Top 8 Best Turntable Under $300

Suppose you are looking to take your first steps into the sweet sounds of vinyl or someone who is dusting the records from the past. Our guide is here to help you find the best Turntable under $300, so you get the best bang for your buck.
Some would consider a 300 dollar budget to be on the low side for a pretty expensive hobby. However, I’m afraid I have to disagree with this statement and feel you can get an excellent turntable within this budget. A turntable that will last you years if not something you will be passing down to your children.

Lets jump right into our top 8 best turntables under $300.

Fluance RT82 Vinyl Turntable

Fluance RT82 Vinyl Turntable Specifications
Dimensions:
5.5 x 16.5 x 13.75 inches | Motor: DC Motor Belt Drive | Cartridge: Ortofon OM 10 | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM | Tracking force: 1.5g | Wow and Flutter: 0.07% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 76 dB | Finish: High Gloss Walnut Real Wood Veneer

Fluance is quickly becoming a mighty force in the turntable market, and with the Fluance RT82 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable, it’s easy to see why. This is a truly significant part of the Fluance turntable lineup, which is equal to those made by other more esteemed turntable manufacturers.

So to start off, what is the meaning of Reference? Well, they discovered that when it came to turntables, listeners were seeking a pure analog signal. Now there are plenty of other great options out there that are more convenient, too, such as Fluance’s very own RT80/81, but due to the built-in preamps, they aren’t considered pure analog. That’s why Fluance decided to take a stab at creating a high-fidelity turntable lineup specifically for listeners wanting analog purity.

There is a lot involved in putting together this Turntable, but precise, easy to understand instructions are supplied for setting everything up. You need to attach the platter to the Turntable, the turntable mat, headshell, and counterweight. These items are left unattached for reasons of shipping safety.

The turntables also need preamp power to function. Individual receivers have a phono input that can work, or you have the option of obtaining a separate preamp to connect to most standard RCA inputs. Fluance advises you to purchase their own PA10 high fidelity phono preamp, but there are other choices.

Operation is manual too. There’s a speed control that can run between 33 and 45rpm, a tonearm lock, and a cueing lever. When you’re ready to play a record, but the record on the aluminum mat located on the RT82, set the motor control at the correct speed, unlock the tonearm, lift up the cueing lever, place the tonearm at the starting point and then drop the cueing lever.

Yet, one more fabulous thing about the RT82 is the vibration isolating adjustable feet. Three rubber feet can either be screwed in or out to set them at the proper height to isolate the Turntable from vibrations from simple living conditions.

Amazingly, listening to this machine is a pleasure, as it is wonderfully clear. So if you’re seeking out a better vinyl listening experience, this machine is for you. Even if you merely want to add a new turntable to your life, the RT82 is an excellent choice for high-fidelity playback. Fluance has exhibited exceptional attention to detail and top notch audio with their other devices, and they don’t break that tradition here. It’s all available in a reasonably priced package.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable Specifications
Dimensions:
452.0 mm (17.80″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 141.6 mm (5.57″) H | Motor: DC servo motor | Cartridge: AT-VM95E Dual Magnet | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33/45/78 | Wow and Flutter: <0.2% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >50 dB | Finish: Black, Silver

The fact of the matter is that the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Turntable has been the industry standard direct-drive turntable in the low to mid-level price range for around a decade. The redesigned AT-LP120X has several important improvements while still maintaining a reasonable price.

You get a robust direct-drive motor, which is something rare for this price. Direct-drive motors eliminate the need for belts are connected directly to the platter. They have higher motor power and need less maintenance than belt-driven motors. The full-adjustable S-Shaped tonearm is of better quality than that of most entry-level turntables. The S-shaped tonearm also has adjustable counterweight and anti-skate controls. Both of these controls make it possible for you to optimize sound quality and reduce record wear using either the cartridge, which is included, or an upgraded version.

The AT-LP120’s solid build quality and many features, plus the reasonable price, have made it one of the most popular turntables. The motor has received an upgrade making it more efficient, and it uses less energy. The result is that the motor has to do less work to spin the platter, which lessens mechanical distortion. The new motor also has an improved starting power and gains the correct playback speed faster.

Yet another improvement is that the removable power cord now has an external AC adapter. Before this, the AC/DC conversion was done inside the Turntable body and could interfere with the audio signal by causing minor distortions.

The anti-skating control adjusts the placement of the needle in the groove. It makes up for the tonearm’s tendency to ‘skate’ towards the center of the record. Furthermore, the Turntable’s overall design has been converted into a sleeker shape. The matte finish, which includes the tonearm, and the matching AT-HS6 headshell are nice touches.

The many improvements to the AT-LP120X provide a well thought out, attractive upgrade. The direct-drive motor, advanced features, and quality components combine for an incredible value. They are highly recommended.

Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable

Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable Specifications
Dimensions:
415 x 90 x 300mm (WxHxD) | Motor: DC motor Belt driven | Cartridge: Ortofon OM 5E | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33, 45 | Wow and Flutter: 33: 0,29% 45: 0,27% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: | Finish: White, Red, Grey

The Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable is the entry point to Pro-Ject’s vast range of turntables available for excellent prices. Amazingly though, it flies in the face of everything you’d expect of a model that is made for the budget-conscious, with a fantastic design and a good cartridge.

This is a turntable that makes a beautiful first impression. The narrow strip of vinyl-coated MDF plinth is nicely finished, and its rounded ends match perfectly with the circular platter and motor pulley located above.

If you’re worried that such a thin MDF plinth won’t be able to hold everything steady when the motor begins to spin, take a look beneath the MDF platter, and your worries will vanish. Four felt pads under the stone provide the Turntable’s feet.

The plinth’s front left end holds the motor and an on/off switch, which is discreetly hidden on the front edge. The motor pulley is stepped, so changing between 33 and 45rpm speeds is done by popping the drive belt up or down a level on the pulley. The process is easy because the pulley is always exposed and not hidden away underneath the platter like many other turntables.

On the back left is the arm mount. The tonearm is an 8.5-inch low-mass unit that seems to have been made specifically for the Elemental. It has a thin, non-tapered arm tube and separate headshell, and, although flimsy, it still feels more substantial than the majority of arms on record players of this price.

There’s a high-quality, captive phono cable with gold-plated RCA plugs already connected to the arm, which is nice. The pre-fitted cartridge is a moving-magnet Ortofon OM5e, which is the same cartridge found on Pro-Ject’s next-step-up Essential II series.

A felt mat is provided to top the platter, but there are no other extras. The Cover-IZT E dust cover is an optional extra and relatively costly.

Set up is amazingly easy as the platter is already fitted, along with the cartridge and counterweight. The only other thing left to do is place the felt mat on the platter and fit the drive belt around the platter and motor pulley.

The ultimate experience of using the Elemental is a real pleasure. The tonearm’s finger lift is nicely designed for quickly swinging the needle onto the record, it’s a breeze to change speeds, and the sound quality is ideal. Exceptional value.

Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable

Specifications Pro-Ject Elemental Turntable
Dimensions:
Length:42 x Height:11.5 x Width:34.5 | Motor: DC servo-controlled | Cartridge: AT3600L | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45RPM | Wow and Flutter: Less than 0.3% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 50dB | Finish: Wood

The House of Marley Stir It Up Wireless Bluetooth Turntable both looks great and sounds great. It looks fantastic and is made from eco-friendly materials, plus the price is incredible when you take into consideration all that it provides. The modern-styled Turntable is a recent release from this relatively new audio component company. If you have not heard of House of Marley, you will be hearing about them more and more in the coming years.

It has a beautiful deck with all the usual features you would expect on most turntables from the last five years or so. It has RCA stereo output jacks and a USB out port for interfacing with computers and various software applications. It also has an external wall-wart style DC power supply instead of the standard AC power cord.

It has a belt-drive turntable, which is preferred by most hardcore vinyl fans. The main argument for belt drives is that they are quieter. There are two speeds, 33 and 45rpm, and the speed switch is an excellent matte finish chrome rotary style dial and sits on top of the unit in a little recess. The bamboo plinth has a great look to it, and the platter is made of aluminum alloy, a very lightweight metal.

This is an extremely attractive unit constructed with thoughtfully sourced materials. It sounds excellent, especially for a mid-level unit in this price range. It has more options and looks a lot better than similar turntables.

All in all, this Turntable is an excellent investment that will serve you well for many years to come.

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable Specifications
Dimensions:
16.75 x 12.5 x 4.25″ | Motor: Low-noise AC synchronous | Cartridge: Ortofon OM5E | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33/45 RPM | Wow and Flutter: 0.125% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -79 dBA | Finish: White, Red, Blue, Green, Black, Purple

With its extreme simplicity, the U-Turn Orbit Plus is a frugally designed turntable that manages to sound great. However, it is a little high priced compared to other models that have the same high quality or even better sound, and you don’t get any of the extra additions that they provide either. This, however, doesn’t mean that it still isn’t a great record player.

The Orbit Plus’s sound quality is head and shoulders above average, lagging just a tad behind what is considered the top performers. It has a dynamic range that easily sends out the loud, high notes and provides the emotional resonance every album deserves.

As far as components go, the Orbit Plus is generally well built, a unique feature being the heavy acrylic platter, which does much to reduce the motor’s vibrations. Even many high-end turntables have aluminum platters that are quite a bit lighter. Furthermore, the motor is separate from the platter and utilizes a belt-drive, which also helps lower vibrations. The metal tonearm is excellent, and the Ortofon OM 5E cartridge performs as expected.

While it’s not a huge disadvantage, the Orbit’s simple design leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to ease of use. There’s no cueing lever, which results in you having to pick up the tonearm, move it into the correct position, and then gently rest it on the record. Of course, this isn’t especially hard to do, but having the process automated would make things easier, but it’s not a big issue.

Additionally, you have to manually choose the speed at which you want the platter to turn, while most other models do this automatically. However, the Orbit performs better than average when it comes to withstanding hard bumps and bangs to the table it stands on without skipping a beat. Overall, a worthwhile investment.

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable

U-Turn Audio – Orbit Plus Turntable Specifications
Dimensions:
17.1(W) x 14.5(D) x 4.2(H) in | Motor: DC motor Belt driven | Cartridge: Audio Technica AT3600L | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33, 45, 75 RPM | Wow and Flutter: Less than 0.1% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 62dB+ | Finish: Black

If you are interested in getting back into playing vinyl or starting out playing it for the first time, you will find that it can be a challenging process. This is why the Turntable you choose can have a big part in helping you overcome these obstacles. So this is where the Music Hall-MMF-1.3 Turntable really shines.

Today, as vinyl popularity has surged, some of the available gear includes a phono preamp. However, if your system lacks one, the Music Hall MMF-1.3 has two output modes, from which you can choose by using a switch on the back. The “Phono mode is for those special inputs while the “Line” mode sends the signal through a built-in phono preamplifier and thus is able to be used with any audio system that has a regular analog input, including active loudspeakers.

When it comes to audio gear, practically the most crucial amplifier component is the phono preamp, so this is why having the phono level output is essential for all listeners.

Moving on, the Turntable is solid, placed on four soft feet. A perspex lid prevents dust from getting inside and lessens any acoustic feedback). The belt-driven platter is made of aluminum, while the tonearm has a removable headshell for the cartridge. The tracking weight is set by employing a conventional counterweight. The arm is completely manual because any additional mechanisms may interfere with its ability to move freely.

The recommended tracking for the Audio Technica AT3600L cartridge is three grams, which is generally considered relatively high. The standard amount of grams is usually two. However, if you’re creating a collection of second-hand records, this high tracking can be a plus.

(Note: never use a lower stylus pressure/tracking force than instructed for the cartridge and stylus. It might seem like a good idea, but in the long run, it’s more apt to increase wear instead of reducing it because it will leave the stylus rattling around in the groove.)

The inclusion of a 78rpm speed is a nice bonus, but don’t forget that this alone is not enough to enable a turntable to play 78s. You also need the correct type of stylus.

All that’s required for assembly is to follow the instructions simply. It’s really relatively easy. One good thing is that the turntable belt comes already on the underside of the platter with a short piece of red ribbon threaded under it, which lets you pick it up to place it over the motor pulley.

This is really the perfect Turntable for anyone who wants to get back into playing vinyl or a novice who already knows they are going to be stacking up on second-hand discs. And anyone who wants to get into 78rpm records will love it. Overall performance is excellent.

1byone Wireless Turntable HiFi System

1byone Wireless Turntable HiFi System Specifications
Dimensions:
16. 34” x 14. 17” x 5. 51” | Motor: DC Motor | Cartridge: Audio-Technica MM | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Speeds: 33, 45 RPM | Finish: Wood

The 1byone Wireless Turntable is everything you’d want in a record player. It’s a unique design, great price, and many useful features make it well worth investing in. Features a solid iron platter-precision-manufactured produces perfect stability and rotation. It brings high-fidelity playback to the next level! Easy installation too.

You have an adjustable counterweight and anti-skating force. Together with the advanced anti-skating system, the tonearm counterweight produces a smooth stylus movement and tunes out any skipping. There’s also excellent connectivity. A built-in switchable phono line and preamplifier permit the connection to the set of speakers that are included or to your own externally-powered speakers by the dual RCA output cables.

There’s also vinyl recording via PC — So you can hook up this Turntable to your computer using the USB and encode vinyl audio into MP3s for digitalized storage and playback on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Wireless streaming is included as well. You can play music from all your favorite devices, iPhones, tablets, Android smartphones, PCs, USB-mp3 players through the Turntable’s speakers by using this wireless connection.

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Belt-Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN Specifications
Dimensions:
20.0 mm (16.53″) W x 340.0 mm (13.38″) D x 116.9 mm (4.6″) H | Motor: DC servo | Cartridge: AT-VMN95E | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Bluetooth: No | Speeds: 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM | Wow and Flutter: < 0.15% | Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >60dB | Finish: Wood

Audio-Technica is considered to be one of the top companies in turntable manufacturing nowadays, and they are primarily well known for their great cartridges. This AT-LPW40WN Turntable is belt-driven for speeds of 33 and 45rpm and is entirely manual. The proper rotation speed for the platter is reached by using a speed sensor attached to the motor. It also has excellent anti-skate control.

Since the platter is made from anti-resonance diecast aluminum and has a rubber mat to eliminate any excess operational noise, this is not a problem. The platter is mounted on a walnut wood veneer that is sleekly attractive and actually makes the unit appear to be more costly than it really is.

The wooden construction of the plinth provides additional anti-vibration assistance. So essential and influential in Audio-Technica products, the tonearm is a straightforward design created from a carbon-fiber and has a lockable rest and hydraulically controlled lift control. It further has a universal 1/2″ mount headshell and, most significantly, the inclusion of the AT-VM95E dual moving magnet cartridge that has an elliptical stylus.

It is designed so that the cartridge, which is included, is compatible with basically all of the VM95 replacement stylus series. Connections to a stereo system or speakers are made through the onboard preamp or via RCA cables. An RCA audio cable, 45rpm adapter, and a removable dust cover are also included.

Special attention to reducing any unwanted noise is given by the inclusion of an AC adapter that handles the AC/DC conversion away from the chassis.

This machine both looks great and sounds great, plus it’s inarguably well built. It may be a bit expensive for some, but it is more than worth it when you consider the quality you are getting.

Conclusion

When you step up your budget from looking for the best Turntable under $200 just a little to find a turntable within the $300 range, you will be getting a much better product. With the upping in price comes the upgrading in parts, and this all leads to better sound quality.

If you are looking for something just that little better then check out some of the Best Turntable Under $400.

Choosing any from the above list will give you excellent sound quality and are all brands that have stood the test of time. Within the $300 range, we can avoid all the inferior brands that offer inferior products and lousy sound quality.

If I were to choose an out and out winner, I like the Fluance RT82 Vinyl Turntable. I believe you are getting a bargain here; I believe they are trying to make a name for themselves. As consumers, we are getting a product that would typically be much more expensive at lower prices so they can get their name out.