Home Turntables Rating of The Best Audio-Technica Record Players

Rating of The Best Audio-Technica Record Players

You already feel this. You sit back in your cozy armchair after a working day, sip your favorite drink wrapped in the homey and warm tune that comes from the best Audio-Technica turntable.

Indeed, Audio-Technica turntables have proved their performance and reliability over the years. Being established in Tokyo in 1962 by Hideo Matsushita to provide everyone with first-rate audio, this company has now turned into the mark of exceptional quality.

The brand produces versatile devices in various styles to fit your interior, budget, and aesthetic feel.

Let’s cut out wordy explanations and get down to business. In this Audio-Technica turntable review, you will take a look at the top models in different price segments and learn how to pick the right record player that would meet your criteria.

Our pick
Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB
Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB
Best Audio Technica turntable
The AT-LPW50PB is a fully manual, belt-drive turntable that gives you optimal high-fidelity audio reproduction from vinyl. Read the full review.

Audio Technica turntables comparison table

Name Speeds, RPM Phono Pre-Amp Bluetooth USB AUX Review
Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB best overall 33 1/3, 45 yes no no no Review
Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP professional DJ turntable 33 1/3, 45, 78 yes no yes no Review
Audio-Technica AT-LPW40 under $300 33 1/3, 45 yes no no no Review
Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT budget 33 1/3, 45 yes yes no no Review

Benefits of Audio Technica vinyl players

benefits of Audio Technica vinyl players

Audio-Technica has a huge and loyal following for a good reason. Firstly, A-T vinyl playing machines are widely accessible. Of course, you can purchase the unit online, but what’s the point if you can easily find one in the local tech store, saving some bucks on the delivery?

Secondly, even the most expensive Audio-Technica turntable still stays on the affordable side while maintaining an excellent build and sound quality.

Besides, A-T vinyl players are available in different styles, so you will effortlessly find the one that corresponds to your taste.

But that’s not all. There are plenty of automatic devices in the product line, which means that minimal tuning is required. You just plug the machine in and enjoy your favorite sound without any tricky adjustments.

How I tested Audio-Technica record players

I took all the models listed in this review for a spin to compare Audio-Technica turntables and provide you with comprehensive product reviews.

Of course, it’s impossible to estimate the performance of the record players without additional devices. I relied on the following items during my test:

To reach an unbiased verdict, I listened to the music passages of different genres, including rock, pop, classic, indie folk, and electronic.

Best Audio-Technica turntable reviews

Best under $500

Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB – best overall

Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB features

Let me introduce my top pick among Audio Technica’s mid-range turntables – the AT-LPW50PB model. I just love its price/quality ratio. To begin with, the table is solid and substantial. All parts – the duct cover, dials, tonearm – feel like they’ll last for many years.

Unlike Audio-Technica AT-LP7, this model has a straight carbon-fiber tonearm with a hydraulically damped lift control to ensure that you can lower and raise it safely at any point. Setting up the tonearm mechanism was a breeze, and when I double-checked it with a needle tracking force scale, it proved to be spot-on accurate. A dual moving magnet phono cartridge with an ½”-mount headshell allows for flawless record playback.

Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB sound

Now, about the sound. The motor operates steadily, and the player produces satisfactory, detailed audio with warm tones, similar to live music. However, there’s a faint humming sound, which I suspect is due to inadequate isolation. The built-in phono preamplifier does a fair job with the sound output, and there’s the option to turn it off for those who prefer hooking up to a more robust amplifier. Also, a noteworthy point is that the player maintains the perfect playback speed.

In summary, the Audio Technica AT-LPW50PB stands out for its durable build, excellent tonearm mechanism, and good sound quality with warm, live-like tones. If you are looking for a mid-range turntable that combines reliability, precision, and flexibility to connect to a higher-end amplifier, this TT is your perfect pick.
Key specs
  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: yes.
  • AUX: no.
  • Great price/quality ratio.
  • Sleek design thanks to the piano-black finish.
  • Built-in switchable phono preamp for a customizable sound level.
  • Straight carbon-fiber tonearm with a lift control system.
  • There might be some additional noises.

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP – professional DJ turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP features

Fire up the rave with this Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP that has been designed for DJs. As soon as you touch it, you’ll understand it’s built like a tank – the most solid and heaviest model on my list. The player is constructed with more metal components than plastic, enhancing its longevity.

Although this is a mid-priced model, its technical specs are absolutely suitable for serious listening or partying. Let’s take a look at them.
A direct-drive, multipole motor has three levels of speed capacity (33/45/78 RPM) to give a buzz even to the most demanding DJs. Moreover, it’s compatible with third-party apps to transfer vinyl records into digital tunes.

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP sound

An S-shaped tonearm with lift control, anti-skate, lockable rest, and a phono cartridge ensure smooth groove playback. However, the tonearm is not as solid as I expected – it lacks some weight. A built-in phono preamplifier along with detachable RCA output cables increases compatibility with DJ mixers.

Unlike AT-LPW40 produced by this manufacturer, AT-LP1240-USBXP has a forward-reverse operation and pitch control to help you create some of the most melodic grooves.

When testing this turntable, I especially enjoyed the high-torque quality. The device starts and stops in a split second. As for the sound, the included cartridge and stylus provide, well, not bad, but just ok audio quality. Luckily the cartridge is upgradable, so you can change it to a more sophisticated option at any time.

Overall, Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USBXP should be your go-to solution if you are looking for a professional turntable. It has all you need ( responsiveness, sound quality, and additional features) to create ear-pampering tunes.
Key specs
  • Drive type: direct.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45, 78.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT-XP5 DJ phone cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: yes.
  • AUX: no.
  • Efficient direct-drive and multi-pole motor.
  • Starts and stops on a dime.
  • Versatile with three speed options: 33/45/78 RPM.
  • Compatible with audio-editing software.
  • Fully manual operation for more control.
  • Built to last.
  • Stock cartridge, yet it’s upgradable.
  • The tonearm might be not reliable enough.

Best under $300

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40 – under $300

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40 features

If you are looking for an affordable yet good-quality Audio-Technica table, do consider the AT-LPW40.

The motor has a two-speed capacity (33-1/3 and 45 RPM) controlled by a speed-sensor system that ensures a balanced and even platter rotation speed. The manufacturer states that a die-cast aluminum platter with a rubber mat prevents motor vibrations. However, the overall unit’s weight is only 10.4 pounds, so it can’t be really vibration- and resonance-proof. Next, there’s nothing special about the AT-VM95E cartridge – it’s an ordinary stock option that won’t produce a really immersive audio experience. On the other hand, this cartridge works with all replacement styli from the VM95 series, giving you enough room for future upgrades.

In contrast to a cheaper model on my list – the automatic Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, the reviewed model features a fully manual, belt-drive operation system that allows more precise tuning.

Audio-Technica AT-LPW40 sound

As for me, the player is really attractive – it boasts an elegant medium-density fiberboard plinth that imitates walnut wood. Of course, it doesn’t feel like solid wood (remember the price), but it’s sleek and has a great shade.

Speaking about the design, I should also note that the leveling feet offer limited adjustment. If your shelf or cabinet is uneven, you may need to use shims or a similar method to level it.

The AT-LPW40 will make the best Audio-Technica record player under $300 if you need an affordable, fully manual turntable with no frills but quality parts.
Key specs
  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: no.
  • AUX: no.
  • Beautiful design and durable construction.
  • Fully manual operation allows flexibility.
  • Anti-resonance platter ensures clear sound.
  • Built-in phono preamplifier can be switched on and off.
  • Has some room for upgradeability.
  • Lightweight – not really durable and vibration-proof.
  • Restricted adjustment range of the feet.
  • Not a big deal, but the power switch is at the back, necessitating a reach over the top to toggle it.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB – for DJs

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB features

Everyone understands that it’s impossible to buy a pro-level machine for under $300. But I still decided to include this turntable on my list because it is a good starting point for new DJs. Or maybe you have a teen at home who is into this art, then it won’t cost you an arm and leg to make your kid happy.

Comparing the current model and the AT-LP1240-USBXP, you’ll notice that both of them have curved tonearm, 3 speeds, fully manual operation, and a “convert to digital feature.” However, the latter offers a multipole motor and a more durable build, making it a better option for rough DJ use. But, again, if you are a beginner, AT-LP120XUSB’s construction and DC motor should be more than adequate.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB sound

I was not completely satisfied with the tonearm headshell that failed to make proper contact at first. But I easily fixed the problem by inserting it multiple times. The absence of a reverse play feature didn’t disappoint me because, let’s be honest, rare newbies use it. As for audio quality, it’s generally good, but for my critical ear, the cartridge sounded somewhat distorted on pianos. I doubt a casual listener will notice it!

This is a great Audio-Technica record player for new DJs and people passionate about listening to vinyl records and creating music on their own. It allows changing the tempo and pitch while delivering good sound.
Key specs
  • Drive type: direct.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45, 78.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: yes.
  • AUX: no.
  • High-fidelity audio due to a DC servo motor.
  • Functional pitch control slider.
  • Three speeds (33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM).
  • A USB port and a detachable RCA cable for connecting different devices.
  • No reverse play feature.
  • Not for really professional DJs.

Best under $200

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT – budget

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT features

Would you like to rediscover the world of vinyl, but you have a limited budget? Consider this Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT that stays on the affordable side while delivering adequate sound quality.

There is nothing special or surprising about this belt-drive player. Its features are very basic – 2 standard speed options – 33-1/3 and 45 RPM, a built-in preamp, and a tiny modern twist – Bluetooth connectivity (some reviewers say its quality is questionable, but I didn’t notice that). The tonearm is straight, which is ok for the price. However, there’s a disappointing thing to note – the cartridge is not upgradable, meaning you won’t be able to really improve your listening experience over time.

The table’s body is very slim and lightweight; hence, it feels plasticky and fragile. Being an audiophile, I don’t like it, of course – the player is prone to vibrations and resonance, decreasing sound quality. Besides, the buttons are cheaply made, and when you press them, the whole unit moves. However, I understand there are some users who will like the TT’s neat appearance and small footprint.

Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT

I’m sure beginners will also appreciate AT-LP60XBT’s fully automated system, which is extremely user-friendly and helps minimize the risk of damaging LPs.

And what about the sound? It’s quite good, considering the TT’s size and build. It has an insignificant level of wow and flutter, which can be traced during string, guitar, flute, brass, or piano solos. But when I connected the player to my headphones or wireless speaker over Bluetooth, it definitely improved my listening sessions.

So, is it a bad device? Definitely, no! It’s a good budget Audio-Technica turntable, but you must understand that you get what you pay for. It won’t blow you away with the sound or impress you with its construction. But if you are looking for a simple player from a reliable brand that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, do not go past the AT-LP60XBT.
Key specs
  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: yes.
  • USB: no.
  • AUX: no.
  • Bluetooth feature for connection to other gadgets.
  • Automated for hassle-free listening.
  • Good value for the money.
  • Flimsy construction.
  • Non-upgradable cartridge.
Here, you can also check the best turntable under 200.

Best premium

Audio-Technica AT-LP7

Audio-Technica AT-LP7 features

The Audio-Technica AT-LP7 is a high-flying bird, though it’s not the most expensive among audiophile-level devices. And, again, like almost all models reviewed here, boasts just the right price/quality ratio.

As a professional machine, it is fully manual and features a belt-drive system that allows getting a pure sound. The motor features a speed-sensor system to spare you from the hassle of maintaining the right platter rotation speed.

Compared to Audio-Technica AT-LPW50PB with a die-cast aluminum platter with a rubber mat, this device features a 0,8 inches (20 mm) thick polyoxymethylene platter that pairs better with a vinyl record player. Moreover, it saves your tunes from vibrations and resonance.

Audio-Technica AT-LP7 sound

I enjoyed the running speed and the whisper-quiet work of the motor. There is also a J-shaped tonearm with precision bearings, which do a great job of mitigating tracking errors. The turntable is extremely solid and feels like a rock. However, I don’t like how the speed selector knob is made – it’s somewhat flimsy compared to the overall construction.

As for the sound, the AT-LP7 offers robust bass rock while still delivering crisp, clear tunes for your classical and jazz collections. What caught me off guard was how decent the built-in phono stage is for both MM and MC – it’s actually a solid alternative. Sure, it doesn’t quite match the ultra-detailed soundstage you’d get from a standalone phono stage, but it’s surprisingly close. Honestly, if this was all I had to work with, I’d be pretty happy; it’s genuinely that good. The highs are there, though not super extended – but hey, that’s pretty normal. The bass? It’s nice and solid, though it won’t shake your room. And it doesn’t have any glaring downsides. The cool part? If you’ve got a separate phono stage, just hit a button, and you’re switched over.

This Audio-Technica AT-LP7 is the right choice if you are in search of a premium-quality Audio-Technica vinyl player for a reasonable price, plus it’s a gorgeous accessory for your living room that would produce terrific sound.
Key specs
  • Drive type: belt.
  • Operation type: fully-manual.
  • Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
  • Cartridge: Audio-Technica VM520EB cartridge.
  • Built-in preamp: yes.
  • Bluetooth: no.
  • USB: no.
  • AUX: no.
  • Manually operated system with a belt-driven operation for utmost sound quality.
  • Nearly silent motor with a speed-sensor system for maintaining accurate speed.
  • Dual moving magnet cartridge for flawless sound channel separation.
  • 0,8 inches polyoxymethylene platter for better pairing with vinyl.
  • The speed selector knob is poorly built.

What to look for when choosing an Audio-Technica turntable?

what to look for when choosing an Audio-Technica turntable?

You are dying to unpack the box with your brand new vinyl player and finally take your analog listening experience to a new level. But wait, you’ve got to consider some stuff when picking between the best Audio-Technica turntables. Read on to learn how to make the right choice.

Drive system of the record player

There are two types of Audio-Technica turntables: belt-driven and direct-drive.

Since belt-driven vinyl players have a motor located offset and attached to the platter with an elastic (usually rubber) belt that absorbs any vibrations, the device produces a better sound. However, the belt wears out over time. These units also have a lower torque, which might insignificantly affect the playback speed.

The platter is directly attached to the motor in a direct drive turntable, ensuring a rapid start-up time and stronger torque. But there might be additional noises and vibrations from the motor, which impacts the sound quality.

System type of turntable: manual or automatic

Turntables have two system types: manual and automatic.

With a manual turntable, you’ve got to lower the tonearm to get the device playing and then bring it back into the resting position when you are done. An automatic record player will do this job for you.

As you are considering these two options, you’ve got to keep in mind that there are more manual devices on the market. Manual record players also produce a better sound as they have fewer things that can interfere with the performance. Automatic turntables reduce the risk of damaging the vinyl and stylus, but they tend to be more expensive.

Built-in phono preamp

A phono preamp increases the audio signal the turntable produces. Some Audio Technica devices come with a built-in phono preamp, while others do not have one.

The greatest advantage of the turntable with a built-in phono preamp is that the item can be directly connected to stereo receivers, speakers, and other audio systems without any additional devices. This allows you to save money and space.

However, you can find options that do not have a phono preamp, giving you the freedom to pick the one that would enable you to customize the sound quality.

Required connections

Depending on the turntable features, there might be different inputs and outputs. For example, the device might have PHONO, DVD, CD, BLUE-RAY, CBL/SAT, and other connectors. Some gadgets allow connecting to headphones via a mini-stereo connector (⅛ inches – 3.5 mm) or to any other device like a laptop via USB. You can even connect to the speaker or any other tool wirelessly if the turntable has a Bluetooth feature.

How much do I need to spend on a vinyl player?

Even though some of the budget Audio Technica record players deliver awesome beats, the cost of the gadget frequently defines the quality of the components like a platter, tonearm, cartridge, and the availability of advanced features that would gladden your ears.

If you are just starting your acquaintance with vinyl players, you definitely should avoid complex and expensive turntables. The products within the $200-300 price category would work fine for you.

In case you are on close terms with audio devices and already have some equipment at hand (like a phono preamp or HI-FI stereo system), you’d better align the quality of your new turntable with those gadgets.

best Audio-Technica turntables


Do Audio-Technica turntables come with built-in preamps?

Yes, many Audio-Technica turntables come equipped with built-in phono preamps. This feature allows users to easily connect the turntable directly to speakers, amplifiers, or receivers without needing an external preamp. However, always check the specific model’s specifications to confirm, as some models might not have this feature.

How often should I replace the stylus on my Audio-Technica turntable?

For optimal sound quality and vinyl care, it’s recommended to replace the stylus on your Audio-Technica turntable every 1,000 to 1,500 hours of playtime. Regularly examining the stylus for wear or damage can also be helpful. Remember, a fresh stylus ensures smoother playback and extends the life of your vinyl records.

Can I upgrade components (like the platter or tonearm) on my Audio-Technica turntable?

Absolutely, upgrading components such as the platter or tonearm is feasible with many Audio-Technica players. Doing so can enhance the turntable’s performance and sound quality. However, the compatibility of upgrades can vary between models. Always consult the user manual or contact Audio-Technica customer support to ensure you select the right components for your specific turntable model.

Do I need to ground my Audio-Technica turntable?

Whether you need to ground your Audio-Technica TT depends on the specific model and setup. Generally, turntables with built-in preamps don’t require grounding, offering a convenient plug-and-play experience. However, if you’re using an external preamp, grounding might be necessary to prevent humming or buzzing noises during playback. Check your turntable’s manual for precise grounding instructions for your particular model.
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