While record players under $100 are hard to come by, you can find some models. However, at this price you should not expect much.

Nonetheless, for a beginner, these are the best turntables to deal with.  They have all the basic features including tonearm, platter, cartridge, preamp and the like. Besides, they are less technical, making it easier to operate.

Finding best record player under $100 might be challenging but not impossible. Here are three models you can consider:

Audio Technica AT-LP60

This is a belt-driven record player. It is designed with a  high level of simplicity to suit a beginner. Being belt-driven means that it features a belt which is integrated into the component that spins the turntable, around. This type of record player retails at a lower price compared to the direct- driven models.

However, the belt needs to be replaced after some time.  The AT-LP60 also comes with an adaptor, which allows you to connect it to headphones or a sound system.  The problem with this model is that it cannot produce its own sound but with the help of the integrated preamplifier, it produces clear sound through speakers.

The LP60 comes in many colors. The platter is made of aluminum, to ensure durability. However, the rest of the record player is made of plastic.  It also has a dust cover, which protects the vinyl from scratches and dust.

You should also know that it does not have an on/off switch. On the contrary, when it is connected to the main switch, the turntable turns on automatically. The platter and the needle only commence moving when you touch the play button.  For easier operation, the record player comes with a power cord.

The LP60 however lacks a USB port, but, it does have an inbuilt preamplifier. Usually, most record players under $100 do not have this feature. Another thing, since the model does not produce sound on its own, it is hard to tell about its quality.

To sum up, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a great model for beginners. It is affordable and it produces a decent sound.  It is automatic but lacking a USB port might make one to think otherwise.

Ion Audio Max LP

The Ion Audio Max LP comes with inbuilt audio speakers. The most outstanding feature of this model is its wooden finish. It makes it surpass all other record players under $100.  While it is hard to get many features at this price range, the Ion Audio offers a wide range of great features.

First, it comes complete with speakers, meaning you do not have to purchase a sound system. The record player can play 33-, 45-, and 78-RPM records. This is amazing since most record players do not have this capability.

The model also comes with a USB port, making it a more preferable choice than the AT-LP60. The feature helps you convert your old vinyl record collection into digital format.

Concerning design, the Ion Audio is the best addition to any contemporary home design.  The natural wood finish makes it fit in with any décor.  It is also of strong construction. Its speakers are placed on either of its sides.  Setting it up does not pose challenges.

The record player is able to play 33-, 45-, and 78-RPM records but for 45-RPM records, you need to use an adaptor, which is provided.  It stops automatically when the record stops and it also allows you to continue playing the record.

For audio enthusiasts, knowing that they can convert their records into formats acceptable to various audio receivers is interesting. The Ion Audio has a software disc, which allows it to convert records to MP3 files.

The product only weighs 7.7 pounds, meaning you can move it around the house without a hassle. The Ion Audio Max LP can be said to be the best record player under $100 due to its built-in speakers.  Nonetheless, the sound quality cannot rival the one from other high-end models.

You may have to use your own sound system for the best sound quality. For beginners, this is a perfect affordable record player. The built-in speakers and MP3 conversion capabilities are great add-on features.

Crosley Cruiser CR8005A

When you look at Crosley Cruiser CR8005A, you might think it is more of a novelty than a record player.  It simulates a briefcase and comes in a wide range of colors. When the product is closed, it might be difficult to tell it is a record player.  But, apart from its aesthetic properties, what are its capabilities?

First, it is designed to ensure portability and easier storage. It also comes in 9 varying colors to suit everyone’s tastes.  It is belt-driven, which means you will have to replace the belt over time.

The model comes with a power cord to enable you to plug it in the main terminal.  The cord can be tucked in the “briefcase” when you are done with the record player.  Unlike the Ion Audio and the LP60, the Crosley Cruiser is able to play records in 33, 45 and 78 speeds.

It also weighs less than the Ion Audio.  However, it fails in sound quality even if it has inbuilt speakers. To conclude, the Crosley model is cheaper but does not have the best sound quality.

Conclusion

Looking at the three models reviewed above, there is no doubt that there is not much to expect in record players under $100; it is almost impossible to find a best record player under $100. For instance, while the LP60 is automatic and durable, it misses an important feature, a USB port.

On the other hand, the Ion Audio is elegant and sleek but it does not play 45-RPM records. But, it is able to convert records to MP3 format.  The Ion Audio is heavier than other models at 7.7 pounds.  Crosley Cruiser is colorful and compact; it plays all the three common speeds 33, 45, and 78 RPM. However, its sound quality is wanting.

With all these variations, it might seem challenging to get the right record player at this price range. However, do not worry. Simply do a trade off on the features that are important to you and those you can do without.