The best DJ turntables are not only found in the clubs or in studios; many of these are actually just at home and being enjoyed by vinyl record music enthusiasts. Nothing beats the natural and raw sound of vinyl, not to mention the rare tracks that you can only find in grandpa’s old records hidden in his closet.
Turntables are largely attributed to the hip-hop community; however, if hip-hop was born in the 1970’s in Sedgwick, New York, then it is safe to say that turntables are much older than that. In fact, it has been written that turntables came to be when Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in the late 1800’s. The only reason why the best DJ turntables are mostly related to hip-hop is because DJ’s widely use these today and DJing is one of the major elements of hip-hop. Turntablism and turntablists are also terms coined by pioneers of the hip-hop community and in fact, there are many battles and competitions between DJ’s and turntablists who are best in scratching, mixing and more. Today, many DJ’s who play not only hip-hop music but house, trap, EDM, etc. also use turntables when they play.
Going back to its history though, if we can only remember as far back as cassette tapes or CD’s to play music, our parents and grandparents most likely enjoyed their favorite tunes through vinyl. Nowadays, vinyl records are more expensive compared to CD’s and digital music files. You can easily find shops that sell used and new vinyl but there are definitely only a few of these shops left all over the world. Most artists also do not release their records on vinyl anymore.
If that is the case, why do people still buy the best DJ turntables? Perhaps it’s the experience or that nostalgic feeling you get when you play music with a turntable. Most likely, majority of those buying turntables are actually DJ’s. Whatever your purpose for a turntable is, it is best to know the necessary features and characteristics you need to look for before deciding on what to purchase. We have also written about the top 10 best DJ mixers.
- 1 Top 10 Best DJ Turntables in 2017 – Chart
- 2 Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver
- 3 Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System, Silver
- 4 Stanton T92USB USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable
- 5 Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable
- 6 Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted
- 7 Pyle PLTTB3U Belt Drive USB Turntable With Recording & Digital Software
- 8 Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt-Drive Turntable with Pre-Mounted Cartridge
- 9 Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable
- 10 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers
- 11 Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB
Main Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best DJ Turntables
- Sound Quality
Different listeners or users and DJ’s have varying sound quality expectations from DJ turntables. Others don’t mind the raw and more natural analog sound that brings back nostalgic feelings when playing a record. There are those who require super clear and powerful sound, especially DJ’s who use turntables for scratching, mixing and battling purposes.
A factor that belongs to this category is the built-in preamplifier. A pre-amp is a turntable feature that can usually be switched from on or off. It makes the volume louder and the sound more powerful. If a turntable doesn’t have a built-in preamplifier, you can always check if it has a line input where you can plug in an amplifier that you have to purchase separately.
The final factor that you need to consider when choosing the best DJ turntables sound quality-wise is the playback speed it offers. You will usually see dual or triple-speed turntables with measurements of RPM (revolutions per minute) – the most common are 33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM and 78 RPM. Experts say that the higher the RPM a turntable can achieve, the better the sound quality.
Another feature that you may have to look for are built-in speakers or the capability to plug in headphones or external speakers. This is purely a matter of preference. If you are a DJ who plays in a loud club with your turntable, you cannot rely on your turntable’s speakers as it wouldn’t be loud enough no matter how powerful it is. Larger venues, of course, need larger amplifiers and larger speakers, hence, the need for the capability to plug in an external speaker. Most turntables have an RCA output and you just need to find an adapter to convert the plug or jack if needed. If you want to go truly retro, then you’d love it if your turntable had built-in speakers.
- Durability and Stability of Parts
First and foremost, all parts of your turntable should be very durable and sturdy so that it can last for many years. Especially if you are a turntablist – meaning you mix and scratch with your turntable – then you cannot expect great performance over the years from a mediocre quality turntable. A part you should also look into is the arm. There are usually two types – S Tone and Straight Tone Arm. While both have their own advantages, the Straight Tone Arm is said to be better in improving tracking and this is more ideal for scratching too.
Some turntables have plastic or glass covers while others are completely open. What’s more important though is that you have a stable platform where you can place your best DJ turntables. Some turntables come with anti-slip mats so that vibrations can be prevented. Turntables are so sensitive. A simple vibration or small movement of its platform can already create distortion in sound. You also need to ensure that the cartridge is always aligned and properly mounted so that your vinyl records won’t be damaged.
Ideally, a turntable package should already include all cables and adapters needed such as RCA cables and/or USB cables.
- USB Compatibility and Software Included (Optional)
Not all turntables can be plugged into a computer so if the turntable you chose doesn’t have this feature, then you can just skip this number. But if the best DJ turntables you are about to buy has USB support, then you should at least check if it’s compatible with both Mac and Windows computers. Most turntables with this feature also include free software in the package, usually Audacity. This allows you to convert your vinyl records into digital files.
Top 10 Best DJ Turntables in 2017 – Chart
Easily claiming the top spot on this list of the best DJ turntables in the market today is the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver. Definitely the best in its price range, it’s not too cheap yet not too expensive, but it delivers the Audio-Technica promise of high quality and performance. Just like most of the brand’s audio equipment, this DJ turntable will not upset.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable does not have built-in speakers which is usually a feature that non-DJ’s look for; however, if your purpose is to only be able to play music from your vinyl records, you will be glad to know that this turntable has a selectable internal stereo phono preamplifier and USB connectivity which can be used on both Windows and Mac computers. That pre-amp makes it easy for you to plug in this turntable into a set of speakers of your choice. The package already comes with line-level RCA output cables.
With a professional cartridge and head-shell, this attractive looking turntable features a direct-drive, high-torque motor that can give you the assurance of more great sound quality and performance. Speed and pitch can also be easily adjusted through the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable. It supports records of up to 33-1/3,45 and 78 RPM. Even if you’re not a pro DJ, you will have an easy time using this turntable.
Though the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable is as modern as a turntable can get, it still has fully manual operation features that will allow you to enjoy its functions even more. Very highly rated by thousands of customers from all over the world, another feature worth mentioning is its ability to digitize your vinyl records through the Audacity software.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable in Silver
Another Audio Technica lands a spot on this list and rightfully deserves to be the second. The Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System is just less than half the price of the AT-LP120, but the manufacturer sure did not cut edges around this one. Unlike the manual operating AT-LP120, the AT-LP60 is a fully automatic belt-drive stereo turntable that can let you enjoy your 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records. No internal speakers for this one but it has a built-in switchable phono preamp which allows you to connect easily to other components, speakers, home stereo and more. It is important to know though that despite its high power and great futures, it does not support USB connection. So if you are a DJ who needs a turntable for mixing, scratching, etc., this turntable is not for you.
The Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System features an anti-resonance die-cast aluminum pattern. For DJ’s who play in different venues who prefer an attractive-looking turntable, aside from silver, you can also find black, blue and red versions of this model.
What’s most impressive about the Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System is its ability to play even old vinyl records that you haven’t touch for years in amazing sound quality. Do not forget to turn on the switch at the back of the best DJ turntables that goes from phono to line. Hook it up with powerful speakers of your choice and you can already enjoy great music non-stop. For many years now, it has consistently received very high ratings from customers and critics and in fact, it averages at 4.4 out of 5 stars on ratings from almost 2,500 customers. For its price, the AT-LP60 just can’t be beaten.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Stereo Turntable System, Silver
Another highly reviewed DJ turntable, you have all the features you need for leisure music playing and professional DJing with the Stanton T92USB USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable. This professional quality turntable which features a high torque direct motor is a very attractive and durable turntable. Despite not having a head cover like the Audio-Technica turntables above, the built and construction of the T.92 USB is just so impressive, you won’t have to worry about damaging it when you choose to bring it along with you on DJ gigs. It comes with a dust cover though so you can keep it clean when not in use. Thanks to its USB connectivity feature that’s compatible with both Mac and Windows PC’s, you can easily convert your vinyl records to digital files on your computers.
Though it looks very simple and easy to understand though it actually is, the Stanton T92USB USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable has more features than you would actually expect. It has a pitch control fader with DSP key lock and a selectable range. The package comes with a Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator LE Software that you can use to transfer and edit your records. It also has superior-quality 500.v3 cartridge made by Stanton that’s already pre-mounted on its headshell.
Three playback speeds of 33, 45 and 78 RPM lets you play just about any of your old and new vinyl. Professional turntablists will also love that it has two start and stop switches for easy battle and mix setups.
When you’re in a budget and you simply want a turntable that can play great music from your old or new vinyl records, then the Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable is your perfect choice. Just a fraction of the price of other turntables, this one sells at a very affordable price. Quite similar to the Audio-Technica AP-L60 except that this one’s a manual turntable, you can get pretty much the same features for less – definitely a great deal.
Highly reviewed by hundreds of customers who were very satisfied with their purchase of the Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable, the only reason you will be disappointed with this turntable is if you fail to understand its features prior to buying it. Of course, the best DJ turntables are an affordable device so you can’t expect it to perform the same way a bit more pricey turntable would. However, it works as advertised and it performs very well – it plays music in great sound quality and unless you’re a DJ who performs live, then you won’t have a problem with this.
With a weighted S tone arm, this professional belt-drive turntable has a dual playback feature for 33-1/3 and 45 RPM speeds; for precise speed adjustments, its outside-edge markings are illuminated by strobe lights. It also has an adjustable pitch control of +/- 16%. While it doesn’t have USB connectors and no pre-amplifier, you can easily purchase a cheap amplifier that does well when connected to this. You can also connect to external speakers and other audio equipment through its RCA output. The package includes the Pyle PLTTB1 Professional Belt-Drive Manual Turntable. A dustcover, stylus, cartridge, 45 rpm adapter and a user’s manual.
Another Stanton made it to our list, this time more affordable than the T92USB but equally impressive-looking and packed with features. Thankfully, Stanton didn’t have to go cheap on the sides when they built the Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable to make it available. Once again, this turntable doesn’t have a USB connector which is a must-know for turntable shoppers otherwise, you may be disappointed with your purchase. However, who needs a USB connector when you’re a professional DJ who knows how to work out a turntable that’s great for mixing, scratching and playing awesome music?
The Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable is a sturdy piece of equipment and you can expect it to last for years of frequent use. Play you vinyl records on it dual speed feature of 33 and 45 RPM. This high-torque, direct-drive motor turntable also has two start and stop switches for your battle and mixing needs. Furthermore, it comes with a pitch control fader with a range of +/- 10% on tempo and pitch. Its straight tone arm makes it ideal for scratching. The package is pretty simple as it includes just about everything you need – the turntable with 500.v3 cartridge, RCA cables, a dust cover and slip mat.
This product first came out almost a year short of a decade ago but until today, many turntablists put their trust on the Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive best DJ turntables whether for DJing or for simply playing vinyl records. You can’t wrong with this highly-rated equipment for sure!
Latest customer reviews and prices of Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted
The Pyle PLTTB3U Belt Drive USB Turntable first came out a few years back and until today, it is one of the most in-demand turntables not only for DJ’s but for simple vinyl enthusiasts as well. This is probably the best and most affordable option you have if you’re looking for a turntable with USB support.
A belt drive turntable with a +/- 10% pitch slider, you can do much with the Pyle PLTTB3U Belt Drive USB Turntable. Since it has a USB feature, you can easily connect your turntable to your computer and convert vinyl records into digital files. Furthermore, with the Audacity Recording Software that’s included in the package, you can mix, record and edit music and a whole lot more. It also has a built-in pre-amplifier so you can get the best quality sound possible. Speed controls at 33-1/3 to 45 RPM and it also has anti-skating controls and a fully-adjustable counter weight. Other features include soft-touch start and stop buttons. The package comes with a headshell, dust cover and a 45 adapter. Power supply requirement is at 110V – 220V.
There are so many satisfied users of the Pyle PLTTB3U Belt Drive USB Turntable who have rated it highly through the years. According to these customers, they were pleasantly surprised with the best DJ turntables as it is more powerful and superior than they expected it to be. It is just important to remember though that in its price range, it is very impressive and can go way beyond the value of your money; however, it is just not right to compare it to other turntables that are twice or thrice its price.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Pyle PLTTB3U Belt Drive USB Turntable With Recording & Digital Software
The final Stanton that made it to this list is yet another affordable turntable that looks quite similar to the previous two but a bit simpler. The Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt-Drive Turntable features a sturdy design that’s convenient to use. It has a straight tone arm which is better if you love scratching records and it improves tracking as well. For simpler mix and battle setup, it comes with two start and stop switches. Play all your old and new vinyl as it has 2 playback speeds of 33 1/3 and 45 RPM. The headshell already comes with a pre-mounted quality 300.v3 cartridge.
The package includes the Stanton T52B turntable, a slip mat, dust cover and RCA cables. Frequency response is at an impressive 20 Hz to 230 kHz +/-1db. These best DJ turntables model has also been around for close to a decade but until today, it sells quite well to DJ’s and those who love playing vinyl records. You are definitely getting the beyond your money’s worth with this turntable. It doesn’t have a USB connector which is fine if you don’t intend to use it for your computer and which is in fact a feature that plenty of turntable shoppers prefer not to have.
Be reminded that this is not a professional turntable and there’s no anti-skate adjustment feature; however, that’s only one feature less in exchange for amazing sound quality you can get out of the Stanton T52B turntable. With an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, you can’t go wrong with this.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Stanton T52B Straight Arm Belt-Drive Turntable with Pre-Mounted Cartridge
If it wasn’t too pricey, the Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable would have easily claimed the top spot on this list but with all factors considered, it is fair enough to at least include it somewhere. Truth be told, for its superior quality and performance, the Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB can easily pass as comparable to the best DJ turntables that are thousands of dollars’ worth. In fact, this turntable has been designed especially for DJ’s who go from venue to venue to play on the deck. The can of course also be enjoyed by the vinyl enthusiast who wants to play records at home.
This three-speed (33-1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM) fully manual operation turntable has a super classy and elegant design with glossy black and silver finish. It will definitely look amazing on the DJ deck or along with your other audio equipment at home or in the studio. It has a powerful 16-pole, 3-phase brushless DC motor and features a direct drive method. Its counterweight S tone arm comes with an adjustable tracking force. It also has an anti-skate adjustment feature. It has a removable universal cartridge mount but the cartridge is sold separately. It is also worthy to mention that it has a sturdy 332 mm dia. die-cast aluminum.
Since it has a USB support feature and it comes with an Audacity software, you can convert vinyl records into digital files while connected to your Mac or Windows computer.
The Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct Drive DJ Turntable might be a couple of hundred dollars pricier than most of the turntables on this list but its power and features are definitely comparable to a lot more expensive models. If you will invest on a DJ turntable, you can’t go wrong on this one. Customers agree too – it currently has an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Many music lovers, not necessarily DJ’s, choose to play vinyl records because of the more natural and raw sound it can produce. Turntables have been in existence for decades which is why we all attribute these record players as vintage. Because of that, it is just right for us to include a retro-looking turntable on our list – the 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable. Now more than its fashionable briefcase-style design, this turntable has much to offer. Select from three speeds available: 33, 458 and 78. You will also be impressed that despite its very low price, this turntable already has its own built-in speakers. Yes, you can still plug it into external speakers but you will already love the sound of its stereo speakers. In fact, it also has a line-in port so you can use this turntable as a speaker for your iPod or other digital music players.
Soft damping control is possible through the balanced dynamic tone arm of the 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable. Aside from line-in port mounted on its side, the best DJ turntables also has RCA and headphone jack outputs. It is so easy to use and operate, you don’t have to be techy at all to understand how this turntable works.
If you want a stylish and sturdy yet powerful and affordable turntable, you can go wrong with the 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable. Even 200-plus customers agree by giving it an average of 4.2 out of 5 star ratings!
Latest customer reviews and prices of 1byone Belt-Drive 3-Speed Portable Stereo Turntable with Built in Speakers
This list is completed with none other than the Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB. This also isn’t the cheapest turntable you’ll find out there but the Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB is well worth your money. In fact, there are many customers and critics who have generously provided hundreds of satisfied ratings and reviews for this turntable. First of all, it is worth to mention that this is a simple yet very attractive looking turntable that won’t put you to shame if you bring it with you in a performance venue. It doesn’t have all the unnecessary controls that will just confuse you but it does include the essentials such as an adjustable pitch control at +/- 10%, adjustable anti-skate control and it connects via USB too (compatible with both Mac and Windows computers).
It has a 1/8-inch stereo line input and RCA line outputs. The package comes with all the cables you need so you can connect your Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB to a stereo playback system or a computer. You also get an EZ Vinyl Converter 2 software so you can rip your vinyl records and transfer directly to iTunes. From there, you can transfer records to CD’s or to your iPod, etc. Furthermore, the best DJ turntables still comes with the Audacity software so you can make the necessary edits to make vinyl sounds clearer.
While users of the Numark TTUSB Turntable with USB are very happy with it, one of the concerns raised was that it cannot be used with headphones or external speakers. However, this issue can easily be solved by purchasing RCA adapters for headphones or speakers or you can simply connect your turntable to your computer and play the music from there.