If you are looking to purchase a record player, whether it be for yourself or as a gift, and are looking for how much you are going to spend on a record player, you have landed in the right place.
So, how much is a record player? Record players vary in price but average between $100-$400. Quality starter record players start at $100. If you want a record player that will last you a long time, sound great, and be a bargain you are looking at $200-$400. For high-end record players, you could spend between $500-$1000.
There are many differences between the record players at different price points. Some have key features that help better your listening experience and that keeps you from outgrowing your turntable as quickly.
What’s The Difference Between A Record Player And A Turntable?
While this is mostly semantics and truly two words for the same thing or same type of thing, there are some differences that could technically make them stand apart.
A record player is usually what most non-audiophile, non-music junkies call what they are referring to as a turntable. A record player is technically an all-in-one unit that has a turntable with an amplifier and speakers.
A turntable is technically just the device, with its motor, arm, and stylus that you place the record on. This device spins the record against the stylus attached to the arm and sends the sound and signal out. From there you would need a preamp or amplifier, sometimes both, and a set of speakers.
What we are really doing here, though, is splitting hairs. This is the semantics of language and most people when referring to record players they mean the turntable and not the full setup. We do acknowledge that some people are referring to all-in-one units or full setups, and we will go over those in our breakdown.
Record Player For Beginners
This can be a little difficult because before we can recommend what to look for or purchase we have to understand some things about your situation.
Which Should I Buy A Turntable Or Record Player?
This is a great question, actually, if we do not assume that they are the same thing. If you or someone who wants a turntable is asking you for a record player or turntable, you have a few things to consider.
- Do you or the person you are buying for have an amplifier?
- Do you have speakers to use with your amplifier and turntable?
If answered no to both or either of these questions, then you need to consider buying an all-in-one record player or commit to buying individually customized setups for your turntable. This brings up the next set of important questions.
- Are you looking to just listen occasionally?
- Are you limiting yourself on space?
- Do you want a more high-quality experience?
- Do you want to have a conversation piece?
If you are looking for convenience, only want to listen occasionally, or are limited on space we would recommend you looking into the all-in-one record players like Crosley and Victrola suitcase record players.
We are not a huge fan of these record players, but they do have their place in the market. We are mostly not fans, because we enjoy a better audio quality, experience, and the customizability of a full setup. If you are interested in this as well, then you are technically looking for a turntable.
You can, however, still search Amazon for “turntables” or “record players” and the results will, for the most part, show the same gear.
Is A Record Player Worth It?
At Vinyl Bro, we think that record players are completely worth it. The experience of purchasing your favorite album and sitting and intentionally hearing the story the music produces through a high-quality setup is just unbelievable. Here is a great write up on the differences between digital or CDs and Vinyl.
Are Beginner Record Players Worth It?
If you are truly starting from scratch, we think that you can piece together a decent setup for little money that will be worth it. If you have an amplifier and speakers or even just powered speakers, then we highly recommend checking out the old faithful Audio Technica lp60. This turntable was the starting point for many people.
It features a fully automatic button push play which removes the chance of error in dropping the stylus or needle. It also features two different speeds and two sizes for the automatic mode which will help you play all 7” and 12” in both 33⅓ and 45 easily. It can still play other sizes; you will just not be able to use the automatic function. All for usually around or under $100.
If you are looking for an all-in-one unit or something more budget-friendly, we would suggest you check out the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe or the Victrola Vintage. We do not believe these units are worth it if you believe this hobby will become bigger for you as you will quickly realize their limitations.
Are Medium-Range Record Players Worth It?
This is the range of turntables we believe is more for the serious hobbyist or someone looking to really upgrade their audio clarity. This range is probably the most worth it out of all the price ranges as you can get the most bang for your buck.
Our recommendation in this category would be the or Audio Technica LP120x the Audio Technica LP140x. If you were to buy either of these turntables you would likely never have to buy another one in your life. I am all about one-time lifetime purchases. These turntables feature mostly manual controls and has 3 speeds with a USB cord. The USB cord will even let you rip your vinyl record to your computer which is a fun novel feature.
If you are looking for an all-in-one record player in this price range, we would suggest buying the Audio Technica LP120x and pairing it with some powered bookshelf speakers to start out. This gives you the option to grow your setup later with an amplifier and floor speakers.
What Is The Best Vinyl Record Player?
This is subjective to your needs and current setup or lack thereof. If you are looking for a budget turntable without going the suitcase method, we think you would be best served with the Audio Technica lp60 and a set of powered bookshelf speakers like these Edifier speakers for around $100. That would give you a pretty great starting system for under $200.
If you already have an amplifier and speakers and are just looking for a well-rounded turntable to throw in the mix we highly recommend the Audio Technica LP120x. This is the best bang for the buck as you likely will not outgrow this turntable.
How Much Do Vinyl Record Players Cost?
Vinyl record players vary in cost, as we mentioned before, and we are sure you are wondering why and how much can they be.
The reason there is such a price difference mostly has to do with the precision of the turntable and the features it brings to the table. The Audio Technica LP140x is a classic example of the high level of features including weight control, anti-skating, changeable cartridge arms, and multiple speed choices.
Once you get in the $500 and up a range of turntables you are paying for precision and audio quality. These audiophile precision turntables sometimes feature all or none of those included with the Audio Technica LP140x but produce a more rich sound. They will usually come with a better-weighted arm and stylus. They can be belt-driven or direct driven.
At the end of the day, record players range from $50 to thousands of dollars, and you have to decide what is most worth it for you.
Record players and turntables range in price so vastly that there is something for everyone out there. If you have a limited budget but still want decent quality, you should budget for $200 or so. If you have more to spend, consider a $500 budget to get your setup started. If you are looking to save money where you can, we would suggest buying the highest quality turntable you can afford and hit up local garage sales or thrift stores for floor speakers and an amplifier. From there, you can upgrade the components individually to build your ultimate setup!
Happy listening, and we hope you enjoyed the read.