Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: December 27, 2020
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For many music enthusiasts, nothing can ever compare to the sound quality, or nostalgia, of a vinyl record. The problem, however, is that most record players are too large and cumbersome, as well as expensive, for anyone but professionals to own and utilize. But that doesn’t have to be the case! All you have to do is pick the best portable record player, and you too can listen to all your records without taking up a ton of space or spending a ton of money.
There are lots of things you need to consider when looking for the best portable record player. You need to know what speeds it can play, whether or not it can be connected to external speakers for vinyl better sound quality, whether it can be easily transported, and what type of power it uses. The table below will offer you a quick snapshot of the different players available today.
If you are always on the go and don’t have a ton of time to baby your record player, then this just might be the best one for you. Its rugged design is all about protecting the player. When the case is closed, it is stylish, yet tough. When in use, the records do not hang over the sides of the player, making it unlikely that they’d get bumped or scratched while playing.
When fully charged, the player has a 3-hour battery life, and it can be played at three speeds. It also will give you plenty of listening options, as you can use it with the built-in speakers, which sound nice and clear, connect it to external ones, listen with headphones, or play your music from a smart device through Bluetooth. This combination of features makes this model one of the best turntables under 200 dollars.
What we liked:
Records don’t hang over the side of the player when in use
This player is a great choice if you are looking for maximum durability, portability, and a high quality of sound. The briefcase design is not only great for transporting the player, but also adds a bit of protection when it is actually in use. Unlike other briefcase style players, this one does not have the records hanging out over the edge while in use. This will help to protect them from being bumped, jostled, or knocked to the ground.
It is one of the heaviest portable record players in our list, but still not too heavy to carry, and the features included are worth it. You can use the player at three speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm) and easily connect it to external speakers and Bluetooth devices, or you can simply listen in with the built-in speaker, which will provide adequate audio. You can also back up your vinyl records to computer. If you want to listen to your music in private, just listen to it with your headphones.
The first thing that catches your eye when you look at this case is its distressed style. It is a vintage turnable, regardless of which color you choose. This makes it an ideal accent piece to either keep in your home to match with your décor or to take out and about with you and coordinate with your style.
This isn’t just a showpiece, however. It backs up its good looks with high-quality sound from the internal stereo speakers and plenty of listening options. You can listen to vinyl at three speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm) or use your smart device with Bluetooth to listen to any of your music, anywhere. Like most other briefcase style players, you need to be careful when you are playing your records, since they will overhang the edge a bit.
This briefcase style player will provide you with plenty of listening options. Of course, you can listen to your vinyl records at three speeds, or connect it to your computer to put them into an MP3 format. The built-in stereo speakers will give you crisp, clear audio, wherever you are. You also can connect this player to external speakers for a bolder listening experience, or connect it to headphones for a more intimate session.
The best feature, however, is the autonomous arm. Instead of having to set up the record each time you play, this player will do all of that work for you. Unlike some other autonomous players, however, you won’t need to worry about this one scratching your vinyl. It operates very smoothly and should keep your records in tip-top shape.
The beauty of this player from JORLAI is all in its packaging. When the player is closed up for transport, it is extremely small, discrete, and easy to manage. This makes it a good choice for someone who already has a lot of other things to carry, since it won’t take up that much room on its own. Of course, you need to be careful when playing records, since, due to the smaller case size, the records will overhang the sides a bit and are apt to be bumped.
Along with its small size, this player can play records at three speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm), making it ideal for most vinyl. You can also connect it to your computer to back up your music, or connect it to your smart device with an aux jack or Bluetooth so that you can listen to any music, anywhere. While it does have a rechargeable battery, the battery life is a little short, as it will only allow you to use it for about 2 hours before it needs a recharge. The internal speakers give a rich sound, which is surprising for their small size.
Now, this is a player that was built for portability! The briefcase style housing makes this the best portable record player in the market. It is easy to set up, break down, and take with you anywhere that you want to go with it. It is extremely lightweight, making it an ideal companion, wherever you might want to listen to your vinyl.
Not only is it easy to transport, but the 1byone player is also built to give you the best listening experience possible. It is belt driven, which will give you vibration free audio. The built-in stereo speakers will give you great sound on their own, even if you don’t want to connect it to separate speakers. It can also be used to play at three speeds, which are 33, 45, and 78 rpm. This gives you the right array to play any vinyl you can find. You can also connect this player to external speakers for a bolder sound, or to headphones for a private session.
What we liked:
Easy to carry design
Belt driven for vibration free audio
Easy connection to speakers or headphones
What could be better:
Cannot be played with lid closed for dust protection
If you are looking for a budget-friendly player, then this might be the right choice for you. It comes with built-in speakers, which provide clear audio on their own, and a USB port. This allows you to connect it to your computer and save your vinyl records as an audio file. This is a great way to preserve your classics in a safe location, while still maintaining their classic sound.
The case that the player is built into is sturdy as well, though not quite as stylish as some other models. It definitely serves its purpose, however, making transportation of the player quick and easy. The player also allows you to utilize the three most popular speeds (33, 45, and 78 rpm). This gives you the ability to play tons of records. This player also has one of the best battery life out there, as it can last up to 4 hours when fully charged, so you can take it anywhere.
This is by far one of the best-looking record players out there. If you want a player that will not only give you great sound but will look great too with your décor, then this is a good choice. The wood case is beautiful and would be a great accent piece in any room.
The case is also nice and slim, making it easy to transport. The records will hang over the edge a bit when you play them though, so be careful not to bump them. This is a three-speed player that connects to external speakers, headphones, and smartphones with the proper cords. You also can listen to it through its built-in stereo speakers, which are surprisingly clear for their size.
What we liked:
Slim case for easy transport
Vinyl to MP3 recording
What could be better:
Slim case could lead to increased chance of damage to records
If you are in the market for a professional style turntable that is also extremely easy to transport, then this just might be the perfect fit. The Handy Trax has an ultra-thin design, which makes it very easy to transport, as long as you have a case to carry it in. It also has a built-in mono speaker and a headphone jack, making it easy to listen to wherever you are.
Aside from its sleek design, what makes this player a good choice for a professional is the amount of control it provides you with when you are listening to your records. Not only can you control the volume and play speed, but you can also control the pitch and tone of the music. This will allow you to create a unique sound that is all your own, making this a great choice for someone looking for a unique listening experience. The player has a built-in mono speaker, which will work in a pinch, but you would be better served to connect it to some external speakers for better sound quality.
The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at this record player is its sleek, minimalistic design. Not only will this player provide you with excellent sound quality when you listen to your records, but it will also serve as a great accent piece to your room décor. The dust cover, which can be closed overtop of the record when it is playing, is another nice feature. It does not have any speakers of its own, however, so be sure to get some of your own if you choose this player.
The automatic operation is smooth, and the belt-driven design provides a vibration-free listening experience. The one thing that you need to be aware of, however, is that, unlike many other portable record players in the market today, this one is only dual speed, being able to run at 33 and 45 rpm. This might limit the types of records you can play. It also doesn’t have any sort of carrying case, so portability might be tricky unless you get a separate case.
What we liked:
Sleek, minimalistic design
Fully automatic operation
Replaceable diamond stylus
What could be better:
Dual speed only
No carrying case
No in-built speakers
Things to Сonsider
When you are looking for the best portable record player, there are several factors that you should always consider. Relying on product specifications and buyers’ reviews, we found out which are the most important.
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.
Hopefully, you will be able to find the best portable record player for your needs after reading through this article. Thank you very much for taking the time to read it. Good luck finding the right player, and thanks again for keeping those old vinyl records rolling!