Audio-Technica LP120 Review: An Honest Guide

Published Categorized as Turntable Reviews

This Audio-Technica LP120 review is worth looking into. This is a turntable by the famous and reputed brand Audio-Technica. If you are an aspiring DJ that wants to dip your toes into direct drive technology, then this turntable may be for you.

Join us for this Audio Technica LP120 review, where we will explore some of the highlights of this turntable.

Table of Contents

Audio-Technica LP120 review.

Who Is Audio-Technica?

Audio Technica’s journey as an audiophile manufacturer began in earnest at the turn of the 1960s. It was then that Hideo Matsushita – curator of Tokyo’s Bridgestone Museum of Art – would host listening concerts. There, music lovers could experience vinyl listening in the highest possible fidelity with a quality cartridge.

Moved by the positive reactions these listening parties received, Matsushita founded Audio Technica in 1962 so that he might bring this vision of high-quality audio for everyone to some sort of fruition.

They soon developed what they believe to be the ‘first truly affordable phono cartridge,’ the AT-1. And their mission to bring affordable audio greatness to everyone has only continued from there.

Audio-Technica ATN95E Replacement Stylus for AT95E Cartridge Green

They have a strong and firm reputation among many audiophiles as being a cut above the rest. Try going to any recording studio and leaving without seeing at least one Audio Technica logo in your travels.

Their equipment is especially prized by those who are looking for a balanced and unfettered frequency response when recording. Their headphones have an unbiased and flat frequency response. This makes mixing a far more fair and adjudicated process. And without the influence of external biases on the vinyl records in question.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120 Review

This is easily one of the best entry-level turntables for anyone looking to get into DJ’ing professionally. Doing some serious justice to just about any vinyl collection with a sound quality that one has come to expect from Audio-Technica at this point.

This is easily one of the best direct-drive turntables in this price range. And just one look at the key features will be enough to let you know just why this is often the top choice. Especially for direct-drive turntables for aspiring DJs looking to work with wax at a reasonable price.

Audio-Technica LP120 Review

The Audio-Technica is one of the best direct-drive turntables because:

  • It comes fitted with a built-in preamp that is more than capable of bringing the records of your choice to life. Thus, there is no need to purchase your own separate preamp, saving you some money along the way.
  • It has a USB port that allows you to easily and fluidly connect the turntable to a computer and digitize and convert vinyl records. You can do this with Audacity software. If you have digital music files, you can even mix them on the decks at the venue.
  • It is a direct-drive turntable that sits firmly on the former side of the great debate between direct-drive vs belt-drive turntables. A direct-drive motor perfectly suited for the aspiring DJ, unlike many belt-driven turntables.
  • Audio-Technica already has a considerably weighty reputation for manufacturing cartridges. This was, after all, the thing that first brought them into the audiophile world. And the elliptical diamond stylus on this one is capable of tracking record grooves without any hesitation.
  • There is a solid construction of the components. The die-cast aluminum platter is just one example of many pieces made from reliable materials.
  • It includes plenty of nice touches, like stylus tracking force and variable pitch control. This can make this one ideal for those with a discerning ear.


There are plenty of things to love about the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 USB.

It is an incredibly powerful machine that can connect to just about anything you can imagine via USB and phono outputs. This will be perfect for any aspiring DJs, especially those who want more bang for their buck.

There is a durable design and craftsmanship, with a chassis with strong and high-quality materials that can last a long time. This really is one to keep for life.

Despite the use of such strong and lifelong materials, it is comparably compact and portable. Especially when compared with other direct-drive turntables in this price range.

And yet, this compactness and portability have no bearing on the robustness of the sound response. Which is entirely without skips or warbles of any kind.


However, there are a few things that a prospective buyer might want to consider before plunging right into the depths of this offering from this brand. And in the Audio-Technica LP120 review, we discuss some of them.

There are plenty of features packed into this thing, perhaps more than many are willing to use or would be ready to engage with. This is definitely a turntable with more appeal for those learning how to DJ.

Audio-Technica LP120 Review

Despite all these features, this thing can only play records. However, there are plenty of other record players that can not only spin vinyl but also can act more like multimedia home entertainment systems.

The best all-in-one record players can, in fact, be a conduit for almost every type of home media you can conceive of. So if this sounds more like your idea of a good time, perhaps this turntable is not for you.

Comparison ft. Fluance RT-80 & TEAC TN-300

Now, for all the capabilities and options that the Audio-Technica LP120 provides, we must still compare it to other similarly-priced turntables in a market with the same sort of demographic.

The Fluance RT-80 is an easy suspect to pick up on. Fluance as a brand has gained considerable traction in recent years, and it is worth taking note of.

At a slightly more affordable price and with even better quality sound, it is only really outdone by Audio-Technica in terms of the number of extra features it can offer. So, for those simply wanting to spin some discs, perhaps the Fluance is the way to go.

Alternatively, the TN-300 occupies a space priced between the Fluance and the Audio-Technica. Though it is more akin to the Fluance in terms of the number of extra features offered (i.e., not all that many).

While the Fluance and the TEAC are both similar in terms of the excellent sound quality their cartridges offer, the latter lags behind the former in terms of build quality and craftsmanship.

TEAC TN-300 Analog Turntable with Built-in Phono Pre-amplifier & USB Digital Output (Black)

Final Tones

So, there you have it!

Hopefully, this Audio-Technica LP120 review has been enlightening to any who were previously considering this bold and bodacious turntable.

Perhaps you have been notified of certain elements that would not suit your interests or budget just yet. Overwhelming are the many extra features that are incredibly well-suited to aspiring DJs and not many else.

Alternatively, maybe you are no longer on the fence and have instead decided that this is the vessel for you!

Whatever your choice, take care out there.

FAQs Audio-Technica LP120 Review

Is Audio-Technica LP120 good?

The Audio-Technica LP120 is good, but this remains to be seen based on the individual tastes and circumstances of each user. This turntable is, for example, aimed at aspiring DJs. This is a turntable run with a direct-drive motor that is perfect for speed and precision. But that is also affordable enough for those just starting out or otherwise unable to afford more expensive equipment.

Is Audio-Technica LP120 good for scratching?

The Audio-Technica LP120 is indeed good for scratching, though perhaps not so good as a more expensive piece of kit would be. Sure, this is a turntable run with a direct-drive motor. This means that the ability for the platter to stop and start fairly immediately is all there. The motor and the platter being almost inseparable. This is, however, a more affordable turntable in the grand scheme of things.

Does the Audio-Technica LP120 have a preamp?

Yes, the Audio-Technica LP120 has a preamp. And the built-in preamps are more than capable of doing justice to any sort of vinyl records that are thrown their way.

How to set up Audio Technica LP120

The more affordable Audio-Technica turntables are as easy to set up as plugging them in and pressing play. Sure enough, the AT-LP120 is a little more adept and fully-fledged with extra features than its AT-LP60 brethren. This can mean that it might need a little more care and attention in these early stages. Though these points of setup should not be too difficult to understand.

Can you DJ with the AT-LP120XUSB?

Yes, you can DJ with the AT-LP120XUSB, and this is actually the selling point. For the aspiring DJ who is just starting out, you can scarcely go wrong with Audio-Technica. It offers several capabilities only seen in more expensive and more renowned turntables.

Is Audio-Technica turntable a good brand?

Audio-Technica is still an incredible manufacturer of turntables. Especially in the more affordable price ranges below $1000.

Does LP120 have auto-stop?

Yes, LP120 has auto-stop. It would not be a very good DJ turntable if it did not, would it? For the aspiring DJ who is just starting out and/or is working within the constraints of a budget of sorts, you can scarcely go wrong with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120.

Can you scratch on Audio-Technica?

Yes, you can scratch on Audio-Technica, though perhaps not as good as you could with a more expensive piece of kit. Sure, this is a turntable run with a direct-drive motor, which means that the ability for the platter to stop and start fairly immediately is all there, the motor and the platter being almost inseparable. This is, however, a more affordable turntable in the grand scheme of things.

By Robert Halvari

My name is Robert Halvari - audio engineer and a total audiophile. I love vinyl because it has that natural character which brings music to life. I've been using and testing vinyl record players for around 15 years and I'm sharing my love and knowledge of vinyl by publishing all I know at Notes On Vinyl

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