Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
In case you didn’t know, vinyl is back! Actually, in case you didn’t know, vinyl never went away. A favorite sound source of just about any music aficionado out there has made a bit of a mainstream comeback over the past few years, resulting in the return of quality turntables to the market, additional new innovations in the field, and a whole lot of interesting tidbits for all you vinyl-heads.
So, for that matter alone, we decided to delve into this domain and single out thebest turntable under $300. This obviously means that we are sticking to the budget friendly realm, but despite a budget oriented conscious, we are still keeping the sound quality as a top factor, meaning that none of the items we opted for deliver a low quality performance.
Anyhow, there are five of them, and they all rock. Meet the best cheap turntable in the rundown below!
What is the best turntable under $300?
Let’s get this thing on the move then! For our top items, we opted for Jensen JTA 230 as the representative of the budget friendly domain, along with Sony PSLX 300USB, Numark TTUSB, Audio Technica AP LP120, and Pioneer PL 990. More details in the reviews below.
For the first item on the list, we opted for the Numark TTUSB turntable, not only an affordable and quality sounding device, but also quite a looker. The device is reliable, strong, sturdy, and durable, it has everything a casual listener might need, and even some of the mildly addicted music lovers.
The device utilizes full USB connectivity for Mac and PC, along with a 1/8 inch stereo line input, a set of RCA line outputs, and an adjustable pitch control for alterations between minus and plus 10 percent. There is an adjustable anti skate control option that increases the stereo balancing.
Additionally, the product is packaged with all the necessary cables needed to connect with a standard stereo playback system or a computer. We’re talking about a light and compact item, featuring total dimensions of 12 x 4 x 4 inches and a weight of 12.1 pounds.
The needle drops strongly with this one, as the young Numark here delivers that crackling, old school type of vibe, and allows you to transport it directly onto your preferable mobile device. Both 33.33 and 45 RPM playing speeds are supported, meaning that this pup can take on even those old 45s from way back in the day.
Switching to the budget friendly domain, we bring you the Jensen JTA 230, the best cheap turntable on the market today. This item locks in tightly with your tunes, and gives you quite a solid sound. Back it up with a proper set of quality equipment and you are bound to fetch yourself a top-notch audio vibe.
The turntable operates as a belt driven three speed stereo turntable capable of playing 33, 45, and 78 RPM records through a stereo speaker system of very solid quality. There is a USB port on one of the sides with an included cable, allowing you to convert vinyl records straight to a digital format of your choice.
In addition to the possibility of converting and editing your audio, the device features an AUX input jack you can use for iPod or Mp3 player connection. Additional gizmos include a set of RCA line out jacks, and a stereo headphone jack to fully immerse yourself into the world of vinyl with a pair of ground shaking headphones.
There is also a pitch control option for setting up the record speed, a standard volume control, a dust cover, and an auto stop switch that we found particularly nifty and convenient. As for the power, the device utilizes an AC 120 V 60 Hz power source. The turntable comes with total dimensions of 13.4 x 13.8 x 6.4 inches and a light weight of 5.5 pounds.
The sound is not as good as some of the more expensive items on the list, but it is nevertheless quite solid and bound to satisfy a decent chunk of listeners with a solid mid-range punch, a healthy load of crackle with very low sonic interference and bad audio interruptions.
Sony is a renowned company that shines in many fields, but they are particularly strong in the turntables department, and have been for many years. Vinyl heads from way back in the ’70s have been praising some of their models, and the PSLX 300USB stands out as one of the items that bring Sony to a new era with top quality sound output and a clever design.
The product offers you an option between 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speeds, utilizing a fully automatic operation and an on-board quality phono preamp. Also included in the mix is a static balance tonearm, a smooth belt drive system, and a USB audio output. The item comes with a total size of 13.5 x 3.9 x 15.7 inches and a weight of 6 pounds.
A significant level up from the previous two items, the Sony offers a significantly stronger punch, with much more well controlled volume and much more warmth in the bass region. Also, this thing can rock on for ages, and we are quite positive that the PSLX 300USB is possibly the sturdiest and most reliable product on the list.
Back to audio output, Sony took their renowned sound from the past and brought it to a new age with style, and that says a lot.
– Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver
Now if you were to ask us to single out just one best turntable under $300, regardless of value for money and all that jive, we’d say Audio Technica AP LP120, because this fella offers the most superior sound on the entire list, while still boasting high durability and sleek looks.
Available in silver and black, the turntable features a selectable internal stereo phono preamp, as well as a USB connection to tune into your Windows or Mac computer. Also included in the mix is a high torque, direct drive motor, a professional cartridge and a head-shell casing.
The product can work with 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm speeds, while offering a + or – 10 percent or + or -20 percent pitch adjustment, and a high accuracy quartz controlled pitch lock. There is also an anti skate adjustment setting, an S shaped tone arm assembly featuring an adjustable counterweight, a tone-arm height adjustment and a lock.
The package comes with an included USB cable, and a Mac and PC compatible Audacity software. The device features a total size of 13.9 x 6 x 17.8 inches and a chunky weight of 23.5 pounds.
Thanks to a wide frequency response and a list of other notable features, the sonic drive of this fella is truly amazing. Regardless of the genre, the turntable will undoubtedly offer a very warm and fuzzy bass packed with vintage charm and analog vibe, along with a massively punchy middles section to hit you straight in the heart. To round things up, we have the bright treble section to secure the groove you crave for.
– Pioneer PL-30 Audiophile Stereo Turntable with Dual-Layered Chassis and Built-in Phono Equalizer
We’ll round things up with a Pinoeer model, the PL 990, a strong and durable device that will deliver the closest thing to the high-end sound with a low-end price tag.
The device comes with a full automatic operation that provides an easy hands off operation. Also included in the mix is a precision DC servo motor, a low mass straight tone arm that is highly sensitive and resistant to resonance and allows better track recording track records better, and a universal cartridge connection and an on-board phono EQ.
Additional features include a low-vibration belt drive design, a rubber platter mat to decrease friction, and a set of vibration absorbing feet. The product’s total dimensions are 13.5 x 16.5 x 3.9 inches, while the weight rounds up at light 5.8 pounds.
This guy’s sound quality is impressively close to the listed Audio Technica model, although not quite it. The audio output is first of all strong, and the on-board preamp works very well in capturing the authentic vinyl vibe. The bright section is bound to please you, and the rest of the sonic frequencies are right there to deliver the punch as well.
In general, these are the top picks you can make as far as the best turntable under $300 is considered. Each of the listed items offers more than the price might initially indicate, and each of them will give you more than you have paid for.
None of them is a purchase you can regret, so as long as you stick the specific needs, desires, and budget limitations you have jotted down, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. So give these boys another look and feel free to make your purchase as early as today, you know you deserve a treat like this! Highly recommended, a big thumbs up from here!