10 Best Record Players of 2019 – Reviews By An Expert!

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In today’s digital world, every song you want is at your fingertips with the press of a button, and you often don’t even have to buy it; but that doesn’t mean the old ways don’t still have their fans. Many music afficionados insist there’s no equal to the sound quality of an old-fashioned turntable, but traditional record players are rare. That’s why specialty designers have built a small market of the best record players for playing traditional vinyl recordings without forcing listeners to rely on antiques.

Picking the best record player is more important than many tech choices. You’re not just buying a valuable piece of equipment; you’re putting your valuable recordings in the hands of the device. Read on to find the best record player to give your home an old-fashioned sound as you play your traditional vinyl recordings like your parents and grandparents did.

10 Best Record Players Reviews:

1. Rega Planar 3/Elys 2 Analog player

Rega is a big name in high-end turntables, and the Planar 3 analog player is one of the top models on the market and has been dominating since its first model came out in the 1i970s. It’s been completely revamped with a souped-up tonearm and cartridge and gets high marks for its clarity and precision, making even older LPs seem fresh. It works at both 33.5 and 45 speeds, and the Elys2 cartridge and belt drive motor are ideal for delivering a powerful sound that will keep going far longer than the low-cost models.

Warranty

Rega products come with a three-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Detailed, old-fashioned sound
  • Makes older vinyls sound like new
  • Highly durable and gentle on your vinyls
  • Simple and traditional model

CONS

  • Very expensive model
  • Positioning the vinyl can be tricky

2. Lenco L-85 Semi-Automatic Belt Drive USB Turntable

If you want to introduce younger music fans to the sound of a traditional turntable, this low-cost Lenco turntable is a family-friendly option with flashy colors and a host of digital features. It comes with a built-in phono stage for connecting to powerful speakers, while a USB port lets you convert your vinyl records to digital backups. Its MM cartridge and belt drive motor make this a perfect choice for kick-starting a lifelong love of traditional music in your kids, and the two-speed turntable delivers better sound quality than other models in its price range.

Warranty

Lenco products come with a three-year warranty for product defects

PROS

  • Comes with a digital backup
  • Easy to set up in minutes
  • Built-in phono stage
  • Low-cost starter model

CONS

  • Sound is not professional-quality
  • Light plastic construction isn’t the most durable.

3. Pro-Ject Primary Phono Turntable

If you’re a sound junkie who is looking for a no-frills model that eschews extra features and delivers crystal-clear sound at a reasonable price, this is the perfect choice for those who want their vinyls to sound like new. There’s no digital connection on this turntable, but the Ortofon MM cartridge and belt drive motor will take you back to your early listening days. The construction is durable, but the manual speed change can take some getting used to. It’s a great way to show kids how their parents and grandparents used to listen to music.

Warranty

Pro-Ject turntables come with a two-year warranty for product defects

PROS

  • Exceptional and traditional sound quality
  • Durable old-fashioned construction
  • Affordable for the sound quality
  • Takes only minutes to set up

CONS

  • Manual speed change can be tricky
  • No digital connection

4. Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable

This was a high-end model from Sony when it debuted, but the price has dropped and this quality model is now the one turntable to beat for those who want a combination of excellent sound quality and modern features. The sound is crystal-clear and has the character of a traditional record player, and the digital backup with USB support lets you rip your vinyl to a virtual copy in seconds. It comes with a hookup for a phono amp, and the construct is durable and workmanlike for a long-term purchase.

Warranty

Sony turntables come with a one-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Reasonable price point for the quality
  • Sound quality is top-notch
  • Excellent digital backup and phono amp
  • Mix of modern and traditional features
  • Durable construction

CONS

  • Only comes in black

5. Pro-Ject All-in-One Turntable Jukebox E

Taking the features of the above Pro-Ject model and tricking it out into one of the most all-inclusive music players on the market, the Jukebox E comes with a powerful Ortofon cartridge and a bluetooth receiver that makes it easy to sync up with your computer. The award-winning sound quality of Pro-Ject models is here in force, and the quality transfers to the easy-to-rip digital copies. It’s not USB compatible, but you won’t miss it thanks to the internet connection and the easy-to-use setup.

Warranty

Pro-Ject turntables come with a two-year warranty against product defects.

PROS

  • An all-in-one music player
  • Bluetooth connection for easy digital backups
  • Sound quality is clear and smooth

CONS

  • Remote can be tricky due to the number of features
  • Not the most powerful sound on the list

6. Sony PS-LX310BT Turntable

If you’re a beginner in the world of vinyl and looking to play a collection with minimal fuss, Sony has you covered with this low-cost model that comes pre-set with most tricky features done. There’s no need to align a cartridge or set the tracking force with this model. Just connect the belt to the motor pulley and you’re ready to play. It’s a simple model with a good detailed sound, but it also features modern touches like a built-in phono stage and a bluetooth connection for easy digital copies, making it a perfect choice for those who want an easy learning curve.

Warranty

Sony turntables come with a one-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Sound is crisp and clean
  • Comes pre-set for easy listening
  • Bluetooth and built-in phono stage
  • Low-cost for the sound quality

CONS

  • Sound isn’t as powerful as other models
  • Not as customizable as other options

7. Clearaudio Concept 3-Speed Turntable

If you’re looking for a powerful turntable with crystal clear sound quality and you want maximum control over the sound, this high-end model is perfect for your listening needs. It’s a rare turntable that comes with three speeds – 33.5, 45, and 78 – and it’s a frequent award winner that vinyl afficionados swear by for long-term use. The proprietary Concept MC/MM cartridge is one of the best on the market, and it comes with four classic finishes, but it doesn’t have any digital features.

Warranty

Clearaudio products come with a two-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Easy to set up for a manual model
  • Strong and durable
  • Exceptional sound quality; best on the list

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • No digital compatibility

8. Audio Technica AT-LP5 Turntable

A good mid-priced turntable with a strong design and a good list of features, the Audio Technical AT-LP5 is a great option for those looking for an all-in-one model with good sound quality. It comes with a specially designed cartridge that provides excellent sound quality, and the built-in phono stage is good for magnifying your audios. The USB port is perfect for creating digital copies, and it’s designed to be upgraded with new features as the company introduces them, making it a great base model for the price.

Warranty

Audio Technica products come with a five-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Strong, detailed sound quality
  • Easy to use with convenient setup
  • A good mix of classic and modern features
  • Easy to upgrade

CONS

  • Not Bluetooth compatible

9. Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable

Cambridge Audio is a high-end record company known for its quality products, and this top-tier model doesn’t disappoint in sound quality or extra features for convenient listening. It’s fully digitally compatible, with a built-in phono stage, Bluetooth connection (which makes the lack of USB ports an afterthought) and a powerful direct drive motor. The sound quality is among the best on the market, and the Bluetooth connection means you can listen to your music through compatible headphones or speakers while not disturbing other people.

Warranty

Cambridge Audio products come with a two-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • Strong, sturdy construction
  • Extensive list of digital features
  • Good sound quality with a solid midrange

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Not as customizable as other options

10. Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

Full automatic turntables are rare, but this low-priced option is a perfect choice for those who want to get into vinyl without learning the ins and outs of turntable maintenance. This is an analog turntable, which means it lacks the Bluetooth or USB compatibility of other models, but the airy and detailed sound makes it a favorite for audio buffs. It comes with an automatic start-stop feature to preserve your needle and vinyl when a song ends, and the construction is overall strong but the buttons are on the flimsy side.

Warranty

This Denon turntable comes with a two-year warranty for product defects.

PROS

  • Automatic and easy-to-use turntable
  • Low-cost model with good sound quality
  • Automatic start-stop feature

CONS

  • No digital compatibility
  • Buttons are weaker than the rest of the build

FAQ’s: Frequently Ask Question About Record Players

Can the Record Players Play Both Old and New Vinyl Recordings?

Yes, these recordings should be compatible with all standard-size vinyl recordings and are gentle on older vinyls to prolong their lives.

Do the Modern Record Players Come With Any Updates?

Yes, while these record players function similarly to the traditional model, many are digital-compatible and use high-tech software to regulate the playing.

Are the Best Record Players Portable?

Yes, most of these record players are lightweight compared to the analog models, making them ideal for live performances.

What Power Sources Do the Best Record Players Use?

The best record players use a traditional plug-in motor or a combination of USB/Bluetooth power for a modern twist.

Where Can I Buy the Best Record Players?

The following list of the best record players is available on Amazon or at specialty music and electronics stores.

How We Reviewed

The following list of the best record players was reviewed based affordability, durability, ease of starting and stopping, ease of positioning the vinyl, handling of delicate older vinyls, additional features like digital connection and recording software, power source and digital compatibility, portability, and warranty.

Overall Price Range

The following list of the ten best record players ranges in price from $150 to $2000, with the more expensive models having more features and coming from high-end electronics sources suitable for professionals. The lower-end models are lighter and ideal for beginners.

What We Reviewed

  • Rega Planar 3/Elys 2 Analog player
  • Lenco L-85 Semi-Automatic Belt Drive USB Turntable
  • Pro-Ject Primary Phono Turntable
  • Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable
  • Pro-Ject All-in-One Turntable Jukebox E
  • Sony PS-LX310BT Turntable
  • Clearaudio Concept 3-Speed Turntable
  • Audio Technica AT-LP5 Turntable
  • Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable
  • Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

The Verdict

We were impressed with the quality of the ten record players on this list, which included automatic, analog, and hybrid models that delivered excellent sound quality. But for the best sound quality and functionality, with a good reputation and solid history of performance, we have to suggest you choose the Sony PSHX500 Hi Res USB Turntable. This is our favorite, and, we believe, the best one on the market.

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