If you’re looking for a portable, all-in-one type of record player, you’re certainly looking for the best turntable with built-in speakers.
There are quite a few really good players with speakers available on the market. And the more choices available, the more difficult is to choose one. That’s what this guide is all about – helping you choose the best record player with speakers for you. Everyone is different and has their own needs and wants, so we’ve chosen the best devices out there, described and compared them so you can easily choose the best one for you. Read on to find the best turntable with built-in speakers.
- Best turntables with built-in speakers
- Best Turntables with Built-in Speakers: Comparison
- How to choose the best turntable with built-in speakers for you?
- Advantages and disadvantages of turntables with built-in speakers
Best turntables with built-in speakers
Jensen JTA-230 3-Speed Stereo Turntable
- Great turntable for starters – just plug it in and play your records
- Built-in speakers aren’t that great
Jensen JTA-230 has pretty much everything someone looking for a an inexpensive turntable with built-in speakers wants.Of all turntables with built-in speakers, especially the affordable ones, the JTA-230 stands out like a sore thumb. Some have even called it the Ultimate small turntable for the price. Obviously, that’s an exaggeration but it tells us something about the player. It’s a belt-driven record player and supports all three records speeds: 33 1/3, 45 (adapter included), and 78 RPM. Although not required, a separate 3 mil stylus for 78s is recommended for better sound reproduction. If you listen to 78s often, consider buying the additional stylus.
The whole device is pretty small and light, which makes it portable. When it comes to outputs, besides the built-in speakers, you can connect the player to your computer via USB, use the line-out port to connect speakers or the headphone jack to listen to records on your favourite earphones. As any player with USB output, you can also use it to convert your vinyl records to MP3 using the software shipped with JTA-230. Obviously, you’re not limited to this software and can use anything else that can get the job done.
Obviously, the sound quality of the built-in speakers won’t be as good as you can get from a higher-end device but it’s really good for a device that costs roughly $50.
Jensen JTA-222 3 Speed Stereo Turntable
Jensen JTA-222 is another great option when shopping for a turntable with in-built speakers on a budget. It’s quite similar in terms of both price and features to the JTA-230. The main difference between the two is the lack of USB port in JTA-222. If you don’t care about the ability to listen to your records using your computer or convert your vinyls to MP3s, you might as well choose this one. This turntable is already a favourite of many mainly because of its wide range of features. Also, lots of people dig the “antiquey” look.
JTA-222 is like JTA-230 but with vintage look and without the USB output.Even though the specs are very similar to JTA-230, let’s go through all of them to give you a clear picture of what this device can and cannot. It’s a belt-driven player that supports all three speeds. It features an AM/FM radio receiver, so you can use it to listen to the radio as well. While it lacks the USB output, the RCA line out and 3.5mm jack ports are there. That means you can listen to your vinyl records or radio stations not only using the built-in speakers but using external speakers or headphones.
Overall, similarly to JTA-230, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive turntable. Especially if you’re just starting out your journey with record players, choosing a fairly cheap device is a great way to test the waters. Later on, you can always switch to a much better device.
- vintage look
- additional features such as a CD player and radio receiver
- no way to connect to a stereo system or external speakers
Winston is a record player that plays music from different sources and draws a lot of attention.Winston is a retro-style all-in-one turntable that supports all 3 speeds. While you cue the record manually, when it ends, the arm retracts automatically, so leaving the device unattended isn’t an issue. Like other vintage-looking record players, it allows you to play music from sources other than vinyl records only. This one has an AM/FM radio receiver, CD player and a 3.5mm jack input. There’s no headphone jack or line out ports, so there’s no way to connect it to your stereo system or listen to vinyls using headphones. The built-in speakers are the only option when it comes to listening to the music. That’s not that bad because the built-in speakers are really good, especially for the price you pay.
All in all, if you’re looking for a record player that besides playing vinyl records will draw a lot of attention from your guests and be a beautiful addition to your room, Winston is definitely worth taking a closer look on. Just take a look at the hundreds of positive reviews it has.
Victrola Nostalgic Aviator 8-in-1
- plays music from almost every possible source
- retro-style look and feel
- some users report certain features not working properly
Victrola Nostalgic Aviator is a device that allows you to play music from all kinds of sources. First of all, there’s the turntable that supports all three speeds. Then there’s the cassette players and CD players. A radio receiver is there too. If that’s not enough, you can play music from your devices, either using the RCA line in port or via Bluetooth. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it?
When it comes to listening to the music, besides the built-in speakers, you can connect your headphones. Additional features include converting cassettes and vinyl records directly to MP3 without a computer using the USB port. As you can see, this device offers a lot. The speakers are good, especially for the low price, although some customers find them thin-sounding. All in all, if you’re looking for a device that besides playing vinyl records can play music from almost any other source, Victrola Nostalgic Aviator 8-in-1 is definitely worth considering.
Electrohome Archer Vinyl Classic Turntable
- Vintage design
- Can play MP3 via the USB input port
- No output ports – you can only use the built-in speakers
Electrohome Archer is another record player in the $100 range. It boasts a 1960’s inspired design that many people love. It’s also not only a turntable, but more of a multi-purpose player. To start with the typical specs, it supports all three spinning speeds, so it can play any of your records, even those really old 78 RPM ones. The turntable is semi-automatic, which means you cue the record manually, but the arm goes back automatically at the end of the record. The full-range stereo speakers are much better than those in Jensen devices (the price is much higher as well). The device doesn’t have any outputs, so you won’t be able to connect this player to your stereo system. When it comes to inputs, besides vinyl records, you can listen to music from a USB device (like a USB flash drive or an iPhone) or another device the aux input. Overall, the sound quality and additional features for someone looking for an all-in-one device that plays not only vinyls, but also can work as speakers.
Best Turntables with Built-in Speakers: Comparison
|Jensen JTA-230||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Auto-stop||USB, line (aux), jack (headphones)||Built-in speakers, pitch control|
|Crosley Portable Turntable||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Auto-stop||Line (aux), jack (headphones)||Built-in speakers, AM/FM radio|
|Electrohome Winston||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Auto-stop||–||Built-in speakers, AM/FM Radio, CD Player, 3.5mm (jack) input|
|Victrola Nostalgic Aviator 8-in-1||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Manual||Headphone Jack||Built-in speakers, USB input, 3.5mm line input, CD and cassette players, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth-enabled, can convert vinyls and cassettes to MP3|
|Electrohome Archer||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Semi-automatic||–||Built-in speakers, USB input, 3.5mm aux input|
How to choose the best turntable with built-in speakers for you?
Now that you’ve read through all of the descriptions, it’s time to talk about how to choose one. There are a few factors that should guide you to figuring out which one if perfect for you.
What’s your budget?
Before buying you should decide on what’s your budget for this purchase. If it’s your first turntable, choosing an affordable one is the way to go. If that’s the case, you’re likely just testing the waters or think that listening to vinyls is really cool. But the future isn’t certain. You might fall in love with vinyl records, and, if that happens, you can always buy a better player later on when you’ve outgrown your first one. But just as well you might get bored with vinyls after a week or two, get back to your home stereo system and hide the player in the closet. That’s why I recommend starting with a cheap record player – you can always upgrade later, and if you won’t use it that much, that’s not that big of a loss. If you already have some basic sound equipment like powered speakers or a stereo system, feel free to check out our lists of top turntables under $100 and $200.
That being said, all turntables in this article are available for under $200. That’s because almost all more expensive turntables don’t include speakers. If you’re into vinyl records and decide to upgrade your system, turntables with speakers won’t be good enough anymore. You will likely switch to a setup that includes a turntable, a home stereo system and maybe a preamp. If you’re interested in better (and more expensive) record players, check out our list of turntables under $500.
Are there any features that the turntable must have?
Turntables with built-in speakers usually have a bunch of additional features. Features such as receiving radio, playing CDs or cassettes, playing music from other devices or even connecting to a device via Bluetooth. And there’s the ability to convert vinyl records to MP3s or CDs too, sometimes using only the record player, sometimes using the USB port in your computer.
In many cases, those additional features make the difference between two turntables. So before choosing one, think about your needs. Maybe you don’t need the CD player or the cassette player, but AM/FM radio is what you’re after. Or the opposite. In short: consider which features are important to you and which you can do without.
Will it look good in your room?
Turntables with speakers tend to take quite a lot of space. And if you think you’re going to hide the turntable to the closet after every listening session, who are you kidding? So the turntable will become yet another element of your room. A decoration if you will. Take a look at your room and the device. Do they look good together? If not, maybe choosing another device is the way to go. I know one buys a turntable to listen to vinyl records, not for it to look good in his or her room, but the thing is, it should do both.
Image used under Creative Commons from Darren Johnson
Advantages and disadvantages of turntables with built-in speakers
Just as you would guess, built-in speakers come with several advantages as well as disadvantages. For example, having built-in speakers on the turntable makes it easy for solo users to listen to their records anywhere because moving with it is made very easy. On the other hand, introducing built-in speakers to the turntable often comes with the need for more space which in turn results in bigger, bulkier turntables.
- All-in-one – this is probably the biggest advantage of built-in speakers. Since the speakers are already provided, you do not have to purchase separate ones.
- Save space – a turntable with built-in speakers allows you to save space. Because the whole thing is a compact box, you need only a small space to fix it in. You don’t have to have a separate place for the speakers.
- Portability – If you intend to move around with the turntable, purchasing one with built-in speakers makes your movement much easier.
- Speakers may not be powerful enough – built-in speakers aren’t loud enough as the speakers fitted are normally quite small, therefore you may be required to buy external speakers (or even a whole stereo system) if you need louder music.
- Sound quality isn’t the best – obviously, external speakers can provide better sound quality than the built-in ones. Plus most turntables with built-in speakers are low-end or middle-range devices so the quality (as well as the price) of those products isn’t that high.
- Bulkier – a turntable with a built-in speaker tends to be bulkier as a substantial portion of the device is housing the speaker.
- Costly shipping – due to the comparably larger size, turntables with built-in speakers, if purchased online, can be more costly to ship.
Image used under Creative Commons from Sam Howzit
There is always a way around turntables and the ones with built-in speakers are a great choice especially if you will be listening to records alone or with a few friends in an otherwise silent environment. Many of them are very compact and because you don’t have to worry about separate speakers, you are always set-to-go.
(Featured photo credit: http://www.gratisography.com/ )