8 Best Turntables Under 500 – Detailed review

Are you an audiophile and love listening to music on Vinyl? Well, we can totally relate! While the world has moved forward to digital format, listening to music on Vinyl, makes the overall listening experience much better, enjoyable, and soothing.

However, it is also essential to get your hands on all the necessary equipment to run them when owning some old-fashioned music records. If you acknowledge this fact, you may have been looking for a turntable to run your Vinyl on. 

Let us assure you that you are precisely at the right place as we have sorted out the best turntable under 500 USD to buy for you to make your choices precise. 

Summary Of The Best Turntable under 500

S. NoProduct NameKey Feature
1Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive TurntableHigh-fidelity vinyl audio
2Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl TurntablePrecision playback through speed control
3Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive TurntableSensor monitored platter rotation speeds
4Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB TurntableElectronic selection of playback speed
5Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo TurntableAutomatic start and stop.
6Fluance RT84 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record PlayerIsolation from unwanted micro-vibrations
7Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog TurntableHeavier base construction 
8Yamaha TT-S303 Hi-Fi Vinyl Belt Drive TurntableAccurate stylus pressure
Summary Of The Best Turntable under 500

Best Turntable under 500 (Detailed Review)

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable

Coming with a classy matte finish on most of its parts, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK is a super stylish turntable to seize. A direct-drive turntable reduces sound quality due to vibrations of the motor. However, with this Audio-Technica model, the problem is brought down since the motor is fine-tuned and elevated.  

Playback Control

Keeping in mind the speed of the equipment, the company has introduced a playback control system that features a speed indicator and variable pitch control with a quartz speed lock. Both these mechanisms will allow you to control the speed of the equipment along with changing its pitch according to your requirements. 

Removable Connections

The developers have made both of them removable in this model to remove the wear and tear problem of the RCA output cable and the power cord. This feature is beneficial if you have to constantly move the turntable around. It also helps reduce the vibration level inside to make the listening experience more satisfying. 

Hinged Dust Cover

Any debris on your vinyl records can cause them to skip, hiss or crackle. To sort this out for you, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK has introduced a removable hinged dust cover that plays a significant role in keeping the turntable clean and avoids any issue occurring due to dust. 

Pros

  • Convert Vinyl to digital.
  • Tonearm with lift control and lockable rest.
  • Minimizes vibrations.

Cons

  • Made of plastic material.

Where to Buy Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable 

Amazon USA

2. Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable

For audiophiles who want the best listening experience with a nostalgic appeal, the Fluance RT85 turntable can be a great option to go for. It comes with three feet covered with shock-absorbing rubber and is adjustable to keep the turntable balanced when the surface is uneven.

Acrylic Platter

The platter of this turntable is made of high-density acrylic, which is quite significant in mass and helps provide clarity in the sound. This is because the increased inertia helps keep the speed consistent and damps unwanted vibrations. This also improves the bass definition and makes the midrange much more prosperous, and as a result, the only thing that will rock once you put the record on this platter will be you.

Speed Control

The design of the motor is two belt-driven and servo-controlled with speed controlling optical sensor, which is responsible for adjusting the variances in linear velocity. This, as a result, maintains the accurate speed of the record, reduces vibrations and makes your record sound perfect.  

Solid Wood Plinth

Solid wood is used to make the plinth of this turntable which plays a vital role in resisting the vibrations to occur. The wood used is mass-loaded and multi-layered so that the unwanted resonance is controlled through the system to a significant extent. 

Pros

  • It comes with an upgraded phone, i.e., Ortofon 2M Blue.
  • For its price, the materials used are of very high quality.
  • A belt-driven motor gives excellent portability.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a built-in preamp.

Where to Buy Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable

Amazon USA

3. Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable

Along with the fantastic features that this turntable has to offer, the elegance of Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN is also quite appealing. The black carbon fibre tonearm and the sleek, low-key classy design can turn out to be an excellent option for vinyl lovers who are into looks and music both. Pricing at just 349 USD, this is one of the best turntables under 500 USD. 

Easy to Setup

This turntable is super easy to set up for people who are experienced and only slightly complicated for inexperienced ones. This is because the packaging is so fine that all parts are clearly presented, including the motor with the tonearm, platter, plinth, dustcover and its hinges, rubber record mat, etc. You can visit Audio-Technica’s official website to download the manual.

Belt-driven Turntable

The motor of this turntable is belt-driven which can prove to be a better choice for sound-oriented people because the belt drive provides a level of isolation. This reduces vibrations, and the output is a much clearer sound. 

Built-in Phono Preamp

The preamp can be helpful in amplifying low-level signals to line level, and this is what Audio Technica AT-LPW40WN offers since it comes with a built-in phono preamp. With this feature, the well-recorded albums can sound surprisingly good, while the average recorded albums can also sound pretty clear and decent. 

Pros

  • The tonearm is designed using carbon fibre and is light in weight.
  • It comes with a very classy look.
  • Stabilization is very active.
  • The signal-to-noise ratio is pretty good.

Cons

  • Mass of chassis is less.

Where to Buy Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Fully Manual Belt-Drive Turntable

Amazon USA

4. Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable

This Pro-Ject T1 Phone SB Turntable can prove to be one of the best you can get for your vinyl records if you are on a limited budget. From providing high-fidelity sounds to being aesthetically pleasing and super stylish, the developers have ensured that no compromise is made on any significant feature. 

Plinth

To reduce the resonance, the manufacturers have made the turntable’s plinth using composite materials, including MDF with a foil wrap. The motor is also mounted on the plinth by placing an isolation material in between the two components to ensure a reduction in vibrations. 

Blasted Glass Platter

This feature is exceptional in Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable because an 8mm thick bead-blasted platter of such high-class material is usually found in many expensive turntables. With this heavy glass platter, the speed stability is improved to a significant level, and you get a smooth and precise playback as a result.

Electronic Speed Change

This turntable comes with built-in speed control, and you can automatically switch the speeds between 33 to 45 RPM. This automatic feature has taken the vinyl record experience to a whole new level. 

Pros

  • Sets up quite quickly.
  • Speed changes at the push of a button.
  • It comes with a built-in phono preamp.

Cons

  • Limited scope upgrade.

Where to Buy Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable

Amazon USA

5. Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

Being beginner-friendly and having a fully automatic operation to offer along with excellent sound, this Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK turntable is great for almost anyone. It comes with an aluminum platter that uses a belt drive and effectively keeps the vibrations at hold from reaching the record.

User Friendly

Because of the fully automatic operation in which you just have to get the needle on the record and push a single button, this turntable has proved to be excellent when it comes to user-friendliness. Also, to stop the record, you just need to press the button, and the tonearm lifts to rest to turn the turntable off.

Vibration resistant Materials

In order to minimize vibrations, most components of the Audio-Technica AT-LP3Bk turntable, including damped base, aluminium platter, rubber damping mat and low-frequency feedback colouration, are made of anti-vibration materials. 

High fidelity Performance

It comes with a dual moving magnet phono cartridge and a half-inch mount headshell that are responsible for providing hi-fi sound performance. The sound output is quite impressive at such a tempting and affordable price.

Pros

  • Fully automatic tonearm.
  • Built-in phono preamp.
  • It provides good sound and music output for its price.

Cons

  • Speed accuracy is somewhat not maintained.

Where to Buy Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

Amazon USA

6. Fluance RT84 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player

Spectacular music accuracy, speed control, and signal clarity are very few of the excellent features that the Fluance RT84 turntable has in store. This company is known for having a passion for delivering exceptional quality audio to its users and successfully revolutionizing home audio. 

Adjustable Feet

The three feet are adjustable, and you can adjust them to suitable heights in order to minimize contact of the turntable with the surface. This feature makes the turntable almost immune to environmental vibrations and, in turn, improves imaging and allows greater low-frequency signal pickups. 

Auto-Stop Function

Once it is done playing, the auto-stop function stops the record from spinning immediately. This action can save the stylus from any kind of wear and tear to a greater extent and can prove to be a great feature for people who want to play the turntable manually rather than automatically.

Signal Clarity

The Fluance RT84 turntable comes with an S-shaped tonearm which is known for tracking the record groove quite accurately. Additionally, this S-shaped tonearm guarantees detailed sound production and excellent signal clarity as well.

Pros

  • Precise playback due to consistent platter velocity.
  • Doesn’t require external wiring for setup.
  • Quite affordable.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a built-in phono preamp.
  • The wireless playback capability is lacking.

Where to Buy Fluance RT84 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player

Amazon USA

7. Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

This turntable can turn out to be a great choice for people who are just starting with vinyl records because it is fully automatic. Instead of physically moving the arm, you are just supposed to turn the turntable on and off with a single button. This feature makes it one of the easiest turntables to operate.

Easy Operation

Since the turntable is automatic, all you have to do is place the record on the platter and press the start button, making the tonearm move into its position. Similarly, once one side of the record is done, the tonearm will auto-return, and the platter will stop automatically. This makes turning the record over much simpler.

Fewer Vibrations 

A rigid die-cast aluminium and gloss-coated construction provides a solid base and produces low levels of vibrations. Also, the aluminium base plays a great role in reducing the external noises and making the turntable’s performance much better.

Removable Headshell

The tonearm comes with a removable headshell which makes the process of replacing the cartridge very simple. It can accept any replacement between five to ten grams. 

Pros

  • It comes with a fully automated playback.
  • Retro styling is quite nice.
  • The turntable includes a built-in phono preamp.
  • It is very easy to upgrade.

Cons

  • There is no USB recording option.
  • The cartridge included is not the best and doesn’t produce great sound quality.

Where to buy Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable

Amazon USA

8. Yamaha TT-S303 Hi-Fi Vinyl Belt Drive Turntable

Being aesthetically pleasing along with offering superb features, the Yamaha TT-S303 can make you experience the vinyl record music to a whole new level. Excellent sound quality is guaranteed with this turntable since it has gone through various tests to ensure great reproduction of sound. 

Straight Tonearm

In order to accurately track the sound and make sound reproduction quite perfect, the developers have designed the tonearm straight so that it can be statically balanced and provide precise stylus pressure. 

Reduces Unnecessary Vibrations

This Yamaha Turntable comes with a belt-driven motor and a rigid cabinet with significant internal loss, both of which are specifically designed to achieve stable rotation and reduce unnecessary vibrations, respectively. 

Built-in Phono Preamp

A built-in phono amplifier gives you the option of connecting your turntable to a line input on the amp without needing active speakers or even a phono stage. 

Pros

  • No turntable noise.
  • Setup is relatively easy.
  • Very sleek, stylish and clean look.

Cons

  • It is not automatic.

Where to buy Yamaha TT-S303 Hi-Fi Vinyl Belt Drive Turntable

Amazon USA

Buying Guide for Best Turntables:

Here are a few of the factors to look for before you invest your money in buying a turntable:

Features:

The first and foremost thing to look for is the features that a turntable has to offer. One easy way to do this is to make a list of the features that you require from the turntable that you want to buy. Some of the essential elements to look for include:

  • The number of speeds to spin. 
  • Automatic changing of the speed.
  • The tonearm doing all of its work with a push button.
  • A built-in phono preamp.
  • Wireless capabilities.
  • Bluetooth, etc.

Cartridge:

The cartridge has the job of tracking the groove, and while you do not have to worry about it straight away, you need to know that there are two types of cartridges named moving magnet and moving coil.

The Moving coils mainly vary in their capacitance, resistance, and inductance requirements, while this is not the problem with moving magnets. Also, it is pretty easier to find suitable sounding cartridges with moving magnets, so now you know which option to look for on your next purchase. 

Set up:

When setting up a cartridge, two of the most important things include positioning and support. The surface where you decide to keep your turntable on must have low resonance perfect levels and should be as far away from sources of vibrations as possible. These sources include your speakers too.

If you don’t have a levelled floor to keep your turntable on, we will recommend investing in making a dedicated wall shelf. This is because a wall shelf will provide better isolation to the turntable, and hence it will become less fussy about its support and position. 

Budget:

Turntables are available in a range of prices, and it ultimately depends on your budget and price range to choose the best one. While it is not necessary to invest your entire savings on buying a turntable, however, it is also not recommended to go so low that the cheap turntable that you get your hands on may end up having damage records, low-quality sound, breaks easily or have unreliable components. 

Signal to Noise ratio:

It is crucial that you look for something above 65 dB since you would want to listen to more music signals as compared to the external noises.

Playback Speeds:

Although most of the turntables are limited to run speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 rpm, if you want to have the speed option of 78s as well, make sure you look for a specialized cartridge designed to handle the broader grooves of these rare records. 

FAQs – Best Turntable Under 500

What is an audiophile turntable?

For people who are into vinyl records, these audiophile turntables can help in optimizing the sound quality and sound character. These turntables are specially designed to get you the most out of your vinyl records.

Is buying a turntable worth it?

Investing your money to buy a turntable is only worth it if you are a vinyl lover and want to listen to your music on vinyl record. It can prove to be of no use if you don’t listen to Vinyl, and it is just kept as a showpiece to collect dust. 

How much should I spend on a Turntable?

To get your hands on a decent turntable with various features to offer, you should look for spending around 200 to 500 USD. The turntables that are in the range of 500 USD have proved to have high-quality features along with affordability.

Are new turntables able to play old records?

Yes, the new turntables are able to play the old records; however, they are limited to two speeds which are 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. Some rare turntables might have a different speed of 78 rpm if there are speed control options available on the turntable for this particular speed.

Which factor makes the turntable high end?

Weight is the primary factor that is responsible for making the turntables high-end. The general rule is “the heavier, the better” for turntables. This is because the heavier a turntable is, the more absorbent it is when it comes to absorbing vibrations. 

How to know if the turntable is of good quality?

There are four things to look for to know if the turntable is of good quality or not:

  • The phono cartridge is of high quality.
  • It deals effectively with vibrations with the help of a low vibration motor and chassis.
  • The engine has stable speeds and low noise.
  • The tonearm has low resonance, and it can move freely.

Is it worth it getting into Vinyl?

Vinyl is known for maintaining value while providing superb sound quality to its users. The experience of getting into Vinyl is definitely worth it if you want to enjoy the best and are into collecting records. 

Conclusion:

If you are into vinyl records and are tight on the budget to buy the best turntable, this article has covered the eight best turntables under 500 USD for you to choose from. By following our list, you can have years of pleasure of listening to Vinyl as, after all, a tight budget shall not stop you from enjoying your vinyl experience thoroughly. 

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