Best Beginner Record Player - Audiostance

5 Beginner Record Players To Get Your Vinyl Spinning

For the first time since 1987, vinyl sales have overtaken those of CDs. With vinyl’s return to form, we’ve also seen newcomers struggle to understand what they need for a beginner record player. In this article, we’ll run you through the essentials and give you 5 of the best options for your first record player.

Our Pick!


Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT

A sleek and stylish record player that features easy-to-use controls, a high-quality stylus, and compatibility with 7″ and 12″ records.

Quick Pick – Our Awards!

The Vinyl Revival

In 2022, over 41 million were sold, which increased to nearly 50 million in 2023. While there had been hints at a vinyl revival for a few years now, few expected it to excel the way it has. With new interest, more bands have adopted humble vinyl as part of their release packages. In turn, music fans worldwide can enjoy a new auditory experience while fulfilling their interest in building collections.

Whether you’re a Gen Z, put onto vinyl through Tiktok, or a boomer who finds that vinyl takes them back to simpler times – we’ve got you covered.

The 5 Best Beginner Record Players

Buying a good quality record player is essential, even for a beginner. There are hundreds of models to choose from, and the market is saturated in low-quality white-label designs. While these easily affordable options have their place, investing in a quality record provides peace of mind.

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT provides both convenience and quality performance. It’s a fully automatic record player that uses a belt-drive system, which is ideal for beginners and enthusiasts. Unlike the slightly more affordable AT-LP60X, this record player includes Bluetooth connectivity, letting you play music via your phone through your turntable. Additionally, Bluetooth can be used to pair wireless speakers to your record player.

Audio-Technica uses its own cartridge for this record player, incorporating a diamond stylus, which produces high-quality audio and ensures better longevity. It supports 33 1/3 and 45 RPM record speeds but isn’t compatible with older 78 RPM formats. Supporting both 7″ and 12″ vinyl sizes, the AT-LP60XBT will let you enjoy the two most popular sizes of records but doesn’t support 10″ formats sometimes used for EPs.

Subtle and sleek in its design, this turn table is ideal for those looking to get away from the often cliche vintage-style turntable. It features a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier for phono- or line-level output and includes a detachable RCA output cable (3.5 mm male to dual RCA male), 45 RPM adapter, and removable hinged dust cover

Overall, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT is an outstanding beginner record player that provides good quality, reliable audio with a stylish design that can blend into a modern room design. It’s well-built and supports the majority of popular vinyl formats.


  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • High-quality sound


  • No 10″ support

2. Sony PS-LX310BT

Sony’s PS-LX310BT is another exciting record player well-suited for beginners and experienced turntable aficionados. It features a modern design that is practical and discreet, blending in seamlessly with your home decor. Enjoy wireless streaming with the built-in Bluetooth connection, allowing you to pair your favorite Bluetooth speakers or headphones and enjoy high-quality music from anywhere in your room.

The PS-LX310BT speaks to Sony’s long-standing focus on quality. It has a sturdy design with an aluminum die-cast platter that minimizes distortion and vibration, further enhancing the audio quality. A moving magnet phono cartridge is used to ensure precision placement and stability of the stylus.

It supports both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM vinyl speeds and both 7″ and 12″ vinyl sizes.

It has a built-in phono output/line out phono preamp with a toggle button and three gain settings. The record player is easy to use and features automatic playback.

Overall, the Sony PS-LX310BT is a similar player to the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, with both options providing an easy-to-use, high-quality experience for beginners.


  • Great build quality for the price
  • Built-in phono output and line-out phono preamp
  • Easy-to-use controls


  • No 10″ support
  • Plastic build won’t appeal to all

3. Fluance RT80

Fluance is a reliable and popular turntable manufacturer that has released multiple great record players over the years. The RT80’s simple, stylish, and sleek choice incorporates a minimalist design without sacrificing quality.

Equipped with an Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge and diamond stylus, the RT80 is built to last. It has a sturdy design with a reliable plate that utilizes a belt-driven motor. The result is precision, smoothness, and consistency. It even has an adjustable counterweight and anti-skate control that allows for precision tonearm adjustments.

It features a built-in preamp and RCA output and supports both 33 1/3 or 45 RPM vinyl. Additionally, it is compatible with the two most common vinyl sizes, 7″ and 12″. Its affordable price range makes this record player ideal for beginners, but if you have more budget to work with, consider the RT81.

Whether you’re discovering vinyl for the first time or jumping back in because of nostalgia, the RT80 and RT81 are both great options that deliver reliability, quality design, and ease of use.


  • Sturdy design that ensures a smooth listening experience
  • Manual controls for adjustments


  • No built-in preamp
  • No 10″ vinyl support

4. Crosley C100A-SI

The Crosley C100A-SI speaks to both the old and new generations with a design incorporating vintage and modern elements. The silver finish is an ode to the many popular vinyl players of the 80s.

It features a sturdy aluminum tonearm with an adjustable counterweight, allowing enhanced stylus precision. It uses a belt-drive motor for consistency and stability. Additionally, the C100A-SI also comes with a Bluetooth variant that will allow for wireless streaming and integration of wireless speakers.

It makes use of a moving magnet cartridge and produces a quality, reliable sound. The built-in phono preamp ensures broad compatibility. In terms of vinyl support, the C100A-SI can spin both 7″ and 12″ vinyl and is compatible with 33 1/3 and 45 RPM speeds

With its relatively affordable price tag, ease of use, and stylish design, the Crosley C100A-SI is an excellent choice for all experience levels.


  • Affordable price
  • Classic 80s-style design


  • Build quality lags behind competitors
  • No 10″ support

5. Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player

The Victrola 8-in-1 is an all-in-one entertainment system that can play just about anything, including vinyl! It features a vintage-style design and is relatively large, and you’ll understand why when we talk through the various ways you can use this system.

The Victorola 8-in-1 doesn’t boast the same premium diamond stylus as some other record players on this list. However, what it lacks in high-end materials is versatility. Its ability to do just about everything makes it a great choice for beginner record enthusiasts who have a hard time justifying the costs of a record player that only plays vinyl.

In addition to vinyl, the Victrola supports CDs, cassette tapes, AM/FM radio, and even Bluetooth.

The Victrola 8-in-1 is one of few modern, budget record players to incorporate support for 78 RPM speeds and 10″ vinyl, making it well suited for older vinyl pressings.

Overall, it’s a fairly large system, and its distinctly vintage style won’t appeal to everyone – yet it is ideal for older individuals who may still have some of their 10″ pressings around or those who want an all-in-one system.


  • Incorporates a variety of media types
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Very affordable


  • Vintage design is polarizing
  • Large and heavy
  • Stylus and cartridge quality is sufficient but not as good as others

A Guide To Buying Your First Record Player

Buying things online is easy when you’re familiar with the technology, but record players can prove challenging for beginners as references to RPMs, drive systems, and styluses may sound foreign. This buyer’s guide will help you understand what you’re buying and what you should pay attention to.

Supported Vinyl Sizes & Speeds

Vinyl player speeds and sizes refer to the rotation speed and diameter of the vinyl. Common speeds are 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM (revolutions per minute), while sizes include 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch records. When buying a record player, consider compatibility with the records you own or plan to buy.

Most modern turntables support 33 1/3 and 45 RPM, covering the majority of vinyl releases. Older or specialty records sometimes rotate at 78 RPM. If you’re looking to crate dig and play some older vinyl, ensure your player supports this format.

Direct Drive vs. Belt Drive

There are two primary drive systems in a turntable. Direct drive and belt drive. Belt-drive turntable systems are the most common in consumer record players. Belt drives are simple and inexpensive. The motor is separated from the turntable platter in the most basic terms. The motor turns the platter via a belt.

The belt also acts as a dampener. It prevents the motor’s noise and vibration from affecting the sensitive needle. If you have ever stopped a vinyl record with your hand, you’ll notice when you release it again that there is a second or two of lag before playback resumes properly. This is the belt taking up tension and starting to turn the platter again.

The motor is connected directly to the platter in a direct-drive turntable, usually right below the center. The platter starts moving instantly when a direct drive turntable is turned on. This immediate torque is why DJs prefer direct-drive turntables, particularly turntablists that scratch vinyl records.

Due to the noise turntable motors generate, direct drive systems require some form of dampening or shock absorption. The advanced motor system and dampening are what make direct-drive turntables more expensive.

If you are just playing records, a quality belt drive turntable is sufficient. If you’re a DJ or turntablist, you want to go with a direct drive system.

Cartridge and Stylus

At the end of your turntable arm, there’s more than just a needle. This area of the record player comprises two main components: the stylus and the cartridge. The stylus includes the needle, which is the diamond-tipped component that runs along the grooves of a vinyl record. The cartridge encases both the stylus and needle, along with the wiring and electrical elements. Together, the stylus and needle play a crucial role in determining tone, volume, frequency range, and timbre.

For beginners, the best record players and turntables allow you to change the entire cartridge. The cartridge is attached to the tonearm via a simple screw and a release collar. This freedom allows you to choose a cartridge and stylus from any brand.

Wireless Support

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth weren’t even a thought when the first record players went on sale, but modern iterations oftentimes include modern features that separate them from their traditional design. Once hooked up to some bookshelf speakers, a Bluetooth-supported record player can be valuable to your home audio setup. If Bluetooth is important to you, check to see whether the model you’re interested in has a Bluetooth version; in some cases, manufacturers create Bluetooth and standard turntable versions.

Vinyl Cleaning & Accessories

One of the most important and neglected practices of owning vinyl records is cleaning and maintenance. Vinyl records require care and attention. The disc’s grooves are exposed to the elements and are susceptible to dust build-up or damage. Owning a vinyl collection is like caring for a child or pet. You need to make sure your vinyl collection is well looked after.

Cleaning is a relatively simple routine. Get into the habit of wiping your vinyl with an anti-static cloth before and after you play a record.

For a more detailed cleaning, you can use a velvet cleaning brush. Place a record on the platter and switch on the turntable without the needle. Subtly hold the brush on the record’s surface and allow a few revolutions. Keep the brush on the record when you’re done, and gently swipe. Use an anti-static cloth to wipe off the dust collected.


Record players are available in hundreds of different designs, but what makes a good record player isn’t how it looks – it’s the quality of the materials used. A good quality stylus and a trusted brand go a long way in ensuring your purchase provides value. You don’t need to spend several hundred dollars on a high-end record player when dipping your toes into the world of vinyl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a stylus?

Also called the needle, the stylus is responsible for translating the grooves in the vinyl into an electrical signal.

Do I need 78 RPM support?

If you’re planning to only play modern vinyl presses, you won’t need 78 RPM support. However, if you’re looking to play vintage records from decades ago, some will require it.

Why are there so few 10″ compatible record players?

10″ vinyl was once relatively common. However, most modern releases aren’t being pressed in 10″ formats.

How much should I expect to pay for a beginner record player?

There are record players for under $100, we recommend avoiding these. You should expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a decent, affordable entry level choice.

Audiostance Author - Matt Hallowes
Written by
Matt Hallowes

Matt is a sound engineer and confessed vinyl junkie! His work as a sound engineer includes live production and venue installations, giving him deep insight into the audio industry, with personal experience with dozens of products. While traveling the world, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us!

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