Best Portable Turntables & Vinyl Record Players

best portable record player

Nostalgia is the important feeling that makes us look for the best portable record player. The splendid vinyl records may seem to be a bit outdated, but the real music lovers still prefer to listen to their favorite compositions together with symphonies and operas in the highest quality. As well as the numerous musicians and amateurs, I like the splendid retro look of the perfect, top-quality turntables. That’s why I would like to recommend you the top-quality devices that are available on the market nowadays.

What is the Difference Between Portable Record Players and Turntables?

According to Wikipedia, portable record player is a transportable, all-in-one, personal device that enables the user to listen to the music recorded in vinyl format. This option is known to be low-cost, compact and mobile. It only needs to be plugged into a socket. Alternatively, it is powered by the batteries during a couple of hours.

Its counterpart is commonly mentioned as the best turntable with speakers as it definitely needs some additional equipment to play the music, such as an amplifier and stereo system that are generally built-in. Originally, it refers to the platter that had a motor inside. Meanwhile, nowadays, both terms are often mentioned for the similar devices. Thus, I will do the same here, in this portable record player review, implying that all portable devices are self-sufficient.

Quick Overview

As for me, the best portable turntable overall is Goodnew Suitcase Turntable. It is belt-driven, lightweight and looking pretty good.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 is the premium option that is beneficial due to aesthetical design, fully automatic performance and impressive sound quality.

I recommend Jensen JTA-230 as the top budget option that is affordable, but still very good, three-speed and great for beginners. The other devices are advisable for the special record playing needs.

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Portable record player Reviews

#1 The Best Portable Turntable Overall Goodnew Suitcase Turntable Review

GOODNEW Suitcase Turntable

The device I recommend the most is Goodnew Suitcase Turntable. It is the best portable record player in terms of the price-quality correlation. The player is effectively protected thanks to the rugged design. It is equipped with 2 built-in speakers, comes with 3 speed options. Thanks to the powerful battery, you can enjoy your favorite music during 3 hours outdoors or anywhere you are. USB, Bluetooth and SD card slot are also available.

The price is quite reasonable for the quality, the music listening options and the reliability. The turntable is belt-driven, reducing vibrations and absorbing shocks. So, your cherished, unique records can never be scratched or bumped.

Pros

    • durability and reliability
    • efficient records protection
    • excellent design
    • 3-hour rechargeable battery life
    • multiple listening options
    • high versatility
    • auto stop available
  • 3 speed options

Cons

  • a bit heavier and bulkier than some its counterparts
  • can’t be used in the upright position
  • no corner protection
  • no IR sensor port

#2 The Best Portable Record Player for the Well-Versed Music Lovers and Audiophiles: Audio Technica AT-LP60

AudioTechnica AT-LP60

The next product I recommend is definitely not the most affordable, but it’s worth the money. What is so special about it? Evidently, the excellent sound quality is the primary distinctive feature of the best portable turntable. Great, minimalistic design, dust protection and automatic operation are perfect complements to the device’s benefits.

The record player is fully automatic, equipped with the reliable phono cartridge, belt-driven. That’s why, it enables 400 hours of your favorite music, being compatible with PC and all existing devices. The case and the platter is anti-resonance, made of die-cast, aircraft-grade aluminum. The perfect diamond stylus is top-quality and replaceable. However, the device is not the most lightweight, has no USB or Bluetooth function, no built-in speakers and only 2 speed options.

Pros

  • fantastic sound quality
  • stylish design
  • automatic operation
  • dust protection
  • anti-resonance platter
  • compatibility
  • diamond stylus

Cons

  • a bit expensive
  • no carrying case
  • not the most lightweight
  • no USB, Bluetooth and built-in speakers
  • only 2 speed options available

#3 The Most Affordable Record Player: Jensen JTA-230

Jensen JTA-230

I recommend the turntable as the best for the budget. It stands out from the counterparts by the amazing retro look, great popularity and very affordable price.

It comes with 3 speed options and adjustment, USB port, stereo headphone jack, RCA terminal. The turntable has the beautiful vintage or antique wooden case, being functional and compact. It is recommended for beginners and casual music listening while the sound quality is quite decent.

Pros

  • compact and lightweight
  • affordable
  • RCA output, USB port, stereo speakers available
  • decent sound quality
  • antique look
  • compatible with PC
  • easy-to-use

Cons

  • too small speakers that don’t enable loud sound
  • no counterweight
  • no upgrading possibility
  • no automatic stop
  • manual tonearm lifting
  • not the most durable
  • poor bass response

#4 The Best Portable Record Player for Professionals: Vestax VES-HANDYTRAXUSBBLK

Vestax VES-HANDYTRAXUSBBLK

The product is not the most affordable, so, it’s not very popular. However, I turn your attention to this perfect turntable, as it comes with volume, tone and pitch control. I would call it the best portable record player as it ensures the highest possible sound quality, but for the excessive price. Additionally, the player is slim by design, perfectly transportable, feature-rich and stylish. It comes with a mono-speaker, USB and 3 speed options.

Pros

  • slim design
  • compact and lightweight
  • computer connectivity
  • USB function available
  • pitch, tone and volume control
  • unique sound quality
  • 3-speed playability

Cons

  • high price
  • no Bluetooth
  • no carrying case

#5 An Affordable, Feature-rich Record Player: Wockoder Turntable

Wockoder Turntable

In distinction from the previous product, the turntable is quite affordable and popular. It comes with handy case and beautiful, antique handle. Additionally, all the basic features such as 3 –speed options, Bluetooth, USB and stereo speakers are available.

Pros

  • easy-to-transport
  • nice, vintage design
  • 3 speed options
  • Bluetooth and USB available

Cons

  • not the best sound quality
  • squeaky and wobbly
  • a bit bulky and heavy
  • not durable enough

#6 A Low-cost and Classy Record Player: Numark PT01USB

Numark PT01USB

The item can be called the best portable record player for tough budgets and casual operation. The turntable design is elegant and stylish, but not antique. The basic features such as USB, rechargeable battery, built-in speakers and auto-stop are available.

Meanwhile, the turntable is quite lightweight, easy to carry and portable. 3 speed options and headphone are provided; that’s why it can empower decent and even great sound quality.

Pros

  • reputable brand
  • long (4 hours) battery life
  • 3-speed record player
  • lightweight
  • computer connectivity
  • pitch control
  • cartridge included
  • affordable

Cons

  • basic, minimalistic design
  • no Bluetooth
  • heavy stylus
  • noisy motor operation
  • no counterweight

#7 Vintage-style Record Player: CMC Portable Turntable

CMC Portable Turntable

The turntable stands out from the other devices by its antique, sky blue suitcase with the antique handle. So, it can complement your home design, being still easy to transport. The case is not the most lightweight or compact, but it is quite attractive and affordable.

The record player has USD, Bluetooth features, SD card port, stereo speakers and 3 standard speed options. The sound quality is quite high, or, at least, decent, very good for the price. However, the device has a significant drawback, as the record edges overhang the edges and the risk of damaging them is pretty high.

Pros

  • vintage-style and colorful
  • USB and Bluetooth functions
  • SD card port
  • affordable
  • portable design
  • nice and loud sound
  • built-in speakers
  • rechargeable battery
  • 3 speed options

Cons

  • record damaging risks due to their edges overhanging
  • no volume control
  • common Bluetooth failure issues
  • not durable enough

#8 The Best Portable Turntable for Musicians: Crosley CR704D-PA

Crosley CR704D-PA

The device is not the most compact or affordable. However, it is unique by design, equipped with professional, full-range speakers and Bluetooth function. Additionally, it comes with CD player, airplane tuning dial and cassette decker, has 3 speed settings and AM/FM radio option.

Thus, the turntable is self-sufficient, 5-in-one, recommended for professional musicians, as the sound quality is high and the fidelity and the reliability are acceptable. It looks authentically, is feature-rich and very good for the price.

Pros

  • 5-in-one and feature-rich
  • CD player and cassette decker available
  • the perfect tuning dial
  • authentic design
  • 3 speed options
  • good for the money

Cons

  • bulky and heavy
  • common buttons issues
  • hard-to-read front panel
  • works slowly in about a year of operation
  • the stylus doesn’t return to the cradle automatically
  • no auto stop feature

#9 The Versatile, Well-designed and Affordable Record Player: ION Audio Max LP

ION Audio Max LP

Some people turn attention initially to the affordable devices price, the other ones to its slim and natural design. Both parameters of the ION Audio Max LP turntable are great. It is made of wood, standing out by high-end, conservative design. It suits any room or office design, being compact and perfectly transportable.

Additionally, the device that can be called the best portable record player by design comes with multiple essential features such as USB, CD format converter, dust cover, 3 speeds, built-in speakers, 3.5 mm. input. It is equipped with conical, diamond-tipped stylus and ceramic cartridge. So, the sound quality is pretty good. That’s why I think that the product is worth being listed among the best portable turntables.

Pros

  • versatile
  • well-designed
  • slim and compact
  • feature-rich
  • good, loud sound
  • 3 speed option
  • natural look
  • good for limited space premises
  • affordable

Cons

  • a bit small speakers
  • wobbly
  • too lightweight stylus that is not suitable for old vinyl records
  • common adapter issues
  • the sound is a bit grainy for professionals and audiophiles
  • not the most durable

#10 The Retro Style Portable Turntable: Crosley CR6231A-GR1

Crosley CR6231A-GR1

The turntable is the only record player that comes with a removable stand. Quite naturally, it’s a bit bulky and heavy, but it has really fantastic, vintage look. Coming in green and cream, the device can ornament any retro-style room.

The 2-speed system is perfect, as the cherished vinyl platters are efficiently protected. Additionally, the full-range speakers are extremely large. So, they can empower the top-quality sound. The volume can be made quite loud. The diamond stylus and the arm are also quite good to avoid any skips. Thus, the decorative turntable is recommended for home listening in very good sound quality.

Pros

  • fantastic, retro-style design
  • the removable stand available
  • great, powerful speakers
  • models with Bluetooth are available
  • good arm and heavy needle
  • easy to set up

Cons

  • heavy and bulky
  • only 2 speed options
  • a bit expensive
  • unstable legs
  • no counterweight

#11 A Customizable, Great Looking and Affordable Record Player: Victrola Vintage Turntable

Victrola Vintage Turntable

The product can be called the best portable record player in terms of the cost as it is really affordable. Meanwhile, it has a lot of perfect portability options, providing quite decent sound for the money.

The record player comes in the shape of a suitcase, being available in multiple color options. It has the comfortable handle, being easy to carry and very lightweight. The turntable is well-designed, looking nice and providing the 50s feeling style.

Additionally, it is quite advanced in terms of the technologies, coming with Bluetooth option, 3.5 mm and RCA aux-ins, headphone jack. The turntable is 3-speed, being equipped with the large, built-in speakers. Thus, it enables quite decent sound that is certainly not perfect, but still very good for the price.

Pros

  • great, vintage design
  • perfect portability
  • customizable
  • affordable
  • multiple color options
  • 3-speed performance
  • decent sound

Cons

  • poor bass response
  • common record skipping issues
  • unstable
  • not durable enough
  • wobbly

#12 The Highly Portable and Durable Record Player: 1byone Belt-Drive Turntable

1byone Belt-Drive Turntable

The product looks very similar to the previous item, but it is a bit heavier and made of top-quality materials. The briefcase is easy to carry, coming with the soft, comfortable handle. Additionally, it is rugged, but the records still overhang the edges, and the risk of bumping or scratching them is high.

The turntable is feature-rich, coming with 3 speed options, RCA and headphone jacks. The built-in speakers are large enough to ensure good-quality sound that is decent, but not perfect for professional use, anyway.

Pros

  • portable and durable
  • easy to use
  • affordable
  • heavy-duty, rugged briefcase
  • RCA jack
  • damping control
  • 3 speed settings

Cons

  • the ceramic stylus is not replaceable
  • wobbly
  • a bit bulky, wide case
  • not too loud speakers
  • not sufficient records protection

Buyers Guide

What Are the Basic Characteristics of the Best Portable Record Player?

Going to buy a modern and functional device, it’s highly advisable to study the market perfectly, reading an informative portable record player review or several articles. Quite naturally, the real treasures are your cherished vinyl records, but the turntable is certainly a good investment, designed for several years of reliable operation, at least, and ensuring the decent or excellent sound quality.
The basic factors I recommend to consider to make an informed decision are:

  • the speakers
  • basic and extra features
  • power source
  • portability
  • the records’ protection
  • durability
  • cost

The turntable’s design is the factor you can never neglect. Every buyer would think about the record player’s size, weight, look and color to meet the personal needs and preferences. Thus, I would advise you to select the best turntable with speakers, even though it is large and a bit bulky. The reason is that only the large, built-in speakers enable good sound quality acceptable for musicians and audiophiles.

I recommend you only the models with powerful speakers and 3, or, at least, 2 speed options. 33, 45 and 78 RPM are the standard speed options to play various records in high sound quality. The arm is to be heavy enough to avoid scratches. The diamond stylus is preferable for reliable and durable operation. Additionally, the cartridge and the platter are to be made of top-quality materials.

Computer compatibility, CD player, and converting the records to the modern digital files, USB and Bluetooth, AM/FM radio options are the additional features that are good, but not the most essential.

Battery powered record players are perfect due to their portability, and you can use them outdoors or anywhere during 3-4 hours. The turntable can be powered through a USB port. However, the possibility to use the primary power supply, plugging it into a wall outlet, is a must.

Additionally, the devices that are equipped with the briefcases are amazing as they are easy to transport. The other models are slim, suitable for the limited office or house spaces. They are usually minimalist by design and looking quite good. Meanwhile, a dust cover should be included to protect the records.

Finally, you certainly consider your budget, selecting an affordable or a top-quality record player. Anyway, choosing the product that meets your professional needs and ensures the high sound quality, it is to be made of the to-quality materials, being durable and reliable. In this case, turn your attention to the device’s stability, performance and basic features.

How to Know Which RPM to Select?

The records playing speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). It means that the platter should spin the definite times completely during the minute. All existing records are designed to be played at the certain speed that is 33-1/3, 45 or 78 RPM.

The most common speed in 45 RPM. It is typical for 7 and 10-inch records. 33-1/3 RPM speed is habitual for 12-inch vinyl records. They are called long-playing (LP), have the same thickness as the CD discs and it takes about 20-30 minutes to play every record side completely, from the outside edge to the center.

78.26 RPM records are quite rare. This speed became possible only in 1888 due to the invention of Edison cylinder and was formally standardized in 1925 thanks to the electric motor and phonograph application.

Actually, slow-speed records that are 16-2/3 RPM also exist, but they are considered to be of low sound quality and designed for spoken-words and talking books recordings. Only the fast playing speed that is 78 and 45 RPM is acceptable for the professional music reproduction. It enables the decent sound quality and fidelity.

So, the best portable record player comes with 3 standard speed options. It is easy to switch it to the necessary speed value that is certainly specified on the vinyl record’s label.

How Does the Best Portable Turntable Works?

Old and fashionable record players were widespread until the 1980s. The devices known as Edison phonographs were equipped with large, beautiful horns to amplify the sound waves. They were replaced by the compact CD players that became very popular soon.

Meanwhile, the modern and portable turntables and record players are coming back to the market, becoming irreplaceable for the professional DJs, musicians and the real audiophiles. It is well-known nowadays that only the analog, but not digital devices can reproduce the music in high quality.

Thus, the modern, best portable turntables are very similar to the old analogues or predecessors. They use electromagnetic power and mechanical technology to convert the sound vibrations into the electrical signals. The sound is heard, being loud enough for the human ears thanks to the essential turntable’s parts:

  • electronic amplifier
  • build-in loudspeakers
  • headphone

The other important parts of every record player evident for the common customers are:

  • stylus with the needle
  • cartridge
  • platter
  • electric motor
  • rubber belt

The stylus is the tiny, cone-shaped turntable’s part that is commonly made of the diamond or crystal sapphire. It is mounted on the very end of the bar or tonearm made of durable and lightweight metal. It is to be flexible enough, but a bit heavy to avoid skipping the records and scratching them.

The cartridge is also mounted on the tonearm (inside). This electromagnetic component’s quality is very important, as it actually reproduces the sound thanks to the tiny coils and the magnet inside it. The vibrations that hit the coils are transformed into the necessary electrical signals that are amplified later and transmitted through the speakers.

Every best portable record player I recommend is belt-driven, so a small and thin rubber belt is inside it. The electric motor quality is crucial for the turntable durability. So, if any information provided, pay some attention to the manufacturer, warranty and the voltage.

Conclusion

best portable turntable overallThus, studying the portable record player review, select the device that meets your needs, preferences and requirements. The best portable turntable overall I recommend is Goodnew Suitcase Turntable. It is equipped with the rugged cover that efficiently protects your cherished vinyl records. Additionally, it is feature-rich and quite affordable for the quality.


the premium option
Audio-Technica-LP60 is the premium option, in my opinion. It is slim-designed, fully automated, coming with the perfect diamond stylus and phono cartridge. That’s why it ensures the top sound quality acceptable for audiophiles and only the Vestax VES-HANDYTRAXUSBBLK and Crossley products can be compared with it.


budget optionWhen your budget is tough, and the record playing needs are not professional, for example, selecting a Christmas gift for your kids, opt for a budget option such as Jensen JTA-230. It is stylish, feature-rich, compact and easy-to-use. Victrola Vintage, 1byone and ION Audio Max PL products are also very affordable. Additionally, they are notable for beautiful, retro-style design.

Finally, I recommend you only the best portable turntables that enable at least the decent or high sound quality acceptable for any, even the most exacting customer. So, select the suitable, feature-rich and top-quality, just the best portable record player and enjoy your favorite music compositions.

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