Best Turntable Under $500 Reviews

After spending a lot of time researching the best audiophile turntable under $500, we’ve prepared a recommendation list. We’ve compared the enlisted record players to many expensive plus inexpensive turntables options and found them the best in their design, build quality, and optimal sound.

turntable all in one

After going through our recommendations, don’t forget to check out our purchasing tips. We suggest finalizing your purchasing decision after knowing what things make a turntable good. This way, you can realize why we considered the recommended record player models the best among all.

So stay tuned till the end. Now, let’s start with the top 10 record players under 500 dollars; that collected massive appreciation from their users, though we’ll review them thoroughly by mentioning their pros and cons.

Best Turntable Under $500 REVIEW

pri1) Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Fully automatic operation with two speeds, 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Construction of Vinyl and Die-cast Aluminum Platter
  • Integral Dual Moving Magnet phono cartridge
  • Wireless Connectivity through Wi-Fi
  • Compatible with aptX codec

If you are on a budget, you could order the AT-LP60 looking at its simplicity and performance based on the key features and, of course, the customer reviews. It will hardly take 5 minutes to set up; hereafter, and you’ll go back to the past after spinning the old vinyl music record.

The die-cast aluminum platter minimizes vibration, whereas the high-quality tonearm base with an angled headshell reduces resonance as well as improves tracking. The listed 3.5 grams weight of the needle is considered safe for a vinyl record.

Moreover, the AC/DC conversion gets completed outside of the chassis, which reduces noise in the signal chain, as well, thanks to the AC adapter. A built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier is also there on the device for best quality phono- or line-level output.

If you really want to get back into old days vinyl, invest in such turntable options, like – Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK, whose sound will bring tears to your eyes for sure.

That’s why; we could declare without hesitating that it is the best automatic turntable for under 500 dollars.

Pros:

High-fidelity audio
Reduced vibration and resonance
Fully automatic
Great Build-quality
Small Footprint

Cons:

It doesn’t support RCA cable
External speakers are recommended for better powerful sound.


2) Sony PS-LX310BT Belt-Drive Turntable

DENON DP-400 - best turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • One-step auto start, stop and return
  • Rotation speed of 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Construction of Vinyl and die-cast Aluminum Platter
  • USB Ripping
  • Wired and Wireless Connectivity through USB and Bluetooth

Far better turntables and audio systems are available in the market, but their sound generally doesn’t touch our hearts. It will reproduce decent sound from your collected record tapes over the years.

The die-cast platter is stable enough, which reduces vibration and ensures top-most clarity and hi-fi sound. The newly designed aluminum pipe tonearm enables improved tracking into the turntable.

Relatively, it is warmer sounding than the Audio Technica. Moreover, it’s a fully automatic turntable so that you can enjoy music without worrying about getting up to turn it off.

Unfortunately, there is neither a stable stand beneath the record player nor any option for grounding this turntable. So, we suggest placing it on a flat surface to ensure it does not become wobbly while playing.

We still want to give it a big thumbs up as its internal construction effectively deals with the vibrations to make it a good-sounding turntable. Compare the price to others; you’ll possibly be more pleased with this purchase.

Pros:

  • Minimalist and sleek design
  • Ease of use
  • Compatible with RCA cable
  • Easy wireless Bluetooth connection
  • Anti-skate and replaceable cartridge for easy up-gradation

Cons:

  • No needle protector
  • Feels little fragile

3) Fluance RT85 High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable

VICTROLA NAVIGATOR - best turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Rotation speed of 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Construction of Walnut Wood with Acrylic Platter:
  • Wired Connectivity
  • 76 dB Signal to noise ratio
  • DC Motor with Servo Controller Analyzes motor speed 500 times/sec

This record player delivers a natural warm tone with more detail, greater dynamics, and resolution than others.

The Acrylic platter has an analogous resonant frequency; that aids in canceling unwanted reverberations, and ensuring an immersive 3-dimensional soundstage with a rich midrange, improved bass definition, and great signal clarity.

The chassis is made of low vibration material as well as has a unique design; that never picks up vibrations. It means there is no chance of getting noise or distortion while playing records.

Moreover, the isolated speed control motor prevents unwanted vibrations and noise, and the adjustable feet dampen resonance. The motor maintains accurate speed and significantly reduces rumble, so your records sound perfect.

The 3 spike-type adjustable isolation feet are made of rubber, which minimizes the chance of surface contact and vibrating the cabinet. The wooden cabinet itself vibrates less than other material constructions.

It is one of the best turntables under $500, though its price point is not far from the range of 500 dollars. However, you’ll get back the same or more than you pay for it.

Pros:

  • Warm and natural sound
  • Solid wooden cabinet
  • Speed Control Motor
  • Resonance damping isolation Feet
  • Gorgeous Aesthetic

Cons:

Pricier than other recommended options
No Wireless Connectivity


4) Crosley C100BT-BK Belt-Drive Bluetooth Turntable

ION AUDIO MUSTANG - best turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Adjustable counterweight and anti-skate
  • Plastic construction, including an Aluminum S-shaped tonearm with cueing lever and platter
  • Power Adapter, RCA Cable, and 45 RPM Adapter included
  • Switchable built-in preamp with RCA output
  • Wireless Connectivity through Bluetooth

Do you want to upgrade your record listening experience from a basic turntable? Consider the Crosley C100BT record player to do so without blowing the budget.

It comes with a minimalist slab look, delivers the best sound quality, and offers the best possible flexibility in connectivity according to the price. As a budget-friendly option, it also has cheaper plastic construction, but the components are not made of plastic.

It has an aluminum-built platter and tonearm, Audio Technica AT95E cartridge, and a low vibration synchronous motor. The mid-range moving magnet (MM) cartridge of a well-regarded brand, along with a diamond elliptical stylus, is genuinely a blessing in this price range.

It also features the adjustable pitch control; that you cannot commonly get on modern turntables at this price range. All the features it has played your records accurately and delivers a balanced sound.
Overall, it’s a nice-looking record player; that doesn’t require any extra tools to provide a distinctly retro vibe.

Pros:

  • Low-vibration synchronous motor
  • Vibration control feet
  • Outstanding clarity
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • Easy to use and connect with other stereo systems

Cons:

  • Less sturdy construction of plastic
  • An external stereo system is required for little more bass.

5) Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable

PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON EVO - best turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Rotation speeds of 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • 33: 0.25% 45: 0.23% Wow & Flutter
  • 65dB Signal to noise ratio
  • OM5E Moving Magnet cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus
  • Plastic cabinet including 8.6” aluminum tonearm and Heavy 8mm, blasted-glass platter
  • Wired Connectivity

The record player is one of the best belt-drive turntables; that has a solid chassis and cabinet of anti-vibration materials and a belt system with a less vibrating motor. The motor and cabinet reduce unwanted creaks and warbles, whereas the tonearm ensures the best stability that you mostly see in other pricier setups.

The one-piece tonearm comes with low-friction bearings to ensure absolute accuracy while playing old records as well as keep you calm regarding whether it will destroy the cassette or not? It produces overall a pleasantly warm sound.

The turntable is easy to connect with other stereo systems. You can connect it to a pair of speakers through the red and white RCA input ports and to a wireless headphone using Bluetooth connectivity; if you don’t want to bother others.

You don’t have to choose between looks and vibes, as the Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable is the real winner from both sides. It looks charming, sounds immersive and operation is a little fun.

Pros:

  • User-friendly, simple design and operation
  • Great build quality
  • Easy to set up
  • Built-in phono preamp
  • Value for the money

Cons:

  • No auto-stop
  • The competitor offers more features at a lesser price.

6) Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

CROSLEY C6 - best turntable

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Rotation speeds of 33 1/3 or 45 rpm
  • Construction of Vinyl with a die-cast aluminum platter
  • Unique tonearm design with removable headshell
  • DC servo motor with a belt drive system
  • Wired Connectivity

The turntable comes with a heavy base construction; that doesn’t let the cabinet vibrate too much. The removable hard shell makes the cartridge replacement simple so that you can mount any standard mount cartridge between 5 and 10 grams to gain more balance.

The manual lifter mechanism allows you to place the needle on the record wherever on the recording tape; so that you can skip or repeat any song in the middle of the journey. Moreover, the auto function lets you start or stop playing the recording tape as you want.

The tonearm gently returns to the armrest; once the play has been completed. That’s why; the recording tape or stylus doesn’t get scratched or damaged. A good quality integrated preamp is a great addition in this price range; that you mostly don’t find in other options.

It offers only a single play speed, either 33 1/3 or 45 rpm, but the specs and performance it offers are steals for the price. You could still look at the DP-400 for an upgrade of $100, where you’ll get multiple play speeds and an S-shaped tonearm.

Pros:

  • Rubber vibration dampening feet
  • Built-in Phono Preamp
  • Easy Installation and setup
  • Easy operation
  • Natural heart-touching sound

Cons:

  • Average quality platter
  • Issues with RCA cables

7) Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Record Player

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP120XUSB

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Construction of Engineered MDF Wood with Walnut Finish
  • Balanced Aluminum S-Type tonearm
  • Audio Technica AT95E cartridge with a diamond elliptical tipped stylus
  • Belt Driven AC Motor with two play speeds, 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM
  • Wired connectivity with ground terminal and gold plated RCA line outputs

The best part about Fluance RT81 is the precise and accurate record playing experience; that could make you immerse in its’ normal warm tone. The solid wood construction and the premium components are behind such high fidelity sound.

For instance, the beautiful walnut finished MDF wooden cabinet comes with isolation feet, and the aluminum platter incorporates a rubber slip mat to completely eliminate unwanted vibrations.

Now, look at the cartridge and tonearm! The premium cartridge ensures high-end accuracy and precision while tracking the record grooves, whereas the S-shaped tonearm helps deliver an original sounding detailed audio. On the other hand, it incorporates all desirable wired connection ports to ensure natural warm sound.

The minimalist look, good sound, and great specs paired with fully automatic operation make this turntable a real winner in this price bracket.

Pros:

  • Reduced resonance
  • Minimized vibration
  • Natural warm sound
  • Built-in Texas Instruments preamp
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • No wireless connectivity
  • The RPM adjustment feature is located at a hard-to-reach place on the bottom.

8) Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable

U-TURN AUDIO

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Construction of engineered anti-resonance MDF wood with Walnut finish
  • Fully manual, belt-drive operation with two speeds: 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet phono cartridge with elliptical stylus and AT-HS4 universal ½”-mount headshell
  • Straight carbon-fiber tonearm with lockable rest and hydraulically damped lift control
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier for phono or line-level output

The name Audio-Technica has been well-known for quality stereo system products for years; their fully manual belt-driven AT-LPW40WN turntable is not an exception.

After having gone through a few recording players, we stopped at Denon DP-300F, looking at its’ great reviews. The users clearly expressed their unanimous satisfaction and complaint in their reviews. We’re reviewing it based on the customer reviews.

The cartridge and needle are designed to register large movements and ensure noise and distortion-free original sound.

The motor is augmented by low-frequency acoustical feedback and a speed sensor system; that ensures accurate platter rotation speed. You can change the speed using the small knob placed on the right side of the cabinet. The cabinet itself has a solid base; that prevents it from vibrating too much.

Overall, it’s a premium quality traditional turntable, which is meant t deliver intense, detailed, and warm sound.

Pros:

  • Looks classic
  • Updated motor
  • Great sound quality
  • Included RCA cable
  • Removable Hinged Dust Cover

Cons:

  • Fully manual, even no auto start or stop options
  • Cost you a bit extra

9) ANGELS HORN High Fidelity Vinyl Record Player

SONY PS-LX310BT

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Belt driven DC servo motor with rotation speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 rpm
  • Construction of Mahogany Wood with an iron platter
  • Spring and belt-driven shock absorption feature on the base
  • Counterweight and anti-skating stub
  • Wired and Wireless Connectivity

The sleek table form design with a mahogany base of this turntable could make you fall in love with it. The sound quality will attract you far more than its’ good-looking getup.

The solid iron platter and high-quality cartridge enable perfect stability, whereas the anti-skating weight prevents your recording tapes from getting scratched.

Unfortunately, there are no automatic shut-off features. So, you have to keep the tonearm in the armrest once the play has been completed. Otherwise, it can damage your vinyl recording tape.

When it comes to how it sounds, you can compare it with other expensive options; that the hardcore audiophiles love. Hereafter, you’ll feel that this turntable is actually giving you the same natural warm tone within a third of their price.

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Simple setup and operation
  • Balanced and warm sound
  • Built-in Preamp
  • Unbelievable low price

Cons:

  • No auto shut off feature
  • Speaker is needed for adjusting the volume

10) 1 BY ONE Belt Drive Turntable

VICTROLA VINTAGE

PRODUCTS FEATURES:

  • Construction of Wood, Plastic, and Metal
  • Diamond-tipped Audio-Technica stylus cartridge
  • Rotation speeds of 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Wireless Connectivity through Bluetooth
  • Built-in full-range stereo speakers

The unique design, great price, and useful features of this belt-driven record player make us include the name 1 by One in our recommendation list.

The first thing we noticed is – its retro styling wooden appearance, along with modern technology, that ticks all the boxes of a hardcore audiophile. The turntable plays the recording tape is 3 different speeds plus lets you play MP3 files using the USB port.

The integrated stereo speaker produces crisp and clear sound with no bass distortion. You can plug in external speakers, as well, through the RCA cable ports for louder sound.

It is another best audiophile turntable option, whose clean and punchy bass, pleasant high range, and subtle mid-range will force you to fall in love with it.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable
  • Beautiful classic design
  • Vinyl to digital MP3 recording
  • Plays vinyl at 3 speeds
  • Can play audio files from a USB

Cons:

  • No wireless connection
  • Do not play CDs

THINGS YOU MUST KNOW WHILE BUYING THE BEST TURNTABLE UNDER $500

The sweet spot of a good turntable is that it can play the records accurately to their original sound without adding any noise or distortion. To reproduce quality sound, a turntable should meet the following four essential criteria –

Motor/drive with stable rotation speed and low noise

You could consider the low-cost options, but make sure that the motor or drive of your chosen turntable produces little electromagnetic noise. A motor with a stable rotation speed makes the turntable noise-free and good sounding.

Low vibration chassis and motor

The chassis could pick up vibrations from the motor or drive and transfer them to the record and tonearm by transforming them into unwanted noise and distortion.

So, besides owning a low vibration motor, bearings, and drives, pay attention to the chassis. Make sure your chosen record player uses low vibration materials and sophisticated low vibration design techniques.

Quality Tonearm

Keep in mind; that a good-sounding turntable always comes with a high-quality tonearm; that creates low resonance and quality bearings with tight tolerance; that creates little friction. The tonearm should be capable of moving freely in all directions.

High-quality phono cartridge

The phono cartridge is the heart and soul of a record player; that defines how the turntable will sound? The moving Coil cartridges are considered better sounding and have higher quality cartridges than the moving magnet cartridges. It ensures high fidelity sound with relatively more details, better dynamics, and channel separations.

CONCLUSION

We believe that only the expensive turntables only sound better, as they have sophisticated design, expensive parts and material construction, and updated methodologies.

But that is not the case. Any turntable; that scores high on all four essential criteria; mentioned in the buying guide is a good turntable.
And therefore, the 10 turntable models; we mentioned in this ‘best turntable review’ article sound best among all available options; best price turntables, as well.

If you come across any other options; that make you realize you’ve made a relatively more worthwhile investment, let other readers know about your recommendations. Feel free to comment below.


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