How to Choose the Best Turntable for You

Your Guide to buying the best Turntable


A turntable, sometimes referred to as a record player, is a device that allows you to play vinyl records. It is important to remember that not all turntables are created equal and the ideal one for you will depend on several factors. This guide will provide helpful information about the different types of turntables, the features to consider, and other important factors that will help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right turntable for your needs.

Key features

  1. Type – many types of turntables are available, from basic entry-level models to more advanced ones with built-in amplifiers and speakers. Consider what type best fits your needs and budget.
  2. Functionality – look for a turntable that allows you to play vinyl records, CDs, and other formats, as well as transfer records to digital formats. Many models also feature Bluetooth connectivity.
  3. Speed – consider the type of speed control the turntable offers. Some models have manual speed controls while others offer automatic or preset speed settings.
  4. Connectivity – look for a turntable with the appropriate outputs for amplifiers and speakers. Many models have stereo RCA outputs, USB outputs, and even wireless Bluetooth connections.
  5. Cartridge – most modern turntables come with a built-in cartridge. Make sure the cartridge is of the right type for your needs and budget.
  6. Belt Drive – belt drive turntables are known for their smooth operation and are less susceptible to vibrations which can affect sound quality.
  7. Style – consider the design and style of the turntable. Some models come in a variety of colors and finishes, while others have more modern designs.
  8. Price – finally, consider your budget and the price of the turntable. Higher-priced models generally offer more features and higher quality components.

See the most popular Turntable on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Sound Quality: Turntables offer excellent sound quality, providing a warm and rich sound that is arguably superior to digital formats.
  • Versatility: Turntables can be used to play records of different sizes, speeds, and formats making them incredibly versatile.
  • Ease of Use: Turntables are easy to use and are designed to operate with minimal effort.
  • Affordability: Turntables can be bought relatively cheaply, making them a great choice for new buyers on a budget.
  • Durability: Turntables are built to last, and many models can stand the test of time and offer years of reliable performance.


  • Cost: Turntables can range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the model and features.
  • Size/Weight: Turntables can be large, heavy pieces of equipment and may not fit well in some spaces.
  • Maintenance/Care: Turntables require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to ensure optimal sound quality.
  • Compatibility: Some turntables may be incompatible with certain audio systems or software.
  • Lack of Digital Conversion: Many turntables are not able to convert vinyl records into digital files.
  • Needles: Turntables require different needles for different types of vinyl records.

Best alternatives

  1. CD Player - A device used to play audio CDs.
  2. Tape Deck - A device used to play and record audio tapes.
  3. Digital Music System - A system for playing and streaming digital audio files on a home or commercial sound system.
  4. Cassette Player - A device used to play audio cassettes.
  5. Streaming Music Service - A subscription-based service that allows users to stream music online.
  6. Portable Music Player - A device used to store and play music, such as an iPod or other MP3 player.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

    Turntable - An electronic device used to play records Stereo Receiver - A device used to amplify audio signals Phono Preamp - An amplifier that boosts a turntable's output signal Speakers - Loudspeakers used to reproduce audio sound Cartridge - A device attached to a turntable’s tonearm that holds the stylus Stylus - A needle that is used to convert vibrations from a record into electrical signals Headshell - A type of adapter that holds the cartridge to the tonearm Anti-Skate Mechanism - A device used to prevent the stylus from skating or moving across the record Dust Cover - A cover that shields the turntable from dust and dirt Record Cleaner - A special cleaning solution used to clean records Record Mat - A mat that is placed on the turntable to reduce vibrations and improve sound quality

Common questions

  1. What are the different types of turntables? There are several types of turntables, including direct-drive turntables, belt-drive turntables, USB turntables, and portable turntables.
  2. What should I consider when choosing a turntable? When choosing a turntable, you should consider the type of turntable, its features, its price, and its compatibility with other audio equipment.
  3. What are the benefits of a direct-drive turntable? Direct-drive turntables offer superior speed accuracy and reliability, since the motor is directly connected to the platter.
  4. What are the benefits of a belt-drive turntable? Belt-drive turntables provide isolation from motor noise, allowing for superior sound quality.
  5. What are the benefits of a USB turntable? USB turntables allow for direct conversion of vinyl records into digital formats.
  6. What are the benefits of a portable turntable? Portable turntables are designed for convenience and mobility, allowing you to take your music with you wherever you go.
  7. What is a cartridge? A cartridge is an electromechanical device that transfers vibrations from a record’s grooves into an electrical signal.
  8. What is a stylus? A stylus is a small diamond or sapphire needle attached to a cartridge that traces the grooves in a record.
  9. What is a preamp? A preamp is a device that increases the signal strength from a turntable to the level required for the rest of the audio system.
  10. Do I need an amplifier to use a turntable? Most turntables require an amplifier or receiver to connect to other audio equipment, although some USB turntables do not require an amplifier.


Turntable has a storied past. During World War II, the turntable was used to help decode secret messages. The turntable was initially designed to be able to mimic the sound of a human voice, allowing the decoded messages to sound like they were actually spoken by a person rather than a machine. In the 1950s, turntables were used to record some of the earliest hip hop and rap songs, and they are still used today by DJs and vinyl collectors around the world. Source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.