7 Best Cheap Turntables Under $100 (2017 Edition)
Striking a genius balance between price and performance. The glaring dilemma that’s haunting you in the quest to own a high-quality turntable without compromising your budgetary prospects, right? With the prolific myth that you have to spend a fortune if you wish to have an amazing experience mastering the ropes of the turntable technology, many often fret about purchasing the cheap price range turntables. But is this perception accurate? We beg to differ.
In this post, we seek to bring you to the limelight regarding the special breed turntables under 100$ on the market today. The reviewed products below, though lacking the fancy features in the high-end turntables, will serve your need of playing records beyond your expectations.
Beyond playing the vinyl records, modern day turntables bring you a broad variety of features. Apart from getting a pocket-friendly turntable, an understanding of the critical features that primarily influence the performance of a turntable will let you narrow down to your best turntable with no hassle.
Factors to consider buying a turntable
ION Audio Max LP
Audio Technica AT-LP60BK
Manual vs automatic
Manual Cue turntables are the most common on the market. With a manual turntable, the user has to physically raise the arm, place it on the record, and eventually lift it off as it approaches the side's end. Beginners, especially those seeking to learn vinyl scratching, might find the manual cue system stubborn and intimidating. Fortunately, with time, operating the manual turntable becomes as easy as pie with the first few attempts.
On the other hand, if working with manual systems sounds strenuous, you may opt to go for the automatic option. The latter requires few button presses and you are done.
Whenever the need to transfer some records to your mobile devices like smartphones for a given operation like conversion to various formats arises, a turntable with a USB port will offer such an advantage. However, it's smart to notice that most of the prolific turntables come with no USB ports. It's deemed that the cost of adding a USB port to a turntable is relatively high. Hence, most manufacturers who offer built-in USB ports with their turntables often compensate the expense by utilizing poor-quality internal components. Therefore, ensure that the USB-port doesn't drive you into buying a low-quality turntable. Scrutinize all the parts before making a purchase.
At some point, as you get to explore the exciting vinyl record world, the essential features of your turntable might signal the need for an upgrade. Therefore, when going for a pocket-friendly turntable, it's critical to consider its upgradeability. Seek to know the components of your preferred turntable that are upgradeable. Some of the components that might require upgrading with time include the tone arm, belt (for the belt-drive turntables), slip mats, and the cartridge. It's wise to go for a turntable that allows for individual component replacement.
7 Best Turntables Under $100?
What makes them worth buying? Let’s find out.
- Built-in USB port and 3.5 mm auxiliary input
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Supports 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPMs
- Sapphire tipped ceramic needle
The Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Turntable is one of the products that rank in the less than $100 category effortlessly. Its unquestionable construction makes it one of the most desired turntables by vinyl record enthusiasts across the globe.
Coming to you entirely packaged in a black cabinet, this unit brings out a crisp feel of elegance and class when placed anywhere, or when you carry it around.
Its 1960s design might lead you to doubt its performance until you get to try its performance and its great technology will amaze you.
On its record player section, is a high-grade belt-drive turntable that integrates with a partially automated tonearm.
When it comes to the integration of the stylus, the featured lever will allow for safe handling of the records. Therefore, you can be sure to keep your records free from accidental scratches.
Like most of its competitors in the under $100 category, this unit supports various audio formats including 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPMs.
Even more, this unit comes with AUX and USB inputs. Therefore, you can hook it up to your smartphone whenever you need to listen to your favorite playlist.
Even with the absence of RCA output in the Electrohome Archer Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable, we still appreciate its headphone port that allows for private listening. Again, one can choose to use adapters in the quest to connect this turntable to other audio devices.
Its powerful speakers are also worth mentioning as they make the vinyl experience incredibly amazing.
As a summary, we wish to recommend this turntable for beginners in the vinyl record technology arena. It will serve you best and give you a reason to grow your passion in this field. Its durability is ensured by its sturdy and classic casing.
- 3-speed turntable (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM)
- Built-in Bluetooth
- Built-in FM radio
- Built-in CD and cassette players
- Built-in stereo speakers
- 3.5mm Aux-in
The grand turntable featuring in the under $100 category is undoubtedly the Victrola Nostalgic Classic Wood 6-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable. It’s a product designed with the user satisfaction in mind.
We start off by letting you know that this unit supports the major record formats including 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPMs.
Again, whenever records get way too boring, you will always be free to switch on the built-in AM/FM radio to get to know the occurrences around you.
Furthermore, the Victrola Nostalgic turntable supports Bluetooth connection. Therefore, you will always be free to connect it to your smartphone or laptop to play your favorite tunes.
Even more, this unit will let you play your recordings stored on CDs or cassettes around your home or work place.
If elegance is one of your core principles, then the crisp wooden cabinet that encloses this turntable is sure to impress you.
The use of an entirely manual tone arm on this unit could be considered as a minor drawback, especially for beginners. However, you should get used to the tone arm within the first few attempts of use.
The Victrola Nostalgic Classic Wood 6-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable suits people seeking to use a classic unit with antique aesthetics while still offering undisputable versatility. It’s a product that’s worth way more beyond its price. Its professional development also assures its durability.
- 33, 45, 78 audio speed settings
- Stereo speakers
- USB key
- Vinyl to MP3 recording
- RCA output
With the beautiful protective dust cover, crisp wooden appearance, as well as the professional front panel, it would be rude to start off this product analysis without appreciating the great styling featured in this unit.
Now, on its capabilities, we were impressed by its ability to directly rip vinyl onto a quality USB thumb drive independent of the computer. With this ability, this turntable will let you go through a load of records while ripping them.
Unfortunately, this unit doesn’t allow for naming of the files generated from the old stack of records. Therefore, you might need to do the naming once you receive the files on the computer.
With a glance at its speakers, you will notice that they are front-facing. Therefore, even in crowded areas, this unit still serves its purpose appropriately.
On its drawbacks, the 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable features no headphone jack port. Fortunately, it comes with RCA outputs fitted on its rear side.
For those yearning to learn the art of vinyl recording using an affordable turntable, the 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Stereo Turntable is your match. It will serve you with no disappointments whatsoever throughout its lifetime.
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Supports 3 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records
- Headphone output
- Tape converter software CD/ EZ Vinyl
Among the bad ass rivals of the Jensen JTA-230 turntable is the ION Audio Max; a turntable that fits in its class in matters design, performance, and features.
Featuring a genuine, elegant wood desk that integrates with an expertly crafted rubberized dust cover, the ION Audio Max LP is a turntable that brings out the vinyl record technology in a creative and innovative way.
Apart from its special aesthetic aspects, this unit is built for nothing but excellent performance. With an AUX input jack around its backside, you can now connect your smartphone to this unit and play your favorite audio files through it for an improved listening environment.
Also, the RCA ports let you connect external speakers to this unit for an amplified sound. Even more, the ION Audio Max LP turntable brings along a USB port integrated with the ION’s ripping/converting software.
During late nights or in noise restricted areas, the front port featured below the wood trim allows for headphone connection, thereby facilitating private listening.
We were impressed by the fact that this unit supports a broad range of audio formats namely 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPMS.
It’s partly manual tone arm integrates with a lever that allows for easy and accurate handling of the stylus. Therefore, your records will always be free from accidental scratches.
We find this unit exceptional and satisfactory. It's one of the best turntables under $100 that you can purchase today. We confidently recommend it.
- 33, 45, 78 RPM support
- Stereo speaker system
- Built-in USB port
- Built-in software for recording, converting and editing audio to MP3 format content
- Pitch control-Adjusts tone and volume of the output audio file
Featuring an undisputable design and performance, the Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable, ranks under the best turntables under $100 with no hassle. Its functionality comes second to none in the under $100 category.
With its support for 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records, this unit lets you work flexibly without limiting your potential in the vinyl record industry.
What sets it apart is its ability to vary the pitch and tone of any supported audio. In fact, this is a hard-to-find feature even in the high-end turntable models on the market today.
Also, the inclusion of a headphone jack in this unit also gives it a competitive advantage over its competitors on the market. Whenever your vinyl record collection gets boring, you can choose to play audio files from other devices through the help of the headphone jack located at its front.
Furthermore, this unit comes with a built-in USB port at its rear end. Therefore, you will always be free to transfer various audio files to and from a MAC or Windows computer.
On its dark side, we find the placement of speakers on its side, a drawback to storage as well as portability. Therefore, it's critical to purchase a quality carrying/storage case for use with this unit.
Finally, we appreciate the provision of a 90-day warranty on this product by the Jesen Company.
Overall, this product is built for nothing but excellent performance. It will undoubtedly serve its purpose in the best way if used and maintained appropriately.
- Entirely automatic
- Dual speed turntable; 45 and 33 1/3 RPM
- Die cast, aluminum platter
- Double magnet phono cartridge with upgradeable diamond stylus
Fortune is an understatement when describing the prolific Audio Technica AT-LP60BK turntable. It’s a product that continues to cause a buzz with its professional development while still going for under $100.
By just having a slight glance at this turntable, one can tell that it has a lot to offer. Its aesthetics give it the first competitive advantage over its rivals on the market. The Audio Technica AT-LP60BK turntable boasts a sleek design, allowing it to appear incredibly elegant when placed on any surface.
When it comes to its functional components, we were impressed by its fully automatic tone arm. With this feature, even a vinyl beginner will manage to play records without seeking help on the recommended needle setting.
Even more, this unit comes with RCA and phono outputs allowing for easy integration with a broad variety of systems. However, this unit comes with no built-in USB port.
We love its excellent audio quality which surpasses even that in some of the expensive models on the market today.
Everything comes with its positive and negative ends, and so does the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK turntable. As we scrutinized this turntable, some of its features couldn’t go past our throats.
The absence of audio speakers in this unit is quite a drawback. With its purchase, it's mandatory that you buy some powered, external speakers, thereby raising a question on the overall cost of this turntable setup. If you wish to use some unpowered speakers with this unit, you will have to route the signal using a router. Otherwise, you won't achieve any audio output.
Again, the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK turntable doesn’t support 78RPM records. Fortunately, most audio files today come with the 33 1/3 or 45RPM formats. Therefore, its inability to support 78RPM audio formats isn’t much of a disadvantage.
If you are looking for a turntable to kick off your vinyl world exploration, the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK turntable will serve you well. Ensure that you purchase a sizeable suitcase to improve the portability of this unit.
- Crisp wooden design
- 3-speed variable turntable
- 2-inch built-in speaker
- 1.5w*2 RMS output
- FM/AM radio (stereo) with analog tuning
When it comes to matters design, the Spectra Studebaker Wooden Turntable has proven to be unbeatable. It's crisp, antique wooden design speaks for itself. From its design, you can tell that the Studebaker Company takes no chances throughout the development of this unit.
Unlike its major competitor in the under $100 category, the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable, the Spectra Studebaker Wooden Turntable boasts support for 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM audio formats.
The manual tone arm should not scare you from purchasing this unit as you will get used to the process with the first few attempts.
As an upgrade to their former model, BT-17DJB, the Studebaker Company brings you the Spectra Studebaker Wooden Turntable with professionally placed speakers along its front. With the speakers at this position, placing this unit on any surface for use is more practical. Even more, the strategic speakers-position allows for easy storage on shelves or cabinets.
What’s interesting and similarly fascinating, is that the Spectra Studebaker Wooden Turntable will also serve as an FM/AM radio. With it in your room, you can get to listen to several updates before heading out to work or other events. Furthermore, this turntable doubles as a cassette player.
Finally, this unit also hosts RCA outputs. With this feature, achieving an amplified audio output becomes as easy as pie. You can now attach your external speakers to this unit for a better and louder listening experience.
We highly recommend this turntable. Its professional build will ensure that you get the best vinyl record experience. For its price, you can hardly get other turntables with as many functional features. It's worth way far beyond its cost.
The review of the Spectra Studebaker Wooden Turntable brings this post to an end. It's our hope that, through this post, you can now select the best turntable under $100. Ensure that you follow the guidelines stipulated in this post carefully to make sure that you purchase the best turntable. Any of the reviewed turntables will serve your intended purpose appropriately if handled with utmost care. Begin to enjoy the vinyl record technology today with one of these turntables. All the best!