Now that Best Buy has announced it will stop carrying CDs, it is time to look again at the wonder that is a turntable. Many love the turntable. While some believe the quality of music is less, the analogue sound is actually truer and purer than any digital copy. With stores both online and on the high street starting to stock vinyl again in a big way, many are returning to the format for a quality listening experience. There are many different levels of quality you can get in a turntable though, and this particular post will be looking at the best turntable under $200 range.
What to Consider When Buying A Turntable Under $200
Old Or New
Gone are the days of a rusty turntable and a needle. Turntables have been modernized. Modernized turntables have much to offer, from digital recording to CD player inserts. Most turn tables will require speakers and you can add a subwoofer, preamp and amplifier to a turntable as well. That’s not to say that older turntables are obsolete. In fact, personally I prefer my 1982 Bang and Olufsen Beocenter 2002 to any other machine I have owned. The quality of the deck, the needle and the cartridge are second to none. You may decide you want to invest in a new model that has USB ports, digital integration for CDs or recording to your PC, or you may wish to go for a vintage model that was built to last, when Vinyl was in its prime.
There are many things to remember when considering a turntable. One is the stylus (needle). A needle is something that will be replaced and is the piece that interacts with the record to pick up the sound. Needles come in Cartridges. One is a Moving Magnet Cartridge (MM) and the other is a Moving Coil Cartridge (MC). Moving Magnet (MM) operates with a magnet and Moving Coil (MC) functions with a coil. A MC requires a preamp and the stylus (needle) cannot be replaced. Many feel that a MC has better sound. Some MM have a preamp built in, if it does not, you will need a preamp between the turntable and the amplifier.
The Con of a MC is that if the needle breaks, you have to replace the whole cartridge. A pro of a MM is that you can just replace the needle. Cartridges also come in two other formats. These formats are Standard and Phono. Most modern record players have a Phono cartridge, which carries a few more screws securing the needle in place a little bit better than a two screw Standard.
Belt Or Direct Drive
Another thing to consider when purchasing a turntable is whether the belt is a direct drive or belt drive. Each of these options dictate what will move the turntable so that the needle can pickup sound and play. A belt drive is said to be a better quality option in that it reduces noise. One con is that a belt will need to be replaced in a few years. A direct drive is better for some because you can spin backwards, an excellent option for a DJ. Noise can be minimalized by adding shock absorbers between the platter and the motor.
The Best Turntable Under $200 Reviews
Overall, there are many good options for purchasing the best turntable under $200. Here are some of the best options:
This player is a modern invention in and of itself. First, there is an alarm clock built into it. You can play CDS and MP3s, as well as the Radio. Extra technology allows you to record the records. You can operate it I with a remote. It runs on a direct drive, which means you will not have to replace the belt. One con is that the turntable does not come with built in speaker or amplifier. It does allow for an AUX out, but those need to be purchased separately.
Additionally, it does not come with a cassette player. Comes with an accessory to play the 33 ½ Rpm. You can easily add other cartridges to the arm of the turntable and it should be noted that user reviews say every time you turn it off, you have to reset the clock.
This turntable comes with a belt drive. This produces a better quality sound with less interference. A nice feature is that the preamp is built in and can be turned off if you want to set up your own preamp. It does not come with speakers. User reviews note that the speaker must be an electrical speaker and plug into the wall or they do not work. The cartridges are Phono and the stylus can be replaced. It features two turntable speeds – 33 ½ and 45 RPM. It has a switch in the back which allows the record player to function with just speakers. No amplifier is needed. The arm is both automatic and can be placed on the record with a hand.
This direct drive turntable can play backwards and skips the issue of needing to replace a belt in a few years. It plays two speeds: 33 ½ and 45 RPM. Like a lot of modern record players, this turntable comes with a hard shell to cover the record player, even while it is playing. The cartridge is preinstalled. A nice feature is that the arm is in a S-shape and has hydraulic lift control. It locks, has anti-skate and even a height adjustment. There is a built-in Phono Pre-amp that can be switched on and off and the package comes with detachable RCA output cables if you would like to add an amp or speakers. The arm is not reloadable, meaning that you have to manually put the arm in its resting place after listening to the record.
One nice feature of this turn table is the stylish exterior of wood and that it is portable by a handle. It is designed like a suitcase. Unlike most record players, this player is 3 speeds: 33 ½, 45 or 78 RPM. 78 is designed for older records. Another nice feature is that is comes with built in speakers while at the same time allowing for RCA output, jack and auxiliary input for both a smartphone and home speakers. It comes with pitch control and volume control. Another nice feature is that it comes with an extra stylus. There is a 12 month warranty. The arm is not a return tone arm. User reviews note that it can get noisy. Some say that it does not pick up the bass as well as other record players.
Listen as the artist intended with this analog turntable! It comes with a high fidelity belt driven turntable that picks up the sound quality better. The cartridge is an Audio Technica cartridge that is known for its quality. The diamond tip stylus tracks the grooves for high definition audio. Other features, like the S-Type tonearm help enhance this sound quality. The arm is also balanced. The design is equipped from outside vibrations and noise, with an aluminum platter and isolation feet. Comes with a Preamp, ground terminal and RCA line outposts that are gold plated to enhance the sound quality. Some user’s reviews say that this turntable sounds like it is from the 1970s.
Listen to your favorite records with the built in 33 ½ and 45 RPM speeds. Everything about this turn table is automatic and it has a built in phono preamp. There also is a USB audio output built into the back of the turn table so you can hook up speakers to other equipment. The tone arm is balanced. It functions off a belt drive, which produces better sound but not forever. The tone arm return to the stand when it is finished playing. It doesn’t have anti-shaking control. The stylus cannot be locked, which can cause problems when you are moving it.
Listen to most modern records with the 2-Speed automatic turntable. You don’t need to use your hands! The tone arm is lightweight, leaving records in better shape. It grooves along with the records better and is highly resistant and sensitive to resonance, which means that you have better sound quality. The platter is designed to function better with the record. The cartridge is universal and can be easily replaced. Add a system to the turntable with the built in phono Equalizer with the auxiliary line input. One downside is that it does not come with speakers. It is belt driven. It comes with a rubber platter mount. Sound is controlled better with vibration absorbing feet. Comes with a dust cover. Cartridge is a MM. One downside is that you need am amplifier to plug in speakers.
Comes with three speeds to listen to all your favorite vinyl. Speeds 33 ½, 45 and 78 RPM. The exterior is stylized to look like it is a vintage piece/ Comes with Am/FM< CD, AUX and Radio. The radio is a turn dial. The aux can work with playing your phone. Comes with built in speakers. The needle is shaped like a sapphire, leaving you to hear a warmer sound and leaving your records in good condition. Has a headphone port. The tone arm is an automatic arm port. One down side is that it does not get very loud.
This turntable will groove all your favorite tunes that are 33 ½ and 45 RPM. Comes with a headphone jack and RCA Output. The platter is made of aluminum. The tone arm is made out of metal. Excels in converting vinyl to digital. It comes with a belt drive and there is a cloth cover. One positive is that it is made of wood, which enhances the sound quality. The cartridge is replaceable.
This is just a basic turn table. There is no fancy covering or gimmicks. It comes with vinyl cleaning fluid. It needs speakers. Everything on the turntable is automatic. User reviews say that the belt is cheap and needs to be upgraded for better quality and longer duration of the record player.
Overall, buying the perfect turntable can be simple. All it comes down to is a matter of choice. In your search for the best turntable under $200, you can find a record player that can be hooked up and played instantly. You can also find on that will work for larger stereo sets up. The election of turn tables can lead you to find anything you want with it, from MP3s players to even clocks. Sound quality can vary, depending on how important that is to you. You can find the perfect turntable to add to your collection.