Top 10 | Best Record Players for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

When you’re looking for the best record players for under 500 dollars in 2020, you can start to expect a few things. At this price tier, you can start to expect a high level of quality, but still keep a fair budget. The record players in this list are going to be able to integrate into most HI-Fi systems, and sound great doing it. We’re going to keep it affordable, keep it simple, and keep it awesome. Let’s check out our top pick!

Our Choice for the Best Record Player for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.8
4.8/5

The Good

  • Top Tier Brand
  • Ultra-Stable Platter
  • Sleek Plinth Design
  • Perfectly Balanced Tonearm
  • Built for Optimal System Integration

The Bad

  • No Anti-Skating
  • Speed Adjustments Underneath

The Bottom Line:

We love Rega, and we love the Rega Planar 1 Plus! This is a fantastic record player at any price, but for under 500 dollars, it’s an absolute steal.

 This record player has one of the best tonearms on the market, and it’s perfectly balanced. The plinth and platter are both incredibly stable. The Rega Planar 1 is a precision designed masterpiece, and that’s why it’s our choice for the best record player for under 500 dollars in 2020.

Best Record Players Under 500 Dollars in 2020 | Some Quick Background

Why are Turntables so Expensive

High-end turntables tend to strip out a lot of the extra features that draw people to low-end record players. Things like preamps, pitch control, and automatic returns tend to be taken away from more expensive turntables. This is because audiophiles like to customize their setups with higher quality options. E.g. a separate preamp is always better than a built-in preamp.

So then why are turntables so expensive? It’s because of scaling. A manufacturer who sells a record player for ninety dollars probably produces tens of thousands of units per year. For a more expensive record player, they might only make a couple hundred. That means that, while they are given more care, these record players cost a lot more to produce.

Do Expensive Turntables Sound Better?

In the short term, a cheap record player might sound the same as an expensive record player in the same setup. However, the increased attention to detail during manufacturing that we mentioned above means the more expensive record players will be more consistent.

Cheap record players will develop wobbles and speed deviations over time. They won’t last as long. That’s why expensive record players are worth it. Because they will always sound as good as they are supposed to.

Best Record Players Under 500 Dollars in 2020 | What you need to look for

When you are purchasing a record player at this price point, value is the name of the game. You want a record player from a trusted brand with the features you need. 

If you want a record player that records vinyl to mp3 or comes with speakers included, then you should be able to find it here. 

Features and value; that’s all you need to remember.

Top 10 Best Record Players for Under 500 Dollars in 2020 | Here's Our List

Ooh, we’re feeling excited now. Enough of the delay, let’s get into our list of the best record players for under 500 dollars in 2020. Enjoy.

Overall Best Record Player for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.8
4.8/5

The Good

  • Elite Sound Quality
  • Built for HI-FI
  • Sleek, Simple Design
  • Perfect Tonearm
  • Trusted Brand

The Bad

  • Difficult to Adjust
  • No Auto-Stop Feature
  • List Item

The Bottom Line:

As we said above, the Rega Planar 1 Plus is an amazing record player for this price point. Sometimes the price fluctuates, but it’s usually under 500 dollars. And it’s always great. 

This record player will offer some of the best sound quality you’ve gotten from a record player. It looks great and sounds even better. The best part of this record player is the tonearm. It’s so expertly balanced it’s just incredible.

If you are looking for the best record player for under 500 dollars in 2020, you’ve found it. We highly recommend you go check it out. It’s awesome.

Best Fully Automatic Record Player for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.4
4.4/5

The Good

  • Fully-Automatic Operation
  • Stable Belt Drive
  • Trusted Audiophile Brand
  • Built-in Preamp

The Bad

  • Requires a Platter Weight
  • Cheap Cabling
  • Limited Cartridge Options

The Bottom Line:

Marantz has been a favorite brand of audiophiles for a long time. While they don’t make many record players anymore, the Marantz TT42P is an example of what they are capable of.

This record player is sleek, simple, and has a great belt drive. It will integrate into most HI-FI systems easily, and you can rely on it to sound great for as long as you have it. If you want a fully automatic record player for under 500 dollars in 2020, then check out the Marantz TT42P. You won’t regret it.

Best USB Record Player for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.6
4.6/5

The Good

  • Speakers and Cleaning Kit Included
  • Very High Customer Satisfaction
  • Vinyl to MP3 Capability
  • Ready Out of the Box

The Bad

  • Cheap Speakers
  • Clunky Design

The Bottom Line:

Audio-Technica is kind of a weird brand. They make some of the cheapest record players you’ve seen, but they also make some higher quality turntables. All of their record players are a great value, and the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB isn’t an exception.

This is a great record player for recording vinyl, but it’s also great for anyone who wants a simple setup. It comes with speakers included, and it’s ready to go out of the box. We highly recommend this record player for vinyl newbies who want something high quality.

Most Stylish Record Player for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 5
5/5

The Good

  • Sleek Wood Finish
  • Simple Belt Drive
  • Great Sound Quality
  • Built-in Preamp

The Bad

  • Quality Control Problems
  • Belt Is Easily Displaced

The Bottom Line:

The U-Turn Audio Orbit line of turntables include a bunch of great looking finishes and features. They all look amazing. We’ve even seen people give their Orbits custom paint jobs. With the clear platter, it looks great with any setup. 

All the great looks mean nothing if it doesn’t sound good. Luckily, the U-Turn Audio – Orbit Special sounds great. This record player is a little tricky to set up correctly, but once you have it, its sound is unmatched. It’s one of the most popular record players on the market for a reason: because it’s awesome.

Best Record Player for Beginners for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.6
4.6/5

The Good

  • Simple Setup and Operation
  • Easily Fits Into any System
  • Built-in Preamplifier
  • Well-Balanced Tonearm

The Bad

  • Mid-Tier Sound
  • Poor Cartridge
  • Requires Upgrades

The Bottom Line:

When we began testing turntables for this list, the last thing we thought was that we’d have two Audio-Technica record players make the list. But, that’s where we are at.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP5 is a great record player for beginners. It is one of the easiest record players to set up, and the components are surprisingly good quality. This record player also allows you to upgrade components down the road, and learn as much as possible about HI-FI systems.

Best Turntable for DJs for Under 500 Dollars in 2020

Our Rating: 4.4
4.4/5

The Good

  • Built for Scratching
  • Works With or Without Controller
  • Digital Recording

The Bad

  • No Automatic Tonearm
  • Needs a Preamp
  • Built-in Cables

The Bottom Line:

Do you want to scratch some records? The Pioneer PLX-500-K is a great entry-level turntable to get into DJing. 

This turntable stands alone very well, but it also works with a controller. It also allows you to record your tracks to your computer, so you can save your custom mixes. It’s a great record player for weekday listening and weekend turn-ups.

Best Record Players for Under 500 Dollars in 2020 | Other Great Options

Our Rating: 4.7
4.7/5

The Good

  • Powered Speakers Included
  • Stylish Walnut Finish
  • Premium Components
  • BlueTooth Streaming from Music Apps

The Bad

  • Short Cables
  • Heavy

The Bottom Line:

The Fluance Elite is one of the best record players for under 500 dollars in 2020 because it’s been designed with the user in mind. It includes everything you need to listen to vinyl, and it looks great on any media center. You can even stream right to the record player from apps using BlueTooth. This is a great option for vinyl newbies. 

Our Rating: 4.6
4.6/5

The Good

  • Variety of Base Colors
  • Great Manufacturer
  • Good Cartridge

The Bad

  • Difficult Assembly
  • Manual Tonearm
  • Difficult to Replace Cartridge

The Bottom Line:

Pro-Ject makes some turntables that are so good they are intimidating. The Debut Carbon is such a model.

This record player sounds great and includes one of the best stock cartridges on this list. It is one of the most HI-FI models on this list, designed for use in high-end systems. Pro-Ject is one of the best record player manufacturers, and the Debut Carbon is their flagship model. We recommend you give this one a look.

Our Rating: 4.5
4.5/5

The Good

  • Simple Design
  • Built-In Preamplifier
  • Included Platter Mat

The Bad

  • Tricky Setup
  • Cheap Stylus
  • Inconsistent Platter Speed

The Bottom Line:

The Music Hall MMF 1.5 is kind of odd. It’s a record player that many look past because it’s not a huge brand, but it’s still a good little player. It’s got a preamp built-in, and it comes with a platter mat. It’s not the best record player on this list, but it’s a good option. Check out if it’s the best record player for you.

Our Rating: 4.4
4.4/5

The Good

  • Durable
  • Easy PC or Mac Connection
  • Editing Software Included

The Bad

  • Ugly
  • Mid-Tier Sound
  • Overly Simplistic

The Bottom Line:

If simplicity is something is your thing, then this is the turntable for you. It doesn’t get any simpler than the Sony PSHX500. 

This turntable is best for anyone looking to record and edit audio from their vinyl collection. All the software to do this is included with this record player. That’s why it got the final spot on our list of the best record players for under 500 dollars in 2020.

Top 10 Best Record Players for Under 500 Dollars in 2020 | Final Thoughts

That was our list of the top 10 best record players for under 500 dollars in 2020. During our testing, we found that the Rega Planar 1 Plus checks the most boxes and is the best quality. We strongly recommend you check it out.

How did you like our list? Is there a record player we should have included? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear how you feel. Or, just go buy a record player and start enjoying your life. Best of luck!

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