10 Best USB Turntables | February 2017

10 Best USB Turntables
Best Mid-Range
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Best High-End
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Best Inexpensive
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We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Now that records are making an undeniable comeback, you may want to dust off your collection and start playing them again. These turntables will not only let you hear that rich, warm, old school sound that vinyl alone can provide, they can also connect to your computer via USB so you can convert your favorite tracks into MP3 or WAV files for on-the-go listening anywhere. Skip to the best usb turntable on Amazon.
10
The Ion Audio Archive is a straightforward option with built-in speakers. It offers standard RCA outputs for optional home stereo connection, and comes with EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software that is compatible with Mac and PC systems.
  • stylish natural wood finish
  • does not have a dust cover
  • included needle is of poor quality
Brand ION Audio
Model Archive LP
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
9
The Sylvania Portable has a compact design that runs on batteries or USB power. This makes it perfect for taking along when shopping at garage sales or thrift shops, so you can quickly preview your discoveries. It features two-speed playback at 33-1/3 or 45 RPM.
  • available in 5 fun colors
  • speaker plays only mono sound
  • not intended to be your main player
Brand Sylvania
Model STT008USB-Black
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
8
The Pyle PLTTB3U has a built-in preamp for easy connection to standard home audio systems. It boasts a sleek profile and is belt-driven with a variable pitch slider for fine-tuning playback speed, and its toning arm has an adjustable counterweight.
  • includes 45 adapter
  • great value for the money
  • software is out of date
Brand PylePro
Model PLTTB3U
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The Teac TN-300 is a belt-driven model with a built-in equalizing amplifier. It features an anti-skating system that helps to prevent tracking errors, and the cabinet has a high-gloss piano-like finish that is available in six colors.
  • digital output for macs or pcs
  • plays at 33 and 45 rpm
  • slight hum or buzz at high volumes
Brand Teac
Model TN-300-TB
Weight 16.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
6
The budget-friendly Jensen JTA-230 is great for casual listeners. It includes all the cables and software needed to convert your vinyl into digital formats, plays at all three standard speeds, and offers pitch control for making fine adjustments.
  • stereo headphone jack
  • belt-driven for smooth playback
  • built-in speakers are too quiet
Brand Jensen
Model JTA-230
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
5
The versatile Tech Play ODC-19 features a cassette player that allows you to enjoy and convert your old LPs and tapes alike. With the built-in MP3 encoder, it is simple to attach a flash drive or insert an SD card to start digitally recording your favorite tracks.
  • remote control included
  • am fm radio with presets
  • does not produce high fidelity sound
Brand TechPlay
Model ODC19 BK
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The Numark TTUSB features adjustable pitch and anti-skate control, a 1/8" line input, and RCA outputs so you can hook it up to your home audio system. It includes Audacity software and all the cables necessary so you can get to recording on your computer right away.
  • exports to wav and mp3 formats
  • compatible with macs and pcs
  • assembly is somewhat complicated
Brand Numark
Model TTUSB
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
3
The professional quality Stanton T.92 offers key features for DJs, like an S-shaped tone arm for lower distortion and reduced wear, and a built-in DSP with keylock for controlling tempo without affecting pitch. Its two start/stop buttons allow for varied orientation.
  • cakewalk pyro software
  • less than one second startup time
  • direct-drive motor for scratching
Brand Stanton
Model STA T92USB
Weight 22.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The Electrohome Signature Classic is a retro-inspired record player that delivers room-filling sound with a perfectly tuned acoustic cabinet. It can also play AM/FM radio, CDs and MP3s directly from a flash drive or any 3.5 mm auxiliary input.
  • walnut finished real wood cabinetry
  • 4 speakers for high fidelity audio
  • no computer required for conversion
Brand Electrohome
Model EANOS700
Weight 30.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120 is a high-torque professional player that is perfect for DJs, audiophiles, and other music enthusiasts. Multiple outputs and included cables allow for easy connection to a home stereo or computer for all of your playback and digitization needs.
  • cast aluminum direct-drive platter
  • adjustable anti-vibrational feet
  • comes with audacity software
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATLP120 USB BK
Weight 27.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Benefits Of A USB Turntable

A USB turntable combines old technology with new trends. While many vinyl connoisseurs immediately shun the idea of using a USB turntable, it may be beneficial to take a second look.

The quality of sound on a vinyl record is what has made them so popular. Vinyl records may be seen as the first form of lossless audio compression, as they do not change the audio during the process of recording. The process of creating a vinyl is the key to this. Unlike digital recording, which compresses the large raw files in order to be used on media like CDs, the recording on vinyl is done directly onto the master record, which is then copied. This process hasn't changed much since Thomas Edison's phonograph, and is what gives vinyl its lossless sound.

Using a USB turntable is a great way to capture this lossless audio and convert it to a digital file, which can then be used in various applications. DJing can be improved with lossless tracks, which are harder to find for the lesser known records most DJs search for to set themselves apart. A USB turntable allows DJs to sample rare records directly into digital programs.

The average user stands to benefit from this convenience as well. Adding a USB port to a turntable adds near-universal connectivity; meaning the music can be accessed from various applications, computers, and speaker systems that standard turntables can not.

Have USB Turntables Revolutionized Music?

Throughout musical history, some instruments have made such an impact as to change the direction of music itself. For instance, the introduction of the piano in the early 1800s forever changed the shape and direction of Western music. The piano remains a cornerstone of music to this day, largely due to the fact that it is a single instrument which replicates the entire orchestra's tonal range. Therefore, a composer with a piano can write a piece of music for any musician.

The invention of the electric guitar in 1931 caused similar ripples in the contemporary musical world. The electric guitar not only changed popular music, it actually changed the culture surrounding the music. Before the invention of the electric guitar, guitarists struggled to be heard over the rest of the band in dance halls. Devices like the resonator guitar provided some additional acoustic power, but it wasn't until the electric guitar was born that guitars came to the forefront of popular music. The ability to alter the sound in virtually limitless ways changed the direction of every form of contemporary music.

In 1971, the synthesizer generation began, thanks largely to the work of Wendy Carlos on the film score for A Clockwork Orange. Once again, music was changed forever. Synthesizer use has evolved and progressed to this day, and still drives much of popular music.

The changing use of the turntable has had a similar effect on modern music. Where the synthesizer allowed for the most minute aspects of a note to be changed to create different sounds and play styles; the turntable was an integral part of the birth of an entire genre of music. Without the use of the turntable, there would be no hip-hop.

A Man And A Turntable; The Birth Of A Culture

While turntables have existed in one form or another for more than a century, their use has shifted over time. The most notable occurrence of this shift happened in the early 1970s, and centered around a young man named Clive Campbell, known by the stage name DJ Kool Herc.

Growing up watching Jamaican DJs battle for audiences, Clive loved the ability of music to move a crowd. His father was a sound technician, and had all the equipment available when Clive was ready to explore. Clive decided on the stage name DJ Kool Herc, and started throwing back to school parties in the recreation room of his building in the Bronx, New York. He set up two turntables linked together in a way which allowed him to quickly switch between playing one record and the other.

Kool Herc began to notice that breakdancers attending his parties really enjoyed the musical breaks in the records he played. Herc began searching for music which emphasized these breaks. Herc would put two identical records on his turntables, cued up to the break of the song. When the first record reached the end of the break, he would switch to the second, which was cued back at the beginning. This allowed Herc to keep these musical breaks going as long as possible. This method became the blueprint for the musical genre we know today as hip-hop.

Yet hip-hop is not just the music, it is the culture surrounding the music. As set forth by Kool Herc and the other founders of hip-hop, the pillars of hip-hop included DJing, rapping, breakdancing, and graffiti writing. Hip-hop as a cultural phenomenon is now heavily studied in colleges, and may never have been introduced to the world were it not for DJ Kool Herc and his turntables.



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Last updated on February 16, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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