Have vinyl records and record players really gone the way of 8-track tapes and dinosaurs? Far from it. Millions of vinyl records are purchased every year, and people still need something to play all those platters on. So it’s no surprise that there are lots of options for those in the market for a new record player. For convenience, portability, space or budget reasons, many prefer to buy a player that comes with its own built in speakers. Below is a look at seven options available for less than $500 that may help you decide on the best record player with speakers.
Ion Audio Max LP 3-Speed Belt Drive Wooden DJ Turntable
Pro: Nice entry-level turntable
Con: Budget materials
Lightweight at only 5 lbs., the Ion gives clearer, big sound. For less than $100, it includes a USB port and thus the ability to convert records to electronic, Mp3 file format. Although there are some noteworthy defect complaints, particularly about the tone arm and stylus, Ion support reps appear responsive and courteous. Check this item upon receipt.
TechPlay TCP2 BK, 3 Speed (33, 45, 78 RPM)turntable
Another lightweight, entry-level player, the TechPlay Gets top marks for style. It has clean lines and attractive LED back-lights. More importantly, it has good sound quality for its price. A good basic record player, it also includes an FM radio. Although it has an auxiliary input port, it has no USB port.
Pro: Fold-out speakers, style
Con: Cheap materials
Crosley is the only player here with fold-out speakers, this model produces very good sound. It features a USB port and even audio editing software. Attractive-looking with nice brass accents, it nevertheless has issues with quality of the tone arm and platter. Watch for other construction and material defects, such as poor seams and seals. Inspect out of the package, and use gently.
Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player Classic Turntable
Pro: Vintage look, good performance
Con: Poor customer service
As our price point hits $200.00, we see even more features. The Electrohome sports a charming, retro look while providing modern, powerful sound. One of the true “furniture” pieces here, it doesn’t slouch on features. It sports an AM/FM radio, a USB port and can play your Cd’s as well. A good balance of style, extras and sound quality for the price. Unfortunately, complaints about the occasional defect or missing part take a long time to get resolved.
Crosley CR6234A-BT Dansette Junior Portable Turntable with Full-Range Speakers
Pro: Adorable-looking, dependable
Con: Just a turntable, no bells or whistles
Although close in price to some of the more full-featured units, this Crosley is a solid, dependable choice for a record player. It’s great for those for those who just want to play a few records, and aren’t concerned with anything more complicated than that. The design is truly a throwback to simpler times, or a shout out to current style trends. The sound quality is exceptional, as you would expect when you’re not paying for needless extra features.
Pyle PTCDCS32BT Retro Vintage Classic Bluetooth Turntable Phonograph Gramophone Record Player
Dramatic in appearance and loaded with features, this Pyle model is a real conversation piece. It can play Cd’s AND cassette tapes, believe it or not. It also has bluetooth capability. It’s warm, rich sound is what you’d expect from a record player with a horn on it. Unfortunately it’s had repeated problems with its CD player and flimsy turntable materials. The CD player performance issues have been particularly frustrating.
Teac CD Recorder with Cassette Player & 3 Speed Turntable
Pro: Includes remote control
Con: The jury is still out
At nearly $500, this Teac model is also the newest. While there’s no review history yet, it’s selling out on Amazon. This isn’t surprising, with its solid-looking construction, robust speakers and super-handy remote control. Like the Pyle, the Teac allows you to convert your vinyl to Mp3 and plays Cd’s and cassettes. The CD player is RW, so you can also burn Cd’s with it. The only history to go by is Teac’s reputation, and that’s a pretty good history.