Best Portable Turntables [2019] Reviews and Buying Guide

Nothing says “serious audiophile” like a turntable with an impressive vinyl collection…except for a turntable with an impressive vinyl collection – on the go!

If that’s your cup of tea, then a portable turntable should be your next big buy. These models are compact and durable, and most are also great for vinyl-ripping, allowing you to preserve your collection in digital format.

Choosing the right one can be overwhelming, though. So today, we’re looking at some portable turntable reviews to find out which deserve your attention and hard-earned cash!

Our Top Pick

For the best portable turntable, our top pick goes to the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Turntable. Its reliable performance and variety of designs put it ahead of the pack.

 

 

Reviews of the Best Portable Turntables

Audio Technica AT-LP60 Portable Turntable – BEST FOR BEGINNERS

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a portable turntable made for newbie audiophiles.

 

Key Features

  • Belt-drive turntable
  • Two-speed settings: 33 and 45 RPM
  • Die-cast aluminum platter with anti-resonance properties
  • Integral Dual Magnet phono cartridge with interchangeable stylus
  • Phono pre-amp built-in
  • RCA output cables

 

What We Liked

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is one of the best portable turntables aimed at beginners or casual vinyl owners. It’s straightforward to use. The tonearm automatically gets into position when you place the vinyl, and then puts itself back when the record is done playing.

The belt drive design puts the focus on excellent audio quality. The added rotational power of direct drives isn’t really an issue with beginners, so this is a smart choice for the AT-LP60. The vinyl platter itself is also vibration proof, so this further adds to the stability of the audio.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The frame feels flimsy, and the lack of a carrying case detracts from the portability. Also, it doesn’t have built-in speakers, which would have been nice for an entry-level model.

 

 

Pros

  • The fully automatic operation makes it easy, even for newbies
  • The interchangeable stylus makes servicing easy
  • Super-friendly price makes this accessible for aspiring audiophiles
  • Dustproof protective cover

 

Cons

  • No carrying case
  • Lack of built-in speakers

 

For the price, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is a great first buy for casual listeners. It sounds excellent, is easy to use, and easy to service.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5

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Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Turntable – BEST OVERALL

The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Suitcase Turntable is a nostalgic experience that comes in a wide variety of colors.

 

Key Features

  • Three-speed turntable with options for 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Bluetooth support for playing wirelessly on any enabled device
  • Portable suitcase design
  • RCA aux-in and headphone jack included

 

What We Liked

Nostalgia aside, this portable turntable is capable of producing some sweet, high fidelity music—and it’s portable! It comes in a gorgeous carrying case, and there’s a feeling of rugged durability, but it still exudes class. It’s light too, coming in at just shy of 3 lbs. This Victrola also comes in 22 different colors and designs, including a psychedelic retro option.

You also have quite a lot of playback options, such as allowing you to play via its built-in speakers, an RCA jack, or through Bluetooth enabled devices.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The built-in speakers just aren’t strong enough. You probably would be better off using your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone as speakers.

 

Pros

  • Covers all the RPM speeds including 78
  • Gorgeous suitcase cover with varying colors
  • Lots of audio output support, including Bluetooth
  • Accessible price

 

Cons

  • Built-in speakers are too weak

 

The Victrola Vintage is one of the best turntables in terms of portability and style. Use it when you want a touch of nostalgia to come with the great sound it produces.

 

Overall Rating: 4.9 / 5

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Numark PT01USB – BEST SOUND FOR THE SIZE

The Numark PT01USB is an entry-level turntable that boasts some of the better-quality built-in speakers in the market

 

Key Features

  • A three-speed turntable that supports 33, 45, and 78 RPMs
  • USB support with cable included
  • Built-in pitch control with 10% increments
  • AC adapter or support for battery-powered operation

 

What We Liked

The Numark PT01USB is a sturdy little portable turntable that sports excellent sound quality despite its small size and comes in its own dustproof carrying case.

Sound output is where the PT01USB shines. The built-in speaker churns out brilliantly crisp and robust audio. Imagine getting to enjoy analog-level sound quality in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, but you can take advantage of USB and RCA to hook it up to any sound system.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Unfortunately, there is no Bluetooth support here, despite comparable devices offering this feature.

 

Pros

  • Friendly price range
  • Completely portable with durable carrying case
  • Long battery life for extended playtime anywhere
  • The built-in speakers sound incredible

 

Cons

  • No Bluetooth support

 

Despite its simple design, the Numark PT01USB is one of the best portable turntables in terms of durability and portability.

 

Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5

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Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Vintage – MOST STYLISH

The Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is a great-looking vintage turntable that offers versatility and customization.

 

Key Features

  • Three-speed turntable that supports 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Stylish suitcase-style exterior
  • Dynamic full-range stereo speakers
  • RCA and headphone jack outputs
  • Fully adjustable pitch control

 

What We Liked

Like the Victrola Vintage, the Crosley Cruiser sports a suitcase design and lots of color options. And while the former has more variety and “wilder” designs, the Crosley focuses on pastel and classier colors, giving it an almost feminine touch. The case is made of lightweight wood and finished in an attractive leather-like material.

The pitch control allows you a level of fine-tuning that will enhance your audio experience. The built-in dynamic range speakers are decent, allowing you to listen to your turntable on its own.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The lack of USB connectivity means you’ll find it hard to hook it up to your computer.

 

Pros

  • Gorgeous case with lots of different colors
  • Durable and extremely lightweight
  • Covers all the speeds including 78 RPM
  • Pitch control

 

Cons

  • No USB connectivity

 

For a stylish statement while playing your vinyl, the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is a fantastic pick. It’s a portable turntable that will really turn heads.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5

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Crosley CR6249A-TA Keepsake – MOST DURABLE

The Crosley CR6249A-TA Keepsake is a portable turntable that you’ll definitely keep for years to come.

 

Key Features

  • Robust leather case
  • Three-speed belt-drive turntable with support for 33, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Dynamic range speakers with built-in amplifier
  • RCA output with a headphone jack

What We Liked

The Crosley Keepsake looks more like something your dad kept in your attic. It has a sturdy frame, definitely durable in every sense – something that will last years. The gorgeous leather finish gives you that warm, old-world feel.

But under the hood, it has a host of next-generation features for the modern audiophile. With its USB connectivity, you can hook it up to your computer and copy over your entire vinyl collection. RCA and headphone jacks give you plenty of options to play it with other sound systems.

This is one of the few turntables with a built-in amplifier aside from the speakers. This gives it a beautiful sound projection that can easily be heard across the room. The audio output is also robust and vibrant.

 

What We Didn’t Like

This is one of the more massive turntables, at 16 lbs. All that durability definitely comes at a hefty price!

 

Pros

  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • USB connectivity for copying your entire vinyl collection to MP3
  • The built-in amplifier produces a robust audio output

Cons

  • Very heavy

 

The durable construction and good quality speakers of the Crosley CR6249A-TA Keepsake mean you can enjoy this one for decades to come.

 

Overall Rating: 4.4 / 5

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Jensen JTA-222 Turntable – MOST AFFORDABLE

The Jensen JTA-222 Turntable is a great portable turntable and an affordable centerpiece of your home vinyl collection.

 

Key Features

  • Three-speed turntable including 33, 45, and 78 RPM speeds
  • AM/FM stereo receiver
  • External stereo speaker and headphone jack output
  • Two built-in speakers
  • Dust cover
  • Antique wooden case design

 

What We Liked

If you’re into retro, you’ll dig the Jensen JTA-222. The wooden casing and metallic plating hark back to 60s-style home appliances. It’s also pretty compact, so you have flexibility in where to place it.

Performance-wise, this is as basic as it gets. Three-speed support allows you to play all vinyl types, including 78 RPM. The two built-in speakers do a pretty decent job, and the built-in AM/FM receiver is a bonus.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Simplicity means it gets stripped of some essential features. That means no USB nor Bluetooth connectivity.

 

 

Pros

  • Classic antique wooden exterior looks great on any living room shelf
  • Built-in AM/FM radio receiver
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Budget-friendly price

 

Cons

  • Lack of USB connection
  • Lack of Bluetooth connection
  • Very simplistic

 

If you’re looking for a good-looking portable turntable at a fraction of the cost, the Jensen JTA-222 is a good bet.

 

Overall Rating: 4.1 / 5

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Musitrend Bluetooth Portable Turntable – MOST ATTRACTIVE

The Musitrend Bluetooth Turntable is a sleek and classy portable record player with plenty of features.

 

Key Features

  • Three-speed portable turntable that covers 33, 45, and 78 RPM records.
  • Rechargeable battery for portable operation
  • Vinyl to MP3 recording via USB connection
  • Support for Bluetooth connection
  • Built-in stereo speakers with RCA output and headphone jack

 

What We Liked

The Musitrend Bluetooth Portable Turntable exudes luxury and class, and is quite compact and lightweight, at just a little over 6 lbs. It has a wooden interior finished with a sleek and gorgeous black leather material. The red felt inlay on the inside cover further speaks to the sophistication of the Musitrend.

The 2100mA battery can last up to 4 hours of continuous play, more than enough to burn through a couple of vinyl records. You can use the built-in speakers, or opt for external speakers or headphones. Sound output is solid with excellent resonance.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Despite its fashionable look, this Musitrend is lacking in durability. This is a fragile player that needs care when transporting.

 

Pros

  • Gorgeous and stylish exteriors
  • Long-lasting 2100mA battery
  • Included rubber base helps reduce vibrations
  • Includes a 12-month warranty and replacement stylus

 

Cons

  • Not durable

 

The Musitrend is one of the more stylish and fashionable portable turntables in the market. Despite this, it’s not expensive, making it an overall great choice.

 

Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5

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Crosley CR6020A-GR Revolution – MOST COMPACT

The Crosley CR6020A is a quirky looking but truly portable turntable. It even comes with earbuds!

 

Key Features

  • Two-speed belt-driven turntable which plays 33 and 45 RPM records
  • Portable operation via six AA batteries
  • USB connectivity for ripping vinyl to MP3 files
  • Manual return tonearm with ABS construction
  • Earbud headphones with storage compartment

 

What We Liked

For the most portable, most compact turntable there is, look no further than the Crosley CR6020A-GR Revolution. This unique-looking model is more akin to a stapler than a turntable. But looks can be deceiving – this baby can play!

Being compact and personal, this model lends itself more to using headphones than a full-blown sound system (although it can use that as well). USB connectivity also makes this the best tool for ripping vinyl to MP3.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The lack of 78 RPM support is limiting to serious vinyl aficionados, and many users complain the gain is too high, leading to a distorted sound.

 

Pros

  • Extremely compact and super portable
  • Play it anywhere
  • USB connectivity makes ripping vinyl records easy and convenient

 

Cons

  • No support for 78 RPM
  • Gain may be a bit high

 

The Crosley CR6020A Revolution is one the quirkiest turntables you’ll ever see, but it’s good at what it does. For reviews of other excellent crosley brands, check out our updated post.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5

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Ion Portable USB Turntable – BEST FOR DIGITAL PRESERVATION OF VINYL

The Ion Portable USB Turntable is a compact record player and vinyl ripper all in one.

 

Key Features

  • Two-speed turntable capable of 33 and 45 RPM speeds
  • +/- 10% pitch controls
  • Compact enough to fit in a 12-inch record case
  • Protective dust cover with carrying handle
  • Headphone jacks support both 1/8- and 1/4-inch connections
  • 1/8-inch stereo line input accepts music from cassettes and other sources

 

What We Liked

The Ion Portable USB Turntable is a lean little record playing machine. At 12-inches, you can easily bring it anywhere. It runs on 6D batteries for standalone playing without the need for a wall outlet.

One of its best uses, however, is in quickly digitizing your entire vinyl library. The Ion can hook up to your computer via USB. It can then convert vinyl into MP3 files without the need for any drivers. Talk about convenient!

 

What We Didn’t Like

Unlike the other turntables in this review, this one’s made of plastic. It’s therefore not as durable or robust as those made of wood or metal.

 

Pros

  • Small compact frame that’s the same size as a 12” record
  • Plug and play USB connectivity means you can rip your vinyl without the need for any additional drivers
  • Built-in speakers and battery-powered operation mean you can rock out anytime and anywhere

 

Cons

  • Plastic frame not very durable

 

The Ion Portable USB Turntable is perfect for casual vinyl owners, or for those wanting a quick and inexpensive way to preserve their entire vinyl collection digitally.

 

Overall Rating: 4.3 / 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Portable Turntable Buying Guide

Now that you’ve had a nice sampling of the best portable turntables on the market in 2019, let’s take a moment to review what even makes a turntable ‘good.’ If these models aren’t quite what you’re looking for, we’ve got more affordable turntable reviews.

 

Things to Look Out for in a Portable Turntable

Belt Drive vs. Direct Drive

This pertains to where the turntable mechanism that rotates the vinyl is located. It comes in two options – belt drive or direct drive. Each has its own pros and cons.

 

Direct Drive Turntables

Direct drive turntables have the motor located directly underneath the platter itself. This makes them more powerful in terms of torque produced. They start up faster and are more resistant to disturbances or external forces that might disturb the rotation.

 

Their main drawback is that they introduce small distortions in the final audio output. This is because the turntable motor is located in the platter itself. The minute vibrations translate directly to the vinyl and cartridge, leading to the sound distortions.

 

Belt-Drive Turntables

In belt-drive turntables, the motor is located on the side of the platter. A rubber belt is attached to this and hugs the vinyl platter, causing it to spin. The offsetting of the motor and the presence of the rubber belt dampens any vibration significantly, leading to a cleaner sound.

Belt drive turntables, however, have a lower rotational speed than direct drive. This makes them more sensitive to external movement, leading to less accurate playback. The rubber belt itself can also wear down, and may need to be replaced.

 

Built-In Speakers

You need to consider this option if you prefer your portable turntables to have the speaker built right in. This offers convenience and true portability. It means you can literally play anywhere, without needing to haul any additional gear.

On the other hand, nothing beats the audio quality of an external sound speaker. If you value rich sound fidelity and richness, consider a portable turntable that hooks to an audio sound system. Even the sound quality of a decent portable speaker is above and beyond what a built-in speaker provides.

 

USB Connectivity

This feature is great to have if you plan on connecting your portable vinyl to your computer. If you have an extensive vinyl collection, this is a fantastic way to convert them to digital files and play them on the go.

 

 

 

Ruggedness of Construction

A turntable is a pretty sensitive piece of equipment with fragile parts, especially the cartridge and the arm. A proper portable turntable should be able to withstand the rigors of constant travel without wearing out.

Also consider how the unit will fold up, and how well it protects critical components. Ensure that the outer case is durable enough to stand up to some punishment.

 

Signal-To-Noise Ratio

Turntables, being purely analog, inevitably introduce some vibration into your audio in the form of noise. A turntable’s signal-to-noise ratio tells you how much noise it produces for a given volume level. The higher this number, the less distortion there is and the better the sound quality.

 

Playback Speed

This is mostly dictated by your vinyl, which come in three speeds – 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. All turntables are capable of playing the first two speeds, but the newer ones are incompatible with rarer 78 vinyl.

If you’re playing 78 vinyl, make sure you also have the specialized stylus and cartridge that can handle these records.

 

Final Thoughts

We’ve tackled quite a lot of portable turntable reviews in this article, and we’ve seen what they can do. The fact is there’s a lot of options when it comes to enjoying your vinyl on the go.

When it comes down to picking the best one, though, we would highly recommend the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Turntable.  Portable vinyl is about style as much as sound quality, and the Victrola allows you to make your own unique statement with dozens of designs to choose from. It doesn’t hurt that it also has nifty features and superb sound qualities as well as stylish aesthetics.

Hence, after our thorough portable turntable reviews, the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Turntable comes out victorious.

We’ve also written a roundup post of all the best Fluance turntables and Pro-Ject turntables that are similar to the brands mentioned on this post. You can check the updated reviews here.

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