3rd Eye Tunes Turntables Our ratings Best Turntables Under $300 – Quality on a Budget

Best Turntables Under $300 – Quality on a Budget

If you thought there were no models worthy of your attention in the budget segment, and your budget still does not allow you to buy a premium turntable, then I hasten to rejoice. The best turntable under $300 exists!

In this article, I have collected models that can suit both future audiophiles and unassuming users who just want to listen to vinyl without fuss. For the former, after the review, I prepared a small introductory section explaining the importance of choosing certain parts to upgrade in the future and reach a higher level in the tradition of analog sound. For the latter, I simply invite you on a little but fascinating virtual journey.

Our pick
Fluance RT82
Fluance RT82
Best turntable under $300
With its precision-crafted components and high-fidelity playback capabilities, the Fluance RT82 offers audiophiles a premium vinyl listening experience. Read the full review.

Turntables under $300 comparison table

Name Drive type Operation type Speeds Phono Pre-Amp Bluetooth Review
Fluance RT82 best overall belt semi automatic 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM no no Review
Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT also great belt fully automatic 33 1/3, 45 RPM yes yes Review
1 BY ONE H004 with bookshelf speakers belt manual 33 1/3, 45 RPM yes yes Review
Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 all-in-one belt manual 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM yes yes Review
ANGELS HORN H019 belt manual 33 1/3, 45 RPM yes yes Review

Best turntables under $300 reviews

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Fluance RT82 – best overall

Fluance RT82 features

Topping my list of top turntables under 300 bucks represents the RT line from Fluance. This belt-driven semi-automatic turntable has the potential for further upgrades, but right out of the box, it sounds good enough not to require an immediate investment. Except that, you’ll need an external preamplifier (there’s no built-in one), but that’s considered a sign of good taste in connoisseurs’ circles. For this and other qualities, it gets the first-place winner.

The 14.99-pound MDF chassis holds its balance quite well against external vibrations. But the unique trick invented by the brand is that under the plinth, you will find only 3 oddly shaped legs. This shape and springiness of the rubber feet just do a great job of damping. The design is classic and stylish, and you can choose from 4 finishes to suit your taste.

I could align the S-shaped aluminum tonearm well, even though the kit only comes with a bubble leveler. But the main bonus is the Ortofon OM 10 cartridge. Besides being good on its own, you can easily replace it with one of several Ortofon models. The controls are 2 speeds (33 1/3 and 48 RPM), but I like that you don’t have to touch the deck to change speeds like you would with a push-button design. The auto-lift feature, on the other hand, is a total disappointment for the power user. It takes from 1 to 2 minutes, and all that time, the needle just scratches the record. Nevertheless, forgetters or those who like falling asleep to their favorite tunes will still find it useful.

Fluance RT82 sound

The 7-point silicone insulation of the motor is very good at damping noise. The included mat is rubber. Usually, cheap models use fabric ones, which are better to throw away immediately. I wanted to check the performance of the Ortofon OM 10, and it did not disappoint me. The sound is rich, precise, nuanced, much more bassy, and warm than the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, which comes second on my list.

In my review, the Fluance RT82 is the best record player under $300. The belt drive is a tradition of vinyl classics; the lack of a preamp is the manufacturer’s concern for you (rather than installing something ridiculous, they’d rather you choose), the anti-vibration data (weight, special unique feet, motor insulation) do a great job, and even the shape of the tonearm here is the most optimal, so you listen to what’s on the record, not guess what’s being sung or played on it. Even the built-in cartridge is good, but its main merit is that it can be replaced with a better one. The only disappointment is the auto-lift function, which takes 1-2 minutes before the tonearm elevators up. But if you want to become a true audiophile, use it exclusively by hand.

Key specs

  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: semi automatic.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45, 78.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: no.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: no.
  • Aux input: no.


  • Good anti-vibration data: normal weight, cool damping feet,.
  • 7-point silicone insulation of the motor suppresses its noise.
  • S-shaped tonearm.
  • Good Ortofon OM 10 cartridge with the option to upgrade to high-end models.
  • Speeds are switched so you don’t touch the surface of the chassis.
  • Rubber mat included.


  • The lack of a built-in preamp will require an investment, but that’s the sign of a good turntable.
  • Automatic elevators take 1 to 2 minutes.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT – also great

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT features

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT comes in at number two, more for its sound level and the fact that you won’t need to invest. It’s also a fully automatic turntable, which means it’s perfect for beginners and won’t harm your records.

If you try to compare it with the Fluance RT82, you’ll get a not-so-catchy situation, as the model in question vividly represents the budget segment. In contrast, the leader is rather a basis for creating a better option over time. Let me start with the fact that the AT-LP60XBT body is incredibly light (5.73 pounds) and has a lot of plastic parts. So I recommend handling it carefully and mounting it on a stable, flat surface.

The straight tonearm is inferior to the S-shaped, but the ATN3600L’s built-in diamond-tipped cartridge increases the odds for the record. Such a cart won’t damage the grooves, and it’s durable. But its huge downside is that it can’t be replaced. The installation and controls are so simple that even a child can handle it. Weight or anti-skating adjustments are set at the factory. You’ll get the Bluetooth feature that supports SBC and aptX codecs. I’m not a connoisseur of digitizing analog audio, but I understand many people might like it. Nevertheless, the broadcast quality is questionable.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT sound

The sound of the AT-LP60XBT is good. It’s brisk and bright but lacks the detail that the Fluance RT82 has. There’s much less bass, but I can’t say the sound is muddy or flat. If you compare it to the models in my review, this turntable aligns more with the concept of a vinyl turntable than any of them.

For an inexperienced user who doesn’t know how to handle the tonearm and needle, AT-LP60XBT is one of the best turntables under $300. The controls are fully automatic, the built-in cartridge has a diamond tip, and the tonearm is factory-tuned. In general, the configuration is plug-and-play. And the Bluetooth function, though lame, still allows you to use wireless speakers.

Another thing is that you can’t replace the cartridge. The construction is so light and has a lot of plastic unreliable parts that comparison with the leader of the rating Fluance RT82 is almost impossible. But it sounds pretty good, and if you connect an external preamp, you can get more details. This is enough to get you interested in vinyl and eventually move on to more expensive, attention-demanding models.

Key specs

  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: fully automatic.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: yes.
  • USB: no.
  • Aux input: no.


  • The fully automatic controls are ideal for beginners.
  • The diamond-tipped stylus won’t ruin your records.
  • Weight adjustment and anti-skate are preset at the factory.
  • Plug and play principle.
  • There is a Bluetooth function with support for SBC and aptX codecs.


  • Lots of plastic in construction, the lightest in this selection.
  • The cartridge can’t be replaced, and the straight tonearm is worse than the curved one.
  • Bluetooth doesn’t work too confidently.

1 BY ONE H004 – with bookshelf speakers

1 BY ONE H004 features

1 BY ONE H004 is another good turntable for under $300. But my skepticism is based on the fact that the set comes with 2 wireless shelf speakers, and I have already expressed my opinion about the digitization of analog sound. Nevertheless, the deck has potential.

The chassis is heavier than the AT-LP60XBT and Fluance RT82 (20.9 lb). So, the turntable does a great job of resisting vibrations. The heavy iron platter also helps with this. The panel has a 2-speed switch, but this is a manual control turntable. This model also has a straight tonearm (like the AT), but the Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge can be replaced, and the tonearm can be customized independently. However, for a beginner, this can be tricky.

1 BY ONE H004 sound

1 BY ONE H004 has a built-in preamplifier, and it sounds quite normal from the start. But with the external one, the picture changed steeply for the better. I have complaints about the speakers; they make a hissing sound at high volume, and at too low, a digital pop filter shuts down the whole system. They’re not terrible, but mediocre. Thank God there are connectors for regular wired speakers. A USB function, though, will allow digitized music lovers to record tracks from records to a PC.

So, 1 BY ONE H004 as a vinyl record player with speakers did not impress me, frankly speaking. This Bluetooth turntable, in its original form, sounds mediocre. But if you look at the deck in isolation, it has good potential, as you can improve the sound with an external amplifier and by changing the cartridge. Plus, the manual control and self-tuning of the tonearm will teach you the culture of handling vinyl. The H004 is pretty in a wood finish and can be pleasing to the eye if you ignore the cheap plastic of the dust cover.

Key specs

  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: yes.
  • USB: yes.
  • Aux input: no.


  • Bluetooth speakers are included for those who like to save money.
  • Quite heavy and stable design.
  • The cartridge can be replaced.
  • Tonearm can be adjusted to suit you.
  • You can record records on a PC (there is a USB).


  • Manual controls can be tricky for a beginner.
  • The speakers are mediocre.
  • When you turn the volume down, the digital pop filter shuts down the entire system.

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 – all-in-one

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 features

Well, let’s get down to reviews of turntables that are more related to entertainment than a true understanding of analog sound. Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 is a vivid example of a good model for unpretentious listeners. It will suit fans who like to pay 3 cents and get the whole world (really, do you believe it’s possible?).

I’ll try to abstract my understanding of vinyl and describe this model as unbiased as possible. But this is not a turntable. It is a kind of musical complex with unbiased tastes. In front of you is an enormous-sized device (12.25 x 17.3 x 13.5 inches) weighing 23.75 pounds. Very similar to the radio of the 50’s. Accordingly, you have a platter and tonearm under a wooden cover (MDF), Bluetooth, Aux in, AM/FM Radio, CD Player, and USB. All that’s missing is a cassette player for your grandmother’s collection.

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 sound

The main part of the design is a built-in speaker that can serve as a wireless speaker for your smartphone. All the elements here are nameless, including the ceramic cartridge, which will definitely scratch your records. But it can spin records at 3 speeds (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM).

Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 vinyl player under $300 will appeal to those who have leftover CDs, prefer a regular radio, still connect to devices with the help of USB, and want to listen to records (scratch). You can turn on headphones, listen to music through the built-in speaker, or use the device as a Bluetooth speaker. You can even spin records at 3 speeds with that shoddy cart. Its sound is average, and there is no way to improve it. Looks like you are not too demanding, so it’s fine for you, as I didn’t hear any outright dirt or failures. But that’s all I can say. Can I move on now?

Key specs

  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45, 78.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: yes.
  • USB: yes.
  • Aux input: yes.


  • Turntable, Bluetooth, Aux in, AM/FM Radio, CD Player, and USB in one unit.
  • It can spin records at 3 speeds.


  • Huge and heavy, it takes up a lot of space.
  • The ceramic cartridge is 100% likely to scratch your records.
  • This is not a vinyl player but a device that can play vinyl.
  • The sound is ok, but there is no way to improve it.


ANGELS HORN H019 features

Another Bluetooth speaker that can scroll through vinyl records on my list is the ANGELS HORN H019. But this model has some advantages relative to upgrading.

The MDF construction is simple, the tonearm is straight, but there’s a built-in switchable preamp, and the Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge is replaceable, too. It’s the same cartridge as the 1 BY ONE H004, by the way. And in general, you could say you get even more than with the H004 since there is a speaker if its quality doesn’t disappoint me. You have to pick up some unspecified average speed to hear good sound. At a higher volume, I heard noise and grinding. When pairing the phone, the same result. The good news is that you can connect wired speakers and an external amplifier and even replace the cartridge, thus improving the system’s sound. But unlike Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1, there are only 2 speeds here.

ANGELS HORN H019 sound

ANGELS HORN H019 is not a bad option for getting an all-in-one device. Its built-in preamplifier and speaker are questionable, although if you adjust the volume in a certain way, you can get quite a great, affordable turntable. It is especially possible to upgrade – replace Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge (like 1 BY ONE H004), connect wired speakers, and connect an external preamplifier. But all this requires additional investment. Still, I like it better than the Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1, even though it has fewer features and only 2 record spin speeds.

Key specs

  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Phono Pre-Amp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: yes.
  • USB: no.
  • Aux input: yes.


  • The all-in-one unit includes a built-in speaker.
  • Audio-Technica AT3600L Replaceable Cartridge.
  • It can be upgraded (replace the cartridge, connect external preamp, connect good speakers).


  • The built-in speaker is not the highest quality.
  • Only 2 spin speeds.

Factors to consider when choosing turntables under $300

To make your choice of a budget turntable, not a nightmare, I will briefly tell you what I usually pay attention to when testing. Understanding the importance of these factors can make the initial purchase much easier, further upgrading without replacing the whole turntable, and, most importantly – it will help to educate you in the tradition and culture of vinyl.




The cartridge is the first and foremost part that affects the sound of vinyl. How it removes sound from the record’s sound grooves determines how much you can love analog sound. That’s why choosing models with a replaceable cartridge is important, even in the budget segment. The companies Ortofon and Audio-Technica offer a wide range of cartridges for every budget (from a couple of dozen bucks to a couple thousand), so finding and replacing a part is not so terrible. The main thing is to ensure the cartridge fits, which you can find out about on the web.

Phono preamp

A built-in phono stage will save you a lot of money. And this is the difference between inexpensive models of vinyl turntables; they don’t force you to pay more. But since the quality of the preamp determines the turntable’s overall sound, I would like to point out at once that this type of preamplifier cannot be compared to an external phono stage, at least because of its size. That’s why, for expensive models, manufacturers never build in a preamp, leaving the choice to the user. I recommend getting an external preamp as soon as your wallet allows you.

Build quality and durability

build quality and durability


Both the material and the shape of the tonearm are important. The material in budget turntables is usually aluminum (often plastic), and for expensive turntables, it is carbon fiber, which is better at absorbing vibrations. Also, the tonearm material is important to hold the cartridge stably, and in case you decide to replace yours over time with a heavier cartridge.

As for shape, a straight one is considered the easiest; it’s worse for the requirements of needle movement along the grooves, while a curved one (or better yet, an S-shaped one) is much more malleable.

Plinth and platter material

The heavier and more stable the base of your vinyl turntable (plinth), the fewer surprises you will encounter from external vibrations. External vibrations can be very damaging to your analog sound experience. It is, therefore, important to look at the weight and material of the chassis. It can be metal, MDF (Fluance RT82), or even plastic (more typical for cheap turntables), but the weight should be high. Cheap models are not molded with high weight, but in this case, you can look at anti-damping feet and a platter.

Today, glass and acrylic spinning disks are considered optimal, but they are most often aluminum for the budget segment of models up to $300. If the platter is quite heavy, it will hold the necessary balance even on a lightweight chassis.

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About Michael Gale
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