Speeds and Drive
The three basic speeds that you want to make sure your player can utilize are 33, 45, and 78 rpm. Depending on the size and type of records that you intend to play, you’ll need to use the right speed to get the right sound. Most portable players have variable speed settings. These different speed settings will let you play your records in the correct format, which will give you the best listening experience possible.
Another important factor you need to pay attention to is whether a turntable is direct-drive or belt-drive. Direct-drive turntables offer highly consistent speeds and less sound distortion. You can also create special sound effects by spinning the platter backward. The drawback is that there may be unwanted vibrations caused by the motor rotation. The belt-drive technology provides vibration-free listening sound, but less accurate playback speed. Both types have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you what to choose.
Quality of Sound
Since you intend to get the best listening experience possible with your portable player, you’ll want to take the time to make sure that it comes with good speakers. Most of the speakers that are built into portable models have to be relatively small, which might not give you the sound quality that you desire from a vinyl record.
To combat this, make sure that the player you select can be connected to external speakers as well. Though this might make it a bit less portable, the sound quality upgrade will be well worth it. You would also be able to connect your player to a larger sound system at home as well, which would provide you with an ideal listening experience.
You are looking for a portable player, after all! Then it only makes sense, of course, to make sure that the model you select is highly portable and easy to transport. While lots of record players out there are marketed as being portable, there are certain features that make them more so than others.
First of all, the best portable record player will be relatively small. You don’t want to have to lug around a great big box with you anytime you want to listen to your records. Secondly, a good carrying case will make transportation much easier. Finally, the model you select should have excellent battery life, since you won’t always be able to plug in your player when you are on the go.
Since you are looking for the most portable device as possible, you don’t want to select one that runs on corded power alone. That means that you will need to select one that runs on some type of battery power. The best, and most expensive, option would be to buy a player that has a rechargeable battery. That way, you can plug it in and play it while you are at home, but then run it on the battery when you are on the go.
You could also go a cheaper route, and get a portable player that runs off of corded or regular battery power. This arrangement gives you the ability to plug in and play when possible and gives you a limited time to play on the go. However, these batteries will not last as long as rechargeable ones, and thus will need to be replaced often.
Another key ingredient in an excellent portable player is its durability. If you intend to take this thing with you when you are out and about, you won’t be able to keep it from getting bumped, nicked, kicked, and jostled. You want to be sure you select a player that will be up to this kind of rough and tumble treatment, and still be able to provide you with a great listening experience.
If you aren’t afraid to spend a little bit of extra money, and you are looking to also play songs from a different media source, you can also get a Bluetooth turntable. This would allow you to connect a smart device, such as a tablet or phone, and play songs from your library. While you would not be using your portable player for records, it would allow you to listen to your favorite tunes at a higher volume than would be possible from your smart device alone.
If you want to connect other devices to your portable record player, but don’t want to shell out the extra money for Bluetooth, you could instead look for a player that can connect to your devices with a cord. This would allow you to save a bit of money and also to listen to your other media types instead of just records.