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: January 26, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Music comes in a wide variety of mediums, but there is not one that sounds the same as vinyl. It has a warmth that CDs, cassettes, radio, or MP3s can’t compare to. Of course, in order to listen to vinyl, you need a decent turntable, but the price of a good one can range well into the thousands. If you’re on a budget, you won’t be able to afford those high costs. Luckily, the best turntable under $200 will still have what you need at a price you can afford.
When buying a new turntable, there are a few features you may want to check out. They come in two types, direct drive and belt drive, each of which has its own benefits and flaws. Rotations speed is also essential since records come in three different types. Bluetooth and USB compatibility are handy, as are built-in speakers. Cheaper models may not have all of these features, but you should still be able to find one that suits your needs.
In order to find the top turntable models for our reviews, we scoured manufacturer’s information, checked out product reviews from verified buyers, and spent countless hours testing out the models we selected. This helped us create unbiased reviews for these products, so you know the best features each one has to offer. We also included a comparison table where we gave each one a rating. At the bottom is a buying guide, some FAQs, and our top choices to help you decide which one is the best turntable under $200 for you.
This turntable by GooBang Doo has a vintage style that fits even the most modern surroundings. The base is made of durable wood, giving it an old-fashioned appearance that adds to the atmosphere of your home. The turntable itself is upright, with a slight angle to keep your records flat and spinning properly.
With three speeds, this turntable can play any record in your collection, even the oldest 78 RPM albums. The tonearm is straight with an adjustable counterweight, so you can balance it as needed. It also has both anti-skate and height adjustments, so you can set all these features exactly how you want them. It comes with a ceramic needle, plus has an extra one included for added convenience.
Despite its vintage look, this GooBang Doo turntable comes with some modern features. It is Bluetooth compatible, so you can link it to your device and stream your music through the turntable’s built-in speakers. The range is about 30 feet, but if you walk away and the device disconnects, the turntable automatically reconnects when you move within the required range again. There is also a USB slot, so you can listen to your MP3s whenever you want.
One downside to this turntable is that the inbuilt speakers may seem a bit quiet to someone. Luckily, you can use the RCA output jack to attach your favorite home speakers.
The Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Turntable looks like an old-fashioned wooden radio on the outside but has all the modern functions you could possibly want, without having to pay a fortune for them.
First, there’s the record player itself, which is belt-driven and has three speeds to play all your records, old and new. There are also the built-in CD player, cassette player, and AM/FM radio, so you can listen to your music any way you like. This turntable is Bluetooth compatible as well, making it easy to stream your music from your phone, iPod, or another device, as long as you’re within the range.
On the front of the cabinet is a USB slot, where you can insert a flash drive to record songs from your vinyl, CDs, and tapes. Then you can transfer the music onto your computer or keep it on the USB to take with you anywhere you need to go. Best of all, you don’t need a computer or any special programs to record all your favorite hits. And once the music is on the USB, you can play it on the turntable as well.
One thing this turntable lacks is an output jack to hook up some external speakers. Though there are built-in ones, they may not be loud enough for some people, so the missing output is a bit troubling. But it is possible to use the headphone jack for speaker hookup if necessary.
The D&L Vintage Record Player is more than just a turntable. It combines every type of musical function you can imagine all in one handy package that cost less than you could imagine. The turntable itself is belt-driven, with 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPMs. It comes with a replacement stylus needle in case the one in the cartridge is damaged in some way.
A CD player, cassette player, and FM radio are all built into the turntable design. Bluetooth compatibility allows you to play your music through the turntable’s built-in speakers from any Bluetooth device, including your phone, tablet, or iPod.
Another handy feature is the USB/SD function. This allows you to not only play music from your USB or SD card, but you can also record songs directly from your records, cassettes, or CDs onto either your flash drive or SD card. Then you can take your music with you anywhere you go.
Other handy features include a 3.5 mm aux-in jack, which you can use to hook your turntable up to any non-Bluetooth device, and a headphone jack when you want to enjoy your music but the rest of the household does not.
One minor flaw is that though CDs, tapes, and the radio play fine through the speakers, for some reason, vinyl sounds softer and a bit tinny. To remedy this, you could plug extra speakers into the headphone jack to get the sound quality you want.
What we liked:
Includes Bluetooth, USB, CD player, cassette player, FM radio
Great sound quality
What could be better:
Tonearm doesn’t retract when the record is finished
This Hofeinz turntable has a sleek and simple design that is as attractive as it is functional. For the base, there is a Siberian ash finish that is polished to a high-gloss shine that catches the eye. This gives the appearance of a retro turntable, though it has some more modern capabilities.
This turntable is belt-driven, with three speeds, so you can play every record in your collection with just a flick of a switch to change the RPMs. There are two-way stereo speakers built-in to the turntable, plus it has an RCA line output jack and cables to hook up other speakers for bigger sound. The tonearm has a ceramic cartridge on the end with a diamond stylus. There is also an auto-stop feature that can be turned on or left off for manual use.
Another handy feature is the Bluetooth compatibility, which allows you to sync your devices to the turntable and play your music through its speakers, though the Bluetooth is only in and not out for Bluetooth speaker linking.
If you want to record your vinyl, there is a USB slot for this purpose. This way, you can plug in a flash drive and start recording directly through the turntable, rather than plugging it into your computer. This also means you don’t need any extra software for this process, making it even easier.
The Audio Technica AT-LP60BK has a great low price that can fit into pretty much any budget. Though this turntable doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, it has everything you need to listen to your favorite albums.
The belt-drive system is fully automatic, with an anti-resonance platter made of die-cast aluminum. This helps to reduce vibrations, which keeps skipping and record-scratching to a minimum.
Another great feature is the Integral Dual Magnet Audio-Technica phono cartridge on the end of the tonearm, which has a diamond stylus that is replaceable, so you can swap it out if you feel an upgrade is in order.
There is a built-in phono pre-amplifier, which can be switched from phono to line as needed, plus it has RCA output cables attached to make it easy to connect to speakers and other audio systems. The downside to this is that those attached cables are a bit short, so you need to organize your whole system carefully to make sure everything reaches appropriately.
All of the controls are on the front panel for easy access. To keep your turntable and all its components clean, there is a removable dust cover that you can put on or take off as needed. Though it lacks the 78 RPM speed, this turntable is perfect for the rest of your vinyl collection.
If you’re looking to buy a new turntable, regardless of the price, you will want to look for specific features so you can enjoy it as much as possible. The following buying guide will help you do just that.
How to enjoy your turntable fully?
There are some ways a turntable can be adapted to increase your enjoyment when using it. Some models have output jacks, which will allow you to hook up extra speakers. Even though they may have built-in speakers, these are usually a bit limited, so extra ones can increase the sound quality and volume. A headphone jack is also a handy addition, especially if you want to listen to music that not everyone appreciates.
Though most albums produced today are either 33-1/3 or 45 RPM, the oldest vinyl will need 78 RPM. If your collection includes some of these types of records, you need a turntable that has the right speed.
Another thing about vinyl is that it has a warmth to its sound that is unmatchable with other mediums. The right setting can create the mood to go with it, so be sure your turntable is somewhere relaxing and maybe a bit nostalgic to really match the quality. And if you’d like to take that sound with you, USB capability with a recording function can do just that.
Features to consider before buying a turntable
There are a number of features to look for in a decent turntable, but those who have never bought one may not know what they are and how they work. To help, we’ve broken down those features to help you understand just why they are essential.
Type: direct-drive vs. belt-drive
There are two main types of drives when it comes to turntables. These are direct drives and belt drives. Though they both do the same job, they do so in different ways. There are also some pros and cons for each type.
The direct-drive turntables have a platter that is attached to the motor, which is what makes it spin. They generally start up faster, have a stronger torque, and offer more consistency and accuracy in speed. But the motor may cause vibrations that could affect the quality of sound.
A belt-drive turntable, which is what most of the products we reviewed here have, uses an elastic belt connected to the motor to spin the platter. The belt helps absorb shock, which prevents vibrations from the motor. This lack of interference produces a higher sound quality, but these turntables also have lower torque and less accurate speed. The belt can even wear out over time, which will require a replacement.
Records come in three different formats, all of which rotate at different speeds. These speeds are measured in RPMs, or revolutions per minute. The 33 RPM records are 12 inches and store up to 22 minutes of music per side. These are the most common records available.
The 45 RPM records are 7 inches, storing about 5 minutes of music per side, which is why they are commonly used for singles.
The rarest and oldest is the 78 RPM records, which are 10 inches. These records have much wider grooves, which could require a different stylus than the other two. They also rotate much faster, so can’t hold as much music as the 33-1/3 RPM albums, though they have a similar playtime as the 45s.
Bluetooth and USB availability
If you want some modern features added to your new turntable, Bluetooth is a great option. This feature, found on almost every turntable reviewed here, allows you to stream music from a Bluetooth enabled device so that you can listen to your whole playlist. But a rarity on a turntable of this price is the ability to link the turntable to Bluetooth speakers, so you likely won`t find this feature on most models in this price range.
USB compatibility is also handy. The GooBang Doo Vintage Turntable has a feature that lets you insert a flash drive and play the music stored on it through your turntable. Other models, like the Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood 8-in-1 Turntable allow you to record your vinyl, plus CDs or cassettes if these features are also added to the turntable. And if you can find one with both options, you`re set.
Many turntables, like the D&L Vintage Record Player, come with built-in speakers. These can be an extra convenient addition because the system comes all in one piece. This means no hooking up to additional speakers, giving your sound system a cleaner look. But sometimes, the built-in speakers don`t have the same sound quality or volume as larger speakers for vinyl.
Some models add RCA output cables, in case you want to hook up to an extra set of speakers, but this isn`t a guarantee, so you may need to make sure the built-in ones are decent quality before you buy it.
The dimensions of a turntable matter for those with limited space to fit their new model. For instance, the GooBang Doo Vintage Turntable is only about 14 inches wide and just over 8 inches deep, but it is also almost 15 inches tall. This means you can fit it on slimmer shelves, as long as you have the vertical room for it.
When you start looking for a turntable, measure the area you want to place it first, then buy one that will fit in that space.
A turntable is an excellent addition to any home, but some of them come with a few additional features that make them even better. Some turntables have CD players, cassette players, and even radios built right into the system. This turns a turntable into a home stereo that plays any format you have on hand.
A protective cover on your turntable is also a good idea. This not only protects the components when you`re not using it but keeps the dust off the records you are playing right now. Many of them are even removable, so you don`t have to keep lifting them up every time you want to switch albums. Some turntables, like the Audio Technica AT-LP60BK, also have a built-in pre-amplifier.
Since turntables produce a phono output signal, it needs to be converted to a line level, or auxiliary, signal. A built-in preamp does this, so you don`t need to buy an external one or have an extra set of cables to connect it to the turntable. This cleans up your turntable area, plus is much more convenient.
The rotating speed for the oldest vinyl albums is 78 RMP. Not all turntables have this speed option, though, since these types of records are no longer made. If you have some in your collection, be sure to find a turntable that offers this speed, or you won’t be able to play them.
The model which needs the least space is the HOFEINZ Vintage Style Natural Wood Belt Driven Turntable. Both the length and the width are about the same or smaller than most of the other products we’ve reviewed, but it is shorter as well, so it should be able to fit almost anywhere.
Though any of the five turntables we`ve reviewed would make a great addition to your home, there are a few that had a bit more to offer.
First is the GooBang Doo Vintage Turntable, which has a unique upright design. It adds in adjustable counterweight, height, and anti-skate features to the tonearm, which the others lack. Besides, it boasts Bluetooth compatibility and the USB input to listen to your favourite MP3 recordings.
The Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood 8-in-1 Turntable is a close second. It has a similar nostalgic design but adds modern features like the CD player, cassette player, and radio. It also has Bluetooth and the USB function. Also, it adds in a remote for a bit of extra convenience.
In third place is the D&L Vintage Record Player. It has tremendous features, including three speeds, a headphone jack, and a replacement needle included. Built in are a CD player, cassette player, and radio. It also has Bluetooth capability and uses its USB/SD function to both record and play your music, all in a stylish, vintage package.