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The 7 best turntables and record players for beginners 2024

Choosing the right turntable is the first step in everyone’s journey in the world of high-fidelity audio. Together with a professional amplifier and bookshelf speakers, a turntable can bring to life the timeless sound of analog audio, enriching the listening experience and enhancing the characteristics of the music reproduced.

As with most audio equipment, turntables can be extremely expensive if one wants to achieve pristine sound reproduction; however, nowadays, there are plenty of options for beginner audiophiles or people on a budget to get great turntables or record players that can magnify the beauty of their vinyl collection.

In this article, we’ll look into the best turntables and record players for novice audiophiles, identifying the best brands and models, which ones offer the best value for money, and how you can get the perfect audio system without spending a fortune.

About the author

I’m a music producer and audio engineer who’s been immersed in music for decades. Over the years, my passion for music has developed into a full-time profession, and I’m always on the lookout for new (and affordable) equipment to record and listen to music. I’m also running workshops on deep listening and the benefits of experiencing music in the most accurate way possible.

testing turntables and record players for beginners
Image: Audio-Technica

How I chose the turntables and record players for this list?

My objective with this article was to identify turntables that find a perfect balance between affordability and performance, offering an opportunity for beginners to enjoy the beauty of analog audio without breaking the bank.

While doing research for this piece, I prioritized turntables with exceptional sound quality and value for money but also took into account build quality and simplicity of use to ensure new audiophiles will get a turntable that could last for years and that’s as user-friendly as possible.

To offer a complete overview to beginner audiophiles, I listed a couple of standalone record players, which can be an excellent choice for those who want to spend little and still get the chance to play the records they love.

Record players vs turntables

Record players are all-in-one playback devices that typically feature a turntable, an amplifier, and speakers within a single unit. They’re extremely simple to set up, easy to use, and portable, making them a valid option for beginners who don’t want to invest time and money in creating a customized audio system.

On the other hand, a turntable is the piece of your hi-fi system responsible for spinning the record and reproducing its sound. It requires a separate amplifier and speakers to work but enables the audiophile with endless options to customize the sound, from changing the cartridge or tonearm to combining the turntable with preamps, power amps, and speakers that can enhance its performance.

Although record players and turntables offer different benefits, they’re both valid options for beginner music enthusiasts. For more information, check out my recent articles on the differences between turntables and record players and how to set up your first hi-fi system.

These are the best turntables and record players for beginners:

  1. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
  2. Fluance RT81/Ai61 System
  3. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo
  4. 1byone Audio H009
  5. Rega Planar 2
  6. Victrola Revolution Go
  7. Denon DP-300F

Audio-Technica AT-LP60X 4.5

  • Operation: Fully-automatic
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Speakers: No
  • Phono preamp: Yes, inbuilt
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X fully-automatic belt-drive turntable
Image: Audio-Technica

If you’re looking for a straightforward and affordable turntable to play your records, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is an excellent solution for vinyl enthusiasts entering the world of analog audio.

Perhaps the feature that’ll attract beginners the most is its fully-automated system, which moves the tonearm and turns the motor on and off as you play music. It’s an excellent feature that aims at introducing novice listeners to the world of analog reproduction or parents who want to share their record collection with their kids.

The high-quality belt-drive system means minimal vibration and interference during playback, and the built-in Dual Magnet phono cartridge ensures the most faithful audio reproduction and balanced soundscape.

While the sound might not be as pristine and detailed as the one provided by high-end audio gear, the AT-LP60X is a cost-effective turntable for beginners that sounds and looks great for the price.

Read the full Audio-Technica AT-LP60X review to find out more.

What I like

  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Easy to use.
  • Elegant and affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Components feel plasticky.
  • Other (more expensive) turntables offer more detailed soundscapes.
Buy Audio-Technica AT-LP60X at: Amazon

Fluance RT81/Ai61 System 4.5

  • Operation: Semi-automatic
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Speakers: Yes, powered
  • Phono preamp: Yes
Fluance RT81/Ai61 record player system
Image: Fluance

Fluance is becoming one of the most renowned brands in the world of budget-friendly audio reproduction, and their RT81/Ai61 setup is the embodiment of their dedication to intuitive, accessible, and high-quality audio reproduction.

This Fluance high-fidelity system comes with the iconic RT81 vinyl turntable and the Ai61 bookshelf speakers with an integrated 120 W amplifier, giving you everything you need to fill the room with an immersive and pure sound.

The plug-and-play system offers complete automation, Bluetooth connectivity, and premium components in both the turntable and the speakers to achieve uncompromising sound quality on a budget.

The carefully-crafted wooden cabinets mitigate resonances and vibrations, and the ATN95E elliptical stylus by Audio-Technica ensures authentic and carefully-balanced sound reproduction.

For a little over $500, this Fluance turntable system offers impressive results that’ll satisfy your needs for years to come.

Read the full Fluance RT81 review to find out more about the turntable.

What I like

  • An all-in-one solution for beginner audiophiles.
  • High-quality components.
  • Upgradeable.

What I don’t like

  • Some users noticed speed control issues (unnoticed by the reviewer).
Buy Fluance RT81/Ai61 system at: Amazon

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo 5.0

  • Operation: Manual
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Speakers: No
  • Phono preamp: No

The Austrian company Pro-Ject has become popular for its unique minimalist designs and uncompromising dedication to pure sonic reproduction. The Debut Carbon Evo is the company’s flagship and offers an immersive and detailed soundscape that will undoubtedly satisfy the needs of audiophiles of all levels.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo manual belt-drive turntable
Image: Pro-Ject

Although being one of the most expensive options on this list, the Debut Carbon Evo offers such clarity and power that you might not feel the need to upgrade for decades. This is due to the extreme attention to detail Pro-Ject put into this turntable: the carbon fiber tonearm and a motor barely touching the main body to avoid disturbances are some of the elements that help bring to life a revealing soundscape, exuding depth and spatiality.

The design is eye-catching and modern, with height-adjustable damped feet, nine finish options, and a thermoplastic ring at the end of the platter (a noise-reduction precaution) that evokes a futuristic approach to analog reproduction.

What I like

  • Unbeatable sound at this price range.
  • Customizable design.

What I don’t like

  • More expensive than other entry-level turntables.
  • The minimalist design is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Buy Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo at: AmazonCrutchfield

1byone Audio H009 4.0

  • Operation: Semi-automatic
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Speakers: Yes, inbuilt
1byone Audio H009 all-in-one vinyl record player
Image: 1byone Audio

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether it’s worth buying standalone record players and if they might ruin your records in the long run. While it’s true that cheap record players might be detrimental to your vinyl collection, quality models like the 1byone H009 can enrich your sonic experience and give you everything you need to enjoy your records everywhere.

This belt-drive vinyl record player has built-in speakers and high-quality components, such as the Audio-Technica stylus cartridge and an excellent built-in phono preamp that delivers a warm, rich sound.

With the 1byone H009 you can play records at multiple speeds and connect your devices via Bluetooth and USB. Finally, the straightforward setup and the vintage feel make it a fantastic option for beginner audiophiles of all ages.

What I like

  • Good audio quality for the price.
  • Looks beautiful.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Effortless setup.

What I don’t like

  • Not upgradeable.
  • Sub-par audio reproduction compared to turntable systems.
Buy 1byone Audio H009 at: Amazon

Rega Planar 2 5.0

  • Operation: Manual
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Speakers: No
  • Phono preamp: No
Rega Planar 2 turntable
Image: Rega

A great-sounding and great-looking turntable the Rega Planar 2 offers a refined and immersive sound at a reasonable price. The laminated particleboard helps reduce vibrations and enhances the reproduction quality, while the 10 mm thick glass platter gives the turntable the stability required for smooth playback.

The belt-drive system turntable is known for its exceptional sound quality, with good dynamics and a vibrant sound texture that’s surprising for this price range. The Rega Carbon moving magnet (MM) cartridge and RB220 tonearm ensure the lowest possible friction and highest accuracy regardless of the hi-fi setups and genres reproduced.

Powerful sound, stunning design, and solid construction make the Rega Planar 2 one of the most sought-after turntables in the market.

What I like

  • Rich and detailed soundscape.
  • Powerful audio reproduction.
  • Visually stunning.

What I don’t like

  • Expensive compared to other options.
Buy Rega Planar 2 at: Amazon

Victrola Revolution Go 4.0

  • Operation: Automatic
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Speakers: Yes, inbuilt
Victrola Revolution Go portable record player
Image: Victrola

If you’re one of those (few) people looking for a battery-powered record player with Bluetooth connectivity, the Victrola Revolution Go is the perfect solution to play your collection anytime, anywhere.

However, the Revolution Go is not just a cool vintage design and extreme portability, this record player delivers good-quality audio (so long as you don’t listen to bass-heavy music) and has a performing built-in suspension system that prevents disruptions caused by vibration.

Bluetooth compatibility will allow you to connect the Revolution Go to any Bluetooth audio system to overcome the shortcomings of the built-in speakers, making it an attractive option for those who already have speakers and want to experience the joy of analog audio.

All in all, the Victrola Revolution Go is an inexpensive solution that offers good-quality audio reproduction. If you want to carry your collection with you at all times, I’d recommend you give the Victrola Revolution Go a try.

What I like

  • Portable.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Battery-powered.

What I don’t like

  • Consider it only if you need a battery-powered record player with Bluetooth connectivity.
Buy Victrola Revolution Go at: Amazon

Denon DP-300F 4.5

  • Operation: Fully-automatic
  • Drive type: Belt
  • Speeds: 33 RPM, 45 RPM
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Speakers: No
  • Phono preamp: Yes, inbuilt
Denon DP-300F automatic belt-drive turntable
Image: Denon

The Denon DP-300F is one of the most popular options among beginner audiophiles because it’s fully-automated, meaning the listener won’t need to do any manual operations to start and stop the record’s rotation.

This belt-drive turntable comes with a built-in phono preamplifier, simplifying, even more, the process of connecting it to your audio system. In terms of build quality, the Denon DP-300F comes with an anti-vibration construction to mitigate disturbances and a high-quality tonearm and moving magnet cartridge that ensures a balanced sound texture.

While the sound might not be as deep and accurate as more proficient audiophiles would expect, the Denon DP-300F is one of the most intuitive and budget-friendly options in the market and a valid solution for those looking to build a hassle-free audio system.

What I like

  • Fully-automatic.
  • Beginner-friendly.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Feels cheap.
  • So-so sound quality compared to others in the same price range.
Buy Denon DP-300F at: AmazonCrutchfield

Final thoughts

I hope this guide will help you choose your first turntable and bring to life the immersive sound of your existing or future record collection.

My last piece of advice is to invest in gear that will meet your expectations for a long time to avoid upgrading your hi-fi system regularly as your journey through high-fidelity audio progresses.

Have fun!


  • I updated the stylus of my AT-LP60X with this one: LP Gear ATN-3600DLXVL witch is the closest I’ve found to a shibata for a 3600L cartridge and the sound difference is notable. Can you give it a try and share your thoughts please? I would like to know a pro comments on this needle.

    • Generally, we tend not to provide exact prices as they are constantly changing and can vary. You can google for something like “AT-LP60X (or any other product) + India”, and you’ll get a bunch of results with current prices. Anyway, thanks for your interest, Sanat!

    • Both the Denon DP300F & the Audio Technica AT60-LPX can be sourced online from Amazon India. Both have after sales service support & national warranty. If in India, suggest choose between these 2 models.

  • Audia Technica lp3 is an upgrade to the lp60 with skate adjust ability to use more than one head shell / stylus and well within the price of these.