Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (2024)

By Chris Corfield

published

Audio-Technica have been producing high-quality turntables for over 60 years. Here, we’ve picked out the cream of the crop

Jump To:

  • The quick list
  • Our top pick
  • Best portable
  • Best budget
  • Best direct-drive
  • Best for DJs
  • Best upgrade option
  • Best dynamic sound
  • Best for recording
  • Buying advice
  • How we test

Quick menu

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (1)

1. The quick list
2. Our top pick
3. Best portable
4. Best budget
5. Best direct-drive
6. Best for DJs
7. Best upgrade option
8. Best dynamic sound
9. Best for recording
10. Buying advice
11. How we test

Audio-Technica turntables have been a staple in audio for decades. The immediately-recognisable name is such for the brand’s irreplaceable contributions to audio, which stretch back to its humble 1960s beginnings as a small-scale manufacturer of innovative turntable cartridges.

Since then, Audio Technica has positively pioneered in headphone, microphone and, of course, turntable design – maintaining an edge of quiet quality over its contemporaries all the while. Today’s Audio-Technica range is wider than ever, and its record players near-ubiquitous.

If you’ve started hunting for your first, next or even last record player, chances are you’ve come across more than one ‘AT-‘-coded turntable. With such a rich roster of record players, choosing between them isn’t the simplest; here, though, we’ve made things a little simpler.

The quick list

Our top pick

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP3XBT

Here's our top pick of Audio-Technica turntables - the classy AT-LP3XBT. It's automatic, has Bluetooth support and has an automatic action for no-fuss operation. It boasts an adjustable counterweight and anti-skate mechanism for stability and is an excellent mid-range choice.

Read more below

Best portable

2. Audio-Technica AT-SB727

We love the design of the AT-SB727 and think it's a great option if you're after portability. It has Bluetooth, a decent 12 hours of battery life from a single charge and a 3.55mm out port. Maybe not the best or most stable Audio-Technica for table-top use, but it's a cracker.

Read more below

Best budget

3. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X

In our opinion, this is the best budget Audio-Technica turntable. It's fully automatic and as such, is pretty much ready to go straight out of the box. While missing some bells and whistles, the AT-LP60X sounds fantastic and would make a great record player for first-timers.

Read more below

Best direct-drive

4. Audio-Technica AT-LP5X

If you're in the market for a direct-drive turntable, ie a record player which has the platter connected to the motor rather than a pulley-style belt, then this is our pick. It has various adjustability options, USB and offers a stable performance - although there's no Bluetooth.

Read more below

Best for DJs

5. Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP

The AT-LP140XP features perhaps too many features than is nessessary for the casual listener, but if you're a DJ, then the AT-LP140XP is worth closer inspection. It has a pitch adjuster and a reverse button, while the high-torque motor delivers consistent playback speed.

Read more below

Best upgrade

6. Audio-Technica AT-LPW30BK

Looking to step-up your turntable game after getting into vinyl? Then the AT-LPW30BK has you covered. It has a stable, belt-driven design and a dynamic anti-skate mechanism to keep your sounds rocking - and while there's no Bluetooth or USB, it's still a good upgrade from entry-level players.

Read more below

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Best dynamic sound

7. Audio-Technica AT-LPW50BTRW

Where this turntable really shines is when playing softer-sounding albums - but perhaps lacks the grunt to truly deliver hard rock the way you want to hear it. It's a belt-driven system that looks magic thanks to its rosewood-style finish and a a carbon tonearm.

Read more below

Best for recording

8. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

Last but not least is the AT-LP120XUSB - a record player that can (with the aid of Audacity software) transfer your favourite vinyl tracks to digital files. It also boasts some features DJs might like with pith up/down - and is a top option if archiving your collection is paramount.

Read more below

Our top pick

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (10)

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP3XBT

Simply the best Audio-Technica turntable overall and a great all-rounder

Specifications

Operation: Fully automatic

Drive: Belt

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 128x435.6x374mm

Weight: 5kg

Reasons to buy

+

Highly adjustable and customisable

+

Wired or wireless listening

+

Automatic action

Reasons to avoid

-

Not quite plug-and-play

At a glance

Buy if you want the best Audio-Technica turntable: The AT-LP3XBT is a well-priced, belt-driven turntable that covers all bases. It's competitively priced, has Bluetooth and delivers awesome audio.
Avoid if you want to enjoy straight out the box: Not the most user-friendly Audio-Technica turntable on the list, so if you're just starting your vinyl journey, go for a cheaper model.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP3XBT sits squarely in the mid-range of the brand’s roster – but borrows its best features from both above and below, to create a supremely high-quality and versatile belt-drive turntable at an un-sniffable price point. The AT-LP3XBT retains the essential fully-automatic form and function of its entry level sibling, the AT-LP60X, but benefits from some key advancements.

An adjustable counterweight and anti-skate mechanism for the tonearm ensure your records sound their full-throated best without unnecessary wear. The tonearm’s also fitted with Audio-Technica’s AT-VM95C cartridge, the stylus for which can be easily swapped out for a different tonal response or dynamic.

Vitally, the AT-LP3XBT also features Bluetooth functionality, courtesy of a high-fidelity Qualcomm aptX codec – which greatly enhances your connectivity options. Listen to records unbounded by the extent of your wires. Ultimately, the Audio-Technica AT-LP3XBT is a phenomenal mid-range turntable for any hi-fi; it’s well-built, well-designed, easy to use and sounds great played loud. A great, first, second or third turntable.

Best portable

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (11)

2. Audio-Technica AT-SB727

The best Audio-Technica turntable for portability

Specifications

Operation: Manual

Drive: Belt

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds (rpm): 33-1/3, 45

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 70x100x290mm

Weight: 900g

Reasons to buy

+

Bluetooth-enabled

+

12 hour battery

+

Surprising audio quality

Reasons to avoid

-

Less stable than conventional turntables

At a glance

Buy if you want portable turntable: The design doesn't scream "turntable" but the AT-SB727 is a neat performer and has excellent battery life and Bluetooth functionality.
Avoid if you want something more substantial: While the AT-SB727 is a flexible record player which works fine in the home, there are better suited players on this list for table tops.

The Audio-Technica AT-SB727 is a modern-day remaster of an infamous product from hi-fi days past – the Sound Burger, a portable turntable that competed with the likes of the Sony Walkman in the early 80s.

The Sound Burger may have lost that battle, but it’s won the war, having been popular enough to elicit a fresh reboot some 40 years since. Today’s AT-SB727 keeps the iconic looks and functionality of the original, albeit with a modern twist.

C batteries are out and USB-C is in, as the modern Sound Burger boasts 12 hours playtime via a rechargeable lithium-ion cell. The Audio-Technica AT-SB727 also features nifty Bluetooth connectivity alongside a conventional 3.5mm out, because it’s kind like that.

This is a highly versatile, surprisingly hi-fi and thoroughly chic portable player – albeit, predictably, less stable than normal table-top affairs. Still, it could handily hold its own against many a pricier turntable, and would look great while doing so.

Best budget

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (12)

3. Audio-Technica AT-LP60X

The best budget-friendly Audio-Technica turntable for starting your vinyl journey

Specifications

Operation: Fully automatic

Drive: Belt

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: No

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 97.5x373.3x359.5mm

Weight: 2.6kg

Reasons to buy

+

Fully automatic

+

Quality audio for cheap

Reasons to avoid

-

Limited adjustability

At a glance

Buy if you're looking for your first turntable: The AT-LP60X is an excellent choice for your first turntable and it's priced accordingly. Easy to use thanks to it being fully automatic and comes highly recommended.
Avoid if you want more control: If you're a vinyl veteran looking for a turntable, the AT-LP60X might be a bit basic for your needs.

The AT-LP60X is Audio-Technica’s cheapest turntable, and proof positive of the brand’s commitment to great sound. Despite being an entry-level turntable, the AT-LP60X is great-sounding out of the box – and near-foolproof to use, too.

The AT-LP60X’s beginner-friendliness presents itself on two fronts. For one, it’s fully automatic; one button triggers the tonearm’s automated journey to the start of the record, and another triggers its safe return to the cradle at the end of the side. For another, the tonearm is kept simple, with no additional adjustments needed to allow for near-perfect playback.

This simplicity might be a turn-off for more well-versed vinyl owners or hi-fi havers, but it makes the AT-LP60X an extremely accessible first record player – or, at the very least, an extremely affordable one.

Best direct-drive

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (13)

4. Audio-Technica AT-LP5X

The best Audio-Technica turntable for a stable listening experience

Specifications

Operation: Fully manual/

Drive: Direct

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45, 78

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: no

USB Output: Yes

Dimensions (hwd): 157x450x352mm

Weight: 7.3kg

Reasons to buy

+

Highly adjustable

+

USB connectivity

+

Stable performance

Reasons to avoid

-

No Bluetooth

At a glance

Buy if you want a solid, direct-drive device: The AT-LP5X is a solid bit of kit thanks to its gimbal suspension system which reduces skips and other shenanigans.
Avoid if you want Bluetooth connectivity: If you want to hook up your favourite Bluetooth speakers, I'm afraid you're out of luck.

In a break from standards set by Audio-Technica’s LP2 and LP3 entries, the AT-LP5X is a direct-drive turntable – and a highly accessible one too, with a hi-fi focus and a distinctly nostalgic visual angle. Its J-shaped tonearm hearkens back to Audio-Technica’s early days of turntable production, but also provides a practical utility via improved tracking.

This stylish tonearm is accompanied by a clever gimbal suspension system that further reduces tracking issues, and counterweight and anti-skate systems to give you more control over how the turntable plays. An aluminium platter adds weight and stability.

The AT-LP5X features a built-in phono stage, but lacks Bluetooth – so your finished hi-fi system will be wired in some way. However, the AT-LP5X does have a built-in AD converter via USB output, in case you wish to mate your turntable digitally. If you’re looking for stability, look no further.

Best for DJs

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (14)

5. Audio-Technica AT-LP140XP

Best Audio-Technica turntable for starting a professional DJ setup

Specifications

Operation: Fully manual

Drive: Direct

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45, 78

Built-in phono stage: No

Bluetooth: No

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 158.6x452x352mm

Weight: 10kg

Reasons to buy

+

Comprehensive features

+

Solid build quality

+

Direct drive

Reasons to avoid

-

No phono stage

-

Over-featured for casual listening

At a glance

Buy if you're a DJ looking for a new deck: There are loads of playback features here, including a pitch adjuster and reverse button, plus a high-torque motor.
Avoid if you want a turntable with phono pre-amp: While the AT-LP140XP does a lot of things really well, there's no in-built phono stage.

This is Audio-Technica’s top-flight turntable, a bona fide workstation of a record player designed for professional DJs and sound systems. A high-torque motor delivers consistent playback speed, and the DJ cartridge it ships with (the AT-XP3) ensures the stylus stays literally in the groove while playing.

Being a DJ instrument through and through, and hence designed to mate with DJ mixers and power-amp setups, the AT-LP140XP doesn’t ship with an integrated phono stage. It does, though, ship with an array of playback features, including a pitch adjuster with +/-8%, +/-16% and +/- 24% range settings and a reverse button.

Many of these features are designed purely to benefit mixing and beat-matching in a performance setting – which, for professional DJs slinging the heavy stuff, might not be quite as essential as they are for hip-hop and electronica sets. Still, they can be highly useful for crafting a seamless set from your extensive collection.

Best upgrade option

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (15)

6. Audio-Technica AT-LPW30BK

The best Audio-Technica turntable for upgrading your first hi-fi

Specifications

Operation: Fully manual

Drive: Belt

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: No

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 116.9x420x340mm

Weight: 5kg

Reasons to buy

+

Aluminium tonearm

+

Switchable stylus

+

Stable belt-drive design

Reasons to avoid

-

Limited connectivity

At a glance

Buy to upgrade your automatic turntable: With an adjustable tonearm counterweight and dynamic anti-skate mechanism, the AT-LPW30BK is a neat upgrade if you're looking to move up from automatic.
Avoid if you want lots of bells and whistles: The AT-LPW30BK has no Bluetooth or USB output, so bear that in mind when deciding.

The AT-LPW30BK is, relative to other Audio-Technica turntables, somewhat distilled. While it does feature a built-in phono stage for convenience, there’s no Bluetooth connectivity or USB functionality. This is a hi-fi turntable through and through, dispensing with the bells and whistles in favour of quality mechanical design.

The aluminium tonearm is light and reassuringly sturdy, and the sensor-equipped belt-drive system shock-absorbingly stable. This turntable is also the cheapest in Audio-Technica’s roster to feature an adjustable tonearm counterweight and a dynamic anti-skate mechanism, which – in tandem with the VM95C cartridge, give you serious control over the treatment and sound of your records.

While the AT-LPW30BK may be a little austere in design, it is a precisely engineered and affordable thing making it a highly accessible upgrade to automatic entry-level affairs.

Best dynamic sound

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (16)

7. Audio-Technica AT-LPW50BTRW

The best Audio-Technica turntable for dynamic sound reproduction

Specifications

Operation: Fully manual

Drive: Belt

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: Yes

USB Output: No

Dimensions (hwd): 126x420x340mm

Weight: 5.5k

Reasons to buy

+

Sensor-assisted belt-drive system

+

Low-resonance design

Reasons to avoid

-

Less suited to louder music

At a glance

Buy if you want a sleek-looking, great sounding unit: With its rosewood-style finish and excellent audio delivery, this is a solid all-round performer.
Avoid if you want a bit more audio heft: This sounds great whehn playing "softer" records, but doesn't quite cut it when it comes to beefier sounds.

Audio-Technica’s AT-LPW50BTRW is by no means the most full-featured among Audio-Technica’s roster, but nothing is missing, per se; rather, it’s a sleek and stylish, vintage-veneered work of engineering expertise.

The belt-drive system is quiet and stable, benefitting from a clever sensor that tracks and adjusts the motor’s speed accordingly. The belt drive also contributes to an overall low-resonance design, enhanced by a carbon tonearm and the turntable’s MDF plinth – which itself sports a fetching vintage rosewood-style veneer.

These efforts to reduce resonance work wonders for softer, high-dynamics records; they can, however, rob a little heft from louder vinyls, which may give some Louder readers pause for thought. If you’re listening eclectically, Audio-Technica turntables don’t get much better than this.

Best for recording

Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (17)

8. Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

The best Audio-Technica turntable for digitising your old records

Specifications

Operation: Fully manual

Drive: Direct

Cartridge: Moving magnet

Speeds: 33-1/3, 45, 78

Built-in phono stage: Yes

Bluetooth: No

USB Output: Yes

Dimensions (hwd): 141.6x452x352mm

Weight: 8kg

Reasons to buy

+

USB recording capabilities

+

Low noise

Reasons to avoid

-

Weaker motor

At a glance

Buy if you want to turn your vinyl to digital: A neat option if you want to digitise your old albums. Just hook it up via USB, download Audacity software and you're away .
Avoid if you want something more simple: Sure, the ability to concert vinyl is great, but it's an option some potential buyers can live without, so look elsewhere.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a USB-capable turntable with some professional features up its sleeve. A heavy aluminium platter is driven directly, by a motor which trades torque for noise minimisation; this is a blessing for getting good, clean captures of your rare records, which this player is adept at delivering thanks to its well-designed tonearm assembly.

The turntable also features pitch adjustment controls akin to those found on professional DJ turntables, albeit a little less comprehensive. You can adjust the pitch up or down between two ranges – +/-8% and +/-16% - courtesy of the tempo range toggle above the slider.

These features can be a lifesaver when it comes to digitising your collection, particularly if you are digitising older (and less accurately-timed) 78rpm records. These controls can also let you ‘tune’ older recordings to the same relative pitch, making playlisting a much more harmonious experience.

Buying advice

Choosing an Audio-Technica turntable comes down to, as all things do, what you’re looking for. There’s something for everyone here, after all – from super-basic plug-and-play turntables to full-featured DJing workstations.

If you’re putting a professional DJ setup together in order to ply your trade as a noisy tastemaker, your wants and needs will naturally differ from someone building their first vinyl-friendly hi-fi, and vice versa. The most basic question you’ll need to have an answer for is: “How will I listen to the records I play?”.

Most Audio-Technica turntables feature a built-in phono stage – a pre-amp stage that boosts the minute signal produced by the cartridge before delivering it to your hi-fi. This simplifies things for those of you who aren’t building your own home audio mega-system, but may not be simple enough for those in search of a simple record-playing solution.

If you fall in the latter category, you might prefer an Audio-Technica turntable with Bluetooth connectivity – which can greatly simplify your audio set-up to just a turntable and a set of Bluetooth headphones or speakers. For more complex hi-fi setups, and for more control over the sound of your records, you may not need these features at all – in which case you should be looking at the more mechanical elements of the turntable.

Stability and adjustability are key considerations for more involved hi-fis, from heavy platters to light tonearms and comprehensive anti-skate and counterweight features. Counterweighting lets you set the pressure of your stylus against your record, maximising fidelity and minimising damage to your vinyl; anti-skate counters the lateral pressure of your stylus against the side of the groove, as it tracks to the centre.

How we test

When putting together this guide, I took into consideration multiple factors including price, design, sound, stability, Bluetooth functionality and extra features. The turntables from Audio-Technica are well regarded among music fans and the differences between them can vary from small to radical.

Going through the list, I wanted to cover a variety of bases so I put the eight choices into the categories I thought fitted them best: budget, portability, USB recording etc and delved into what differentiated one from another.

Some have Bluetooth while others sport a 3.55mm headphone jack, so where applicable, I mentioned those features. Stability is another important area when it comes to record players - no one wants their vinyl records to skip after all, so I took into account that factor too. For example, the portable Audio-Technica AT-SB727 is a great option for music on the go, but there are better options available if a desktop player is what you're after.

I hope you find something of interest in my list and I'll be looking to update the products included here when they become available.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

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Best Audio-Technica turntables 2024: The best record players from an iconic hi-fi and audio brand (18)

Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

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