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So, what is the best budget to get an affordable, dare we say cheap turntable that will deliver the best performance? As usual, the lower you go, the greater the chance is of ending up with a stinker, but the greater the reward of finding a true budget friendly gem gets as well.
Therefore, we set out in pursuit of the best turntable under $200. Thread lightly here, as there were plenty of low-quality products we had to discard. But a thorough research also came up with five bonafide gems, actual products that deliver a great performance, much greater than the price might initially indicate, and we are proud to round these boys up in a Top 5 list. The rundown awaits below.
Find the best turntable under $200
We’ll get the party started with a pinch of Audio Technica quality and the company’s best low-price model by far – the AT LP60.
Available in four different color patterns – Silver, Black, Blue, and Red – the turntable offers the user a fully automatic operation, along with two working speeds – 33 /13 and 45 RPM. It features a switchable pre-amp that guarantees a top-quality sound worthy of the company’s high standards, a professional aluminum platter, and a set of RCA Phono and RCA Line connectors.
Also included in the mix is an integral dual magnet stereo cartridge with replacement stylus. Note that the turntable doesn’t come with an internal speaker. The product features total dimensions of 17.8 x 15.9 x 5.9 inches, and a light weight of 8.6 pounds. For all you tech oriented folks, here are a few juicy details – the turntable features a signal-to-noise ratio of over 50 dB, while sporting an output level of 2.5 mV, nominal at 1 kHz.
Versatility is the word of the day here. The manufacturer obviously set a goal of creating a top-quality product with an affordable price aimed at fans of all music genres, making the AT LP60 stand out on pretty much all fronts with equal force and sonic zeal.
We would particularly single out the strong low end section, as well as a significant lack of sonic interference when compared to some of the other items of the specified price range. So if you like your tunes noise-free, this one is your top pick.
– Pioneer PL-30 Audiophile Stereo Turntable with Dual-Layered Chassis and Built-in Phono Equalizer
Up next is another fine contender – the mighty Pioneer and the mighty PL 30. Full of old school charm, the turntable delivers a well-rounded sonic output that will likely make you think the device is two times more expensive, if not more.
The turntable offers a fully automatic operation, utilizing a highly sensitive and resonance resistance low mass straight tone arm, a staple Pioneer precision DC servo motor that delivers precise execution and zero noise, along with a universal type cartridge connector, and an included phono EQ.
Also included in the mix is a low-vibration, belt-drive design, a set of vibration absorbing feet, a rubber plaster mat, and a hinged dust cover. The fella packs total dimensions of 6-9/16 x 3-15/16 x 13-7/16 inches, and a light weight of 5 lbs and 14 oz. The listed features secure not only a strong punch, but great reliability as well, since the inner circuits are quite strong, and the casing in general is less prone to damage than similar items.
The device’s on board pre-amp does a very good job, resulting in a very warm, subtle, and punchy sonic output. The timeless vinyl crackle is very much there, but so is the modern touch, and the feeling of glorious technological advancements we have made over the past years. The past wasn’t perfect, despite what they say, and this product does a very good job of overcoming the unnecessary fuzz and feedback that turntables of the past have dealt with.
Up next is the amazingly affordable Jensen JTA 230. We were greatly amazed that the sound is pretty good.
You can only expect poor performance for such a minuscule budget, but boy were we wrong, and boy are we glad we were. Although not the best device on the list, this one easily offers the best value for money on the whole list.
This is a belt driven three speed stereo turntable that operates at 33, 45, and 78 RPM speed, utilizing an on-board stereo speaker system. Also included in the mix is a USB Port with cable that allows you to convert vinyl into digital format. There is even an included piece of software for converting, editing and recording you audio content to Mp3.
The device packs a standard AUX input jack for connection with Mp3, iPod, or other audio players, as well as a RCA line-out jacks and a stereo headphone jack. The turntable features a standard pitch control for record speed adjustments, a volume control knob, tone control, a particularly handy auto stop switch, a power indicator, and a dust cover.
Once again, for the listed price, we stand amazed! It’s far from the greatest turntable in the world, but it is actually good. The sound is rich, warm and fuzzy, and not just by $50 standards, but in general. The device is articulate, fairly precise, and very much free of any major sonic issues. If you connect this puppy to the right sound system, you are truly in for a hoot!
Available in a vast array of nine different color patterns, up next is the most portable turntable on the list – the Crosley CR8005A TU. Also known as the Cruiser, this fella offers you the joy of quality vinyl packed in a travel case, perfect for a music lover on the go.
This belt driven portable turntable packs a smooth NP6 needle, along with an ability to tackle three various speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. Also included in the mix is a set of dynamic full range stereo speakers, a pack of RCA and headphone jack outputs, and an AC power adapter. Additionally, the dude comes with a total size of 10.5 x 14 x 4.6 inches, along with a light weight of just 5.5 pounds.
The sound is pretty solid, and surprisingly reliable for a portable turntable. You might expect constant skipping issues or something along those lines, but that is just not the case here. The Crosley dude is quite reliable, and even capable of packing a strong punch, allowing you to take the perfect groove anywhere you want.
Finally, another very fine choice – the Pyle PLTTB1. Less portable than the previous option, but still top-quality, ideal for young hip listeners thirsty for old-school vibe mixed with the proper modern values. Overall, what we have here a product that looks, sounds, and feel like it is worth at least three, if not five times more his price tag might indicate, and that is no mean feat. A true gem it is.
What we have here is a professional belt-drive turntable that utilizes a nifty weighted S tone arm. Notable features include an adjustable pitch control option of plus or minus 16 percent, not a frequent feature among budget friendly items.
Additionally, the player offers dual playback speeds, allowing it to tackle 33-1/3 and 45 rpm records. Also included in the mix is a strobe light that light outside edge markings for minute adjustments. Extra features include a classic start and stop switch, an anti skating function, as well as a sturdy dust cover to keep the record player safe at all times.
The product features a total size of 16.93 x 4.72 x 14.57 inches, along with a total weight of 8 pounds. A one year warranty is also included in the price.
Strong, punchy, accentuated bass section, and a solid treble segment to round things up. For the listed price, it is quite difficult to find a better option, and we are most definitely pleased with what this Pyle fella has to offer.
After all, when delving into under $100 realm, you should count yourself lucky if the turntable sounds merely decent, and this one is plain solid. It will allow you to meet all the charms of the vinyl world, and then leave you learning for more!
This brings us to the end of our journey, and all we can say is that these five lads are all strong contestants for the flattering title of the best turntable under $200. They all pack an amazing value for money, and they will all present you with a fine vinyl sound that will make you understand why is vinyl praised that much among audiophiles.
Also, these devices are quite likely to leave you yearning for more – for the best turntable under $1000 maybe? Anyhow, the matter now comes to sorting out your personal needs and preferences and making the final pick. Enhance your music world today, treat yourself with a trusty turntable!