Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Record Player Under $100
Optimize your budget and sound quality with our guide on choosing the best turntables under $100. When shopping for budget record players, it's crucial to consider factors that affect the final sound output.
This comprehensive guide showcases turntables that offer versatility in playback speed with the capability to play records at three standard speeds: 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM. By opting for a turntable with three-speed capability, you can enjoy optimal performance and maximize the full potential of your vinyl collection, including both long-playing (LP) and extended-play (EP) records.
When searching for an economical record player, it's crucial to examine its connectivity options. Many low-cost record players on the market today offer advanced connectivity features. A common feature is the ability to play music through the built-in speakers using Bluetooth or USB. This allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes from your phone or computer with ease.
However, the most critical connection is the one that lets you connect to external speakers. This is not a standard feature on all players, but if it's included, it can enhance the audio experience by allowing you to use superior speakers with your budget record player. So, be sure to look for this valuable feature.
Portability and Design
When looking for a budget record player, it's important to consider both design and portability. Many affordable record players excel in these areas, with several models incorporating a stylish, vintage look and compact, suitcase-style design for ultimate portability. Some even offer battery-powered operation, allowing you to take your vinyl collection on the go and enjoy your favorite records anywhere.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that a highly portable record player may come with some trade-offs, such as stability and durability issues that can affect the quality of your listening experience. Make sure to consider these factors before choosing a portable record player with headphone jack, RCA outputs, and other features to enhance your overall listening experience.
Record Players FAQ
Is a Preamp Necessary for a Record Player Setup?
A preamp is a device that amplifies the signal from a record player to make it suitable for speakers. So, do you need one for your setup? The answer is that it depends. If you plan to use external speakers with your record player, a preamp may be necessary.
Some record players come equipped with an internal preamp, eliminating the need for any additional equipment. There's a debate about the pros and cons of internal versus external preamps. While internal preamps are a more cost-effective option, external preamps often provide better sound quality. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.
How Many Features Are Ideal for a Budget Record Player?
As you shop for a budget record player, you may wonder how many features are appropriate. While it's tempting to look for models that come packed with extras such as inbuilt speakers, radio, and Bluetooth connectivity, it's best to focus on simplicity when shopping for affordable tech.
Having too many features can detract from the quality of the core components such as the needle, platter, and cartridge, which are critical to a good listening experience. So, it's recommended to keep things straightforward and prioritize the essentials when looking for a budget record player.
How to Increase the Volume of an Inexpensive Turntable?
If you find that your inexpensive turntable isn't producing the volume you desire, the issue may lie with its built-in preamp. To enhance the volume, you can consider buying an external preamp that you can use to boost the signal before it reaches your amplifier. Some turntables have the option to turn off their internal preamp, allowing you to amplify the signal to your preferred level. By doing so, you can tailor the volume to meet your needs and enhance your overall listening experience.
Is it true that vinyl records can last forever?
No, vinyl records are made from polyvinyl chloride which is not indestructible and has a limited lifespan. However, with proper care and maintenance, a vinyl record can last for many years, possibly even decades. In fact, records from the early days of vinyl production are still in existence today, which demonstrates their durability and longevity. So, while vinyl records may not last forever, they certainly have the potential to outlast most other forms of media if treated with care.
Best Record Player Under $100: Our Top Picks
For vinyl lovers seeking a modern turntable with top-notch features, look no further. Our review showcases the best cheap record players on the market that boast impressive sound quality and convenient features such as built-in stereo speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to play your favorite vinyl records. Whether you're an audiophile or just looking to elevate your listening experience, these budget-friendly record players are sure to impress.
Best Overall: Vinyl Record Player Turntable
Designed for music lovers, this turntable offers a unique blend of vintage charm and modern technology. With built-in Bluetooth connectivity, you can easily play music from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with the highest quality of sound.
The turntable comes with a USB connection that enables you to directly play music from your USB drive if your phone storage is limited. You can also connect it to your iPad or any other device through its AUX-in port with just one data line. If you need to connect an external speaker, you can do that via the RCA cable.
With its 3-speed and auto-stop function, this turntable supports 33 1/3, 45 and 78RPM, and can accommodate 7”, 10”, and 12” records. It comes with a 45RPM adapter, so you can play any of your favorite vinyl records or albums without any hassle.
The turntable base is equipped with a spring and belt-driven design that effectively absorbs shock and provides a smooth, high-quality sound. Its distinctive wooden craftsmanship and classic grid-designed speakers make it an elegant addition to any home, especially the living room.
- DC Motor - ensures smooth and consistent operation.
- 6 Watts Power Consumption - energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
- Wood and Plastic Material - provides durability and style.
- 4.9 Pounds Item Weight - lightweight and easy to move around.
- Bluetooth Connectivity.
- 3 Speeds (33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM).
- Affordable and budget-friendly.
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity.
- USB port for direct music playback from USB drives.
- 3-speed and auto-stop functions for seamless music playback.
- Elegant wooden craftsmanship and classic grid-designed speakers.
- May not have the sound quality of more expensive turntables.
- May not be suitable for audiophiles who demand the highest sound quality.
Runner-Up: Victrola Vintage 3-Speed
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Turntable is an affordable solution for vinyl audio enthusiasts looking for a decent turntable for playing records. With its compact suitcase design, you can easily move it from room to room and lock it up when not in use. The turntable features two integrated speakers, making it a convenient choice for those who don't have a separate sound system.
This vintage turntable supports three different speeds - 7", 10" and 12" - allowing you to play a wide range of records. Additionally, you can stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth, or connect your headphones for private listening. With its lightweight design, weighing only 2.7 pounds, this turntable is one of the most portable options on the market. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors to suit your personal style.
- Dimensions: 5.1" (W) x 10" (D) x 13.8" (H).
- Weight: 5.7 pounds.
- Design: A classic wood suitcase-style cabinet with a stylish leather exterior.
- Drive System: A fully-automatic belt-driven turntable.
- Connectivity: 3.5mm aux-in slot for connecting external audio devices.
- Speed Settings: The turntable supports playing records at speeds of 331/3, 45 and 78 RPM.
- Built-in Sound System: The turntable is equipped with high-quality built-in stereo speakers, providing an immersive audio experience.
- Affordable price.
- Portable design.
- Built-in speakers.
- Supports multiple speeds and Bluetooth connectivity.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Flimsy tonearm
- Cheap platter may affect audio quality.
Great For Beginners: Crosley CR8005F-WS
The Crosley CR8005F-WS Turntable is an excellent entry-level option for vinyl enthusiasts who are looking for a good turntable with great features. With its Bluetooth connectivity, you can play your vinyl collection on any wireless speaker or stream music directly to the built-in speakers for an immersive audio experience.
This belt-driven turntable supports three playback speeds - 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM - allowing you to play a wide range of records. It is equipped with dynamic full-range stereo speakers, and an aux input to connect your mobile devices. Additionally, the turntable has an adjustable pitch control and an RCA output to connect to your stereo setup, as well as a headphone jack for private listening.
- Built-in speaker for a convenient audio experience.
- Portable design, making it easy to take your music with you.
- Adjustable pitch control for versatility in playback speeds.
- Aux input to connect your mobile devices.
- RCA output to connect to your stereo system.
- Made of lightweight plastic material, weighing only 5.5 pounds.
- Bluetooth In/Out capability for wireless connectivity.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Three playback speeds.
- Dynamic full-range stereo speakers.
- Adjustable pitch control.
- Multiple connectivity options (RCA output, headphone jack, aux input).
- Includes a built-in 45 adapter.
- May not deliver the best audio quality compared to higher-end turntables.
- Some users may find the build quality to be flimsy.
Best Classic Pick: Vinyl Record Player 3-Speed
With its classic black PU leather exterior, retro bronze metal accents, and solid handle, you can easily take it anywhere and start creating your own music memories.
This turntable is equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers for streaming digital audio and can easily connect to external speakers through its RCA output or aux-in line for non-Bluetooth devices. You can also enjoy private listening through your headphones.
Not only does this turntable look great, it also offers excellent sound quality. It supports three sizes of records (7", 10", and 12") and three playback speeds (33, 45, and 78 RPM), and its belt-driven system and anti-resonance design ensure better sound quality.
Setting up the Vinyl Record Player 3-Speed is a breeze, and you'll be up and running in minutes. Whether you're a beginner or a vinyl enthusiast, this turntable is perfect for your bedroom, living room, or office.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- 78 RPM Maximum Rotational Speed: Play your records at three different speeds - 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM.
- High-Quality Materials: Durable vinyl material and compact design make for an attractive and long-lasting addition to your setup.
- Comes with a user manual for quick and easy setup, and includes a power cord for convenience.
- Lightweight: Weighing only 5.5 pounds.
- Dimensions: 15.55 x 13.15 x 6.3 inches.
- Attractive design with classic PU leather exterior and retro metal accents.
- Built-in Bluetooth speakers for streaming digital audio.
- Can be connected to external speakers or headphones.
- Supports three sizes of records and three playback speeds.
- Easy to set up and get started.
- Suitable for any room with its compact size and premium sound quality.
- Build quality may not be as high as other turntables.
- Some users may prefer more advanced features than this particular model offers.
Practical Option: Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1
This turntable boasts a classic wooden design that is both attractive and practical. The turntable is topped off with a beautifully crafted auto-standing lid, featuring intricate circular patterns and fastened hinges, providing enough room for larger vinyl records.
The Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 turntable produces a rich and warm audio output, without any distracting vibrations to the sound quality. With the option to connect to external speakers or a stereo amplifier using the RCA line output, you can amplify your audio experience to your liking.
This turntable is portable and can easily be taken to different locations, whether it's outdoor gatherings or parties. The multiple connectivity options, including Bluetooth, make it easy to play your favorite music on this turntable.
- Product Dimensions: 20.67 x 12.2 x 15.75 inches.
- Item Weight: 17.6 pounds.
- Connectivity: 3.5 mm aux-in.
- Wireless Bluetooth.
- Media Playback: CD & Cassette player.
- Audio Output: Built-in stereo speaker.
- Additional Features: FM radio with analog tuner.
- Classic wooden design.
- Warm and rich audio output.
- Multiple connectivity options, including Bluetooth.
- Option to connect to external speakers or a stereo amplifier using RCA line output.
- Not very durable.
- Inconsistency in the stability of Bluetooth wireless connection.
Excellent Retro Sound: Wrcibo Record Player
Discover the beauty of retro design with a modern twist. The Wrcibo Record Player features a warm wooden base with a minimalist style that gives a vintage touch to your home. Get ready to enjoy your favorite tunes in a new way.
With a 3.5mm headphone jack, you can easily connect your stereo system, CD player, or over-ear headphones for an immersive vinyl listening experience. The turntable also comes with built-in speakers designed at the bottom of the base for quick and convenient listening. However, for an even better sound quality, you can connect the turntable to separate bookshelf speakers through RCA connections.
Enjoy the crackling and fuzzed-out sounds of old vinyl LPs with the Wrcibo Record Player. The turntable comes with a dust cover to protect your records while they're playing and to prevent dust buildup when not in use.
- Dimensions: 16.5" x 16.5" x 6.5".
- Weight: 8.6 lbs.
- Drive System: Fully automatic belt-drive.
- Audio Input: Aux in port.
- Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers.
- Speed Compatibility: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM.
- Audio Outputs: RCA outputs.
- Cartridge: Ceramic stereo cartridge with sapphire stylus.
- Minimalist style with warm wood base.
- Built-in speakers and RCA connections for better sound quality.
- Dust cover to protect your records.
- Included speakers may not provide the best sound quality..
- Limited compatibility with only 3.5mm headphone jack for external connectivity.
Durable And Reliable: Victrola 50's Retro Bluetooth Record Player
The Victrola 50's Retro Bluetooth Record Player is the perfect blend of vintage charm and modern convenience. With its belt-driven system and ability to play multiple record sizes, it is a turntable that will meet all your vinyl needs.
The turntable also comes with a complete set of buttons for the CD player, a volume knob and an FM tuner knob, and an input select button. The blue LED light display and trendy 50s look of the buttons make this turntable a stylish addition to any room.
The soft lifting mechanism, sturdy construction, clear sound, and sleek vintage design are just some of the features that make this turntable a great value. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned vinyl lover, this turntable is sure to meet all your needs.
- Cutting-edge Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB options.
- Built-in speaker for exceptional audio.
- Additional AUX input for further customization.
- Made of high-quality plastic.
- Compact and lightweight at 8.65 pounds.
- AC Motor technology.
- Generates 19 watts of output power.
- Stylish 50s retro look.
- Multiple connectivity options (Bluetooth, CD player, AM/FM radio, etc.).
- Built-in stereo speakers.
- High-quality sound with minimal vibrations.
- Easy to transport.
- Complete set of buttons for CD player and FM tuner knob.
- Affordable price.
- No dust cover to protect records.
- Limited options for customization.
Portable And Easy to Use: ByronStatics Record Player
ByronStatics Record Player is a must-have for vinyl record enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. Equipped with cutting-edge 5.0 bluetooth technology, the suitcase record player offers a seamless HD lossless Hi-Fi audio experience with fast and stable transmission. The Bluetooth mode is easy to connect, with a stronger connection and longer distance, making it perfect for most people.
The portable suitcase design of the turntable is convenient, with an easy-to-carry handle that allows you to move it from room to room or take it with you when you travel. The turntable is ready to use right out of the box, simply remove the protective piece over the stylus, move the tone arm over the record, and let it drop into place. The turntable will start spinning and provide you with a truly immersive audio experience.
The interface of the ByronStatics turntable is simple, with an On/Off button that doubles as a volume knob, as well as a Bluetooth mode selector knob. You can connect the turntable to your preferred speakers via the RCA jacks on the back, or plug in your headphones for a more intimate listening experience.
- Built-in speaker for added convenience.
- Portable design for on-the-go listening.
- AUX input for connecting external devices.
- RCA output for connecting to external speakers.
- Engineered wood and plastic construction for durability and style.
- Dual-mode compatibility: Bluetooth and wired.
- DC motor for reliable performance.
- 5-volt voltage for power efficiency.
- Dimensions: 17.63 x 12.99 x 7.05 inches.
- Weight: 7.48 pounds.
- Advanced 5.0 Bluetooth technology for seamless, high-fidelity audio.
- Portable suitcase design with an easy-to-carry handle.
- Simple interface with an On/Off button that doubles as a volume knob.
- Ability to connect to speakers or headphones.
- Affordable price for the quality of sound and features.
- Limited compatibility with some older vinyl records.
- No built-in speakers.
- Some users may find the volume knob placement inconvenient.
All-Time Classics: Vintage Turntable
Experience the timeless charm of vinyl records with the Vintage Turntable, featuring a beautiful natural wood appearance. This compact and classic turntable is the perfect gift choice for music lovers and is compatible with all sizes of records, including 33⅓, 45, and 78 RPM records.
With its built-in Bluetooth receiver and full-range stereo speakers, this turntable is the perfect way to enjoy high-fidelity audio. Stream your digital music wirelessly from your Bluetooth-enabled device, or connect auxiliary devices to the LINE IN port with a 3.5mm audio cable.
This turntable also offers an RCA audio output for connecting to an external amplifier or surround sound speakers, as well as a headphone jack for private listening. Each turntable is hand-tuned by an audio expert to ensure the best possible performance, making this one of the best budget turntables available.
- Dual connectivity options: Wireless and Wired.
- Elegant construction of wood and plastic.
- DC motor for smooth and consistent operation.
- Advanced digital signal format.
- Package dimensions: 18.9 x 17.4 x 7.8 inches.
- Weight: 13.07 pounds.
- Beautiful natural wood appearance.
- Compatible with all sizes of vinyl records.
- Hand-tuned by audio experts.
- Built-in Bluetooth receiver and full-range stereo speakers.
- RCA audio output for connecting to external amplifier or surround sound speakers.
- Headphone jack for private listening.
- Cannot send out Bluetooth signals.
- Audio cable not included for LINE IN and headphone connections.
- May require external amplifier for optimal sound quality.
Versatile Option: DIGITNOW Bluetooth Record Player
The DIGITNOW Record Player is a versatile and budget-friendly option for analog music enthusiasts. It's a multi-functional device that combines the capability of playing vinyl records, radio and cassette tapes, and even recording them for digital use.
With a USB connection or an SD card slot, users can digitize their analog media without any software installation, and the recordings are said to have good quality based on customer reviews. The built-in speakers allow you to listen to your analog media or wirelessly connect to other Bluetooth devices for a more diverse audio experience. Additionally, the headphone jack and RCA connectors allow for private listening or connecting to your home stereo system.
Enjoy high-quality sound that fills the room, with a fully automatic belt-driven turntable that's easy to integrate into your daily life. The turntable is equipped with a dust cover to protect your records, and it's simple to switch between different speeds to accommodate various sizes of vinyl records.
- Connectivity: Both wireless and wired options available.
- Material: Durable plastic construction.
- Weight: Lightweight at 5.85 pounds.
- Motor Type: AC motor for smooth operation.
- Signal Format: Analog compatibility for classic analog music.
- Power Source: Corded electric for consistent performance.
- Speed Compatibility: 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM options.
- Encoding and Decoding: USB/SD/MMC compatibility for easy recording and playback.
- Tone Arm: Semi-automatic play tone arm for convenience and precision.
- Affordable option for analog music enthusiasts.
- Versatile device that can play vinyl records, radio, and cassette tapes, and record them for digital use.
- Good quality recordings with USB or SD card options.
- Built-in speakers, headphone jack, and RCA connectors for different listening options.
- Fully automatic belt-driven turntable with dust cover.
- Limited sound quality from built-in speakers.
- Some customers have reported technical difficulties with the turntable or recording process.
Best Record Player Under $100: Our Conclusions
When choosing the best record player under $100, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, the sound quality should be decent and capable of being improved through the use of external speakers, if possible.
Secondly, the turntable should have the basic features necessary for playing records, such as speed control and pitch adjustment. Thirdly, the design should be appealing and durable, as well as easy to operate and maintain.
Additionally, it’s worth checking for compatibility with various types of records and stylus options. Ultimately, the best record player for you will depend on your individual preferences and requirements, but by considering these factors, you can find an affordable option that offers a satisfying vinyl experience.