Record players are popular again!
I remember listening to my dad’s albums on his record player back in the 80s.
Then I took one of his old ones with me when I moved out in the mid 90’s. And eventually, I bought my own.
But all of my friends thought I was weird.
No longer. Today, most of them have turentables of their own. They became cool again, so now it’s safe to won one.
Of course, they all overpaid for their record players. Some salesman saw them coming miles away and they never thought to question: how much are record players supposed to cost?
Don’t be like them.
Keep reading to learn exactly how much a turntable should cost in every price range. We’ll also show you which factors to pay attention to when shopping for a new record player.
- 1 How Much Are Record Players In Various Price Ranges?
- 2 How Much Do Record Players Cost: Final Thoughts
How Much Are Record Players In Various Price Ranges?
Players can range in price from as little as $50 to several thousand dollars. A number of factors, including the type of record player, the build quality, the features, and the brand name, all play a role in determining the final consumer price.
Depending how serious you are about your music, you can pick up an entry-level record player for between $50 and $200, and a mid-range player for between $200 and $500, Anything higher than that (and it can go very high) falls into the high-end range of record players.
We’re going to delve deeper into the differences between the price brackets, and which features you can expect to find at each price level. Let’s begin with the low end of the market.
How Much Are Entry-Level Record Players?
Entry-level record players typically cost between $50 and $200. Record players in this price bracket are made with less expensive materials and components than higher-end models, and they may not be as feature-rich as the more costly players.
If you’re looking to get into the world of vinyl to give it a try without breaking the bank, entry-level record players are a good option. You can find some decent players for less than $200, and even some functional turntables under $100.
While they don’t have all the bells and whistles of the higher-end players, they can still perform well, and they are generally easy to use and maintain.
Which end of the price range an individual entry-level record player sits at can depend on a few things too, and you should have an idea of which features you need before shopping.
Some entry-level players have built-in speakers, while others do not. Some have Bluetooth or USB connectivity options, while others may use standard audio cables.
If you’re in the market for an entry-level record player, set yourself a budget first, then decide which features you do and do not need, and then see what’s available to suit.
Pay attention to any reviews too, and take note of any mentioned issues regarding sound quality, durability, or ease of use or maintenance.
How Much Are Mid-Range Record Players?
If you have a larger budget at your disposal or are looking to make an upgrade, mid-range record players usually come with a price tag somewhere between $200 and $500. Many of the best value turntables on the market sit in this price range.
Those that fall in this price range typically come with a few more features and are of a better build quality using better materials.
Mid-range record players tend to pique the interest of the the serious hobbyist or those looking for an upgrade in audio clarity from their budget model. When shopping around, again you should pay attention to the different features that different models may or may not have.
Similarly to the entry-level models, ascertain whether or not the models you like the look of include built-in speakers and which type of connections they allow for, and opt for one that aligns with your needs and your budget.
Mid-range record players are a good option for people who want a good quality record player without spending too much money.
As you move towards the higher end, you should also check whether or not you will need any additional components, such as a phono preamp or quality stylus, or whether they are already included.
How Much Are High-End Record Players?
If you have your eyes on a shiny new record player whose price tag is north of $500, then you are heading towards the market aimed at the more serious audiophiles and vinyl collectors among us.
Higher-end record players are made with the highest quality materials and components, and sometimes have a wider range of features than their cheaper counterparts. They produce a much better sound quality.
When checking out the features of a higher-end record player, bear in mind that they will have many of the same features as lower-priced models, but done better.
For example, a high-end record player may have a Bluetooth receiver that is more reliable and has a longer range than the Bluetooth receiver on a mid-range record player.
And in many cases, the opposite is true. Higher-end players often have as few features as possible. Keeping the player simple improves the sound quality. All of the cost goes to including the highest quality components, and not toward features like Bluetooth.
And especially not built-in speakers, which are never good quality. There is no point in producing a record player using the best possible components, then slapping a pair of little speakers on it. You will want to play your records through a good set of floor speakers.
In the end, the main difference is that high-end record players simply use better quality components. That is why these record players are so expensive. They tend to have things like heavier platters, which can help to reduce vibration and improve sound quality.
Or more sophisticated tonearms, which can help to track the grooves of a record more accurately. Or a higher quality cartridge and needle, to produce a much better quality sound. Or built-in phono preamps with more advanced features. And just an overall more stylish and luxurious design.
What To Look Out For When Selecting A Record Player
When shopping for a new record player, there are a few key things you will want to consider. The following factors are all important.
Type Of Record Player
Belt-drive record players are typically more expensive than direct-drive record players. Belt-drive record players are generally considered to have better sound quality than direct-drive record players, because the belt helps to isolate the motor from the platter, which reduces vibration and noise.
They are also typically more durable than direct-drive record players because the belt absorbs shock and vibrations. On the other hand, direct drive turntables are the type you will want if you plan to do any DJing.
Record players made with higher quality materials and components are expensive, but should require less maintenance and be more reliable. Pay extra attention to the quality of the tonearm, cartridge and stylus, the weight of the platter, and the noise levels of the motor.
Record players with more features, such as built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, preamps, or a USB output, are more expensive than those with fewer features. Have a list of the features you require in mind before shopping around.
That said, higher end record players tend to have fewer features, not more. The money goes to the best possible components, not things many connoisseurs consider gimmicks.
Well-known brands of record players with solid reputations, such as Audio-Technica, Sony, Denon, Technics, and Pro-Ject, typically charge more for their products, because they have the trust of the market and have proven their products meet the required standards.
How Much Do Record Players Cost: Final Thoughts
Before you go out and buy a new turntable, make sure you find out: how much are record players that have the type of features I want. This article should give you a general idea, but you’ll still want to research the cost of turntables with your desired feature set.
There are a lot of affordable turntables on the market, but most are not good values. A lot of them are simply overpriced, or they include a bunch of useless features no one needs. Make sure you only pay for the features you need and that you get your money’s worth in terms of the build quality and the quality of the components.