The best turntables bust the myth that you need to spend a lot of money to get into playing albums on vinyl. Turntable makers have responded to the astronomical rise of LP sales by releasing entire lines of record players, some of which cost thousands of dollars. 

If you've got a budget of $200 or less, don't worry, there are still plenty of excellent options available. You won't have to sacrifice any necessary features when shopping for a one of the best turntables under $200 — if you know what to look for. 

— Best Overall: Fluance RT80
— Best Budget: Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK
— Best All-In-One: 1 BY ONE High Fidelity Belt Drive Turntable with Built-in Speakers
— Best With USB: Donner Belt-Drive Bluetooth Turntable

How We Picked the Best Turntables Under $200

Our recommendations for the best turntables are based on a mix of research and hands-on testing. Below are the factors we considered most highly when deciding which turntables  to include in this buyer's guide.

Value: We'll be honest, a lot of budget-priced audio gear is cheaply made, and not designed to last. The turntable recommendations in this guide are the exceptions. Each one has the same core features as the more premium turntables in our other guides, just without any of the extras. Each turntable below should last you several years — it may even end up being the only record player you ever own — with no unnecessary gimmicks. 

Turntable Style: Like cars, turntables can operate in one of two ways: manual and automatic. 

Manual turntables require you to physically lift up its tone arm, and gently place it on the record's groove. Once the album is over, you'll need to lift the tone arm up, and return it to its resting area. Some manual turntables have a cue lever, which allows you to lift the needle by lifting a small switch rather than your finger. Manual turntables with cue levers are easier to use for beginners, because you don't have to worry about accidentally dropping the needle as you're moving it over to your album. 

Automatic turntables will handle all the work of cueing, starting, and stopping an album for you. To begin playing a record, you'll typically hit a "start" button on the turntable's desk, and the tone arm will be lifted and dropped onto a record without intervention. At the end of an album, the tone arm will lift up, and return to its resting area. 

An automatic turntable may be a better choice if you're completely new to playing vinyl, and don't want to risk damaging your needle by dropping it on an album from too great a distance, or accidentally missing the record altogether. That said, a turntable with additional moving parts is more likely to break down. An automatic turntable will still function as a manual turntable if those parts stop working, which isn't a total loss, but a bummer nonetheless.  

Preamp: Vintage turntables required an AV receiver with a dedicated phono input or an external preamp to amplify its volume before the sounds hit your speakers. Without a preamp, the volume of your music would be low enough to be unlistenable. Many newer turntables have a built-in phono preamp, which allows you to plug them directly into any AV receiver, or even a pair of powered speakers, without any other equipment. 

As with automatic turntables, this convenience does come with a potential cost. If a turntable's built-in preamp conks out — this is highly unlikely — you'll need to get an external one to continue using your record play.. Turntables with a built-in preamp typically have a switch that allows you to turn this piece of its hardware on and off. 

Bluetooth: Vinyl is an entirely analog audio format, but new turntables are designed with conveniences designed to appeal to digital music listeners. Turntables with this feature allow you to playback your albums through a set of wireless speakers or headphones. Using a turntable's Bluetooth mode does compress the sound of your records, but this is a convenient feature if you want to listen to vinyl late at night without disturbing everyone you live with. 

USB: A growing number of turntables have a USB port, which allows you to connect them to your computer and digitize your albums. This can be extremely useful if you want a digital copy of an album that isn't available on CD or streaming services. If you have extremely rare records that you don't want to wear out, digital preservation is a way to enjoy them continuously without the risk of damage. 

Upgradable Cartridge: We decided that we would only recommend turntables that allow you to upgrade their cartridge for a couple of reasons. The first is that swapping out your phono cartridge can have a significant impact on the level of detail and clarity of your albums. If you pair an entry-level turntable with a premium cartridge, you may find the jump in audio quality sufficient enough to keep your current deck instead of replacing it. 

The second benefit to having a turntable with an upgradable cartridge is the ability to swap out that single component if you accidentally damage your needle. If a turntable has a non-removable cartridge, it'll only last for the life of your stylus (needle) before it needs to be replaced. 

Best Turntables Under $200: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Fluance RT80

Old School. Fluance

Why It Made The Cut: The RT80 has design features we'd only expect in turntables that cost roughly double the price. 

— Style: Manual
— Preamp: Yes
— USB: No 

— Premium materials
— Classic look
— Built-in preamp

— Manual turntables take more effort to use
— No modern features

If you want a traditional turntable for less than $200, Fluance's RT80 is the only one you should consider. It doesn't have any digital-friendly features like Bluetooth support or a USB port, but those sacrifices were made in the interest of optimizing the RT80's audio quality. 

This turntable has a solid wood plinth (the turntable's chassis), which will prevent vibrations from reaching its needle and causing distortion. If too many vibrations reach the needle, it's possible for your records to start skipping. Fluance complemented the RT80's body with shock-absorbing feet, and an aluminum platter, which is light enough to stop straining the turntable's motor. 

If a turntable's platter is too heavy, it may spin a little more slowly, which will throw off the sound of your albums. Finally, the RT80's tone arm is curved in an S shape, so the cartridge's needle falls directly into the center of your record's grove. This allows the needle to get deeper into the groove, which can improve the way your records sound.

If you're new to turntables, the RT80 may require you to climb a bit of a learning curve. This record player is totally manual, so you'll have to control the needle yourself, and lift it up when the side of your album is over. That said, the RT80 has a built-in phono preamp, so you won't need to invest in any special audio equipment to play your records. 

We're surprised at how many features the RT80 has given its price, and couldn't recommend it more highly if you're getting your first turntable, or upgrading from an older one.

Best Budget: Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK

Perfect for Beginners. Audio-Technica

Why It Made The Cut: The AT-LP60X-BK's ease of use makes it a great choice for first-time turntable owners. 

— Style: Automatic
— Preamp: Yes
— USB: No 

— Fully automatic
— Built-in phono preamp
— Audio-Technica cartridge

— Plastic design

If you're just starting your vinyl journey, Audio-Technica's AT-LP60X-BK can make playing albums less intimidating. This is a fully automatic turntable, which means it'll take care of starting and stopping your album without any intervention. All of the AT-LP60X-BK's controls are located on the front of the turntable's deck (another word for chassis or plinth), where they're easily accessible. Glyphs on top of the turntable let you know the function of each button, so you don't have to crane your neck to see them.

On the audio front, the AT-LP60X-BK is equipped with the company's ATN3600L cartridge, so you should expect excellent performance when listening to albums. The AT-LP60X-BK also features a newly designed tone arm base and an aluminum platter, which will also contribute to the AT-LP60X-BK's sound. Audio-Techinca's standalone preamps are popular with vinyl lovers, so you'll be happy to know that the AT-LP60X-BK has one built in. You can plug this turntable into any speaker system and be listening to LPs in minutes. 

We're pretty big fans of the AT-LP60X-BK, especially given its price, but find its all-plastic design somewhat lacking. Aesthetics aren't everything, but the turntable will look and feel cheaper than it sounds. That caveat aside, we can recommend the AT-LP60X-BK without reservation.

Best All-In-One: 1 BY ONE High Fidelity Belt Drive Turntable with Built-in Speakers

Save Space. 1 BY ONE Rock

Why It Made The Cut: If you don't have enough room for a full stereo system, this turntable has you covered.

Style: Manual
Preamp: Yes
USB: No 

— Built-in speaker
— Built-in preamp
— Aux input

— Manual turntables take more effort to use

1 by One decided to ease the frustration of figuring out which speakers to pair with your turntable by building both pieces of hardware into a single unit. 

The company says that it's designed the turntable in such a way that vibrations from the built-in speaker won't interfere with the way this record player sounds, but that may not be the case if you crank the system up to its full volume. Beyond that concern, this turntable looks like a solid piece of kit, from its all-wood construction to the Audio-Technica cartridge resting at the tip of its curved tonearm.

The speaker attached to this turntable can be put into Bluetooth mode, which allows you to wirelessly stream audio to it from any device. If your turntable is in a centralized location, like your living room, having a Bluetooth speaker at the ready when you're entertaining guests or cleaning the place is really handy. You can even connect an outside device to this turntable using its auxiliary input. 

This turntable's unique design and wireless connectivity features make it extremely compelling for anyone who likes listening to both analog and digital music.

Best With USB: Donner DP-500

Fully Analog, But Digital-Friendly. Donner

Why It Made The Cut: Donner's DP-500 makes digitizing your albums easy, while offering a great traditional record listening experience. 

— Style: Manual
— Preamp: Yes
— USB: Yes 

— Built-in preamp
— Bluetooth support
— USB port

— Manual turntables take more effort to use

People love vinyl for the richness of its sound, but chances are you won't be able to listen to your albums all the time. This turntable from Donner solves that issue by allowing you to digitally archive your record collection. You can plug the turntable into any computer using the included USB cable, and start recording your albums almost immediately. 

The DP-500's USB functionality is complemented by support for Bluetooth and a built-in preamp, making Donner's record player a great choice for analog music listeners who want modern features. The ability to wirelessly stream music from a turntable is relatively new, and makes listening to LPs in a home with multiple people a lot more tenable. One thing to keep in mind is that streaming an album over Bluetooth will compress its sound. 

Digital features help the DP-500 stand out, but the company didn't forget about people who want to sit down and play records. This turntable's plinth is made out of a dense wood composite, its feet can isolate sound, and its tone arm is bent to fit into an album's groove more effectively. Donner paired its turntable with the Audio-Technica AT-3000L cartridge, a good option for a record player in this price range. 

It doesn't matter if you want to play albums the old fashioned way, stream them to a Bluetooth speaker, or digitize them onto your computer, Donner's DP-500 is a solid option.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Turntable Under $200


 As we mentioned earlier, the world of budget-priced audio is rife with shoddily made gear, which is why we were very deliberate when choosing which turntables under $200 were actually worth your time. Any of these turntables should last you a very long time, so it's important to consider which features are important to you now, and will be in the future. For instance, you may not want to digitize your albums today, but as your collection grows to include some rarer albums, this may become important. 

Your Speakers

Your turntable choice should be determined, in part, by the other equipment in your audio setup, especially its speakers. If you prefer powered speakers over hooking up a passive pair to an AV receiver, you should certainly get a turntable with a built-in phono preamp. If you have an AV receiver and passive speakers, your turntable options open up a bit because your system is more flexible.


Turntables don't take up a lot of vertical space, so you can put them onto a shelf in a media center, but you will need a fairly wide, flat surface. In general, you should make sure to have 18-inches of horizontal space in your listening area before getting a turntable.


Q: Should the genre of music I like impact my turntable choice?

No. Any good turntable will be able to reliably play back music from any genre or time period. Your cartridge, AV receiver, and speakers will collectively have a bigger impact on the quality of your audio when listening to music on a turntable.

Q: How do I responsibly dispose of my old turntable?

If you're replacing an old turntable, we recommend reading our guide on how to responsibly dispose of e-waste

Q: How often should I clean my turntable's needle?

It's become common for turntables to come with a brush, so you can regularly clean dirt and dust off its needle. If your records are dirty, you may want to clean your needle after every album side. If your albums are in good shape, you should clean your needle after every three or four albums.

Q: How do I make sure my turntable's needle doesn't pick up static?

Static buildup on the surface of your record can attract dust and lead to more prominent clicks and pops when you listen to albums. This is typically caused by your turntable's felt slip mat (the soft surface your album sits on as it spins), which creates static naturally. If you've had problems with static buildup on your vinyl, a cork slip mat is a worthwhile investment.

Final Thoughts on Turntables Under $200

You can save your money for more vinyl because you don’t have to spend a lot for great sound with the best turntables under $200. If you’re looking for a traditional model, you can’t go wrong with Fluance's RT80. If you prefer to stream, the Donner DP-500’s USB port connects to a variety of devices. 

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

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