Choosing a new turntable should not be a daunting process. In fact, if you have a guide to different turntables, the whole process of selecting your favorite can be quick and enjoyable. If your budget is less than $200, then you have come to exactly the right place as we have put together a convenient guide to four of the best turntables under $200.
Whether you need a turntable for a DJ set, a gift for a vinyl loving friend or family member, or simply for personal use, you are sure to find plenty to inspire you here.
The following are our top 4 so that you can compare prices – then scroll down to see our reviews of these great turntables and our final verdict on the player that comes out on top.
Stanton T62 Straight Arm Turntable Review
This sleek little turntable has a compact, no-nonsense aesthetic and it packs a powerful punch. Functional, durable and user friendly, this turntable is a very reliable choice.
The Stanton T62 has a straight arm and several dials which are very easy to navigate. The key feature of this turntable’s design is its pre-mounted 500 v3 cartridge (a legendary feature of Stanton turntables). In addition, there is a slip mat which gives you optimum control over the speed and motion of your records.
The sound quality on the Stanton T62 is excellent. You can always rely on this turntable to provide you with very crisp and clear sound. In addition, the strong torque and the hefty motor make this a fantastic turntable for mixing sounds or for creating scratch DJ effects.
- Easy to use
- Very robust
- Excellent sound quality
- Cool, timeless look
- Powerful motor
This is a fantastic all round turntable, which can be used both in your front room and for scratch DJ nights. Though it is true that there is only a single deck here, this can be worked around by using the jacks to hook the turntable up to a second deck. The classic Stanton cartridge and the handy slip mat ensure that you have total control over your records at all times. On top of all of this, this turntable is absolutely stunning to look at thanks to its sleek, slick and functional design.
Sony PSLX300USB Stereo Turntable Review
This is a very good starter turntable. It is a little flimsier than the Stanton T62, however, it is nevertheless still very durable and will definitely do the job! The reason that this turntable is great for beginners is the fact that it is fully automated. So, there is no need to worry about memorizing difficult operating procedures: just switch it on and away you go. Another handy feature of this turntable is the translucent lid, which keeps your vinyl free from dust.
As well as the lid mentioned above, this classic black turntable features a belt drive system and a built in phono preamp. In addition, as its name suggests, it offers USB audio output capabilities, so that it can be linked up to speakers if the user desires.
The sound quality of this turntable is good, though it does not always reach the levels of perfect clarity that are par for the course with the Stanton T62. If you invest in a good set of speakers, however, you can use the USB port to link those speakers up to this Sony turntable and thus enhance the sound quality to your heart’s content.
If you are looking for an affordable, easy to use turntable for your personal use then this is a solid choice. This Sony turntable can be hooked up to speakers to blast out your favorite tracks, or you can use its existing speakers for a lovely quality of sound. If you want a turntable that can be used for a DJ gig, though, you may want to explore the more robust options, such as the Stanton T62 (which has a better motor).
Electrohome Winston Vinyl Record Player Review
Aesthetically, this turntable is probably the most interesting of the four turntables reviewed here. It is housed within a real wood veneer cabinet with a handsome lift up lid. Inside, however, you will find some of the latest turntable technology. So, if you are looking for a vinyl record player that harks back to the good old days whilst also giving you the benefit of new technological advancements, then this could well be the turntable for you.
Lovers of all things retro will adore the design of this turntable. As well as the veneered cabinet style case mentioned above, the Electrohome Winston Vinyl Record Player boasts a diamond tipped ceramic needle. This needle is more than just an aesthetic flourish, however: this choice of materials ensures that your vinyl will not get damaged by the needle no matter how many times you play them on this turntable. In addition, this turntable is equipped with a belt drive system that is fully automated and built in speakers. A final key aspect of its design is the 3.5 mm auxiliary input capacity which enables you to link the turntable up to your iPod or iPhone and play digital releases as well as vinyl.
The combination of the diamond tipped needle and the wooden cabinet means that this turntable gives your records a unique sound quality. The acoustics of the wood will make your records sound wonderful warm and deep, so this is a great turntable for bringing out the harmonies in folk music or in vocals. It may not, however, be perfectly suited to thrash metal or other music which veers away from the ‘warm’ end of the spectrum.
- Gorgeous design
- Ability to play older records as well as newer vinyl releases as it plays at speeds of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm
- Wonderfully warm sound quality
- Able to be linked up to a digital device to play songs from your libraries on iTunes, Spotify and so on
- Can be used as a simple radio as well as a turntable
- The unique acoustics may not be for everyone
- The cabinet design makes it unsuitable for use by DJs who want to mix or scratch their records
This is a real treasure of a turntable, and is absolutely ideal for someone with an older vinyl collection thanks to its ability to play 78s as well as newer speeds. This turntable is perfect for personal use, and it can be proudly displayed on the shelf as a kooky, retro item that nevertheless has plenty of excellent technological capabilities (such as being able to hook up to your iPod). The warm acoustics are not for everyone, however!
Audio Technica AT-LP60 Review
This is another fully automated turntable, and it has a very modern, minimalist aesthetic. The cool design of this turntable from Audio Technica is matched by a slickness of operation. Functionality is the name of the game here, with a well balanced tonearm and a handy translucent lid.
The tonearm is, as mentioned above, very well balanced and this enables excellent damping control. Like the Sony turntable reviewed above, this turntable has a translucent shut down lid which some users may prefer as a way of protecting their vinyl as it plays. Again, this turntable is fully automated so it is ideal for beginners, whilst its strong motor makes it pretty good for DJs as well. The simple yet intuitive controls make this a very user friendly turntable, though some people might argue that the fact that these are largely on-off switch style controls makes this turntable somewhat less sensitive than turntables such as the Stanton T62 which has knob and dial controls.
The platter of this turntable is made from die-cast aluminium, which gives this turntable great anti resonance properties. This turntable has pretty good sound quality, and the quality can be enhanced further by using the jacks to link it up to some speakers. The diamond stylus (which is replaceable) provides a smooth sound – though, as the time nears for the stylus to be replaced, users may hear a little scratching or crackling creeping in.
- Cool, practical design
- Handy shut down lid
- Good anti resonance and damping control properties
- Fully automated
- Affordable price
- Fewer speeds than turntables such as the Electohome model mentioned above (33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm only).
- Stylus needs replacing more often than some similar turntables.
Verdict on the Audio Technica AT-LP60
This turntable is pretty much on a par with the Sony turntable reviewed above. It has many of the same features, such as a shut down lid and a practical, user friendly design. This is another good turntable for beginners as (again, like the Sony turntable above) it is fully automated and has simple controls. One thing that gives this turntable a potential edge over the Sony model, however, is its superior anti resonance properties, which are due to its die cast aluminium body.
Best Turntable Under $200 – Final verdict
We have just reviewed four great turntables, and each of them have something to offer. The Sony and the Audio Technica models are solid choices for people who want a basic, no fuss turntable for personal use. These turntables play at the two basic speeds needed for most modern vinyl records and they both have a frills free, contemporary aesthetic. In fact, overall, it can be said that these two turntables are highly comparable and, when choosing between them, there is not much to sway you from one side to the other. Perhaps the question of whether you go for the Sony or the Audio Technica turntable will simply be decided by the matter of which one best fits with your budget – or the design of your room! Either way, you will have made a solid choice.
If you are looking for something a little different, however, it is definitely worth while checking out the Electohome turntable! This turntable would be the perfect gift for someone who has some older vinyl to play, or for anyone who wants a turntable that looks retro and authentic. While it may be a gimmick to some, the veneered wood cabinet in which this turntable is housed certainly makes it stand out from the crowd, and the diamond tipped ceramic needle is a very nice touch as well. When it comes to sound quality, this turntable has a lovely deep and unique sound. However, whilst this aspect of the sound quality may be a real selling point for some people, for others it will diminish the value of the Electrohome turntable – not everyone wants their vinyl to sound warm and rich all of the time!
However, if we had to choose a single turntable as the best turntable under $200, it would definitely be the Stanton T62.
This turntable has the best sound quality of all of the turntables reviewed above. And, unlike the Electrohome model which imparts a warm sound quality to every record that it plays, the Stanton T62 is able to adapt to different types of music. Moreover, the Stanton T62 is a very versatile product, as it can be used both by individual music lovers who want to play their favorite records in the comfort of their own home and by professional DJs. On this latter point, it is important to note that the Stanton T62’s powerful motor and slip resistant mat make it especially well suited to scratch DJ nights.
So, unequivocally, the final verdict is in favor of the Stanton T62. This robust and very well designed turntable represents the most reliable choice for people who want a turntable that is durable and easy to use. Its controls are sensitive and easy to navigate and it also comes equipped with Stanton’s famous cartridge. Finally, if you are looking for a turntable that offers you consistently clear and crisp sound quality no matter what you throw at it, the Stanton T62 turntable will never let you down! This turntable is sure to go down as a modern classic thanks to its compact, contemporary design.