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No matter how good your vinyl collections are, a good turntable amps up your listening experience. I say this because the turntable and needle, which translate the record’s groves and give an audio signal, are critical components for your analog music system. So, if you are looking for the best turntable under $500, we’ve got the list for you.
Our personal favorite is the Fluance RT85. It comes with very consistent playback and gives very low resonance. This turntable provides an enjoyable listening experience and is worth every penny of your investment.
Since everyone needs different device specifications, the list below has other equally good turntables with stand-out features and specs. Let’s dive in and check out the top 10 turntables under $500 in 2022 below.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Turntables Under $500 in 2022
- 1. Fluance RT85
- 2. Pro-Ject T1
- 3. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
- 4. U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable
- 5. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB
- 6. Reloop 7000 MK2
- 7. Reloop 4000 MK2
- 8. Denon DP-400
- 9. Pioneer DJ’s PLX-500-K
- 10. Crosley C6B-WA
- Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Turntable under 500
10 Best Turntables Under $500 in 2022
Take your music experience to the next level with the best turntables under $500 in 2022
|Best Turntables Under $500||Rating||Price||Review|
|Fluance RT85||4.8||Check Amazon|
|Pro-Ject T1||4.4||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Audio Technica AT-LP60X||4.6||Check Amazon|
|U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable||4.5||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB||4.8||Check Amazon|
|Reloop 7000 MK2||4.6||Check Amazon|
|Reloop 4000 MK2||4.5||Check Amazon|
|Denon DP-400||4.6||Check Amazon|
|Pioneer DJ's PLX-500-K||4.6||Check Amazon|
|Crosley C6B-WA||4.3||Check Amazon||Read Review|
1. Fluance RT85
If you want to enjoy your album’s analog artistry, the Fluance RT85 is the best choice. It delivers accurate, stable, low-noise playback and almost everything you need from a turntable. It is an ideal turntable for audiophiles who want the best listening experience.
- Design: Coming with three legs covered with shock-absorbing rubber, the design of this turntable is very sleek and subtle. Thanks to its adjustable legs, you can even keep this device on an uneven surface. Not just that, you even get a translucent acrylic platter top which dampens vibrations.
- Sound: After listening to some tunes on the Fluance RT85, it has excellent clarity. It has an extensive stereo image and no mechanical noise in the sound. Even if I compare it with other record players, I can confidently say that the pitch and the speed accuracy of the RT85 are incomparable.
- Set-Up: For a first-time turntable owner, the individual parts and assembly might seem intimidating but worry not. Its quick-start guide explains the instructions thoroughly and makes you feel like an expert. The elements must be handled carefully to avoid smudging, breaking, or scratching.
Pros And Cons
- Good portability with Belt-driven and semi-automatic motor
- Uses Ortofon 2M Blue
- Well-crafted plinth and platter
- Top-quality materials
- Finer details start to crackle during extended playing sessions
- Does not support built-in preamp
The Fluance RT85 is the ideal record player for serious music fans who want the best from their vinyl collection. Although the product is quite expensive, it is an investment. This turntable delivers an authentic and crystal-clear listening experience.
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2. Pro-Ject T1
Many vinyl fans want a super-easy turntable to set up, and Pro-Ject did just that. It feels like a plug-and-play device. Along with that, and the sound profile and build quality are fantastic.
- Build Quality: The Pro-Ject T1 comes in a classic Pro-Ject design with clean lines and no frills. You even get a built-in belt drive motor and spindle that isolates most of the vibration coming from its motor. That said, you will have to remove the platter and move the belt to the appropriate pulley on the motor, as speed selection is unavailable.
- Design: The Pro-Ject T1 comes in a variety of colors, including Satin White, High-Gloss Black, and Walnut veneers. Along with that, it also has no hollow spaces in its body, which helps to avoid unwanted vibrations. You even get an 8mm blasted glass platter in this turntable, giving it a premium look.
- Sound Quality: You’ll get a very cohesive sound performance from the Pro-Ject T1 turntable. In fact, most of the sound from this device has a very natural feel and gives a good listening experience. In fact, when it comes to the details, it has a warmth that gives a pleasant experience, and while the treble seems to be rounded off a little, the sound quality is still quite notable.
Pros & Cons
- Easy setup
- Good pace
- Impressive build quality
- The motor is very loud
- Very few options to upgrade
If you want a simple mix of modern and retro turntables, the Pro-Ject T1 will not disappoint you. With a super easy set-up and impressive build quality, it lives up to its hype and feels like a promising turntable. But, there is still room for improvement in this device, considering its sound quality and its features.
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If you have a vinyl collection and are on a budget, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is all you need. It is a budget record player with a line of excellent features and not to mention good sound quality. It is an entry-level turntable and the perfect starting point for a beginner. It also comes in a Bluetooth version, making things even easier for the user.
- Design: Coming in a simple, square design, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X has a very compact layout. It also comes in several colors in the standard version.
- Use Case: It is fully automatic, so with the push of a button, it starts playing your records by automatically placing the tonearm on top of the record. Not to mention, when the record is over, the tonearm returns to its resting position.
- Sound Quality: Considering its ergonomic pricing and entry-level features, its sound quality is impressive.
Pros & Cons
- Very affordable
- Easy to operate
- Good sound quality
- Material is not good
If we consider its pricing and features, there is no competition for the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X. It is fully automatic and very easy to use, which attracts all casual record listeners. On top of that, you can also get a Bluetooth version of this product which is again a popular demand in the market.
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I’ve talked about many automatic turntables till now. But if you’re in need of a fully manual turntable to bring you back to the good ol’ days, you’ve come to the right place. U-Turn Audio’s Orbit Plus turntable is a fully manual unit that is belt-driven and has a retro minimalist design.
- Design: Don’t expect any bells and whistles from this product, as it is specifically designed to deliver the best sound for your money. But, there are features that enhance your listening experience. For instance, on the back left corner of the table, you will find the AC motor suspended on rubber dampers which reduces the noise coming from the motor into the plinth of the turntable.
- Sound Quality: Listening to songs on the Orbit Plus is definitely fun. The speed consistency is quite impressive, considering the price of the turntable, which makes the music fun and peppy. All in all, you get a pretty decent sound quality from this affordable turntable.
- Additional Upgrades: Although this product has limitations and only average features, you do get many additional upgrades with this turntable which allows you to play with its settings and music quality. For instance, the phono cable for the turntable is replaceable. So, you can go for a good RCA cable to upgrade your record player.
Pros & Cons
- Good sound quality
- Sleek design
- Very minimalistic
- Many color choices
- No speed switch is available
Overall, the Orbit Plus stands quite well in all the departments of a record player. You get improved speed stability, and it even disperses the unnecessary resonances, which gives a good tone and a punchy bass to the music output. With that said, you do not get the auto-stop or auto-return feature in the player, which is a shortcoming for those who want an automatic turntable.
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The AT-LP120XBT-USB is the more adaptive and efficient turntable on the list. Not only does it have pitch control and a super-responsive direct drive motor, but it also features an integrated, switchable phono stage and wireless aptX Bluetooth connectivity along with a USB port.
- Design: The AT-LP120XBT-USB has a lot of aesthetics inspired by the classic Technics DJ decks like the Technics SL-1200 DJ turntable. It also has sturdy construction and a tidy finish. Although it is made of plastic, it still has some robust points to it, like having rubberized legs which offer isolation from external vibrations and self-leveling.
- Connectivity: The AT-LP120XBT-USB can easily slot into all types of systems with its switchable phono stage. It also comes with a USB output connecting it to a computer and an aptX Bluetooth connection, which allows it to connect wirelessly to speakers and headphones. All this makes the AT-LP120XBT-USB a lot more flexible and accessible than the others.
- Sound Quality: The AT-LP120XBT-USB has a very warm and well-integrated sound profile that offers plenty of weight and detail to the records. Although its sound is not very dynamic, it makes up for it in terms of connectivity and all the ways you can listen through it.
Pros & Cons
- Switchable Phono stage
- aptX Bluetooth streaming
- Digital copies via USB output
- Wireless performance is pretty-average
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB makes this audio format very convenient and user-friendly, and it doesn’t compromise its sound while doing so. Although it’s not the punchiest or most dynamic record player out there, it’s still one of the best in this price range.
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If you are a DJ looking for a no-nonsense DVS/ vinyl DJ turntable, the Reloop 7000 Direct Drive is the perfect option for you. It gives you reverse and extreme controls on the pitch and even better convenient connections at the back. Overall, it is a good value for money and ideal for club/professional use.
- Built: This turntable comes with an S-shaped tone arm that is balanced and comes with both a hydraulic lift and an anti-skating mechanism. You even get improved stability and an adjustable height tracking angle thanks to the developed tone arm base.
- Set-Up: As you unbox the turntable, you’ll find a direct drive club-style turntable, which is ideally made for DJing. The torque in the Reloop 7000 is excellent, and the tracking is very stable (make sure to set it up correctly). Also, if you are used to Technics, setting up this beautiful turntable will be very easy.
- Sound Quality: These turntables have wonderful sound quality. As it is primarily made for professional musicians and elite turntable fans, it takes the audio very seriously and leaves no strings attached, making it the perfect music player for you. In fact, you won’t find any quality drops even if you try out different genres on this turntable.
Pros & Cons
- Value for money
- Various controls
- Good build
- Difficult to use for a beginner
The Reloop RP-7000 MK2 is a very attractive and dependable turntable for you if you are looking for a professional unit under a budget. This turntable offers good sound quality and tracking and is worth the investment.
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If you are a DJ who needs meticulous accuracy for using matching tracks, then this is the turntable for you. The Reloop 4000 MK2 offers a quartz-driven, high-torque, direct-drive performance which has been improved by Reloop with capabilities like quartz-lock tempo reset and reverse play.
- Build: The Reloop 400 MK2 has a robust construction and offers features like shock-absorbing feet, which helps a lot when you are working in a club surrounded by massive speakers and a mass of dancing people. The tonearm is statically balanced and includes a hydraulic lift and anti-skating mechanism.
- Sound Quality: The sound quality of the MK2 is quite impressive and delivers great audio. It provides a very neutral sound profile with a slight static buildup problem, but it is still a great turntable to look into.
- Controls: The Reloop 400 MK2 has a reverse play and pitch function, which will give you impressive control over your turntable. And when you’re playing in a dark club, simply press a button to extend the aluminum targeting light to see your exact needle position. This turntable also has a pre-mounted OM Black pick-up by Ortofon.
Pros & Cons
- Reverse feature
- Good needle illumination
- High-torque motor
- Sound damping is poor
The extensive feature set and solid build quality of the RP-4000 MK2 make it one of the best DJ turntables at an affordable price point. Overall, you get a lot on the table with this unit, and if you’re a DJ, you will definitely love the manual controls available in this product.
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8. Denon DP-400
The Denon DP-400 offers a great combination of modern features, such as amazing sound quality and ease of use. It even ensures that high-quality materials are used, so that the quality of the product is not compromised for its price point.
- Design: With its slim and sophisticated design, the Denon DP400 can fit in rooms with the most elegant furniture. Thanks to its compact size, it can also easily fit together with already existing HI-Fi systems.
- Preamp: The DP400 comes with a built-in preamp feature. When in its off state, it can be connected to an external preamp or the phono stage of your amplifier. And, with the in-built preamp on, you can directly connect the turntable to an amplifier or record player.
- Sound Quality: The Denon DP400 produces top-quality sound with all the details and nuances that your analog records have to offer. Its sound is warm, transparent, and clean. The cracks or pops that older records produce are minimized with the help of its great platter, tonearm, and cartridge. If cracks or pops do occur, they are indicators of dirt or damage to the records.
Pros & Cons
- Premium build
- Semi-automatic and easy to set up
- Auto-stop function and speed button
- Little heavy
- Looks too modern, which might not suit everyone’s taste
The Denon DP-400 is easy to set up and comes with features like a built-in preamp, speed control, and an autostop feature that stops playing records after they are finished.
Lastly, the design is clean, minimal, and curved, and as it comes with a color option of white and black, it can easily match any interior and be a great centerpiece.
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Since it is a DJ turntable, the Pioneer DJ PLX-500-K is designed slightly differently than standard models. But its wide array of features can benefit even the casual music listener and not just professionals.
- Controls: The PLX-500-K has a tempo control on the right side which makes it different from average turntables. The pitch of your music can be changed by sliding the switch up and down, which it achieves by speeding up or slowing down the speed of your record.
- Build: The PLX-500 requires minimal setup as the parts are easy to fix. All in all, this is an excellent, sturdily-built turntable for anyone.
- Sound Quality: Considering its price, the playback quality of the PLX-500 is very impressive. You get crystal clear vocals with your records, and you won’t be disappointed when you try out different genres of music as it stands tall in all of them.
Pros & Cons
- USB port available
- Comes with a pitch control
- Built-in preamp
- Manual working might get complex for some users
The award for the best DJ deck might go to the Pioneer PLX-1000, but the Pioneer PLX-500-K does not fall far behind. Considering its price point, an extensive list of features, and good sound delivery, it is one of the best options on the market right now.
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10. Crosley C6B-WA
For those who are new to the vinyl game or are just casual fans of it, Crosley’s gorgeous C6B-WA turntable is the perfect addition to your record collection. It comes at a very affordable price point and performs incredibly well.
- Design: Even before you put it together, you’ll notice how amazing the C6B-WA looks, with its black hardware and no frills except for a simple Crosley logo on the dust cover and glossy car paint on its base, giving it a classy appearance.
- Multiple Upgrades: The Crosley C6B-WA is very easy to upgrade. You can add an outboard phono preamp, change the stock stylus, or add some mass to the platter with a record weight. This turntable will last through many system upgrades.
- Sound Quality: The Crosley C6B-WA sounds great, even without fine-tuning. In fact, the needle that comes with the turntable is perfectly centered right from the factory, and it does not give issues, for example, the needle jumping out of a groove, even on bass-heavy tracks.
Pros & Cons
- Elegant Design
- Built-in phono preamp
- Easy to use
- Need to remove the platter to change the speed of the playback
- Low-level preamp distortion at higher volumes
The Crosley C6B-WA is the best entry-level option for vinyl newcomers as it comes at a very low price point alone. It looks premium and sounds great. So, if you want a great vinyl setup at a reasonable price, then you can definitely check out this turntable.
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Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Turntable under 500
Here is the complete buying guide for you if you’re looking for a turntable.
No matter which turntable you buy, it is equally important that it should be compatible with the rest of your audio gear, especially the speakers. If you want to use powered speakers instead of a traditional AV receiver, you should always go for a turntable that has a built-in phono preamp. However, if you already have an AV receiver for a music and a passive speaker as well, you can opt for more options available in the market.
2. Turntable Style
Just like cars, the turntable also has two types– Manual and Automatic.
Manual Turntables are, as the name suggests, manual, and hence they require you to physically lift up its tonearm, and gently place on the record’s groove. When the album is over, you lift the tonearm and return it safely to its resting area.
However, getting an automatic turntable can resolve all these concerns for you. This means that you can simply click on the “start” button and the tonearm will automatically lift up and drop on the record without any intervention. When the album ends, the tonearm will lift up and return to its resting area without any physical support from your end.
So, you can opt for an automatic turntable if you’re a beginner and are afraid of breaking or damaging the record while dropping the tonearm. That said, it is always riskier to go for a turntable that has additional moving parts, as it’s more like to break down. This is why people tend to go for the manual turntable. Even if you’re a beginner or just a casual vinyl music listener, it just takes a bit of practice to use the manual ones.
Unlike modern ones, classic turntables needed an AV receiver along with a phono input or at least an external preamp to amplify the signal. This was because, without a preamp, your speakers’ sound would be extremely low. That’s why many modern turntables come with a built-in phono preamp which lets you plug them into any type of AV receiver or with a powered speaker without the need for any additional hardware.
On the other hand, automatic turntables come with this feature but at a cost. If the built-in preamp of the turntable conks out after several years of extended use, you will have to get an external one. Not just that, the turntables that come with a built-in preamp have a turn-on/off switch, which controls this hardware. That’s why you should look out for the preamp in any turntable, as it brings a lot more to the table.
Vinyl is originally an analog audio format, but modern turntables are made for the digital era, which means that some of them can send their signals to wireless headphones and speakers over a Bluetooth network. Using Bluetooth in a turntable compresses its sound to a level, but at the same time, it is a convenient feature for those who don’t want to disturb their neighbors with loud music. So, you can look out for Bluetooth connectivity in a turntable at your convenience.
5. USB Port
Since almost all data, including music, is digitally stored these days, turntables have been upgraded to support this. They come with a built-in USB port which allows you to connect to your computer and store your music. This feature is handy if you want to keep a digital copy of an album that is not available on streaming services or CDs. If you have some rare vinyl records that you don’t want to get ruined, storing them on digital platforms can instantly reduce the risk and save your albums.
6. Upgradable Cartridge
I always prefer going for a turntable that lets you upgrade its cartridge for two main reasons. First, swapping out your phono cartridge impacts your record’s sound quality. This means that when you pair an entry-level turntable with a premium cartridge, you’ll notice a jump in the audio quality, which is high enough to keep your present hardware instead of replacing it with a costlier one.
Secondly, you can easily swap out the cartridge if you accidentally damage it. If your turntable has a non-removable cartridge, it will only last till your stylus’s (needle) life before you get a new one. So, always go for a turntable that has an upgradable cartridge.
Check our guide on “Best All-in-One Stereo Systems With Turntables”.
And, with that, we wrap up the top 10 picks of the best turntables in 2022 under $500. All these turntables have specific features which make them stand out, but the one product that has ticked all of my boxes is the Fluance RT85.
It not only gives a soothing touch to your records but also gives low resonance and an even sound profile. That said, I have listed down many other turntables on this list that have their own qualities and pros.
If you liked this review, share this useful guide with your friends and family, and contact us if you have any queries about the article!
Since the time I got my first pair of headphones in 2012, I’ve been fascinated by these little gadgets that have the power to change our moods through our favorite music. Whether it was the cheap $5 earphones or the premium JBL headphones, I have played my favorite music on tons of different audio devices for all these years.
At AudioReputation, I test and review headphones of all kinds. From popular earbuds like the Airpods pro to the expensive HIFIMAN Susvara, I always perform a deep test and present my honest and unbiased opinion to my readers.