The Best Turntables in Australia: Record Player Reviews

The Best Turntables in Australia: Record Player Reviews

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Record players are back and they are here to stay. Offering a timeless feel, great sound and more modern features than ever, it’s the perfect time to bring a vinyl turntable home.

No matter what your budget or requirements, finding the best record player for you is now far easier than it used to be. We’ve rounded up and reviewed some of the best turntable options out there and the buyers guide below will help you identify which features to look out for.

1. Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Turntable (Top Pick)

Audio Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK Direct-Drive Fully Manual Turntable (Analog & USB) with Phono Preamp 33/45/78 RPM Speeds Includes Dust Cover (Black)

The AT-LP120X from Audio Technica is a beautifully designed, sturdy and modern turntable that is able to play your old records and convert them to digital files too. This model is our top pick as it looks incredible, offers great functionality and plays high definition music.

The aluminium platter is professional-grade and the set includes a felt mat to reduce vibration. The turntable also comes with a removable hinged dust cover so you can keep it clean and prevent debris from ruining your listening experience. The built-in phono stage is switchable meaning it can suit phone or line-level output.

The set up is easy and it is simple to select the playing speed (33, 45 or 78 RPM) as the controls are conveniently positioned next to the start button. This turntable can spin freely without resistance making it a suitable choice for DJs that are mixing records too. One of the defining features of this model is the ability to convert your vinyl record collection to digital audio quickly and easily through USB recording.

What We Like:

  • Easy to set up
  • Smart, user-friendly design with customisable features
  • USB connectivity allows conversion to digital audio

What We Don’t Like:

  • A lot of it is made from plastic

2. Sony Turntable with Bluetooth connectivity (Best Value)

The best value vinyl player is this Sony Turntable with Bluetooth connectivity. It looks sleek and sturdy with an aluminium tonearm and platter that comes together to offer stable, rich playback. The set also has a removable dust cover that offers protection.

Set-up takes just a few minutes and connecting to a Bluetooth speaker requires the simple push of a button. The controls are simple, you can select the speed (33 or 45 RPM) and the size and the rest is done for you so if you’re looking for a user-friendly entry-level turntable this is ideal.

The sound produced by this Bluetooth turntable is rich, crisp and offers nice tones in the levels. You can directly connect an analog amplifier which offers a cleaner, warmer sound than Bluetooth but both are good. The features are modern, the player is easy to use and the performance is great.

What We Like:

  • Excellent value
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sleek design

What We Don’t Like:

  • Offers limited customizable options

3. Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Wireless Belt-Drive Turntable

Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-WH Bluetooth Wireless Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable 33/45 RPM Speeds with Phono Preamp Includes Dust Cover and Dual Magnet Phono Cartridge (White/Black)

The AT-LP60 is a great option for beginners as it offers wireless audio, high-quality playback and user-friendly automatic controls. It has a built-in phono making connecting the system to speakers straight forward.

This budget-friendly option is sleek, space-saving and very light so is great if you have limited space. Assembling this turntable takes a bit longer than other options but the instructions come with helpful illustrations to assist you with this.

Once assembled, pressing the start button will automatically spin the platter and lower the tone arm. You can use it wirelessly via Bluetooth or using a wired connection such as headphones or speakers. Pairing Bluetooth devices is seamless and an LED light indicates when the connection is successful.

What We Like:

  • Automatic controls
  • Great entry-level option
  • Space-saving design

What We Don’t Like:

  • The material does not feel as sturdy as other turntables

4. Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 Turntable

A beautiful combination of analog and digital technology, this turntable offers wired, wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity options giving you freedom and flexibility. Whether you are a beginner or looking for something a bit more professional, this is a solid option for all uses.

The Vinyl 500 Turntable has excellent build quality and offers high-quality audio no matter how you choose to listen. It even has the ability to work with voice-control devices such as Alexa. When playing vinyl records, the audio sounds great and the turntable looks timeless.

The MusicCast app is required to connect the turntable to Wi-Fi. The app has an intuitive, user-friendly interface and once connected you can play music wirelessly when spinning a record or play music from multiple streaming services including Spotify and Deezer. With so many features, it is no surprise this product falls into a higher price range but if you’re looking for a versatile and modern sound system, this could be a good option.

What We Like:

  • Lots of modern features
  • Timeless appearance
  • Excellent audio quality

What We Don’t Like:

  • High price-tag

5. Denon DP 300f Record Player

The Denon DP 300f is a convenient, fully automatic record player that offers good sound quality for entry-level users. The biggest draw to this model is the ease of operation as there’s no fiddly controls or complicated components to worry about when you want to play your vinyl collection.

The metallic black finish looks beautiful and the set up is easy. You can change the speed and size at the push of a button. If your record is a different size you can also manually queue the needle yourself. The belt-driven turntable dampens motor vibrations and the built-in preamp has a toggle switch so you can turn it on and off as required.

The sound quality is good enough but is far from the best so if you’re working with high-quality speakers or headphones you’re likely to hear a difference. If you’re looking for an entry-level option that will get you listening to records at the touch of a button, this is a well-suited option.

What We Like:

  • Fully automatic
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy setup 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Average sound quality

Record Player Buyer’s Guide

If this is your first record player or at least the first one you’ve bought in several years, a lot has changed and there’s lots to be aware of when choosing a new player for your vinyl music. The guide below with help you find the best turntable for your needs.

Belt Drive vs Direct Drive

This relates to how the motor and the platter are connected:

  • Belt Drive – a belt drive uses an elastic band connected to the motor to turn the platter. It reduces vibration and eliminates motor noise.
  • Direct Drive – a direct drive gets up to speed almost instantly and the platter can be turned freely. This is often the choice of professional DJs.

Manual vs Automatic

Manual – a manual turntable requires you to lift the tonearm and place the needle onto the groove of the record. You will also need to lift it off at the end of the side. Manual is great for those who want excellent sound quality and don’t mind the extra effort it takes.

Semi-automatic – a semi-automatic record player requires you to lower the tonearm at the beginning but will lift and return the tonearm when the record is done.

Automatic – a fully automatic option is great as a first turntable as all you need to do is push a button and the turntable automatically moves the tonearm into position and returns it to its original position when the record is finished.

Important Parts of the Turntable

  • Phono Preamp – the phono preamp (also called phono stage) is what gets the music to a level that can be played through speakers. Most turntables have a built-in phono stage and it can be built-in to the table, to a receiver, to speakers or it can be a separate component entirely.
  • Cartridge – the cartridge is usually pre-mounted to the tonearm and contains the stylus (or needle). Cartridges can be upgraded and replaced as required.

Create Digital Copies

Some modern turntables give you the option to create digital copies of your favourite records. This is carried out via USB so if you want this feature make sure the player as a USB output.


Key Difference in Turntables

There are some key factors that make it easy to differentiate entry-level turntables from slightly more sophisticated models. Below are features you can expect from each level:

1. Entry Level Turntables

  • Aluminium platter and tonearm
  • Automatic operation
  • Built-in preamp
  • Plastic body

2. Mid-Level Turntables

  • Steel/ acrylic platter
  • Carbon fibre tonearm
  • Manual operation
  • Heavy base

3. High-Level Turntables

  • Advanced engineering of parts
  • High-quality, sometimes trademarked, platter
  • No built-in preamp
  • High-end cartridge

Record Player FAQs

Which is better, a belt or direct drive turntable?

Both types have pros and cons, generally belt drive turntables are more popular as they lessen motor interference and dampen vibrations to give a cleaner sound. Direct drive is best suited to DJs as they are reliable, offer faster start-up speeds and are less vulnerable to external force.

This article was written by Cara Holmes

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