Ever since the invention of music CDs, the music industry pundits have been writing off the record player. Many have mistakenly believed that record players have become just a collector’s item. But surprisingly the record player has refused to become a thing of past. The age of digital streaming is witnessing a resurgence in vinyl’s popularity. In 2019, vinyl records outsold music CDs. And half of these vinyl record buyers are under the age of 25, so it is just not nostalgia.
Casual audiophiles and professionals alike are professing their love for the warmer and richer sounds of the 12-inch glossy black discs. Vinyl lovers swear that listening to a good record will give you a satisfying experience that digital music can never match. Well, we agree with that, almost. One thing old record players lacked was portability. They were delicate yet heavy instruments. Not to be disturbed and to be enjoyed from a distance. Well, the good news is the newer models have evolved and are designed for mobility. Light in weight and sturdier in construction these modern machines allow you to take the magic of vinyl anywhere you want to go. So if you are ready to jump on the vinyl bandwagon too, you will need to own a good record player. We have prepared a comprehensive list of portable record players of high quality, from various brands, belonging to different price ranges. So go through this article, and we will help you find the best portable record player for you.
How to find the best portable record player?
The market is full of record players and turntables of all types and sizes. There are complex instruments loved by nerds and professionals. And then there are plug and play machines for beginners. Before you can buy the best portable record player, just a few things to consider. Will you be relying on the built-in speakers of the record player? Or do you like it loud and will connect the record player to external speakers? Do you need just a player for your LPs or will you also need it to stream your music? Which do you consider better – belt drive or direct drive? You want your record player to be fully automatic or semi automatic or do you want it manual? Do you prefer a sleek modern look or are you a fan of the vintage look? Don’t worry, we will discuss all these points for various record players. And by the time you finish this article, you will be sure of what you want.
Best Portable Record Player
1. Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable
If you are new to vinyl then this is no doubt one of the best record players you can start your musical journey with. This versatile record player is capable of running at three speeds – 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 rpm. Meaning it can handle all of your LPs – 7, 10, and 12 inches. This record player is belt-driven, which means platter is isolated from the motor vibrations. The result is improved sound quality and better clarity with very little distortions. The record player has built-in speakers that are loud and capable of rendering warm and high fidelity sound – a characteristic of LPs. With the help of a 3.5 mm Aux-in jack, you can connect your other devices to this player. Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable lets you listen to music from any format. It supports Bluetooth connectivity so you can use it to stream music wirelessly as well. And if you are in the mood for private listening, the headphone jack provided allows you to do that. The RCA output lets you connect it to your home audio system if you so choose. The stylus is good and easy to replace.
Victrola has designed this model for portability. This has a nice-looking suitcase design, and it comes with an easy carry handle, so you can take your music with you. It is a compact product measuring 13.9 × 10.1 × 5 inches and weighs a little over 5 lbs. This model comes in a variety of colors and skins, allowing you to choose your favorite. The portability and versatility combined with its budget-friendly price tag do make Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable the perfect introductory record player.
2. Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad
True to its name, Crosley’s CR6232A-BR Nomad, is indeed a highly portable device. With its vintage wooden case style design wrapped with fabric and chrome snaps, this is one pretty looking machine. It weighs 11 lbs and will take up a space of 11.42 × 20.08 × 4.53 inches. This record player can be operated at three speeds – 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. With its belt-driven mechanism, you will get clear sound quality. The built-in diamond provides you with a superior sound experience. RCA input port can be used to connect any of your other devices to this turntable and play your music seamlessly. RCA output lets you connect it to any other speakers for even bigger sounds and the headphone jack allows private listening. The Nomad comes with a software suite to help you digitize your favorite vinyl. So you don’t have to fear your rare vinyl records getting lost. All you have to do is plug this record player to your computer through a USB port.
3. LP & No.1 Portable Suitcase Turntable with Stereo Speaker
This is a portable suitcase shaped record player from the manufacturer LP & No.1. The cabinet is made of audio-grade MDF wood, which soaks up the vibrations. On the outside, it is wrapped in beautiful PU leather. Chrome silver corners are a nice touch. Driven with a belt mechanism attached to a low vibration motor, it will give you an excellent music experience. It comes with a ceramic stereo cartridge. This record player is capable of spinning at three speeds – 33 ⅓, 45/, and 78 RPM. It features auto on/off, so your record will not be damaged. The inbuilt twin stereo speakers give a warm and clear sound. But if you feel the need to connect external speakers you can do that with the RCA output port provided. The headphone port is provided for private listening. You can also connect your mobile or other digital audio players through the Aux-in port. At 4.3 × 10.1 × 13.9 inches, it is quite compact. With a weight of under 7 lbs, it will not be heavy on you, and its price will not be heavy on you wallet.
4. Victrola 50’s Retro 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable
If you are a fan of retro designs, this versatile record player will definitely interest you. Victrola 50’s Retro Record Player is designed to look like a vintage radio set. Shiny bright red exterior and a back lit radio tuner complete the 50s theme. However, its romance with a bygone era ends there. On the inside, this record player is uber-modern and loaded with all music playing technology of the past 70 years. This record player is belt-driven, which gives you better sound quality. You can operate this record player at three speeds – 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. The built-in stereo speakers will give you a warm and clear sound. This record player is accompanied by a simple recording software that allows you to digitize all your records. Just plug it to any computer through a USB cable and you can convert any vinyl audio to MP3. Victrola 50’s Retro record player comes with a CD player. Also provided is an AM/FM radio which means you can listen to music in almost every way possible. 3.5 mm Aux-in RCA jack allows lets you plug this record player to other music systems. If you like you can use it to play music wirelessly through the Bluetooth receiver. This record player weighs 8.65 lbs. And all these features occupy a space of just 13 × 6.8 × 15 inches.
5. Byron Statics Turntable Vintage Record Player Portable Vinyl Player
This vintage-looking record player from Byron Statics is another good choice if you are looking for a portable record player. At less than five and a half pounds, this record player weighs no more than a laptop. With dimensions of 13.66 × 10 × 4.6 inches, it is very compact. You can just close it like a briefcase, and carry it with you without any problem. And if you are apprehensive that portability might affect its performance, then you don’t need to worry at all. This record player features a switchable three-speed operation – 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. The two front-facing stereo speakers work exceptionally. An RCA out jack can be used to plug it to external audio systems. For private listening, a 3.5 mm headphone jack is included. It is semi-automatic, so it will stop playing once the record reaches its end.
6. Voksun Portable Bluetooth Turntable with Built-in Stereo Speakers
This retro-looking portable record player from Voksun is the excellent confluence of old and new. This record player designed to look like an elegant briefcase all wrapped in sleek black PU leather. It is capable of three-speed playback, spinning all your LP records at 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM. A belt drive mechanism will give you a better sound experience. With the built-in USB, you can digitally archive all your precious vinyl records. It is easy to use and requires no setup. It comes with an RCA jack and a 3.5 mm headphone jack so you can connect external speakers or headphones if you like. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can use it to stream music wirelessly as well. It is quite compact with dimensions of 16.2 × 14.4 × 6.8 inches and weighs a little over six and a half pounds.
7. Crosley CR8009A-DU Discovery
This quaint machine from the Vinyl manufacturer Crosley is just adorable. The vintage-inspired portable turntable comes with all the features you will need to get started. And it is budget friendly. This record player is ready to play out of the box. It boasts of a belt-driven mechanism, which will isolate the humdrum sound of motor from your music. The switchable three speed operation at 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM will make sure you can enjoy all of your records. The Discovery has a pitch control mechanism which will allow your ears to hear just what they desire. It comes with an Aux-in and a Bluetooth receiver. So you can stream digital music through the record player’s speakers via wires or wirelessly. Through RCA port you can plug this record player to your other speakers or soundbar. A headphone jack is provided for private listening. The built-in speaker are nice and satisfying. The Discovery comes with a ceramic cartridge and an NP6 needle. It will fit easily anywhere with a size of 12 × 15.5 × 4.25 inches. And at five and a half pounds it is quite light in weight too.