The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers (2024)

RS Recommends

These professional sets deliver solid sound and a ton of features, whether you're using them at the club or listening to vinyl at home

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

If you want to make original mashups of your favorite songs, or DJ to an audience, your most important tool is the right turntable.

Trending

Bob Dylan's Stunning 'Outlaw' Tour Set List: A Song by Song Guide
'MaXXXine' Brings Back Old-School p*rn and Horror, 1980s Style
Neil Gaiman Denies Sexual Assault Allegations Made by Two Women
The Fyre Fest Fraudster Is Connecting Trump With Rappers

Just take it from Australian DJ Alison Wonderland, who’s remixed tracks by everyone from Justin Bieber to Dua Lipa. “I love creating the set off the crowd’s energy and I love treating the decks like an instrument,” she says. “It’s always fun to experiment with two tracks on top of each other.”

Turntables or record players (the terms are used interchangeably) can do more than spin a disc. “A turntable is what you put your music into and it actually plays the music,” Wonderland says. “You use these to time your songs.”

A DJ setup includes a few pieces of equipment, including a mixer, controller, and speakers, but none of them will perform at their best if you don’t use the right turntable.

“The turntable is the device that plays the song which is then broadcast by the mixer,” explains DJ Mensa, a Toronto-based nightclub, radio and mixtape DJ who’s a three-time winner of RedBull’s 3Style DJ competition. “Two turntables playing songs alternately keeps the music playing at a non-stop pace. That,” he says, “is DJ’ing in a nutshell.”

What Are the Best DJ Turntables?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best DJ turntable for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Direct Drive: The DJ turntables we’re recommending are direct-drive models, which means their platter (the circular piece you place your album onto) is spun by a motor. This differs from “belt” driven record players, which have an elastic band around the side of the platter to spin it. Mensa says, “DJ (direct-drive) turntables are more precise, and more durable over the long run.”

Tempo Controls: One of the hallmarks of a DJ turntable is a fader (a sliding switch) that allows you to increase or decrease the platter’s speed to change a song’s tempo. This fader lets you switch between songs with different BPM (beats per minute) seamlessly.

Editor’s picks

Every Awful Thing Trump Has Promised to Do in a Second Term
The 250 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
The 50 Worst Decisions in Movie History

Speed Shift: All of the DJ turntables we recommend allow you to change between 33/3 and 45 RPM (rotations per minute), so you can play both singles and full-sized albums.

Preamp: Some turntables have a built-in preamp, an audio component that increases its volume output so it can be connected to any input on a stereo receiver (or a pair of powered speakers). Most of our DJ turntable recommendations don’t have a preamp, because that job is handled by other components, like the mixer you use.

Causal Use: Although the turntables we’re recommending in this guide have features meant for DJs, they can still be used for listening to albums for pleasure as a part of your home theater system. Just remember you’ll need to get a preamp if your stereo receiver doesn’t have a phono input.

1. Reloop AMS-RP-4000-MK2

The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers (1)

Reloop may not be a name you’re familiar with, but its AMS-RP-4000-MK2 is an excellent entry-level option for aspiring DJs.

The direct drive turntable has a fader on the right side of the platter that lets you shift the tempo between +/- 8% and +/- 16%. You can shift between these two modes by pushing the 8%/16% button below the fader, and automatically reset the speed to 0% (normal) by pushing a button to the left of it. The ability to regulate your DJ turntable’s speed without looking down, or relying on muscle memory is a major win.

The MK2 also has a button that lets you reverse the direction of your record, so you can play it backwards for scratching. The turntable’s start/stop and 33/3 and 45RPM speed selection buttons are located on the left side of the of the platter.

These quality of life features make DJing easier for beginners because you can rely on pressing buttons until you get comfortable controlling the faders, while also focusing on other tasks like song selection, and EQ (equalization). When combined with the physical design choices Reloop made, like building in a motor with higher torque (force used to rotate objects) and reinforced metal housing, you get a well-balanced turntable for home and professional use.

Whether you’re a music fan who wants to start DJing, or a DJ looking to upgrade from an older rig, this is a great place to start.

Buy Reloop Direct Drive DJ Turntable $363.11

2. Pioneer PLX1000 Direct Drive DJ Turntable

The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers (2)

Pioneer’s PLX1000 Direct Drive DJ Turntable is an excellent choice for more professional DJs.

Its layout is similar to the other DJ turntables we’ve recommended: A fader on the right lets you change the tempo at either +/-8%,+/- 16%, or +/- 50% (the biggest range of any table we’re recommending). You can switch between those modes by pushing a button on top of the fader, or reset the tempo by pushing a button to the left of it.

Related

The Best Early Amazon Prime Day Tech Deals to Shop Now
2024 Tour de France Livestream: How to Watch Every Stage Online

The PLX1000’s speed controls and start/stop buttons are located to the left of the platter. Pioneer includes a 45 adapter, which fits into the larger hole on a seven-inch single and allows you to place it onto the turntable’s spindle.

Where this turntable pulls ahead is in its overall design. It has a high torque motor that Pioneer says can spin the table to 33/3RPM in .3 seconds. Its chasis is made out of die-cast zinc (that means it was hardened and compressed under extreme pressure, improving its overall stability). Pioneer says this turntable is “club grade,” so it’s made for regular use in a challenging environment.

The only downside to this table is that it doesn’t come with a needle or cartridge, so you have to supply your own. You can attach any cartridge you like, which is nice, but this table won’t be DJ ready out of the box. If you already have a needle you like, but need a new deck to handle anything you can throw at it, this is our recommendation.

Buy Pioneer PLX1000 Direct Drive DJ… $739.00

3. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB-BK

The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers (3)

Audio-Technica has a huge line of turntables, but the AT-LP120XBT-USB is its newest, most fully-loaded record player for DJs.

While it looks like the other turntables in our guide, it has a couple of features that help it stand out. The fader on the right side lets you change the tempo +/- 10%, which is a fair amount of range. The buttons on the left side let you start and stop your album, and switch between 33.3, 45, and 78RPM.

This turntable’s most technically advanced feature is its support for Bluetooth, which lets you stream music from your record player to a wireless speaker, or wireless headphones. This may not help you in the DJ booth, but it gives you a lot of flexibility when listening to music at home. It also has a USB port on the backside, so you can easily digitize your records.

This is the only DJ turntable in our guide that supports either of these features, which makes it the most versatile pick. Audio-Techica also includes a dust cover and an adapter for playing 45s, which makes the AT-LP120XBT-USB-BK the full package for DJs and music listeners.

If you’re a DJ who wants a turntable to use on and off the stage, you won’t find a better choice than this.

Buy Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB-BK $399.00

The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers (2024)

FAQs

The Best Turntables for DJs and Vinyl Lovers? ›

You might of heard that it's really difficult to learn how to mix with vinyl. It's true that it's much harder and requires more practice than beat-matching with digital players but it's still easy for everyone to learn. That's if you are taught properly!

Is it harder to DJ with vinyl? ›

You might of heard that it's really difficult to learn how to mix with vinyl. It's true that it's much harder and requires more practice than beat-matching with digital players but it's still easy for everyone to learn. That's if you are taught properly!

How do DJs not scratch vinyl? ›

For recording use, samplers are often used instead of physically scratching a vinyl record.

Do things actually sound better on vinyl? ›

Music from a CD should sound the same as music played from a vinyl record. However, vinyl delivers audio in a smooth analogue way with no jaggedness whatsoever. And yes, a properly recorded and manufactured vinyl record can seem to sound warmer and more pleasant.

What are vinyl DJs called? ›

Turntablists, who are often called DJs (or "deejays"), generally prefer direct-drive turntables over belt-driven or other types, because the belt can be stretched or damaged by "scratching" and other turntable manipulation such as slowing down a record, whereas a direct drive turntable can be stopped, slowed down, or ...

What ruins a vinyl record? ›

Things like being stored in direct sunlight, dust and dirt, moisture, being kept in PVC sleeves, as well as improper storage and handling can all render your records unplayable - so it is important to take care and pay attention to how you are storing your own collection.

Where do DJs get their vinyl records? ›

One of the main sources for DJs is record labels. Record labels play a significant role in providing DJs with the latest tracks and underground music gems. DJ-focused record labels often have a network of artists that create music catering specifically to the needs of DJs.

What is the average price of a good turntable? ›

To get an entry-level turntable that won't cause damage and has good sound quality, expect to spend between $200 and $500.

Is Victrola or Crosley better? ›

Neither came close to the quality of the speakers featured in our best bookshelf speakers guide, but the Victrola had a much flatter response than the Crosley. The Victrola showed a reasonably flat response over an audio range from about 80 Hz to 15 kHz, versus about 180 Hz to 5.8 kHz for the Crosley.

Can you DJ with a vinyl player? ›

Vinyl DJ Setup

It goes without saying that the first and most important equipment you'll need to DJ with vinyl is a pair of turntables, which you'll use to play the records. There are many excellent turntables on the market, from the iconic Technics SL-1200s and scratch-friendly Vestax decks to cheaper alternatives.

Should I learn to DJ on vinyl first? ›

Either way, learning how to mix with vinyl is top on many DJs to-do lists. Of course, nowadays it's not an essential skill and the vast majority of DJs don't mix with vinyl at their DJ gigs anymore but it's still an incredible art form, hobby and way of DJing.

Should I DJ digital or vinyl? ›

Vinyl DJing requires more skill and practice, but it also gives you more control and feel over the music. You can create subtle nuances and variations in your mixes that are hard to replicate with digital.

How long does it take to learn to DJ vinyl? ›

some people take to it instantly, some never get it. the fundamentals (fading, volume, beat matching) are a matter of hand/ear coordination and can be learned to beginner levels in a matter of months with practice. choosing the right records, scratching, and the other creative techniques are a life-work.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6505

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.