The 10 Best Record Stylus Of 2023, Tested By Our Experts

William Shatner By, William Shatner
Updated
Audio-Technica AT-VMN95ML Microlinear Replacement Turntable Stylus Red
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Audio-Technica AT-VMN95ML Microlinear Replacement Turntable Stylus Red

Audio-Technica's VM95 Series cartridges offer the perfect combination of performance and reliability. The six models of VM95 Series cartridges all use the same electromagnetic engine body, therefore each of the six replacement styli are perfectly compatible. Audio-Technica's VM93 series cartridge is a great option for those looking for a "plug and plays" cartridge with a quality stylus that delivers excellent results. Read Review

2. Best For The Price: Turntable Replacement Record Player Needles Stylus, At95e Phonograph Cartridge

Turntable Replacement Record Player Needles Stylus, At95e Phonograph Cartridge is an ideal replacement or backup cartridge for many well-known record players. With its strong tracking capability and excellent clarity and detail, this cartridge produces smooth, dynamic, and clean music. Read Review

3. Best Sound Quality: Audio-Technica VM750SH Dual Moving Magnet Shibata Stylus Stereo Turntable Cartridge Black

Audio-Technica's VM750SH Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Headphone features a dual magnet that matches the left and right channels in a stereo record groove for outstanding channel separation and extended frequency response. The shibata stylus provides greater surface contact with the record groove than elliptical styli, picking up ultra-high frequencies with less groove stress and distortion. Read Review

4. Best Performance: Numark CC-1 | Premium, Ultra-Robust DJ Cartridge

The Numark CC-1 DJ Cartridge is a versatile and highly durable cartridge that's suitable for every DJ style. It offers high-output, enhanced tracking and consistent performance. The Premium, Ultra-Robust material makes this the perfect choice for spinning and scratch enthusiasts alike. Read Review

Turntables aren’t just for playing your favorite records. They are also a great way to listen to your favorite music while you cook, clean, or even pamper yourself. The right turntable will make all the difference in the world when it comes to enjoying the music that you love. To do this, you need a good quality turntable with a good tonearm, and also a great stylus that will let you hear your music properly.

A lot of people might not know this, but there are many different types of stylus available on the market today. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages as well. In this blog post, we will cover everything about the best record stylus and why it is so important for the overall performance of your record player.

We think the product that comes highly recommended for best record stylus is Audio-Technica AT-VMN95ML Microlinear Replacement Turntable Stylus Red. In case you need more alternatives and more in-depth guidance, you may explore the following.

Our Top Picks

  • 2.2 x 0.12 mil Micro-Linear stylus
  • Nude square shank construction
  • Replacement stylus for at-vm95ml cartridge
  • If you're not completely satisfied with our products or services, please feel free to contact us and we'll make it right!
  • Ideal as replacement or backup cartridge, used for many well-known record players.
  • Designed to track record grooves with high accuracy for outstanding audio reproduction. You will discover the joy of listening to LPs.
  • Excellent sound quality and strong tracking capability. Offers outstanding clarity and detail. It makes music smooth, dynamic and clean.
  • With stylus guard, prenvent cartridge from damaged.
  • Paratoroidal coils improve generating efficiency
  • Center shield plate between the left and right channels reduces crosstalk
  • Includes aluminum cantilever and mounting hardware
  • Dual magnets match the left and right channels in a stereo record groove for outstanding channel separation and extended frequency response
  • Die-cast aluminum alloy housing reduces vibration and adds a natural electrical shield
  • Shibata stylus provides greater surface contact with the record groove than elliptical styli, picking up ultra-high frequencies with less groove stress and distortion
  • Consistent Quality, Enhanced Fidelity - High-output and enhanced tracking ideal for spinning and scratch enthusiasts alike
  • Style-Driven Design - Sleek, slim-line design that's robust and easy-to-handle
  • Hear Every Detail - Full range frequency response from 20-20,000 Hz
  • Ready for Anything - Professional, highly-versatile cartridge suitable for every DJ style
  • Robust, Reliable - Precision-engineered circular diamond stylus tip
5 Ortofon Stylus Q.Bert
Our Score:
9.2
Ortofon
  • The Q-Bert has a supreme ability to trace the grooves of your records and it is tailored specifically for scratch
  • Q.Bert Replacement Stylus
  • Compatible with Ortofon Concorde Q.Bert, Ortofon OM Q.Bert
  • High tracking ability, unsurpassed handling
  • Recommended Tracking for is 3.0 g (30 mN)
  • Replacement stylus for AT95E cartridge
  • Shape Elliptical
  • 0 3 x 0 7 Replacement Stylus
  • Construction Bonded Round Shank
  • Replacement stylus for at-vm95e cartridge
  • Replacement stylus for at-vm95c cartridge
  • Bonded round shank construction
  • 0.6 mil Conical stylus
  • Bonded round shank construction
  • 0.3 x 0.7 mil Elliptical stylus
  • Special elliptical diamond for excellent tracing accuracy
  • Refreshingly crystal, luminous detail spatially radiating with realness
  • Higher fidelity CFN-6516SE stylus for Sony PS-LX300USB turntable
  • Super Carbon Fiber cantilever for firm and sensitive response to grooves
  • Diamond tip r/R radii: 8 × 18µm (.0003 × .0007 inch)
  • HIFI RECORD WEIGHT - Securely couple your vinyl records to your turntable to improve the contact between the record and platter, resulting in the reduction of unwanted vibrations
  • PURE ANALOG PERFORMANCE - The definitive vinyl record listening experience for beautifully warm and natural music, transporting you into the center of the performance
  • 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
  • VINYL AND STYLUS CLEANNG KIT - Safe and effective tools for removing dust and debris from your precious vinyl records and stylus eliminating unwanted noise, pops and crackles
  • 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
  • Nude round shank construction
  • Replacement stylus for at-vm95en cartridge
  • 0.3 x 0.7 mil Elliptical stylus
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best record stylus?

Upon looking for the perfect best record stylus, a lot of things should be taken into account. Each item has its own challenge of purchasing.  As a result of the formation, we're here to help, advise, and provide answers to these problems.

Please keep in mind the following points to select best record stylus that fit you most:

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The list of best record stylus will be regularly updated to be included in additional data by our editor's team. Please keep an eye around for any amendments made to our website.

Our consultants could support you with problems related to best record stylus and other things as well. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need advice.


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About William Shatner

William Shatner

William Shatner is a writer and editor who has worked in the audio equipment, computer, and projector industries. He also enjoys repairing and modifying audio equipment, and he has a particular interest in projectors. William is a critical thinker and problem solver, and he takes great pride in his work. He currently serves as the freelance editor of The Audio Critic.