Home » Turntables » Best Turntables Under $500 to buy in 2021 [Exclusive Reviews]

Best Turntables Under $500 to buy in 2021 [Exclusive Reviews]

This dedicated guide and product reviews on the best turntables under $500 will make you choose the most suitable turntable in your budget. Do you know vinyl sales topped $416 million in the last year? Yes, this is true because RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has released a statement that this the highest level since 1988.

To be honest, most people thought that these classic players are not coming back as their digital trends are getting popular with growing age. But, for a true music lover, there is nothing better than the best vinyl. The warm sound with perfect clarity is simply soul-soothing for music fans.

Perhaps this is one of the prime reasons most people love to buy the best turntables. From expensive to budget-friendly, there are countless turntables available on the market, but all of them are not the same and also don’t fall under a single price category. $500 is a pretty good budget for a turntable that can satisfy all of your music cravings.

List of Top Turntables under $500

Finding the best Turntable for your music taste can be a really frustrating task. Don’t worry; we are here to help you to make the right choice within your budget.

After days of careful research, reviewing user experience, turntable features, and brand reputation, we have created this list for you.

TurntableRatingPrice
Monster GO DJ Portable Mixer Digital Turntable⭐⭐⭐⭐
Audio-Technica at-lp120xusb-bk Direct⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Audio-Technica Atlp5 At⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
U-turn audio⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Rega Planar 1 Turntable⭐⭐⭐⭐
Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fluance rt81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pioneer PLX-500-K⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

1# Monster GO DJ Portable Mixer Digital Turntable – Best Turntable for DJs

We are living in a digital age, so it is wise to look for the best digital Turntable on the market. This LCD touch screen portable mixer features a 2GB memory, but thanks to SED cards, it can be loaded up to 2TB quickly. The digital Turntable comes with both analog and digital outputs for adding your desired speakers.

This Turntable is not made for those who want to reproduce vinyl sounds or looking to mix physical records. This versatile instrument is specially made for DJs. With ultra-lightweight, it is incredibly portable. You don’t need to connect it to your laptop. All you need is speakers, and you can access the studio’s worth of adjusting, mixing, and sound editing functions.

The digital Turntable also comes with onboard pads, onboard sequencing, multiple effects, multi-looping, and many handy features for DJs. Though the digital interface may take some time to get used to the on-the-fly mixing, the Turntable is equipped with all the essential tools you need.

Monster GO DJ is a perfect choice for those who are looking for a portable music device with complete production abilities. Though it may not offer the same feeling of spinning records, overall, this digital Turntable falls under the category of 500 price range and is a perfect model.

Key Features:

  • Up to 2GB using Internal Memory and 2TB using SD cards
  • Sound I/O: 3.5mm Stereo Jack x 4 (Line-out, line-in, Headphones, Microphone)
  • Two MP3 files playback at same time
  • Hardware buttons, knobs, and crossfader DJ Loops precise actions
  • Visual waveform helps to find the cue point
  • Headphones: 1.0 Vrms/Line-out 1.0 Vrms

Pros

  • Extremely Portable with Four stereo jacks
  • 12 HOUR BATTERY LIFE
  • Superfast boost uptime
  • BPM analyzer and beat tracker
  • Dual full-color VGA screens with touch panel

Cons

  • Not for beginners

2# Audio-Technica at-lp120xusb-bk Direct-drive Turntable

Audio-Technica-at-lp120xusb-bk-Direct-drive-Turntable

This premium turntable comes with a beautiful design that not only plays records for you but also digitalizes your record collection. Featuring a polished black turntable, this classic Turntable has a professional-grade, diet-cast aluminum platter along with a felt mat that reduces the vibration while playing records.

The Turntable also features an S-shaped tonearm, which adds to its modern look. This S-shaped tonearm accepts the AT-HS6 universal 1/2″-mounted headshell along with the AT-VM95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge. If you further want to improve the audio quality, you can easily upgrade the stylus. A stylus upgrade helps to produce more vibrant tones with sharper aural details.

It is made from plastic, including the knobs and dials. Dust is the major issue that may lead records to crackle, hiss, and skip. To prevent it from dirt and debris, there is a removable hinged dust cover. Not only it helps against the dust, but it also reduces the vibration from speakers during playback.

The ability to spin flawlessly makes it one of the best turntables for DJs. Though the sound quality of the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK is excellent, it primarily depends on the system to which it is attached. This Turntable is an ideal choice for serious music lovers with customizable features and crystal clear sound quality.

Key Features:

  • Selectable 33/45/78 rpm speeds
  • Includes 1/2″-mount universal headshell with AT95E Dual Magnet phono cartridge and elliptical stylus
  • Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter with included slip mat
  • Balanced S-shaped tone arm along with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest for smooth, accurate performance
  • Variable pitch control (±16%) with quartz pitch lock

Pros

  • High-quality Audio-Technica cartridge
  • Forward and reverse playback modes
  • Fully Manual Operation
  • Built-In Switchable Phono Preamp
  • USB Output to Computer

Cons

  • Lacks outright bass control
  • Made out of plastic

3# Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable

Pro-Ject-Debut-Carbon-DC-Turntable

If you are looking for the best budget turntable with exceptional sound quality, Pro-Ject Debut is a perfect option for you. One of the best things about Pro-Ject is its simplicity. Rather than creating fancy automated mechanisms, the brand always focused on delivering the best engineering quality. This Pro-Ject debut carbon dc turntable offers versatile features with excellent sound quality.

A carbon-fiber tonearm tube is one of the distinguishing features of this high-end Turntable. Such tonearm is typically found on expensive turntables. It offers significant advantages to the sound quality. This tonearm is stiffer than steel; that’s why it is more rigid. It helps to covey music accurately as there is also a minimized arm resonance. In simple words, the music sounds punchier, tighter, and more detailed than the previous models.

This revised Debut Carbon feature a large and stable platter to provide maximum solid bass with additional weight. Also, an improved motor dampening utilizing the Sorbothane helps give ideal isolation. In other words, isolating the motor means more dynamic and revealing sound with less background noise.

The sturdy plinth with the anti-vibration feet is best to provide similarly taut sound quality. The motor is also decoupled to further decrease vibration. With a brass bearing housing and stainless steel axle, the Debut platter hub is perfectly engineered and made to close tolerances for elegant sound and longevity. Also, a good quality Ortofon cartridge is included in this turntable. Featuring a gloss black plinth, this Debut Carbon looks excellent. For the best vinyl replay, pure and straightforward, there’s nothing to compete with the Debut Carbon DC in such price range.

Key Features:

  • Massive 12″ acrylic platter reduces resonance and noise
  • One-piece carbon fiber tonearm for superior rigidity and low resonance
  • Includes pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge
  • Synchronous AC motor decoupled from the base for reduced vibration transmission
  • Precision stainless-steel bearing system for smooth, quiet platter rotation
  • Built-in precision Speed Box control with a top-mounted electronic switch

Pros

  • Engineered for the purity of sound
  • Carbon fiber tonearm
  • Dynamic and revealing sound
  • Well damped against vibration
  • Eight Different Color Variants
  • Excellent detail and clarity for the price

Cons

  • Manual speed change

Looking for a turntable in the budget? Check

4# Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable

Audio-Technica-AT-LP1240-USB-Direct-Drive-Professional-DJ-Turntable

As the name suggests, this professional quality DJ turntable is specially made for DJs. Featuring a sleek, nice glass-black and silver design, this a perfect addition to your home entertainment system.

It also has a built-in switchable phono preamp that allows using it with different receivers, speakers, and other A/V components.

This turntable also offers a USB output for computer connection. You can easily connect and covert your favorite records from LP to digital format. The AT-LP1240-USB Turntable is made to deliver supreme music reproduction for professional users. It comes with a powerful direct-drive 16-pole with a three-phase motor for unwavering speed stability.

The Turntable also has an easy back-cueing, reverse and forward play, and ultra-quiet operation at 33-1/3, 45, or 78 RPM. Another best feature of this professional-grade Turntable is the S-shaped tonearm that also helps to reduce the vibration when playing music.

The damped cast-aluminum platter offers crystal clear sound quality with minimum background noises. Other notable features include an adjustable tracking force, antis-skate adjustment, adjustable pitch control, and a removable universal cartridge mount.

Key Features:

  • ½” mount universal headshell
  • Built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier along with detachable RCA output cables
  • Selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds
  • Balanced S-shaped tone arm with hydraulically damped lift control
  • Direct-drive, high-torque, multipole motor for demanding DJ use
  • Stroboscopic platter with speed indicator

Pros

  • Heavy-Duty Steel Construction
  • Best Turntable for DJs
  • Highly customized capabilities with a variety of features
  • The built-in phono preamp is exceptional
  • Professionally constructed and offers superb value

Cons

  • Does not come with a cartridge

5# Audio-Technica Atlp5 At-lp5 Direct-Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica-Atlp5-At-lp5-Direct-Drive-Turntable

This full-size Turntable is one of the most popular models by Audio-Technica. The versatile Audio-Technica AT-LP5 allows enjoying your favorite records with supreme sound quality and easy to use features. A built-in USB output helps you to digitalize albums. It comes with a phono preamp so that you can connect the Turntable to the receiver or plug it into the powered stereo speakers.

Though the Turntable is made for the modern needs of the music lovers, the brand hasn’t forgotten their roots. AT-LP5 features a classic J-shaped tonearm that was used in the 60s and 70s. It gives a high degree of accuracy to your tracks. This also comes with a lightweight AT-HS10 headshell, pre-mounted AT95EX dual moving magnet phono cartridge.

When it comes to sound quality at such an affordable range, there are very few turntables on the market that you can expect from. The AT-LPS offers an accurate sound with supreme clarity. Though the stock needles and cartridges work excellently with the built-in preamp, you can improve the quality by upgrading the cartridges to your desired one. It will not only help to reduce the brightness but also enhance the bass and the overall sound quality.

Key Features:

  • J-shaped tonearm for accurate tracking
  • Built-in switchable phono preamp
  • Anti-resonance die-cast aluminum platter
  • Selectable speed: 33-1/3 or 45 rpm
  • High-torque direct-drive motor for fast starting

Pros

  • Powerful and entertaining sound
  • Expressive rhythmically and dynamically
  • Impressive build with Scope to upgrade
  • Sleek, matte black finish
  • Included dust cover and mounting hardware

Cons

  • The cartridge can be a little bright

6# U-turn audio-Orbit Plus Turntable

U-turn-audio-Orbit-Plus-Turntable

This Orbit plus Turntable is a perfect gift to vinyl enthusiasts and music lovers. U-turn audio – orbit plus turntable is made to produce superior quality audio with a fantastic look. The Turntable comes with a neat and simple design with no unnecessary features. It has an acrylic platter upgrade, which helps to tighten the bass and improve the speed consistency to offer a clear sound with zero background noises.

It also comes with a built-in Pluto phono preamp, which allows you to connect it directly to an amplifier or powered speakers. Other notable features include an Ortofon cartridge with an external belt to eliminate the motor noise and also produce music with a consistency of about 33/45 RPM.

One of the best features of this turntable is its easy setup. Whether you are a newbie or an expert, you can quickly set up the Turntable to enjoy your favorite records. The minimalist design with vibrant and dynamic sound quality makes it an excellent choice for an audiophile. This masterpiece is also backed up by 2 years of manufacturer’s warranty.

Key Features:

  • Gimbal tonearm with adjustable counterweight
  • Ortofon OM 5E cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus
  • Semi-automatic playback for simple, convenient setup
  • The acrylic platter offers bold style
  • Outputs on LP player allow for smooth playback
  • Low vibration external motor reduces unnecessary noise

Pros

  • Built for Convenient Audio Playback
  • Two-Speed Belt Drive System
  • Versatile Enough for Any Genre
  • Available in a Wide Range of Colors
  • Built-In Preamp for Easy Setup

Cons

  • Some static distortion at higher volumes

7# Rega Planar 1 Turntable

Rega-Planar-1-Turntable

Rega was born by 1975, and the original Rega Planar 2 was released as the first model of the planar series. This reputable brand has been entertaining music lovers for more than 400 years. The Rega 1 is the new member of the Rega family with some new features and essential upgrades.

It features a new RB110 tonearm with precision bearings and automatic bias adjustment. The best position for weight tracking is a market for users, which is an ideal no-muss-no-fuss function. The on/off switch is located under the Thermo-set, gloss laminated plinth. Available in black and white colors, Planar 1 comes with a sleek design and elegant appearance.

This is the first entry-level Turntable by Rega that has a 24v synchronous AC motor along with the aluminum pulley. The versatile heavy phenolic platter has a fatty mass and improved flywheel to further enhance its speed stability. The Rega Planer comes fitted with a Carbon Cartridge.

It is belt-driven, which gives you the benefit of isolating the platter. The feature is useful to reduce the noise during playback. Though the Turntable is manual but very easy to use and offers better sonic performance as there are no gears required to move the tonearm around. Overall, this is the turntable with the great sound made from high-quality materials.

Key Features:

  • Hand-assembled RB110 tonearm
  • Phenolic resin, flywheel-effect platter
  • High quality, low vibration, 24v, low noise, synchronous motor
  • Factory-fitted Carbon moving magnet cartridge
  • Thermoset, gloss laminated plinth

Pros

  • Dynamic and Exciting Sound
  • Setup in less than thirty seconds
  • Plug-and-play design
  • Made with premium materials
  • Available gloss black and gloss white

Cons

  • None

8# Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable- Best Fully Automatic Turntable

Denon-DP-400-Semi-Automatic-Analog-Turntable--Best-Fully-Automatic-Turntable

Featuring a slim and sophisticated design, the Denon DP400 comes with a compact size that fits even in the elegant rooms. This is available in white and black color. The S-Shaped tonearm improved the sound quality with a weighted platter to provide ideal isolation from external vibration.

This belt-drive platter is commonly used in direct-driven systems. The motor isn’t connected to the platter in the belt-driven system, so it can be isolated from the motor vibrations. It results in a clean, bright, and better sound quality. In fact, its semi-automatic system makes it one of the easiest turntables on the market. The Denon DP400 features a lever that helps to raise and lower the tonearm. Also, an auto-stop function will automatically lift the tonearm when the record ends and turn to its resting position.

The S-Shaped curved tonearm is excellent to reduce the resonance and distortion. It also has a counterweight with detailed marking to make perfect adjustments for protecting your records in the long run. This classic turntable has a Moving Magnet (MM) cartridge that helps in precise listening and improved music details. If you want to replace the cartridge, it is also compatible with Coil (MC) cartridges.

The sound quality of the Denon DP400 turntable is exceptional with warm, clean, and transparent audio. This really decreases the cracks and pops of the old records because of the quality tonearm, platter, and cartridge. Other notable features include a built-in preamp and a dual dust cover to protect it from dust.

Key Features:

  • Built-in phono preamp
  • S-shaped tonearm optimizes tracking
  • Weighted, belt-driven platter
  • Replaceable moving magnet cartridge
  • Semi-automatic operation
  • Three speeds: 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm

Pros

  • Auto-stop function and speed button
  • Anti-skating tonearm adjustment
  • Stylish and made out of high-quality materials
  • Transparent and warm sound without resonance
  • Easy Installation & Setup

Cons

  • Difficult portability due to heavyweight

9# Fluance rt81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable

Fluance-rt81-Elite-High-Fidelity-Vinyl-Turntable

If you are looking to buy an entry-level turntable with simple to set up and use features, Fluance is rt81 made for you. Made from high-quality MDF wood, this turntable comes with a robust design. Thanks to the walnut design, rt81 has a sturdy and sleek appearance.

You can expect the ideal signal possible due to the reduced vibration. Featuring a high-end diamond cartridge, this turntable tracks the record grooves for a comprehensive audio system. It also has a balance aluminum S-shape tonearm along with the adjustable counterweight for supreme record tracking.

The built-in Texas Instruments preamp is easy to turn on and off. The turntable sport 3-foot gold plated RCA cable which can be used to connect it to an external audio system. It also features an aluminum platter and a rubber slip mat for ideal isolation from unwanted vibrations.

Another best feature of this best-budget Turntable is its Audio Technica AT95E cartridge with diamond elliptical tipped stylus that helps to record track grooves with excellent precision and accuracy for high definition sound. This compact design turntable is available in various colors. Additional accessories include a dust cover, 100V to 240V AC power adapter, a slip mate, and a quick start guide.

Key Features:

  • High performance AT95E Cartridge
  • Balanced Aluminum S-Type Tonearm
  • Solid MDF Wood with Walnut finish
  • Aluminum Platter with rubber slip
  • Built-in Texas Instruments preamp

Pros

  • highly recommended for professionals
  • High gloss finish
  • Sturdy construction and sleek design
  • Comes with a built-in preamp
  • Excellent sound output with flexible speed
  • Easy to assemble and use

Cons

  • No auto-return feature
  • No USB functionality

10# Pioneer PLX-500-K

Pioneer-PLX-500-K

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a new addition to the DJ turntable family. This mode is actually the cut down version of the Pioneer PLX-1000, which was released a few years back. It is a direct drive turntable build, especially for professional DJ needs. The speed can be easily controlled with the touch of a button.

The matte black body with the elegant brushed top of the aluminum platter provides high-end performance. Another best feature of 500-K is its curved adjustable tonearm along with the pre-mounted cartridge. The bass performance on this turntable is very impressive with a deep and fresh sound.

Durably made with ideal vibration-damping a precise audio playback, this gorgeous piece of music comes with a USB out feature so that you can easily create digital recordings of your favorite tracks with free rekordbox software. The PLX-500 is available in white and black to match the color of your home interior or gear.

In fact, one of the prime reasons for choosing Pioneer is its supreme sound quality. The pitch is stable, transparent, and strong with impressive bass balance. The best thing is when the Pioneer heads towards the higher notes, the audio doesn’t get thinner, but the sound remains rich and vibrant. Finally, their dust cover helps to save your Turntable from dirt and debris.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum Die-casting Tonearm
  • Headshell (with cartridge)
  • Electronic brake system
  • Rotation Speed: 33⅓, 45, 78 rpm
  • Servo-type direct drive
  • Dust cover with jacket stand

Pros

  • Simple, compact design with good looks
  • Great support for third-party applications via USB
  • Punchy and dynamic sound
  • Solid built quality
  • Incredibly easy to set up

Cons

  • No lock on the tonearm
  • A heavyweight of 30 lbs

Conclusion:

Whether you are looking to choose the best Turntable for DJs or a classic turntable for your living room, we have covered all of it for you. It depends on your needs and budget to select the right Turntable. But before you buy, make sure to check for the key features, brand reputation, and above all, user experience.

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