Vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years, and with that comes the need for a portable turntable.
Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast who wants to take your collection on the go or a beginner looking for an affordable option, there are plenty of portable turntables on the market.
But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs.
In this article, we’ll break down the top contenders and help you find the best portable turntable for your listening pleasure.
What Is The Best Portable Turntable
When it comes to portable turntables, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you want a turntable that is truly portable – lightweight, compact, and easy to carry.
But you also want a turntable that delivers quality sound, even on the go. This can be a challenge, as many portable turntables sacrifice sound quality for portability.
After researching and testing various models, we’ve narrowed down the top contenders for the best portable turntable.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Portable Turntable
1. Speed: The speed of a portable turntable is a crucial factor to consider. Most portable turntables offer three speed variants – 33, 45, and 78 RPM. It’s important to choose the correct speed based on the type and size of records you wish to play to ensure the best sound quality.
2. Drive: The drive of a turntable refers to its mechanism for rotating the platter. There are two types of drives – belt drive and direct drive. Direct drive provides more speed consistency and less distortion, while belt drive ensures a vibration-free sound experience. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose based on your personal preference.
3. Bluetooth Connectivity: Many modern portable turntables offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect your smart devices like phones or tablets and play songs from your library. If you want modern capabilities with nostalgic sound equipment, this is a feature to consider.
4. Durability: As portable turntables are meant to be carried around, it’s important to choose one that is durable and can withstand some wear and tear. Look for sturdy materials and solid construction.
5. Sound Quality: While portability is important, you don’t want to sacrifice sound quality for it. Look for a portable turntable that delivers clear and balanced sound, with good bass and treble response.
6. Price: Portable turntables come in a range of prices, so it’s important to consider your budget before making a purchase. Keep in mind that higher-priced models may offer better sound quality and more features, but there are also affordable options that can still deliver good performance.
By considering these factors, you can find the best portable turntable that fits your needs and preferences.
Top 5 Portable Turntables For Vinyl Enthusiasts
1. Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT
The Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT is a fully automatic turntable that is perfect for beginners and experienced vinyl enthusiasts. It comes equipped with a Bluetooth connection, allowing you to easily connect your mobile devices and stream music wirelessly. The turntable also features a high-quality Audio Technica AT3600L magnetic cartridge on a metal tonearm with a counterweight, ensuring that your records don’t get scratched during play. The platter and tonearm are mounted on springs to combat vibrations that could make the needle jump or skip. This turntable is lightweight, easy to carry, and perfect for vinyl enthusiasts on the go.
2. Victrola VSC-550BT
The Victrola VSC-550BT is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice style or performance. It boasts a beautiful vintage design and comes in a variety of color options to match your personal taste. The turntable can play at three different speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 79 RPMs – and features an auto-stop system that stops the record once it’s finished playing. The turntable is equipped with powerful external speakers that provide a full audio experience, and it also has Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming.
3. LP&No.1 Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player
The LP&No.1 Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player is a premium quality wireless turntable that allows for easy Bluetooth pairing up to 10 meters away. It has a diamond stylus and ceramic cartridge for superior sound quality, and its vintage look appeals to most vinyl record lovers. The turntable can play records at three different speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM – and is equipped with powerful external speakers for optimal audio performance.
4. Zbrqotl Vintage Suitcase Portable Record Player
The Zbrqotl Vintage Suitcase Portable Record Player is perfect for vinyl enthusiasts who want to take their music on the go in style. Its vintage suitcase design adds a touch of nostalgia to your listening experience, while its built-in speakers deliver crisp, clear sound quality. The turntable can play records at three different speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM – and its compact size makes it easy to carry with you wherever you go.
5. Crosley Cruiser Portable Record Player
The Crosley Cruiser Portable Record Player is a classic option that has been popular among vinyl enthusiasts for years. Its suitcase design makes it easy to carry, and its built-in speakers provide decent sound quality for its size. The turntable can play records at three different speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM – and it also has an auxiliary input for connecting external speakers or devices.
Best Affordable Portable Turntables For Beginners
If you’re new to the world of vinyl and looking for an affordable portable turntable, there are a few great options to consider. These turntables are designed for portability and ease of use, without sacrificing too much in terms of sound quality.
One of the best options is the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Suitcase Turntable. This turntable features a vintage suitcase design that is both stylish and functional, with an easy-to-carry handle and fold-up design. It also has three speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM – and Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music from your smartphone. The sound quality is impressive for a portable turntable, with RCA output for connecting external speakers and a headphone jack for personal listening. However, some users have reported issues with durability over time.
Another great option is the PT01USB by Numark. This turntable is incredibly lightweight and portable, with an in-built handle and protective dust cover. It also has three speeds of playback and the option to power it with batteries or an AC adaptor. The adjustable pitch control and EZ Vinyl Converter recording software make it a great choice for aspiring DJs or vinyl archivists. The sound quality is balanced and clear, with in-built speakers as well as RCA output and headphone jack options. However, some users have reported concerns about the durability of the lightweight construction.
Features To Look For In A Portable Turntable
Here are some features to look for in a portable turntable:
1. Three Speeds: Look for a turntable that can play records at three speeds – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. This will ensure that you can play any record in your collection.
2. Automatic Operation: Fully automatic operation will allow you to enjoy music while you work without having to manually lift and place the tonearm.
3. Built-In Speakers: A portable turntable with built-in stereo speakers will allow you to enjoy your music without the need for external speakers or amplifiers.
4. Connectivity: Look for a turntable that offers multiple connectivity options such as 3.5mm aux in, RCA cable, and Bluetooth input. This will allow you to connect your turntable to other devices and stream music from your phone or other sources.
5. Replaceable Stylus: A replaceable diamond stylus and metal tone arm offer an improved sound experience and should be included with any quality portable turntable.
6. Portability: A handle and durable case will make it easy to carry your turntable with you wherever you go.
7. LED Display: An LED display can be helpful for beginners, as it will show the speed of the record and when the turntable is about to stop.
By considering these features when shopping for a portable turntable, you can ensure that you get a high-quality product that delivers great sound and is easy to use on the go.
How To Properly Care For Your Portable Turntable.
If you’re investing in a portable turntable, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your portable turntable:
1. Keep it clean: Dust and dirt can accumulate on the surface of your turntable, causing damage to the needle and affecting sound quality. Use a soft, anti-static brush to gently clean the surface of your turntable after each use.
2. Store it properly: When not in use, store your turntable in a protective case or cover to prevent dust and debris from settling on it. Avoid storing it in extreme temperatures or humid environments.
3. Handle with care: Portable turntables can be fragile, so handle them with care when transporting them or setting them up. Avoid placing heavy objects on top of them or dropping them.
4. Check the needle regularly: The needle is one of the most important components of your turntable, so it’s important to check it regularly for signs of wear and tear. Replace the needle every 1000 hours of playing time or if you notice any bends or jagged edges.
5. Keep it level: Just like with traditional turntables, it’s important to keep your portable turntable level to prevent tracking force fluctuations that can damage your vinyl records. Use a spirit level to ensure your turntable is perfectly level before each use.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your portable turntable stays in top condition and delivers quality sound wherever you go.