If you love music, then you understand the value of having a good record player. With the high number of turntable models present in the market, it can be a challenge to get one that stays within budget and provides all the essential functions you’re looking for.
Here’s the deal, researching home audio equipment isn’t easy. Our expert team of audiophiles have been doing this for years, so we have your back when it comes to finding the right record player within your price range.
For many people, this will be your first time purchasing a turntable – which is super exciting! If you already own one and need an upgrade, this is the perfect place to find updated technology that’s also affordable.
Don’t spend hours upon hours searching through online forums that are hard to read because it’s full of technical jargon. At Music Audio Star, we help you save time, money and an unnecessary headache!
We’re all here to find a turntable that’s below three hundred bucks AND provides a record player experience that we can enjoy! Let’s being, shall we?
*Featured & Below $300*
House of Marley Stir It Up
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The 7 Best Turntables Under $300
House of Marley Stir It Up
Pro-Ject Debut III
#1: Stanton T92
Listening to records on the Stanton T92 will take you back into the good old days of great sounding vinyl music.
To become a great DJ, you need quality equipment that would not disappoint, but make the process a fun and easy one. The Stanton T92 will serve you perfectly if you want such a record player that would not disappoint. However, you need to note that this one will be hard to carry around as it is relatively heavy. Nonetheless, its durability can guarantee you years of excellent performance.
Its appearance is okay for a record player that’s mainly meant for professional use by disc jockeys; simple look, but with great features to let one get creative enough for a good party. Most audiophiles love the Stanton T92, and for good reason!
Pros & Cons
- It is made out of durable quality to withstand long hours of heavy music
- It has a creative design that will truly impress you on how it performs
- A good fit for the price that it is selling at
- It is somehow overly heavy with a weight of 22.4lbs
#2: House of Marley Stir It Up
The House of Marley brand is not well known for turntables and had not been making any record players until 2017. The launch of their Stir It Up model made them a brand to reckon with for the great appearance that it has and the quality of sound it produces. The fact that this record player is made through an eco-friendly process makes it even more exciting and worth buying.
Although the House of Markey Stir It Up lacks some additional features for a record player of the $300 price range, its design, and quality of sound that it produces have well compensated for that which puts it in this list. If you want a turntable that sounds as good as it looks, then this is the one that you should be looking to buy.
Pros & Cons
- It has the best appearance compared to all other options in this price range
- It’s made out of environmentally conscious materials
- Produces high audio quality
- It lacks extra features to make it more usable
#3: Pro-Ject Debut III
When it comes to record players, Pro-Ject is a big name in the industry. Their Debut III out-rightly proves how big of a brand they are and why. This record player is made with a simple design that promises excellent quality sound that can rival some of the more expensive record players. You would say it is a perfect choice for a below $300 option.
Pros & Cons
- Has a great but simple design
- Has excellent audio quality; perfect for a large audience
- It lacks extra features
- Has minimal component customization
#4: Audio-Technica At-LP120
Audio-Technica’s LP120 is a great model to go for, and if you’ve been searching in the market, you’ve probably come across it. However, this product has its limitations when it comes to playing vinyl records. Nonetheless, it’s a great option with modern features that’s hard to find fault in it.
It is also important to note that the LP120 is quite bulky and will be difficult to carry around.
Pros & Cons
- It has a braided cable that reduces the chance of it getting damaged and enhances its appearance
- It is available in different colour palette and has a stylish design
- It is made of wood that improves its aesthetics and durability
- Made of a plastic base which is not that appealing
#5: Fluance RT81
The RT81 is a great model created by Fluance. It has a premium appearance with a walnut finish with a sturdy look that it gives it an expensive look than it actually costs. It is important to note that this model has gone light on the features that it has, but it produces great audio quality for various music genres.
The only drawback that this incredible product has is that the much-hyped auto-off feature is only good in theory and not practically. Due to its poor performance, you may be forced to remove the tonearm manually as the auto-off feature fails. Other than this drawback, this option is a great choice.
Pros & Cons
- Has an excellent walnut finish
- The general body quality is great
- Produces good quality sound
- The auto-off feature is a bit lacking on performance
#6: Pioneer PL-30-K
Pioneer is well known in the audio equipment industry, and their PL-30-K is an affirmation of how good they are when it comes to audio. Pioneer has ensured that this model is quite durable, of high-quality, and modern. However, the Pioneer PL-30-K is not a good choice for music DJs; it still makes a good preference for those people that want to have the flashy lights in their rooms.
The only complaint with the Pioneer PL-30-K is that it lacks a USB port. This missing feature may not seem like an essential part (it probably isn’t, and one can do without it), but it is not fair for a turntable that retails at this price to miss such a feature.
Pros & Cons
- It has a beautiful and minimalistic style
- Has some amazing specs which enhance its performance
- It offers great value for the price that it is retailing at
- Though it has modern features, it lacks the USB port which is an essential feature for a turntable of its price
#7: Denon DP300F
The Denon DP300F offers great flexibility with its fully automatic functionality. Generally, it also provides great performance and can be used with an amp, which can significantly enhance the quality of sound that this record player produces.
Despite the useful features that this turntable has, it still lacks the plastic base that it has, and that’s a significant downgrade considering its price. The plastic base is easy to scratch and can easily get damaged if the turntable fell. On the other side, the plastic base reduces its weight and makes it a good option for those people that would love to move around with it.
Pros & Cons
- It has a fully automatic functionality which makes it easy to use
- It allows one to upgrade several of its features
- Has a great tone
- It has a base out of plastic that is easy to damage
Why Get A $300 Record Player and Not a More Expensive One?
It is important to note that the options available in the market sell at different price ranges. As a result, it can become a great challenge when determining what budget you should allocate on the purchase of a record player. It becomes even more confusing when you have to choose between a $200 record player and the $300 turntable. However, it is important to understand that record players vary in price because of several factors that distinguish them.
When comparing $200 and $300 products, there’s a lot that’s different, which can greatly influence your choice. Generally, the $300 record player will have better features made out of high-quality components; this includes the outer material and not necessarily the internal components alone. Though you can still find cheaper options that also have good quality materials.
Some of these options, like the Audio-Technica At-LP120 come in several color schemes that enhance their aesthetics. However, you would not want to buy a record player because it looks appealing from the outside, and that’s why aesthetics is not a major concern when purchasing one.
A good turntable should be judged by the features that it has and how it performs in terms of sound produced. This is where this price range edges out the cheaper price tags.
The quality of cartridges and stylus used on these are respectable. Additionally, the tonearms used are way better compared to the cheaper options. If you’re looking for even more features, and have a budget to spend, check out our under 500 dollar record player top 9 list.
If there’s a factor that should convince you to get one in this price range, it is the upgrade paths that it provides. Most of the record players that retail at this price range allow one to swap a good number of the stock components with those that they wish to have. By swapping the components, one is able to improve the performance of their product greatly. If you love customizing your items, then this should be your favorite segment.
Speaking in general, the $300 record player should offer you excellent performance that you desire for your music needs. Though you cannot find the fantastic features that are found with the more expensive ones, these record players still offer a level of performance that’s close to the one with expensive record players. Logically speaking, the more expensive turntables (under 1000 dollar record players) cost that much because of some improved or new features that they have
Nonetheless, if you want to find the best audiophile turntable under $300, ensure that you consider the factors discussed below:
USB and Bluetooth connectivity:
Unless you want to have a purely vinyl record player, ensure that your turntable can offer these modern features. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can stream music directly from your mobile phone, and you can even connect the record player to Bluetooth speakers for enhanced sound. With a USB connectivity option, you will be able to connect the record player to a PC and convert the vinyl records into digital MP3 files that you can carry on your phone.
Amplifier and speaker:
The pre-amplifier helps to amplify the sound and should therefore be powerful. Chose a turntable that has good speakers for better sound; smaller speakers can only play low volumes to avoid distortions, and bigger speakers can accommodate more sound.
Warranty of the machine:
There is no guarantee that it will not get damaged. That is why you must ensure that the manufacturer can issue you with a warranty for the product. This would ease the burden of having to spend again if it got damaged by something that’s covered by the warranty.
This price range comes with different features on top of the basic ones. If you want an enhanced music listening experience, you should go for one that has better and more extra features.
It is undoubtedly true to conclude that you can get amazing features in this price range. The different models discussed above and others that are not in the list offer you with upgrade paths, quality performance, with great designs and appealing looks. They are durable and offer real value for the price that they sell at.
It is important to note that the list we’ve compiled for you only has those that have proven their worth among all the below $300 turntables. You can be confident that if you choose any of the products listed above, the experience you’ll get using it will be pleasing.