Turntables used to be a thing of the past but today they are modern machines with advanced technology. In the past decade, the sale of record players has increased by a whopping 10 percent (source). This increasing interest has given the market momentum to audiophiles.
For turntables under $200 or close enough to this budget, you have plenty of choices. In this article, I share with you the best affordable turntables and their features.
- The Best Turntable Under $200: Top Picks
- What is Direct-Drive & Belt-Drive in Turntables
- What is Built-in Preamp
- How to Balance Tonearm and Stylus Tracking Force
- Final Thoughts
The Best Turntable Under $200: Top Picks
Here are the top choices we have found for this budget, along with a quick review of each option.
1. 1Byone 471NA
This turntable is just above $200 but with external speakers included. If you are looking for an all-in-one record player the 1byone 471NA offers you the whole package at a really good price.
Wooden body with a solid iron platter to absorb vibration and deliver high-quality sound. Connect wirelessly to a mobile or laptop. Bluetooth connectivity and USB port to convert your vinyl into mp3 files. Pair them with Bluetooth speakers to take the music all around the house wireless.
The built-in switchable phono line, allows you to use your own Speakers if you want to bypass the one that comes with it. You can also connect to a receiver or preamp if you have one at home.
Some people find it difficult to go through the preliminary setting. I just found this video from 1Bbyone to walk you through the process for this model.
- The turntable has a very strong build.
- No vibrations thanks to its solid iron plater.
- Minimalist retro style
- Vinyl to mp3 files converter
- All in one Turntable with speakers
- Accurate video for easy set up under price link
- The video includes how to balance the tonearm
- Bluetooth friendly
- 2-speed option (33 – 45 RPM)
- Dust cover included
- Everage quality playback
2. Fluance RT80
I particularly love Fluance. Great sleek design and premium components at an accessible price. The Fluance RT80 covers all the expectations above. Simple minimalistic look and just a Turntable.
No Bluetooth or other new technology. This means that this jewel does better the job as an audiophile. And for the price, you have a semi-professional Record Player. Exceptional build and high-grade materials.
The crafted wooden cabinet reduces vibrations and enhances the quality of sounds. Here is a video from Fluance if you need some help on the setting and how to balance the tonearm for this model.
The majority of buyers point out the prompt and helpful customer service. In some cases have been reported some speed issues. I would recommend the Fluance RT80 if you are looking for nothing but the quality best turntable under the $200 price range.
- Minimalist look
- It uses premium products which enhance the sound quality.
- Great value for money
- Built-in preamp
- Premium components
- High-quality stylus designed by Audio Technica
- Crafted wooden body reduces vibration
- Aluminum platter and isolation feet reduce reverberation
- Some reported speed issues
3. TEAC TN 300
Simple yet effective, The TEAC TN 300 has many outstanding features. And it is for those who can afford an extra 100 bucks to the budget of this article and get a little more pro. You will save on an amplifier.
This model comes with a built-in one. Yet, if you have a phono preamp already you have the possibility to bypass the built-in one with the line/phono switch on the back.
This is a belt-drive Turntable with a good-quality of sound. I couldn’t find a video for the setting of this particular model. Use this video instead. It’s a different model with a similar setting.
Here are a few features which make this turntable one of a kind:
- Walnut finish
- Minimalist retro look
- Bluetooth connectivity
- It also has a built-in equalizer.
- It consists of the Audio Technica AT95E cartridge
- Secure delivery packaging
- 90 days warranty
- No power switch option on the remote control
Take your listening experience to the next level with this fully automatic Audio-Technica turntable. Push the ON button and the tonearm will automatically lift and place the Stylus (Needle) on the vinyl. The tonearm will go back to the resting position on its own when the record is over.
The AT-LP3BK has an ATR 91 R Dual Moving Magnet cartridge. It helps to provide outstanding performance and quality sound. It also has a universal headshell and hydraulic lift control. If you have a shaky hand let the machine safely place the stylus (needle) on the record.
Like all good turntables, the AT-LP3BK has a counterweight and anti-skate adjustments. These are important features to make the preliminary setting of the “tracking force”.
Here is a video from Audio-Technica to go through this setting. As a belt-drive turntable, some people have experienced some speed issues.
- Modern look
- Fully automatic
- Belt drive reduces vibrations
- Aluminum platter reduces vibrations
- A thick 4mm rubber Mat, reduces resonance
- Runs on 33 and 45 RPM
- Dust cover included
- You cannot reverse or forward your song using the pitch control
- Some experienced speed issues
The Audio Technica AT – LP60XBT is one of the simplest and best turntables under the $200 price range to use. If you are looking for a basic yet good turntable, this may be your go-to device.
It comes in three different colors (Black, Red/Black, or White/Black). At this price range, it has a good-quality Bluetooth output. You can connect wireless speakers or any Bluetooth-friendly device.
It does not have built-in speakers. That is good news. It means this model is not a toy like many cheap Turntables. You can also connect to wired external speakers with an RCA cable (red/white cable).
This is a fully automatic Turntable. That means that the tonearm will go back to its resting position once the Record is finished. Ready to use out of the box. The tonearm comes balanced already and yes just plug and play as soon as you receive it.
A great option if you are new to this technology. The main body is made of plastic, so handle it with care. The platter is in aluminum for extra stability and better sound delivery.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Aluminum platter better absorbs vibrations
- Affordable and qualitative
- Easy setup (plug and play)
- Fully automatic
- Two speeds (33 and 45 RPM)
- Belt Drive
- RCA cable output to connect with external speakers
- Dust cover
- Plastic buttons are a little fragile
What is Direct-Drive & Belt-Drive in Turntables
Although it is good to know about the difference between the two models, bear in mind that all the Turntables in this article are Belt Drive.
Direct Drive Turntable
Like its name, this type of turntable has a direct connection with its motor. This motor helps it to work at precise speeds which provides better accuracy. Many DJs love to work on direct-drive turntables because they work faster than any other type.
Belt Drive Turntable
This belt-driven turntable works with the help of a belt that wraps itself around the motor and platter. The Platter is a disk-like surface where you place your music vinyl.
As a motor is not directly used to run this turntable, no extra noise or disturbances will occur. Thus, the music produced is smooth and crystal clear.
You will have to place the belt yourself as part of the setting. I have included videos under each product review to help you with the process. It’s easy and takes seconds to do it.
What is Built-in Preamp
I have only included turntables with a built-in preamp in this article. This means that if you have a pair of Powered/Active Speakers (speakers with a built-in Amplifier), you have all you need to play your first record.
Not much setting to do and less cable around your music space. For beginner users or those not so keen to do extra settings, this option is the best available at the moment.
A turntable with a built-in preamp is kind of a new thing. In fact, once upon a time, not that long though, audiophiles needed an external receiver or a preamp in order to work. You can still decide to go for this kind of setting but the price goes way beyond the budget of this article.
The purpose of a preamp is to transform the electrical signals coming from the Turntable into audio waves to send to the speakers. No Turntable can work without a preamp no matter if it is built-in or external.
How to Balance Tonearm and Stylus Tracking Force
Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing to panic about. Most of you possibly know what this setting is all about. And I have included a video under each review with the step-by-step process for all the models.
Well, except for the Audio Technica AT – LP60XBT. This Turntable lacks counterweight and anti-skate adjustments. This means that the Tonearm is already balanced and the Tracking force of the stylus is already set.
Counterweight and Anti-Skate
If you have these two adjustments means you have to Balance the Tonearm and Set the Tracking Force of the Stylus (Needle) manually.
The reason behind this setting is to caliber the perfect horizontal and vertical weight of the Stylus on the Vinyl.
Too much weight can wear the stylus and scratch your vinyl, too little make the stylus jump off the groove of the record. This jump can wear the stylus and again scratch the record.
It is something that needs to be done once, just before spinning the first vinyl. It takes 2 minutes to do and gives you some understanding of how a turntable works.
Check out this video to get the hang of it. Remember also that I have included a video on each review for the same purpose. Most of them are the model reviewed.
The best turntable under or around $200 above list is among the best record player for that price range. Each one of them concentrates on the quality of its sound output. Many of them have many features that are hard to find in the same device.
In the end, your preference plays an important role when you are choosing a turntable. It depends upon your requirements, taste, and the place where you would want to use the device. I hope this article will help you choose the best record player under $200 for yourself.