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5 Best All-in-One Turntables that Simplify the Vinyl Experience

When shopping for an entry-level turntable, make sure it has a built-in preamp.

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Henry Phillips

Listening to vinyl isn’t as simple as asking Alexa or opening Spotify on your smartphone, and that’s part of the reason why people love it. The act of choosing a record, placing it and dropping the stylus, that requires more attention. And as a result, you’re more likely to appreciate the music more. For those just starting out, building your own hi-fi system can be intimidating — we’re here to help.

Most entry-level hi-fi systems require more than just a turntable and a pair of speakers. In the past, most turntables needed a separate component, a phono preamp (or phono stage), to amplify the turntable’s normally weak signal. "Integrated turntables" or "all-in-one turntables" come with this equipment inside, so all you need are speakers to go with.

There are trade-offs. Having multiple components in a tight spaces risks adding extra noise and vibrations to the system, keeping all-in-ones from reaching the true pinnacle of quality that hardcore audiophiles tend to crave. Integrated preamps can also limit your ability to upgrade your system with aftermarket parts down the road, unless your turntables explicitly supports external preamps.

That said, the trade-offs are more than worth it for folks who are just getting into vinyl, so here are the best all-in-ones to help you start your journey.


The Best All-in-One Turntables of 2020 (So Far)

Buying Guide

    Buying Guide

    Best Overall: Pro-Ject Essential III Phono

    Turntable: Belt drive
    Automatic or Manual: Manual
    Preamp: Yes
    Connectivity: No

    The Essential III is one of Pro-Ject's more affordable turntables, but it's still made of high-quality components such as a resonance-absorbing MDF platter and a high-quality Ortofon cartridge. This model, the Essential III Phono, adds a phono preamplifier so it can work as a plug and play system with powered speakers .(In fact, this is the turntable that Sonos recommends with its Play:5 speaker.

    Buy Now: $450 (Pro-Ject)

    Budget Pick: Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

    Turntable: Direct drive
    Automatic or Manual: Manual
    Preamp: Yes
    Connectivity: USB (compatible w/ Mac and PC)

    First things first: Audio-Technica’s LP120XUSB is a USB turntable, meaning you can play and record records at the same time. This is a great way to turn your vinyl into digital music files, so you can listen to them without a turntable or record nearby. More importantly, the LP120XUSB has a built-in phono preamp, so all you need is some passive or powered bookshelf speakers to hook up to it.

    Buy Now: $238

    Editor’s Pick: Fluance RT81

    Turntable: Belt drive
    Automatic or Manual: Manual
    Preamp: Yes
    Connectivity: RCA

    Fluance has always specialized in home theater systems and hi-fi speakers, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the Canadian-based audio company got into turntables when they introduced the Fluance RT81 and RT80. The RT81 is essentially an upgraded version of the RT80. It has the same built-in preamp (which can be switched on or off), but includes a rubber mat, a solid body plinth and an Audio Technica AT95 cartridge.

    Buy Now: $250 (Fluance) Buy Now: $350 $294 (Amazon)

    Best USB Turntable: Sony PS-HX500

    Turntable: Belt drive
    Automatic or Manual: Manual
    Preamp: Yes
    Connectivity: USB (Mac- and PC-compatible)

    Like the Audio Technica LP120, this is a USB turntable that’s capable of playing and digitizing your vinyl records. But Sony’s PS-HX500 is more bespoke and is a direct-drive turntable – probably the better option if you don’t plan on spinning the record like a DJ. And, of course, it has a built-in phono preamp, which you can turn off or on depending on if you want to upgrade to better external preamp. (Also, you can probably buy one well under its normal $500 price tag.)

    Buy Now: $499 (Sony)

    The Grail: Symbol Audio Modern Record Player

    Turntable: Belt drive
    Automatic or Manual: Manual
    Preamp: Yes
    Connectivity: Bluetooth, Chromecast, Sonos Connect, Airport Express (add-ons)

    The Modern Record Player by Symbol Audio is admittedly different from everything else on this list. That’s because it’s not just a turntable. It’s a true all-in-one system with an integrated turntable, a custom class AB amplifier and custom-engineered, built-in speakers. It’s designed with a unique three-phase isolation system to eliminate distortion. The feather in its cap is that by request Symbol Audio can add Bluetooth, Chromecast, Sonos Connect or Airport Express so you can wirelessly stream music the way you want. (It just looks classy as hell, too.)

    Buy Now: $3,295+

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