In yesteryears, Vinyl was the only mode to consume music and turntables used to be the device to listen from. With the advent of modern hardware, turntables went out of fashion. In recent past, turntables used to be very expensive pieces of hardware owned by only serious/professional DJs and with a high learning curve. Though best turntables for scratching remain at a premium, the rebirth of modern and portable turntables means that you can get some of the best turntables for under $300.
While turntables continue to be used for professional purposes like DJing and scratching, you can now use them to play your favorite vinyl of yesteryears.
In this post, we shall discuss about the Best Turntable under $300.
Before we go into details, here is our list of best turntables under $300
There are multiple factors involved in choosing the best budget turntable. The major factors to consider are:
- Belt drive vs Direct Drive turntables
- Upgradability of the needle
- Speed Modes
Belt drive vs Direct drive turntables
DJs generally prefer direct drive turntables because they get upto speed quicker and the motor spins at consistent RPM.
While choosing turntables for home use, it is okay to choose belt drive versions as beginner direct drive turntables has that motor noise which dampens your mood and make the experience of your vinyl bad.
Upgradability of the needle in Budget turntables
Turntables come with a cartridge and the cartridge contains stylus – colloquially called as a “needle” or “pickup”. A needle is the one that reads the grooves from the vinyl and hence affects the quality of the sound. Upgrading a needle for a stronger performance is a common usecase and hence having that ability is very important. Also, sometimes your needle may get bent or damaged and instead of adjusting with the sub-par quality, you may need to have ability to upgrade/replace the needle whenever you like.
Speed modes of Turntables
While most turntables have it by default, you need to ensure that the turntable you are buying has both 33-1/3RPM and 45RPM speed modes. Some of you geeks may want to find a turntable that handles 78s but for most people these two speed modes should suffice.
Preamp for turntables
A good turntable cartridge can produce a highly precise signal that makes for a great audio quality. But the signal is very weak and is not sufficient for music listening. Hence, a turntable needs to be fed into a preamplifier to make the audio produced be sufficient enough to consume by your speakers. Some turntables have preamp in built into them while some other turntable require you to bridge their speaker connection via an external preamp.
For budget turntables, it is convenient to have inbuilt preamp as it takes up less space but if you are a professional and looking for high quality sound output with no budget/space constraint, then you need to choose turntables without inbuilt preamps.
As a rule of thumb, while best turntables under 300 should have preamp inbuilt. But when you need them for professional puposes like Turntables for scratching, djing etc., they most likely will not have a preamp inbuilt.
I use my turntable to listen to music, since I value analog over digital. But some of you might want to convert your vinyl into digital and store it for eternity. A USB output feature enables to connect your turntable to a computer and provides for ability to convert analog music from physical albums into digital music files.
Considering the above listed factors, we recommend the following Budget Turntables for you.
Best Turntables under $300 | Best Budget Turntables 2020
- Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, Built-in Stereo Speakers – Turntable, Wireless Music Streamin
- Numark PT01 Scratch Turntable
- Reloop RP-2000 MK2 Professional Direct Drive USB Turntable System
- Audio-Technica at-LP140XP-BK Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable
- Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers
- Reloop Spin Portable Turntable System
- Reloop RP-4000-M Direct Drive High Torque DJ Turntable
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center– Complete entertainment center – Best turntable under 200$
Victrola 8-in-1 is not just a Vinyl player but is a complete entertainment system. It not only plays Vinyls, but also has an inbuilt CD & cassette player and FM radio. It also supports Bluetooth and has Aux & headphone jack for audio streaming from your smartphone.
It looks vintage and supports all the modern features of an entertainment system. It supports all the 3 speed modes and comes with a in-built speakers. You can also connect to external speakers if you would like better quality sound output.
It supports USB session recording to digitize your vinyl. Go for this if you are looking for a good-looking turntable for most of your vinyl and other listening needs. This is our number one choice.
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, Built-in Stereo Speakers - Turntable, Wireless Music Streaming | White
Numark PT01 Scratch – Best DJ Turntable under $300 that brought the vintage back
Numark PT01 Scratch brought back the trend of turntablism among the youth. If you are looking for the best budget turntable, look no further than Numark PT01 scratch. It is one of the highest rated DJ turntable (4.7/5.0 at the time of writing this) and is loved by all its users.
Numark PT01 Scratch is a belt-drive turntable but has all the jazz that a direct drive carries. It is one of the very few turntables that support both right hand and left hand scratching (if scratching is your itch).
Numark PT01 scratch plugs into an AC outlet but it also runs on batteries making it portable. It supports all the three speed modes – 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records. If are a collector and want to enjoy that 78 rpm Vinyl, Numark PT01 scratch is the best budget turntable under $300 for the purpose.
The cartridge on Numark PT01 Scratch is user-replaceable, making needle replacements a breeze. It has a built-in USB port and can be used to record your vinyl into digital format. You need to use EZ Vinyl Converter, a free downloadable software to digitize.
Numark PT01 Scratch | DJ Turntable for Portablists With User Replaceable Scratch Switch, Built In Speaker, Power via Battery or AC Adapter, Three Speed RPM Selection & USB Connectivity
Reloop RP-2000 MK2 Direct Drive DJ Turntable – Best Direct Drive turntable under $300
Reloop RP-2000 MK2 looks very similar to the Technics 1200s. Clearly inspired by the legendary instruments of the past, Reloop RP-2000 MK2 is a Quartz-driven DJ turntable with a heavy body and metal chassis. This beautifyl device comes with a direct drive motor but is still as silent as a belt drive. Its motor control is precise and supports two common speeds – 33 1/3 and 45 rpm.
It has an inbuilt phon pre-amp and is sufficient for most usecases. It has unique feature where with the push of a button, the aluminum target light can be extended. This helps to see the needle position in dark surroundings. It supports USB output and hence can be used for digitizing your vinyl.
If you are looking for a budget turntable that gives the feel of a professional setup, then go for Reloop RP-2000 MK2. It is the best looking turntable under $300.
Reloop RP-2000 MK2 Direct Drive DJ Turntable
Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP-BK Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable – Best DJ Turntable for hobbyists
Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP-BK Turntable is not really a turntable under 300$ as its price generally is a little above that. But you can sometimes get this for under $300 in a sale. You can also buy this best dj turntable for under 300$ when you are ready to opt for renewed one over new.
The reason why we tried very hard to include Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP-BK Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable in this list is because it is one of the very few turntables that will be loved by both professionals and hobbyists equally.
Audio Technica is a brand that needs no introduction and this beast lives upto that reputation. This turntable features a high-torque direct-drive motor and anti-resonant, mass-damped, die-cast aluminum platter. It supports all the three speeds 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM.
As this is a device aimed at professional, it lacks inbuilt pre-amp and would require some additional investment into them. Another feature it lacks is USB support.
If you are a hobbyist who want to become a professional DJ, then this dj turntable is for you. Else, please choose the other options in this list.
Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP-BK Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable, Black, Hi-Fi, Fully Manual, 3 Speed, High Torque Motor
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers – Quirky looking Suitcase Record Player
Victrola 3-Speed portable suitcase record player is the cheapest turntable in this list and comes with huge collection of colors. Staying true to the name, this record player looks like a suitcase and is a budget turntable under 50$. With unbelievable price and the quirky color combinations, it has quickly become the best-selling turntable on Amazon.
This belt-driven turntable supports all the 3-speeds (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM) and comes with Bluetooth support to wirelessly stream music to any bluetooth-enabled device. It also features a 3.5mm jack if your speaker is the wired type.
If at all you get bored with your Vinyl (which is likely never going to happen), this little device also supports playing music out of USB port as an input.
This device doesn’t have a USB output and hence if converting Vinyl into digital is your thing stay away. As can be expected from its price tag, this device sports a cheap body and hence will not last for a very long period. This is a very good budget dj turntable if you are just trying out or want to color coordinate your music player but yet remain retro.
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers | Upgraded Turntable Audio Sound| Includes Extra Stylus | Tie Dye, 1SFA (VSC-550BT-TDY)
Reloop Spin Portable Turntable System – Best turntable under 300$ with high connectivity
If you wanted to try out portable turntable for scratching but are not a fan of Numark PT01 scratch, give a look at Reloop spin portable turntable system.
Reloop SPIN comes with an impressive design and sports wide range of connectivity. It supports all the 3 speed modes and can be used with a regular USB power supply unit or rechargeable batteries.
It supports bluetooth output and has an inbuilt bluetooth speaker. It supports USB output to save your session. It sports a wide number of ports – Aux in, Headphone out (1/4″ and 3.5mm), RCA out, Micro USB, and USB A port for the Flash Drive.
Go for this suitcase turntable, if you are impressed by its connectivity modes and the looks.
Unlike couple of years ago, there is a huge number of choices for budget turntables under $300. We have listed above some our favorites based on the parameters that are of most important to the end users. Choose the one that suits your needs and I am sure you are going to fall in love with Vinyl very soon.