Turntables are still a sought after item even with all of the fancy, modern gadgets we have out there today. If you’re on the lookout for a new one, or if this is your first time buying one, then the price will probably play the most important role in your decision process.
Should you fork over $1000? Plunk down $300?
How about $500.
Below, we help you find the best turntable under $500. This is the ideal amount that you should spend for a mid-level turntable.
Whether you plan to fall asleep to the songs of your coveted vinyl collection or DJ at some of the hottest clubs in town, have a look at our suggestions to spend less than $500.
Things to Consider
Before you select a turntable, consider the following:
- Automatic or Manual. If you are new to turntables and afraid of scratching the vinyl or you just want something more convenient, then an automatic turntable is ideal.
Manual turntables are great and learning to use them (moving the tonearm) is a breeze.
Top 6 Turntables Under $500 Complete Chart
Listening to Vinyl
If you plan to listen to vinyl for pleasure, then here are a few things to know:
- Driver Motor. Decide which type of driver motor you want: direct-drive or belt drive.
- Direct Drive. Motors are located under the center of the platter and help maintain a higher torque, lower wow and lower flutter.
- Belt Drive. Motors have an off-center motor and connect to the platter via a belt.
Belt drive fans feel that they give vinyl records a true, original sound, allowing you to enjoy them in a more authentic way.
Over time and with regular use, the belt will slacken which creates less response.
Which is best? Each turntable expert will give you a different response.
If you aren’t sure whether to choose a direct drive or a belt drive turntable, head into a local vinyl shop so you can hear the difference live.
If you plan to DJ with your turntable, remember the following:
- Number of Turntables. Do you need one turntable or two? One is great for scratching or sampling some vinyl, but if you want to mix tracks, then you’ll need to purchase two.
- Driver Motor. Direct drive motors, located under the center of the platter, help maintain a higher torque, lower wow and lower flutter. As a DJ, these are essential to your success and your sound quality.
- Torque. The higher the torque the better. It helps the platter accelerate faster. That’s why DJs love direct drive motors.
- Pitch Control Slider. The slider needs to be smooth, really smooth, in order to avoid jerky and jumpy sounds as you navigate your table.
Top 3 Best Turntable Under $500 Reviews
This turntable is great for the DJ on the go.
Direct drive and high torque motor, start and break control adjustments, anti-resonance aluminum platter with DJ-friendly speed markings and slipmat, balanced S-shaped tone arm and anti-skate features just to name a few.
For home use, it has a built-in switchtable phono preamp that can be used with a variety of receivers, speakers and other A/V components.
Great features for the price tag. It’s hard to beat an Audio Technica!
This belt drive turntable is perfect as an entry-level unit for those who want to enjoy vinyl collections at home.It features a quiet AC motor, a carbon tube tonearm that eliminates unwanted resonance and DC-driven AC generator to offer you ultimate speed and stability.
Its simple design and range of colors will allow it to fit perfectly into any modern setting where you want to enjoy your classic vinyl.
Any entry-level DJ would love to have a piece of equipment like this sitting in front of them.
It has an ultra-high torque direct drive motor, aluminum tonearm system, interchangeable pitch fader, anti-drag aluminum platter, anti-skate adjustments, onboard auto BPM counter and key lock so you can maintain any key while changing tempo.
It also has an illuminated display, making it easy to see in dark settings.
This is definitely the best turntable for under $500 to help you improve your mad DJ skills.