Being an audiophile is quite easy for those who don’t have to save for months to get a good piece of equipment. However, those of us who do need to be cautious about how we spend our money, there are other options. Of course, our options require some research and investigating, but if it is done properly, it is really worth it. I’ve spent a few months searching for the best record player under 100, and I wasn’t disappointed. I researched and tested a lot of turntables, and ended up with a list of the best ones that anyone can possibly find. If you share the same experience as me, and you want to save some money while getting a good unit, here is the list of the record players you should be looking at.
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1. Victrola Suitcase Record Player
Of course, the first one on my list is the Victrola portable suitcase turntable. I loved it from the first time I laid my eyes on it because it seemed like a classic but with hidden features, and this is exactly what this record player really is.
I was amazed that at this price range I got built-in Bluetooth technology and I was able to wirelessly stream music from all of my Bluetooth enabled devices. This feature is also great for those who really despise cord clutter like me because the Victrola can be used without any wires. Sound quality-wise, I was amazed by the built-in stereo speakers that provide a nice, smooth sound without any noticeable distortion.
Asides from the above-price features, the Victrola features a 3-speed system (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM) and it is an old-timey belt driven turntable. If you value connectivity as I do, you should know that it features a 3.5mm aux-in jack, enabling you to play music from other devices which don’t rely on Bluetooth.
Still, what caught my eye in the first place was the awesome design. Coming in 13.9 x 10.1 x 5 inches, the Victrola turntable amazed me because it is compact, portable and stylish. It comes in a large variety of colors, which is only a plus for the other features like the RCA Aux-in for external speakers or headphones. I enjoyed carrying it around with the handle because it is comfortable and doesn’t weigh a lot, making it more fun for me.
- It has built-in Bluetooth technology
- Easily portable and lightweight
- Has a handle for carrying it around
- Extremely good sound quality for a turntable at this price range
- Not very loud
2. Jensen JTA-222 Record Player
The third record player on my list is again a three-speed one. Of course, it had to find a place on the list, because it is so good and most of the audiophiles have already found out about it. This is why, the Jensen JTA-222 respectfully gained a place on the list of the best record players under 100.
Asides from being a budget-friendly option, it is a high-quality, vintage unit that can satisfy the needs of a lot of audio enthusiast. As I said before, it is a 3-speed turntable, and it has some great features including an AM/FM stereo radio.
Additionally, it features two built-in front facing speakers that project a very clear sound, and the volume can go quite high. Moreover, I loved the fact that for a cheap record player, it has an external RCA speaker output jacks, stereo headphone jack, power indicator as well as a dust cover.
It is very unique too. It has an antique wooden case design, which is basically a classic in the turntable world. With a metallic control panel and a wooden case, it can surely fit into any room easily, which is why I recommend it to those who are cautious about aesthetics. It is compact yet powerful, making it a great choice for any small home turntable. It is powered by a 120V AC power, which is more than anyone can ever need. For its price, it is truly an incredible value.
The antique wooden case design gives this turntable a classic look. It”s powered by 120V AC power. The JTA-222 is packed with all the features you need, at a truly incredible value!
- The volume can go quite high
- Nice sound
- Has a power indicator
- Equipped with powerful dual speakers
- Durable construction
- The headphone jack doesn’t work nicely with speakers
3. Denon DP-29F
Next up on my list is the Denon DP-300F. I noticed that the DP-300F was designed with heavier base construction compared to other similarly priced turntables. However, this ensures that the vibration is minimized. Thus, it has improved performance and, high-quality sound.
I wouldn’t suggest this record player for beginner turntable owners as most of the things are done manually. However, those who know their way around a record player will enjoy working with this unit. It has a nice tonearm with a removable head shell, and although simple, the cartridge replacement process is seamless too. Also, the head shell allows for any standard mount cartridge too. All you need is a cartridge between 5 and 10 grams and you’ll mount it easily.
Asides from the manually-done things, there are some automatic features on this turntable too. It has an automatic startup feature. This one lets the turntable to start playing with the touch of a button, and once the record has finished, the tonearm will return to the armrest gently. This action also makes sure that the stylus and record are not scratched or damaged in any way.
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I really loved that this record player is made of rigid diecast aluminum. These materials produce an equal rotation and ensure that there is a smooth flutter free operation. If you enjoy working your way around the player, you will find the manual lifter mechanism handy. This allows you to place the needle on the record wherever you want. This way, you’ll be able to skip songs whenever you like. You should also know that the unit has a built-in phono equalizer and it is powered by a DC servo motor and belt drive system. Also, it has rotation speeds of 33 1/3 or 45 RPM.
- Low vibration
- Very sleek design with heavier base construction
- Has a built in-phono equalizer
- Not very easy to install it into a home theater system
- It is quite heavy so it can’t be moved around easily
4. Audio-Technica AT-LP60
As an entry-level record player, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a great unit offering a lot of features, especially considering its price range. This turntable is simply the perfect choice for those who want to rediscover the classic 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records. Asides from being highly affordable, it is a fully automatic belt-drive unit with a lot to offer for a budget-conscious audio enthusiast.
First of all, it features a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier together with RCA output cables to connect to audio systems and powered speakers, for a more professional approach towards audio. I was amazed by the integral Audio-Technica dual magnet phono cartridge because it comes with a replaceable diamond stylus for better durability of the unit. This also makes it a great investment on the long run as it guarantees that you will be able to use it for a longer period of time without having to make additional investments.
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If you are a beginner, I highly recommend this record player for you because it has the features that you need. As a fully automatic turntable, the unit places the stylus on records instead of you doing it. Also, it automatically returns the tonearm when your record ends.
Also, I enjoyed the platter which is made of anti-resonance and the unit features die-cast aluminum, which is there to minimize the vibration. Together with the phono pre-amp gain of 36 dB nominal and the RIAA equalized, this unit offers nothing but good sound.
Last but not least, I should mention the connectivity options. The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 features a wide variety of connectivity options. These include (as I said before) a built-in switchable phono pre-amplifier with RCA output cables. Also, it has two output adapter cables and a 45 RPM adapter.
- Easy operation with simple functions
- Design with belt-drive
- Great for beginners as it is fully automatic
- Prone to damage
- The dust protector is not very helpful
5. 1byone Belt-Drive
If you want a stylish record player with an awesome design and decent features for an excellent price – the 1byone belt-drive is the one for you. This record player has more than just a crazy-stylish design with black or turquoise color. It has great built-in stereo speakers facing the front of the suitcase. They add up to a great sound together with the dynamic, balanced tone arm with soft damping control.
Design-wise, this briefcase-styled record player is great for carrying around. Its great portability comes from the very lightweight construction and the comfortable handle. Still, don’t be fooled by the lightweight features of it. It is made from high-quality materials and it is basically hard to damage. I really loved the whole design and the shape of it because it is very easy to store. It can stand almost anywhere where you have free space.
According to your own needs, you can select from three different speed settings – 33, 45 or 78 RPM. Also, with the whole package you get a 45-RPM adapter that you should use if you want to play 45 records.
Connectivity wise, the 1byone belt-drive record player has a RCA output and a headphone jack line in and line out. It isn’t hard to connect to any device, so, I will also suggest this one for beginners. Especially for younger audio enthusiasts as it is very retro and trendy at the same time. With the integrated speakers and the PU leather case which is durable, you’ll be very cool and yet, professional. The front-facing speakers create a very nice listening experience, in different environments. Most importantly, if you want to keep your music to yourself – you just connect it to your headphones.
- Great connectivity options
- Stylish design, great for young people
- Overall durable construction
- Front facing speakers
- Only comes in two colors – turquoise and black
- Audio Cable is not included
6. GOODNEW Vinyl Record Player
For a company that started doing professional manufacture of record players not so long ago, I have to admit, GOODNEW surprised me a lot! I knew that they were somewhat popular in Europe, but America is still about to learn about these high-quality, low-price record players. With this turntable, they surely changed the game of what a budget friendly record player can do.
With its suitcase-like design, it is old-timey and they seem to have gone with the flow and added an FM radio in the unit, for those who still like to listen to the radio. I personally don’t, but I can see why some people would enjoy having a suitcase radio with them at all times. As I said, it is a suitcase-design record player, so it has a handle. But, what I noticed about it is that I was able to hold it for a very long time, and it seems to be ergonomic because it didn’t feel painful at all.
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The company states that they tested the button for 5000 times, which speaks for their aim to achieve customer satisfaction, and I for one, was satisfied. The turntable features an auto-off technology which stops the record player from working when the record ha came to an end.
However, the most important thing that you are probably wondering about is the sound quality. I’m happy to say that this record player features two stereo speakers (1W RMS) which are built in and they work perfectly. The unit features three speed settings – 33, 45, 78 RPM speed settings too. Still, what I really loved about it is that it can play records of different sizes. Specifically, it is compatible with vinyl records of 7 / 10 / 12 inches.
- Features Aux Jack and RCA out and Line out
- Supports Bluetooth technology
- High quality charging cable
- Auto-stop features
- Smooth sound
- Might be too heavy for some people
7. Pyle PLTTB1 Record Player
For those who like to find a high-quality belt-drive turntable, I proudly recommend the Pyle PLTTB1 one. It is a simple, almost rugged but yet a very reliable record player for beginner audiophiles or even mid-level audio enthusiasts. What I loved about it is that it is a very easy-to-use beltdrive turntable, with simple control panel and easy to maneuver features.
I’ve heard that people like this one because it is excellent for beat-matching and scratching, but I only used it for playing vinyl on it. Still, it is the best thing that a beginner DJ can have without having to make a large investment.
As an affordable option for anyone who values high-quality sound, it can easily handle modern vinyl and classic LPs, and they will sound like new. The features of this record player is long. It includes a weighted “S” tonearm that tracks nicely as well as dual playback speeds (33-1/3 and 45 rpm). I was also very fond of the adjustable pitch control of +/- 16 percent. This record player also features a stroboscope lamp that shines on the outside-edge markings. This is quite helpful for those who want to make precise speed adjustments without any fuss. Also, the integrated start and stop switch is quite handy for these people too.
The list of features goes on including a balanced counterweight, a dustcover and an anti-skating function. I was really amazed by this cool record player. I expected this from Pyle, but for a cheap turntable, I still am amazed by the weighted tonearm and the lamp for fast operation.
- Features a cartridge, 45RPM adapter and a stylus
- Has a weighted “S” tonearm
- Cool lamp for easy operation
- Can be used by DJs and home-listeners
- The construction is prone to damage if not cared for properly
- Requires maintenance
The above list for the best record player under 100 consists of some of the best units that you can buy right now. I hope that by now you have enough information as to which turntable or record player will best suit your needs. We know there’s something for every vinyl and music lover in each one of the reviewed units.