Best turntables under $100
Although buying a $500 turntable or audiophile turntable will give you a wonderful listening experience for many years, not everyone has the wherewithal or the desire to make that purchase. Some of you may just want to get a taste of vinyl to decide if it is your cup of tea and if you want to make a bigger investment later. Some others just need a cheap turntable to transfer their vinyl to digital because having portable music suits their needs more.
For those of you who are looking for these things, we’ve put up a small list of the best turntables for the budget-conscious:
Ion Profile LP Vinyl-to-MP3 Turntable
The Ion Profile turntable is designed with contemporary, low-profile looks and is finished in sleek, piano black. This model is primarily designed to capture the music from your vinyl records and turn it into portable, flexible, digital MP3s that you can enjoy at home and on the go. When not converting records, you can simply enjoy your classic vinyl records using PROFILE LP as a standard record player.
The belt-driven PROFILE LP features 33 1/3 and 45 RPM settings, a high-quality tonearm and cartridge, a raise/lower lever for the tonearm, and a standard RCA output (in addition to the USB port) for use with normal stereo setups. Installation is a breeze, as it is clearly outlined in the manual.
To capture music from records onto your computer, no drivers are necessary; simply plug it in to your Mac or PC and the audio will be sent via the USB port. The PROFILE LP includes a software CD with EZ Vinyl Converter for PC (with auto track detection) and EZ Audio Converter for Mac.
Overall, the Ion Profile LP works fine, but there are better turntables out there. Sound is sometimes distorted too. You can buy it if you’re not sure about getting into vinyl, or if you want to do a quick LP-to-MP3 conversion, but if you want a great-sounding record player, perhaps it would be best to save your money and buy a pricier model.
Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB
The TTUSB is a unique, plug and play, USB compatible turntable that makes digitizing your vinyl record collection to your PC or Mac a snap. Packaged with all the necessary cables to connect with a computer or stereo playback system, along with software to remove clicks, pops, and other undesirable characteristics of vinyl, the TTUSB is a comprehensive package that breathes new life into older recordings.
Numark is known for their turntables, and this one lives up to the company name. Features include an adjustable Anti-Skate control for increased stereo balancing, 33-1/3 and 45 RPM speed playback (with 78 rpm support via software), line level RCA outputs with built-in preamp, and an adjustable pitch control of plus or minus 10%.
The USB output means a no-fuss, plug-and-play connection to your PC or Mac for easy archiving. You can set up the turntable in less than 5 minutes.
Sony PS-LX300 USB Stereo Turntable
Using the USB connection, you can import all that music into your computer and create MP3 files to store on a PC or bring along with you on your favorite portable player.
Sony has a solid reputation, and if you want to enjoy your old vinyl collection, this turntable is a sure bet as well as being surprisingly cheap.
Sony PS-LX250H Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable
This $70 turntable is fully-automatic and has a built-in phono preamp. It includes a bonded diamond stylus and a cartridge (though it is not replaceable. But then again, putting a better cartridge on a cheap turntable like the Sony PS-LX250H would not necessarily improve the sound). Dust cover is also included.
Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable
This turntable is the perfect gift for your son to “discover” the sound of vinyl, or even to figure out yourself if collecting LPs if for you. If you’re already a vinyl collector, the AT-LP60’s other purpose is to transfer your cherished records to your computer. The quality is very good for both casual listening and digitalization.
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 comes equipped with a USB output to connect to your computer and digitize your favorite records. The system offers Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software, an integral dual-magnet Audio-Technica Dual Magnet phono cartridge with replaceable stylus, and a USB cable and adapter cables.
Don’t let the low price scare you off! I The build quality and sound are quite good for a turntable priced as cheap as this one. It’s also easily upgradable if you want to improve it. Either way, it sounds way better than some more expensive turntables; You won’t get better than this turntable, unless you hit the $200-$300 range, and the upper Audio-Technica model.
|TURNTABLE||Ion Profile LP Vinyl-to-MP3||Sony PS-LX300 USB||Numark TTUSB with USB||Sony PS-LX250H||Audio Technica AT-LP60|
|Output Type||USB, RCA||USB||USB, RCA||USB, RCA||USB, RCA|
|Weight||9.8 lbs||6 lbs||11 lbs||6 lbs||8.3 lbs|