What Is The Best Portable Turntable In 2017?

What Is The Best Portable Turntable In 2017?
Portable Advisor

The digital age happened and turntables took a backseat; but not for a long time.

For a period of 12 years now, I have been collecting record players from online stores, enjoying their rich sound quality and keeping them as collectibles; vinyl records never disappoint when you are a fan of good music! Investing in the portable versions was my only option as a nomadic RV dweller and they have been worth every campground noise complaint I've received over the years!

Here is a compilation of the best portable turn table models I have come across in my research. It's a pity I can't afford them all! 

Product

Best Feature

 Our Rating

           Price

MusiTrend Turntable

Best Portable Turntable With USB

Victrola Vintage

Best Portable Turntable On A Budget (Under $50)

Crosley Turntable

Best Portable Turntable WIth Bluetooth

1byone Portable Turntable

Best Portable Turntable With Built In Speakers

Numark PT01 Scratch

Best Portable Turntable For Disk Scratching

Why Should I Invest In Portable Turntables?

Portable record players have lots of advantages over full-size players. First off, you get innovative form and design factors that cannot be implemented on full-size record players. You can move the turntable to any part of your house with ease.

These players have been used in many homes as design centerpieces while at the same time delivering authentic and rich sounds. Compared to full-size units, portable turn tables are less expensive. This is true especially when dealing with collectors or vintage turntable market.

They also work great on out on the road or in campgrounds...just ask my neighbors!

Considerations When Shopping for the Best Portable Turntables

There is more to look at beyond the function of a record player. Your needs and your budget will, however, determine the record player you end up with.

Basically, you will need a player that plays vinyl records but that is not all. Consider:

Built In Speakers

Do you need built-in speakers in your record player? There are just as much record players with built-in speakers as there are those without. If you prefer a player with a built-in speaker, ensure that sound quality of the speaker matches your taste.

If you choose a player with no built-in speaker, make sure you get a good headphone or external speaker to connect to your player.

Basic Turntable Features

The most important feature here is playing speed. There are normally two playing speeds in the market today; 2-speed and 3-speed turntables. These play either 33, 45 or 75 rpm.

You also need to ensure that the player's cartridge, arm, and platter are forged from high-quality material to guarantee its durability. Other basic features include audio in or out jacks and RCA jacks

Luxury Features

A basic turntable is no fun until it is equipped with additional features.

Though this gadget cannot be turned into a smartphone, features such as USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and AM/FM radio have been added to make its use more compelling.

Besides playing vinyl records on your turntable, you can connect it to your computer and convert the records to digital files, you can plays music from your smartphone through Bluetooth, and you can listen to your favorite radio stations. Other luxury features include adjustable pitch control and automatic speed selectors.

There are record players created specifically for studio recording and DJ scratching. This may not be ideal for home unless you do either of the activities at home; for a hobby or professionally. These turntables may or may not be equipped with other features. Nevertheless, you may get a full package; a turntable that does all that and more but the price may be relatively steeper.

Power Source

Most portable turntables can plug into a normal home power outlet which is advantageous if you bought your turntable for home use.

Some turntables can plug into your computer and derive power from there; these usually have a USB port. Others come with replaceable batteries or rechargeable batteries.

While you can choose a record player that gets its power from whichever power source offers you convenience, you can also choose one that gets power from more than one source for more convenience

Durability

If you need a home or studio player, then what you need is a player that will last through the years. The material that forms the body of the player should be high quality to ensure durability.

Portable record players should be light, but then again, light does not translate to cheap.

Price

This may or may not be important. If you have a budget, you will be limited to only given turntable brands and models. The price of turntable ranges from below 50 dollars to hundreds to thousands of dollars.

As the price increases so does the number of features the turntable is equipped with.

Portability

Portable Turntable With Case

Portable turntables are bought mainly because they are portable and can fit in your suitcase and easily transported to whichever destination you want to go.

Nowadays, it is becoming hard to distinguish between portable and briefcase turntable as almost all portable turntables are offered in briefcase-style. This allows you to fold down the cover when the player is not in use.

Thye really have become 'take me anywhere' products with smaller portable turntables measuring a mere 4.75" x 14.25" x 8" and weighing just 8 pounds.

Buying Used Turntable Instead of New

Here's What To Watch Out For

There are lots of used record players online, from vintage players to modern turntables. Most of them will function just fine without need for repairs, and the good thing is, they will cost less than new record players. Choosing the right used record player may, however, be more challenging to choose than new turntables. This is not to say that the best portable turntables should be new. When shopping, you need to ask the seller a few questions including:

  • Does the platter turn at the specified speeds?
  • Will the speakers produce a sound when a finger is placed on the needle immediately after it is plugged to the power? If it does not produce a sound, there must be a problem with the turntable amps.
  • If the turntable is stereo, does it produce a balanced sound on both channels with the balance knob set in the middle?
  • If automatic, does the arm do all it is supposed to do when the changer finishes its cycle?
  • Are there any restoration processes needed on the turntable such as re-lubricating lube points?
  • Will the turntable need any replacement parts or it can work out of the box?
  • What are the main features of the turntable that you are about to buy and will it meet your need?
  • Are there different power source options?
  • How is the general condition of the player? Is the box scratched or still looks new?
  • How much will the player cost you? Personally, I cannot pay more than $50 for a turntable that needs any repairs. These should cost anything between $20 (or less) and $50. The price, however, can go up depending on the restoration specifics. Again, ensure that you get at least 90-day warranty on the product.

Indivivual Product Reviews

MusiTrend Portable Turntable

Innovative Technology VSC-550BT-BK Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Our Favourite Feature

The Best Portable Turntable With USB

Price

Our Rating

The MusiTrend Vinyl Turntable is offered with a stylish briefcase that aims at giving it a sophisticated look. The turntable plays on three speeds and is capable of producing high quality and rich sounds through its built-in stereo speakers.

A free USB stick accompanies the player; this lets you record your tracks and save them as digital files for playback on your computer or mobile device. The recording does not need a PC, just plugging in the record player and playing it is enough.

Pros

  • Stylish and sophisticated design.
  • Highly portable thanks to the briefcase-style build.
  • USB stick for recording tracks.
  • No need to connect to PC.
  • Produces high-quality sound.

Cons

  • Inconsistent playback speed.
  • Auto-stop function can, at times, stop a song before it ends.

Victrola Vintage Suitcase Turntable

Innovative Technology VSC-550BT-BK Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Our Favourite Feature

The Best Portable Turntable On A Budget

Price

Our Rating

You might consider this budget turntable if what you need is a player that can be carried anywhere. It will let you enjoy vinyl records with its built-in twin stereo speakers and it comes in under $50!

It is a three-speed vinyl record player playing 33 1/3, 45 and 78 vinyl records. When not in use, it closes up neatly and converts into a portable briefcase. We have found this a crucial feature for camping trips!

It is also bluetooth enabled allowing you to wirelessly play music from other Bluetooth devices

Pros

  • Plays nearly all record types.
  • Built-in stereo speakers produce quality sound.
  • Lightweight and easy fold briefcase style.
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Great price for its quality.

Cons

  • The build materials are relatively less durable than other reviewed turntables.
  • Appearance is not that sleek. 

Crosley Executive Portable Turntable

Crosley CR6019A-BR Executive Portable USB Turntable, Brown

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable With Bluetooth

Price

Our Rating

This turntable certainly divides the vinyl crowd as its quality can be inconsistent but considering the amount of rabid fans it has online, it deserves to be on our list.

True to its name, this vinyl record player sports an executive design that brings out a showy style when you carry it around. It is a belt driven 3-speed turntable playing 33, 45 and 78 records. The player is equipped with built-in stereo speakers but still has the option of connecting external speakers. 

To enhance private listening, it is offered with a headphone jack. Like other portable turntables in its category, the Crosley Executive features a USB port for tracks conversion; this feature comes along with necessary software and cables.

The best feature though is the Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to play music from every corner of your house without attaching speakers with cables. Other features include AC power adapter, input and output jacks and auxiliary cord.

Pros

  • Elegant executive finish.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Digital conversion software offered.
  • Lightweight and highly portable thanks to its briefcase build.

Cons

  • Records may, at times, play in a wavy manner.
  • Inconsistent sound quality.

1byone Portable Stereo Turntable

1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers, Turquoise

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable With Built In Speakers

Price

Our Rating

Our best built-in speakers selection because of that vintage grainy vinyl sound it can produce. The sound resonates for me because it gives me that retro feel - the feeling that i am back in my youth...the heyday as some call it!

It is offered with a rechargeable battery making it ideal for outdoor use and it is a three-speed record player available in black or rustic brown leather. The body of the turntable is made of wood which gives it a retro design. Other features include RCA line out and USB port.

Pros

  • Classic, vintage sound from quality speakers.
  • Rechargeable battery makes it fit for outdoor use.
  • Excellent customer service. 
  • Good price. 

Cons

  • It can skip some records at times.
  • Bass sound can be inconsistent. 

Numark PT01 Scratch Portable Turntable

Numark PT01 Scratch | Portable Turntable with Built-In DJ Scratch Switch, Speaker, & Carrying Handle

Our Favourite Feature

Best Portable Turntable Fro DJ Scratching

Price

Our Rating

The Numark record player has been made with DJs in mind. It is offered ready to use out-of-the-box with a pre-balanced tonearm and a replaceable cartridge. Its pitch can be adjusted from -10 percent to 10 percent and it plays any record with 33 1/3, 45 and 75 RPM.

 The built in scratch slide switch is the main attraction for DJ's and it is an ideal scratch setup for a beginner. If you are doing more serious mixing then, yes, you will need to transition to a regular fader but for beginners and experienced mixers looking for a light, portable option this is the best scratcher on the market. 

Pros

  • Slick scratch slide.
  • Excellent needle tracking.
  • Great performance/price ratio.
  • Quality fader response.
  • Can practice scratching in any environment. 

Cons

  • Top covers pops up during use.
  • Briefcase latch is flimsy.


About the Author Rick Rose

Irish-American husband, dad of three and gadget enthusiast! Sandy and I have been RVing since the mid-nineties after embracing the boondocker way of life. We now practice what we call the 'Portable Lifestyle' - the ability to ‘get up and go’ and explore new places throughout the year while maintaining our income.

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