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Best turntables for 2021

We help you choose the right player to make your vinyl sound groovy

In this article: Our list of best turntables for 2021...

  1. Best value — Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO
  2. Best for Beginners — Sony PS-LX310BT
  3. Best for DJs — Audio-Technica LP140X
  4. Best for ripping vinyl — Music Hall USB-1
  5. Best for audiophiles — Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M
  6. Best looking — Music Hall MMF-1.5
  7. Most modern — Yamaha TT-N503

... with links to hundreds of customer reviews.


istening to records is a nostalgic pastime for me. I grew up spinning discs on my dad's classic turntable (when I was allowed to touch it), and I've played vintage vinyl on-air as a public radio announcer. Heck, I'm listening to an Art Blakey album while I write this. Vinyl has always been with me.

For some, owning a turntable is a new experience as the analog format enjoys a renaissance in the 21st century. A great first 'table will go a long way toward building a lifetime of warm musical memories for them, too.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, there's a perfect turntable for you. I've researched the questions turntable customers ask online, and found the best ones we sell here at Crutchfield that meet those needs.

Now, let's find your next turntable!

Our top picks for 2021

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC) Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge

Best value — Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO

The original Debut Carbon was my go-to for this category for years, but Pro-Ject has introduced the Debut Carbon EVO, and it's the new "best value" champ. EVO stands for "evolution," and that's a good description of what's happened. They kept everything that was great about its predecessor — reasonable price, good looks, and high quality — and added some upgrades.

The biggest, and most welcome change, is the inclusion of a pre-mounted Sumiko Rainier moving magnet cartridge. It offers a nice, wide frequency response in the 15-25,000 Hz range, which ensures that you can hear every note in your favorite recordings. And they added sound-damping material to the platter, improved the motor and suspension, and added a convenient switch for electronic speed change from 33-1/3 to 45 rpm.

The Debut Carbon EVO is relatively easy to set up. It's a little old-school, in that it requires manual operation, and must be hooked up to an external phono preamp, but I kind of like that.

What our customers say

Record player

Best for Beginners — Sony PS-LX310BT

The Sony PS-LX310BT is a great gift idea for a family member who loves their records, but may be a bit tech-averse. It's fully automatic, so you don't have to hover around waiting to lift the tonearm when a track ends. It frees you up to move around the house while listening.

It also has Bluetooth output, so you can play records wirelessly through portable speakers and headphones. Should you ever decide to hook it up to a conventional stereo system, the built-in preamp will simplify things. And it's at a very reasonable price point.

What our customers say

Audio-Technica LP120-USB Manual direct-drive professional turntable with USB output and built-in phono preamp

Best for DJs — Audio-Technica LP-140X

If you spin records professionally — in a club, at weddings, etc. — you need some features a casual listener might not prioritize. The LP-140X features a fast-starting motor that gets up to speed in a hurry, and a convenient cueing light that helps you find your groove even in the dark.

This 'table features a factory-installed AT-XP3 DJ cartridge that's designed for professional use, and it's mounted on a universal headshell, so you can upgrade whenever you like.You also get advanced features like forward and reverse play and variable pitch control that let you get creative and keep everyone dancing.

What our customers say

Music Hall USB-1 Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted cartridge, USB output, and built-in phono preamp

Best for ripping vinyl — Music Hall USB-1

There are several turntables with USB outputs these days, but I like the Music Hall USB-1 for its value price. Best of all, it has a built-in preamp, and the recording software is included, so you can get started making digital copies of your treasured records quickly and easily.

What our customers say

Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M Manual belt-drive turntable with pre-mounted MasterTracker cartridge

Best for audiophiles — Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M

MoFi makes gorgeous remastered records, and they built the UltraDeck +M to their exacting high-fidelity standards. A stable platter is important for a high-end turntable, and to that end MoFi uses a dense, noise-reducing polymer called Delrin® on a steel inverted bearing system that provides smooth, quiet rotation.

It also features an excellent factory-installed cartridge with a Micro-Line diamond stylus called the MoFi Master Tracker, so it sounds incredible right out of the box. Cardas Audio wiring maintains pristine signal purity throughout the signal path.

This one requires a phono preamp, and you can't go wrong with the ones Mobile Fidelity makes. The StudioPhono is a nice companion piece, but frequent headphone listeners might prefer the UltraPhono, which includes an excellent headphone amplifier.

What our customers say

Music Hall MMF-1.5Manual belt-drive turntable with built-in phono preamp

The Music Hall MMF-1.5 shown in Cherry finish

Best looking — Music Hall MMF-1.5

Everyone has their own idea of what looks best, but I favor the classic elegance of the Music Hall MMF-1.5. The curved tonearm is a nice visual touch, and the manufacturer claims it tracks the grooves more accurately, too. The cherry wood finish adds a touch of class.

It's not just about the looks, either. This 'table features a factory-installed moving-magnet cartridge that performs very well, and a convenient built-in phono preamp.

What our customers say

Yamaha TT-N503 MusicCast VINYL 500 Manual belt-drive turntable with MusicCast, built-in phono preamp and pre-mounted cartridge

Most modern — Yamaha TT-N503

Turntables are analog technology — but that doesn't mean they have to be stuck in the last century. The Yamaha TT-N503 is a very modern wonder — it features built-in Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay®, and Spotify® Connect, so it can double as a streaming music source when you're not listening to records.

It's also equipped with Yamaha's MusicCast technology, which frees you to put the player anywhere you like and build a wireless multi-room system around it. There's also a phono preamp built in, should you choose to hook it up to your existing stereo system or a pair of powered stereo speakers.

Klipsch R-15PM turntable bundle

How do I make sure I get everything I need?

Have questions about home stereo gear? Our Advisors can help you put together a system that matches your unique listening requirements, as well as your budget.

Contact us today.

And don't worry if you need a little setup help when your turntable arrives. Free lifetime tech support is included with your Crutchfield purchase.

Last updated 11/25/2020
  • Richard from VALRICO, FL

    Posted on 12/20/2020

    Eric, Having owned 7 audio stores back in the 70's when it was vinyl, cassettes and reel to reel's and selling a lot of great TT's your comments and list of TT's just shows how little you know about this group of audio gear. We all know you own a Project Carbon which is a decent beginners TT with a terrible anti skate system. Trying to be cute and making suggestions about something you know little to nothing about makes you look like and idiot to those of us who have sold, assembled, and serviced 1000's of TT's and owned more that 25. I'm 67 and wanted a new table that was semi automatic to replace my old Thorens TD 160 MK ii so I picked up the new Technics SL 1500 C from you guys which is a built like a tank, beautifully simple design and allows me to change cartridges from MM to MC in a matter of seconds. Try that on a ProJect Carbon. Best table for under 1500$ in my opinion.

  • Paul from Des Moines

    Posted on 12/12/2020

    ????? If analog sound is so great and digital is so awful, why would you digitize the output of a turntable with WiFi, bluetooth, or USB?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 12/14/2020

    Paul - The easy answer is: convenience. While I love listening to my records in my living room, and that's definitely where they sound best, it's also nice to be able to take them with me when I'm on a walk or in the car, and to do that, I have to digitize them. Also, some customers do it to preserve older record collections they inherited from relatives. Thanks for the question!
  • Lou

    Posted on 12/10/2020

    You have got to be kidding

  • Mary from Henderson

    Posted on 11/29/2020

    I have been looking at all your turntable models and speakers. I want to spend around $600 or less for both. Can you give me some suggestions. I have mostly LP's. Can you send me something that is ready to use. I know nothing about setting up a turntable. The turntable I have was my Dad's. It is a 50 year old Fisher turntable and lancer speakers. There is no way I am going to try to use them.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/30/2020

    Mary - For the situation you're describing, I'd recommend a Pro-ject T1 turntable with a pair of Klipsch Reference R-41PM speakers. The turntable is relatively easy to set up, and you can plug it directly into the phono input on the speakers. The speakers have an amplifier built-in, so you don't have to mess with a receiver. It'll save space and go together pretty easily and quickly. But if you do have any trouble, our Tech Support department will get on the phone with you and walk you through the process. Hope this helps!
  • tim from atlanta

    Posted on 7/29/2020

    Really. Old folk need simple. Poor fools want to play 78's. What is the writer, 15 years old? Arrogance is never pretty, less so combined with ignorance.

  • Kay Jeffries from Duluth

    Posted on 5/4/2020

    Post the prices

  • Kay Jeffries from Duluth

    Posted on 5/4/2020

    Post the prices

  • Steve Edwards from Prospect

    Posted on 3/23/2020

    I really have a problem with the recommendation of the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable. I ordered this from Crutchfield and took delivery about three years ago. I am not a beginner. I used to sell audio equipment for a living. On a scale of 1 to 100, with zero being a beginner and 100 an audiophile, I would put myself at about an 85. The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is, in my opinion, the worst turntable, indeed the worst piece of audio equipment, I have ever used. It is nearly impossible, in my experience, to properly set the hair trigger antiskate weight properly. The tonearm would literally bounce across my (valuable) vinyl LPs toward the spindle. Crutchfield is a good company but they are trying to sell something here. I am a consumer and I am telling you that I seriously doubt I would accept one of these tables even if it were offered to me for free. Caveat emptor.

  • John

    Posted on 1/1/2020

    Wow! No Fluance Rt85

  • John Caruso from New York

    Posted on 11/15/2019

    I would highly recommend the best sounding turntable with a music Hall pa 2.2 that does 24 bit/96khz ADC for ripping. I still have yet to find a better pre-amp that will go up to at least 192khz, though.

  • joekidd from fort bragg ca

    Posted on 11/3/2019

    what? no reloop 8000?? sorry... this list is flawed... or maybe just rigs you sell.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 11/4/2019

    Joe - I'm afraid we did limit it to the models we carry. For a comprehensive list, a journalistic outlet like Stereophile who get to try everything are probably your best bet.
  • Carlos Iraheta from Roseville Ca.

    Posted on 9/22/2019

    I'm having trouble setting up my brand new Thorens TD 170 that I just purchased from you folks. Cannot get decent sound all my records sound scratchy or faint.

  • Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/27/2019

    Dave - I like all of the TEAC turntables, and actually own a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. That's my two cents!

  • Dave from Pewaukee

    Posted on 8/26/2019

    I currently have an older Marantz (it was actually me grandfathers). I've had it turned up but it still does not perform like I want. I am looking to upgrade to a mid priced table. Any suggestions without breaking the bank?

  • Michael

    Posted on 7/10/2019

    I have the Teac but I'm not getting the volume that I expect or want. What can I do to get decent volume out of my system?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 7/11/2019

    Michael - Getting louder is more a function of the amplifier you're using than the turntable. If you purchased the Teac or any of your gear from us, you can contact us for free tech support, and maybe get to the root of the problem. Thanks for the question.
  • John from Chicago

    Posted on 6/21/2019

    I wouldn't give up my old thorens td520 for anythingI could afford. It presently sports a Sumiko EVO 3 that's wearing out. Thinking of upgrading to the Blackbird. Any comment or suggestion?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 6/24/2019

    John, I'll be honest, we don't carry anything in the class of the Blackbird, so I don't have any hands-on experience with it. It looks like one heck of a cartridge, though.
  • JohnH from Dayton, OH

    Posted on 6/7/2019

    I have a 16" record. Is there still something that will play one that large?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 6/10/2019

    Wow, interesting question, John. I've seen some videos online where collectors jump through some hoops to make one of these larger records play on a standard turntable, but I've never tried it myself (nor actually seen a 16" record). My fear is that the tonearm assembly would get in the way, but it may be possible. Sorry I don't have a definitive answer!
  • Jerald Quist from Bountiful

    Posted on 5/25/2019

    Nice overview. I have been looking at replacing my old Technics SL-BD10 (purchased in the early 1990's I believe). I just recently hooked it back up and have been enjoying the old record collection. I have pretty much zeroed in on the Pro-Jet Debut Carbon Esprit SB. Any others I should consider? Why does Crutchfield not carry Rega?

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/28/2019

    Jerald - Without knowing your requirements for the 'table, I'd have a hard time recommending others, but you've zeroed in on one of my favorites already. As for the brands we carry and don't carry, our merchandising group is always working on nailing down agreements with great vendors, as long as the terms work for both parties, and we're expanding our offerings all the time. Thanks for the note!
  • Marc Schmitz from Milwaukee

    Posted on 5/10/2019

    I started out with the Teac Tn300 in Cherry and not only did it perform well enough to make me want to play records and know that I wanted to continue this crazy passion it also looked beautiful and the 400s s-shaped tonearm does elevate that look over the 300. I have just recently upgraded however to what I consider the best looking modern table out there right now in the Pro-ject The Classic SB in eucalyptus finish. She's a beauty to look at and with the standard Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cart it sounds fantastic as well and excited to have an arm that can take whatever cart Id choose to throw at it.

  • Matt from Dartmouth

    Posted on 5/9/2019

    What happened to the old close n play, you know Linear Tracking.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/10/2019

    Matt - apparently linear tracking tonearms are a bit complicated to make well, which raises the cost of the turntable, so not many manufacturers are willing to invest in the process right now. I gather there are some out there, but unfortunately, we don't carry any. Thanks for the interesting question, though!
  • Richard Grandage from Charlottesville

    Posted on 5/9/2019

    Eric, Have you written, or considered a similar article regarding cartridges ? I recognize several from the photos in this article from recent research, but wonder what you think about that very important choice. Particularly around $100 and $200 - don't want to get too crazy. Thanks

  • Chuck from Colorado

    Posted on 5/9/2019

    I still have my Technics 1100A from my DJ days in the late 1970s. Flawless turntable. The Audio Technica LB120 looks a lot like the 1100A. In the late 1970s, Thorens (the model escapes me now) was the table of choice.

  • Lee Schelin from Yucca Valley CA

    Posted on 5/9/2019

    My vote would be the McIntosh, can't get much better than a Mac

  • Edwin Burmeister from Durham

    Posted on 5/9/2019

    In my opinion the McIntosh turntables are better than any of those reviewed above. Unfortunately, Crutchfield does not seem to carry them. Why not?

  • Vernard Atkins from San Francisco

    Posted on 5/7/2019

    Wondering what is the best semi-automatic turntable in your opinion.

    Commenter image

    Eric Angevine from Crutchfield

    on 5/8/2019

    Vernard - We carry two Denon semi-automatic turntables, and the main difference between them is that one has a USB output for digitizing music, and the other doesn't, so I'd base the decision on whether you need that feature or not. Thanks for the question!
  • Kenneth Stixrud from Olympia

    Posted on 5/6/2019

    You left out the most bad ass turntable of them all...the Audio Technica AT PL 7. Best turntable on the market for under $1,000 bar none.