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Best turntables for 2023

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

In this article: Our list of best turntables for 2023...

  1. Best value — Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO
  2. Best for beginners — Audio-Technica LP-120XUSB
  3. Best for ripping vinyl — Sony PS-LX310BT
  4. Best for audiophiles — Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck +M
  5. Best-looking — Fender x MoFi PrecisionDeck
  6. Best for streaming — Victrola Stream Carbon
  7. Best all-in-one system — Victrola Premiere V1
  8. Best direct-drive turntable — Technics SL-1500C
  9. Best fully automatic turntable — Dual CS 429

... with links to hundreds of customer reviews.

L

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 turntable picks for 2023

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

Audio-Technica LP-120XUSB Manual direct-drive turntable with USB output and built-in phono preamp

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

Sony turntable

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

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

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

The Pro-Ject X2 B features solid build quality and an excellent factory-installed Sumiko Rainier cartridge. I also love the heavy 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

Fender x MoFi Precision Deck

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

Victrola Stream Carbon semi-automatic belt-drive turntable with Sonos streaming

Best for streaming — Victrola Stream Carbon

For years, vinyl lovers had to make a wired connection to a "middle man" component in order to stream music from a turntable to a Sonos system. In 2022 Victrola partnered with Sonos to create the Victrola Stream Carbon — the first turntable with Sonos built in.

It's a good-looking 'table, with a solid black and silver plinth with rounded edges. There's a handsome illuminated dial on the front that lets you control system volume directly from the 'table. And you can always use the intuitive Sonos app for added convenience.

The lightweight, rigid carbon fiber tonearm and vibration-resistant die-cast aluminum platter are marks of quality design. And the included Ortofon 2M Red cartridge reads record grooves with impressive accuracy.

There's an Ethernet port on the back, so you can connect to your existing network, or use the turntable's built-in Wi-Fi. And there are gold-plated RCA outputs for making a wired connection to an existing hi-fi system. It's been a no-brainer best-seller for Sonos fans.

Budget-friendly alternative

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.

What our writer (me) said about the Victrola Stream Carbon

Victrola Premiere V1 turntable system

Best all-in-one system — Victrola Premiere V1 Turntable Music System

The Victrola Premiere V1 Turntable Music System integrates a turntable and Vinyl Stream™ Bluetooth streaming with a full-fledged built-in speaker system. In addition, there are 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 a mono output on the back lets you add a powered subwoofer to extend bass response.

Budget-friendly alternative

Victrola kind of has this category locked up, because I'm going to point to their fully portable Revolution GO as a budget alternative to the V1 system. And it has the added benefit of being able to go to the beach or on a picnic with you.

What our customers say about the Premiere V1 system

echnics SL-1500C Semi-automatic direct-drive turntable with built-in phono preamp

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

Dual CS 429 Fully automatic belt-drive turntable with built-in phono preamp

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.

Budget-friendly alternative

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

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.

Popular questions customers ask

If your turntable has a built-in preamp, or your receiver has an input marked “phono”, the answer is no. You do need a separate preamp if you don’t have one built-in, or if you want the freedom to change your cartridge in the future, which may require some fine adjustments to the amplification. In addition, a high-end component preamp can definitely improve overall sound quality.

Yes. Many turntables have a built-in USB output that allows you to create digital files in your computer as you play an album. You’ll also need software that’s designed for the purpose – some turntables include it, but you may need to download a program if not.

Each type of drive has its proponents. Direct-drive motors start and stop on a dime, and maintain speed reliably, so they’re very popular with DJs and radio announcers. The belt that connects the motor to the platter on a belt-drive turntable helps keep noise to a minimum, and many listeners feel the sound is warmer. It’s all a matter of personal preference, though!

Moving magnet (MM) cartridges are most common. They’re durable and easy to make, and typically require less amplification from the preamp. Moving coil (MC) cartridges are more lightweight, which allows them to read record grooves with extreme accuracy. Some deliver very low output voltage, and require a little extra amplification to sound their best. Many component preamps offer variable cartridge loading, which allows you to adjust to just about any cartridge you wish to use.

Yes, they’re becoming very common, in fact. A turntable with built-in speakers may have a Bluetooth receiver, so you can stream tunes when you’re not spinning vinyl. And many have built-in Bluetooth transmitters, so you can play your album wirelessly through compatible speakers and headphones. Some ‘tables even have features like Wi-Fi and MusicCast built in, so they can be incorporated into a whole-home audio system.

Last updated 11/16/2022
  • Arthur Russell from WEST HAVEN

    Posted on 1/18/2023

    Rega is rated one of the best turntables. Do you have plans to sell it at Critchfield?

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 1/19/2023

    Arthur - We are always in various stages of negotiation to bring in as many vendors as we can. I'm not sure what the status is on Rega, but if we get an opportunity, we'd certainly be interested. Thanks for the question!
  • ASHOK from Peoria

    Posted on 1/13/2023

    I enjoy reading/hearing Eric's analyses; a Univ of Kansas alumnus, nevertheless :-)

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 1/17/2023

    Well, you know, we bloom where we're planted, right? Thanks for the positive words!
  • Conway Barber from Parma Heights

    Posted on 1/11/2023

    I am proofing 300+ records (33,45,78) and I traded-in my direct drive fully manual Technics SL-1500C for the belt drive fully automatic DUAL CS 429. The CS 429 is very smooth and gentle with the record being reviewed. However, after working for hours on this project, I got tired of seeing the irregular rubber mat on the platter, but Crutchfield sent me a different one which was much better (but still not as perfect as the mat on the SL-1500C). I wish the CS 429 was direct drive as I often manually rotate the platter in fine cleaning as well as gentle touching rotating platter for final spot cleaning. For my project, the CS 429 is very nice.

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 1/12/2023

    Conway - Thanks for this comment, it confirms my own impressions of this Dual. I'm looking to upgrade my 'table soon, and this is my top choice. Glad it's (mostly) working out for you!
  • Lorenzo Camarillo from New Braunfels, Texas

    Posted on 12/11/2022

    Do any record players play 78 records

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 12/12/2022

    Lorenzo - They definitely do. Here's a list of turntables that play 78s. It's worth noting that those will work with more modern-style "microgroove" 78s, but if you have the older style with the wider grooves, you'll also need the Audio-Technica VM670SP cartridge with a wider stylus. We also sell it conveniently pre-mounted on a headshell for easier mounting. Hope this helps!
  • Harold from Lamar

    Posted on 12/8/2022

    Looking for a record player that is capable of stacking records as they were back in the early 60s and 70s so I could listen to more records before I had to replace the one record

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 12/9/2022

    Harold - None of our vendors are offering that type of functionality (which I very clearly remember using as well!). I've seen some vintage ones for sale on ebay, but my search for a modern version has come up empty. Sorry!
  • Mine from Warren

    Posted on 12/5/2022

    You really need to put up pierces with this.

  • Daniel Lee from San Pedro

    Posted on 12/1/2022

    We would like to purchase a new cassette player with the old Dolby and DBX noise reductions.

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 12/2/2022

    Daniel - We don't have any options that do this, and when I did some research of the marketplace, I'm only finding older used models for sale or auction. There may be someone making these new for fans of vintage audio, but if so, I haven't found them. Sorry I couldn't help!
  • Ross Diehl from Dover. Pa

    Posted on 11/1/2022

    Do sale non pre amp turn tables I have a pre amp but with my system it work better without a pre amp built in

    Commenter image

    Eric A. from Crutchfield

    on 11/2/2022

    Ross - We sell several turntables that don't have a built-in preamp. It's also worth noting that, typically, built-in preamps can be turned off, so you can really just choose the one you like best either way. Thanks for the question!
  • Ross Diehl from Dover. Pa

    Posted on 11/1/2022

    Do sale non pre amp turn tables I have a pre amp but with my system it work better without a pre amp built in

  • Alex Stanich from West Palm Beach

    Posted on 2/2/2022

    On the cartridge set up video I think you forgot two more very important steps. 1. setting the correct VTF by raising or loosening the arm-tube over a record (not the record mat!!!) and 2. rechecking the downforce pressure after you moved the cartridge to line it up, this can change a bit after lining up and moving the cartridge, so although it may not be much if you wish to be precise this is worthwhile to double check,

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