Updated on April 28, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Listening to music can be relaxing, energizing, uplifting or a combination of all three. There’s nothing better than setting a mood to music, especially in the comfort of your own home. While record players have traditionally been a vintage accessory made for playing vinyl, today’s market offers plenty of options with advanced technology and upgraded features. Here are the seven best record players for under $100.
The Best Record Players under $100
Why it’s great: This record player comes in a retro blue carrying case for easy transport and has all the necessary ingredients for playing great music. Featuring three speed settings (33, 45 and 78 RPM), this turntable also comes with a 45-RPM adaptor. A built-in Bluetooth receiver allows you to connect your phone or smart device to the speakers with no extra wires or cords. The full-range stereo speakers generate excellent sound quality and the 3.5mm headphone and auxiliary connector jack provide additional options for playing and listening to your music.
Keep in mind: Some customers report that the Bluetooth feature can be tricky to use.
Good for: Giving as a gift to a friend or family member who loves music.
(Best bluetooth connectivity)
Why it’s great: This entertainment center comes with built-in stereo speakers and has a wide range of capabilities for playing music. Customers are able to play vinyl records, CDs, cassettes and can also tune into AM/FM radio. This record player connects to smart devices using Bluetooth technology and has a 3.5 mm aux/headphone jack. This is a belt-driven turntable with three distinct speed settings (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM). This entertainment center also allows customers to connect to external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA line output and includes the necessary cable to do so.
Keep in mind: Some customers report quality issues with this entertainment center, but this product comes with a 1-year warranty.
Good for: The customer that doesn’t want to do a lot of set-up. This record player doesn’t have a complicated set-up process or require any extra equipment.
Why it’s great: This record player is both elegantly stylish and high-quality and offers several modes for playing and listening to music. Like the previous Victrola record player, this entertainment center can play vinyl records, CDs and cassettes, AM/FM radio and allows customers to stream music from their smart devices using Bluetooth technology. This model also has a USB function as well as a 3.5 mm aux/headphone jack. The turntable supports three listening speeds, including 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM while the speakers provide a well-balanced and premium sound. The vintage wood design of this entertainment center is aesthetically pleasing while its modern technology provides a first-rate listening experience.
Keep in mind: Some customers report having trouble tuning into the AM radio function, but customer support is available to troubleshoot any issues you may have.
Good for: The customer that wants all the bells and whistles and lots of options for music and radio technology.
(Easiest to use)
Why it’s great: This record player pays tribute to its vintage roots with a midcentury modern design, making it not only a great way to play music but also a stylish piece of home décor. Dual speakers with a built-in woofer provide high-quality sound while Bluetooth capability allows customers to access their favorite digital music within 33 feet. Made to play records that are 7”, 10”, or 12”, this record player also has three-speed settings and includes an auto-stop switch so that records will automatically stop playing when finished. Not only is it easy to use, this record player requires virtually no set-up and is perfect for beginners.
Keep in mind: Some customers suggest that the sound quality isn’t as good as others on the market when playing vinyl.
Good for: First time turntable owners as this model is easy and straightforward to use.
(Best sound quality)
Why it’s great: This modern turntable includes Bluetooth input, USB connectivity and an RCA line-out for plenty of versatility in listening to your favorite music. Its compact size makes it perfect for small spaces while its classic look will add a vintage touch to your home aesthetic. This record player supports three listening speeds and three sizes of records as well as has built-in high-quality stereo speakers. Designed to have the best possible sound quality, this turntable features belt-driven shock absorption and exterior footpads to absorb excess vibration.
Keep in mind: Some customers report issues with speaker functionality but the company offers 24-hour one-on-one customer service support.
Good for: The customer who wants a record player with a vintage look but modern technology.
Why it’s great: This portable record player comes with a brown carrying case, making it easy to move from one location to another with zero risk of damage. Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, AUX/USB inputs, RCA output and a headphone jack, this record player is the complete package. The three speed settings and built-in full-range stereo speakers ensure that you have total control over the sound of your music. This record player is also compatible with three sizes of vinyl records (7”, 10” and 12”) and has an auto-off function.
Keep in mind: This record player is designed for functionality rather than style and is not as eye-catching as some of the other models on the market.
Good for: The on-the-go customer as this record player is designed for easy pack-up and transport.
Why it’s great: This entertainment center has a multitude of features and functions, including CD, vinyl, and cassette capabilities, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, an aux & headphone jack and built-in stereo speakers. The turntable has three speeds and upgraded premium sound quality with minimum vibrations. Available in black, red or blue, this record player embodies a fun 50’s retro aesthetic. Its front panel features button controls for the CD player, a volume and radio tuner knob and an LED display screen for radio frequency. Most impressive of all, this turntable doesn’t just play your vinyl but will record them to MP3s as well!
Keep in mind: Some customers report issues with the CD drive, but returns are accepted within thirty days of purchase.
Good for: The customer looking for a high-quality entertainment system that doubles as a statement piece for their living room.
FAQ’s about record players
1. What are things to consider when purchasing a new record player?
There are several things to consider when purchasing a new record player. Determining a budget is perhaps most important though fortunately, there are plenty of great models for under $100. Functionality is another key element in choosing the right record player, so make sure you know what’s essential to you when it comes to playing music. Do you want to play vinyl records as well as CDs? Do you want Bluetooth connectivity to stream digital music from a smart device? Sound quality is another crucial factor, so be discerning when it comes to speakers and sound settings. Lastly, if portability is important to you, be sure the record player you purchase comes with a carrying case for easy transport.
2. What’s a belt drive?
A belt drive is an elastic band that is connected to the record player’s motor and turns the platter. This feature is designed to eliminate motor noise and produce a smoother, more high-quality sound from your record player.
3. Why is a USB input/output feature important?
A USB output feature offers you the option of converting your vinyl records into digital audio files. This can require extra software and a computer, so check your user manual for specific instructions on how to use this feature. A USB input feature allows you to play MP3 files through the record player’s speakers by plugging directly into the system. Not all record players will accommodate both USB input and output functions, so be sure to check the fine print if one or the other is important to you.
4. Why are audio input/output features important?
Additional audio input/output features provide flexibility and versatility in how you can play and listen to music. If you want to stream digital music through your record player without using Bluetooth, you will want an aux-in function so you can connect your device to your record player with an auxiliary cord. Aux-out (also called line-out) allows you to connect your record player to external speakers to improve sound quality or volume.
5. I’m a beginner when it comes to playing vinyl records. How do I use a record player?
To play vinyl records, place the record on the platter of the turntable. Be sure to check whether side A or side B is facing up, depending on which songs you want to listen to (you can check the tracklist on the album cover). Check your speed setting (33 1/3 RPM is best for standard records). Raise the cue lever to lift the arm and place the arm on the outer edge of the record. Flip the turntable’s on-switch to make the record play. While these instructions will work for basic turntables, be sure to consult your user manual for more nuanced directions.
For music lovers, listening to your favorite albums is a vital part of everyday life and provides a necessary soundtrack to your daily grind. Whether you’re a long-time vinyl veteran or purchasing your very first record player, finding the right turntable system can be a game-changer when it comes to listening to music. Many of the models on the market today don’t sacrifice the sought-after vintage aesthetic for cutting-edge modern technology and different models offer a range of functions, from cassette drives to Bluetooth connectivity to built-in woofers and everything in between. Even with a budget under $100, there’s no question you will be able to find the record player that’s right for you.