The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is one of the simplest turntables we’ve reviewed. It is a fully automatic belt-driven turntable that just plays records and nothing else. But it does that far better than any other unit in this price range.
In fact, it does it better than most turntables costing twice as much.
To get such great performance from a very inexpensive player, Audio Technica have foregone basically all unnecessary features.
The AT-LP60 does not have internal speakers, does not play 78s (45 adapter is included though), does not have a headphone jack and it does not play anything but vinyl.
It does have a USB port, built-in switchable phono preamp and RCA inputs (two RCA cables included), so you can hook the unit up to an external stereo system, computer, powered speakers or any other component that does not have a dedicated turntable input.
Audio Technica have won numerous industry awards and the AT-LP60 shows why. They’ve given us a turntable that gets back to the basics. It plays records and plays them well.
Audio Technica AT-LP60 Review
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is the perfect record player for anyone who wants high-quality performance on a budget. In return, you give up almost all features you get with most competitors.
AT-LP60 Key Features
- 14.2 by 14.7 by 3.8 inches — still fairly small
- Weighs 5.73 pounds — a bit heavier than similar players, but extremely sturdy
- Fully automatic belt-drive — plays at consistent speed
- USB port — connect to computer to digitize your vinyl records.
- Switchable internal stereo phono preamplifier — plug directly into components with no dedicated phono input
- Plays records at speeds of 33-1/3 or 45 rpm — most standard speeds
- Record platter made of cast aluminum and a professional cartridge — high-quality lasts longer and works better
If you need the ability to play CDs, tapes, radio or MP3s, this is the wrong turntable for you. The same is true if you want a self-contained unit that doesn’t need any additional external components. The AT-LP60 needs to be hooked up to external speakers of some kind.
It does come with a USB port, however. This means that you can record your vinyl collection to the digital format, which is a feature many customers are looking for. Apart from that, it just plays records. If that’s all you need and you don’t want to spend too much, look no further.
There aren’t any real alternatives to the Audio Technica AT-LP60. The closest are the ION Audio Max LP and the Jensen JTA-230 3.
These are the two record players most commonly considered alongside the AT-LP60, but they are not really all that similar. Both the Jensen and the ION Audio Max cost quite a bit less, but offer more features.
Sounds great, right?
But wait. Obviously, there’s a compromise and that is the sound quality. These two turntables don’t even come close to the AT-LP60 in terms of sound quality.
Here’s what they do give you.
The Jensen JTA230 is a 3-speed belt-driven turntable than comes with built-in speakers. Those speakers are decent, but you’ll most likely want to use the RCA outputs to connect to external speakers. Even then, sound quality lags far behind the Audio Technica player.
The Jensen also comes bundled with software that makes it easy to convert your vinyl record to MP3 or other digital formats via the USB port. An auxiliary input allows you to play (or convert) from cassette players, smartphones or other external devices as well. You get a lot of features for a very low price, but you sacrifice quality.
The ION Audio Max LP is very similar. It has all the same features as the Jensen, down to the included converter software. The only real differences are the price and the fact that the Jensen JTA230 has a pitch control slider and a tone control knob. The ION does not have those.
Final Verdict: AT-LP60 Review
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is the only choice for anyone trying to get the best sound quality at the lowest price, as long as you don’t need any additional features (apart from USB, which is available for a few dollars more).
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible player or if you need more features, the other two options are a better choice. But you will sacrifice sound quality.
In order to get the same quality level of the AT-LP60 in a player with more features, you will have to spend two or three times as much. That’s why this is one of the best selling record players under $200. And also why is earned a Top Record Players rating of 4.3 out of 5.
David Carrington Jr says
After 2 months it won’t start properly, either with the start button or manually. You have to start it, wait for it to slowly cycle through its failure process, then start again. After 2-3 cycles it finally works. Ridiculous. I called the company and their reply, in different words, was “Tough luck, pal. Sucks to be you.”
Steven Williams says
No mention of the permanent cartridge that can’t be replaced. You must replace the stylus (needle) which means there’s no path to upgrading the sound quality with a better quality cartridge.
You can buy an upgrade AT elliptical stylus kit which does offer a noticeable sound improvement over the conical one supplied. It’s about $50. Worth it! You get an upgrade belt too. You’ll need to Google to find the sellers