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Building a beginner vinyl setup may seem like an overwhelming, complicated and pricey task at first. But that couldn’t be further from the truth — today’s budget-friendly record players will do the trick with impressive sound, letting you start spinning your records straight out of the box.
Vinyl sales have continued to grow over the last few years, per the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), even outselling CDs in 2020. And while some may write it all off as a nostalgic trend, the increased interest makes sense, as more artists continue to release box sets and vinyl exclusives for their fans to enjoy beyond a streaming platform. In other words, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new record player if you want another way to explore your favorite music.
If you’re shopping for a turntable on a budget, sites like Amazon and Urban Outfitters are good places to check out, but another great way to score an affordable turntable is by scouting out used players at your local record store or on eBay. We consider the site to also be one of the best shopping experiences for anyone who’s hunting for rare, used albums, and it’s one of our go-tos for cheap record players too, when you can’t find something you like online or at the store.
Affordable Turntable Buying Guide
You don’t need to be familiar with record players in order to use any of the turntables in this guide. You can simply move the tonearm or press the start button and get to listening — it should be that easy. But think about if having features like Bluetooth or, say, a portable, suitcase-style design are important to you when building your setup.
Think about what records you’re spinning too. Do you need better speakers to blast your beats? Do you want warmer, more detailed sound? Or are you just playing around with vinyl and need a starter record player for casual, everyday use?
Here’s what else to look for when shopping for the best budget turntables and record players under $100.
Speeds: All of the turntables in this guide can play records at three speeds, including 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. Most players at this price point are three-speed turntables, which we consider your best option for getting the most out of your setup and stacks of LPs and EPs.
Speakers, Connectivity and Bluetooth: One of the best features about the best turntables under $100 these days is that it’s easy to find ones that come with their own speakers and built-in preamps, making it fast and simple to play music the moment after unboxing. That said, all of the record players in this guide give you the option to connect them to powered speakers or wired headphones. That way, you won’t have to solely rely on the player’s speakers, which do the job but may not produce the same high-quality sound you’ll find in a pair of bookshelf speakers or your headphones.
Almost all of today’s under-$100 record players include Bluetooth so you can sync up your phone or tablet to also listen to your music through a streaming service. Having on-board Bluetooth is a nice addition, though ultimately we suggest upgrading to a separate Bluetooth speaker for better sound and greater portability if you’re trying to stream music.
Design and Portability: Most record players are lightweight enough and include their own speakers, making them easy to move between rooms or to take with you on a trip. Below, we’ve included some players that have the ability to shut like a suitcase, protecting the interior of the turntable, while others feature covers for an extra protective layer from household spills or dust. The turntables in this guide range from a little over 2.5 pounds up to over eight pounds, but it’s worth noting that you may have a tougher time moving the units once they’re connected to the speaker system you choose.
What Are the Best Turntables Under $100?
Familiar brands, including Crosley, Audio-Technica and Victrola, all produce stellar beginner turntables that are actually worth buying for anyone looking to get into vinyl. Here are some of our favorites for enjoying your collection.
(Note: Prices were under $100 at time of writing.)
1. Crosley Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable
This suitcase-style record player from Crosley is easily one of the best beginner turntables for those on a budget.
The three-speeder has everything you need to spin a record, and can play LPs at 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. With the turntable’s speakers, you can listen to your records right away. That said, if you want an upgrade your future setup, the turntable has RCA and audio jack hookups so you can plug the Crosley into a pair of bookshelf speakers.
Once you get to the end of Side B, you can easily pair your phone to the turntable’s Bluetooth speakers to keep the music playing while you pick out your next album.
Crosley’s designed this record player in over 20 different colors and patterns, from floral to tweed.
2. Wrcibo Vintage Turntable
A minimal style and warm wood base give this turntable a vintage feel that pairs perfectly with the natural cracking and fuzzed-out sounds of old vinyl LPs. But although it has plenty of retro appeal, it comes with a host of modern features for listening to your music library.
A 3.5mm headphone jack lets you connect your stereo system, CD player or your over-ears to listen to vinyl. While the record player has its own speakers designed on the bottom of the turntable base, there are also RCA connections for pairing with separate bookshelf speakers, which we highly recommend buying if you want your records to sound louder — and, ultimately, better — than they will coming from the included speakers. (If you need help deciding on the best speakers to buy, check out our guide here.)
The turntable comes with a dust cover to protect your record while it’s spinning and to avoid dust buildup when you’re not using it.
3. Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player
Another suitcase turntable, Victrola’s record player features two speakers underneath the platter, so you or the person you’re gifting it to won’t have to sweat it if they don’t have speakers right away. We like that you can lock the lid shut when you’re not using it, and it also makes it possible to move the turntable between your office or family room when the occasion calls for spinning some vinyl.
This is a three-speed turntable, and you can play 7-, 10- and 12-inch singles as well. Like other record players in our guide, this Victrola lets you stream music via Bluetooth, but you can also plug in your headphones to listen to your records, which is a welcome feature if you live in a dorm or apartment and have roommates.
The turntable only weighs about 2.7 pounds, making it one of the most portable players on this list. You can buy it in a wide array of colors, too, and you’ll also get an additional stylus you can keep handy for when you’ve worn out your needle.
4. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-GM Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
Hear us out — if you have a spare $20 to spend, consider this budget-friendly Audio-Technica turntable. Yes, we’re cheating a bit by including it in this list, but that’s because it’s from an audio brand we trust and love. The turntable is a great entry-level model that lets you build out your vinyl setup the way you want it. It comes with its own phono pre-amp inside, along with a set of RCA output cables to hook up to shelf speakers or your stereo setup.
Audio-Technica added a removable dust cover that you can shut once you’re done playing your record. While you don’t need one in order to listen to your vinyl, it’s a key component for protecting your turntable’s platter and base over the long run and will ensure debris won’t get in the way of your vinyl and your stylus.
5. Victrola All-In-One Bluetooth Record Player
Reserve some space on your credenza — like the name describes, this stylish-and-classy All-in-One record player from Victrola is a versatile choice for any record collector. It’s a wooden three-speed player, complete with Bluetooth for streaming Spotify playlists and even a headphone jack for hooking up your wired cans (our editors love these Sony headphones). Bonus: It’s the only turntable on this list that lets you tune into FM radio right from the base itself.
Vinyl Shopping Guide
Want to find a great record to play on your new turntable. Here are a few of the best-selling records to spin right now.