Best turntables for 2022
We help you choose the right player to make your vinyl sound groovy
In this article: Our list of best turntables for 2022...
- Best value — Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO
- Best for beginners — Audio-Technica LP-120XUSB
- Best for ripping vinyl — Sony PS-LX310BT
- Best for audiophiles — Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M
- Best-looking — Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck
- Best for streaming — Yamaha TT-N503
- Best all-in-one system — Andover Audio Model-One
- Best direct-drive turntable — Technics SL-1500C
- Best fully automatic turntable — Dual CS 429
... 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 2022
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.
Music Hall offers great value throughout their range of sleek-looking turntables, and I favor the Music Hall MMF-1.3 as a solid stand-in for the Debut Carbon if you want similar features and performance for a little less money.
What our customers say about the Debut Carbon EVO
Best for beginners — Audio-Technica LP-120XUSB
The hardy, convenient Audio-Technica LP-120XUSB offers a wealth of fun features — like variable pitch control and a built-in USB port for digitizing albums — and it's also relatively easy to set up and use. It ships with a factory-installed Audio-Technica AT-VM95E moving magnet cartridge, and it features a switchable built-in phono preamplifier that lets you connect to just about any sound system you have in place. It includes all of the cables and accessories you'll need to get started, too.
The TEAC TN-180BT-A3 lets you get into record playing without a huge investment. It's even suitable for a teen's first record player, or perhaps a graduation gift for an older child who's headed off to college.
What our customers say about the LP-120XUSB
Best for ripping vinyl — Sony PS-LX310BT
The Sony PS-LX310BT is a great gift idea for a family member with an existing record collection that they'd like to preserve as digital files. It's also fully automatic, so you don't have to hover around waiting to lift the tonearm when a track ends. Which lets you play invigorating background music while you engage in busy tasks like cooking or housework, without worrying about being available to lift the arm when the needle hits the final groove.
It also has Bluetooth output, so you can play records wirelessly through portable speakers and headphones. Should you prefer to hook it up to a conventional stereo system, the built-in preamp will simplify things. And it comes in at a very reasonable price point.
House of Marley's Stir It Up turntable has quickly become a customer favorite. Its convenient feature set includes a USB output for digitizing albums, plus Bluetooth, sustainable materials, and a very cool connection to the legacy of the great Bob Marley.
What our customers say about the PS-LX310BT
Best for audiophiles — Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M
There are so many reasons to love the Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M — let me list a few.
- a rock-solid plinth made from MDF and three bonded aluminum plates for added stability
- a seriously dense, anti-resonant 1-5/16" Delrin® polymer platter
- high-quality Cardas Audio wiring for pristine signal purity throughout the signal path
- a MoFi MasterTracker moving magnet cartridge with precise Micro-Line diamond stylus
- a 300 RPM stepped-pulley AC motor that provides excellent speed stability
And the kicker: it's made right here in the U.S.A. It's a very natural-sounding turntable, for a price that's super-reasonable when compared to other audiophile-quality 'tables. In looks and sound quality, it's a real beauty.
The Pro-Ject X2 features solid build quality and an excellent factory-installed Sumiko Moonstone cartridge. I also love the heavy 12" acrylic platter, and it offers a variety of finishes so you can match it to the decor in your listening room.
What our customers say about the UltraDeck +M
Best-looking — Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck
Everyone has their own idea of what looks best, but I've never seen anything like this — the Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck easily gets the nod from me. It takes the stylish visual hallmarks of two great companies — Fender and Mobile Fidelity — and blends them perfectly to create a work of art that can play works of art.
This 'table's beauty is not just finish-deep, either. The underlying construction is essentially that of my audiophile pick above — the UltraDeck +M. It includes a rigid, lightweight aluminum tonearm with a pre-installed MasterTracker moving magnet cartridge that reads record grooves with extreme precision. And it runs very quietly, thanks to a 6.8-pound Delrin® platter, isolated belt motor system, and anti-vibration feet.
The Music Hall Classic is built on a solid plinth with a warm, burnished dark walnut finish that soothes my soul when I look at it. It adds a touch of sophistication to any listening session.
What our customers say about the Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck
Best for streaming — Yamaha TT-N503
Turntables are analog technology — 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.
The Victrola Premiere T1 carries a famous name from the early days of turntable manufacture, but the company's latest design is very modern. Their Vinyl Stream™ technology allows you to stream your records to an external Bluetooth speaker (sold separately), for ultimate convenience.
What our customers say about the TT-N503
Best all-in-one system — Andover Audio Model-One Turntable Music System
Andover Audio's Model-One Turntable Music System integrates a high-quality turntable and Bluetooth streaming with a full-fledged built-in speaker system. I was skeptical when I first heard about this, because in the past, that combination tended to introduce noise and distortion. But Andover has endowed the Model-One with a proprietary technology they call IsoGroove™ — it eliminates feedback between speakers and turntable, so they can be mounted in the same enclosure and still sound great. We demoed it for the whole company as soon as we could get our hands on a system, and I can vouch for its room-filling, high-quality sound.
In addition, there are multiple inputs and outputs on the back, so you can make it the centerpiece of an expanded sound system, and even connect your TV to it. And Andover offers a Model-One subwoofer and a set of ingenious, stackable album storage racks that double as a turntable stand.
The Victrola Premiere V1 Turntable Music System offers many of the same functional benefits as the Model-One, including the company's Vinyl Stream™ technology, which allows you to stream your records to an external Bluetooth speaker or headphones (sold separately).
What our customers say about the Model-One system
Best direct-drive turntable — Technics SL-1500C
For the past decade-plus, our inventory has been dominated by belt-drive turntables. Technics — who introduced the first direct-drive turntable to the market in 1970 — were one of the first to return to direct-drive technology, and they've curated a peerless lineup that's favored by DJs and audiophiles alike.
As other manufacturers have begun to introduce their first-ever direct-drive turntables, the tried-and-tested SL-1500C remains one of our most popular sellers. Technics' signature coreless direct-drive motor delivers high torque and reliable rotational stability, and eliminates an audible effect called "cogging" that troubled old-school 'tables. The 1500C is also beloved for its steady static-balanced tonearm, built-in phono preamp, and factory-installed Ortofon 2M red cartridge. It sits solidly in the sweet spot of performance and affordability for fans of direct-drive technology.
The TEAC TN-4D-SE offers a direct-drive motor in a chassis that features some attractive design elements. The 'table's static-balanced s-shaped tonearm was designed in collaboration with SAEC, a respected tonearm manufacturer.
What our customers say about the SL-1500C
Best fully automatic turntable — Dual CS 429
As vinyl experiences a resurgence, we've seen a lot of vintage brands return to prominence. The renowned German turntable company Dual is one of those names we've welcomed back with open arms. I got a chance to demo the Dual CS 429 at home, and it was a delightful experience.
I've been using a manual turntable for years, but I have to admit, my needle-placement skills are deteriorating a bit as I get older. I like that this player's automatic function will place the tonearm at the start of a side with exact precison. Then, I can cook, write articles for Crutchfield's website, or even wander off to walk the dog on a moment's notice, secure in the knowledge that the tonearm will return to rest, and the motor will shut off on its own, even if I'm engrossed in another task. And there's a switch to defeat the automatic functions if you find you prefer it that way.
With a nice Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge included, it sounds great, too. Dual has a well-earned reputation for producing 'tables that stand the test of time, and this latest offering has that same solid feel.
Pro-ject has been making popular manual belt-drive turntables for a long time now — I own one myself. When faithful customers clamored for a fully automatic option, they listened. The Pro-Ject Automat A1 features an Ortofon OM10 cartridge and a built-in preamp to go along with the crowd-pleasing convenience of their first automatic offering.
Note: If you don't need or want the fully automatic experience, there are a number of great semi-automatic turntables on the market, too.
What our customers say about the CS 429
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.
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