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Top 10 Best Turntables Under $500 You Should Buy 2020 Reviews

There really is nothing like the sound of vinyl records. The details, warmth, and feel of a song are more apparent when listened to on vinyl.

Record players, or turntables, are key to getting the most from any vinyl collection. And like most audio equipment, quality tends to come with a cost. However, high-quality turntables are not as expensive as you might think. In fact, you can experience awesome analog sounds in your home for under $500.

So, come along as we rundown the best turntables for under $500.

turntables under 500

Top 10 Best Turntables Under $500 2020 Reviews


1 U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable (White)

A simple turntable focused on superior analog sound. Reliable and easy to use, it is a perfect fit for your home.

Just for sound…

There are no flashy extras with this turntable. It offers minimal controls and components. However, what it does have is superior sound quality. It features a pre-mounted Ortofon OM5E cartridge which works well at bringing every detail to life. It produces a warm and rich analog experience.

The tonearm is made from aluminum. The straight arm design makes placement simple and precise. Furthermore, it comes with an adjustable counterweight. This ensures excellent tracking and positioning.

The platter is something unique. It is constructed from an acrylic composite. It does a good job of eliminating vibrations along with ensuring accurate balance. However, its unique design makes replacing it difficult.


U-Turn Audio - Orbit Plus Turntable (White)

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • 2-speed belt drive.
  • Ortofon OM5E cartridge.
  • Straight tonearm with counterweight.
  • Excellent sound quality.

Cons

  • No extra connection inputs or outputs.
  • No preamp.

2 Crosley C200 Direct-Drive Turntable with S-Shaped Tone Arm, Black

The first direct-drive turntable from Crosley. Which has been made to deliver smooth and stable analog playback.

High-torque motor…

This turntable uses a direct-drive to turn the platter. The motor features a high-torque mechanism. As a result, playback is smooth, balanced, and accurate. And it features 33 and 45 RPM playback speeds, and uses manual operation with start and stop controls. The advantage of this is that manual operation is easier to control where you want to start or stop the record.

Accurate playback…

This turntable features a variably-weighted tonearm. It is S-shaped and uses a hydraulic lift control. Furthermore, it is height adjustable and features anti-skating technology. In other words, your playback is smooth, detailed, and precise.

Additionally, this turntable comes with an Audio Technica AT-3600 moving magnet cartridge. This provides you with excellent sound fidelity and channel balance.


Crosley C200 Direct-Drive Turntable with S-Shaped Tone Arm, Black

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Direct drive.
  • 2-speed playback.
  • Balanced S-shaped tonearm.
  • AT-3600 MM cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp.
  • Die-cast aluminum platter.

Cons

  • No AUX or USB connections.
  • Housing and plinth are not very sturdy.
  • Quality control concerns.

3 Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor

A state-of-the-art semi-automatic turntable to experience the rebirth of your analog collection. And easily one of the Best Turntables Under $500.

Features and flexibility…

This turntable supports 33, 45, and 78 RPM playback speeds. It uses a belt drive and comes with a weighted platter.

The DP-400 can use either MM or MC cartridges. So, you have plenty of options to work with. It features a pre-mounted cartridge. This allows you to start listening to your music right out of the box. There is also a speed sensor. This function ensures accurate timing and sound playback. Along with one-touch control buttons, using this turntable is very easy.

Functionality and form…

A specifically designed S-shaped tonearm ensures optimal tracking. The auto-lift function protects your albums.

Furthermore, auto-lift works to preserve the cartridge and stylus. The curved design eliminates distortion. The result is clear playback full of analog richness.

With a solid dust cover and aesthetic design, this turntable is solidly built. It will add all kinds of flavor to your home audio system.


Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros

  • Semi-automatic belt drive.
  • 3-speed playback.
  • Built-in phono equalizer.
  • S-shaped tonearm.
  • Auto-lift function.
  • Solid build and modern appearance.

Cons

  • Built-in phono EQ is weak.
  • Tonearm left lever is very small.

4 Audio-Technica AT-LP5 Direct-Drive Turntable, Black

A direct-drive turntable with a high-torque motor. With high-quality manufacturing and performance from an industry leader.

Stable manual operation…

The direct-drive provides stable playback for 33 and 45 RPMs. The high-torque motor delivers balanced on-axis rotation. The ergonomic switch selector makes changing speeds easy and precise.

The balanced tonearm features a hydraulic lift. It works to maintain smooth and fluid movements of the tonearm. So you need not worry about the stylus dropping too hard on your records.

The adjustable counterweight further enhances playback performance. Likewise, the anti-skating control ensures your sound is free from skips and scratches.

Equipped for convenience…

A built-in switchable preamp allows for various sound setups. You can go directly into your own speakers through the preamp. Additionally, you can hook up a receiver along with the best powered speakers.

The Audio Technica AT95EX cartridge offers high-performance precision. Your records will sound detailed and clear with this unit. It comes mounted on a lightweight headshell.

The USB port and included cable allow you to rip your vinyl collection to digital formats. Included with this turntable is Audacity software, compatible with Macs and PCs. So, you can quickly and easily convert your entire record catalog into high-quality digital files.

All these great features easily makes it one of the Best Turntables Under $500, but will be the overall winner? Read on to find out…


Audio-Technica AT-LP5 Direct-Drive Turntable, Black

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Direct drive with a high-torque motor.
  • Manual operation.
  • Balanced tonearm with a hydraulic lift.
  • AT95EX cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp.
  • USB port.
  • Audacity software included.

Cons

  • The low-end is a little muddy.
  • Feet don’t effectively dampen vibrations.

5 REGA – Planar 1 (Black)

Designed to give you low noise operation and excellent sound quality. Built as an entry-level turntable that breaks the mold.

Simply stunning…

The Rega Planar is one elegant turntable. It features a Thermoset, gloss laminated plinth. Thermoset is a kind of heat-cured plastic or resin. It is strong, stable, and durable. Furthermore, it can handle high-temperature operations. The result is better protection for your records and the components against the motor’s heat.

The platter is a 23mm high-mass phenolic design. With an improved flywheel effect, speed stability is better than ever. While the straight tonearm features zero play bearings, this feature allows for super-low friction performance. In turn, this minimizes the wear and tear on the bearing.

Sound Superiority…

This turntable uses a belt drive powered by a 24V, low-noise motor. It does an amazing job of reducing vibrations. Additionally, it delivers smooth and even playback.

It features a Rega carbon cartridge which offers unreal warmth and detailed sound. Therefore, each record sounds exactly like it should.

However, the best part is this turntable’s simplicity. It can be set up in minutes and uses simple plug-and-play so you can start listening right away.


REGA - Planar 1 (Black)

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Thermoset plinth.
  • 24V low-noise motor.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Balance straight tonearm.

Cons

  • No built-in preamp.
  • No 45 adapter.
  • The tonearm is flimsy.

6 Pioneer Pro DJ Black (PLX-500-K)

Like it says in the name, this turntable is made for DJs. And has been specially designed to deliver excellent sound quality and easy operation.

The DJ is in charge…

This turntable includes features that make deejaying fluid and fun. The balanced S-shaped tonearm can easily be adjusted. While tracking and speed are kept tight and true. Also, the S-shape allows for easier access when scratching. Plus, there is a slide pitch control which allows you to play with the pitch without losing sound fidelity.

Furthermore, the auto start/stop button is ergonomic and tough – it is not the usual weak plastic button. Rather it is metallic and built for repeated use.

The servo-type direct-drive delivers awesome speed tracking and durability. So you can scratch back and forth until your fingers bleed. You’ll wear out before the drive does!

It can handle 33 and 45 RPM playback speeds with the 45 adapter further enhancing the ease-of-use for DJs.

Get creative…

In addition to superb sound and function, this turntable features modern enhancements. It comes with a USB port and includes a USB cord. It is compatible with both Macs and PCs, so you can connect to your computer and start ripping albums, or recording your sets.

This turntable also includes Rekordbox DJ software. Mix, match, and record all your tracks using one single program. This software gives you new dimensions of creative freedom.

Plus there is a cover art stand, allowing you to display the record art in front while you’re spinning. All making it one of the Best Turntables Under $500.


Pioneer Pro DJ Black (PLX-500-K)

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Servo-type direct drive.
  • 2-speed playback.
  • Balanced S-shaped tonearm.
  • USB connectivity.
  • Rekorbox software included.
  • Made for DJs.

Cons

  • Plinth and casing are plastic.
  • Undefined headshell brand.

7 Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable (Black)

A fantastic turntable designed for analog purity. It features advanced digital technology combined with a sound quality that only Sony can provide.

Smooth and warm playback…

The tonearm features an integrated headshell which enhances the stability and durability for the cartridge. Lightweight and balanced, the tonearm ensures accurate tracking and tracing. While the belt drive system features an optimized spindle-bearing construction. As a result, precise stability, rotation, and speed deliver natural analog reproductions. It can handle 33 and 45 RPM playback speeds.

The platter is die-cast aluminum. It offers a nice balance of strength and weight. In other words, it is durable and lightweight. There is also an ultra-thin rubber slipmat included. And a built-in preamp supports both line and phono outputs. This means you can connect to various speakers and amplifiers to craft your desired sound.

Noice-reduction construction…

The plinth and housing are made from high-density MDF material. The acoustic-grade cabinet features characteristics that enhance analog fidelity and reduce signal noise.

The whole structure is insulated to eliminate vibrations. Plus, the feet include rubber dampers, so vibrations from the stand are further reduced.

Digital Revolution…

This turntable allows you to convert your vinyl collection into Hi-Res digital formats. Simply connect directly to your PC or Mac using the USB port and start ripping your records.

The HX500 includes native software for converting and editing from analog to digital. The software installs once you connect to your computer.

Furthermore, this turntable features a DSD Native AD Converter. This internal A/D converter can digitally archive your vinyl collection in high-resolution formats. But these are not limited to compressed MP3 files, in fact, you can choose WAV and FLAC formats for your favorites.


Sony PSHX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable (Black)

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • 2-speed playback.
  • Balanced and lightweight tonearm.
  • Superior tracking and tracing.
  • Built-in preamp.
  • Hi-Res A/D converter.
  • MDF cabinet construction.
  • Amazing analog sound reproduction.

Cons

  • The A/D conversion software is not the best.

8 Teac TN-300SE-MB Analog Turntable, Matte Black

A is one of the Best Turntables Under $500 that is elegant and easy. And it offers simple operation loaded with analog goodness.

Powered by precision…

A high-torque DC motor powers the 2-speed belt drive system. The belt itself is made from Neoprene rubber for greater rotational stability. The platter is forged from die-cast aluminum and is lightweight and durable.

All three combine to provide you with pristine analog playback. Overall, playback is free from skips, slips, and scratches.

Commanding components…

Featured on this turntable is an Audio Technica AT95E VM-type cartridge. It is widely known for its high-accuracy and detailed capture. It results in incredible sound quality, rich in clarity and definition.

The tonearm is a straight-arm design. It comes with an adjustable counterweight and anti-skating technology mechanism. Therefore, it brings you high-accuracy tracking and tracing.

The built-in preamp is another great feature. It supports line and phono outputs. This lets you chose the external components you prefer, while still delivering high-fidelity audio.

Ready for digital…

In addition to great sounds, this turntable features A/D capabilities. A Texas Instruments A/D Converter gives you the ability to digitize your analog albums. Connect the turntable to your computer via the USB port and start saving your favorite records right on your hard drive.


Teac TN-300SE-MB Analog Turntable, Matte Black

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • 2-speed belt drive system.
  • High-torque DC motor.
  • Neoprene rubber belt.
  • Built-in preamp.
  • Audio Technica AT95E VM-type cartridge.
  • Integrated A/D converter.
  • USB connectivity.

Cons

  • A/D conversion software is not included.
  • The motor can cause vibrations.

9 Music Hall MMF 2.2 Belt Driven Turntable with Cartridge, Gloss Black

Stylish and precise. This turntable offers excellent construction and high-quality analog reproduction.

Quiet and smooth…

This turntable features a manual low-noise belt drive. And delivers steady rotation and stable balance. It can play records at both 33 and 45 RPMs. However, you will need to manually switch the belt to the 45 RPM wheel.

Additionally, a stainless steel and bronze bearing ensures low-noise and accurate speed. It further adds to the detailed analog playback and rich sound.

Precise sound reproduction…

The tonearm is a straight arm design made from a lightweight alloy. It works to provide accurate tracking and tracing. It is fully-manual with an adjustable counterweight. While the sound quality is assured with the Music Hall Magic 2 cartridge – an Orton-made moving magnet phono cartridge. Likewise, it excels at detailed and precise analog sound reproduction.

Setting up the turntable is quick and painless. However, it’s important to note that it does not include a preamp. So, you will need to hook up your own amp or receiver.


Music Hall MMF 2.2 Belt Driven Turntable with Cartridge, Gloss Black

Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Fully-manual belt drive.
  • Music Hall Magic 2 cartridge.
  • Adjustable tonearm.
  • Rich and detailed analog sound reproduction.

Cons

  • No built-in preamp.
  • 45 adapter not included.
  • No extra inputs or outputs.

10 U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable (Black)

A turntable that is only about sound. But it has a look and style all its own.

Solely for sound…

This turntable is super-easy to set up. In fact, that is one of its main advantages. This turntable is meant to bring high-quality sound into your home. And it does not offer much more than that. It is a belt drive system and supports 33 and 45 RPM playback speeds.

The straight tonearm delivers good levels of precision. It comes mounted with a high-quality Orton OM5E cartridge.

Nice and warm…

In fact, it does an excellent job of capturing the details from your vinyl albums. Also, it offers nice and warm-sounding playback.

The platter is somewhat unique. It is made from machined acrylic composite and is well-balanced. But, on the other hand, its uniqueness makes any replacement or repair a challenge.


U-Turn Audio - Orbit Plus Turntable (Black)

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • Easy to set up.
  • Dependable.
  • 2-speed belt drive.
  • Orton OM5E cartridge.

Cons

  • No preamp.
  • No extra features of any kind.

Budgets

turntables under 500 reviews

If paying $500 for a turntable is a little more than you are comfortable spending, then please check out any of the following articles for more budget-conscious yet still very high-quality turntables:

So What Are The Best Turntables Under $500?

Each of the turntable reviewed here makes a fine choice for your home audio needs. However, there is no roundup without a clear winner. Best

Therefore, the very best of the Best Turntables Under $500 is the…

A turntable that does it all! From fantastic analog sound quality to digital convenience. The AT-LP5 has you covered.

It comes with a high-precision cartridge on a balanced tonearm. It also features a direct drive high-torque motor, as well as a built-in preamp. Plus, it is USB compatible and comes with Audacity software. Therefore, ripping your vinyl collection to digital format has never been easier.

We hope you found this information helpful. And we are confident your new turntable will add many hours of great musical enjoyment to your home. Long live vinyl!

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