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.

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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.


Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB

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Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB
amazon.com
$449.00

Best All-Around

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

The Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB is one of the company's newest mid-range turntable. It's not quite as "audiophile-grade" as the Essential III (which Pro-Ject is phasing out), as the T1 has a lighter overall design (by about three pounds), a slightly lesser cartridge and a few less anti-vibration features. But the T1 separates itself by having a more striking design — thanks to tempered glass platter — and a more affordable price tag. It's a great option for people who have a Sonos speaker with a line-in connection (like a Five or Play:5) and want to start playing vinyl.

(The T1 can be bought with or without a phono preamp, or with a Bluetooth transmitter.)

Fluance RT81

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Fluance RT81
amazon.com
$249.99

Best Budget

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.

Symbol Audio Modern Record Player

Gear Patrol
Symbol Audio Modern Record Player
symbolaudio.com
$3,295.00

Best Upgrade

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 built-in, Sonos Connect or Airport Express so you can wirelessly stream music the way you want. (It just looks classy as hell, too.)

U-Turn Orbit Plus (w/ Preamp)

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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus
audioadvice.com
$399.00

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

U-Turn is one of our favorite American hi-fi companies who makes beautiful handmade turntables in Massachusetts. The Orbit Plus is the company's mid-tier turntable that comes with a striking transparent platter, precision OA2 gimbal tonearm and a Ortofon OM5E cartridge. It's available in a number of fun colors (including violet and bright green) and can be configured with or without a preamp.

Rega Planar 1 Plus

Rega
Rega Planar 1 Plus
amazon.com
$725.00

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

Rega is a well-loved British audio company that has been making audiophile-approved turntables for over 40 years, and its the Planar series of turntables are considered a benchmark for affordable high-end design. The Planar 1 Plus includes a Rega Carbon cartridge, internal phono pre-amplifier based on their excellent FONO stage and RB-110 tonearm. It's one of the best integrated turntables you can buy for under $1,000.


Audio-Technica AT-LP60X

Audio-Technica
Audio-Technica AT-LP60X
audio-technica.com
$119.00

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

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60X is the company's most affordable entry-level turntable. It's an automatic turntable so you don't have to worry about placing the stylus (which you may or may not like). And it comes with switchable preamp and a replaceable stylus, so you can upgrade it down the road. It lacks USB and Bluetooth connections, so it's a fairly dimensional option. It also has a lightweight and aluminum design and isn't going to soak up vibrations like more expensive options. That said, if you're just getting into vinyl and want a cool-looking turntable that doesn't cost a lot, this is a solid option.

Fluance RT80

Fluance
Fluance RT80
Fluance amazon.com
$199.99

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

The RT80 is the of the company’s most entry-level turntable. It still has a built-in phono preamp, so all you need is to connect it to a pair of powered bookshelf speakers. That said, it's essentially just a lower-end version of the company's RT81, with a hollow body plinth and an Audio Technica AT91 cartridge.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB

Audio-Technica
Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB
audio-technica.com
$299.00

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

First things first: this is a USB turntable, meaning you can play and record records at the same time; which 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 Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB has a built-in phono preamp, so all you need is some passive or powered bookshelf speakers to hook up to it. The kicker is that, well, it's just a really cool-looking turntable.