Best Entry Level Turntable That Sounds Good for the Money

What’s the Best Entry-Level Turntable?

With the vinyl revival alive and well, there’s no better time to find an excellent budget turntable.

Regardless of budget, the best entry-level turntables provide noteworthy features and performance, elevating your vinyl listening experience without sacrificing quality.

Top 7 Budget Turntables for Beginners

Now, let’s explore five entry-level turntables that offer a mix of features and affordability:

1) U-Turn Orbit Plus

The U-Turn Orbit Plus

Pros:

  • Premium Components: Acrylic platter and precision tonearm.
  • Customization: Offers various colors and upgrade options for a personalized turntable experience.
  • Audiophile-Grade Cartridge: Equipped with an Ortofon OM5E cartridge for exceptional audio fidelity.

Cons:

  • Manual Operation: Requires manual lifting and placing of the tonearm on the record.
  • Built-In Phono Preamp Requires Extra Money: A built in phono preamp on the U-Turn Orbit Plus costs an extra $180.
The U-Turn Orbit is an awesome entry-level turntable

The U-Turn Orbit Plus features premium components like an acrylic platter and precision tonearm, ensuring superior sound quality.

With an audiophile-grade Ortofon OM5E cartridge, the U-Turn Orbit Plus delivers exceptional audio fidelity.

The base price of the U-Turn Orbit is $399, and it does not have a phono preamp.  For a $180 upgrade, however, a U-Turn Orbit Plus with a built in phono preamp can be acquired.

Overall, the U-Turn Orbit Plus provides a great audiophile experience for casual listeners.

U-Turn Orbit Plus
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2) Jensen JTA475B

The Jensen JTA475B turntable

Pros:

  • Affordable: A budget-friendly option for entry-level users.
  • Versatility: Ready to use with included cassette tape deck and CD player.
  • 78 RPM Support: Ability to play less common 78 RPM records with ease

Cons:

  • Build Quality: All in one record player units can have poor construction
  • Limited Upgrade Options: May not satisfy users seeking advanced features or customization.

The Jensen JTA475B is a budget-friendly entry-level turntable that is ready to use straight out of the box.

It features three-speed settings, and has the unique advantage of including a built-in tape deck and CD player, providing additional playback options.

With the ability to play 78 RPM records, the Jensen JTA475B caters to diverse vinyl collectors. While it excels in affordability and versatility, it may lack some advanced features found in individual higher-end turntables.

Jensen JTA475B
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3. House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable

The House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable

Pros:

  • Sustainable Design: The House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable is crafted with a commitment to sustainability, using eco-friendly materials.
  • Belt-Driven Smooth Playback: The belt-driven mechanism ensures smooth and stable playback, enhancing the overall listening experience with minimal interference.
  • Built-In Preamp: With a built-in phono preamp, this turntable offers convenient connectivity to various audio systems, making it user-friendly for those with receivers that have no phono input.

Cons:

  • Moderate Price Point: While it prioritizes sustainability, the price point ($130 to 199) may be considered moderate, potentially placing it higher than some entry-level options without offering significantly advanced features.
  • May Not Appeal to Audiophiles: Audiophiles seeking the highest fidelity possible, and a wide range of customization options, might find the features of this turntable somewhat basic for their preferences.
Mariah Carey record playing on the House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable

The House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable presents a unique blend of style and functionality. Crafted with sustainable materials, it stands out as an eco-friendly option.

Its belt-driven design offers smooth playback, and the built-in preamp ensures easy connectivity to various audio components.

With a focus on sustainability, this turntable may appeal to users looking for an environmentally conscious record player.

House of Marley Stir It Up Turntable
Buy on Amazon

4. Audio Technica AT-LP60X

The Audio Technica AT-LP60X

Pros:

  • Cost just $100 on average
  • Great for vinyl beginners and intermediate players.
  • Fully automatic operation for user convenience.
  • Sleek design with a variety of color options.

Cons:

  • Lack of advanced features for audiophiles.
  • Non-upgradeable components limit long-term customization.
  • May not satisfy users seeking high-end audio quality.
Is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X worth it?

The Audio Technica AT-LP60X is a reliable and fully automatic belt-driven turntable suitable for beginners. 

Its user-friendly design allows for immediate connectivity to speakers or an amp right out of the box. With various color options available, it adds a personalized touch to the entry-level turntable market. 

However, it lacks certain features such as USB output (which costs extra on another model), variable pitch control, tonearm counterbalance settings, and anti-skate adjustments, which are commonly found in higher-end Audio-Technica models.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
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5. Victrola Re-Spin

The Victrola Re-Spin is a good entry level turntable

Pros:

  • Suitcase style record player that comes in various colors
  • Built-in stereo speakers for convenient playback.
  • Wireless streaming capability through Bluetooth.
  • Provides big sound for a small record player
  • Cheap record player (under $100)

Cons:

  • Made with cheap materials
  • Cueing lever tends to fall down easily
  • Strange motor noise heard when play 45 RPM records
The box of the Victrola Re-Spin

The Victrola Re-Spin turntable combines a vintage aesthetic with modern functionality. 

With its belt-driven mechanism, it provides a classic vinyl experience. The built-in phono preamp allows for easy integration with audio systems, and the USB connectivity adds a modern touch, enabling for easy digital conversion. 

The Victrola Re-Spin is set up and ready to go!

This turntable appeals to those seeking a nostalgic look while desiring some contemporary features. However, it may not offer the same level of customization as more advanced models, and its design prioritizes aesthetics over advanced features.

6. Audio-Technica AT-LP120X-USB

Pros:

  • Direct drive system for consistent rotation speeds.
  • USB functionality for converting vinyl to digital formats.
  • Adjustable pitch control and counterbalance settings for customization.

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to entry-level turntables.
  • Manual operation may be less convenient for some users.
  • Build quality and design may not match premium turntable options.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120X-USB stands out as a higher-priced but feature-rich option in the entry-level turntable market. 

Its direct-drive design ensures consistent rotation speeds and durability. With an onboard preamp, adjustable pitch control, and USB connectivity for digital conversion, the AT-LP120X-USB caters to serious vinyl listeners and DJs. 

Adjustable anti-skate and counterbalance settings provide fine-tuning capabilities on the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB. While this turntable offers great features, it may be overwhelming for absolute beginners. 

After all, this is a DJ turntable for scratching, converting vinyl to digital files, and other tasks.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
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7. Victrola Revolution GO

The Victrola Revolution GO is a great portable record player.

Pros:

  • Portable design with a built-in handle for on-the-go listening.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming.
  • Rechargeable battery plays records for up to 12 hours.
  • Includes shoulder strap for easy portability.

Cons:

  • Not a fully automatic turntable.
  • Built-in speakers are good for casuals, but not for audiophiles
The Victrola Revolution GO

The Victrola Revolution GO stands out as a portable and compact turntable designed for on-the-go music enthusiasts.

Its portability is enhanced with built-in speakers and a rechargeable battery, providing flexibility in various settings. With three-speed settings, it accommodates different vinyl formats.

The wireless Bluetooth capability allows for seamless connectivity with external devices. While it excels in portability and convenience, it may compromise on some features found in larger, non-portable turntables.

Overall, the Victrola Revolution GO targets users prioritizing mobility and simplicity over advanced features.

Victoria Revolution GO
Buy on Amazon

What You Need with an Entry-Level Turntable

Everything You Need for Your Entry-Level Turntable

Let’s understand some key features that matter for beginners:

1. Phono Preamp:

  • Vital for stand-alone turntables, a phono preamp amplifies the audio signal created by the record player. It’s imperative you ensure that your stereo has a phono input, or consider purchasing an external phono preamp if needed.

2. Direct Drive or Belt Drive:

  • Direct drive spins the platter directly, while belt drive uses a rubber belt. Belt drive often reduces motor noise, while direct drive offers consistent rotation speeds. Both have their advantages; choose based on your preferences.

3. Adjustable Pitch Control:

  • Helps compensate for changes in pitch that may occur as belt-driven turntables age. Especially important for those seeking precise control over audio quality.

4. Manual vs Automatic:

  • Manual turntables require users to lift and place the tonearm, offering more control. Automatic turntables simplify the process, making them beginner-friendly. Choose based on your preference for involvement.

Three More Important Features

Here are more important turntable features.

1. Antiskate Adjustment:

  • Corrects the tonearm’s tendency to pull inward, ensuring the stylus follows the groove accurately and enhancing sound quality.

2. Adjustable Counterweight:

  • Enables the adjustment of the tonearm’s downward force, crucial for maintaining the best tracking force based on the stylus used.

3. USB Functionality:

If you need more record player recommendations or reviews, be sure to visit the Turntables category of this website.

Wrapping It Up

For beginners, any of these turntables will serve you well initially. Keep in mind that while sacrificing some features for a cheaper entry-level record player is acceptable, you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to a more advanced record player in the future.

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