Best Turntables Under $500 (Top Quality For Mid Range Prices)

All of these turntables offer excellent performance and reasonable sound for their price range.

These make great starter models, especially if you are just getting into vinyl buying for the first time.

There are many other models that also range from around $500 that you could look into if you wanted to spend more, but the options to get good quality for this budget were slim.

FAQs

1. What kind of quality do you want?

For example, if you are only getting into the hobby but do not plan on upgrading your turntables for years, then I would recommend something like the Technics SL-DE98 (with the tonearm replacement) because it sounds very good and is very durable. If you like to upgrade your turntables every year or so, then I would suggest spending more for more durable models.

2. What kind of table do you want?

I personally recommend a belt drive turntable. They’re easier to work on and have fewer problems. If you have a table that is not a belt drive, don’t worry about it. It’s not going to affect the sound quality too much, but a belt drive unit will last longer and is much more stable in speed so your records won’t skip as much if at all.

3. How easy is it to use?

If you are new to record players, belt drive units are much easier to use than direct drive units. The only difference between the two is that belt drives have a rubber band around the motor, so all you have to do is start playing and it will run for as long as you need.

With direct drives, you don’t have to worry about this, but they offer more control over pitch and speed (which can be helpful if you like DJ’ing). To me, it’s very important that the turntable is easy to use if you are just getting started.

4. What music are you going to be playing?

For example, if you are going to be playing more songs on your turntable that have a lot of beats, then the Technics SL-DE98 belt drive would be perfect. It has a wider motorized tone arm, which can play more songs on one side.

5 Best Turntables Under $500 Reviewed

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Piano Black)

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC Turntable with Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge (Piano Black)
  • 8.6" carbon tonearm
  • Increased platter size with more weight
  • Precision belt drive with synchronous motor
  • New Sorbothane motor suspension
  • Ortofon 2M Red cartridge

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC with Ortofon 2M Red cartridge is an excellent budget turntable with superb sound. It has a solid cast aluminum platter that allows for precise rotation.

It is very sleek, visually appealing, has excellent build quality, and comes with a high quality detachable headshell. The tonearm is outfitted with effective counterweight to hold your disc steady while playing.

Pros:

  • Solid Cast Aluminum platter for precise rotation and stability of vinyl records. It does not warp or wobble in any way.
  • The tonearm is an effective and very balanced design. It comes with a detachable headshell with an effective counterweight.
  • Rumble and tracking distortion is eliminated effectively with this tonearm.

Cons:

  • The motor is somewhat louder than other belt drive turntables.

2. Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge, Belt Drive, Built-in Preamp, Adjustable Counterweight, Solid Wood Plinth – Walnut

Fluance RT81 Elite High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Audio Technica AT95E Cartridge,...
  • PURE ANALOG LISTENING EXPERIENCE - Premium components allow this high fidelity belt driven turntable to recreate the performance the way the artist...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE CARTRIDGE - The Audio Technica AT95E featuring a diamond elliptical tipped stylus is designed to track your record grooves with...
  • SUPERIOR RECORD TRACKING - Enjoy perfect playback using the balanced aluminum S-Type tonearm ensuring the stylus is rested deep in your record's...
  • SOLID WOOD PLINTH - The beautiful walnut finished cabinet is crafted from solid engineered (MDF) wood, incorporates isolation feet, an aluminum...
  • CAPTIVATING SIGNAL CLARITY - Incorporating a high quality built-in Texas Instruments preamp, ground terminal and gold plated RCA line outputs that...

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fluance RT81E is a unique belt drive turntable that will play your vinyl records at very high speed without skipping or skipping. The belt drive motor speed compensates for low-quality tone arm, which reduces the likelihood of distortion.

It also has excellent sound quality, easy to use controls, and comes with an extremely low price tag.

Pros:

  • A belt drive motor compensates for low-quality tone arms, preventing distortion and warping.
  • The tone arm is a high quality design that is built to last. It comes with a detachable headshell with an effective counterweight.
  • Low price tag. You can get this turntable for under $100 on some websites.

Cons:

  • I had trouble finding a headshell replacement for this turntable.

3. Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable (USB & Analog), 3 Speed, For Demanding DJ Use, Fully Manual with Start & Stop Brake Control, Direct Drive, High Torque, Pro Anti-Resonance, Damped Die-cast Platter

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable (USB & Analog), 3 Speed, For...
  • Designed primarily for DJ use in nightclubs, touring and mobile applications; features a direct-drive, high-torque, multipole motor for demanding DJ...
  • Offers a USB output that allows direct connection to a computer for easy LP-to-digital conversion through included Audacity software
  • Built-in switchable phono preamp enables it to be used with a wide variety of receivers, powered speakers and other A/V components
  • Fully manual operation with start and brake control adjustments and selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds
  • Professional anti-resonance, damped die-cast aluminum stroboscopic platter with DJ-style slip mat and speed indicator

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Audio Technica AT-LP1240 is a fully manual direct drive turntable that has built in phono preamp and USB connectivity. It comes with professional anti-resonance, damped die-cast platter, and high torque motor.

It is ideal if you want to DJ and make excellent sounding recordings. It has a direct drive, high torque motor that never skips and ensures years of reliability. The tone arm is made from aluminum construction and comes with a replaceable stylus and cartridge (high quality AT 95E).

Pros:

  • Phono preamp built-in allows you to play your records through your home stereo without having to connect to an external phono amp.
  • USB connection allows you to transfer tracks from your phone or computer through your turntable. You can re-order or remove tracks by using the convenient select button on the top of the turntable.
  • It has high torque direct drive motor that never skips and ensures years of reliability.

Cons:

  • It does not come with a headshell replacement, so be prepared to buy one if you want to play your records.

4. Pioneer PLX-500-K, Black (PLX500K)

Pioneer DJ PLX-500-K - Turntable with Direct-drive Motor, Preamplifier, Headshell with Cartridge and...
  • Excellent sound design, just like the PLX-1000 the PLX-500 is built to produce a high-quality vinyl sound
  • Easy digital recording by connecting the turntable to your PC or MAC via the USB out
  • Use the PLX-500 to mix and scratch your vinyl record or combine the turntable with rekordbox dvs, a compatible DJ mixer and the RB-VS1-K Control Vinyl...
  • Cover Art Display - Put your record covers on display while listening to your vinyl thanks to the sleeve stand inside the dust cover
  • Servo-type direct drive. Tone Arm - Height Adjustment Range: 6 mm

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a well-built belt drive turntable with a sleek and simple design. It comes with a built-in phono preamp that allows you to plug it into your home stereo without an external phono preamp.

It is perfect for DJs as it has a higher torque direct drive motor that never skips and ensures years of reliability. It has a solid, aluminum platter to keep the needle fed at high speeds.

Pros:

  • Comes with a very cost effective headshell replacement if you need it.
  • High torque motor with a direct drive mechanism never skips or skips on a regular basis.
  • Solid, aluminum platter keeps the needle fed at high speeds.

Cons:

  • High torque mechanism may take more time to learn compared to other belt drive turntables.

5. Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor | Specially Designed Curved Tonearm | Supports 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM (Vintage) Speeds | Modern Looks, Superior Audio

Denon DP-400 Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable with Speed Auto Sensor | Specially Designed Curved...
  • REDISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR VINYL – Give your old analog records a digital rebirth with this state-of-the-art automatic turntable that supports 33...
  • MORE FEATURES, MORE FLEXIBILITY – The DP400 is equipped with weighted belt-driven platter, one-touch button controls, supports both MM and MC...
  • A UNIQUE CURVED TONEARM DESIGN – Carefully designed horizontal tracking angled tonearm with auto-lift and playback stop HELPS PRESERVE YOUR RECORDS...
  • BUILT-IN PHONO EQUALIZER creates an open, enveloping sound stage that enlivens your vinyl collection while staying true to the original recording....
  • EASY INSTALLATION & SETUP – Comes with a pre-mounted cartridge, setting the turntable up in your living room or home theater is simple. Instantly...

Last update on 2022-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Denon DP-400 turntable is a belt drive turntable that comes with a modern look and full size tone arm that is specially designed for optimal tracking. It will play your records on 33, 45, and 78 rpm speeds.

This turntable has a high quality sound system that is designed to deliver high fidelity stereo sound. It also offers a slim, modern design with a unique placement of the on/off switch on the front of the turntable.

Pros:

  • Offers automatic speed selection from 33 1/3 to 45 rpm and 78 rpm on this stylish turntable.
  • Stylish modern design that looks great in your home den.
  • Slim, simple design that is not too large or cluttered.

Cons:

  • It does not have a headshell replacement. If you want to play your records on 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm speeds, you will need to buy one with this turntable

Conclusion:

These are the five best belt drive turntables that you can find under $500. They come with great sound quality, excellent build quality, and are very easy to use.

However, some may be more convenient than others if you are looking for something that can be used for home use with minimal fuss.

FAQ:

Q: Is $300 a good price for a turntable?

A: While the sky’s the limit (we sell turntables that cost well into the thousands of dollars), $300-$500 is an excellent budget for a turntable that will produce a great sound, won’t damage your records and will last for decades. To help with your decision, we’ve put together the 10 Best Turntables Under $500.

Q: What is the best turntable under $500?

A: 1 2022 Best Turntables Under $500 List: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO – Regular Price $499.00 $499.00. 2 Pro-ject Debut Carbon EVO -. 3 Audio-Technica LP120XUSB -. 4 Pro-Ject Essential III -. 5 Music Hall MMF 1.3 -. More items

Q: Which Pro-Ject turntable has the Best Sound?

A: Pro-Ject took their best selling turntable ever, the Debut Carbon DC, and added many upgrades that vastly improved the sound. Their new X Series at a much higher price point makes use of ThermoPlastic Elastomers (TPE) for damping.

Q: What is the best planar turntable to buy?

A: In fact, the Rega Planar 3 is our best-selling table as of this write-up. The Rega Planar 1 (or P1) is the first in their Planar lineup and it’s truly an incredible value. First, it’s one of the simplest and easiest turntables to set up.