10 Best Portable Record Players for 2020

Vinyl is back in the game and their growing popularity means more people are looking to purchase the best portable record players. But if you are an audiophile, you know picking a record player isn’t as easy as picking shoes.

There are a lot more technicalities you need to take into account if you want to enjoy the best quality sound. Things like the Stylus, the Tonearm, the speed, etc. can make or break your audio experience.

But don’t worry, in this detailed buyer’s guide, we have portable record players for every need and budget, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

#1: Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Record Player (Most versatile)

Want to relive the 90s? This record player from Victrola feels like it is straight from the 90s with its vintage design and yet encapsulates the conveniences of the modern world.

Does your collection have a combination of both modern vinyl and those from the 1950s? By supporting 33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm speeds, this gives you the freedom to play vinyl records from any and every generation without compromising on sound quality.

Not just vinyl, this versatile player also supports CDs and Cassettes. In fact, you can even record all 3 directly to your Laptop in MP3 format using the USB cable provided with the purchase.

And when you are bored with that, you can tune into your favorite FM radio channel to get all the latest news, celeb gossip, scores, and of course, the latest music.

Plus, you can play the record player right off the bat. Yup, no fancy installations needed. Just set the vinyl in and voila, the built-in stereo speakers produce captivating sound.

But what if you want to connect a device or speaker externally?

Well, you can always connect your mobile and listen to other music via AUX. And there’s a headphone jack as well for those times when privacy is a priority.

Oh, and when you want to go wireless, don’t worry.

From the couch to the bed, now listen to your favorite vinyl or music from almost anywhere in the house as the record player supports Bluetooth with a maximum range of 33 feet.

The players come with an intuitive control panel that has all the knobs and buttons so you can easily tune the FM, lower the volume, play/pause/forward/rewind, eject, program, shuffle, repeat, and even delete or start recording.

And if you feel too lazy to get up and make the adjustments, there’s also a fully functional remote control.

Wait, there’s more you should know

The stylus is more durable than on the record players and when it does wear out, it can be easily replaced.

Furthermore, the base and platter are perfectly smooth while the tonearm is straight and light, ensuring that there is no bouncing leading to the music being skipped (you want great music, the record player is primed for just that).

From Mahogany and Oak to a completely black design, if you are peculiar about design and colors, there’s something for everyone.

And lastly, the case is made from complete wood and can even take a beating ensuring the record player will easily last you for years to come if maintained right.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Supports wireless connection with Bluetooth
  • Supports vinyl as old as 1950 with 3-speed settings
  • Comes with AM/FM radio
  • Stylish retro design with real wood case
  • Cassettes and CDs can also be played on it
  • It has RCA output as well
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Built-in speakers that produce good sound
  • Excellent durability
  • Rarely ever skips the recording

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Costs over $130
  • It is heavier than other record players

#2: Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK

If you want something more modern looking but with equal functionality, this is just the record player you need. Here’s everything about it.

Whether you want to use the record player with hi-fi speakers or stream music via your smartphone, this Audio-Technica player supports it all. That is because it is armed with Bluetooth and RCA cable.

But what makes it a high-end record player is its sound quality. The record player generates little to no vibrations and runs so smoothly, it barely ever skips a recording.

So how does it manage such accuracy?

Firstly playing a major role in that is the new tonearm base and headshell that have been specially designed keeping in mind tracking and lower resonance. 

The diamond shape is the gold standard when it comes to the stylus and the premium Audio-Technica cartridge has exactly that. Plus, it can be replaced when needed.

Furthermore, the AC adaptor is designed to handle AC/DC conversion outside of the chassis which in turn, helps lower noise. Also ensuring low resonance is the die-cast, smooth platter.

And lastly, it also supports the aptX codec so you get little latency or delay when listening to music via Bluetooth.

This is a fully automatic record player which means it will automatically lift the tonearm and lower it onto the record at the sweet spot and when done, lift it back up to turn off the player making the usage effortless.

It is also one of the lightest record players on the list as it weighs a mere 1 pound making it easy to carry around, though we’d love it if it had handles.

You won’t be able to run old vinyl from the late 1900s as it supports only two speeds i.e. 33 1/3 and 45 RPM but if you have a collection of the latest vinyl, it will work just fine.

Lastly, thanks to the removable hinged dust cover included in the purchase it requires minimal cleaning and maintenance and will play your vinyl for 2+ years without any serious trouble.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Comes with Bluetooth so you can connect smartphone and earphones
  • RCA output support hi-fi speakers
  • AptX codec keeps latency to a minimal when Bluetooth is in use
  • The stylus is replaceable and diamond-shaped
  • Die-cast aluminum platter is durable and keeps vibration to a minimum
  • A new Tonearm design means it skips almost nothing
  • Weighs just 1 pound
  • Comes with a built-in switchable phono preamplifier
  • Dust cover and RCA cables are provided with the purchase

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • On the expensive side
  • Does not support vinyl from the 1900s

#3: Victrola Vintage Suitcase Record Player (Budget Pick)

Looking for something on the cheap? Well, what if you could get a portable yet powerful generator for your food truck at less than $500 (yes, you heard that right).

Even at this cheaper price, the WEN generator delivers solid power at 4,750-watts of surge power and 3,750-watts of running power making it ideal for food truck appliances like fridges and freezers.

Never used a generator before? With WEN everything is effortless, even starting the generator which is as easy as turning a switch on/off

Another thing we love about this generator is that it eliminates guesswork from maintenance. You will be informed of the maintenance schedule and oil changes on the digital display.

Even runtime is pretty good. With a 50% load, it can keep your appliances powered up for about 7-8hrs since it has a large 8.8-gallon tank.

And when oil starts running low, the generator shuts down on its own to ensure no damage comes to it or the appliances running on it. Further adding to safety is an automatic voltage regulator, spark arrestor, and overload protection.

Plus, you can take your food truck to any state in the US without worrying about fines and bans as the generator is CARB and EPA III certified.

It is a bit heavy as it weighs over 100lbs, but with wheels and portable handles, you can easily push it on and off the food truck to a suitable place.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Costs less than $500
  • Comes with a digital display
  • Informs you of maintenance and oil changes
  • Ample power for most food truck appliances
  • CARB and EPA III Certified
  • Includes foldable handles and wheels for portability
  • Easy to start
  • Shuts down when oil is low
  • Automatic voltage regulator and overload protection maximize safety

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Weighs above 200lbs
  • Not a dual fuel generator

#4: Audio-Technica AT-LP120

If you have got the big bucks, and want complete control over the record player then the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 is just what you need.

How does it do that?

It is a manual record player so that means you will have to pick up the needle and place it perfectly on the record. But that’s not what really makes the difference.

More importantly, it has a dynamic, adjustable anti-skate control. In case you didn’t know, this prevents the tonearm from being drawn towards the center of the record and distorting the music.

With manual adjustments, you are able to make distortion almost zero. Plus, it also increases the durability of the stylus and record.

So why not automatic? Doesn’t it make usage effortless? Yes, it does but in most record players, it may not be so effective and you will still get some distortion.

Apart from that, you also get complete control over the pitch and the speed. There’s also a lockable rest to ensure nothing moves unless you wish to (with this, you are the boss).

All these can be easily adjusted with their separate knobs and sliders.

Talking about speed, unlike the previous Audio-Technica player, this one supports all 3 speeds i.e. 33/45/78 RPM and all sizes as well.

You can even decide how much pressure the tonearm should be putting on the record and where it should be placed thanks to the hydraulically damped lift control.

Plus, there’s a pop-up target light as well for the perfect cue in the dark (just the kind of player you’d want on a romantic night).

And it isn’t an ordinary tonearm but a special S-shaped tonearm that gives much better accuracy than straight tonearms.

Furthermore, to maintain excellent sound quality by keeping vibrations to a minimum, the record player has been built using anti-vibration damping materials.

Then there is also the die-cast aluminum platter that works in tandem with the 4 mm rubber damping mat to lower resonance (this one’s a true audiophile’s choice).

While the in-built speakers are excellent, you still get all the connectivity you want. With an inbuilt pre-amp and RCA ports, connecting speakers and controlling the volume is easy peasy.

There’s also Bluetooth for wireless connection. Plus you can use the USB ports to connect your laptop, record your vinyl, convert it into mp3, and back it up on your laptop using the latest audacity software.

It isn’t the lightest to carry and costs a bomb as well but for an audiophile, those are small compromises to make for mesmerizing quality and complete control over settings.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Gives users complete control over important settings like skate-control, etc.
  • In-built phono-preamp and RCA outputs allow speaker connection
  • Use of damping materials help reduce vibrations
  • Supports all 3 speeds and sizes
  • Comes with USB ports and Bluetooth
  • Acts as a vinyl recorder as well
  • S-shaped tonearm provides great accuracy
  • Pop-up target light helps cue tonearm even in the dark
  • Die-cast platter further reduce resonance

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Costs over $250
  • Learning to manually adjust the record player takes time
  • It is heavy and there are no handles

#5: Jolrai Vinyl Bluetooth Record Player (Best Battery-operated Record Player)

Looking for a record player that you can take around to parks during family picnics or simply want to avoid the hassle of having to carry adapters and finding a power source?

Then this Jolrai record player is just what the audio doctor's ordered for and here’s why.

What makes this the best portable record player is its wireless operation. Yup, equipped with a Lithium-ion battery and the popular suitcase design, it takes portability to a whole new level

And you don’t have to worry about low battery issues either as it runs for a good 4-5 hrs on a single charge.

Plus, you can even convert your vinyl into MP3 and back it up on your laptop or PC. For this, all the software, ports, and cables needed are provided with the package.

Just like most record players on the list even this plays vinyl of all 3 sizes and is a 3-speed record player, thus allowing you to play vinyl from every generation.

The sound quality of the in-built speakers are decent but if you want to add some extra oomph to your music, connect external speakers using the RCA outputs.

There’s Bluetooth as well for wireless connections with smartphones and earphones/headphones.

The needle is replaceable and the extra needle for that is included in the box. In case you have questions about the needle, set up, or need an additional part,  get in touch with a customer care representative anytime from anywhere (yes, it is a 24*7 service).

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Pocket-friendly
  • Ideal preamp for gifting purposes
  • It has a 5-hr battery life, thus giving you wireless usage
  • 3-speed record player
  • Runs all 3 vinyl sizes
  • Comes with RCA, USB outputs, and Bluetooth
  • Converts vinyl into MP3 via software
  • Easy to lift and carry around
  • The needle is replaceable and a spare one is provided for free

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Audacity software is difficult to configure at first
  • Not a very vintage design
  • The vinyl wobbles a bit thus missing out on a few parts

#6: UDreamer Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player

Very vintage in terms of design, this record player by UDreamer is another great option for anyone with a lower budget.

Lacks the convenience and quality that Victrola or the Audio-Tech delivers but nonetheless, there’s plenty to love about it.

Firstly, it is pocket-friendly as it costs less than $60 and yet is a 3-speed player. So you can play both old and new vinyl of all sizes (7'', 10'' and 12'', there’s nothing it can’t play).

And when you play the vinyl, the sound produced is excellent all thanks to the spring and belt-driven design that minimizes shock.

And further helping with that are the footpads at the bottom that also keeps the player rooted to the surface to keep in on.

The record player’s uses last beyond just playing vinyl. It has a USB port so you can play music via USB drive or even connect your laptop.

Or even stream the latest songs from Spotify and other similar apps by connecting your mobile via Bluetooth. There’s also a headphone jack and RCA ports for speakers of all kinds.

If you are having trouble with sound quality or the record player itself, Dreamer is one of the very few brands to provide a 24*7 one on one customer support service.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It is pocket-friendly
  • Support 3 speeds and all vinyl sizes
  • Footpads provide excellent grip
  • And in tandem with spring and belt-driven design reduces vibrations
  • Get access to 24*7 one on one customer services
  • The wooden and claret colors pop out in any decor
  • RCA and USB ports available
  • Also comes with with a headphone jack and AUX
  • Supports Bluetooth as well
  • Lightweight and compact

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • In-built speakers are average
  • The needle is delicate and tilts easily, reducing sound quality
  • Does not have a handle

#7: Byron Statics KCT-601

There’s something about an Aqua record player that always seems to catch the eye and that is the case with this record player from Byron Statics KCT-601.

But it isn’t its color only that puts it in the top 5, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Even this record player has got a suitcase design with a handle on top so feel free to carry it around to your friend’s house, hotel room, etc.

Setup and playing the record player is a breeze. It is an automatic turntable that stops by itself once the record ends with the needle in the center. Plus, it supports all speeds and sizes.

Its speakers are only average but that’s where the RCA output ports come to the rescue. There is also an AUX-in and a 3.5mm headphones jack for when needed.

You can either go for the player with Bluetooth or without Bluetooth. Going for the model without Bluetooth will save you a few extra bucks.

Either way, the record player does not scratch the vinyl, this mainly because the diamond-shaped stylus can be replaced. Oh, and you get a free stylus with the purchase further making it a cost-effective purchase.

Lastly, to ensure an electric surge does not mess around with your record player, Byron Statics installs a special circuit breaker in its record player. The fuse in the adapter goes ‘puff’ turning the player off, in turn, safeguarding it. 

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It is cost-effective
  • Comes with an extra stylus
  • Stylus is replaceable
  • Circuit breaker protects player for power surges
  • It supports all vinyl sizes
  • Comes with AUX-in, 3.5mm headphone jack, and RCA outputs
  • Variants with and without Bluetooth available
  • It is a 3-speed record player
  • Easy to carry around with a suitcase-like design

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • In-built speakers are average
  • Weighs a bit more than others at 5.5lbs

#8: Musitrend Record Player

This is another record player that impresses in terms of design with its vintage wooden look. In terms of features, it’s got everything you can ask for, especially good sound.

With a fluctuation of 0.15% WRMS its 2 in-built stereo speakers are clean and smooth and thus better than most record players in this price range.

This is mainly because of the DC servo motor and use of damping materials that minimize vibrations

You can even adjust the needle pressure between 5 g ± 0.1 g but if you get this manual adjustment wrong, it will skip records and even scratch the vinyl.

It has all the possible connections you could hope for. This includes in-built preamp and RCA outputs for speakers, USB port for laptops, and a headphone/AUX jack.

And when you do connect your laptops, you can use the Audacity software to record and convert vinyl to MP3 as well.

It lacks handles but since it is lightweight (weighs just 2.99lbs), you should have no trouble carrying it from one place to another.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Supports all 3 speeds and vinyl sizes.
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with a 12-month warranty
  • Excellent in-built speakers for the cost
  • Built-in preamp and RCA outputs for seamless speaker connection
  • Bluetooth, AUX/headphone, and USB ports also available
  • Works as a vinyl record and converter as well

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No handles
  • Scratches with vinyl if needle pressure is too much
  • For newbies, adjusting the needle can be tough

#9: Numark PT01USB

Not the most durable of record players since it has a plastic cover but there are a few things that make it worth mentioning.

One of those things is that this is another battery-operated record player so you can use it anywhere you want with headphones and speakers. It runs on six "D" cells.

Also, it comes with pitch control that can be adjusted between ±10% thus giving you good sound quality with its in-built speakers as well.

While it does not have Bluetooth, you can connect your laptop via USB and even convert/record vinyl using into .wav or mp3 formats with the free EZ Vinyl Converter software.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Runs on 6 “D” cell batteries
  • Converts vinyl into .wav or mp3 formats
  • Adjustable pitch
  • RCA and USB ports available

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Low durability
  • It skips records
  • No Bluetooth
  • Batteries need to be purchased separately

#10: GoodNew Vinyl Record Player

Cheap but once again low on durability, there’s not much different about this record player except that it has an auto-off feature. This means it will automatically stop when the record ends.

It supports all sizes and shapes and also comes with Bluetooth, headphone jack, and RCA output for speakers while the diamond-shaped stylus protects the vinyl from scratches.

But when it comes to inbuilt speakers the sound quality is terrible. It will also often skip the records and probably fail within the first year.

It’s only worth the consideration if you want something really cheap.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Auto on/off feature
  • Supports all speeds and sizes
  • RCA output, headphone jack, and AUX-in are available
  • Supports Bluetooth
  • Costs less than $40
  • Diamond-shaped stylus reduces scratches

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Bad in-built speakers
  • No in-built preamp
  • Poor durability, won’t last a year
  • No USB ports

Best Portable Record Player Buying Guide

Speakers

If you are a fan of music, it is advisable to invest in a pair of high-end speakers that you can hook up to your turntable.

While most turntables come with inbuilt speakers, they are generally average and does not do much to enhance your listening experience. Therefore, for an immersive experience, it makes a lot of sense to get a pair of speakers separately.

Connectivity

Since we live in a digital world, it is inevitable that we will have a lot of digital music, be it in Spotify or iTunes.

Or it could be stored on your iPod or phone. You will probably never buy these songs in vinyl. So how do you listen to them?

A good portable record player will solve your dilemma. Along with playing records, it will also allow you to play digital music by using the turntable as a speaker.

The Base and Platter

Before purchasing your turntable, always make sure that the base and platter are straight and even. Any unevenness in them can lead to scratches in the records.

This is because the unevenness forces the needle into the record, leaving scratches in the process. These scratches grow deeper each time you play the record, causing record skipping.

The Stylus

One of the important things to keep in mind while purchasing a portable turntable is that it comes with a replaceable stylus.

The stylus or the needle is the part that touches the record as it plays and should ideally come with a sharp edge. However, the more records you play, the more it wears out, gradually losing its sharpness.

Buying a turntable with a replaceable stylus will save you the trouble of purchasing an entirely new device every time the stylus becomes blunt.

 Instead, you can simply replace the stylus while retaining the rest of the turntable and thus save some money.

Speed

Before purchasing your portable turntable, take a moment to consider the type of records you’ll be playing on it. This is because different records are played at different speeds.

For example, a 12-inch vinyl album will be played at a speed of 78rpm. However, these are old and hard to come by in the current market.

The modern records play at 45rpm and 33rpm speeds. Therefore, if you plan to listen to a mix of old and new records, your best option would be to purchase a turntable that offers all three speeds.

Tonearm

An ideal tonearm should touch the record lightly while playing. This is important because if it leans too heavily on the record, it will lead to a lot of wear and tear. Similarly, the tonearm should be straight and should move even.

In case of any uneven movement like bouncing or warping, the record will be damaged. Therefore, you need to make sure that the tonearm of your turntable moves in a smooth and balanced way.

Conclusion

With this detailed guide on the best portable record players for 2020, we are sure you will be able to make an informed buying decision and get good value for the money spent. If you have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.



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