The Best Mid Level Turntable For 2023

Tim Powers By, Tim Powers
Updated
Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable

Experience the high-fidelity audio of vinyl with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct Drive Turntable. Featuring a fully manual operation with adjustable dynamic anti-skate control, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock and balanced S shaped tonearm, this turntable is perfect for any audiophile. Read Review

2. Runner Up: Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player

The Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player is designed to deliver pure, classic analog performance. With an architecture that is simple and efficient, it offers spectacular musical accuracy with a high-density acrylic platter. Moreover, this turntable comes with a speed controller for precision playback. Read Review

3. Best Sound Quality: Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable

The Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable offers easy operation with fully automatic operation, a balanced straight tone arm, and anti-vibration damping materials. The tonearm is hydraulically damped and includes adjustable counterweight and anti-skate control. Read Review

4. Best Versatile: Fluance RT80 Classic High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player

The Classic High Fidelity Turntable reproduces traditional LP and EP vinyl records with stunning quality and the purest sound reproduction. Take out your favorite 33 1/3 or 45 RPM records, connect them to your sound system, drop the needle, and get lost in the RT80 Record Player. Read Review

Vinyl records are back, and with them come the need for a high-quality turntable that won’t break the bank. The best mid-level turntable won’t be as as a bargain basement model, but it shouldn’t be priced like you could buy a sports car for the same amount of money.

There are plenty of affordable turntables out there, but finding one that isn’t going to fall to pieces after a few months or even weeks of use can prove challenging. Thankfully, we have tested and reviewed many mid-level turntables over the years and have recommendations on some of the best models available right now.

Our team had to focus on researching for many hours to get such results for readers. This type of study uses customer star ratings and customer interviews on their product experiences. In addition, Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable is one of the most wonderful models available, and it comes highly recommended by us. We also show the other fantastic alternatives with a complete guide which is worth your consideration below.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable
Our Score:
9.7
Audio-Technica

Includes: USB cable, detachable RCA output cable (dual RCA male to dual RCA male), AC adapter, 45 RPM adapter, counterweight, felt mat, and removable hinged dust cover

Fully manual operation featuring adjustable dynamic anti-skate control, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock, and balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest

Convert your vinyl records to digital audio files by downloading and using the free Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity recording software (or software of your choice)

Direct-drive, DC servo motor with selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds. Damped base construction for reduced low-frequency feedback coloration

Experience the high-fidelity audio of vinyl

HIGH DENSITY ACRYLIC PLATTER - The greater mass of the acrylic platter damps unwanted vibrations resulting in a more 3-dimentional sound with tighter bass, a fuller midrange, and overall improved clarity

PURE ANALOG PERFORMANCE - The definitive vinyl record listening experience for beautifully warm and natural music, transporting you into the center of the performance

SPEED CONTROL FOR PRECISION PLAYBACK - The isolated motor prevents unwanted vibrations and noise while the speed control mechanism ensures consistent platter velocity (0.07% Wow/Flutter)

SPECTACULAR MUSICAL ACCURACY - Immerse yourself in the detailed high resolution sound of the Ortofon 2M Blue elliptical cartridge delivering improved linearity, higher channel separation and reduced distortion

SOLID WOOD PLINTH - Revel in the gorgeous solid wood cabinet and adjustable resonance damping feet, ensuring superior isolation from unwanted micro-vibrations (Note: phono preamp not included)

TOP Choice #3 Audio-Technica AT-LP3BK Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable
Our Score:
9.4
Audio-Technica

Hydraulically damped lift control allows the stylus to be precisely and safely lowered and raised at any point on a record

Resonance is further reduced by the turntable’s die-cast aluminum platter and accompanying 4 mm rubber damping mat

Take your analog listening experience to the next level with advanced features not typically found on automatic turntables

Constructed of anti-vibration damping materials that limits low-frequency feedback

Plays both 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records, and has a built-in switchable phono preamp with dual RCA output to connect to a home stereo, powered speakers and other components with or without dedicated turntable input

Balanced straight tone arm comes with a 1/2" mount universal headshell and AT91R Dual Moving Magnet phono cartridge, giving you excellent high-fidelity performance

Offers fully automatic operation; simply press the Start button to begin play and the Stop button to lift and return the tone arm and shut off the turntable

Each turntable is beautifully crafted with thick, engineered wood, incorporating isolation feet & an aluminum platter which results in superior isolation from unwanted vibrations

High performance Audio Technica cartridge produces outstanding clarity. The diamond tipped stylus is designed to track your record grooves with precision & accuracy for high definition audio

Premium components allow this high fidelity belt driven turntable to produce a pure analog listening experience that recreates the performance the way the artist intended

Perfect playback using the balanced aluminum S-Type tonearm ensures the stylus is rested deep in your record's groove, producing every audio detail indistinguishable from the original recording

Captivating signal clarity is produced with a high quality Texas Instruments preamp, ground terminal and gold plated RCA line outputs that ensures warm, true sound

Included Components: Turntable, Dual Rca (Male) To Dual Rca (Male) Stereo Cable, 45 Rpm Adapter, Rubber Mat, And Removable Hinged Dust Cover

6 Music Hall MMF-1.5 Turntable
Our Score:
8.8
Music Hall

Properly aligned and pre-mounted Music Hall Melody cartridge

Built-in phono preamplifier

Vibration-damping platter mat

Technics-style S-type aluminum tonearm with removable headshell

Belt-drive turntable

Fully automatic belt drive turntable operation with 2 speeds: 33 1/3, 45 RPM

Anti resonance, die cast aluminum platter

Ac adapter handles AC/DC conversion outside of the chassis, reducing noise in the signal chain

Redesigned tone arm base and head shell for improved tracking and reduced resonance

Experience the high fidelity audio of vinyl

8 1 BY ONE Wireless Turntable
Our Score:
8.6
1 BY ONE

Great connectivity, Built-in switchable phono line and pre-amplifier allow connection to the set of included speakers or to your own externally-powered speakers via the dual RCA output cables

Adjustable counterweight force, essential for any serious classic Turntable, Tonearm counterweight coupled with the advanced anti-skating system produces smooth stylus movement and tunes out skipping and distortion

Wireless streaming, play music from all your favorite devices like iPhones, Android smartphones, tablets, PCs and usb-mp3 players through the turntable’s speakers with Bluetooth function

Vinyl Recording Via PC, Connect this turntable to your computer via usb and encode vinyl audio into MP3s for digitalized storage and playback on your computer, smartphone or tablet

Solid iron platter, precision-manufactured iron platter produces uniform inertial mass for perfect stability and rotation, Brings high-fidelity playback to the next level, Please watch the 3-minute Quick Installation video for easy installation

DIGITZE YOUR VINYL With a USB jack, you can make this turntable party of your mixer and media player set up and run it on your favorite virtual DJ software. Plug it right in and be able to record your vinyl right to the computer to modernize your sound. Phono out jacks make it possible to leave it on a shelf plugged right into a speaker so you can enjoy vinyl as it was meant to be. Place a DJ mixer in the middle and have a full deck to play your next gig.

FOR DJ BY DJ Yes, Gemini was actually started by DJs back in the '70's (when there was only vinyl)😉. Thus, they have the absolute knowledge and experience to provide today's disc jockey with everything they want in a media player. Their goal is to design products that offer value and innovation in the DJ and Pro Audio markets. Since 1974, we’ve evolved and thrived by understanding the needs of our customers and recognizing industry trends.

GET A GRIP Gemini has included and easy grip/break platter on this DJ Table. Rigged and rugged you don't have to touch the record to get your scratches in. The platter is made so you can smoothly control the speed of the track, scratch and reverse with unbeatable ease and precision.

PERFECTLY STILL /WEIGHTED The TT-4000 is situation 4 isolation feet with rubber grips on the bottom so you can scratch and turn the beets all night with out feeling any off-setting vibrations. Rubber grips on the bottom keep the turntable still and fixed no matter how hard you play.

START STOP PRECISION Keep your tracks on deck and ready to go with a conveniently placed Start/Stop button right on the top face of the vinyl record player. Even in the darkness of the booth, the LED lit speed controls allow you to be even more precise with your sound.

Classic FM radio with analog tuner and "around the dial" LED lighting

Built-in stereo speakers

RCA output and headphone jack

Features 3-speed turntable, Bluetooth connectivity, CD player, cassette player, FM radio, and 3.5mm aux-in

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best mid level turntable?

You may have some trouble making a purchase if you don't research it thoroughly. You are expected to invest time and focus on best mid level turntable before investing in them. Usually, it will take you a long time to research a favorite product. But rest assured, we are here to assist you with your best mid level turntable issue, no matter what time of day or night.

Although choosing a product is complicated, it will be more accessible and more available to everyone with today's information technology network. You are now given available sources of information such as famous websites, sale forums, or even customer's feedback. It can be said that information from these sources about best mid level turntable will be beneficial to you.

So now you are expected to focus on needed criteria about best mid level turntable. All of them will come with your investment. 

Anti-skate Force

The anti-skate force must be adjusted in conjunction with the tracking force via the dial located near the tonearm. This ensures that the needle does not move sideways.

Drives

Two types of drive are available for turntables: direct and belt.
Models with direct drive motors are mounted beneath the platter. In a belt drive, the motor is attached to one end by a rubber belt. The turntable can be spun at higher speeds and is compacted by direct drives. Belt models, on the other hand, isolate any extra noise from the motor.

Tracking Force

The track force refers to the downward pressure that the cartridge exerts on the record through the stylus. A suggested tracking force will be included with your turntable.
Adjusting the track force can be delicate, but this is worth it to improve sound quality. You also have a lower chance of damaging your records by too much downward force.
Adjusting the counterweight at the back of your tonearm can change the tracking force. First, balance the tonearm horizontally. Next, twist the counterweight to get the right downforce (as indicated in the instruction).

Fully Automatic

Playing vinyl has the biggest drawback of having to reach at each end and turn it over. A fully automatic turntable uses a machine on the tonearm to put the needle on the record and play it. Then, at the end of the track, it lifts the record up to return it to its cradle.
The extra electric signals along the tonearm and the mechanical movement are what audio purists believe affect the sound. Full-auto, however, is the best option if you don't want to have to stand up for half an hour every time.

Pre-amps

Pre-amps convert the turntable's "phono" signal into a stronger signal called "line", so that it is compatible with speakers, headphones and other audio equipment. You can either use an amplifier that has a separate phono line or buy a standalone pre-amp if the turntable does not have one.
Some turntables come with switchable preamps that can be switched on and off depending on the plugging device.

Record Speeds

These numbers are the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the record. Although most records are 33s in length, there are still 45s and some 78s available (the former are smaller). While most turntables can play both 33rpm or 45rpm, you will need to have an adapter in order to hear the slower version. You'll have to look for an adapter or player that can play 78s.

Styluses And Cartridges

A turntable's most crucial parts are its stylus and cartridge. The stylus and cartridge pick up the information from the record, convert it to electronic signals and send them to the speakers.
The stylus, or "needle", is what sits inside the grooves of the record. It is crucial to choose the right shape for the stylus. An elliptical stylus will pick up more information than one that has a conical surface because it touches more records. Audiophiles also believe that conical styluses work better with old records because they take up more space after the groove has been expanded through repeated plays.
The stylus is held in the cartridge, which converts its movements into electric signals. The most popular cartridge types are moving magnet (MM), and moving coil (MC). Most turntables will use MM cartridges because they areer and more convenient to change needles. However, MC cartridges can be lighter and pick up more groove changes than MM cartridges. They are also more costly.

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FAQs

What Makes One Turntable Sound Better Than Another?

You need to take into account many factors. The quality of both the stylus and cartridge is important. Some turntables simply have more features, which allow for better accuracy and less vibration.

Is It Bad To Leave A Record On The Turntable?

It is. It is a habit that even certified audiophiles sometimes forget to put their records in their jackets, but it's important to always do this.
Your record will be more likely to get damaged or dirty if it is not kept out in the open. You're guilty of this habit, but at the very least you should not forget to close the dust cover.

What’s An Automatic Turntable?

A turntable that is automatic uses a combination of automatic features and a tonearm to lift itself from its resting place and position itself above your record for playback. After the track has finished, the device will automatically lift from its resting place and go back to the original position.
This is a preferred method by some users as it reduces the amount of effort required to stop and play your turntable. However, this does not mean you can't manually lift the tonearm. It's still possible.

How Many Times Can You Listen To A Vinyl Record?

The vinyl record is a great resource for work. The record can be listened to over 100 times with no loss of sound quality.

Do I Need A Preamp For My Turntable?

Both yes and no. A preamp is necessary for every turntable to convert its sounds into something your record player can hear, as well as other audio devices.
Because most turntables have their preamp built in, it's not necessary. If this is the case then you don't need a separate preamp.
However, we understand that not everyone wants to improve their sound and decide to purchase a preamp separately. For more information, if you are one of these people, please see our next question.

How To Make The Turntable Louder?

If the phonostage isn't connected correctly or not properly, your turntable might play slowly. A properly sized, wired and connected phonostage is the best way to unlock your turntable's potential.

Can You Connect A Turntable Directly To Speakers?

It all depends on whether the connectors in your device can accommodate your speakers. Most of them will. It shouldn't be a problem connecting your turntable and its speakers.

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About Tim Powers

Tim Powers

Tim Powers is an audio equipment & home theater gadget reviewer and the editor of TheAudioCritic.com. He has been involved in the home theater hobby since the late 1990s when he purchased his first AV receiver. Tim is also a writer, with articles appearing in various online and print publications.

Read Tim's full bio