Are you in want of a turntable that can help you to convert your vinyl records into another, perhaps more stable and safe format? Do you want a new turntable that can offer such capabilities but that will not sacrifice tone? What are the best USB turntables, and how can you tell them apart?
All this and more today as we explore 5 of the best USB turntables on the market today, as well as some things to consider when purchasing some more affordable models.
Table of Contents
- 1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
- 2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
- 3. Lauson Woodsound JTF536
- 4. ION Audio Max LP
- 5. Sony PS-LX310BT
- Final Tones
- FAQs USB Turntables
1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB
As a USB turntable, this offering does a pretty good job. But as a fully-fledged DJ deck, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120 will be well-equipped to help you bring your music to the masses.
Unlike other DJ turntables for beginners, this is a turntable for beginners, i.e. a turntable that will not alienate someone newer to record collecting and audiophilia.
This, however, does not come at a loss of any extra features. In fact, this turntable is replete with additional features that make mixing discs together as a DJ an absolute joy. These features never, though, get in the way of a beginner who might want to approach these more advanced features later down the line.
All this atop the trademark sound quality that Audio-Technica has become trusted for over the years!
- This USB turntable is genuinely one of the best to do at this price, especially considering the excellent sound quality that Audio-Technica always delivers.
- It comes equipped with a whole host of extra controls and features like anti-skate control that really set it apart from other competitors in this price range and beyond.
- Three-speed functionality gives you even more options for customization or even playing those old 78 rpm vinyl record types you have kept locked away for so long for fear of not being able to play them.
- Though this is a relatively simple plug-and-play model, the initial setup out of the box is a little tricky and is said to be rather fiddly. Rather than make a mess of it yourself, why not follow professional guidance like the one below, crafted by none other than Audio-Technica itself?
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
Though this turntable is the more expensive of the Audio-Technica turntables here arrayed, let that not cast any judgment on its ability to bring your vinyl collection to life. In fact, some audiophiles might even suggest that the sound quality on such an audio system is inherently better thanks to the aluminum turntable platter – one of the most important parts of a turntable in terms of resonance.
This is a thoroughly popular model of turntables, one that has been constantly revised over the years. So, depending on which version you own, you might be bestowed a few extra features. Newer versions, for example, have the benefit of Bluetooth connectivity alongside a USB output, not to mention a redesigned tonearm for tracking each vinyl record as it should be tracked.
An audiophile who is new to vinyl records could do a damn sight worse than having a record player like this to start off with, especially one with such a righteous USB connection. This has to be the best USB turntable, at least in terms of being an affordable workhorse.
- This turntable is incredibly easy to operate, making this an apt choice for novices and professionals alike.
- It offers exemplary connectivity options, opening the door to wireless headphones and a Bluetooth speaker via Bluetooth transmission.
- In contrast to the previous Audio-Technica model, this is far easier to set up and easy to use.
- Depending on which version of this model you are using, you might not be able to change the cartridge, meaning that if the turntable ends up not working, you will be forced to purchase a whole new turntable. Not only is this a little inconsiderate to your pocket, but it also makes the environment dirty.
3. Lauson Woodsound JTF536
Now, if you are really looking for a turntable for beginners – and we really mean beginners here – then look no further than the Lauson Woodsound JTF536. Any of you who are looking for a piece of kit that is going to actually sound good may want to avert your gaze now, for this is one of those all-in-one record-playing travesties.
This is why such a thing is inherently for beginners. The idea is that it will give such a novice an idea of whether they like record collecting enough to want to pursue it further and inevitably invest a whole bunch more money in it.
So, the built-in stereo speakers on this model are not anything to write home about (unless such an epistolary exchange has to do with how badly they have rendered one of your favorite records). To make up for such a lack is the void left by the low price point; you can’t win them all, after all.
- This record player is incredibly easy to use and navigate, making this a great choice for beginners to record collecting who do not yet know whether they want to pursue the hobby fully. In this way, such a novice can explore this avenue without investing a whole bunch of cash.
- The price point is almost unfathomably cheap.
- The controls are simple, and the setup is pretty easy too.
- Contrastingly, the transfer of records to a USB can be a little irksome. From certain angles, this can feel like a feature that was just tacked on to the record play after the fact, a way of aligning itself with current trends toward converting vinyls to CD.
- As already elucidated above at length, the sound quality is pretty abysmal. However, this never seems to be the prerogative of these kinds of record players. If it was, then a whole legion of them would have failed miserably.
4. ION Audio Max LP
If you are looking for an affordable way to enter the world of record collecting without spending too much money but while still preserving some element of actual audiophilia, then perhaps the ION Audio Max LP is more your kind of thing.
As we have already seen, finding a record player or turntable that is affordable but that still sounds good, can be tricky. It is all relative to your budget of course, but there are rare exceptions to the fact that it is incredibly difficult to find a good turntable under $100.
The ION Audio Max LP is about as good as you are going to get buying a record player under $100. You are best advised to use an external amp and speakers instead of that on-board, but on your head, be it. Alongside having USB turntable features, this is also a turntable that, to some, might be particularly appealing visually.
The price point should, however, be the one thing really jumping out at you here. Just try finding a better offering for less than $100; we dare you!
- The cost is incredibly low, especially when compared to the quality of the sound that comes out as a result (this being if you use external speakers and amplifiers, of course).
- That being said, the built-in speakers are not so bad and will no doubt serve you well if you do not mind your music being tinny and underwhelming.
- Unlike many other more expensive turntables, this offers three-speed capabilities.
- The price here translates to a lack of durability, not to mention how bad the built-in speakers are at translating the musical data into what it is actually supposed to sound like.
5. Sony PS-LX310BT
Finally, for those seeking a little more versatility in their turntable, then why not try the Sony PS-LX310BT? For transferring vinyl into digital means, this is definitely one of the best out there, though many will likely be more enamored with the minimalist design aesthetic and ease of use.
Unlike many other more expensive turntables, this turntable offers up Bluetooth connectivity alongside its accomplished abilities with regard to the USB output. This Bluetooth connectivity allows you to not only connect to a Bluetooth or wireless speaker but also to do so to a computer or a phone.
In this way, you can elide the need for wires altogether, transporting the vinyl sounds direct to your computer’s hard drive. Be warned, though – conveniences such as these do come married with consequences. What the ceaseless hordes of wireless headphone users, for example, fail to grasp is that sound quality is inherently reduced when transported wirelessly, at least until technology catches up.
Indeed, there really is no replacing good old-fashioned wires, no matter how inconvenient it might supposedly be to you – you are just going to have to suck it up.
- This is a turntable with options for connectivity. This includes strong Bluetooth connectivity alongside an already well-established knack for USB output and transference of vinyl to digital means in this way.
- Since the platter is made from aluminum, there is less chance of unwanted resonances getting a foothold on the overall sound quality.
- This is an automatic turntable and so the auto-playback might be desirable to some.
- The minimal design aesthetic might be undesirable to some.
- The automatic motions might also be irksome if you are not used to them.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to make a wise decision and financial investment in a USB turntable best suited to your needs.
FAQs USB Turntables
Are USB turntables worth it?
This remains to be seen depending on your individual circumstances. If you are the kind of record collector who, though motivated toward record collecting, is still interested in listening to music via digital means, then perhaps a USB turntable will be of use to you. The USB output allows you, after all, to preserve the vinyl in a digital format and keep it forever. If, though, you are more of a traditional record collector, then perhaps those USB capabilities will not be of much use to you.
What is the point of a USB turntable?
The idea with USB turntables is to allow the user to preserve a record in a digital format so that it can last longer. Almost everything in the world is in a natural state of decay and decomposition and though this process is inherently longer for manmade plastics like polyvinyl chloride, this still counts for records too. They will all go one day, either over time or by accident. Thus, a turntable with a USB output allows these records to be preserved when they might otherwise come to dust.
Can you play records on a USB turntable?
Indeed you can. For the most part, you might just as easily forget that a turntable has USB capabilities as you might worry about having them on there in the first place. In fact, most novice record collectors might not even realize that their turntable is equipped in this way unless they look out for it. There is an ever-increasing trend for modern turntable manufacturers to include USB capabilities on just about all of the models it produces. Thus, it should come as little surprise that your own turntable is also thus equipped.