For someone getting started with vinyl record, it is a good idea to choose a turntable under $100 for your first system. Investing a large amount of money before deciding that you are really into the quality of sound reproduction isn’t a good idea. It can lead to disappointment if you find you are not ready or that’s not something you’re really insterested in.
If you decided to buy a turntable and spend no more than 100 dollars on it, you’re most likely a beginner. If that’s the case, learning a little about the topic can go a long way. That will help you make a more informed decision when buying your first device. We have a massive guide that explains the most important concepts, goes through commonly used terms, describes popular turntable setups, and much more. You don’t have to read the whole guide to be able to choose your first record player though. Just make sure you go through commonly used terms, turntable’s build and popular turntable setups. This way you will understand what you’re reading when going through the list below and choosing a device that suits your needs will be much easier. If you know a thing or two about vinyl players you don’t need to read the guide. Just remember that it’s there to help you in case you need it.
- Best turntables under $100
- Best Turntables under $100: Comparison
- Choosing the best turntable under $100
Best turntables under $100
Wockoder Portable Turntable
- Durable construction
- Great audio quality
- Versatile performance with contemporary features
- High quality components
- Requires a separate power adapter
The Wockoder Portable Turntable is a 3-speed, vintage style record player. Don’t let the retro design fool you, this record player is positively modern as far as features go. We love the classic design and the lightweight material. The Wockoder Portable Turntable is made from solid wood so it’s durable as can be yet portable enough for traveling. The design is compact so it’ll look right at home in your entertainment hub.
This Bluetooth-enabled record player features a high-quality Pfanstiehl, diamond-tipped needle. It delivers dynamic, crystal clear audio but is quite gentle on your beloved vinyls. Since this record player is Bluetooth-enabled, you can use it at home and beyond. This is a great feature for those who’d like to expand their listening experience beyond the comforts of their own. The Wockoder Portable Turntable comes in 16, 33 and 45 RPM so it is quite versatile too! It is suitable for 7, 10, and 12-inch records.
The Wockoder Portable Turntable presents a variety of connections including a standard headphone jack and USB output. It also comes with an SD card in case you’d like to give your tracks a vintage feel! The Wockoder Portable Turntable’s treble and bass are terrific. They add power to every track. Plus points for the built-in speakers. This feature means there’s no need to tote around separate speakers to enjoy your tracks.
Although the speakers work perfectly, they aren’t as powerful. Some customers say the audio isn’t as loud as others mainly because the speakers are designed with portability in mind rather than amazing audio clarity. If you want your tracks loud, you have to invest in a set of Bluetooth-enabled speakers.
Overall, the Wockoder Portable Turntable is an excellent turntable with features and an unbeatable price tag to match. It comes with a bevy of modern features that all serious records fan will appreciate.
1byone Suitcase Style Turntable with Speaker
- Durable construction
- Portable design
- Connects to Bluetooth compatible devices
- Versatile, works with any record format
- Stripped down features
The 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable is a 3-speed, belt-driven turntable that comes with built-in speakers. One of the product’s most defining features is the suitcase-style casing, which makes the turntable ultra-compact and portable. The 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable comes with a balanced tone arm with damping control, dual front-facing speakers and an RCA output. It also comes with a headphone jack.
As far as portability goes, the 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable is the product to beat. No need to tote this around in a separate case. You can take this turntable wherever and enjoy your favorite records. The 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable is also incredibly user-friendly and easy to set up. Just plug the turntable into a power outlet and you’re ready to enjoy your favorite vinyls.
Apart from having an RCA output and a headphone jack, you can hook the 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable up to an amplifier. The speakers are good though not great. As with most turntables with built-in speakers, the audio tends to be weak. These speakers are usually designed for portability, not for exemplary audio. You can use a separate set of speakers if the audio is too weak for your ears. We wish the 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable comes with more features, though.
The 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable comes with basic features and nothing more. It’s a great turntable for newbies but not so much for advanced users. Still, the 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable performs surprisingly well and at this price point, it’s a steal!
Audio Technica AT-LP60
Audio Technica’s line of turntables is worth checking out if you’re looking for great quality and a fair price. If you’re looking for the bang for the back turntable, start with Audio Technica’s devices. AT-LP60 is the most affordable device from the line and you should be easily able to pick it up for under $100. It’s a belt-driven player capable of spinning vinyls at two speeds: 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM (using the adapter).
It’s an automatic turntable so you don’t have to worry about cueing records and stopping the device when it reaches the end of the vinyl. If need be, the stylus is replaceable so replacing it isn’t an issue. The device can output either phono or line level signal (using the built-in preamp). That means that to play vinyls you need either speakers/stereo with RCA line input or a stereo system with phono input(only some systems have those). Overall, the AT-LP60 is one of the best affordable turntables for someone who is beginning his or her journey with record players. You just need a stereo system or a good pair of speakers to get started. It will not break your bank and will give you a long-lasting performance of high quality.
One thing to keep in mind is that there’s a USB-enabled version of AT-LP60 on the market as well – Audio Technica AT-L60USB. It costs a bit more but offers the benefits that USB-enabled record players offer – the ability to convert your old vinyls to MP3 files and listen to those records using your computer speakers. If that’s something you’re looking for, consider spending a bit more to get that feature as well.
- all-in-one – connect to a power outlet and start using
- built-in speakers are not that great
All in all, JTA 230 is a solid record player for a first-timer, especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one device that you can just connect to a power outlet and get started.Jensen JTA-230 is a perfect example of a record player for beginners. It’s a belt-driven player that supports all three speeds: 33, 45 (adapter included) and 78 RPM. If you’re interested in converting your old vinyl records to MP3s or simply listening to them using your computer’s speakers, JTA 230 has got you covered. While it has built-in speakers, you can also listen to the music using headphones or connect your own speakers using the RCA line out port. Please note that connecting external speakers will only help so much. That means the sound quality is quite okay, especially considering the device is available for under $50, but don’t expect wonders. If you have a set of powered speakers or a home stereo system, consider choosing Audio Technica AT-LP60 instead.
JTA-230 has a few features that some might find helpful. Those are pitch adjustment, tone control and an aux input jack that you can use to play music from your MP3 player. While the turntable is manually operated, it has an auto stop switch, so you don’t have to be there to shut it down when the record ends.
If you have a collection of 78 RPM records, which is highly unlikely, consider buying an additional stylus for those records, as the original own doesn’t work that great for those.
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1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable
- built-in speakers, but can use external speakers too
- allows to digitalize your records easily
- converts records straight to MP3 without a computer (a plus for some)
In short, the 1byone turntable is an affordable record player that rocks that retro look many people love. If you’re looking for a player that plays records on its own, but also allows for external speakers, it is definitely worth considering.1byone turntable is another device made for people who are just getting started with LPs. It supports all three speeds (45 RPM adapter included), so you can play any record from your collection. It features integrated speakers but also gives you the ability to use external speakers using the RCA line-out port.
The player has a USB port that you can use in two ways. First is to listen to your MP3s from a flash drive. Second is to digitalize your vinyl records straight to MP3s. Since you don’t connect the device to a computer, the process doesn’t require any software or knowledge to get started. You just insert a USB flash drive, cue a record and press a button or two. That’s it. If you’re a power user, you can process what you’ve got using a computer later on. Obviously, that isn’t by any means ideal, but hey, it’s an inexpensive record player for beginners, so the options it offers are limited.
When it comes to operating the device, it’s a semi-automatic one. You cue it manually, but it has an auto stop and return feature, which for most users is just enough.
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Sony PSLX300USB Turntable
- Semi-automatic – you set the needle yourself but when the record ends the arm goes back automatically
- Not everyone loves semi-automatic record players
While Sony PSLX300USB is available for a little over $100, it’s still worth considering in this price range. It’s a belt-driven record player that plays LPs and 45s. It’s a semi-automatic turntable. You have to set the needle to play the record but when it stops the arm goes back automatically. That’s important because you don’t have to be there when the record is over so the device won’t wear out the needle and possibly damage the vinyl. Many people really appreciate this feature.
When it comes to playing the records, you have a variety of options. You can connect the device to your computer using the USB port and play the music using your computer. All the software you need to do that is included so if you’re thinking about converting your vinyl collection to MP3 format to play your favourite record on your iPod or smartphone, Sony PSLX300USB has got you covered. Another option is to add the device to your home stereo system. It outputs phono level or line level (using the built-in preamp) signal so you shouldn’t have any issues connecting the player to your current stereo system using standard RCA cables. If you have a preamp in your system, you can use phono level signal from the turntable to get even better sound quality.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good and inexpensive device, Sony PSLX300USB is definitely worth checking out.
Crosley Portable Turntable
Crosley is a very old name in turntables and stereo equipment. Among many other Crosley products, they market a small (mini) turntable that is a portable and versatile unit that can be carried in one hand when it is closed up. It will play LPs, 45s, and 78s (7, 10 and 12-inch records), with the usual adapter for 45s.
The turntable is belt-driven and it has a changeable stylus in the tone arm. It’s a manually operated record player which means you need to cue it by hand and stop it yourself when the record stops playing (or it’ll continue to run and wear out the needle). It features two built-in stereo speakers with an adjustable tone control. You’re not restricted to the built-in speakers though. If you want to, you can connect the player to your home stereo system or bookshelf speakers using RCA cables (the unit outputs line level signal).
This unit is great for taking with you on trips, to parties, or just something that will fit into a small space and still deliver relatively good sound. It’s also a good choice for someone looking for a player that’s ready to play records out of the box – you just need to plug it into the power outlet and cue your favourite vinyl.
Best Turntables under $100: Comparison
|Wockoder Portable Turntable||33 1/3, 45, 78/td>||Belt||Automatic||USB, RCA line (aux)||Built-in speakers, plays music from Bluetooth devices|
|1byone Suitcase Style Turntable||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Automatic||RCA line (aux)||Built-in speakers, converts records straight to MP3s, plays music from Bluetooth devices|
|Audio Technica AT-LP60||33 1/3, 45||Belt||Automatic||Phono, line (aux)||–|
|Jensen JTA-230||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Auto stop||USB, RCA line (aux), jack (headphones)||aux input jack, built-in speakers, pitch adjustment, tone control|
|1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Semi-automatic||RCA line (aux)||built-in speakers, plays music from a USB flash drive, converts records straight to MP3s|
|Sony PSLX300USB Turntable||33 1/3, 45||Belt||Semi-automatic||USB, phono, line (aux))||–|
|Crosley Portable Turntable||33 1/3, 45, 78||Belt||Manual||Line (aux)||Built-in speakers|
Choosing the best turntable under $100
Now that you’ve read the descriptions of the best budget record players available, you should be able to choose the one you like the most. But what if you’re not certain which one to choose? We’re here to help. Here are a few things to have in mind when looking for your first record player.
Do you have speakers or a home stereo system?
If you’re just starting out with vinyl records but already own a set of speakers or a stereo system, you’ve got a head start. If that’s the case, choose a player that allows for external speakers. External speakers are definitely better than the built-in ones, so basically you get better sound quality for free. If you plan to have your record player connected to the stereo system at all times, consider AT-LP60 or another player without built-in speakers. Generally speaking, there’s no need to pay for built-in speakers if you will use your own.
If you don’t own a stereo system, well, there are two options. First is to go with a turntable with built-in speakers. These usually sound quite good, especially in smaller rooms, and most people find them good enough to get started. Another option is to invest in a stereo system or a quality pair of speakers. If you’re in need of a stereo system and decide to buy one, you already know how to approach things.
One thing to note, please don’t expect amazing sound quality from cheap record players for under $50 with built-in speakers. Even when you attach external speakers, the sound that comes out of those will likely be so-so at best. If you’re a regular listener, though, that’s usually not that big of a deal.
Is this your first turntable?
I know you’re looking for turntables for under 100 bucks. That’s likely your first record player or you’re buying it as a gift. If that’s your first player and you’re looking forward to giving this supposedly magical vinyl records thing a shot, don’t overpay. LPs might become a new passion of yours, and if that’s the case, you can always upgrade your system later. We have a $200 and $500 lists in place waiting for you later on. But what if you won’t like it? After a few listening sessions, you will get back to your stereo system or headphones and the player will be only gathering dust. Sure, you can sell the player or give it to someone else, but it will still be a waste of money. And in my books, it’s much better to waste $50 than $100 or $200.
If you want to buy a turntable because your old one stopped working and is beyond the point of repair, you can be pretty certain that you will use it often enough. If that’s the case, consider spending a bit more to get the best quality for your budget. If you have a stereo system or a set of speakers, AT-LP60 is the hands down best option for you. And you can get it for under $100. If you don’t own speakers or a stereo system, well, consider buying one of those. For another $100 you can get a quality set of speakers that will last quite a while and sound great with the AT-LP60. If that’s not an option, think about waiting with your purchase until you can afford both. If you enjoy something and use it often, I think it’s worth spending more on it to get better quality.
(Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com / https://www.flickr.com/photos/markusspiske/)