The music industry is going through a vinyl revival moment and people are realizing that turntables can be fun. Surely, when you hear the word vinyl player, the mind goes back to that relic gathering dust at your grandparent’s house with large round discs carefully preserved in jackets. If you have heard one of these before, you probably know that the sound produced is crisp and clear and somewhat raw.
Best Automatic Turntables
Not so long ago, the only devices able to play these records would have been vinyl players which a modern-day enthusiast would be wary to use because of their delicate construction. But the modern vinyl players have had a major makeover with the user not worrying about damaging the delicate mechanism with plenty of add-ons to boast about.
And if you have made up your mind to get one of these, there are dozens to choose from. And so, we went through a comprehensive list and came up with some of the most recommended turntables on the market so you don’t have to.
It uses a direct drive, high-torque motor that doesn’t use a belt which means that the playing speed is consistent and it can play records of 33/45/78 RPM. Some experts say that the unit is one of the top ones in the market to convert vinyl to digital through a USB output.
- Plays directly from the computer through a USB cable
- Compatible with both Mac and PC
- Can play 33/45/78 records without any extra accessories
- Comes with Audacity software, 2 output adapter cables, cartridge/headshell and AC line cord
- Easy to use
- Multiple connectivity options
- Has a built-in pre-amplifier
- Very attractive pricing for the offered quality
- Tonearm and headshell are universal
- It makes a lot of motor noise
- The product stopped functioning after a year for some customers
It has a gorgeous walnut finish which gives it a retro look and looks every bit the quality turntable that it is. The greatest part about the RT81 is that setting it up doesn’t take very long and you don’t have to have the technical know-how for it. And it produces excellent sound, thanks to the high-quality components and attention to detail.
- Belt-driven turntable recreates the original sound
- High-gloss walnut finish
- S-type tonearm for crystal clear sound
- Comes with RTA cable with ground wire (3 feet), power adapter, quick start guide, rubber slip mat and a dust cover
- Comes with a lifetime customer support
- Excellent build quality
- Easy set-up, has completely automatic cueing
- Resists vibration very well
- The unit cannot regulate speed very well
- The unit performs inconsistently
This delightful player from Rcm may look like an old-fashioned player but can produce excellent hi-fi sound and can turn into a wireless speaker as well.
This is a versatile player that can play 33 ⅓, 45 and 78 RPM records in 7, 10 and 12-inch sizes and is also capable of playing cassettes, CDs and digital files. Thanks to the RCA output, you can connect the speakers of your choice and an auxiliary input port to connect your tablet or smartphone.
- 7-in-one turntable
- Equipped with a diamond-tipped ceramic needle that is replaceable
- 3.5 mm auxiliary input port and USB
- Belt-driven for better sound quality and low noise distortion
- Can stream AM/FM radio
- Can connect to smartphones or tablets
- Most standard record sizes supported
- Lightweight, compared with some other turntables
- The CD player does not work for some customers
- The speaker quality is not as good as advertised
This is a great product for audiophiles who care about quality products. This turntable has a sleek design and very lightweight, thanks to the carbon fiber used in building it. The RCA audio jacks are plated with gold and the cartridge is pre-mounted. The turntable is completely upgradable because of the detachable wires and you can use magnetic cartridges with this. And the most exciting part? It comes in 9 colors to choose from — green, blue, piano black, purple, gloss white, silver, walnut, yellow and red.
- Can be played at 33 and 45 RPM
- 8.6-inch tonearm made of fiber
- Sorbothane motor suspension, minimal design
- Synchronous motor and precision belt drive
- High-end construction
- Excellent sound quality
- Setting up is easy
- Damped against vibration, low-noise motor
- Some customers have complained of receiving damaged or faulty units
- Other customers said that the turntable didn’t work at all for them
The LP60XUSB works minutes after unboxing it. You can hook it up to a computer to convert your vinyl collection into digital audio. It is fully automatic, which means that the tonearm will return to its original position after it is done playing. It is quite portable compared with other products in the same category but is a solid performer through and through. If you are just starting with vinyl players, the LP60XUSB is a great product for its ability to create warm, clear sounds.
- Has a belt-driven operation; has a die-cast aluminum platter
- The diamond stylus is replaceable
- Two-speed operation; 33 and 45 RPM
- Package includes dual RCA cables, Knox Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit, brush cleaner, 45RPM convertor
- Very low price
- Fully automatic system, easy to use
- Can connect to a lot of digital devices
- Great for casual music listeners
- The build quality is quite average
- The turntable lacks adjustability
This turntable features a built-in stereo system with 30-watt speakers that are more than capable of turning your living room into a music den. It can also connect to your Bluetooth speakers and has a great control panel for tuning into an FM radio station and offers excellent playback control. It will remind you of a vintage player but with modern features, such as the Auto Stop feature, that will avoid looping. This turntable has a compact design that will let you move it around with ease.
- In-built 30-watt speakers
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Ceramic stereo cartridge
- Complete playback control and Auto Stop
- A cheap solution to play all types of records
- Great retro design, adds class to your living room
- Very compact design
- Tunes into FM radio stations
- A constant static sound can be heard at times
- The device has issues turning on for some customers
Related article – 11 Recommended Record Players Under $100
This stunning turntable from Retrolife also comes with a transparent dust cover and has a rosewood brown turntable desk that is designed to never wobble; the footpad absorbs vibrations perfectly. It can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or a wireless speaker or connected to another amplifier via an RCA jack. It has a two-speed setting, and the tonearm will rest automatically after your record is done playing.
- Two-way wireless function
- Allows pitch adjustment
- Has an antenna for FM on the back
- Two-speed setting
- Sharp, loud sound
- Lightweight and compact
- Has an attractive retro design
- Solid, sturdy construction
- Some customers received a damaged unit
- The connectors get dislodged at times
Do I Need an Automatic Turntable?
If you have always been attracted to vinyl players in the past and are not sure how to use a manual one, an automatic turntable is for you. A lot of people are scared of putting the tonearm on the vinyl record for fear of damaging it, and if that’s the case, an automatic turntable can do it for you.
Fully-Automatic or Semi-Automatic?
It is quite simple. If you see a semi-automatic turntable, it means that the tonearm will need to be manually placed on the vinyl record. After the record is done playing, the tonearm will lift automatically.
On the other hand, an automatic turntable will cue the tonearm and the needle and will shut off the turntable when the record is over.
Is a Portable Turntable a Good Idea?
It is if you move around a lot. But it doesn’t mean that turntables are incredibly bulky devices, at least not the modern ones. But generally speaking, moving vinyl records around is always a little risky.
Choosing the Perfect Automatic Turntable
Vinyl has seen growing loyalty over the last few years. It could be the warm sound they produce, or maybe a childhood memory, but it is clear that analog players are going to stay. A turntable is a device that “reads” the data in the vinyl records and turns them into signals, but a good one will reproduce the original sound. And there are these factors to be considered:
Is It Upgradable?
It is not a prerequisite, but it does not hurt to know if you can upgrade the turntable at some point if you wish to. This will improve certain aspects of your turntable and, as a result, produce better output. The upgradable parts are usually the tonearm, platter, and stylus.
As it is quite clear from the list we compiled, it is not necessary that you have to spend big bucks to get an excellent automatic turntable. Some turntables listed here are very reasonably priced. You don’t want to spend a lot of money and get stuck with it when all you are going to be doing with the turntable is play AM/FM.
Direct Drive or Belt Driven?
If you are a professional, then these things may be deemed important. But since we are talking about automatic turntables here, we would have to go with belt-driven turntables because the amount of vibration they produce is significantly lesser than motor-driven turntables.
This is an important aspect. The speed will depend upon the type of record you may have. The most common types of records are 33, 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM. others, like the 78 RPM (they have wider grooves and hence may need a different stylus) are not common, but they do exist.
The most commonly found stylus (the part that runs in the vinyl record grooves) are usually made of diamond. The platter spins the records, and it is a good idea to have a heavy platter since a lighter one may cause unwanted noise. But in most automatic turntables, these two parts are replaceable.
So, is it worth going in for an automatic turntable? A lot of music companies are bringing back the vinyl format and you can still find old records in junkyard sales. These turntables can turn these into digital sound too. We hope that you have all the necessary details to buy an automatic turntable that suits your needs.