Turntable Reviews: Find Out the Best Record Player

Turntable and record player reviews

Turntable and record player reviews


I’m a music enthusiast who enjoys listening to vinyls records and who have been in the same situation as you: you want to buy a turntable but you don’t know where to start.

Everyone will have their own take on how to choose a record player, so I thought of creating this ultimate resource of helping people out through detailed turntable reviews and objective analysis of the best and most popular record players in the market.

If you are not sure about why you should buy a turntable, just head to our guide “Why Buy a Turntable?”.



Best 3 turntables

In order to make it easy for you, I made a table that list my favorite and recommended record players. I will keep updating my turntables reviews in order to make this list bigger. First I wanted to start with entry-level record players. I listed three turntables that have both great sound quality and an appealing design.

Top 3 Turntables under $400
Name Picture Best feature Price Rating
PRO-JECT – DEBUT CARBON  Record player reviews - PRO-JECT CARBON Great sound quality $$$ 4.8
Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Best USB record player under $400  Great value USB turntable $$ 4.4
Crosley CR6019A-BK USB Portable Turntable Vintage and portable record player Portable and vintage record player $ 4.2

Do you have any of this record players? Please let us know your experience with them! You think we are missing a better record player under $400 dollars? Tell us about it on the comments and we will review it!

Top 3 Record Player Details

1. PRO-JECT – DEBUT CARBON (Detailed Review)

One-liner: The best sound quality you can get without spending thousands of dollars

Price: $400. Isn’t it a beauty?

Main Features: 8.6″ carbon tonearm, increased platter size with more weight

  • Precision belt drive with synchronous motor
  • New Sorbothane motor suspension
  • Ortofon 2M Red cartridge

Extracts from amazon reviews

“Unless your ready to spend two to three times more money, you are not going to get a huge step up in sound quality from the Carbon. It’s in the sweet spot of price vs performance” -PCGUY

“Well, in short, I can’t recommend this table enough. For $400, I think its a great place/price to get back into vinyl. It strikes me that if the record is in good shape, and the recording and mastering is of good quality, this table/cartridge combination can do a fantastic job of bringing the music to life.” -Michael Sherman ”

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

One-liner: The best entry-level USB turntable
Price: $237.99

Main Features

  • Selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and USB connection to your Mac or Windows computer
  • Direct-drive, high-torque motor; includes professional cartridge and headshell
  • Selectable 33-1/3, 45, and 78 rpm speeds; +/-10 percent or +/-20 percent pitch adjust; high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock
  • S-shaped tone arm assembly with adjustable counterweight, antiskate adjustment, tone-arm height adjustment and lock
  • Includes USB cable and Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software,Switchable built-in pre-amplifier with line-level RCA output cables

Extracts from amazon reviews

“This turntable is beautiful in black. Easy to assemble. I am not using it to connect to USB port, just playing vinyl the old fashioned way. Sounds great. This turntable replaces a similar featured Sony belt drive model. More features on this than I think I’ll use. I am so pleased with it’s performance so far. Happy, happy with the purchase” -C. A. Bergman

“My old turntable died and I needed a replacement. I got this because it could be hooked up to a computer to copy records. It works great. The only complaints I have is the record does not return automaticly and the instructions could have been a little better. All in all a A+ turntable” -Ronnie



3. Crosley CR6019A-BK USB Portable Turntable

One-liner: Great looking USB turntable
Price: $99.95 Look at this baby in action

Main Features

  • Belt-Driven 3-Speed USB Turntable plays 33, 45 and 78 RPM Records
  • Headphone Jack
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Auxiliary Input and Output Jack
  • AC Power Adaptor

Extracts from amazon reviews

“I struggled with whether to give this item 4 or 5 stars. In the end, I chose 5 because, in my opinion, it is perfect for what it is: A great entry-level, easily portable or stored, USB turntable option.” -JMS

“I received the Crosley Cruiser Record Player as a gift. I love it so much, so I thought for my boyfriend’s birthday, I would get the Executive, so he would be able to put the recordings on his computer and iPod. So far, it is working great, and he has hooked up the player to his own speakers and says it sounds fantastic. He hasn’t tried out the software or USB yet, but hopefully it turns out just as well as the rest of the player!” -Teri


How do record players work?

As an engineer, the first time I took a close look of a turntable the first thing that pop to my mind was “How do turntables work?”. After wondering this, that I think most of us have wondered, I did a lot of research. In simple: the surface of a record it is designed to make the needle move in a specific way.


How do record players work - vinyl close up

Vinyl close-up

As you can see in the image on the left, the needle is following a line that is carefully designed to make it vibrate in different directions (left, right, up, down). This vibrations are the sound, as simple as that. Actually, we don’t need nothing more than a needle to play a record, the role of the other parts of the turntable are to amplify the sound using electricity. Just look at this video where a guy uses paper and no electricity to amplify the sound (just to turn the record).



Caution: The video mentions that paper will not damage you record. Some people have stated that paper could damage it, do not try this in a record you are not willing to give up. This video is very interesting, it also answer a question a lot people make to themselves, why do my record sound even if I put the volume in zero. Well, you already know!