Table of Contents
- What is a Record Player?
- What is a Turntable?
- Record Players vs Turntables – What Are The Differences
- Advantages of Record Players and Turntables with Built in Speakers
- The Picks – 10 Best Record Player with Speakers
- 1ByOne Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers – Best Record Player with Built In Speakers for Beginners
- CMC Wockoder Portable Record Player – Best Vinyl Record Player with Speakers
- Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Classic Record Player
- Voksun Record Player With Speakers – Best Turntable with Good Speakers Under $100
- Numark PT01 USB Portable Turntable – Best Turntable with Built in Speakers Under $200 with USB Port
- Jensen JTA-230 Stereo Turntable – Best Turntable with Built in Speakers Under $50 with USB Port
- Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad Portable USB Turntable – Best Player with USB Port
- What to Look For When Buying Record Players with Speakers
- Final Thoughts
Regardless of whether you are just now getting into vinyls or have been amassing a collection that you want to listen to the latest and greatest record player technology, finding the right audio equipment to play vinyls is never as simple or straightforward as most folks think it’s going to be.
Latest update on 2021-05-08 | Images | Affiliate links from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sure, turntables are some of the oldest audio playback pieces of hardware ever created. There have been amazingly best turntables for more than 100 years, capable of providing any music lover and vinyl enthusiast a rich, authentic, and super warm audio playback that you just don’t get with any other medium or devices.
At the same time, though, there’s a world of difference between record players and turntables that are built today and those that were made at the turn-of-the-century (or even earlier).
Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, construction materials are better today than ever before, and we understand exactly what it takes to get the best possible sound out of vinyl records right now in a way that we couldn’t have when this technology was still relatively new.
Combine that with the fact that vinyl records have been enjoying a huge boom in popularity over the last 10 years or so in the US, UK, Canada, and almost all other countries (after almost dying out completely in the 80s and 90s) and there are more record player options to pick and choose from than ever before, too.
But that’s why we have put together this quick guide.
By the time you are done with the inside information in this article, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a new record player devices. Not only do we highlight all the ins and outs of what you want to focus on with these amazing pieces of hardware, but we also cover the fundamentals of features you should look for (and lookout for) and recommend 8 best record players and turntables with built in speakers that are worth your hard earned money.
So sit back, relax, and cruise through this in-depth article that breaks down the best turntables with built-in speakers we’ve put together below.
What is a Record Player?
A lot of people use the terms “record player” and turntable interchangeably, and while the two share a lot of similarities with one another there are a couple of major differences that you want to know about when you are searching for something to playback your final record collection.
A record player involves more parts than a turntable, and almost always includes a couple of other pieces of audio and speaker system components that let you get the most out of your vinyl collection. Record players usually include a pair of speakers (and sometimes a full on sound system) as well as an amplifier to go with the turntable, giving you basically an “all-in-one” kind of solution to play your records on.
Record players are universally seen as larger and heavier than turntables, which eliminates a lot of the portability you would have been able to get out a turntable along. In fact, you’ll often find record players built into larger pieces of furniture to sort of make them a bit more utilitarian and functional than they might have been otherwise – something that you usually don’t find with a turntable.
Because of all these extra bells and whistles record players are almost always more expensive than turntables, too. This isn’t always the case (particularly when you are talking about really high-end and finely tuned turntables), but as a general rule a record player will set you back more than a turntable.
What is a Turntable?
A turntable, on the other hand, is essentially the “heartbeat” of a record player without any other bells and whistles, without any extra accessories, and without any other components cluttering up the place.
You aren’t going to get any built-in speakers (for the most part), a dedicated amplifier, or anything other than turntable that actually plays back your records.
We are talking about a motor, a platter, and a stylus, cartridge, and a tone arm. Some turntables will include preamplifier components that let you connect to a dedicated sound system, but by and large this is a really strict down and streamlined kind of set up.
Sure, you will need extra components to get the most out of your machine – you’ll need an amplifier, speakers, isolation platforms for shock absorption, etc. – but because you are able to pick and choose those components to work with your player you can really optimize your audio setup for the perfect music experience.
The sheer amount of customization you are going to be able to enjoy when you go with a turntable may be attractive to some, but if you want a “no beating around the bush” set up that plays records well without a lot of fuss, then a record player might be something you want to focus in on.
Record Players vs Turntables – What Are The Differences
A turntable isn’t going to offer that great experience until you’ve hooked it up to a couple of other audio components. That may or may not be something you are interested in or something that you have a budget for.
Another big difference between record players and turntables today is that a lot of modern record players are basically “all-in-one” media centers.
You’ll not only be able to play your vinyl collection but you’ll also be able to throw tapes, CDs, and even MP3 players or your mobile device (sometimes via USB connection but sometimes via Bluetooth connectivity, too) in a way that just isn’t going to happen with a turntable.
Of course, on the flip side of things, record players almost universally do not have quite as high quality sound system components in the pre-amplification, amplification, and speaker quality department compared to the options you can buy to pair with your turntable.
This results in a somewhat less authentic sound than you might be expecting from your vinyls, but it’s also going to hinder your ability to further extend your audio equipment – mostly because it has to be ready to work with the stuff your record fire already include.
Advantages of Record Players and Turntables with Built in Speakers
The biggest advantages of purchasing of the best record players and turntables with speakers is that you will be able to listen to the most authentic sound possible from your vinyl collection – listening to vinyl music that is 100% uncompressed and EXACTLY what the artist intended it to sound like.
Unlike every other form of music medium that involves at least a little bit of compression (with maybe the sole exception of FLAC digital files that still lose a little “something” in the digital conversion process), your vinyls are going to sound warm, are going to sound real, and are going to sound like you are sitting center stage or in the studio with the artist that recorded the record in the first place.
The second big advantage is the ability to listen to your records with much improved musical dynamics thanks to the overall mastering process, something you just won’t get when files have been converted digitally.
Make no mistake about it, the digital music revolution has absolutely transformed the way that we listen to our favorite artists and discover new ones.
At the same time, though, the experience of streaming music digitally (like with Pandora or with Spotify, for example) is never going to be able to come close to witnessing a live show or artists in the studio or on vinyl.
Something always gets lost in translation and the overall experience is cheapened somewhat because of it. If you’re serious about music and really want to soak yourself the experience created by your favorite artists, nothing beats getting your hands on the best record players and turntables with speakers that can make the most of this medium.
The last couple of advantages we want to highlight have to do with the sort of “lifestyle” you’ll enjoy when you are on your record player.
For starters, there are a lot of vintage artists that only ever recorded on vinyl and never made it over to a digital conversion. Even though the industry is doing a lot of work to bring artists over to the digital world, there are inevitably going to be some that get “lost to time” – except for on these records.
There’s really something cool about kicking back, relaxing, and listening to an artist that maybe you and a very small group of people around the world will ever have a chance to listen to again.
Secondly, even though vinyls are ridiculously popular again they are still super inexpensive for the most part – unless you dive headfirst into the collectible world where things get kind of nutty..
The artwork on these old vinyls is always really interesting to look at and the collectibility factor of these kinds of records isn’t ever going to disappear completely. You might not ever be able to make a million dollars or more from your record collection, but it’s always going to have tangible value that digital files never will.
Of course, on the flip side of things there are definitely some reasons not to get your hands on a record player or turntable.
This is definitely a more involved process for listening to music than simply finding your favorite song on Spotify, firing it up on your phone or tablet, and then streaming music to every room at home, to your car, or to your wireless headphones wherever you might find yourself on the planet.
Lastly, all quality record players and turntables are going to need a little bit of regular maintenance, little bit of regular cleaning, and a little bit of more delicate and focused care and attention than CDs and streaming music.
There isn’t a record player or a turntable out there that is truly “set it and forget it”, that’s for sure.
The Picks – 10 Best Record Player with Speakers
1ByOne Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers – Best Record Player with Built In Speakers for Beginners
Certainly one of the most attractive record player options on the market today with built-in speakers, this stereo turntable set up is super simple and straightforward to use, has a really smooth operating mechanism, and provides a fantastically balanced audio output – even if the speakers included are a little bit on the thinner and more compact side of things.
You’ll certainly appreciate the fact that this record player gives you an opportunity to choose between three different selectable playback speeds 33 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM. The entire world (for the most part) of vinyl record options are going to be available to you when you choose this portable set up.
Of course, because this is a modern record player you’re also going to find a whole host of other input options to playback your favorite artists, too. A built-in USB port give you a chance to stream from your smart phone or tablet as well as your MP3 player, but you can also use dedicated audio inputs and a 3.5 mm auxiliary connection (headphone jack) to play vinyl music from pretty much any audio hardware imaginable.
Bluetooth connectivity is made possible with this record player unit as well, opening up a couple of other unique playback opportunities with modern devices.
Full range speakers (stereo system speakers) are built right into the record player itself. This guarantees to a crossover that produces a consistent, high sound quality, even if it isn’t necessarily the loudest record player on the planet today.
All in all, the 1ByOne Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers is a solid record player option for those looking for something with speakers built right in.
CMC Wockoder Portable Record Player – Best Vinyl Record Player with Speakers
The folks at CMC have been making fantastic portable record player options for quite a while now, and this particular set up combines old and new technology in a way that makes it one of the best hybrid options money can buy.
For starters, you’ll be able to playback 7 inch, 10 inch, and 12 inch records with zero difficulty whatsoever and you’ll be able to play at 33 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM as well. This brings a lot of versatility to this portable record player that you may not be able to find elsewhere – particularly at this incredibly affordable price range.
Add in the fact that this portable unit has been designed to connect to smart phone and tablet devices via Bluetooth connection, streaming all of your favorite music when you don’t want to play a record, and it’s easy to see why so many people really like everything it offers.
The CMC Wockoder Portable Record Player speakers provides full stereo sound (with two speakers on each side of the portable case), giving you a great experience while maintaining a super small and briefcase like form factor at the same time.
This direct drive record player from Victrola (Victrola is one of the legendary names in the record player and turntable business) is quite a throwback to record players of old – we are talking the kinds of audio equipment popular in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s – mixed with a lot of cutting-edge technology.
With a very vintage aesthetic you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Victrola Navigator was an antique until you “pop the hood” and started to look at all of the top-tier technology shoehorned inside of this unit. The built-in speakers of Victrola Navigator are super loud, the preamp and amplifier modules are fantastic.
If you are looking for a true “all-in-one” kind of solution to enjoy all of your favorite music – cassette player, CDs, streaming music over Bluetooth connectivity, and even FM/AM radio – then it’s hard to imagine finding anything quite as well put together and as polished as the Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Classic Record Player.
Voksun Record Player With Speakers – Best Turntable with Good Speakers Under $100
Featuring one of the cleanest and most elegant modern looks of all the portable record player options out there, this particular set up looks a lot like something the folks at Apple would have cooked up if they jumped into the record player game themselves.
While this minimalist design does mean that this record player goes without a dust cover or a tonearm balance it is going to be able to play all of your favorite records right out of the box with a powerful and consistent motor that spins at three playback speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – without you having to worry about wow or flutter breaking up your listening experience.
If you are an audiophile and want a luxurious record player that isn’t going to break your bank account into tiny little pieces, one with some of the best built-in speakers you’ll find in the portable record player world today, you need look no further than the Voksun Record Player With Speakers.
Numark PT01 USB Portable Turntable – Best Turntable with Built in Speakers Under $200 with USB Port
One of the few direct drive turntable choices we can actually recommend, that is not named Audio Technica, to a vinyl enthusiast, that runs off of battery power, you can take this with you on the go with more than 20 hours of continuous playback thanks to 6D batteries – or you can plug it into a wall outlet at home with the included AC power adapter if you’re going to be listening somewhere with a more consistent power supply.
The included speakers isn’t necessarily spectacular, but it’s one of the best for portable turntable options. Crystal-clear at low and high volume levels with pitch control, and the turntable itself can handle 45s, 78s, and 12 inch LPs with no difficulty whatsoever.
If you are going to go with 78s, though, it’s not a bad idea to get your hands on a stylus that has been specifically designed to play those kinds of records.
Those on the hunt for a rugged portable turntable that they can bring pretty much anywhere and everywhere they might want to listen to their favorite records will fall head over heels in love with all that this battery powered Numark PT01 USB Portable Turntable brings to the table.
Jensen JTA-230 Stereo Turntable – Best Turntable with Built in Speakers Under $50 with USB Port
Thing that really impressed us with this particular model (definitely not the dust cover!) is the needle that comes into contact with your records, a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to playback for this three speed motor option. It’s made with a metal cantilever that improves its reliability significantly, helping you to enjoy your vinyl music without the kinds of skips, bumps, and jumps you might be able to expect with other budget record players.
The 4w built-in speakers aren’t exactly going to turn heads anytime soon from a sound quality standpoint, but they aren’t the worst things to listen to, either. You’ll be able to take advantage of the dynamic pitch control, USB port, headphone jack, and RCA input and output options as well.
While the Jensen JTA-230 Stereo Turntable is technically portable, it isn’t anywhere close to the lightest or most convenient thing to move around, but it is going to give you a dedicated turntable system with a built-in speaker set up to produce one of the best values for the money in this market segment.
Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad Portable USB Turntable – Best Player with USB Port
It’s tough to imagine there being a better looking portable turntable with built in speakers than this one right here.
Both ends of this suitcase style enclosure have speakers talked away inside of them, producing powerful sound that is rich, authentic, and gets pretty loud when you dial them up to the highest setting. They aren’t on the level with third-party or dedicated speakers by any stretch of the imagination, but they still sound absolutely fantastic to many vinyl enthusiasts.
The magnet cartridge is a dream to use and really results in smooth and buttery playback on a consistent basis.
The Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad Portable USB Turntable is a really attractive portable option that looks a bit like a retro piece of luggage, something from a throwback era that’s absolutely filled top to bottom with cutting-edge technology to help you enjoy your favorite records the way they were intended to be listened to.
What to Look For When Buying Record Players with Speakers
Vinyl record sales have been coming back in a huge way over the last 15 years or so, with year after year consistent growth in the market especially in the US, UK, and Canada – not only for vintage and collectible vinyls, but for brand-new special releases put out by current artists that want to cash in on this trend.
If you are going to be getting your hands on a new vinyl turntable or record player with speakers, you need to know that you are spending your money on something that is reliable, consistent, and worth the investment.
That’s why you’ll want to zero in on a handful of key areas before you make this purchase, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Overall build quality and reliability
- Playback quality (dictated large part by the tone arm and the needle)
- Ability to play the record sizes and speeds you are most interested in listening to
- Inclusion of high quality speakers, and pitch control that aren’t going to detract from your listening experience
- Price point and the budget that you are working with
- Ability to play other types of music and media in ither audio formats like MP3 files via USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, or traditional audio input and output options like RCA headphone jack
- Auxilliary features like dust cover, shock absorption, etc
The Numark PT01 USB Portable Turntable is absolutely fantastic.
Portable, powered by battery as well as an AC wall adapter, multiple connectivity including USB connection and RCA input/output options and headphone jack, and with one of the smoothest operating turntable and tone arm mechanisms we see in the built-in speaker turntable space, this is going to help you enjoy all of your favorite vinyls on the go (or at home) with rich, authentic sound.
So there you have it, our in-depth guide to finding the best turntable options on the market today with built-in speakers.
You obviously can’t go wrong with any of the 8 options we highlighted in this quick guide, but our favorite option is the one that we found to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
Use the inside information throughout this article to help you with your research and due diligence when looking for a new record player or turntable and you will never have worry about wasting your hard-earned money going forward. Best of luck and easy listening!