Buying a record player is an investment in atmosphere. Vinyls give off a richer, deeper sound quality than a cd or mp3. But getting a record player isn’t just about the sound. Looks and style are involved too. For some people, it might be best to complete the atmosphere with a vintage-looking piece, and others want something a little more modern. Generally, when we talk about record players, we are talking about a whole sound system in one: turntable, needle arm, amplifier, and speakers. Plus, a record player with built-in speakers is usually portable. Many record players fold up into a case, and some even have handles.
If you’re interested in looking for the best sound quality, you’ll want to look at the specs on the needle, the turntable’s rotation speed, and the speakers. If you’re okay with imperfect sound quality, and just want an interesting piece around your home, then you’ll probably be looking at the record player’s style and size.
A newer feature of many record players is a USB port. This can be a useful feature because it allows you to record music from the vinyl record onto the USB drive. From the USB drive, you can transfer the file to your computer as an MP3. However, some reviewers report that models with USB drives often have poorer sound quality than those without.
Victrola Nostalgic Classic Wood 6-in-1 Bluetooth Turntable Entertainment Center
The Victrola Nostalgic comes in three different finishes, including mahogany, espresso, or graphite. It plays 3 speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. It has stereo speakers, and it can also play CD, Cassette, and FM Radio. It’s Bluetooth capable, and it has an Aux-input and headphone jack. The Victrola Nostalgic satisfies the need for a vintage looking machine with good sound quality. It can play just about any device you want it to. I would recommend it for beginner vinyl collector, who wants a nice looking machine and does not want to be limited to records.
Check it out on Amazon here: Victrola Nostalgic Classic Wood 6-in-1.
Crosley CR6233D-BK Dansette Bermuda Portable Turntable
The Crosley Dansette Bermuda comes in black, red, or grey. It can play 2 speeds: 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM. In addition to playing records, it has a Bluetooth receiver, Aux-input, and a headphone jack. It plays on full range stereo speakers. This is a good mid-range all-in-one record player. It has high-quality speakers, and a clean, retro presentation.
Check it out on Amazon here: Crosley CR6233D.
Numark PT01 Touring Classically-styled Suitcase Turntable
The Numark PT01 Touring runs off of a rechargeable battery. The battery life lasts up to 4 hours. It plays 3 speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. It has a USB port for recording, an Aux-input, and a headphone jack. This is a modern style record player is very portable, since it closes into a suitcase with a handle. Great for travel, the rechargeable battery will allow you to use it when you are unable to plug in. The USB option will allow you to record your vinyl collection and convert them on your computer.
Check it out on Amazon here: Numark PT01 Touring.
Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable Natural Wood Hi-Fi Stereo System
This Electrohome Hi-Fi stereo system includes 4 speakers inside its acoustic cabinet. It plays 3 speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. It has a built-in AM/FM radio, CD Player, Aux-in, and USB port for recording. This classic design with its excellent 4 speaker built-in stereo system will be perfect for someone with a large cd and vinyl collection.
Check it out on Amazon here: Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player.
The Victrola Nostalgic has good overall sound quality. It is not tinny, and its volume does not need to be set very high for it to be clear. The radio gets good reception when the antenna is adjusted properly. It some cases, the Victrola Nostalgic has had speaker issues. The Bluetooth feature makes it a handy household stereo system.
The Crosley Dansette Bermuda is an attractive stereo, and it has a strong following of people who love it. Overall, it works well. Some have had trouble with the two-speed functions being inconsistent. Others have criticized the sound quality, but recognize that it works well for the price point.
The Numark PT01 Touring is inexpensive and highly rated. It keeps its battery charge well. Its speakers are small, and they will not deliver the best sound quality, but its recording capabilities are strong and user-friendly. A few reviewers recommend that you purchase a better needle to allow this record player to play its best.
The Electrohome Signature is priced at the upper end of record players with built-in speakers. Its sound quality is clear and strong. Some people report that their models were defective.
As with purchasing any electronic, the convenience of the built-in speaker systems have a few drawbacks. They are difficult to fix when they malfunction because fixes are not located in just one part. Their speakers tend to be small, and so they deliver a lower sound quality. They are also difficult to upgrade, in case you audiophile enthusiasm increases and you find you need even better sound quality.
Nonetheless, record players with built-in speakers have the strong advantage of being portable and easy to use. They also tend to be less expensive, when compared with buying a high-quality turntable and compatible stereo speakers by the piece. These are easy-to-operate machines with aesthetic appeal and a large range of audio functions to justify their space in your home.