Audiophiles and fans of chart-toppers from the past all understand one thing: Some music just sounds better on vinyl. But if you’re in the market for a vinyl record player, shopping isn’t as always as easy as finding something in your price range with a cool aesthetic.
Beginners in the vinyl world should do some research on what models require minimal setup to make things a bit easier. From there, you should decide if you’re looking for a record player or a turntable — believe it or not, there is a difference. According to The Strategist, a record player has built-in speakers, whereas a turntable typically requires external speakers to play music.
To make your shopping simpler, we’ve rounded up some of the best vinyl record players and turntables for different budgets.
How to choose the best turntable for you
The source of your hi-fi system, be it a streamer, CD player or record player is a crucial component; as the saying goes, ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’.
First things first, decide on your budget. It should be no more than around a quarter of your system’s cost, otherwise it’s unlikely your amplifier and speakers will get the most out of your deck. Similarly, make sure you read up on the sonic characteristics of all your components – even five-star products benefit from the right partnering.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, decide on the features you require. Belt drive or direct drive? Do you need a phono stage built in? What about the cartridge? Wireless? USB? Make sure you have a checklist based on your needs to help you narrow the search.
Once you have chosen, it’s also crucial you set up your turntable correctly. While some record players are relatively “plug and play”, many require a little more time and effort to hear at their best. Want to know more? Read our complete guide to choosing the right turntable.
The Music Hall MMF-11.1 is the crown jewel of any hi-fi head’s at-home setup — it’s an exceptionally made vinyl record player.
It’s crafted of high-end materials such as carbon fiber and ceramic, and its belt-driven mechanism delivers a wonderfully immersive listening experience. For best results, make sure you connect the player to an equally high-end home theater unit and speakers.