Are you looking forward to investing in the best turntable but your budget is only is less than 500? If that is the case, no worries because we’ve got your back.
After conducting thorough research and comparing a lot of products in the market, we’ve come up with this list of best turntables under 500.
A turntable is a device that is commonly used for playing a sound recording. What’s more, it is a platform that rotates circularly.
Today, there are lots of turntables out there. As a result, choosing the best one most especially if you have a limited budget can be very challenging.
Thus, if you really want to end up with a product that can give you a long-lasting and great experience, then check out our reviews on the best turntables under 500 below.
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Turntables Under $500 Comparison Table
Top 10 Best Turntable under $500 Reviews
If you’re asking yourself the question: What is the best turntable for the money? Then today we will have for you a list of 10 best turntables under $500 for home.
Audio-Technica ATLP5 Direct-Drive Turntable – Best Overall
The Audio Technica ATLP5 is a turntable that has a drive-belt that is manually operated. Furthermore, it comes with plenty of sound features and sports an intriguing design that actually makes it look as great as it sounds.
This best turntable under 500 uses a high-torque motor that has a stable on-axis rotation at 2 different speeds 45 RPM and 133 1/3 RPM.
Since it is a direct-drive model it uses a fixed connection rather than connection via a belt, as a result, it will give off a more stable and accurate pitch.
Another great thing about this turntable is its capacity to dampen both vibration and noise. And this can be achieved using a heavy metal chassis insert.
Audio Technica ATLP5 also comes with a die-cast aluminium platter that lies under a rubber mat. This feature will lessen low-frequency and resonance feedback. There is also a J-shaped tonearm that has a hydraulic revitalization that guarantees precision as well as an adjustable counterweight for balance.
One more thing, there are anti-skate controls in order to enhance the accuracy of groove tracking.
- It comes with an inbuilt preamp
- Durable build
- It has a great noise dampening feature
- USB functionality
- This turntable doesn’t come with an auto-return feature.
- According to some previous buyers, the bass and cartridge need to be improved.
Audio Technica AT LP60XBT – Best Turntable for Beginners
If you are just starting out, then this turntable that is also from Audio Technica is for you.
Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT is a portable turntable that is capable of playing most vinyl. It is also completely automatic, meaning to say it will queue records and then return the arm to its resting position without the need of a manual lever.
Moreover, with this turntable, you will be able to connect to speakers wirelessly as well as other electronic devices that are equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology. It also has a high-fidelity sound.
Much like the previous product, Audio-Technica also comes with a die-cast aluminium platter and anti-resonance features.
However, one drawback of this turntable is that it will not develop with you like the vinyl collection vinyl. However, this shouldn’t stop you from buying Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT as it comes with many great features that you rarely see on other turntables for beginners.
- Great value for the money
- Die-cast aluminium platter
- It can play most vinyl
- It has a passable sound
- You cannot replace the cartridge
- It will not develop with you as your collections of vinyl increases.
Numark NTX1000 Drive DJ Turntable – Best for Professionals
If there is a turntable for beginners, of course, there is also one for professionals. Numark NTX1000 will give professional control over a tonearm with adjustable height, speed adjustment between 450 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM, a 100-millimetre pitch fader that has a reset button and a variable pitch range of -/+ 50, 16, or 8 per cent.
This turntable, on the other hand, also comes with stop/start feature, damped cueing, as well as anti-skate controls that are ideal for additional customization.
When it comes to construction, Numark NTX1000 is made from durable and sturdy materials. It also has rubber feet that are responsible for reducing vibrations and noise.
Furthermore, it comes with a high-torque direct-drive motor, whereas is full-sized platter is made from die-cast aluminium. For accurate audio outputs, Numark NTX1000 comes with an S-shaped tonearm that will track the groove.
Moreover, this best turntable under 500 also comes with a 45rpm adapter that guarantees a versatile play, USB, functionality, RCA cable, and recording software. But keep in mind that this unit does not come with an inbuilt pre-amp.
- Adjustable pitch range.
- Durable construction.
- Comes with recording software and 45 RMP adapter.
- USB functionality.
- No built-in preamp.
Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Turntable – Best Belt Drive Turntable
If you are looking for the best belt-drive turntable under 500, then you can never go wrong with Fluance RT81.
This turntable is made from MDF wood that is solidly designed. It also sports a sturdy and sleek look, thanks to its walnut finish.
With this product, you will be able to expect the best signal possible since the vibration is reduced.
On the other hand, assembling it is pretty easy. As a matter of fact, all you need to do is install the cartridge and belt and adjust the tonearm and anti-skate settings.
Its inbuilt Texas instruments preamp can be turned on and off easily giving ready entertainment. It also has a 3-foot gold plated RCA cable that you can use to connect to an external audio system. There is also a quick-start guide, dust cover, slip mat (rubber), and 100V to 240V AC power adapter that comes in this turntable.
However, Fluance RT81 doesn’t come with the auto-return feature. Though the automatic off will prevent non-stop spinning that may damage the stylus, actually, it does not turn off the turntable automatically. Meaning to say, you need to manually do it.
- Sturdy construction and sleek design.
- East to assemble.
- Ideal for professionals.
- It comes with a built-in preamp.
- It has good sound output and flexible speed.
- Beginners may possibly have a hard time balancing the tonearm,
- There is no USB functionality.
- No auto-return function.
- Doesn’t come with a telescopic tonearm.
Denon DP 300F Turntable Phono Equalizer – Best Fully Automatic Analog Turntable
If you are looking for a turntable that sounds as great as it looks, then look no further thank Denon DP-3000F.
Though the cartridge that comes in this turntable is not as accurate as what you usually found in higher-end modes, it will still manage to make your music sound reasonably sound and airy,
Furthermore, while it doesn’t come with USB outputs Denon DP-3000F is still a decent option most especially for those who do not want to queue their recordings manually. That stop/start feature of this best turntable under 500 basically means that your needle will not be worn down after recording since the air will return right away as soon as the album is finished.
When it comes to building quality, it is actually great despite the fact that this turntable is made from plastic materials. However, the buttons feel a bit cheap, nevertheless, it is just a minor issue.
- Fully automatic.
- Nice look.
- Stop/start feature.
- Offers great value for your money.
- The buttons have a cheap feel.
- All-plastic turntable.
- The cartridge is not as accurate as a higher-end model.
U-Turn Video Orbit Special Turntable – Best Audiophile Turntable
The U-Turn Video Orbit Special turntable is ideal for people who want to reproduce the sounds of live musical performances.
This product is made from solid walnut making it one of the most durable turntables in the market today. In fact, this unit is also available in solid maple.
Audiophiles, on the other hand, will surely like the flexibility that this turntable has to offer in order to control and at the same time upgrade the functionalities and features like the cartridge, preamp, and kind of platter and wood they prefer.
It is also worth mentioning that the U-Turn Video Orbit Special turntable is preinstalled using a moving magnet kind Ortofon 2M cartridge.
The belt-drive design of this model will separate the platter from the motor using rubber dampers. This is very beneficial as it will allow you to change between 45RPM and 33/3RPM and reduce vibrations and noise by moving the belt.
Moreover, the accurate gimbal acrylic tonearm that is operated using a cue level will get rid of alteration resulting in improved accuracy in terms of tracking the trenches. There are also adjustable counterweight and anti-skate controls for great balance.
The on/off switch of U-Turn Video Orbit Special is conveniently positioned on the side. There are also rubber feet that lessen background noise and offer enough traction.
Lastly, this also comes with extras such as a dust cover, AC adapter, and RCA cables.
- It comes with a cartridge.
- Some options can be upgraded.
- The speed can be adjusted to tailor your needs.
- Expect reduced noise and vibrations.
- There is no USB Output.
- A built-in preamp is not included.
- Fixed headshell.
Yamaha TT-S303 Hi-Fi Vinyl Belt Drive Turntable – Piano Black
Yamaha offers multiple turntables. When it comes to the best turntable under $500, we have to mention the Yamaha TT-S303. This turntable looks excellent. It has a sleek modern finish. Also, the turntable has excellent clarity. It ensures to give you all the features you want from a good end turntable under $500.
- It comes with a sturdy cabinet. And, it’s designed to decrease vibrating that may be very annoying.
- Accurate tonearm. It won’t waver in pitch at all.
- Fitted with a preamp of very high quality. It allows you to send the audio straight to speakers.
- It doesn’t come with any Bluetooth as well as other connectivity.
- There is no USB option.
Audio-Technica AT-LP1240 – USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable
The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB should also be listed on our list. This model actually is marketed as a DJ turntable. You can also use this unit as a standalone turntable. This turntable is different from other products on the list a bit. Indeed, it comes with more of pro audio feel to it.
- It is designed with very stable rotation as well as multiple speeds
- It helps you connect directly to speakers thanks to the switchable preamp
- It’s fitted with USB functionality, so you can rip audio to the computer easily. That’s why it’s ideal for archiving old records to MP3
- There is an anti-resonant platter along with damping mat that means no buzzing
- It’s not fitted with a cartridge. Since it’s made for audio pros, you may need to find as well as install your own cartridge.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge
This model is sleek, modern, and minimal. It is designed to suit many modern homes. This model looks great. However, it is available in a number of different finishes to choose from, such as white, black, walnut, and more.
It has become a decent option because of its good looking and accuracy and clever design. It is one of the best choices under $500.
- It has an impressive and accurate carbon tonearm.
- It can stay very sturdy without buzz thanks to the weighty platter and padded bottom.
- It is accurate due to the precision belt driver as well as asynchronous motor.
- There is an Ortofon 2M red cartridge designed for great sound reproduction.
- It doesn’t come with USB capabilities or connectivity.
- It doesn’t have the removable cartridge, so it is impossible to change it in the future if needed.
Crosley K200 Direct – Drive Turntable Stereo System with Bluetooth Speakers
Some of the best record players available on a budget don’t have speakers, and then you need to invest more on the speakers for connecting to the record player.
This model is popular for being a mid-range home audio brand. The Crosley K200 comes in well below 500 dollars. Although this turntable isn’t an elite product, it has a ton of brilliant reviews. It’s perfect for those who need ones for home listeners who need a mid-range product without the issue of finding speakers.
While you can purchase this record player alone, the stereo system also includes wonderful speakers that offer high-quality sound. Crosley is known for offering products for casual listeners and in a budget. Therefore this model will be perfect without the need for spending a huge amount.
- It doesn’t require you to purchase speakers separately
- You can connect it via Bluetooth
- It comes with a slip mat stopping any vibration that may affect the sound
- Tone-arm operates well for staying relatively accurate
- The turntable works on two speeds.
- The tone-arm comes with lift control and lockable rest.
- There is an anti-skate function as well.
- It doesn’t have USB option for ripping audio
- The cartridge should be better quality so it can be replaced if you need
Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad – Best Value-added features
This is a stylish suitcase design record player. It’s light in weight and hence offers amazing portability. The Nomad model is another popular one from Crosley and can play at three speeds.
Built-in speakers, quality headphone jack, AUX input, and RCA output are just some of the features that you will find in this model. There is Bluetooth connectivity available so you will be able to directly connect your music from smartphone or tablet.
It also has a metal grill over the speaker that ensures durability. It has a belt-driven mechanism and the stylus needle is NP5 diamond that is best that you can find. The design gives a nostalgic feel that surely is fantastic. You will also be able to play MP3 music on it as well. Certainly, the design is what makes it unique. It’s a well-constructed record player with a hint of vintage charm.
- The record player has quality built-in speakers.
- It is compatible with digital and vinyl music.
- Portable and light in weight.
- There is software available for editing and ripping audible content.
- Some customers complain about the distortion and slow playing.
- The model misses tone control that helps with sound adjustment.
Crosley C-200 – Best value for money
It is an old school record player that has a design that goes with any kind of décor. This is a simple yet sporty portable design. The turntable is well equipped with direct drive and pitch control. There is also an adjustable weighted arm. The sturdy platter stock stylus seems durable.
Then there is also felt mat for quality noise-free music experience. This record player offers several controls when compared to the competitors in this range. It holds for disc speed and the capacity of mixing it up. The sleek sturdy turntable with built-in preamp surely makes it a great buy.
- There is hydraulic lift controls as well as anti-skating feature.
- Comes with phono-preamp for high-quality sound output.
- The completely manual operation makes it perfect for people looking for retro experience.
- High-end speakers that is difficult to find in this range.
- Complete value for a money record player.
- There is no ground cable provided with the record player.
- Set-up can be a bit difficult for some people.
Crosley C100 – Best Overall
Crosley C100 remains one of the most popular record players from the brand. The manufacturers even say that the device is going to take music experience to another level. For one, Crosley is a reliable brand.
The tone-arm of the model is S-shaped. It has an in-built phono pre-amp that can be adjusted for the counterweight and has the adjustable pitch control. If you do have a speaker system then this will be the best addition that you can go for.
This turntable can be paired with any kind of external speakers for great sound. Another great thing on the record player is that it has a nicely-built platter track. It offers simplicity in use and looks great. Overall, Crosley C100 is one record player that comes with quality features.
- The record player is easy to use.
- This is a great value for money product.
- There are anti-skate controls for smooth functioning.
- It comes with a transparent lid that looks nice and offers protection.
- The guide for setup is a little confusing and can be an issue for beginners.
- If you own records of 78 RPM, then you won’t be able to listen on this one as it offers 45 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM only.
Sony PS-LX310BT Belt Drive Turntable: Best Reliability
So as we all know, this is one brand that has been known for producing quality electronics that work in an optimum way at each step. This is also one of the designs that are cost-effective and is made specifically for the catering requirement of entry-level record player users. You can call it a simply designed record player that has a minimalist vibe that still looks stylish.
When it comes to sound it’s clear and rich and can be considered one of the best that you can get in this range. The build quality of the turntable is lightweight due to sturdy plastic material. It is a belt-driven record player and has an aluminum platter. The tone-arm of the record player can offer quality sound. There is an option for automatic playback available as well. You get speed options of 33 as well as 45 RPM. And there is also a USB port available for transferring the vinyl files towards the MP3 on the laptop.
There is an RCA connection that can be plugged-in directly. You also get an option for connectivity for Bluetooth devices and external speakers if you need to. This record player is one that looks simple but at the same time has several features installed in just one machine. The set-up is fast and easy.
- Minimalistic yet elegant design.
- Overall good features when compared to the price you pay for.
- Has an option for one-click playback.
- Comes with quality dust cover.
- It only works with Sony Cartridge, so can’t upgrade.
THORENS TD 170 1B – Best Automatic Turntable for beginners
This unit comes with three-disc rotation speeds, so it allows you to play even old shellac records. Because of the simple control, it is able to help you play while you can save your time since it doesn’t require any additional settings.
This one is known as a full-featured player. It offers everything you need. With this model, you haven’t to concern about the sound quality. This is one of the most expensive ones on our list today. It costs under $500.
This one is made for beginners who don’t want to pay more money for higher quality. This model is ideal for those who are looking for a simple vinyl player. However, it may require you to purchase a felt slip mat to deal with the vibration issue.
Pioneer PL 990 Automatic Stereo Turntable – Best Turntable With Built-In Preamp
Another good choice of the best automatic turntable under $500 is the Pioneer PL-990. This one is equipped with a light direct tonearm, a built-in equalizer, and a precise DC servo drive. This one can be connected to any additional input of the amplifier.
There are many great features you can get from this turntable such as a belt-drive, a dust cover, speeds of 33 and 45 rpm, as well as a non-removable wire. This feature allows you to connect it to an amplifier.
This model brings the traditional Pioneer design. It comes with no excess functions. Therefore, it doesn’t confuse a novice user. However, it doesn’t have a separate power switch. You have to manually turn it on.
Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player
This one is made for people who are looking for a modern vinyl player. It comes with a glossy walnut finish made from a solid MDF base. Moreover, it also comes with a rubber mat. You can set it up and use it with ease.
The cartridge can be attached. You can also change it with a better one in order to update the sound of the player. Moreover, you can turn off and replace the built-in phono preamp as well. Additionally, it comes with an aluminium anti-vibration foot along with an aluminium platter.
This one is known as one of the most affordable choices on the market. It is able to help support not only LP but also EP vinyl records. However, many people complained that its rotation speed sometimes is not accurate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Factors To Consider When Buying A Turntable?
To ensure that you getting the best turntable under 500, there are factors that you need to consider and here are some of them.
- USB Function
If you want to connect the turntable so that you will be able to transfer as well as convert songs on your vinyl records to WAV, WMA, MP3, and other digital formats, then make sure to choose a model that has USB ports. This feature will help in preserving your vintage collections and increase the playability of the songs on different devices.
- Direct-drive vs. Belt-Drive
If you notice the products above, some of the are belt-drive while others are direct-drive. A belt-drive turntable has an elastic belt that will connect the platter and motor. The rubber band will separate the motor in order to lessen the effects of vibration on the record and stylus and enhances speed consistency.
When it comes to direct-drive turntables, the motor is directly connected to the platter that may result in faster response and higher torque. Actually, this is one of the many reasons why such turntables are so popular among DJs.
When choosing a turntable, we highly recommend that you opt for one that has a built-in amp, so that you will be able to play songs by simply connecting it to phono inputs. Not only that, but you can also record players with other audio devices with the supplementary input in order to intensify the sound of the inbuilt speakers. Additionally, a preamp will equalize and boost the sound signal in order to maintain similar quality as the original music.
- Size and Shape
Turntables are available in different sizes and shapes. That being said, you are certain that there is at least one that will suit your needs.
You can determine the right size depending on the available space or where you’ll be playing it. If space is wide, you can always opt for a bigger unit. However, if you are travelling a lot, then consider a more portable unit.
How often should you change the stylus?
Usually, manufacturers will tell the recommended life of the stylus. But as a general rule of thumb, you will need to change it after 1000-3000 hours. However, you can also look for visible damage, audible static, and forward skipping. In fact, these are the common sign that you need to replace the stylus.
How to maintain a turntable?
If you want to use your turntable for a long time, make sure to keep the following tips in mind.
- To keep the turntable clean, remove the dust cover once it is done playing.
- Before connecting, turn off and unplug the turntable to prevent accidental shocks.
- Position the unit in a place with no vibrations to avoid sound distortion.
- Make sure that the anti-skate controls, height, and tracking force have been properly calibrated to prevent wearing out the records and skipping the stylus.
What Do You Mean by Fully Automatic?
Some people confuse between fully automatic and semi-automatic turntables. The full ones are actually the ones that can automatically shut off once you get finished all the songs in your records. Once you play the first track, the tonearm and needle cue up automatically. On the other hand, you have to put the needle into the groove for the semi-automatic ones.
Is Automatic Turntable Expensive?
The cost of an automatic turntable depends on the kind of features the device has. Actually, automatic turntables are range from $200 to $2000. Therefore, you can purchase a product for your budget with ease. There is a wide range of affordable turntables out there to choose from.
Why Should I Invest in an Automatic Turntable?
An automatic turntable is even great for people who are new to operating a vinyl player before. Actually, as you know, beginners with fewer experiences can’t do it adequately. Therefore, it’s important for them to start with creating a vinyl collection. That’s why an automatic turntable is recommended highly for them.
One of the most common benefits of a turntable is its capability to bring out every sound on the collection of records you are playing.
Nevertheless, choosing the best turntable under 500 doesn’t have to be difficult. By simply considering any of the above-mentioned products, you will surely end up with the best option possible.