We’ve gone from vinyl to cassettes to CDs and to mp3s. And now, we’re going full circle, back to vinyl.
It seems after many decades of vinyl dying, that it’s getting a rebirth. At one point, it was almost completely gone, but just like many trends from time’s past, vinyl’s making its own comeback. It seems everybody’s getting their hands on their own turntable and visiting record shops just like the “olden days”.
There’s just something incredible about setting up the turntable and listening to your favorite tunes on vinyl. Some people say there’s no better sounding format for music than vinyl. The only issue is, it seems that in order to get a decent record player, you’ll need to fork out thousands of dollars right?
Well, as it turns out, you can get an incredible turntable for under $1000. And since turntables made their initial appearance almost 5 decades ago, they’ve gotten some serious upgrades. The vintage 70s music technology has come a long way to deliver the highest quality music that can challenge almost any music device today.
It can be hard to figure out just which turntable you should buy, especially when they’ve upgraded so much over the years. Thankfully, we’ve done the homework for you, and found the best record players on the market today, many of which are high-end (without being too pricey).
Here are the best turntables under $1000 to buy in 2020.
Audio-Technica AT-LP7 Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable
Audio-Technica has been one of the top turntable brands for many years. The Audio-Technica AT-LP7 may just be the best turntable under $1000. It has all the features you’d want in a turntable, and it can challenge some of the turntables in the thousands.
It offers similar specifications to the high-end Cambridge Audio Alva TT, but it’s $1000 cheaper.
The AT-LP7 includes Audio-Technica’s signature J-shaped tonearm with precision bearings and a gimbal suspension which is great at reducing playback errors. It’s equipped with a solid cartridge (VM520EB) which you can tell is also made extremely well.
Why Buy It: The AT-LP7 is an incredible turntable. It offers similar specs to record players in the $1000-$2000 range, but for half the price. If you’re looking to pick up an awesome turntable and don’t know what to pick (and also don’t want to fork out more than $1000, then this is the best record player available.
How Much it Costs: $799, it’s probably the best value for your money. Audio-Technica makes high-quality turntables that can electrify any room. The quality of the audio delivered is really something special. This record player is also very durable. It’s made to last so you won’t have to buy another one.
What We Think of it: Considering the record player is only $799, it’s a steal. $799 may seem like a decent amount to spend, but if you look at what this specific record player offers, it’s really quite incredible. It’s reliable, durable, and of course, provides an excellent sound for casual listening. The only downside is that it only offers two speeds, but overall, it’s an amazing deal.
- Best value
- VM520EB cartridge produces amazing sound
- Includes RCA cables, 45 RPM adapter, dust cover
- Anti-resonance platter (no buzzing)
- Only 2 speeds
- Fully manual (be aware when the album is about to finish)
HYM Seed Belt Drive Turntable, Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player with 80W Output Stereo Speaker
If you want a gorgeous all-in-one turntable deck and speaker combo, then this is the best turntable under $1000 for you. The HYM Seed Belt Drive Turntable is the perfect all-in-one set that has a gorgeous wooden design and an 80W output. You have all the latest inputs, like Bluetooth, RCA, and AUX, and of course, vinyl mode.
It features WYM’s patented “Tri-Point” suspension system, which allows the tonearm and platter to stay steady while the 80W Speakers do their thing.
This turntable has won multiple design awards as well, so if aesthetics is a concern for you, then you won’t need to worry about showing this record player off.
Why Buy It: It’s beautiful, it’s durable, and it’s an easy setup. If you want something that’s simple and works within seconds of setting it up, then you’ll probably want to choose this bad boy. It delivers an incredibly rich sound and makes it easy to switch between formats – whether you want to throw on some vinyl or play from Bluetooth, making it very user-friendly.
How Much it Costs: For only $598, it’s a beautiful machine, and one of the best hifi set ups of 2019. This record player comes with all the modern bells and whistles, while still having a nostalgic feel to it. It’s a gorgeous design and can easily handle any vinyl new or old and output a beautiful sound.
What We Think of it: It’s the easiest way to enjoy your music fast with the turntable and speaker set up. Even when you’re not listening to music, the turntable adds a nice piece to any room. Oh and let’s not forget, the sound is amazing.
- All-in-one turntable and speaker combo
- Beautiful wooden design
- 80W speaker is quite loud
- “Tri-Point” suspension system
- Bass isn’t as deep as other subwoofers
Pioneer DJ Direct Drive DJ Turntable
The Pioneer DJ Direct Drive DJ Turntable is an impressive machine for both audiophiles and DJs. It’s built first and foremost for scratch masters, with a ton of bells and whistles for the amateur or professional DJ. For DJs, this turntable provides club-quality sound and mechanics to handle just about anything you need to perform. It has a fader control and allows you to easily switch from 33 ⅓ to 45.
For home audiophiles, it features RCA output jacks, VTA tone arm adjustment, a quick disconnect power, and improved sound deadening. Plus it includes an easy change head shell on its “S” shaped tone arm.
Why Buy It: If you’re a DJ and want something a little easier on the budget that can perform well on stage, you’ll love it. If you’re an audiophile who wants some top-notch equipment at home to produce quality sound and maybe play around a bit, it’s a great option as well.
How Much it Costs: For audiophiles or DJs on a budget, you’ll love this turntable. It’s only $592, making it very affordable considering what you’re getting. It has a more “traditional” design, is easy to use, and is built well with durability in mind.
What We Think of it: This direct drive turntable is a treat for any DJ looking to make a name for themselves in the club. It carries its weight, has all the appropriate features, and produces amazing sound. It’s also a great turntable for casual listeners at home who might want to play around a bit.
- Great quality and build
- Easy to set up
- Great budget-friendly turntable
- Good for DJs
- Some people like belt driven machines better
- 2-3x heavier than most turntables
Rega Planar 2 Turntable with RB220 tonearm, Glass-platter and Carbon Cartridge
If you want a beautifully designed turntable with a high quality build that’s great for spinning records at home, then the Rega Planar 2 Turntable might be the best turntable for under $1000 for you. Rega is another top player in the turntable game, as they’ve been making quality turntables for years.
The Planar 2 is made with exceptional audio clarity and durability in mind. In features a Carbon MM cartridge that’s already installed and ready to offer incredible sound quality.
It also has durable stabilizing feet that reduce any resonance or buzz, while keeping the turntable level. The record player also features a glossy, acrylic laminated plinth that’s quite sturdy.
Why Buy It: It’s beautifully designed, both on the outside and the inside. The internal components make for a crisp, clear sound for any home audiophile. The glossy plinth has a gorgeous, modern design. Plus, it’s built to last. You won’t need to buy another turntable again with this beauty from Rega.
How Much it Costs: For $675, it’s one amazing turntable. The care and detail put into the build is noticeable. You can tell this turntable was made with exceptional materials. The look, the feel, and most of all the sound produced by this record player makes it worth the money.
What We Think of it: Rega is an amazing turntable brand and they made this Planar 2 Turntable with great care. We like the 24-volt low-noise motor that’s featured inside the turntable. It keeps your turntable cool when you’re wanting to listen for hours on end. The only downside is the dust cover feels a little on the cheaper side, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means.
- Incredible glossy plinth design
- Superior sound quality
- Trusted brand in Rega
- Sturdy, low resonance stabilizing feet
- Dust cover feels a bit cheap
U-Turn Audio - Orbit Special Turntable with Built-in preamp
While our top priority is almost always the sound capabilities of a turntable, this U-Turn Audio Turntable offers one of the best looking turntables on the market. The Orbit Special Turntable by U-Turn Audio has an impressive build. You can choose between a flat cut maple or rift walnut plinth that are both beautifully designed.
In terms of technical features, the Orbit Special comes prebuilt with a Pluto preamp, allowing you to connect directly to an amplifier or powered speakers.
It includes a cue lever so you can operate the tonearm easily. It also includes the award-winning Ortofon 2M cartridge, producing an incredibly sound.
Why Buy It: It’s gorgeous. It sounds amazing. And it has a built-in Pluto preamp so you can plug it right into an amplifier and you’re ready to go. The U-Turn Audio Orbit Special Turntable is one of a kind in sound quality and design, and it’s quite easy to use.
How Much it Costs: For $549, it’s an amazing deal. The quality of the build, the design, and the added technical features make this turntable a great bargain for anyone wanting to add an impressive record player to their home.
What We Think of it: We love the low motor noise and consistency in speed. Aside from the beautiful design that’s quite apparent by looking at the pictures, the sound is something special. The Ortofon 2M Red cartridge delivers and incredible sound. Plus, the tonearm provides low distortion and an internal anti-skate and adjustable counterweight.
- 2 beautiful design options
- Built-in preamp allowing for easy set up
- Adjustable counterweight to keep turntable level
- Award-winning Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge
- Only 3 rubber feet make it somewhat difficult to move around
Denon Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable, USB Output for Recording, Speed Auto Sensor
The Denon Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable is great if you’re wanting to listen to old time vinyl records from back in the day to the latest release on Spotify or iTunes. This turntable is one of the best record players in terms of versatility. You can switch between vinyl mode, or use a USB to connect your audio straight from your computer to the turntable.
It supports 33 ⅓, 45 or even 78 RPM without having the change the belt. The cartridge is already installed, making for an easy set up.
Plus, the semi-automatic design keeps your vinyls protected. As soon as your album is finished, it automatically lifts up to keep your records intact. Not to mention, the tonearm is crafted well to deliver beautiful audio.
Why Buy It: Denon offers the old and the new all in one turntable. Pop on your favorite vinyl from times past in vinyl mode. Then, switch it up with a new release by using the USB. And if you forget your record on, you don’t need to sweat it. Instead of damaging your vinyl, it automatically lifts up the tonearm when the record finishes.
How Much it Costs: This turntable is the most affordable on our list of best turntables under $1000. At only $499, it is one of the best value turntables available.
What We Think of it: It’s a great starter turntable for anyone wanting to rock out to their dusty vinyls from the 70s and 80s, but also wants to utilize their music on their computers. The only complaint is the cartridge isn’t the highest quality compared to others on this list, but it can be replaced if you want.
- Can replace the cartridge if wanted
- Easily switch between vinyl or USB
- Automatically lifts when album finishes to protect vinyl
- The cartridge isn’t the highest quality
Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 MusicCast Turntable
Yamaha is back on the record player scene. They took a 20-year stint from creating turntables, but are making a comeback. They make high end turntables, ranging in the thousands, but crafted this Turntable to be affordable, while still producing high-quality music. It has a number of modern features that will excite the techy audiophile, while still able to produce amazing crisp sounds out of any vinyl you put on it.
It was built to be fully compatible with Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless speakers, allowing you to ditch all the annoying cables and cords from the music listening experience. You can set up the turntable and speakers in any room in the house (and even put speakers in multiple rooms to create an amazing concert-like effect throughout your home.
Why Buy It: This might be the best turntable under $1000 for the wireless geeks. Yamaha made this record player with 2 things in mind: wireless capabilities, and streaming music. It’s one of the most modern turn tables available, easily allowing you to play music from any streaming service or from your old time vinyls.
How Much it Costs: For $699.95, it’s an awesome modern turntable for the techy home audiophile. You can stream music services through AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth. Plus, you can play around with the music settings through Yamaha’s MusicCast app right from your smartphone. If you don’t want to touch anything, just tell Alexa or Google Assistant what to do and they’ll play whatever song you want.
What We Think of it: It makes the hands-free, wireless music listening experience quite incredible. The multi-speaker set up in multiple rooms is quite incredible. But not only that, Yamaha really made a solid-sounding turntable in the MusicCast Vinyl 500 MusicCast Turntable.
- Wireless capabilities
- Multiple speakers in multiple rooms
- Easy streaming
- MusicCast speaker compatibility
- Control music settings from MusicCast App
- 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM vinyl
- Audio isn’t quite as high as other options on the list
How to Choose the Best Turntable: Recommendations
Choosing the right turntable can be challenging when you’re looking to pick up your first one, or you just haven’t used one in decades.
Modern turntables can come with all sorts of bells and whistles depending on how much you’re wanting to toy around with your turntable. However, you may not need a lot of these features and functions if you’re just wanting to sit back and throw a record on for some easy listening.
Here are some key features you need to consider when picking up a new turntable in 2020.
RPM Speeds: There are 3 basic speeds that a record plays at: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. The type of speed a record plays at will determine if it will match your turntable or not. Plus, some turntables allow customizable speeds which is helpful if you’re wanting to craft your own sound at home or as a DJ at a party.
Stylus/Cartridge: One of the most crucial parts of your turntable is the stylus (or whole cartridge area). It is the piece of the tonearm that comes in contact with your record. The quality and durability of the stylus can greatly impact the quality of your sound, and how long your records will last.
Type of Drive: You can get either belt-driven turntables or direct drive players. Direct drive gives you a smoother listening experience, though belt-driven turntables can produce a sound that is vibration-free.
Audio Controls: You can get a turntable that has treble, bass, pitch, and speed controls allowing you to customize the sound if necessary.
Speaker Connection: Depending on the turntable you buy, you’ll need to make sure it’s easy to connect it to the speakers you have. Some have speakers attached as amplifiers, while others will require more hardware to connect. Just make sure you read all the specs on a product.
Music Format: Are you just wanting to listen to vinyl records? Or are you wanting to plug in your iPhone music as well? Maybe you want to play an old album, then switch it up to stream new music off Spotify? Depending on the turntable, there are a variety of potential music formats you can listen to.