Vinyl is one of the most exciting sources of music, with a classic sound that is unbeaten by modern technologies.
There’s something about the hands-on approach of selecting your music and enjoying warm, analogue sound that can’t be replicated.
However, turntables and record players can be confusing if you’re just starting out in the world of vinyl.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best beginner record players and turntables, so you can ignite your passion for vinyl while learning at the same time.
These are units that help you to grow along with their features and upgrade as necessary, easing you into a world of audio that you will never look back from.
Quick List: Top 8 Beginner Record Players
- VOKSUN Vintage Record Player
- Audio Technica AT-LP3BK – Best Overall
- WOCKODER 13-in-1 Record Player
- Denon DP-300F – Most Expensive
- Victrola 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player
- Vinyl Music On Record Player – Cheapest Option
- SeeYing Vinyl Record Player
- ION Audio-Ford LP 4-in-1 Mustang Music Center
Researching Beginner Record Players
We put a lot of effort into finding the best beginner record players on the market today, so that there is the right unit for everyone.
Turntables can be confusing at first, so above all we looked for systems with user friendly features. This ranges from fully automatic turntables that you just need to press a button to enjoy, to record players with simple controls and a tone arm lever that helps you to learn how to use the system.
Many of the turntables also include the option to upgrade the cartridge as your familiarity with vinyl increases and you seek a higher quality sound. This will allow you to improve sound without needing to invest in an entirely new player.
We also looked for diverse record players that can support a range of playback modes. Vinyl was our priority, but many of the units can also play from Bluetooth wireless, AUX, USB/SD cards, or FM radio.
Lastly, we made sure to find units that either have powerful in-built speakers or can easily integrate into your home entertainment system. There’s no use in playing vinyl if the volume is too low or the sound quality low, so our focus was on an immersive audio experience.
The Best Beginner Record Players in 2021
1. VOKSUN Vintage Record Player
The VOKSUN Vintage Record Player is a good introduction to the world of vinyl, with attractive, functional design and minimal stress.
✔️ What we like: A retro, budget-friendly record player with simple controls.
❌ What we don’t like: Audible distortion at the maximum volume.
- Anti-vibration design
- Easy controls
The VOKSUN record player is designed to be user-friendly, making it perfect if you’re a beginner to the world of vinyl. It includes a simple plug and play design that can get you listening almost immediately, and a tone arm with automatic stop that reduces overall wear and tear to your precious vinyl.
You will have to move the tone arm in and out of position by yourself, but this will be a gentle learning curve with the ease of the VOKSUN player.
Other than user-friendly, the design of the VOKSUN player is also incredibly durable and minimizes vibrations. The turntable includes a low-vibration synchronous motor and the base of the player has isolating feet that keep movement away from the platter. This allows smooth playback and warm, balanced sound.
The VOKSUN system excels with vinyl, but also supports other playback modes, including Bluetooth wireless, AM/FM radio, and AUX. It includes dual in-built speakers that can fill your room with warm, analogue sound, or you can mix up your playback experience with external speakers or headphones.
We also love this beginner record player because of its attractive, mid-century design that includes wooden panels and retro-look controls.
Our only criticism of this VOKSUN vintage record player is that there is audible distortion at the maximum volume of the in-built speakers. However, this can be avoided by playing at a lower volume or using external speakers when you want that volume boost.
2. Audio Technica AT-LP3BK- Best Overall
The AT-LP3BK by Audio Technica is our pick for the best overall beginner record player, due to its user-friendly controls, superior sound, and opportunity to grow.
✔️ What we like: A sophisticated, fully automatic turntable with excellent sound.
❌ What we don’t like: The RCA cables are hardwired to the unit.
- Fully automatic turntable
- Durable construction
- Anti-vibration design
The AT-LP3BK by Audio Technica is visually stunning and suitable for beginners, due to its completely automatic turntable. With just the press of a button, the tone arm will move into position and start playing and will return itself to its original position at the end of the record or touch of the off button.
This makes operation completely seamless, while the addition of hydraulically damped lift control in the tone arm allows you to place the needle with precision and zero damage. We love that the Audio Technica system can completely take care of playback but also allow you to become comfortable with manual controls.
It has superior construction that ensures smooth playback and years of stress-free use, including anti-vibration elements. These include a die-cast aluminum platter, rubber damping mat, and the belt-driven design with the motor separate from the platter.
We also love the high quality of the included AT91R Moving Magnet cartridge, which has excellent tracking and produces highly detailed sound. The design of a universal head shell makes it so easy to switch out the cartridge, allowing you room to grow as you upgrade your audio technology.
While the Audio Technica system lacks in-built speakers, it includes high-quality RCA cables that can easily connect to external speakers. Our only criticism is that the cables are hardwired, meaning that you can’t upgrade or replace them as needed.
If you’re looking for a beginner record player that can ease you into vinyl and keep you learning, while always delivering high quality sound, you’ve found it in the AT-LP3BK by Audio Technica.
3. WOCKODER 13-in-1 Record Player
We are impressed by the 13-in-1 Record Player by Wockoder for its versatility, full range of inclusions, and value for money.
✔️ What we like: A versatile and inclusive record player at a budget price point.
❌ What we don’t like: The sound has a slightly tinny quality.
- Multiple playback modes
- Vintage look
- Lightweight and portable
The WOCKODER 13-in-1 Record Player is designed for the music enthusiast that loves flexibility and multiple playback forms. It includes a 3 speed turntable, Bluetooth wireless, USB, micro SD input, FM radio, and the ability to convert vinyl to MP3 directly from the unit. This makes it ideal if you’re looking to get into vinyl more but don’t want to lose the option to enjoy your other methods of playback, conveniently all from one system.
It includes simple controls and speedy installation, allowing you to start enjoying music straight away. This beginner record player also includes an adjustable equalizer so you can play around with sound levels and find your perfect sound. We love this combination of simplicity and flexibility that allows you to become more comfortable and learn about vinyl.
The WOCKODER system has an attractive, vintage look that evokes a sense of nostalgia. We also appreciate how the record player is portable and lightweight, making it easy to take on the go and enjoy music anywhere.
It includes in-built 5W speakers that can comfortably fill a room with sound and immerse you in an audio experience. Our only complaint is that the speakers have a slightly tinny quality to them, which can be frustrating at higher volumes. However, the WOCKODER record player system is still excellent value for money at its price point and is a winner if versatility is your priority.
4. Denon DP-300F – Most Expensive
The DP-300F by Denon is the most expensive beginner record player on this list and for good reason: it features intuitive controls, premium construction, and audiophile-quality sound.
✔️ What we like: A premium turntable with superior and seamless sound.
❌ What we don’t like: Some issues with speed consistency.
- Fully automatic turntable
- Audiophile-quality sound
- Plug and play design
The DP-300F by Denon features a sophisticated design that beginners and experienced audiophiles alike can enjoy. This includes a fully automatic turntable, where the tone arm moves into position at the start of playback and returns to its original position at the end.
This gives you the peace of mind that your precious vinyl will not be damaged, and you can enjoy your tunes with minimal stress. This, paired with the simple controls and minimal installation needs, makes the Denon turntable a perfect beginner record player.
It achieves high quality sound from premium construction that includes anti-vibration technology in the die-cast aluminum platter and DC servo motor that doesn’t impact on the smooth sound quality. The sturdy tone arm also includes a premium cartridge with an elliptical stylus that has superior tracking and picks up all the details of classic vinyl.
We appreciate that the DP-300F has seamless playback while giving you the space to grow and learn about how to use the turntable. It includes a manual lifter that allows you to drop the stylus securely and precisely on the record, and the universal head shell design allows you to replace or upgrade the cartridge, as necessary.
While the Denon DP-300F turntable doesn’t include in-built speakers, it does have a phono equalizer that reproduces the highest quality sound through external speakers. Our only issue with this turntable is that some users have complained of speed inconsistency during playback. However, this seems to be fixable with small adjustments and isn’t a problem for all the turntables.
5. Victrola 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player
The 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player by Victrola is a great combination of varied playback, simple controls, and visually appealing design.
✔️ What we like: A vintage-look unit with multiple playback modes.
❌ What we don’t like: The unit feels easily breakable.
- Diverse playback
- Attractive design
- Easy controls
The Victrola 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player has the attractive vintage-look design that the brand is renowned for. This model has a farmhouse oatmeal exterior that is a fusion of retro and modern design elements, making it perfect as a centerpiece in your home entertainment room.
It also features simple controls that fit with the aesthetic and make this record player highly suitable for beginners. You can assemble the Victrola record player in minutes and be enjoying your music with minimum effort.
It also features incredibly diverse playback across a range of music playback modes. These include the 3 speed turntable, Bluetooth wireless, CDs, cassette tapes, FM radio, and AUX direct input. The radio is particularly good in the Victrola record player, with an analogue tuner and light-up dial that adds more retro flair to the playback.
Due to the variety of classic playback modes, the Victrola record player is great if you have a large collection of different music and like to constantly mix it up.
The record player includes in-built speakers that can project enough volume to fill a room, with minimal distortion to impede the classic sound. It also includes an RCA output for external speakers and a headphones output, allowing you full control over your playback experience.
Our only criticism of the Victrola system is that many of the pieces feel like they could be easily broken, which isn’t ideal if you’re clumsy or have small kids in the house. However, as a beginner record player, it’s a solid choice if you’re looking for diversity and ease of use.
6. Vinyl Music On Record Player – Cheapest Option
The Vinyl Music On Record Player is the cheapest option for a beginner record player that still has quality sound and user-friendly design.
✔️ What we like: A simple but effective beginner record player at a budget-friendly price.
❌ What we don’t like: Low maximum volume.
- Value for money
- User-friendly controls
- Lightweight and portable
The Vinyl On Record Player is simple but effective, with a user-friendly design that gives you a great introduction to vinyl and record players. It’s not overcomplicated, featuring 3 speed vinyl playback and AUX input, delivering quality sound without having an excess of features.
The turntable itself has automatic stop and start functions, so you can press a button and enjoy classic sound with truly little effort.
It has an attractive, retro suitcase design that is available in 6 different colors, allowing you to customize the record player according to your personality. Each one has brass plated details and an MDF and leatherette exterior that has a blend of retro and modern sensibilities.
The record player also has an integrated carry handle and weighs less than 7 pounds, making it super easy to take on the go. On the bottom of the suitcase, it has feet that isolate the turntable from vibrations and provide stability for smooth, balanced playback.
The Vinyl Music On player includes full-range stereo speakers that have decent volume and good quality sound. Some users have complained that the maximum volume is a little low, but you can get around this by using external speakers or the headphones output.
Considering how affordable the Vinyl Music On player is, it’s excellent value for money due to its simple but effective features, with just a hint of nostalgia.
7. SeeYing Vinyl Record Player
The SeeYing Vinyl Record Player is a superior option for a mid-range player that has a mixture of automatic and user-controlled features.
✔️ What we like: A user-friendly, mid-range unit with advanced connectivity.
❌ What we don’t like: Fiddly volume control buttons.
- Automatic tone arm
- Customizable playback
- Superior connectivity
We love the combination of user-friendly design and opportunity to grow that the SeeYing Vinyl Record Player allows. It includes automated features like auto return at the end of the record, perfect for if you’re forgetful and want to avoid long term damage to your vinyl. It also includes simple push buttons to choose between modes, allowing you seamless playback.
While it can be super easy to use, you also have the option to control playback with pitch adjustment, an adjustable counterweight, and tone arm lifter to help you place the stylus precisely on your vinyl. In this way you can play around and achieve your perfect sound while having the automated playback to fall back on for those times you just want to relax.
The SeeYing player also features varied playback and superior connectivity options. As well as the 3 speed turntable playback, you can also enjoy it through the USB port or Bluetooth wireless.
The Bluetooth is particularly impressive in the SeeYing player, with both a transmitter and receiver, also allowing you to pair with your wireless speakers, soundbar, or headphones. There’s an included RCA connection too if that’s more suitable for your home entertainment center setup.
While the SeeYing record player has a heavy, anti-vibration platter, the overall unit is lightweight and portable. Our only complaint with this beginner record player is that the volume control button can be a bit fiddly and isn’t explicitly explained in the instructions.
8. ION Audio-Ford LP 4-in-1 Mustang Music Center
Listen up car lovers- this one’s for you! The ION Audio-Ford LP 4-in-1 Mustang Music Center is the perfect combination of automotive aesthetics and great sound.
✔️ What we like: A unique, car-inspired record player with no-fuss playback.
❌ What we don’t like: The display panel isn’t backlit.
- Attractive, retro design
- Simple controls
- Vinyl to digital direct recording
The first thing you’ll notice about the ION player is the unique retro design, styled in likeness of a 1965 Ford Mustang. The vibrant red exterior and retro controls are a showstopper and deserve to be shown off in your home to all your friends and family. The controls themselves are simplistic push buttons and retro dials, making it easy as pie to use this beginner record player.
It doesn’t over-complicate itself with playback options, offering just 4 modes: 3 speed turntable, USB, AUX, and FM radio. The FM radio has a tuner dial that is designed to look like a speedometer, further contributing to the retro car vibe.
You can also record vinyl directly to MP3 via the USB port, proving that ION fully understands the fusion of retro and modern technological needs.
The 3 speed turntable has a durable design that includes a silent motor that doesn’t affect sound quality and a conical, sapphire-tipped stylus that has good tracking and picks up the details of your favorite music. The turntable also automatically stops the platter spinning at the end of the record, preserving your vinyl from damage.
The ION record player includes in-built speakers that can project powerful volume and balanced sound, allowing it to be used as a standalone unit. It can also be easily integrated with your existing external speakers if you’re looking for a bigger sound.
Our sole criticism of the ION player is that the screen isn’t backlit, detracting somewhat from the aesthetic and reducing functionality in dark places. However, for a gorgeous fusion of retro design and modern sound, you can’t go wrong with this beginner record player.
A Guide to Choosing a Beginner Record Player
How important is user-friendly design?
When you’re a beginner in the world of vinyl and record players, you can become easily discouraged by complicated systems that need practice and knowledge to operate. That’s where user-friendliness becomes a large priority so you can learn the ropes while beginning to enjoy vinyl.
Some record players include fully automatic turntables with tone arms that will move into position and start playing at the press of a button and return to the original position at the end of the record. These are great options if you’re not comfortable with stylus placement, worry that you might damage your vinyl, or simply want seamless playback.
Other important elements of user-friendly design include simple controls on the unit that allow you to switch between playback modes, control volume, and power up your record player. You also want a unit that can be rapidly installed and used, so you don’t need to spend hours assembling parts and wiring up systems.
Many of the units on this list include in-built speakers that allow you to enjoy music directly. All of them can integrate with external speakers either through RCA cables or Bluetooth wireless pairing, giving you full control over the overall sound.
Do you want the opportunity to learn as you use your record player?
It’s an excellent option to choose a beginner record player with automatic features that can make playback simple, but you may also want the option to increase your knowledge. If you can learn and grow with your beginner record player, it can help you feel more confident with vinyl, inspire you to increase your collection, and even upgrade some elements.
Many turntables include the option for manual tone arm control, so you can lift and lower the stylus on your vinyl, either when you want to skip ahead to a song or just to practice. Selecting a turntable with a tone arm lifting control will help you to do this accurately and avoid damage to your vinyl.
Some units also include customizable sound options like pitch control or the option to change the adjustable counterweight. This allows you to play around with playback, familiarize yourself with turntables, and find your perfect sound.
Lastly, all the turntables on this list come with cartridges and styluses, but many can be easily exchanged or upgraded. A feature like a universal head shell gives you the flexibility to upgrade the cartridge and/or stylus as you become more familiar with vinyl and look for a next level sound.
What playback modes do you use?
All the beginner record players on this list include turntables, but there are differences in the turntable capabilities and different playback modes available.
If you have a smaller and more recent vinyl collection, you can get away with a 2 speed turntable that can accommodate all your vinyl. However, if you have a lot of vintage records in your collection, a 3 speed turntable will be a safer bet.
A lot of the record players also include other playback options, including Bluetooth wireless, FM radio, AUX, USB, CDs, and even cassette tapes. If you have a varied collection of music, you should pick the beginner record player that will support all your tunes.
The Best Beginner Record Players for All Budgets
When you’re new to the world of vinyl, you don’t want to be complicating your life with confusing record players that need multiple adjustments and in-depth knowledge of turntables.
However, you also don’t want to throw your money away on a cheap record player that will give you poor sound quality from your precious vinyl.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best beginner record players on the market, so you can have the best of both worlds: user-friendly controls and high quality sound.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for high quality sound, so we’ve found the best combinations of durable design, sound quality, and value for money.
Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.