If you want a dynamic sound listening experience for your home parties or even slightly big events then turntables are the best option. They are not that expensive and and they offer a diversified sound experience.
But remember not all turntables work the same way. Their quality range can range from toy-like instruments to highly developed devices.
Often we get confused between a turntable and a record player. Although the terms are used interchangeably, they are different. A recorder player is said to be an all-in-one device that does not use external components or ports. Whereas a turntable is a part of a record player where adjusting cartridge alignment, tracking weight, and anti-skate is quite possible.
Now you have landed on this site only because you have made up your mind to buy a new turntable for yourself. So I have done the leg work for you and listed down the best turntables under 300 in this article.
Before sneaking into the list you need to know the parts of a turntable. Only then you can understand what to look for in a turntable. If you are already aware of these topics, you can directly head on to the list.
- BEST TURNTABLES UNDER 300 REVIEWS
- 1) FLUANCE RT82 - BEST VINYL PLAYER UNDER 300
- 2. SONY PS-LX310BT - BEST $300 TURNTABLE
- 3. AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP3BK - BEST AUTOMATIC TURNTABLE UNDER 300
- 4. HOUSE OF MARLEY EM-JT000-SB - BEST TURNTABLE UNDER 200
- 5. MUSIC HALL MMF - BEST INEXPENSIVE TURNTABLE
- 6. DENON DP-300F
- 7. AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP120BK - BEST AFFORDABLE TURNTABLE WITH PRE-AMP
- 8. SONY PSLX300USB
- 9. 1BYONE WIRELESS TURNTABLE HIFI SYSTEM WITH 36 WATT BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS
- 10. PYLE PLTTB3U
- 11. CROSLEY C100
- 12. U-TURN AUDIO - ORBIT PLUS TURNTABLE
- 13. PRO-JECT ELEMENTAL USB TURNTABLE
- PARTS OF A TURNTABLE
- BUYING GUIDE TO PURCHASE THE BEST RECORD PLAYER UNDER 300
In a hurry?! here are my top picks
BEST TURNTABLES UNDER 300 REVIEWS
1) FLUANCE RT82 - BEST VINYL PLAYER UNDER 300
Fluance RT81 is a popular and commonly purchased turntable for under 300 dollars. This RT82 is an improvised version of this big-giant and gives you more features like acorn-shaped adjustable feet and an Elliptical Diamond Tipped Cartridge.
According to my usage, I feel this Fluance RT82 is the best turntable without pre-amp. It is great for slightly bigger parties where you can expect a commotion of upto 70-100 people (Provided you plug into an amplifier to boost the output signal).
The customizable damped feet help to minimize the surface vibrations to a great extent.
And the OM 10 cartridge ensures very accurate tracking of the groove patterns, thereby improving sound quality.
The plinth is made of solid audio-grade wood, while the platter is made of an aluminum platter. So, in terms of construction, everything is perfectly made.
Coming to the main part, it’s performance. If you’re looking for a turntable for home parties, this Fluance RT82 is a great option. I say so because the S-shaped tonearm and Ortofon OM10 elliptical cartridge give you the ultimate sound clarity.
Next, because of the isolated motor design, you will not have any unwanted noises reaching the stylus. This means the outputs are also going to be distortion-free.
Overall, if you want to delve into a dynamic vinyl record listening experience but don’t want to break the bank, the Fluance RT82 is my top choice.
Note: Initially, the stylus will demand a short break-in period, after which it will start to perform extraordinarily.
2. SONY PS-LX310BT - BEST $300 TURNTABLE
If you're a Sony lover, you should definitely check out their PS-LX310BT turntable. The look is very simple, but the performance level is incredible.
Unlike the previous turntable, this isn't made of wood but is made of plastic. But the plastic doesn't feel cheap, so this shouldn't stop you from purchasing this turntable.
The platter and the turntable tonearm are made of aluminium; thereby, all you get is rich and clear sounds.
Mainly this is an auto-return turntable, meaning when the switch is pressed ON, the turntable will place the tonearm on the vinyl for you, and when the record is over, the tonearm will lift itself and return to rest.
It has automatic playback if desired, and the turntable will place the arm on the vinyl for you and when it is finished, return it to its rest. However, it will only take its intended cartridge and not upgrade.
If you are keen on purchasing a turntable with a built-in phono stage, then you've already found the best one. The Sony PS-LX310BT is a fully automatic turntable with a built-in phono stage.
Also, to enhance the sound quality, there is a gain switch control with three gain settings (low, mid, high) at the rear-end of the turntable. What more do we need in a compact, budget turntable like this. Go for it!
3. AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP3BK - BEST AUTOMATIC TURNTABLE UNDER 300
If you are in search of a budget turntable for your small home parties, then this Audio Technica AT-LP3BK is my recommended choice.
Like the Sony turntable mentioned above, this also allows you to switch out the phono-preamp gain levels, which is nice.
The body is made of high-quality plastic, while the tonearm is made of aluminium. It comes with an AT91R Dual Moving Magnet cartridge, which delivers a fairly clear and precise signal. You can very well upgrade the cartridge with this turntable, which is another bonus.
I really liked the auto-playback function (the turntable tip is placed on the record groove at the push of the button). With his turntable, you just need to play with a few buttons; that's it, everything else is taken care of by the turnable automatically.
In terms of sound quality, it is appreciable for the price. I did not find any clipping of frequencies or coarseness while listening to my fav melody and jazz music.
But if you want some extra features, then kindly check the AT-LP60-BT.
4. HOUSE OF MARLEY EM-JT000-SB - BEST TURNTABLE UNDER 200
This record player under 300 is made of delicate and rich components of natural bamboo along with a built-in preamp so you can sync with your favorite speakers for a great music experience.
The USB jack on the back allows you to record your tracks on a PC. The bamboo plinth makes it a perfect classical turntable that is unique and stylish at the same time.
With this turntable, you can experience 2 operating speeds(33 or 45 RPM), giving you a personalized sound experience.
This is an excellent turntable for your small function needs. While considering your music needs, the House of Marley also considers the environment's needs. Are you not getting it? This brand manufactures turntables from eco-friendly REWIND fabric, REGRIND silicone, recycled plastic, and recyclable aluminum.
The bamboo plinth gives a unique and meaningful taste to this turntable. It explains the beauty of nature and keeps in mind the needs and uses of the Earth.
5. MUSIC HALL MMF - BEST INEXPENSIVE TURNTABLE
This Music Hall MMF-1.3 Audiophile turntable holds some decent features for the price of under 300 dollars.
Firstly, it features 2 output modes: "Phono" and a "Line" mode. The tonearm doesn't ensure an automatic return facility, which means you have to remove the tonearm when the groove is entirely played.
The turntable has a sleek look and is lightweight. Adding to it, its four adjustable dampened feet minimize vibrations to a great extent.
6. DENON DP-300F
The Denon DP-300F has good features and allows you to enjoy the vinyl's you always wanted. Its base is made heavier to reduce vibrations for better performance and smooth music experience. Its cartridge can be simply replaced, and the automatic startup makes it slightly easy for you.
Another thing that caught my eye was that once your songs are played, the tonearm will go back to the holder, preventing the vinyl from any damage or scratches. It is a decent turntable under 300.
Denon is a trusted company and this product is recommended by many musicians and music enthusiasts who love the hardcore vinyl experience.
7. AUDIO-TECHNICA AT-LP120BK - BEST AFFORDABLE TURNTABLE WITH PRE-AMP
The AT-LP120BK is for music enthusiasts and DJs. You can connect your LPs to this beautiful turntable and make it a blast at your party or a romantic dinner. Being manufactured by an intricate workforce at Audio Technica, every part of the AT-LP120BK is made meticulously to maintain the high standards of the company.
With beautiful features and a bold, rich look, this turntable is ready to enhance your music experience. Made with quality material, it is durable and offers great sound quality along with a warranty. AT-LP120BK is an amazing turntable for your needs.
There is a model of beauty, style, and technology in this turntable. Don't hesitate to buy this as it is worth it and will not disappoint you.
8. SONY PSLX300USB
Another one in the race is the Sony PSLX300USB USB which is yet another beautiful turntable in the list. Being a renowned company in the market, Sony's products are reliable, trustable, and easy to use.
A classic, black Sony turntable is an attractive model for DJ's and vinyl enthusiasts. Sony being known and a renowned name in the market makes its products more authentic and credible.
It has a diamond stylus and USB connection. Bring your classic vinyl connection back to life by using the Sony PSLX300USB.
Using the USB, you can transfer all your classic 70's songs in your computer, laptop, or Walkman music player. The beauty of this affordable turntable cannot be expressed in words and this is one of the best products of Sony.
9. 1BYONE WIRELESS TURNTABLE HIFI SYSTEM WITH 36 WATT BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS
Next up in my list comes 1Byone wireless turntable. This is a sleek, belt-driven turntable that offers new, wireless connectivity. No wires, no additional connectivity problems, directly connect your devices using Bluetooth, and play your songs loud and clear.
It offers both Phono and Line outputs that allow you to play with or without a phono equalizer.
You can control your analog audio with adjustable counterweight and anti-skating features. Get ready to indulge in the best music experience. A lot of music enthusiasts recommend this product and it is a great option for your music recordings.
10. PYLE PLTTB3U
If you're new to turntables and want to discover the beauty of it, Pyle PLTTB3U is a great option for you. It is portable and mobile because it is lightweight. It produces decent sound quality, which is good for beginners to experience than jumping directly to a high-end turntable.
It is compatible with all mixers and amplifiers; hence it can be a good option for a trial basis. With removable and flexible dust covers, it becomes easy to clean it and provides a fine look to the turntable. It's a good gifting product for whoever loves the soul of music.
A start with a decent turntable is the motto and this surely serves it correctly. The Pyle PLTTB3U, is indeed a good option for you if you are a beginner!!
11. CROSLEY C100
This turntable gets its name from Mr.Powell Crosley, who was a radical guy in the 1920s. He believed music was for everyone and thus created what we today call the radio. Looking from his perspective, Crosley music enthusiasts decided that vinyl's should also be for everyone, and thus the first vinyl was created in 1992.
After being in the industry for 30 years and continuously upgrading the vinyls and music systems, Crosley is one of the biggest manufacturers of Vinyl Resurgence. The Crosley can always be trusted, don't worry about its authenticity.
If you wish to take your Vinyl experience to another level, here is a tip for you: Buy the Crosley Turntable, which is available at an affordable range under 300. It is a perfect choice which you can make to pair the turntable with your current speakers.
12. U-TURN AUDIO - ORBIT PLUS TURNTABLE
This classy looking, white turntable merges the combination of style, fashion, and technology. The white acrylic platter not only just provides stability and strength but also improves speed and reduces unwanted resonances. Every turntable is examined and assembled by a professional technician to provide meticulous design and high quality.
The OA2 gimbal arm provides frictionless movement which allows the stylus to capture each and every detail and reduce distortion. Along with a classy look, it offers great sound quality. Its great features provide a sense of perfection to the turntable. It is a great option for your musical needs.
Just a quick look at this best record player under $300 and you will fall in love with its beautiful features and looks. The white finishing is not only worth praising but it also provides a strong base for your turntable.
13. PRO-JECT ELEMENTAL USB TURNTABLE
Last but not the least comes PRO-JECT Elemental USB turntable. This is a beautiful model with a vibrant looking design and excellent sound quality. The Pro-Ject Elemental USB Turntable is a combination of beauty, strength, and perfection. What makes it different from other turntables is its central gravity mass point, which is made of artificial stone and places underneath the platter bearing.
The function of this Central gravity mass is to absorb unwanted resonances and disturbances. The belt-driven USB allows you to digitalize the use of turntables.
This best turntable under $300 allows you to connect your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices to the turntable to enhance the music experience. The features of Pro-Ject Elemental USB Turntable makes it a great model of your choices.
PARTS OF A TURNTABLE
BUYING GUIDE TO PURCHASE THE BEST RECORD PLAYER UNDER 300
1. Platter material:
What is a platter and plinth in a turntable? The platter is a very important component in a turntable. It is the spinning surface on which the record is placed.
If you want your music to play at consistent speed without hearing unwanted vibrations, you must give attention to the durability of the tonearm.
Plinth: It is the foundation upon which all the turntable components rest. That is why it needs to be made of a solid and heavy material.
While looking for a turntable, be it a budget or a high-priced model, see if the plinth and platter are made of solid material, like aluminum.
If the plinth and platter are already solid, you can avoid spending money on an additional platter mat.
2. Well-designed tonearm
Suppose you’re new to the world of phonographs. I’ll educate you on the importance of a tonearm in a turntable. It is this tonearm that carries the sound pickup and allows the stylus to move on the groove.
So the tonearm must be balanced properly. Meaning the turntable cartridge and stylus doesn’t overpress the record.
It is best if the tonearms are made of aluminium because they effectively reduce resonance and protect the needle and vinyl.
If you compromise on this and purchase a turntable with a flimsy tonearm, you will hear deteriorated sounds after 10-15 plays.
3. Phono cartridge
A phono cartridge is two types: Moving Coil and Moving Magnet. MM type is what I prefer due to many reasons.
Basically, a phono/magnetic cartridge holds the stylus/needle, which in turn moves on the groove patterns. Now the stylus will transmit those vibrations to the cartridge. This electromechanical transducer will convert the mechanical movements into an electrical signal, which can be amplified using a phono preamp/speakers if needed.
So, you need to check to see if the cartridge is a replaceable type. But you will hardly find such models under a budget of 300 dollars. So, just see if the cartridge is durable and has a strong metal body casing.
Next, see if the stylus tip is of a diamond/elliptical shape, as this will help read the groove patterns accurately.
1.Do you need a preamp in a turntable?
You may have an audio setup that already incorporates a preamp to boost your audio signal for high-end hi-fi, but if this is not the case, you can opt for a turntable that incorporates one, as some of the make. However, if the term "preamp" doesn't make sense to you and you just want a vinyl player that can connect to decent speakers, chances are you can ignore the problem entirely.
2. Can I play old vinyl on modern turntables?
Most modern turntables deliver both 33-1/3 and 45 RPM settings. But remember that for most of the oldest albums out there, you'll need 78 RPM mode to play them. So, as long as you have the right speed settings, you can play any vinyl you get your hands on.
3. Which model is the best for first-time buyers?
Anyone new to the world of turntables can prefer any of the models mentioned in this list. However, if you're an absolute beginner, then I think the Audio-Technica AT-LP120BK will be the best for you. It also has a pre-installed pre-amp, so you don't have to invest in additional sound-boosting equipment.
That's a wrap! Now I believe you have got a clear picture of the top budget turntables under $300. Investing in a turntable is never a wrong decision because it is a piece of wonderful sound equipment. Turntables are meant or built to last.
Even if you buy a decent-priced turntable with a built-in preamp and pair it with a decent set of speakers, the sound quality will be better than the sound quality of the record player.
Plus, turntables have external ports that allow you to connect with higher-quality parts. Overall, If you have a record collection and you love your records more than anything in the world, buy a turntable after considering the factors mentioned in the buying guide.
I request you to consider all the aspects before choosing the turntable, and most importantly, make sure whatever brand you want, you take a good look at the specifications and features. So if you're a DJ or simply a music enthusiast who loves to preserve his/her vinyl recordings, go ahead and buy the best turntable under $300. It is worth it.
Also, share your views about what you think about turntables in the comment section 🙂
Hi, this is Michael. I have been a tech writer for the past four years and have written reviews for a lot of products. I’m a freelancing writer, and somewhere now managed to come with my new website ”Entertheunderworld”. My fundamental moto is to make sure my readers get the best products and honest reviews of the products they spend on.