Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best usb turntable 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2019
Best usb turntable of 2018
Here, I will review 3 of the best usb turntable of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them. Not all usb turntable are created equal though.
So, what exactly would anyone want to know about usb turntable? I know most of us don’t really care much about the history and the origin, all we want to know is which of them is the best. Of course, I will spare you the history and go straight on to the best usb turntable. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this usb turntable win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day.
Why did this usb turntable come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
Why did this usb turntable take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials.
usb turntable Buyer’s Guide
2) Features – Today’s turntables offer a wide-variety of features in addition to simply playing the record. Knowing how you’ll be using your turntable and which features are most important will help you narrow down your search.
USB vs. Non-USB: One of the newest features to gain popularity among turntable manufacturers is the addition of a built-in USB port. The USB port allows you to transfer music from your records to your computer where you can then convert it to mpformat. For people looking to digitize large vinyl collections, specifically old or rare albums not available on mp3, having a USB port may be a priority. A word of caution, however. USB turntables tend to have a poor reputation among audiophiles who assert, often rightly so, that the costs of adding the USB port are often made up for by using lower quality components on the rest of the table. Do your research and listen to as many models as possible to ensure you’re not getting a high-tech dud.
Manual vs. Automatic: As mentioned previously, most higher-end tables utilize a manual cueing system, meaning you (the listener) must physically lift the arm and lower it onto the record and lift it back off as it reaches the end of the side. While this is slightly intimidating for beginners who worry about scratching the vinyl, it really is nothing cosmic and becomes second nature after a few attempts. However, if you’re the type of person that just wants to hit a button and let the turntable do the rest, then an automatic turntable may be for you.
Pros and cons of direct drive
Generally speaking, direct drive turntables offer the user more stability and consistency when it comes to rotation speed, this stability can be attributed to the constant torque the direct drive creates. The additional torque generally means faster start up times, less sound distortion, and a platter that is less susceptible and vulnerable to any outside forces negatively affecting it. Most DJs are akin to these direct drive turntables because only direct drive motors allow for the platter to spin backwards on command, which is how a lot of desired sounds and special effects are created.
One major con of the direct drive is that the motor itself inherently generates unwanted vibrations, and being that the motor is connected directly to the platter, sometimes the platter is affected by these vibrations. This issue can often be assuaged though by adding shock absorbers inside, in between the motor and the platter.
Pros and cons of belt drive
Although overall sound quality of the belt drive might be better, the belt drive suffers from a lack of torque, causing potential problems with accurate playback speeds. Also, the belt itself will eventually get worn out and will have to be replaced every couple of years.
Who should get this
This guide is designed for the person who is either first getting into vinyl playback, or has been out of it for a while and wants a simple solution. Many of the turntables discussed here feature integrated phono preamps, which is important because signals from phono cartridges must be amplified and equalized to be compatible with normal stereo systems or powered speakers. Most new entry-level receivers lack phono preamp sections, and soundbars and wireless speakers never had them, so a built-in preamp can be important.
The phono preamp issue is just one more reason why we don’t discuss the option of used turntables in depth. There are plenty of used turntables out there that are great, but those can take some work and fine care to optimize their playback. If you’re a vinyl veteran, this might be for you, but it’s probably not for the first-time turntable owner.
If you already have a turntable that works for you, you probably don’t need to upgrade to a new turntable from this guide. You can probably get more out of your current turntable by upgrading the cartridge or getting a new phono preamp than you can from buying a whole new table.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Unlike some other turntables, you need to attach the counterweight and balance the AT-LP120-USB’s tonearm, although it’s a good idea to check every turntable’s tonearm balance in case something was jarred during shipping.
You can balance the tonearm (and thus adjust tracking force, the downward pressure the tonearm puts on the stylus) with the Shure SFG-Stylus Tracking Gauge. It’s a tiny but accurate scale that makes it easy to measure tracking force, which you can fine-tune by turning the counterweight on the other end of the tonearm.
The permanently attached RCA output cables are also an annoyance, mostly because they are only 4inches long. You can get a cheap extension cable for them, but a user-replaceable cable is always preferred.
Compared with our upgrade pick, the Rega Planar 1, the Audio-Technica is noisier, which is apparent during breaks in the music where nothing is playing. The AT-LP120-USB also didn’t suppress pops and clicks as well as the Rega when playing dirty or damaged records. Of course, I’d recommend anyone buy a record cleaner like the Spin Clean to keep their records in better shape, as keeping your records clean also helps preserve them and keeps your stylus in better shape too. If you’re using clean records, click suppression will be a smaller issue.
As mentioned above, when used with an outboard phono preamp, the AT-LP120-USB produced lots of noise and background hum. We didn’t encounter this problem when using the internal preamp. Other turntables with internal preamps also suffered from this, but the Rega Planar was almost dead silent when used with the same external phono preamp on the same outlet. Even if using an external preamp provides better audio quality, the excess noise will mask that. Some people remove the integrated preamp entirely from the turntable to improve audio quality, but because this voids the warranty and requires considerable soldering skill, it isn’t something we’ve tried or would generally recommend.
The Crosley C200 feels like a very lightweight, cheaper version of the Audio-Technica. It lacks a few of the features of the Audio-Technica, including USB output, and its cartridge isn’t as good. Overall it just didn’t sound as good as the Audio-Technica or Fluance tables.
Our prior upgrade picks were the Pro-ject Debut Carbon and Debut Carbon DC. This time we felt the Planar is a better choice because of easier setup and use as well as sound quality. The Carbon DC sounded more lively than the Rega, but its sound can get a little harsh in the long term. It also exhibited far more background hum in our testing than the Rega. The anti-skating weight on the Pro-ject also bothered us the more we used it. It’s a weight held by a piece of fishing wire that is prone to falling off. I’ve lost this in the past, and it must have fallen off 20 times in testing. It’s a little thing that can become a big annoyance the more you use it, but even without this issue I’d still pick the Rega.
While you were looking at this image the anti-skating weight fell off again.
The Pro-ject Elemental line is the company’s most affordable, but online reviews show a large number of complaints about the speed-accuracy of the table so we left it out of testing.
The Pro-ject Essential II falls in the middle of the Primary and the Carbon. It has a more flexible tonearm than the Primary while using the same cartridge, but doesn’t offer the carbon fiber arm or Ortofon Red cartridge of the Carbon. It also has the annoying counterweight that the Primary does not, so we decided to test the Primary instead.
Pro-Ject also makes the RM series, which is another line of tables apart from the Debut. This includes the RM-1.3, which reviewers loved when it was released back in 20But nowadays it lacks the value that Carbon provides, and it is more finicky in use. At TechRadar, Dominic Todd gives it a five-star (out of five) review, and says that “Given its price, the Genie sounds exceptionally good.” Reviews of turntables at TechRadar seem to be a bit subject to rating inflation, so the review from Brent Butterworth is a good secondary point. In the end he felt that “Perhaps most important, I now feel like I own a real turntable instead of just a record player.” However, he now prefers the newer Carbon. Although the RM-1.might offer some sonic advantages, the Carbon has a better arm, and the RM-1.belt is prone to slipping off.
Before you buy or use a new turntable, it helps to be familiar with the jargon. We’ve explained some key terms below.
Tonearm: The tonearm holds the cartridge as it moves across the record. Typically a tonearm is straight, but some are S-shaped. The ideal tonearm has no mass, is perfectly rigid, and has a bearing with no friction. Because that isn’t possible, you want a tonearm that’s as light and rigid as you can get. If the tonearm is flimsy and resonates, that resonance will make it into the music. Carbon fiber and other composites are light and stiff, and cheaper metals like aluminum are light but have much more resonance.
Cartridge: The cartridge and its stylus are what physically play the record. The stylus moves up and down, left and right, producing a waveform for both stereo channels. There are many types of cartridges, but almost all entry-level tables will use moving magnet (MM) designs.
Platter: What the record sits on. The platter is rotated by either a direct-drive or belt-drive system. The platter should be as dense as possible to reduce rumble and other mechanical noises that will otherwise make it into the music.
Phono stage/phono preamp: The signal from a turntable is far less powerful than the signal from a CD player or other typical audio source. It also requires an equalization function, called the RIAA curve, to achieve a correct balance of bass to treble. A phono stage (or phono preamp) will boost the signal and apply the RIAA curve. Some receivers and integrated amps have built-in phono stages, with an input labeled “Phono” and usually with a ground screw for the turntable’s ground cable. If neither your stereo system nor your turntable incorporates a phono preamp, you’ll need to buy an external one.
If your receiver doesn’t have an input specifically labeled “Phono” it likely won’t accept the low-level signal from a turntable, unless that turntable has a built-in phono preamp.
Tracking force: Cartridges are designed to apply a specific amount of force to a record, specified in grams. Apply too little and the cartridge and arm will bounce around, skipping constantly. Apply too much, and you’ll cause excessive wear of the stylus and the record itself. This is adjusted at the end of the tonearm opposite the cartridge.
Azimuth adjustment: The stylus on the cartridge should be directly perpendicular to the record itself. The azimuth adjustment lets you rotate the tonearm slightly in each direction to make sure it is correct.
Vertical tracking angle: The body of the cartridge and tip of the stylus should be directly parallel to the record surface while playing. Because records are different thicknesses and cartridges slightly different sizes, many tonearms offer a way to adjust this.
Drive method: The platter is either belt-drive or direct-drive. In a belt-drive turntable, an elastic belt connects the motor to the platter. The belt’s elasticity helps isolate the record and stylus from the motor’s vibration, and can help reduce wow and flutter, which are speed fluctuations. On higher-end tables, you even see the motor totally isolated from the chassis, which in theory should remove any chance of motor rumble coming through the stylus. Direct-drive turntables have the motor directly connected to the platter. This will pass along far more motor noise, though the effect can be reduced through the use of various platter substances and construction techniques. The benefit of direct drive is that the platter gets up to speed faster and the direct connection provides far more torque, which is why you’ll find direct drive in DJ turntables, which require speedier response.
Care and maintenance
Setting up your turntable correctly is key to getting the best performance out of it. There are many online guides available, including a nice step-by-step one put together by Brent Butterworth for Sound & Vision. There are also lots of video guides on YouTube, some of which are for specific models that you might buy. If you want a video to help, Michael Fremer has a DVD that goes into depth on setting your turntable up for best performance, and then you’ll have it around for when you need to make a future adjustment or upgrade to your unit.
You’ll need to buy a stylus force gauge to get the tracking force on your table correct. Too low and you’ll have lots of skipping; too high and you risk damaging the stylus and your records. This manual gauge from Shure is cheap and effective, and has been around forever. I’ve used it to set up numerous tables without an issue.
Wrapping it up
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is the best turntable for casual listening due to its sound quality, built-in phono preamp, USB output, and flexibility. People after even better sound quality can upgrade to the Rega Planar 1, but for most people, the Audio-Technica will satisfy any vinyl playback needs.
A lot of modern vinyl record players are including a USB feature. This essentially lets you plug in to your computer and record your vinyl in a digital format. People like to do this for a few reasons: it helps to preserve older records, and it lets you enjoy the music in digital forms, like on an MPplayer.
Automatic record players are nice. You essentially just place the record on the turntable, press the button and it aligns itself to start. Usually, when the record is finished, the turntable will automatically raise the arm as well.
That said, many people (myself included) like to place the arm manually in order to prevent damage or scratching, so it may not be a feature you value.
Features & Specifications
Easy Assembly And Use: The U-Turn Audio is designed for easy assembly and use. This makes this turntable one of the most versatile ones in the market.
American-Made: This high performance turntable was assembled in the USA.
Crisp And High Quality Sound: The U-Turn Audio’s precision tonearm, machined acrylic platter, and manual belt drive helps read the data on vinyl records effortlessly, and as a result, is able to reproduce crisp, high quality sound.
This device actually spins the platter using a pulley and elastic belt. This only occurs in a belt drive turntable. In the ultimate direct drive turntable, the platter sits on top of the motor.
Manual Or Automatic
Because turntables have evolved at incredible speeds over the last several years, a spinoff of that revolution produced manual and automatic turntables.
Automatic turntables start and pause through the push of a button. By large popularity, best automatic turntables are among the most popular choices that consumers select, and are also considered the easiest to use. On the other hand, manual turntables are as they say manual. However, many old-school users do prefer a manual turntable simply because of preference. It’s been much known within the community that manual turntables are the preferred choice simply because all the extra hardware in an automatic turntable may reduce the sound quality of the vinyl record. Both these choices all boil down to preference.
While these may be a lot of factors to consider when buying a turntable, all of this can be simplified very easily. When looking at the most important factors into purchasing a turntable, you will need to consider a few things: Speed variation, noise, playback speeds, manual/automatic, and price.
With the speed variation, as mentioned before, this accurately tells you how fast the turntable spins its platter. It is important to note that any issues with the record speed can alter its sound quality. Noise is important as well. You want the amount of background noise expected from the turntable to be lower than the music signal. This ensures that the music quality is high.
Playback speed is different from speed variation. For playback speeds, ensure that it is between 33.– 4RPM. Lastly, both manual/automatic and price boils down to preference. If you’re more of an old schooler, a manual turntable may be for you. As far as price goes, that is completely left up to your discretion as to what type of turntable it is that you’re looking to buy.
Just remember that at the end of the day, a turntable just plays music. As long as it is able to play good music from the vinyl records, overspending on a turntable is not necessary.
Sometimes you can get a little carried away – especially when looking to purchase your first turntable – but also when you’re looking to upgrade. There are pitfalls for the unwary. This is why it’s useful to read guides such as this and to seek out as much advice as possible. Let’s first tackle the budget arena, which can beckon the innocent with shiny things and objects that glitter.
There are turntable designs out there that may look interesting, have an aura of quality and seem reasonably priced but should, in fact, be treated like a rabid, long-toothed and particularly impolite dog.
I’m talking here about the type of turntable you tend to see advertised in the glossy newspaper supplements, lifestyle magazines and, more disconcertingly, in the windows of trendy clothes stores. The problem with those lavish lifestyle magazines is that everything featured in their pages looks sweet, appealing, nice, cuddly and trustworthy.
These record players are typically (although not exclusively) sold as an ‘all in one’ (with an amplifier and speakers built into the chassis). They scream value for money, but tread carefully – as the often scant build budget for these items may be devoted more to the looks and marketing, leaving audio priorities firmly in third place (or even lower). As you’d probably expect, players of this type offer inferior sound quality to audiophile options. Check also for examples of poor build quality, as it could be damaging to your vinyl.
DJ record players
The other category that ‘consumer’ buyers may wish to steer clear of is turntables aimed at DJs. Manufacturers such as Numark, Vestax and Reloop (although the latter has recently introduced a range of ‘audiophile’ products) are favourites of DJs.
The problem is that the turntables are created as a tool with a DJ specifically in mind, not an audiophile. They exist to be used in a relatively tough working environment, which is great for the club setting, but can have disadvantages for sound quality in audiophile terms. That is, these turntables often add features that are useless to the audiophile, such as pitch adjustments and pop-up lights, with knock/bounce-friendly yet sonically noisy plinths, and arms with shaky bearings.
If you like clean, minimalist design then you’ll love the Planar with its glossy finish and striking clutter-free look. The simple power switch is hidden underneath where three large, well-designed feet absorb movement and vibrations.
That understated design comes at a cost though, as you need to remove the platter and move the belt in order to change from 33- to 45rpm.
It’s well worth it, however, as the Planar offers silky smooth performance and quality throughout. Partly thanks to excellent build-quality along with the Rega Carbon cartridge and RB1tone arm.
It can also be attributed to the 24v low noise synchronous motor which previously wasn’t found in entry-level devices from Rega.
This option in our group doesn’t have a pre-amp so you’ll need some other equipment. It also doesn’t have features like USB, Bluetooth or even a headphone jack like a lot of others – the focus here is quality performance rather than frills.
Don’t feel like hunting down a pair of Technics? Many well-established DJs have said that, in a blind test, you’d never be able to tell the difference between the PLX-1000 and a pair of Techs. Intense torque, amazing stability, and a build that’s designed to stand the test of time; Pioneer DJ has definitely hit a home run, and the PLX-1000 will be on the best DJ turntables list for years to come.
The built-in switchable preamp allows you to go phono to line. Use your standard 45’s or some 78’s on this versatile turntable. This is yet another unit that offers USB connection, as well as Audacity software for digital recording. The classic look and feel of the AT-LP120 and impressive torque go well with the more-than-affordable price.
Pioneer DJ PLX-500-W
If you’re an avid fan of Pioneer DJ equipment, but can’t quite spring for the PLX-1000, the PLX-500 is a fine substitute. The white finish on this version is absolutely stunning. The lower torque is still better than any old belt drive turntable and you’re still getting much more than what you pay for.
Dj Tech SL1300MK6USB
Our first encounter with these was with some top battle DJs going in at NAMM a few years back. The color certainly pops and makes for a flashy DJ set. The solid torque and great stability with the tonearm help you step up your battle DJ skills without having to step up your wallet output. The SL1300 was one of DJ Tech’s first impressive pieces, and continues to be just that today.
Denon DJ VL1PRIME
The prime series from Denon DJ brought a serious media player, mixer, and of course, turntable. The vibration isolation on this unit is top notch and pairs perfectly with the intenst torque. If you’re looking for a bit of eye candy, this could be it. The LED surrounding the platter changes color at your command, and gives your DJ setup a sweet look. But remember, the VL1Prime didn’t make our list of Best DJ Turntables in 201for its looks. We want our gear outperform the others, and the Prime family does.
Digitize Your Old Music Albums
A better option is to convert them into digital so that you can listen to them using your portable media player; just convert those old-fashioned LPs to MP3s which can also be shared easily.
USB turntables include USB ports and are designed to convert those vinyl albums into MPsongs.
Here are some reasons why you should consider these
USB turntables can be used to easily digitize music from various audio sources, including tape decks. They include digitization/editing software.
There are several models that also come with analog outputs so that you can plug them to stereo speakers and use them like any turntable.
These are inexpensive, and can also be used to create an MPcollection for your iPod or computer.
GoJiaJie Vinyl Record Player
This vintage player from GOODNEW is a great contender for the best record player under 100 dollars based on the range of features it has. You can enjoy in the clear sound of your vintage records thanks to the powerful built-in speakers. It also supports many vinyl types, so you get some versatility with this one. Overall, this record player is a great choice if you want to listen to quality music for low money.
Features and Specifications
Speed Settings – this record player supports three-speed settings: 33, 4and 7RPM. That means that you can play vinyl records of 7,and 1inches, giving this record player a dash of versatility. It also features an Auto-Off option that automatically stops this record player when the vinyl has stopped playing. This, in turn, saves power, which comes in handy for long-term usage.
Compatibility – this record player supports a wide range of devices, from USB, Bluetooth to SD Cards, so you’re not only limited to vinyl records with this record player. For example, you can connect your smartphone to this record player with Bluetooth and play music this way. You can also transform music from the vinyl into USB or SD devices to play on your computer later.
Excellent Sound Quality – this record player system is set in motion by a belt drive. It is elastic and absorbs shock which in turn reduces vibrations that could damage the vinyl or the record player itself. You can enjoy in the clear and powerful sound thanks to the built-in dual stereo speakers. It also has a built-in FM radio.
This vinyl record player is also one of the contenders for the best record player under 100 dollars, thanks to the unique mix of old and new. It boasts a retro look that will transport you back to the golden age of vinyl record players. Spicing up the deal are the modern features that customers want from their record players, such as better connectivity and sound.
Platter and Mat
If the platter is heavier, that means that it will reduce vibration and reduce the chances of the vinyl record from skipping the playback. Record players with heavier platters are usually more expensive, but there are always some compromises.
Vinyl records are designed to output sound at one of three speeds. These speeds are 33, 4and 7RPM. Lower speeds are the most popular today as these vinyl records are cheaper to make and are cheaper on the market. That means that lots of record players available on the market can play both speeds.
If you’re interested in playing the 7RPM vinyl records, you should be prepared to single out more money for a turntable that can play these records. You can also buy a modification kit to enable the playback of these records.
Whether your decision is, you can also get a record player under 100 dollars that can play records with all these speeds.
It’s the needle that connects to the vinyl record, and it is responsible for the audio playback. You can find the stylus in a cartridge, which is regarded as one of the essential features of the turntable.
Making sure that the cartridge is well-made is crucial if you want your record player to play your music well. Most of the turntables will include generally good cartridges that house a stylus. If you wish to replace these parts, you need to spend more money.
Cheaper record players feature styluses and cartridges of lower quality. They make them of ceramic or plastic material and because of that, they break more easily. That’s why it’s essential to find a replacement sooner than later.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your usb turntable wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of usb turntable
- №1 — Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable
- №2 — Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
- №3 — Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable