Buying anything for a low price is never easy. What you will be faced with will never be high end or even a mid-range product. But that is not to say that the quality needs to be poor and it will automatically be badly manufactured. There are some decent turntables available at the entry-level.
Maybe this is your first turntable, and you aren’t old enough to remember the days when all we had was vinyl? Or maybe it is for a son or daughter or maybe even yourself.
We don’t like saying let’s find the best cheap turntable because that infers it will be poor. We’d rather say let’s find the best turntables for under $100.
So let’s get to it…
Top 10 Best Turntables Under $100 For Your Money 2021 Reviews
1 Audio-Technica AT-LP60
The LP60 is a fully automatic belt-drive turntable playing at 33.3 and 45rpm, and it has an interesting feature to discuss which we will come back to.
Some of the cheaper turntables have a problem with low quality in the build. We can understand that. Companies have to make a profit, and they cut as many corners as possible to achieve this. But sometimes they cut one too many.
No such problem with this turntable. It is well-engineered and built and has a design that is appealing. Audio-Technica is a Japanese audio electrical company who were formed in the 60s and now have a US subsidiary.
This particular model is not too expensive and is a good way to start your return or commence your journey with vinyl.
It is lightweight and portable but is still a sturdy little machine. And it has an integral dual-magnet phono cartridge with a replaceable diamond stylus. It is delivered with some of the setup already performed for you.
If you have ever tried to set up a new turntable, you will know what we mean. It can be a nightmare and if you are new to it, a week of nightmares, but some of it has been done at the factory.
Setting the counterweight is usually the problem, but this has been done for you. This means you should be able to rest easy when the tonearm returns to its resting position because it won’t start taking great lumps out of your beloved vinyl.
We mentioned earlier a special feature. This turntable has RCA connections that will connect to your Mac and PC and is compatible Audacity software to convert your vinyl records to digital audio files if you wish. And it has a built-in preamp.
A good turntable at an excellent price.
2 Numark PT01 Touring | Classically-styled Suitcase Turntable
This is a remarkable little turntable. Designed to look like something from the 50s or 60s, it has so many features packed into it, that it never ceases to surprise.
Firstly it is a travel record player and is built into a suitcase-style unit. Inside this unit are not only the turntable itself but a built-in amp and stereo speakers. There is even a battery-driven function that takes a Lithium-ion battery. Battery life is about four hours. It has a belt-driven turntable and weighs just six pounds so is easily transportable.
An amazing feature is that it plays not only 33 and 45 rpm but also 78. How good is that? And comes with a stylus and cartridge. It has a ⅛” headphone jack and a similar for an aux input for other audio sources.
Secondly and still the features go on. It has a USB port and EZ conversion software if you want to archive your vinyl collection to your computer.
Those are all great little assets for this turntable to have, but let us also be realistic. The sound produced will not be of the highest quality. The speakers are in the unit and are not what you might call the top of the range. They are not going to be, are they? It is therefore not what you would call a hi-fi.
Also, the turntable itself will take some management, especially as you are changing discs, so care is advised.
The build quality is adequate if it is treated with care, and really it is a fun item that you can carry around with you or keep at home for playing the occasional vinyl. At the price, it is good value, if you are not expecting too much.
3 Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable
Some would argue, and they have a strong case, that there has never been a better time to listen to music. Streaming sites and a myriad of online radio stations and other options mean you can listen to anything at any time.
Whether this is good for the writers and musicians is another argument, of course, as they are often not paid for their performance but a completely different matter. But sometimes we are sure that some of us just long for the time when we can throw on a piece of vinyl and remember what it used to be like.
If ever there was a turntable that even by its appearance brought back those days it is this, American Graffiti and Happy Days all rolled into one little package. Even the color says the 50’s.
Great as it looks it has the advantage over those old ‘record machines’ by containing modern technology. It has the suitcase-style, and it can play 33, 45 and even 78 speeds, and it looks right, but then we take a look under the bonnet.
Featuring a 3.5mm aux-in for connecting to a non-Bluetooth device as well as its own Bluetooth connection to play music from any of your current devices. It also has its own headphone jack socket, Yes it plays vinyl, but it will play everything else as well.
A little bit more tech in the stereo speakers to give you a decent sound and this is a super little package. It is under $100, so don’t expect a thousand dollar performance, it is just fun, plays your vinyl and actually delivers a very good sound.
It is quite well made but can’t be thrown about, and it probably needs a flat surface to play on, but for the money, this is just a great little turntable. Now, where are we… “I found my thrill….” Ah… that’s better.
4 1byone Belt Driven 3 Speed Portable Stereo Turntable
It does seem that it is becoming a trendy thing to do to want to create turntables that take us back in time. This is another example of 50s type styling with modern technology to create that style and aura of a past time.
It’s a belt-driven and created in a portable briefcase-style made from a PU leather and with a carrying handle. It is thus portable and weighing just 5 pounds, and it is easy to take with you wherever you go.
It will play your 33, 45, and 78 records and includes a soft damping control on the tonearm and front-facing speakers.
Of course, there will be times when you want to jump back in the time machine musically and return to the rest of us. In which case, there is an RCA/AUX-in port which will connect to your stereo system at home including phones, iPod and MP3’s. It can also be connected to your headphones. Controls are located conveniently on the side of the unit.
The lid is removable if you wish, courtesy of some snap down fasteners that are well made and chrome finished that add a further retro feel, and the turquoise color is certainly attractive.
This is a fun machine and as much about appearance as sound quality. Having said that the sound is quite good considering the speaker options and of course the price point. So as long as you’re not expecting a devastating audio experience, you won’t be disappointed.
One thing we will take a little bit of an issue with is that if you are going to transport us all back to ‘the day’ then that is fine, but please use the correct terminology. This is not a turntable that is a modern term. This is a record player. That is what we called it and how we know it.
Great little product at a great price.
5 Musitrend Mini Stereo Turntable 3 Speed Record Player with Built-in Speakers
If you are going to design a product and need to keep the costs down so that it can be sold at an attractive price. Then you shouldn’t cut too many corners in the quality of the build but instead, keep the unit simple and without any clutter.
This product is a good example of that. It has the suitcase, portable-like design with a cabinet made from wood with a carrying handle. And has three speeds, 33, 45 and 78 so it will accommodate all your collection and also comes with a 45 RPM adapter.
It has some interesting features, one of which is that it can take your vinyl records and transfer them to MP3 format to an SD card. Or if you prefer, through a USB to your laptop or other devices.
It is belt driven and has an automatic stop when it gets to the end of the last track. Even though the speakers are quite small, it is surprisingly loud and will have no problem being heard in even a large room.
It will be delivered with a spare stylus needle, which is a nice touch by the company. But just a little word of advice, when you are fitting the first needle supplied, make sure you take off the small plastic protective covering, or it will slide right across the surface of your record. There is a manual in English that will guide you through the process.
This is another fun little record player, not turntable, at a great price.
6 Vintage Turntable Portable
This is a stylishly designed player. Made to look retro but with a briefcase feel to it, rather than the usual suitcase idea. The case is made from hard plastic and is very nicely designed with controls located conveniently.
It plays 33, 45 and 78 speeds, and the setup and operation are easy. And has two stereo front-facing speakers but if you prefer you can hook it up to your home stereo through the RCA jacks on the control panel.
It is supplied with a stylus needle, but a spare is also included.
Controls on the unit are well thought out and designed, we suspect, for someone that may not have had the experience of a record player some years ago, which is a great idea. So often companies assume everyone knows what to do with a record player. With this product, they show you quite clearly.
On the top are controls for the tonearm and its raise lever, the turntable auto stop and turntable speed the power on/off and volume control. There is also a headphone jack. The tonearm has a securing clip for when you might be moving the unit.
On the rear are the aux-in jack to connect your other devices, headphones, etc. and RCA out jack to hook up extra speakers. All neatly laid out and self-explanatory.
It is easy to use, and one plus point is that when the tonearm is moved towards the record, the turntable will begin to spin. It is provided with a dust cover.
At the price, it is a great little unit.
7 Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
Audio-Technica has a long tradition of building quality music systems. They are a Japanese company originally set up in the 60s but now have a US subsidiary.
This model is an upgraded version of their previously issued and popular LP60. The newer LP60X comes with a few added features and designs. It is a fully automatic belt-driven turntable that operates on 33 and 45 rpm.
By fully automatic it means that the turntable will queue and commence playing the record itself just by pushing the start button and then return the tonearm once it is finished playing.
It has been well made with good materials. The platter is made from diecast aluminum and is designed to be anti-resonance. The tonearm and head are made with a slightly different design to enhance tracking and reduce the resonance. And it has a dual magnet cartridge with a diamond stylus that is replaceable.
It has a built-in phono preamp that will connect to the speakers in the stereo at your home via RCA cables and has a removable hinged dust cover.
This is a good turntable and one that is a little more expensive than some of the others we have reviewed here. It is neat and tidy with some good features and made by a reputable audio company.
Although, it is very much an entry-level turntable and therefore does not carry some of the finer design attributes of the more expensive machines. But it is still a good piece of equipment and is certainly worth consideration as one of the best turntables under $100.
8 Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Stereo Turntable
This is a surprisingly versatile record player. If you are looking around at the best turntables under $100 and record players like this one. All at the lower end of the financial league because you are unsure, then this Jensen is a good entry-level product.
It’s compact, not the most attractive of units visually but it has some nice features. It has onboard speakers, of course, which means you don’t need any external equipment and because it is so lightweight it is very portable.
And it has a USB port so you can connect to your MP3 player and you can download your vinyl records to a phone or iPod. The connecting cable is included. There is an auxiliary jack socket through which you can play your music from your devices. You also have the option of connecting up external speakers if you want a better sound via an RCA output.
It is a belt-driven machine and has 33, 45 and 78 rpm speeds and has stereo speakers. All these features are good and make this an attractive unit.
It must be remembered though that this is very much a budget product, and as such will not have a real quality about the performance and audio reproduction. It is quite well put together, but the materials are not of the highest quality, and you must expect that things will eventually go wrong.
The built-in speakers are what you might expect from a product at this price level, and the software used to manage the transfer of files to other formats might test your patience.
It is what it is. A budget range player that will give you an entry into the world of vinyl, and as long as you accept it as such, you won’t be too disappointed.
9 Jensen JTA-222 3-Speed Turntable
Another budget entry-level record player/turntable from Jensen. This product, though besides being a record player/turntable, also has an AM/FM stereo radio onboard. The ‘radiogram’ has returned. Well, not quite, but the thought was there.
It is built with a wooden casing that gives it a certain look reminiscent of days gone by. And the control panel on the front looks like something you might have found on the front of a steam-driven radio in the 40s. Sort of quaint really we suppose.
It has some features worth noting. Two front-facing speakers and RCA speaker output jacks. Socket for stereo headphones, a power indicator, and dust cover.
It will run on three speeds, 33, 45 and 78 and as we mentioned before it has an AM/FM radio with an FM stereo indicator and at a weight of just six pounds is extremely portable.
There is a USB port with cable included that will convert your vinyl into a digital format. Software is included for recording and converting the audio.
It is a nice little entry-level product into the world of vinyl. But as with all budget items, it is not going to win any awards for sound quality.
It will need to be set up properly. And it is no good just getting it out of a box that has been delivered and expecting it to be perfect. It won’t be, and you might need to adjust one or two elements quite a few times. If you do that, you will find this is a competent little machine, that is very good value for money.
It’s quite loud and performs ok for the money spent, and we just love the ‘old dial’ on the front for the radio.
10 Crosley CR6019A-BR Executive Portable USB Turntable
If you walk through the center of any city carrying this, people would be excused for thinking you worked in the financial district.
Designed to look very much like a very fashionable vintage briefcase, its two-tone black and brown vinyl mock leather-look certainly makes it look the part and the brass looking clips and fittings add to the style. Gordon Gekko would be impressed. Well, maybe not? But you know what we mean.
It is a belt-driven turntable that has three speeds, 33, 45 and 78 rpm. And has an aux-in and RCA audio out and there is a USB for you to connect up your Mac or PC. And it has stereo speakers. It is fitted with a ceramic cartridge.
We must point out that this is not an automatic turntable. This means that at the end of the record being played the turntable will stop but the tonearm will not return to its resting place and must be returned there manually.
Do you remember those record players where you had to pull the tonearm back to get the turntable revolving? Yes? This is one of those. How great is that? Just another piece of vintage style to add to the list. Convenient it isn’t of course, but who cares.
This little unit is very cost-effective, and you cannot expect too much from its performance, but it has a reasonable sound for the cost, has a few little features that are useful and the looks are great.
It might not perform to the highest level, but you will love owning it.
So What Are The Best Turntables Under $100?
This has been such a difficult choice. Not so much because of the quality of the audio produced by the machines, but more because these machines are more than just sound. For some, they are an entry to the world of vinyl for others a return to days past.
We loved the Crosley with its briefcase style, and some of the others were good. There were some quite good turntables there as well, but in the end, we went for the best Turntables Under $100 as being the…
Even the color is great. Great little machine and superb value for money.