded with features, this just might be the perfect player for you. The built-in speakers will certainly do you one better.

The Jensen is a belt driven 3-speed stereo turntable at 33/45 and 78 RPM modes. It includes the most common auxiliary input jack for connecting any other digital audio players. The USB port included with the cable will connect it to your computer for further music recording projects. The custom software is included for recording, editing and converting your audio Content to MP3 Format as well. The RCA Line-out Jacks are most convenient for just connecting to any bookshelf or other speakers. One of the best features of the Jensen JTA 230 is the “Pitch Control” which can be used for adjusting the record speed of the disks. And it has the common, volume control, tone control, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, auto stop switch. The built-in stereo speaker system means that you can just plug and play any of your records in a jiffy. And the dust cover helps you to just keep it clean. It has a power rating of AC 120V 60Hz.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing.
• USB Function: The including USB function adds extra benefits for modern uses.
• Pitch and Tone Control: Pitch control for adjusting the record speed and tone to your desired liking.

Pros: The Jensen definitely gives you more than the expectation. It literally has almost everything a beginner needs.

Cons: The sound output might not be as dynamic as other higher price choices, but that’s a given at this price point. Moreover, the overall design seems to a bit too sluggish for an enthusiasts taste.

If you are the kind of person that focuses over features than looks, the “Jensen JTA 230” might be your right choice. It really has nothing to complain about.

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable

The brand “1byone” is very renowned for making vintage style turntable that just looks great. That 70’s suitcase style with the turquoise color, really does have that “retro” look and feel to it. For the absolute beginner, if you’re looking for a turntable with a bit of portability and sparking a conversation with your friends, then this is the one, and it even has speakers, inputs and a range of outputs for your convenience.

The built-in speakers are lacking some sound quality, there really is no bass, and the sound quality overall is just moderately acceptable. But a set of external speakers can be used just as easily via the RCA jacks to really enjoy your music. The “1byone” is a belt-driven “Briefcase Turntable”, which is the perfect combination of trendy and retro. It includes 3 speeds, soft damping control, integrated speakers and RCA/AUX-In. The durable PU leather case and an integrated carrying handle is an enticing choice for those with eclectic styles. The “Briefcase Turntable” is portable and ready for whatever journey that you might take. The integrated RCA/AUX-In ports can be connected to your headphones or to your home stereo setup for a personalized experience. To be noted that the RCA cables are not included in the package.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing.
• Dynamic, balanced tone arm with soft damping control: The lever drops the needle softly on the disk
• Selectable 33 / 45 / 78 RPM: speeds settings with included 45-RPM adapter.

Pros: Ultra-portable, lightweight and retro vibes.

Cons: A bit too many cons, as it has no USB and Bluetooth functionality. The speakers really are not that great at all for listening to music.

The turquoise colored “1byone” briefcase is definitely the beginner’s choice for a characterful lifestyle of the retro-esque minded enthusiast. It packs a good punch is a very conveniently small form factor. If you are willing to set it up with some good external speakers, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1byone choice.

Jensen JTA-222SE 3-Speed Stereo Turntable

With a below $40 mark, you really have nothing to lose with the “Jensen JTA-222SE”. This is the cheapest choice for the beginner turntable on our list. However, with its built-in radio tuner feature and black wooden textured surface, you might be having nostalgic flashbacks of visiting your grandparents as a child. The accent design expresses the 1960’s household style.

The “Jensen JTA 222 SE” is designed in an antique wooden case that really is a beautiful tabletop piece for your living space. It’s a bit on the bulky side considering its thickness. The external stereo speakers have nothing to complain about at this price range. Some good speakers are priced at $40, thus making this turntable choice a no-brainer. The output terminal only includes a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. It offers all the 3-speed modes at- 33, 45 and 78 RPM with pitch control to tune the music to your liking. But perhaps the most enticing feature of this piece is the AM/FM stereo receiver. You can tune into your favorite station sit back and relax. To “Top” I all of, the dust cover keeps everything nice and tidy.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing.
• AM/FM Radio: Built-in radio tuner with built-in speakers
• Selectable 33 / 45 / 78 RPM with pitch control: For playing all format of disks

Pros: Cheapest of the bunch. A no-brainer choice for the absolutely every individual. The included radio means you can still use it even if you have no vinyl lying around.

Cons: A bit too thick for size. It has no USB, no RCA outputs and again no Bluetooth.

The “Jensen JTA-222 SE” turntable is one of the lowest priced and affordable record players. It’s recommended as an entry level turntable for people on a low budget. Sound quality is OK for the price but definitely not recommended for later collections. For the beginners choice, it ticks the regular check marks. But this is not really a good choice for playing you expensive rare collections.

1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speaker

At around $150 price mark, this is not only the best turntable in this list but also a pretty good modern day all in one media player as well. This is the most expensive choice on our list. If you’re the type of person that likes to hook up all your devices to your favorite Bluetooth speakers, then this is the turntable for you.

This fully automated “1byone” vintage follows a meticulously conceptualized traditional style – solid wood appearance. From the top to bottom and back to front this piece uniformly follows that classic and original record player style. It offers 3 selectable 33 / 45 / 78 PRM speeds settings as usual. With the added vinyl-to -MP3 Recording software and USB interface, it has the ability to transform audio from vinyl records into mp3 format and save it on your media of choice. It also supports all the common audio output options such as 3.5 mm out and RCA out.

The bottom firing Built-in Full Range Stereo Bluetooth Speakers are an active 2-way crossover system that creates an optimized sound and clarity across all genres of music with the proper bass output ratio. It has both USB in and Bluetooth connectivity. Thus It conforms to all the conventional Bluetooth & Plug and Play features which is compatible with all of your favorite devices (iPhone, Android, Smartphone, Tablet, PC, USB-MP3 Player, etc.) and can be easily played back on this turntable with the onboard controls as well. The volume knob shows the attention to detail on this piece. It is just a perfect accessory to the turntables vintage aesthetics. All in all a balanced blend of modernity and mid-century charm, but with all modern key features.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing with a full automatic operation.
• Bluetooth & Plug and Play – Compatible with all Bluetooth sources and smartphones.
• Automated lever action: The needle arm can be operated with an automated lever action. It also auto-paused the disk when the lever is pulled.

Pros: A complete all in one package. No hassle at the completely reasonable budget.

Cons: Pricier considering as a beginners turntable.

For a beginner, if you are in the market for an all in one solution, one which will not take up much space in the home and one which will let you playback from almost any source, then this is certainly a turntable you should look to consider. While there is better, at this price point and for the functions on offer, the 1byone Bluetooth Turntable is a solid purchase. Besides, you don’t need to be a turntable enthusiast, considering most good Bluetooth speakers can cost upwards of $100. Which makes this turntable a more sound purchase for any musical purpose.

Sony PSLX300USB USB Stereo Turntable

Sony, a brand we all trust and a brand that never fails to satisfy the customers. This beginner’s turntable has the best sound quality from the bunch. If you’re really into feeling that warm smooth sound of music, just go for this one.

The “Sony PSLX300” has a sleek and modern design in a slim form factor. It comes in a very simple 4 button action. It has 2-speed mode settings of 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds. The whole playback is fully automated. Another cool feature is that it comes with a good Sony quality built-in phono preamp to start playing those records right away. The lever arm is a static balanced Tone Arm with a “Diamond Stylus”. The tone-arm operates fully automatic. Which means you can play records with the push of a button, without having to set the needle manually. The table is belt driven. The USB audio output can be used to play vinyl disks via your PC (Windows only) and record them as well. The only analog output this system has is an attached RCA audio cable.

Notable Specs Are

• Drive method: This has the “Belt Drive” method for the conventional record playing with full automatic operation.
• USB interface: Playback and Convert records in your PC (Windows Only).
• Automated lever action: The needle arm can be operated with an automated button push action.

Pros: Excellent professional grade sound quality with awesome bass. Rich and dynamic sound through its built-in phono preamp.

Cons: Very little output options. No Bluetooth capabilities. USB function is limited. Pretty much a standalone record player.

At the end of the day, the “Sony PSLX300” provides the absolutely remarkable sound reproduction from your vinyl records. The cost is a bit higher considering other options with more features like the Audio-Technica LP60, but the sound quality, sleek and clean design actually makes up for it. This is a good choice for the beginner audiophile looking towards a lifelong hobby of vinyl collecting.

CONCLUSION

The only reason as a beginner, you are willing to buy a turntable, is to experience music in a richer form or maybe even experience old music in a new medium. These turntables are the best selection in the current market to engage any beginner in that extravagant musical feeling at any price point. The final decision for choosing a turntable really relies upon your individual taste, preference, and lifestyle. As a beginner, you probably have a few concerns, for which our products listed here focus on providing the novice listener with a great value for the money. These choices reviewed are proven to be the best beginner turntable on the market to buy now and will surely satisfy any individual needs.

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