Looking for a portable turntable? It will definitely make your vinyl collection (and listening pleasure) more mobile. There are, however, several options to consider, since the best portable turntable for you, might not be your good buddy’s model. Just like your records, your choice of player is going to depend on your style and needs.
We’ve taken a close look at numerous portable turntables and compiled a top 10 list for you. We also have in-depth reviews of the top 3 and some useful buying information. So, put some music on, get your toes tapping and check out our comprehensive portable turntable guide.
How to Take Care of a Portable Turntable
Just as with your home (or stationary) player, there are some great ways to care for your portable player which will, by extension, help you care for your records.
- Replace Dust Covers and Cap. These are your first line of defense against your worst enemy – dust. You must remember to replace the dust cover over the entire player, as well as the tiny dust cap that protects the needle – after each use.
- Keep the Needle Clean. Use a stylus cleaning brush dampened with turntable cleaning solution to GENTLY wipe the stylus using a front-to-back motion.
- Let the Platter Stop Completely. Always allow the platter to come to rest before removing the record. Similarly, never start it spinning before placing the record on it.
- Use the Cueing Arm. Its designed to help you move the tonearm and needle properly. Also, avoid abruptly removing the needle or dropping it.
Top 10 Portable Turntables Chart
How to Select the Right Portable Turntable
Once you’ve decided that taking your record collection on the road with you is something you really want to do, you can rest assured that there are several other benefits to enjoy.
- Lower Cost. Portable turntables tend to be cheaper than purchasing a complete record player system. That said, the price will largely depend on the brand and included features. You will find, however, that they really are priced to suit every budget.
- Detachable. If you do need a complete system, then some are designed so that the actual player can be removed. That’s kind of like having your cake and eating it, too!
- Built-In Speakers. Many portal turntables feature built-in speakers. It means you don’t have to worry about lugging speakers around with you everywhere you go. Bear in mind, however that on most portable record players the speakers are designed to work in small spaces and so may not be very strong.
- Alternate Power Source. Some portable turntables give you the convenience of alternative power sources such as replaceable or rechargeable batteries, charging through a USB port attached to your computer, or plugging into a wall outlet.
- Connectivity and Compatibility. Portable turntables have really stepped up to the plate in term of keeping up with advances in technology. Many allow you to record your music to MP3 format. Furthermore, some players have Bluetooth connectivity and will let you play straight from a USB flash drive or smartphone.
Top 3 Best Portable Turntable Reviews
Leading off our top 10 is the 1byone belt driven, suitcase style, portable turntable. It’s made with built-in speakers so you can enjoy playing your records away from home without having to stop to pack bulky speakers as well.
Apart from the built-in speaker convenience, you also get the peace of mind of knowing that the 1byone is built to withstand being moved from place to place. Its sturdy materials are enhanced by a soft leather-feel case which you can get in either wine red or black.
In terms of performance, the 1byone gives you the choice of three speed settings – 33, 45 and 78 RPM. That way you can play all the records you already have and won’t be limited in the types of records you can add to your collection.
Technological features that impressed us with the 1byone include its Bluetooth connectivity and the fact that it supports Vinyl-to-MP3 recording. That means you can enjoy playing your records directly from the turntable or convert and play them from your mobile device or computer. More importantly, perhaps, it means you can save a backup copy of your music. We love that idea!
This belt-drive turntable system comes in at a very close second in our search for the best portable turntable. The CMC Vintage is a three-speed player at 33, 45 and 78 RPM. You can freely play all your 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch records on it – no problems.
It gives users Bluetooth connectivity and supports SD cards, as well as USB devices. There is also a headphone jack, so you can listen to your favorite tunes in blissful solitude. Or, if you prefer, you can allow the music to fill your space as it flows from the built-in speakers.
While the CMC Vintage is made of lightweight wood, the finish come is three designs so you can better match your personal style. Choose from Upgrade Blue, Khaki and Black. Its suitcase design means you just have to close it down, grab the handle and go!
Built-in speaker plus a built-in rechargeable battery helped get the ProduTrend VinylPal into the top three on our “Best Portable Turntable” list.
The fact that it’s a belt-driven player with a rechargeable battery lets you enjoy up to 4 hours of smooth playback. This player comes in a sky blue suitcase design and a neat retro look that is sure to complement the sounds coming from your vinyl collection.
While it’s not designed with Bluetooth support, it does feature a port to connect your smartphone or MP3 device. Feel free to play 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch records on the ProduTrend VinylPal. It is designed for 33, 45 and 78 RPM speed playing.