best record player for the price

Best Turntables under 200

Cheap turntables – the myth about the bargain record player models

record player with audio outputMost people think that cheap turntables can’t even compare with the rest of the price point categories. Now, that’s not exactly true. These record players have this price out of various reasons:

  • Some of these record players were manufactured by obscure brands

Some of these brands are not in a position to put a high price on their products. They are either insecure about the loyalty of their customers, the quality of their products, or they want to buy some credibility with a low price. This is often a good strategy, but most people confuse it with a lack of quality.

  • Some of these turntables are outdated

Manufacturers always try to improve the design and quality of their turntables. This is why most brands release their products in series or generations. Now, whenever a newer generation appears, the previous tend to remain in its shadow (if it received a warm reception, that is). This is one of the reasons why some turntables have their price reduced.

  • Some record players were meant for mass production

Now, this is a classic myth-buster.

It’s not rare that some products achieved such success that the market simply demanded more. Simple mathematics tell us that these products have their price low on purpose – there are plenty of them, and the manufacturers decided to lower the price for better sales.

All in all, these are just some of the reasons why the myth of bargain turntables is just a myth, and (possibly) a term of prejudice. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or a turntable by its price.

What can you expect from a turntable under $200?

turntable with speakers built inThis is a very complex question. There are various categories of budget record players, so nobody could say with certainty what can you expect from them. Some things are certain, though:

  • The quality of these record players is satisfactory

As we’ve mentioned earlier, these are not the turntables no one wants. The quality of their performance is satisfactory, and you shouldn’t be dissuaded by the price – most of these models are actually good.

  • An occasional hum and static shouldn’t be such a terrible issue

Now, even budget record players have a certain level of quality, there’s a reason why they’re at the bottom of the food chain. They’re definitely now perfect, so you might experience some humming or static interference while you enjoy your music. Tinkering with them might help, though.

  • They’re either beautiful with low performance capabilities, or simple with a solid performance

The best example of attractive turntable with low performance would be a gramophone. These relics of the past are extremely attractive, and people are prepared to pay quite a lot to acquire one. Now, here’s the deal – some turntable manufacturers have “borrowed” the gramophone design, and implemented it in their turntable-making techniques.

The result was, obviously, a record player with satisfactory performance (at best). The reason for this is quite obvious – gramophones are turntable’s predecessors, and they are outdated, meaning that most turntable models could easily outmatch them in terms of quality and sound output. However, there are only a few turntable models that could compare with them in looks.

  • Extremely simple features

Sci-Fi components are reserved for high-end turntables, so you can expect that these record players are supplied with a set of simplified features and components.

General advice on how to choose the best turntable under 200

You might think that choosing a budget turntable is easy, but you’d be mistaken. There’s a very thin line between a dysfunctional product and a bargain one. Now, we’re here to make the job easier for you.

  • Make sure that all parts are there

This mostly applies for online purchases. The Internet holds a vast market that requires a great deal of time and effort to be controlled and supervised, so  do your best to make sure that everything is in order before you decide.

The best way to do that is to check the pictures, comments, and anything relevant to the seller or the product in question. If there are a lot of positive comments, the chances are high that the product is valid.

If you’re unable to do that in person (if you’re shopping online), and there aren’t any comments, there’s bound to be someone who had the opportunity to try that turntable out. Google might help you out a lot.

  • Try to choose a turntable that belongs to its “price”

If you see a record player that has a lot of features, that’s huge and beautiful, and it belongs to the cheap price point category, there’s bound to be something wrong with it. Now, just apply the opposite and you can be certain that the record player you’re after is legit – simple design and a solid performance are often priced accordingly.

  • Last, but not least, always remember to check the seller out

There are a lot of brands and manufacturers, so this might sound easier than it actually is. The reputation of the seller is best seen through positive comments and a large catalog, but that’s not a rule. By “checking the seller out” we advise you to use trusted websites that offer protection from scams.

Best Turntable Under 200 Reviews

Excalibur 491 SoundMaster Classic Phonograph and CD Player

stereo system record player

Overview:

As far as turntables under 200 are concerned, this is one of the best models in the price range. It’s cheap, even for a bargain turntable, and the features it comes supplied with are decent and capable.

Details, description, and features:

Excalibur 491 Sound Master phonograph is a versatile record player – it has a straightforward design with a beautiful Oak finish, it features a USB connection, a CD player, the AM/FM radio, and the software for converting your audio files to MP3 format.

Pros:

  • Incredibly cheap – this is one of the best record players under 200, without a doubt;
  • Great versatility – Excalibur 491 Sound Master is a CD player, a record player, it comes supplied with the AM/FM radio, and it has a pre-installed software that lets you convert your audio files into MP3 format;
  • USB connection – simply connect your PC or MAC to this record player and you can enjoy your records;

Potential Flaws:

  • Excalibur 491 Sound Master phonograph comes supplied with a flimsy dust cover – you should take care about how you handle it;

Value for the price:

Being cheap is one thing, but this record player is literally “priceless”. It comes at such a low price that it’s too cheap, even for inexpensive standards. The features are satisfactory, the design is pretty plain, and the overall value for the cash is pretty great.

Victoria Product GDI-TW3USBK Tunewritter III Cassette to USB Audio Player

vinyl record player with built in speakers

Overview:

Victoria’s Classic GDI-TW3USBK Tunewritter III is just what the name itself implies – it’s a classical turntable with a beautiful vintage design, several simple features, and the mahogany finish. It’s just below 200, so it’s barely cheap. Anyhow, it’s pretty valuable for the cash.

Details, description, and features:

This record player features a cassette holder, a CD player, a pair of built-in speakers that are capable of delivering a full-spectrum sound and deep bass, a beautiful design, and the mahogany finish. Honestly, most people wouldn’t call it a budget turntable out of respect for such a beauty. Definitely one of the best turntables under 200.
records for turntables

Pros:

  • A ravishing outlook – Victoria’s Classic GDI-TW3USBK Tunewritter III has a beautiful, old-school design with the mahogany finish;
  • Pretty versatile – This record player comes supplied with a CD player, a cassette player, a pair of High-quality speakers, and the cover from real wood;
  • Simple controls – you can switch tracks and adjust the volume in a very simple manner;

Potential Flaws:

  • The cassette holder licks out your cassettes pretty fast;
  • The CD player might skip some parts of the songs you play;

Value for the price:

Victoria’s Classic GDI-TW3USBK Tunewritter III is just barely cheap, as its cost is pretty near the border. Anyhow, it’s one of the best turntables under 200, mainly because it’s so versatile.

Leetac TAP-807 Nostalgia Wooden Music Center with Turntable, CD Player, AM/FM Radio

rca portable record player

Overview:

This model is one of the best turntables under 200 bucks. Leetac TAP-807 Nostalgia is a wooden music center that boasts great versatility. Its features include a turntable, a CD reader, the AM/FM radio, a digital LED display, a CD drawer, and the volume control.

Details, description, and features:

Leetac TAP-807 Nostalgia is a cheap, versatile record player that has 3 selectable speeds. It’s equipped with a CD reader, the AM/FM radio, and the volume controls. You could easily see the speed and the time of the track with the digital LED display. The outward appearance of this record player is exquisite.
record players best

Pros:

  • Very versatile – this turntable is supplied with a set of very versatile features;
  • Digital LED display – see the track you’re listening to on this feature;
  • Simple controls – the volume control is practically the only control there is;

Potential Flaws:

  • A borderline price – this record player is one of the best record players under 200 dollars, but its price is really near the line of being moderately expensive;

Value for the price:

Now, this record player is not as cheap as some of the models we’ve reviewed so far, but it’s definitely highly valuable for the cash. Sturdy, versatile, and reliable.

Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 300 Cartridge Pre-Mounted

best record player for the price

Overview:

Stanton T62 direct-drive turntable is pretty famous among DJs and audiophiles. It’s high-performance and simple design are the main advantages you can benefit from if you decide that this record player suits your needs.

Details, description, and features:

Stanton T62 direct-drive turntable comes supplied with a straight tonearm that improves tracking, a Stanton 300 pre-mounted cartridge, two selectable speeds (33 and 45 rotations per minute), 2 switches (for start and stop) and RCA outputs.

The tonearm that comes with this record player is extremely accurate and precise – it “scratches” your records in the manner that only the best tunes pop out. The Stanton 300 Pre-mounted turntable cartridge is located on the headshell of this record player, and its quality is great.
music turntables

Pros:

  • Two selectable speeds – even though three are somewhat of a standard, two selectable speeds are better than one. This record player can play tracks at 33 and 45 rotations per minute;
  • Two start and stop switches – ideal for DJ’s and their music mix or music battle setups;
  • A high-quality turntable cartridge – Stanton T62 direct-drive turntable comes supplied with the Stanton 300 pre-mounted cartridge;

Potential Flaws:

  • Most of the controls are specialized for DJs;

Value for the price:

This turntable model is neither too expensive or too cheap – it’s perfect. It may just be the best turntable under 200 dollars. It holds great value for the cash, mainly because it comes supplied with top-notch features.

Encore Gramophone 4-in-1 Stereo System Music Center System

the best record player to buy

Overview:

Encore’s 4-in-1 Gramophone Stereo music center system holds a great value. It’s a versatile gramophone-type turntable that comes supplied with a radio, a CD reader, and a 19-inch horn. The best thing about it, however, is its outward appearance. You would have a rather hard time finding a turntable that looks more vintage.

Details, description, and features:

Encore’s 4-in-1 Gramophone Stereo music center system can play music at two selectable speeds (33 or 45 rotations per minute), it’s equipped with an AM/FM radio, it can replay MP3 files, and it features a CD reader.

Pros:

  • Two selectable speeds – this record player can playback records at 33 or 45 rotations per minute;
  • Great versatility – this is a 4-in-1 record player that features a CD player and an AM/FM radio;
  • LED display – the LED display has 3 bright digits;

Potential Flaws:

  • The horn is more of an aesthetic piece;

Value for the price:

This is a great turntable that holds great value for the cash. It’s extremely versatile, it’s good-looking, and its performance is quite great.