What are the best turntables under $200?
At this price range, expect a market littered with under-performing record players.
Nonetheless… There are diamonds in the rough.
The question is…. How do you find them!?
I’m a music fanatic. I collect vinyl for the thrill of the find. Discovering records in a thrift store is one of the finest feelings in life.
But, after one too many skipped records, I had to find the right record player. One that not only delivers peak sound quality but a performance level to spin old records.
And on a limited budget that’s a hard find!
After trawling the internet I found most ‘Under $200 Record Player’ articles weren’t too helpful. So, I embarked on hands-on extensive research.
In this article, I’ll share what I found. I’ll lay it all on the line and highlight the pros and cons of players that are under $200.
So let’s help you get set up. If you want a top-quality turntable on an affordable budget. Read on for the best turntables for under $200.
Top 10 Best Turntables Under $200 in 2021 Reviews
- Best Overall: U-Turn Orbit Plus
- Best Under $200: Sony PS LX310BT
- Best Under $150: Audio Technica LP60X-BT
- Best Under $100: Music Public Kingdom TT270
- Best Traditional Player: Denon DP-29F
- Best Wood Finish Player: Angel Horns
Best Overall: U-Turn Orbit
Available at Turntable Lab here.
The U-Turn Orbit Basic takes some beating in this price range. It’ll find its way onto plenty of best turntable lists, and for good reason.
There’s a lot to like about Massachusetts-based U-Turn. Every player is handmade, and as a reminder of the personal touch, the staff who assembled the turntable signs it.
The human factor in production means peak build quality. As a statement of confidence, U-Turn offers a 3-year warranty as standard.
You’ll have options to sculpt this turntable to your needs. First, pick the colors. With blue, white, black, green, red, and purple bodies available, you can customize it to match your color scheme.
If minimalist and sleek design is your jam, take note.
This belt-driven turntable bears all, with the belt mechanics on show. It’s mesmeric to watch in motion and also keeps noise low.
So how about sound quality?
The player comes with an Audio-Technica AT91B cartridge with a conical diamond stylus.
The precision gimbal tonearm has an adjustable counterweight to refine the sound quality further.
So, for under $200, the U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable offers pure bang for the buck.
But, this price doesn’t include a preamp.
Personally, if you’re starting, I’d add the preamp. This way with a set of speakers you’re up and running. No need for an external preamp system.
And here’s the downside. Yes, you can buy the Basic models for under $200. Nevertheless, it’s easy to spend beyond.
Weighing the pros and cons, you may as well go for the Orbit Plus.
And although above the $200 threshold, the Orbit Plus is a superior player but still at an affordable price point.
- Easy to operate
- Stylish contemporary design
- Freedom to design to your color and specifications.
- Extra cost for Built-In Preamp.
Best Under $200: Sony PS LX310BT
Available at Amazon here.
The Sony PS-LX 300 USB is a staple turntable. So, it’s natural the updated Sony PS-LX310BT will excite any audiophile.
As a powerhouse of a company, owning a Sony turntable for under $200 will tickle the taste buds. So is the PS-LX310BT worthy of the Sony seal of approval?
When you see this turntable, it may make your decision easy. Smooth, tidy, and elegant, it demands respect.
Integrated into the body, the buttons on the top are classy. Functions include Bluetooth connectivity to link to speakers. Then there are dials for 7″ or 12″ and 33 ⅓ or 45 rpm speeds.
Made of aluminum the platter and tonearm are stable. And the straight pipe design of the tonearm offers powerful and clean sound quality.
The auto playback allows you to kick back and enjoy. At the press of the button, the tonearm will lower into the groove. Then when the record finishes, it’ll return to its resting position.
A unique selling point is the gain switch. You can adjust the gain to hit the sweet spot of the vinyl audio level for distortion-free listening.
The Sony PS-LX310BT looks and sounds like a record player at double the price. For the stylish vinyl listener, it has to be a prime choice.
- Stylish design with aluminum hardware.
- Bluetooth connection for wireless speakers and headphones.
- The automatic playback is actionable with a button on the front of the player.
- Other than tonearm and platter, construction is mostly plastic.
Best Under $150: Audio Technica LP60X-BT
Available at Turntable Lab here.
If you’re searching for an affordable turntable, the Audio Technica LP120XBT-USB is a player on the tip of every audiophile’s tongue. Priced above $200. We’ll have to rule this one out.
But here’s the good news… there’s a natural Audio Technica alternative in the way of the AT-LP60X-BT.
The AT-LP60X-BT is an upgrade on the AT-LP60-BT. There’s no massive difference in sound but the improvement comes from a visual overhaul. With a more stripped-back design, it’s tidy.
So what do you get for under $150?
For starters, with an automatic tonearm, the AT-LP60X-BT is easy to operate.
There’s also Bluetooth connectivity for wireless speakers. Or for a traditional connection, use the included RCA cables to connect to speakers.
Whichever way you listen, this player delivers dynamic, precise, and articulate sonics.
While it may lack weight in bass frequencies that more expensive models offer. Considering the price tag… it’s a bargain.
There are negatives. For instance, the plastic buttons feel cheap and flimsy and you cannot replace the cartridge.
But, for a starter turntable, the AT-LP60X-BT excels. Press the button to connect your speakers to Bluetooth. Place your vinyl on the table. Then, press ‘Start’, and the tonearm will drop into place.
It’s that easy!
You won’t have to adjust anything. So, if setting up daunts you, this is an ideal turntable. And one that’ll spin vinyl new and old all night long.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Pristine detailed sound quality
- Lack of bass
- Can’t replace the cartridge (stylus is changeable)
Best Under $100: Music Public Kingdom TT270
Available at Amazon here.
Some audiophiles don’t see eye to eye with portable record players.
But we’re talking under $100, so let’s compromise. Besides, I hold my hand up and admit my first player was a portable. I loved that player and I’m thankful for it acting as a gateway.
So let’s not be pretentious and let’s see how the MPKTT270 holds up?
The MPKTT270 won’t match a ‘proper’ turntable and speakers combo. Nevertheless, this player has its charms.
Deeper than your usual suitcase player, the rounded edges and vintage 50s feel is nice on the eye. There’s no handle which would’ve been helpful for transportation.
Noteworthy features include the Audio Technica 3600L cartridge and counterweight tonearm. Something often reserved for higher-priced players.
So, this belt-drive turntable has credentials that result in crisp, detailed sonic qualities.
A headphone connection would’ve been a pleasant touch to enjoy the sound quality. But, you can’t have it all.
There are two internal speakers so you’re ready from the point of purchase. Stock speakers are never ideal. But, these are better than most.
The pitfalls are that the speakers are close. Because the speakers aren’t spread, there’s little stereo separation. Audiophiles will also pick up on the boomy frequencies.
The RCA output allows for external speakers. So, you have an option to upgrade the sound quality and I would suggest this to bypass the stock internal speakers.
Bluetooth connectivity is for input. So you can connect to your smartphone and give the vinyl a rest.
Considering the price point, this is an excellent affordable intro to spinning vinyl.
And let’s not forget, it has features even more expensive record players don’t. So, for under $100, I love that the joys are vinyl are becoming accessible for everyone!
- Vintage design
- Bluetooth Input
- The sound quality of the Audio Technica 3600L cartridge
- No headphone connection
- Built-in speakers lack stereo separation.
Best Traditional: Denon DP-29F
Available at Amazon here.
Here at Set The Record Player, we love the Denon DP 300F. Out of sight within the under $200 budget, the Denon DP-29F is a natural affordable alternative.
Sometimes, sleek and modernized isn’t for you. After all, listening to analog music is retrospective. So shouldn’t the player match the vibe?
The DP-29F looks like a traditional player from the 80s. Don’t expect a USB or Bluetooth connection.
While it doesn’t do modern features, it excels in other areas…
Beyond the affordability, the die-cast aluminum platter is rigid. It has a preamp that is switchable from under the platter. And… It sounds great.
With powerful bass and clear highs, it’s a joy to listen to records on the Denon DP 29-F.
Here’s what you need to know…
The lever on the tonearm is flimsy, if you like to drop the needle on a particular track it’s a delicate process.
My argument is—-listen to the full album! If you’re a champion of this thought process, the automatic tonearm works great without the need to operate the flimsy part.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a low-end Denon.
But, this type of turntable is a dying breed. As the stylish and quant take over the market, if you’re someone who says “they don’t make them like they used to“. Then consider the Denon DP-29F before it comes extinct.
While you can get this turntable refurbished and like new, direct from Denon. Keep your eyes open as this record player is available for cheap second-hand!
- Stable aluminum platter
- Automatic tonearm for ease of use
- Sound quality, powerful bass, and clarity.
- Manual record placement is delicate because of flimsy attachment
Best Wood Finish: Angel Horns Walnut Turntable
Available at Amazon here.
Under $200 is a cluttered price bracket.
Even though you’ll hear talk of entry-level prices, I understand it’s still a large outlay. So, you want a record player to suit your needs.
The Angel Horns record player makes the list. Not only under $200, but it also offers a different finish.
The walnut wood body has a distinctive look. If this is something you’re seeking, then this player has to be a contender.
But, it also offers plenty in the performance department.
It boasts all the features you like on higher price record players.
These include an iron platter, two speeds, balanced tonearm with counterweight, and anti-skating weight.
The AT-3600L cartridge and balanced tonearm allow the diamond needle to enter deep into the groove. With no skip or distortion, your records are safe.
Not only fashionable but this record player sounds rich. Priced under $200, if you want all the finer features of a turntable in a wooden package, check out the Angel Horns.
- Walnut wood body
- Moving magnetic AT-3600L cartridge
- High-grade features like anti-skate weight and tonearm counterweight.
- Although easy to construct, the player comes unassembled.
Comparison Chart Of Turntables Under $200
Let’s consolidate all the information of each of the best turntables under $200. The following table shows all the specs at a glance.
|Make & Model||Speed||Built-in Preamp||Bluetooth||Belt Drive or Direct Motor||Cartridge||Dimensions||Weight|
|U-Turn Orbit Plus||33/45 RPM||Optional||No||External belt drive||Ortofon OM 5E||16.75” x 12.5” x 4.25″||12.5 lb|
|Sony PS-LX310BT||33/45 RPM||Yes||Output||AC Motor||Sony-branded Audio-Technica AT3600||14.5” x 17” x 4.3”||7.9 lb|
|Audio TechnicaAT-LP60XBT||33/45 RPM||Yes||Output||Internal Belt Drive||Audio Technica 3600L||19.29” x 17.2” x 7.01”||8.11 lb|
|Music Public Kingdom TT270||33/45 RPM||Yes||Receiver for Input||Internal Belt Drive||Audio Technica 3600L||14.84” x 11.15” x 6.82”||9.57 lb|
|Denon DP-29F||33/45 RPM||Yes||No||Internal Belt Drive||Stock Denon Moving Magnets||14.1” x 14.2” x 3.8”||6.2 lb|
|Angel Horns Walnut Turntable||33/45 RPM||Yes||No||Internal Belt Drive||Audio Technica 3600L||16.54” x 14.17” x 4.92”||16.37 lb|
How much should I spend on a turntable?
Entry-level turntables cost between $100 to $400. There are both great and underperforming turntables at this price point. Ultimately, your budget will decide how much you should spend. Nevertheless, as a beginner, an entry-level turntable for around $200 will meet demands. But, a quality turntable, costing upwards of $400, will have the durability to last for some time.
Which is the best record player under $200?
While it is tricky to find a good turntable for under $200, there are some great turntables in the entry-level price bracket. Some of which perform above the price point. The Sony PS LX310 BT and the Audio Technica LP60X-BT are frontrunners in this price range.
And there we have it, the best turntables for under $200.
Of course, you should be cautious about this price range. Nevertheless. The record players listed in this article are top performers in this price bracket.
And there’s something for every budget and personal taste.
The U-Turn Orbit Basic is a dominant player. But an upgrade to the U-Turn Orbit Plus is advisable for the long term. This tips the scale towards the over $200 price bracket.
So, if you’re strict on the budget, the Sony PS-LX310BT is the frontrunner. Sleek design and sheer sound quality. Paired through Bluetooth with Audioengine A5 Plus Wireless speakers— you’ve got a killer system.
In general, as your budget decreases, the quality diminishes. But these are the hidden gems that could retail for a higher price.
The Audio Technica LP60X-BT offers bang for the buck. For beginners, it’s easy to use with its Bluetooth connection and automatic operation. With the click of a button, you needn’t worry about placing a needle in the groove.
If you want to try your hand at all the intricate features. The Angel Horns is a wonderful starter record player.
Not only will you assemble the player, but you can also try your hand with a counterweight and anti-skate weight. And all for a bargain price.
But for the ultimate budget player. The Music Public Kingdom TT270 allows you to experience the joys of vinyl at a low cost. Consider external speakers for heightened quality. But either way, this entry-level player will introduce you to the wonderful world of vinyl.
Whichever way you decide, I hope you now have a clearer picture of your options.
So… All that’s left, kick back and enjoy the music!