A decent turntable is essential for you if you want to purchase vinyl. Although many models cost well into the thousands, it is not necessary to pay a fortune to get a great turntable. You can find the best products under $300 as long as you know what you are finding. Sure, not all turntables are identical. If you are finding one, you have to check out a few features first. We’ve made a list of the best turntables under 300. Also, we will let you know what to look for in an excellent turntable.
Top Five Best Turntables under 300 Reviews
This turntable is suitable for beginners because of its easy setup as well as its excellent features. Moreover, this one is also a favorite choice for people who love their vinyl. The turntable is a direct-drive system with a high-torque motor. Therefore, you can get a fast start-up all the time.
It can play at three different speeds. Therefore, you can play any records. This unit is also USB compatible. Thus, it is the right choice for players who need more modern conveniences. The model comes with a USB cable that allows you to plug it into any PC/ Mac.
Besides, it has the Audacity software to make digital conversion easy. The product also includes a lockable rest. There is also a diamond-tipped stylus on the Dual Magnet phono cartridge.
- Comes in three different speeds
- Comes with USB output with Audacity software
- Forward play
- Detachable, hinged dust cover
- Sound quality could be better
- May have to upgrade the cartridge.
Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable
This model is made for style and performance. It comes with a solid MDF wood cabinet with a black finish. When it comes to the best turntables under 300, you should not miss out on this brand.
The platter has a rubber slip mat to decrease vibrations. It means you can get the maximum vinyl protection as well as fewer skips. Moreover, it also comes with a diamond elliptical tipped stylus. It decreases any distortion for a cleaner sound.
The tonearm comes with an adjustable counterweight. It means you can set it. Also, there is an innovative anti-skate system. The model has two speeds, 33-1/3 and 45 rpm. Therefore, you need to unplug it to make your adjustments.
- Easy setup
- Auto shutoff
- Great high-gloss finish
- Switch for speed changes
- No Bluetooth or USB
Victrola Nostalgic Aviator 8-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable
When looking for a turntable for players who want to pinch pennies, you should consider choosing the Victrola Nostalgic Aviator. It is at a great low price. Moreover, it has a vintage case.
It also includes three speeds that allow you to use for your old favorites and new albums. This model has a CD player, an AM/FM radio, and a cassette player. Besides, the model is also Bluetooth compatible.
Furthermore, this turntable comes with the remote control with all the features of the device. However, it does not come with an on/off button. You will have to do this manually.
- Vintage-looking cabinet
- Affordable price
- Cassette player, built-in CD player, and AM/FM radio
- Three extra needles as well as a small flash drive
- No on/off button
- No RCA output jacks
Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable
If you are finding a classic turntable under 300, select the Denon DP-300F. This brand is famous for making premium class equipment. Fortunately, you can get high-class features from this model.
It comes with the metal DP-300F. Also, it has a glossy finish. There are also the buttons for choosing the speed, as well as the diameter of the disc played. Additionally, this one includes a fully automatic algorithm.
This turntable comes with a non-budget tonearm. It has a direct drive. Plus, it has a built-in MM phono equalizer that you can turn off with ease whenever you need to connect an external one.
- Easy to use because of the automatic construction
- The aluminum plate with high precision
- Produces accurate sound
- No stroboscope for precise setting of the speed
U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable
This bran is famous for making high-quality vinyl players for every budget. This model does not require a full-fledged installation. Thus, you have to prepare and start the device. The product is a manual turntable for vintage fans.
This model comes in red, black, white, blue, or green. Also, it has a transparent plastic dust cover. It also comes with a pre-installed cartridge. Since this one is 100% manual, you have to insert the needle into the groove. You cannot connect it to Analog inputs on a receiver.
- A fully customizable turntable for your specific music needs
- Comes with classic audiophile components, except nonessentials
- No speed control as well as auto-return for the tonearm
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Turntable
There are two types: direct-drive and belt-drive. The rotating platter of the direct-drive turntables is attached to an electric motor. You can get a more accurate rotation speed from this type.
Moreover, it gives higher playback startup speeds. Also, it gives you a higher torque to decrease the vulnerability to vibrations from the outside. The drawback is that the motor can lead these types of vibrations.
Belt-drive ones come with an elastic belt attached to the motor. This type decreases vibrations; the motor may lead to shock for a cleaner sound. However, they come with lower torque and decrease accuracy in the playback speed.
Vinyl records have three main speed formats, including 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm. The 78 rpm speed is the first used vinyl. However, it is rarely used on records these days. The other two speeds are mainly used today.
Bluetooth and USB availability
Turntables are essential for any sound system. A few modern conveniences may be necessary. For example, you may want Bluetooth capability. With this feature, you can store your music on any device you select, such as an iPod, Smartphone, or tablet.
Another great feature is USB availability on a vintage-looking model. With this feature, you can link your device to a Mac or PC.
Pre-amplifier and built-in speakers
Most products mentioned above comes with pre-amplifiers. However, what is this factor? A pre-amplifier is designed to boost the signals of the turntable. They may be sold as a stand-alone piece.
However, you will not receive the best sound quality from built-in speakers. The smaller speaker requires the lower sound to decrease any distortion type.
You need to consider the design of the turntable when looking for a model for you. Do you like a sleek modern piece or a more vintage unit? Both of them have different features to select.
It is essential to check out the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Some models have slip mats to protect the record from the platter. For fully automatic models, you needn’t do it manually.
Frequently Asked Questions
What additional devices do I need to enjoy my turntable fully?
A flat solid surface may be essential for you. It helps to put your device on. You also should choose a turntable with a pre-amplifier. Besides, you may need an amplifier and some RCA cables.
Another thing to consider is a slipmat. It helps to protect the record from the platter. Moreover, it removes friction if you want to use your device for some DJs.
Can you use a modern turntable to play old vinyl?
Most devices come with 33-1/3 as well as 45 rpm settings. However, you will need 78 rpm for the oldest albums. More importantly, you need the proper speed to play any vinyl.
Which model is the best for the first-time purchasers?
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is the best choice for first-time buyers. The reason is that you can set up with ease. It also brings excellent features, including the USB output, three-speed settings, and the built-in phono preamp.
With a high-quality turntable under 300, you can play all the records without costing a fortune. The five models above are all worthy products you can choose. However, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is our top pick. It is Bluetooth compatible. Therefore, it can link with many devices. Moreover, this model also comes with durable components so that you can get good sound quality.