Let’s not kid ourselves…
Getting into vinyl is not cheap. Sure, you can pick up some vinyls for a few bucks at a thrift store or garage sale.
But what’s the point of collecting these works of art only to have a record player shred them to bits?
So if you’re looking for the best affordable record player with built-in speakers you’re in the right place!
If you’re in a rush, check out my favorite record player with speakers on Amazon.
I still play vinyls on my dad’s old Pioneer KH 4455 which I restored. It’s almost 40 years old. It’s big and bulky and the speakers take a good amount of space.
So if I was new to vinyl I’d be on the lookout for a record player with built in speakers just to dip my toes into the whole vinyl thing. And I’d want something affordable that won’t destroy my precious vinyls.
If you’ve done any kind of research yet, you already know there are tons of options out there. But not all record players are created equal.
So I’ve brought you 4 of the best affordable record players with built in speakers. I’ll share the pros and cons of each with you. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a record player. So you can shop with confidence and pick one that fits your pocket and your needs.
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Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player
This Victrola Vintage 3-Speed record player will spin your vinyl at 33 and 78 speeds. It also comes with a 45 adapter so you can play those vinyls made for 45 speed.
It also plays 7, 10 and 12 inch vinyls. So you’re pretty much good to go no matter what you have in your collection.
This baby is a convenient size and stacks up at 16.6 by 7.3 by 12.8 inches. So it’s a great fit, even for a small space.
It weighs about 5 lbs. Which makes it light enough to move around. And it’s built into a sturdy carry case with handles. So, it’s super easy to travel with.
Unlike other record players in its class, this one has a direct drive.
For you, this means a platter which is more skip resistant than a belt drive.
It’s not fully automatic but does come with an auto stop function for you to control.
The tonearm works as a switch by means of the lift lever. Moving it backward and then over the vinyl will start the platter spinning.
If the auto stop function is on, the platter will stop spinning at the end of the vinyl.
This is good if you tend to doze off when listening to vinyls. But you’ll have to move the tonearm back to the starting point manually.
The downside is that the platter might stop spinning before the end of the last track. It’s a trade-off, but not a deal breaker.
Cartridge & Stylus
Like other record players in this class, the cartridge and stylus can’t be upgraded to something better.
But it does come with one replacement stylus. And if you need more they are easy to find.
As a rule, the stylus used to play 78’s is different. So I’m not convinced this will do a good job of playing those.
But the manufacturer is happy to endorse the Victrola for playing 78’s.
The built-in speakers are front-mounted which in my opinion is the best position for maximum sound quality.
From my research, most folks are happy with the sound. And this machine does a good job of filling a medium sized room with sound.
One owner said at top volume, she can hear the music clearly even in her 4 bedroom ranch home.
But, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t at least a little distortion in the sound.
And some folks did note that the speakers sound tinny. But this is an entry level machine so the speakers won’t give any kind fidelity in sound.
If you want the best set up for sound I recommend getting a decent set of external speakers.
I like the fact that the Victrola has no extra frills like a CD player or radio. It’s designed to play vinyls and that what it does.
All those extras just make room for unnecessary vibrations, which is something you want to avoid. Especially with an entry level player.
USB & Connectivity
Most record players in this price range don’t have bluetooth connectivity. So it’s refreshing to find one that does.
With the Victrola, you can play music wirelessly from your smart device, up to 33 feet away.
It also has a 3.5 mm jack for playing music from a non bluetooth device.
You can’t play vinyls through your Bluetooth speakers though. But, there’s an RCA Aux-in and headphone jack. So you can hook it up to external speaker.
Or you can plug in your headphones for some private listening.
The one thing this record player can’t do, is rip your vinyls to MP3 format. If this is what you’re after something like the Crosley Collegiate is more up your alley.
Check out my full review of the Crosley Collegiate USB Record Player.
Can I hook this up to wireless Bluetooth speakers?
No. This Victrola can’t be played through Bluetooth speakers.
Can I hook this up to external speakers?
Yes. If your stereo speakers have an RCA-out jack, you’re good to go.
Will this record player damage my vinyls?
For a record player in its price class, it’s surprisingly gentle on vinyl.
Can you connect your phone to the Victrola record players?
Yes. If you have the Bluetooth on you can play wirelessly from your phone up to 33 feet away.
Should You Buy the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable
The Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth record player has a lot going for it.
The Bluetooth functionality is a big plus as far as features go.
And unlike other record players in this class, you can hook it up to external speakers which is a great feature in my opinion.
It’s a direct drive and it doesn’t have useless extras like a radio or CD player. So there’s less chance of skipping and unnecessary vibrations.
Of course, nothing is perfect. So here are a few things worth mentioning…
One customer received their record player that was DOA. But they got a new one at no charge to them.
Also, the manufacturer has not tested whether the Victrola can play 180 g vinyls. So if you want to spin your 180 g vinyls, this might be an experiment you don’t want to do.
And there were a few customers that experienced a weird clicking sound. I’d chalk this down to dirty vinyls though.
Pros and Cons of the Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player
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Jensen JTA-230 3 Speed Record Player with Built in Speakers
This Jensen plays vinyls cut at 33, 45 and 78 speeds. And it comes with the handy 45 adapter you’ll need.
And you should have no problems playing 7, 10 or 12 inch vinyls.
The JTA 230 is smaller than it looks in the picture. It’s total dimensions with the cover down are 12 by 10 by 15 inches.
So it’s not big and bulky and it’s a nice size to fit into any room, office or lounge.
It weighs just over 5 lbs. So moving it around won’t break your back. It’s a shame it isn’t designed in a handy carry case for traveling like another record player in its class.
This Jensen is belt-driven. So essentially there’s a shock absorber between the platter and the motor.
This is great for reducing vibrations while playing vinyl.
It’s a manual record player but it does have an auto stop function. So the platter will stop spinning after the last track.
If you’re like me and you doze off while listening to your vinyls, this is a good feature.
Cartridge & Stylus
Like with other self contained record players in this class, the cartridge and stylus can’t be upgraded to something better.
But the factory fitted ones are easy to find.
There are mixed opinions on whether it’s ideal to play 78’s with the factory fitted stylus.
Because 78’s are cut with wider grooves they need a wider stylus at 3 mil. Where your regular 33 and 45’s are cut for a 0.7 mil needle.
Jensen claims their factory fitted needle works fine for 78’s. And from my research other customers are satisfied with doing this.
But if you’re a 78’s collector you should consider getting the correct stylus.
The only kicker here is that it’ll cost you almost half of the price of this Jensen.
The 3 watt speakers are side facing. And in my opinion, this is not the most ideal position for the best sound.
And some folks have reported that the built-in speakers sound tinny. And that the speakers are not all that loud to begin with.
But the upside is you can hook this baby up to a set of self powered speakers and get much better sound quality.
Or you can enjoy listening to you vinyls through the speakers on your PC if you prefer.
There’s also a 1/8 RCA Line-out jack so you can fire up your headphones if you want some private listening time.
One of the main features of this Jensen is its pitch and tone control which is unheard of in this price class.
I like the fact that this Jensen has no unnecessary frills like a radio or CD player.
The more moving parts, the more vibration there is on the platter and speakers. And that’s something you want to avoid with an all-in-one record player.
USB & Connectivity
The Jensen comes with a USB port and cable for ripping your vinyl into the 21st century.
The Audacity software you need for converting tracks to MP3 is included vinyl to MP3.
You may need to visit their website and download the latest version. But you can do this free of charge.
Can I stack records with the Jensen JTA 230?
No. This record player does not have the ability to stack. You can only place one vinyl at a time on the mat.
Does this record player have a headphone jack?
Yes. The factory fitted headphone jack is 1/8.
Can I play newer vinyl with the Jensen JTA 230?
You could. But I advise against it. The heavier vinyl puts an extra load on the motor making it spin slower.
If you’re looking to spin new vinyl invest in something that can handle the punch. Like the Audio Technica LP 60 or even the LP 120.
Should You Buy the Jensen JTA-230?
The Jensen JTA 230 is a neat self contained record player. It’s not going to give you the kind of sound quality that will knock your socks off. But it’s pretty decent.
With the pitch and tone controls, you have more room to move when it comes to speed and tone.
This is a big plus in terms of features. And you’d be hard pressed to find another record player in its class with the same control.
So nothing’s perfect. Right?
From my research, I’ve noticed that there are mixed reviews on the sound quality of the built in speakers.
But it’s an entry-level record player so it’s never going to give high fidelity sound. One benefit though is you can hook it up to more powerful external speakers.
A few customers complained about sudden changes in the speed of the motor. Which is a concern for me.
To prevent this from happening make sure the unit is on a solid base and that it’s flat. If it’s not level there could be variations in the speed of the motor.
Pros and Cons of the Jensen JTA-230
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Musitrend LP 3-Speed Record Player with Built-in Stereo Speakers
This Musitrend record player is able to spin vinyls cut at 33 and 78 speeds. It also includes a 45 adapter so if you have any 45’s you can enjoy those too.
And like other record players in its class, it can play 7, 10, 12 inch vinyls.
It’s not a large record player. So it’s a great fit for small rooms or rooms with limited space.
It measures in at 13 by 5.5 by 11.8 inches.
The Musiternd weighs in at 6 lbs. So it is a little heavier than other record players like the Jensen for example.
But it’s still not difficult to move around from room to room if necessary.
And if you consider the real wood finish that would make sense.
It’s a belt-drive unit, which is ideal for a self-contained unit. The belt acts as a shock absorber between the motor and the platter.
This means fewer vibrations on the tonearm and better sound quality overall.
But a belt-drive record player is prone to skipping if there’s movement near the unit. So if you like dancing to your vinyls, make sure it’s on a solid, stable surface like a wall unit, shelf or sturdy table.
It also has an auto-stop switch which makes it semi-automatic. If the switch is turned on, the motor will stop spinning after the last track.
If you tend to visit dream land while listening to vinyls this is a good thing. It’ll prevent your stylus from wearing out too quickly. And it’ll protect your vinyls from wear and tear too.
The downside is that the motor tends to stop right before the last track ends. So it’s a trade-off.
Although I prefer to have the motor stop because I’m one of those folks who usually falls asleep.
Do you know all the parts of a turntable? Check out this article on The Anatomy of a Turntable.
Cartridge & Stylus
The player comes with a ceramic stereo cartridge which is not as high quality as a magnetic one. But this is standard with most all-in-one record players.
There’s also an extra needle included. And each needle should last for about 250 hours of listening.
Unfortunately, the cartridge and stylus can’t be upgraded to something better. But the replacements are easy to find on Amazon.
The two speakers on this baby are small at 3 watts each. They are front positioned which is ideal for the best sound distribution in my opinion.
There are RCA Line Out jacks so you can hook up a pair of external speakers.
One downside is you can’t turn off the internal speakers. So the sound will play through both the built-in and external speakers. I think this will dumb down any external speakers.
One major benefit of the Musitrend is that the tonearm is adjustable. So you have some room to move when it comes to the tracking of the needle.
This is not a feature often found in these entry level players. And it’s a big plus point in my opinion.
USB & Connectivity
If you want to bring your vinyl tracks into the 21st century you’ll be happy to know this Musitrend can dog that.
It’s designed with USB connectivity and comes with a USB cable and free software for ripping vinyl.
There’s also an Aux In port so you can play tracks from your smart device through the built-in speakers. Or plug in your headphones for private listening.
And like I mentioned there are RCA Line Out jacks for external speakers. Although, you’ll have to buy those because they are not included.
Does this record player come with the cable for external speakers?
No. The RCA cables you need for external speakers are not included.
Can I play vinyls with the dust cover closed?
Yes, you can spin your vinyls while the dust cover is still attached and closed.
Is the software for ripping vinyl included?
Yes, the CD with the software is included.
Should You Buy the Musitrend LP 3-Speed Record Player?
I really like the Musitrend LP Record Player. It’s got a real wood finish which is a great benefit.
Not only because it looks smart but it’s a solid unit that reduces vibrations and skipping.
From my research, there are mixed feelings about the sound quality…
One customer is a musician and said he’s more than pleased with the sound of his 70’s vinyl collection.
Although, there is a lot of treble and nada bass, so turning the internal speakers up full blast might sound tinny to some ears.
And one customer got a unit with a faulty AC cable. An easy fix is to head to town and pick up a new one from the store. They’re pretty cheap and less hassle than sending the unit back for a replacement.
But, my main issue with the Musitrend is that the built-in speakers can’t be turned down if you’re using external speakers.
Pros and Cons of the Musitrend LP 3-Speed Record Player
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Victrola Modern 3-Speed Bluetooth Record Player with 50 Watt Speakers
This Victrola turntable is able to spin your vinyls at 33, 45 and 78 speeds. And the adapter needed for the 45’s is included.
Like other record players, it can play 7, 10 or 12 inch vinyls.
So this baby is heavier than the other players I’ve reviewed so far. It’s almost double in weight at just over 10 lbs.
So it’s going to be more work to move it around. This unit is better suited to be set up and left where it is.
The record player measures at 16.5 by 12 by 4 inches without the speakers.
Each speaker is 5 by 6.5 by 7.5 inches each.
So if you put it all together it’s still a nice compact size that will fit nicely, even in a smaller room.
Victrola designed this record player with a belt drive. In my opinion, this is a better option because the belt reduces vibrations from the motor on the tonearm.
There’s no auto return with this record player. But it does have an auto stop function.
So when your vinyl is finished the motor will stop spinning. This is a good benefit to protect your vinyl and your needle from wear and tear.
Cartridge & Stylus
Like most entry level cartridges, this one is ceramic. And unfortunately, it can’t be upgraded to something more high end.
But you’ll be happy to know that the style are easy to find. And you can pick up a pack from Amazon for about the same price as 2 fancy coffees and a scone at Starbucks.
The main feature that makes this Victrola attractive is the 50 watt stereo speakers.
They are not built in but they come standard with the record player. And like I mentioned these are 50 watt babies. Where the other record players I’ve reviewed here top out at 3 watts.
These speakers alone make this record player stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Besides the 50 watt speakers included with this player, there’s not much in the way of unnecessary frills.
There is a factory fitted counter weight but it can’t be adjusted. And there are no other controls like tone or pitch.
With entry level record players less really are more. So I like the minimalist design.
USB & Connectivity
First things first. You can’t hook your headphones up to this Victrola. And you can’t rip vinyl to MP3 tracks.
But you do have the option of Bluetooth streaming tracks from your smart device. And it’s good for up to 33 feet.
There are 2 RCA outputs. With these, you can hook up the standard speakers that come with the players.
And you also have the option to hook up other speakers. So you can upgrade to even more powerful speakers if that’s your fancy. And even throw in a subwoofer for that something extra.
The RCA outputs will also allow you to hook up this player to your home amplifier and audio setup.
These are great features in my opinion and another reason why this record player is one of my favorites.
Does this have a built-in phono preamp?
Yes it does. So you won’t need to hook it up to an external amplifier. It’s good to go out of the box.
Is this a full sized turntable?
Yes, so your vinyls won’t hang of the side. I prefer this kind of design. Especially when playing 78’s.
Does this turntable have a dust cover?
Nope. This is one downside for me. I like a dust cover to keep my player dust free.
Can I rip vinyl to MP3 with this turntable?
Should You Buy the Victrola Modern 3-Speed Turntable?
I’m impressed with this player from Victrola. The 50 watt speakers and other hook up options makes it well worth it.
Personally I wouldn’t go with the white color. I think it’ll show up dirty quickly. But I’m lazy and don’t like dusting too much!
My choice would be the black one. It looks amazing. But there are other funky color options too.
Overall other owners are happy with the sound quality. But it sounds best at medium volume.
Of course if you hook up even better speakers you’d likely get even better sound.
But keep in mind that the cartridge is ceramic and it doesn’t have a high end stylus which will limit what even the best speakers can do.
Pros and Cons of the Victrola Modern Turntable
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My Favorite Record Player with Built in Speakers
All things considered it’s a toss up between the Victrola Modern Record Player and the Musitrend LP 3 Speed Record Player.
I’m crazy about the solid wood finish of the Musitrend. It seems like a simple thing but a sturdy base is really important when it comes to an all in one record player system.
I also like that you can hook it up to external speakers or plug in your headphones.
What counts against the Musitrend, in my opinion, is the fact that you can’t turn the internal speakers off if you’re using external speakers. It seems like a simple thing for Musitrend to design under the hood. So I’m disappointed there.
The Victrola Modern Record Player has really impressed me. Okay, so the speakers aren’t built in. But the ones you get are 50 watts. Way more power than any of the internal speakers of the other units.
The Bluetooth to smart device connectivity is a nice to have. Especially when you think that you’ll be playing your tracks through those 50 watt speakers.
And the internal phono preamp means you could hook this up to your home audio system too. So there’s a range of options when it comes to set up. Which in my opinion is a winner.
The price tags on these record players are neck and neck so I don’t see this as anything to go by. But if I had to make a choice right now, I’d go with the Victrola Modern Record Player.
So you already know there are important things to consider before forking out money for a new record player. Now that you know what to look for, what the differences are and what to stay away from you’re equipped with everything you need to make the best choice for you.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy vinyls as much as I do. Just a word of warning – it’s addictive!!