Even though portable record players aren’t exactly selling as well as iPods and smart phones, the truth of the matter is they are becoming more and more popular these days, thanks in large part to the vinyl revival we are all living in right now.
More people are trying to get at least a little bit away from digital music and the almost soulless feel that it has, really trying to reconnect with the authentic tone and rich tangibility that vinyl records always brought to the table.
If you’ve been thinking about jumping on the record bandwagon, but aren’t quite sure of whether or not you want to spend hundreds and hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of dollars on a furniture style turntable, grabbing one of the best portable record player options available today is probably right up your alley.
These options bring a lot of benefits to the equation, and also are considerably less expensive than more traditional set-top style options are. Better than that though is the fact that you’ll find a rich market for brand-new portable turntables being manufactured today as well as an active vintage market – with prices that have yet to go sky high.
Here are just a few things you should be looking into before you buy any turntable and our pick for what we think is the very best one of the bunch today!
Are you sure you want a portable record player?
Before you dive headfirst into the world of portable record player reviews in an effort to find the best option available, you are really going to want to make sure that you are serious about getting your hands on one of these portable units.
You aren’t going to be able to find a portable turntable that is anywhere near as slim or as compact as a smart phone or tablet, but will be able to find slimline for compact design turntables that won’t eat up a lot of space in your home.
Portable turntables aren’t portable in the same sense that laptops or ultrabooks are, but instead in the sense that they are almost effortless to move or transport without breaking your back or having to hire a team of movers to do the heavy lifting for you.
A lot of people feel that portable record players (at least those that were manufactured 30 or 40 years ago) aren’t quite as consistent as larger set-top style units, but these portable solutions have come a long way today and are well worth investing in.
Breaking down the advantages
You are going to be able to enjoy a bunch of different benefits when you decide to go with the best portable record player on the market today, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Innovative form factors and designs that cannot be implemented with larger piece turntables
- Compact form factors that can be moved around the house (or to another location) without any extra effort
- Turntables that do double duty as design centerpieces while at the same time producing rich and authentic sound when played
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Another big benefit that these pieces of equipment bring to the table is that they are considerably less expensive than full-size units – especially when you’re talking about the vintage or collectors’ market.
Important features you’ll want your portable turntable to include
Of all the different features that you are going to want to look for in a portable turntable, there are three that are probably the most important.
The tonearm that your new turntable takes advantage of is going to be of incredible importance, and should either the fully automatic or a manual device – depending upon what you are most comfortable with.
The media that your new turntable supports are also critically important, not just as far as the size and speed of records that can be played, but also as far as digital media or USB compatibility goes as well.
Finally, you’ll want to look into the drive type of your new portable turntable.
There are two different classes of drive types out there, the “direct drive” and the “belt drive”.
Direct drives can be effortlessly stopped or started almost immediately, and have styluses that are effortless to place into perfect position. Belt drives run much more quietly than directed drives, and have a better and more consistent speed so that you get the most out of your vinyl records without running the risk of damaging them along the way.
For our money, this is the best portable record player on the market today…
All things considered, we feel that the very best of the best is the relatively new Crosley CR6232A-BR Nomad USB Portable Turntable.
As close to a “future proof” record player as you’re going to find these days (which sounds a little bit silly since we’re talking about musical media that is nearly ancient by today’s standards), this portable turntable will allow you to play all of your favorite records while still taking advantage of modern technology in the form of a direct USB interface.
Though there are other portable turntable options on the market right now, none of them are as widely recommended as this one is.
You need some more proof? Check some of the great reviews written by people who have bought it!
You aren’t going to regret this decision!