Record players have been around for a long time. Generally speaking, record players are the devices that are used to play vinyl records. They have been around for a long time butthey are still preferred by some of those who grew up listening to vinyl records. Vinyl records comprise only a small part of the overall music business but the trend is definitely on the rise.
Record players almost disappeared once, due to advances in technology used for listening to music, but they’re slowly coming back and, this time around, it looks like they’re here to stay. The number of companies producing record players is also slowly on the rise. These modern generation record players aren’t simply turntables that can only play vinyl records.
Granted, there are record players specifically designed for vinyl records, but to have more options for playing music, it would probably be wise to go with record players that also have some modern day features, like Bluetooth connectivity, AUX input, USB ports, the ability to encode vinyl records into MP3 files and much more.
Each record player is different from the others in terms of design, features, build quality and price. The number of record players available on the market is huge, so choosing the single best product becomes much harder than it needs to be. Therefore, we have chosen some tips for you on
How to Choose a Quality Record Player
The first step to choosing the best record player for you is making your mind up about the design you want. You’ll be surprised to see the number of options available, which is only going to make your choice harder. You could go for bulky retro designs, vintage classics or a modern looking turntable with lots of ports.
Choosing the Drive
Belt drives or direct drives are the two options you have when purchasing record player. Belt drives are mostly seen in vintage players, where the motor is placed alongside the platter attached to the electric belt.
The direct drive is found in newer models, where the motor is placed beneath the platter. If you’re a DJ or wannabe, you want the latter model as it allows you to rotate the platter backwards with your hand, thus causing additional sound effects. But other than that, you could go with a turntable featuring either of the two drives.
The term manual means you’ll need to apply manual effort to play records. Manual record players require you to place the tone-arm onto the record and turn it off manually. There are also semi-automatic players, in which the tone-arm automatically lowers but requires you to turn it off yourself.
Automatic record players on the other hand, are much more convenient. You simply place a record on the platter and push a button. The tone-arm will lower itself at the right spot, and even return to its resting position once the music is over.
If you want that vintage feel, you should choose a manual record player. But, if convenience is your priority, automatic are the ones to go for.
Types Of Records
Mainly, there are three types of records: 33s, 45s and 78s. Simply speaking, these numbers indicate the time required by a record to spin. You will want a record player that is able to play these records.
As mentioned earlier, vinyl record players aren’t limited to just playing vinyl records anymore. Even if you’re just looking to play vinyl records, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra features. Bluetooth connectivity, USB/SD interface, and the like are some of the features of modern vinyl players. But, whether or not you need them is a different question.
Let’s put it this way, if you’re looking to transfer vinyl records onto your computer, then it’s good to have the USB/SD interface. Also, if you want to use the speakers in the player to play music from your phone or mobile devices, you also need Bluetooth connectivity.
It all comes down to how much you can afford to spend on the player you want. The price range varies from under 100 bucks to around $1000. So, before going in to place your order, be certain about what you want and do not go overboard. It’s obvious that with higher price comes quality, but if you spend a bit more time in research, you might just find a bargain.
|1byone Belt Driven Bluetooth Turntable||$$||4 / 5|
|Electrohome Winston Vinyl Record Player 3-in-1||$$||4.4 / 5|
|Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable||$$||4 / 5|
|TechPlay Turntable||$||4.6 / 5|
|Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player||$$$||4 / 5|
|Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers||$||4 / 5|
|Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, Black||$$||4.3 / 5|
|ION Audio Max LP – 3-Speed Belt Drive Turntable with Built-In Speakers (Natural Wood)||$$||4.1 / 5|
|Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver||$$$||4.5 / 5|
|Gadhouse Brad Vintage Record Player 3-speed Turntable||$$$||4.3 / 5|
While many people think that vinyl records and record players are a thing of the past, they might be surprised to find that vinyl still comprises a small part of overall music sales. Over the years, collectors have been able to add to their record collections by shopping in vintage or thrift stores.
Some have had collections handed down to them from family members. And, there are those enthusiasts who thoroughly believe that vinyl records are the only way to listen to music due to the quality of the sound that is produced.
Record players now come in a variety of models to complement your decor. These attractive conversation pieces are fully functional and play vinyl discs, an excellent option for listening to LP collections and your favorite oldies. Improved technology provides for the best possible sound and performance.
Whether you prefer a simple turntable, or a more elaborate system, there is something for every record-playing enthusiast. What you’ll find in this guide is a detailed description of 5 of the top record players currently available.
- Traditional style with the look of solid wood
- Plug-and-Play Bluetooth
- Record from Vinyl to MP3
- Built-in stereo speakers with full range sound
- Adjustable speed settings for 33/44/78 RPM
- Dust cover
- Attractive 1960s retro style
- Syncs up well with Bluetooth devices
- Plays vinyl records very well without skipping
- Dust cover protects contents for easier maintenance
- USB recording quality only at 160 kbpsk
- Humming sound in between recorded tracks
- Tone arm does not automatically return to bed at end of record
- Speaker quality could be better
The 1ByOne turntable has an attractive vintage appearance and does a fairly good job of playing any LP that is in playable condition. There are no reported issues with the speed of the turntable when switching from one mode to another.
One of the most useful features is its ability to record from LP to MP3 for preserving the contents of old records into a more permanent format.
There are a few drawbacks noted for this unit that indicate it could use a few extra features such as automatic return of the tone arm and enhancing the sound quality for the speakers.
While the hum in between tracks is irritating for some, others find it to be charming and they look forward to hearing the crackle as it is reminiscent of the vintage models of record players. Overall, it gets a rating of 3.9 out of a possible 5 which lands it firmly in the top 5.
- 3 in 1 turntable record player
- Built-in speakers with sound enhancing all wood acoustic cabinet
- Diamond tipped ceramic needle for better playing performance
- AM/FM radio
- CD player
- Auxiliary input for smartphones, MP3 players and tablets.
- Stylish and attractive vintage decor
- AM/FM radio has good reception and clear sound
- Automatic return when the record has ended
- Accommodates smart devices
- Limited bass response and high treble sound
- Small dial for AM/FM radio makes it hard to tune into stations
- The turntable in many units is loose and jiggles around
- Unit is not solid wood it is covered with veneer
This product gets a 4.4 out of a possible 5-star rating. It comes packed with some great features such as the automatic return when the record ends, aux input for smart devices, AM/FM radio and CD player. It is a versatile system that has a lot to offer if you are looking for the ability to play vinyl records and more. Easily switch between modes including records, radio or plugging in an auxiliary device.
There are some issues with the stability of the turntable which do not seem to affect its functioning. There were several complaints about the AM/FM radio component, but in the same regard, most users had no issues with this part of the system.
The sound is the major drawback as it tends to have a bit too much treble and not enough bass. Although this was a minor issue for some users, it was not a deal breaker and the system still received ratings which are well above average in all but a few cases.
Even though there was a mixed bag of reviews, most users gave this product above average ratings for its performance and value. the Overall, for the cost, this unit is highly rated and is determined by most to be a good value for the price.
- 3 in 1 turntable record player for playing vinyl records
- Stylish appearance with vintage 1960s design
- Built in speakers feature high quality and full range sound
- Diamond tipped ceramic needle for enhanced audio performance and vinyl protection
- Adjustable speed for 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM for versatility in playing various vinyl formats
- Techplay turntable control
- Accommodates headphones
- Beautiful design for great aesthetics
- Plays MP3s from an outside source
- Sound is surprisingly good for the cost
- Good volume
- Needle is not heavy enough and skips unless you weight it with a coin
- A few cosmetic issues with interior adhesive coming undone case not as durable as it could be
- Cannot add additional speakers
- Lid will not close with a record on the turntable
The Electrohome Archer system gets a 4.0 out of possible 5-star rating for being a great value for the cost. It comes with features such as enhanced audio with a decent volume. It is ideal for anyone who is looking for an attractive vintage looking system that is intended primarily for playing vinyl records.
It plays all types of vinyl records well with no issues that relate to the speed. The operation of the turntable is excellent. It also has the capacity to play MP3 tunes from an outside source which is a definite bonus.
There are a few issues which seem to be minor to the majority of users. If not weighted, the needle may skip on records which have scratching. You cannot close the lid while there is a record on the turntable, and some have had problems with the glue not holding materials down.
Overall, a great system that is reasonably priced and recommended by people who have purchased and used this product.
- SD USB ports
- Aux input
- RCA out jacks
- Headphone jack
- Built-in stereo speakers
- LED lights
- Pitch/speed control is handy
- Inexpensive and good value for the cost
- Packed with features
- Converts music from LP to MP3
- Needle tends to skip unless weighted down with a coin
- Speakers are small
The Techplay turntable stereo system comes with a variety of features for high-quality sound in a small unit. Most users agree that the speakers are small, but the sound is surprisingly good. It gets high marks for delivering a top-notch sound and performance in a tiny package.
Great conversion of music from vinyl to MP3 for preserving music and your favorite tunes in a more permanent format in case the LP becomes damaged and unplayable. Inexpensive with great tone control and versatile with multiple jacks for headphone use, or connecting to an outside source including additional stereo or speaker systems.
Some customers were frustrated with the inability of the needle to play LPs that were slightly scratched, but a coin to weight the arm offered a good solution. Although the speakers are smaller than most, the sound that they produce is very good.
Most users were happy with the overall performance of the Techplay and would recommend it highly to others. It is well worth its inexpensive price and delivers high for an overall rating of 4.6 out of a possible 5 stars.
- Natural wood cabinet
- Hi-Fi stereo system
- AM/FM radio and CD player
- USB for MP3 recording
- Aux input for smart devices
- Aesthetically pleasing with stylish retro appeal
- Sturdily built with quality knobs and controls
- Good quality audio
- Versatile for playing multiple formats of music
- Quality of sound decreases as volume is turned up
- bass tones cause vibration at higher volumes
- Does not play all vinyl records without increasing pressure on the needle
The Electorhome Signature gets an overall above average rating of 4.0 out of a possible 5. It offers a classy vintage appearance that enhances the decor of virtually any home that is compatible with a retro piece. You get the benefits of a Hi-Fi stereo system that plays your favorite vinyl records with the versatility of recording to MP3 to preserve the music in an alternate format.
AM/FM radio and CD player are also great additions that add to the diversity of this system. Auxiliary input allows you to plug in your smart devices. The sound is rated as being good quality when weighted against the cost.
Summary of guide
Here you have the top 5 picks for best record players according to the customers who took the time to give their honest opinions on the performance, appearance and overall value of each. The best choice for you depends upon precisely what you require in the unit you are looking for.
Some come packed with additional features for added versatility and others are intended mainly for use in playing vinyl records.
Regardless of whether or not you just want a simple player or one that comes with all of the bells and whistles, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this diverse selection of top rated record players.
Finding the most suitable record player can be a time-consuming venture if you’re not familiar with what each has to offer. It can be time consuming and without customer reviews, you may be taking a chance that the system you purchase does not perform as advertised.
Even though each are of high quality and receive top marks, some outshine the others in one aspect or another. This guide is designed to help point out what others determined to be the best and most useful features along with some areas which could be improved, and perhaps where performance as delivered did not meet user expectations.
We hope that our final verdict on each of these 5 top record players is useful in helping you decide which will be the best choice for you.
TechPlay Turntable with pitch control, AM/FM Radio is number one for its amazing versatility, affordability and great sound. Users give it a solid rating of 4.6 out of a possible 5 stars as being an excellent value for the inexpensive price tag. This unit sweeps the field with the special pitch control feature which makes it an excellent choice for playing a larger variety of older vinyl records at the right speed.
The Electrohome Winston Vinyl Record Player 3-in-1 Classic Turntable Natural Wood Stereo System places second in performance and overall user satisfaction. This unit gets a 4.4 out of 5 rating for quality sound, being solidly built and having an aesthetically pleasing design. It is versatile and allows for listening to a variety of different music formats including radio, CD or music on a smart device. The quality is high, but comes in just below the TechPlay system.
The Electrohome Signature turntable is among the most popular in terms of classy appearance. There were a few issues which brought down the ratings including a lid that won’t close with a record on the turntable, and issues with adhesives coming undone in the lining. Still, a top pick that receives a 4.0 out of 5.
The Electrohome Archer is an attractive model that has versatile features including a radio, CD player and aux plugin. There are a few reported issues that some users had with playing vinyl records. While it plays some well, the needle does not stay in the grooves well for thinner lined vinyls. Still a great system, it gets a 4.0 rating out of a possible 5.
1ByOne Turntable comes in at number 5 with a 3.9 out of 5 rating for user satisfaction. While this is still high and the system has received favorable marks from most users, it doesn’t quite meet the quality in sound and performance as the higher ranked system. This unit is recommended for anyone looking for an inexpensive turntable of good quality with fewer extra features.