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Records generated more revenue for the music industry than CDs for the first time in decades last year, so it’s safe to say that vinyl is officially back.
If you’re rediscovering your record collection, inheriting some LPs from your parents, or starting your own collection, you’ll need a record player. Luckily, they’ve become a lot easier to come by than they were even a few years ago.
If you don’t have a local music shop near you, the best place to buy a record player in 2021 is Amazon. The site offers the latest turntables from the most reputable companies at excellent prices. In a couple of clicks you can get a great entry-level deck, or make the upgrade to a high-end turntable you’ve been saving up for.
Amazon’s wide selection can be hard to sort to, but we’ve done the hard part for you by collecting the best turntables available on the site in 2021.
What Are the Best Turntables On Amazon?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best turntable to get on Amazon; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Preamp: A preamp amplifies the sound coming from your turntable, so you can plug it directly into any stereo receiver or powered speakers, even if they lack a phono input. Many of of the record players we’ve selected have a built-in preamp, which makes them more convenient to use. You can also plug these record players into a pair of active (powered) speakers, and have a compact, high-end audio system.
Speed Controls: Every record player below can spin records at 33/3RPM (rotations per minute) and 45RPM, so you can play full-length albums and singles.
Upgradable Cartridge: We’re only recommending record players that allow you to swap out their cartridge or needle, so you can upgrade your system over time, or replace them after years of use.
Automatic vs Manual: This guide features a mix of automatic and manual turntables. Automatic record players have physical buttons that will start your record player, and drop the needle on the right spot. Manual turntables require you to physically pick the needle up, and drop it on the record by yourself.
1. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO
After conducting hands-on tests, it’s clear that Pro-Ject’s Debut Carbon EVO is the best turntable for anyone serious about spinning records.
Its feet and deck were constructed to minimize vibrations, which can cause the needle to jump, or cause other sonic distortions. Its carbon tone arm keeps the needle perfectly aligned with the grooves of your LP, and the included Sumiko cartridge ensures your records sound their best. Finally, The Carbon EVO has gold-plated output sockets, which ensures you get a clean signal, and the company even includes a high-quality set of cables in the box.
These specs look impressive on paper, but the sound you’ll get from the Carbon EVO is incredible. We’ve never had an issue with a record skipping (unless it had major scratches), groove damage to our new albums, or poor bass response. Every LP and single we played, new or vintage, sounded excellent. It doesn’t hurt that this turntable looks great, too.
The Debut Carbon EVO doesn’t have a built-in preamp, which is typical for higher-end decks that’re designed to be hooked up to a full stereo system. If your receiver doesn’t have a phono input, don’t worry, Pro-Ject has you covered with its own preamp, which is designed with its record players in mind.
If you want to create a vinyl audio system designed to last a lifetime, Pro-Ject’s Debut Carbon EVO should be at the center of it.
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
Audio-Technica’s AT-LP60X is an excellent record player if you’re just getting into spinning albums.
This turntable has its own preamp, and comes bundled with Audio-Technia’s ATN3600L diamond-tipped phono cartridge. All you need to do is provide the stereo receiver or powered speakers.
The company went through a lot of effort to ensure this turntable sounds great for its price, from removing the AC/DC converter from the deck to reduce noise, to redesigning its tone arm to improve performance.
Because of Audio-Technica’s expertise, the AT-LP60X will deliver far better performance for its modest price than any other turntable available in 2021.
3. 1ByOne All-In-One Turntable
Turntables take up far more room than a Bluetooth speaker, which can make the leap from digital to analog music listening tough.
1ByOne has solved that problem by designing a turntable with a speaker built into its base. With this setup, you don’t have to worry about a phono preamp. Additionally, the speaker beneath this turntable supports Bluetooth, so you can stream your digital music to it.
The company developed an anti-vibration base for its tone arm to prevent the speaker from interrupting your vinyl listening. 1ByOne paired record player is paired with the same ATN3600L cartridge as our favorite budget turntable.
If you’re short on space, but still want to start spinning vinyl, you can’t do better than this all-in-one turntable.
4. Sony PS-LX310BT
Records are the preferred listening format for audiophiles because of their incredible audio quality, but you’ve traditionally needed to be home to enjoy it.
Sony’s PS-LX310BT allows you to take your record collection with you by digitizing your vinyl. The turntable has a USB port on the back, which can connect to any Mac or PC. With the right software, you can make digital backups of your albums as easily as you used to rip CDs. This turntable also supports Bluetooth, so you can listen to your LPs on a set of speakers across the room.
The PS-LX310BT was designed with an aluminum platter and tone arm to reduce the impact of vibrations, and a built-in preamp, so you can hook it up directly to any audio system you have. The only aspect of the turntable we don’t know anything about is the cartridge it’s paired with.
If you have a record collection filled with rarities, and want pristine digital copies in case the vinyl gets damaged, this is the turntable we recommend.
5. Marantz TT-15S1
If you’re assembling a true audiophile audio system, and price is no object, you won’t find a better turntable than Marantz’s TT-15S1. Every aspect of the table was designed to optimize your listening experience.
The TT-15S1 has a thick platter designed to eliminate vibrations, and comes with a record clamp that sits on top of your album to ensure it stays completely flat, guaranteeing perfect playback every single time. Its motor was designed to “float,” which means its vibrations won’t get past the turntable’s deck.
Even the record player’s feet were considered and designed to rest as flat as possible on any surface. Marantz paired the TT-15S1 with a premium Clearaudio Virtuoso phono cartridge, which you shouldn’t ever have to upgrade from. The cartridge is attached to a premium aluminum tone arm.
The TT-15S1 doesn’t have a built-in preamp, but that’s to be expected from a turntable in this class. We recommend hooking it up to one of Marantz’s high-end stereo receivers, or a preamp from Graham Slee.
True sonic perfection has a high up front cost, but investing in Marantz’s TT15S1 will pay off every time you drop the needle.