Best Portable Record Player For 2019

The Best Portable Record Player

Whether you are looking for the retro look, or actually need a record player that is portable, we've come up with a list of the best portable record players on the market.

Portable record player
  • Beware: There are many record players on the market that are seriously lacking in quality! Make sure you do your due diligence and read all the reviews before you make your decision!

If you're also interested in non-portable record players,  be sure to check out our in-depth review of our favourite picks. While these record players aren't necessarily the best vinyl players on the market, we've selected them based upon quality and accessibility. 

The following all-in-one record players are perfect for someone looking to get into listening to vinyls but is still restricted to a limited budget. These setups don't require you to buy external speakers, or worry about which output is compatible with which input. ​

They all allow you to input your record player to your computer via USB. This provides you with an opportunity to rip your vinyls into a digital format if you so choose. 

If you are just getting into records it can be challenging knowing which features to lookout for when selecting your portable record player. This article will provide you with a beginner friendly resource to selecting your portable record player.  We'll quickly discuss the features you should be aware of and then get straight to our top picks. 

Considerations When Purchasing A Record Player

In order to ensure the record players are accessible to everyone, we've selected four portable record players around the $100 price point. Granted, you are not going to get fantastic sound quality with these units, they will provide a great jumping in point for someone looking to get into vinyl.

They will also provide a good platform for someone looking to be able to play their old record collection (or their parents) while still staying within a reasonable budget.

​There are a number of things you need to keep your eye one when looking at portable record players around this price point. Be sure to check out our review of non-portable record players for more information on selecting the best record player. 

  • Build Quality
    The build quality of the record player is extremely important. This is one of the primary factors that is going to determine the lifetime of your product. Finding a record player with adequate build quality prevents you from making multiple returns.

     It is also important for keeping your records safe. Having a record player with a heavy tone arm will ultimately lead to unwanted groves and potentially premaritally damaging your record.
  • Speaker Quality
    While you are not going to get the greatest speakers around the $100 price point, there is a difference to be found among companies. If you are really picky about your sound, you will most definitely need to output your sound to external speakers.

    While this will force an additional expense if you don't already on a pair, the cost will be worth it in the long run.

    The speakers that are typically built into these units are around the 2.5'' diameter mark. This speaker size is enough to fill a small room, but not much more. You also shouldn't expect any deep bass coming out of these speakers. However, they are not all terrible. We'll specify the worst of the bunch in our reviews below.

    A great way to get around the cheap speaker issue is to use your Bluetooth speaker (or better yet, a soundbar).
  • Basic Features
    Any record player you are consider should include the following basic features (at the minimum): RCA out, built in speakers, AC adaptor, and the ability to play all record types (33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM). You should consider any additional features that you will find useful. Do you want to be able to convert your dying vinyls into digital?

    You'll want to look for a record player that is USB capable. This gives you the ability to transfer any of your records onto your computer for safe keeping. Will you want to stream any content from your phone onto your speakers? Some records offer bluetooth, or AUX in - allowing you to connect directly to the units speakers.

     Finally, a few record players will offer auto stop and full automatic tone arms. This relieves you of the duty of paying attention to your record as it nears the end - with an automatic tone are, the record player will stop automatically at the end of the record.
Best portable vinyl player

​As mentioned previously, the record players below are best suited for the first jump into vinyl, or someone looking for something basic to play their old records on. Keep note, we have found many of the records player below lacking in manufacture quality. There have been a number of comments regarding record player showing up broken: be careful!

Our top choice is the most reliable and isn't much more in terms of price compared to the most budget friendly. We hope this has been helpful in guiding you to selecting the best portable record player. Enjoy! 

Record Player or Turntable? 

This is a point that many people get mixed up. Many people use the terms record player and turn table interchangeably. While you will most likely get your point across this isn't technically correct.

The main difference is record players don't require any additional hardware to play music. Just plug them in and go. Turn tables on the other hand require amplifiers and external speakers in order to output any audio. Make sure you aren't purchasing a turntable and expecting a record player!

Additionally, you cannot interchange needles between different record players. Each stylus is designed to fit into a specific cartridge. Trying to use a needle not designed to fit into the cartridge will be a disaster. ​

Here's a video that summarizes this mistake nicely:​

KEY TAKEAWAYS 

  • Watch out for vinyl players that show up broken! The best way to avoid this is to thoroughly read the product Amazon reviews before purchasing.
  • Know what type of record you are going to be playing (33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM) and make sure your record player has the capability
  • Don't expect amazing sound quality. If you need better quality use your Bluetooth speaker. 
  • Watch out for record players that are on the lower end of the price spectrum. Sometimes these players will have a heavy tone arm and may damage your record. I suggest testing out a few of your "lesser liked" album before you throw on your prized collection. 

My Thoughts on Expensive Record Players

Is it actually worth spending over $500 on a high-end record player? In my opinion, absolutely not. At least not for the majority of the population. The difference in audio won't be perceptible unless you have sensitive ears and a high-end set of headphones.

Any money over $500 should be invested in the other parts of the audio chain such as speakers or headphones. If you don't believe me, check out this video below.  

See if you can differentiate between the two with your eyes closed (I realize these are turntables, but the idea will be the same with record players). 

However, I do see some value in purchasing something around the $100 mark versus the $30 mark. It's difficult to manufacture something that is going to last with any level of quality control around the $30 price range. ​

My Top Picks For Portable Vinyl Players 

Crosley CR8005D-TU


68 %
Rating
Crosley CR8005D-TU

FEATURES:

  • Bluetooth capable 
  • Belt driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78
  • Adjustable pitch control 
  • RCA and headphone out 
Crosley CR8005D-TU

First up on our list: The Crosley CR8005D-TU. While this is the most budget friendly option we suggest, it still packs in the many of the same features as the other contenders on our list.

It checks off everything you'd really want in a portable record player. First off, it plays all of the standard speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM.

This will ensure you are able to play your dads old vinyls you found collecting dust in the attic. 


Secondly, it's the only portable record player on our list that offers a bluetooth connection. This allows you to connect any bluetooth capable device to the record player and use the built in speakers to play your music.

The Crosley CR8005D-TU does have two built in speakers, but like other record players around this price point, if you are picking with your sound quality you may want to consider using external speakers. While these speakers are loud enough to fill a small room, their sound quality is a little lacking.

The CR8005D-TU can easily be hooked up to external speakers using the RCA connection. 


Another feature missing from the CR8005D-TU is the USB capability. If you are looking to rip your vinyls to digital you will not be able to do this with this unit. 

PROS

  • Cool classic look
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Built-in pitch control
  • Plays all of the standard speeds

CONS

  • There have been a few issues with motor stability
  • Cannot convert your vinyls to digital
  • Speakers could be louder

Bottom Line: An okay option for someone looking to have a simple all-in-one record player that isn't looking to rip their vinyls to digital. If you are picky about your sound quality, you will need to upgrade the speakers. 

Crosley CR6019A-BK

69 %
Rating
Crosley CR6019A-BK

FEATURES:

  • Belt Driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • AUX in and USB, RCA out 
  • Transfers vinyls to digital via USB 
Crosley CR6019A-BK

Another budget option from Crosley. The CR6019A-BK is a simple, portable unit that will play any record you come across.

Similar to the CR8005D-TU, you should not buy this if you are expecting high quality sound from the speakers.

There have been many comments regarding the poor sound quality produced by the built in stereo speakers.

If you are picky about your sound, then either consider spending a little more on your record player, or invest in some external speakers. 


This is a great option for someone looking for a basic record player that is budget friendly. The speakers will be loud enough to fill a small room, but not much more.

A further option is using the headphone output for private listening. This will get you a little better sound quality, depending on your headphones.


Furthermore, the record player is actually quite light. This is perfect for anyone looking to bring their record player on the go. 

 Unlike the CR8005D-TU, the CR6019A-BK has a USB output. This will allow you to rip any of your records to digital. It requires an AC adapter for power, so you will need to be by an outlet for this machine to turn. 

In summary, this record is perfect for someone looking for a basic, all-in-one record player that is very lightweight and portable. It also offers the ability to convert your vinyls to digital. If you expect great sound quality from your record player, you'll want to skip this one. 

PROS

  • Budget friendly
  • Lightweight 
  • Has the ability to convert your vinyls to digital

CONS

  • Has had issues with longterm reliability 
  • Reported issues of needle skipping

Bottom Line: Another okay option for someone looking for something basic and budget friendly. If you want the option to convert your vinyls to digital, this one is for you. If you expect good sound quality, skip this record player. 

Electrohome Archer


74 %
Rating
Electrohome Archer

FEATURES:

  • Belt driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM 
  • USB, AUX, RCA and headphone jack
  • Diamond tip ceramic needle 
  • Fully automated tone arm 
  • 12'' platter
Electrohome Archer

Third on our list: the Electrohome Archer. It boasts similar features to the above Crosleys with a few improvements. First off, the sound quality is a little better.

The diamond tipped needle gives a stronger performance with warmer tones. It also provides the added benefit of additional protection for your records. 


The speaker quality is notably better than the above Crosleys. While it will still disappoint any audiophile, it will provide enough quality to satisfy the average listener.

One cannot expect high end sound with speakers at this price range, but if you aren't too picky about the sound, this is a great option.

The Electrohome Archer also comes with a fully automated tone arm. When your record is finished playing, it will automatically stop the record and return the tone arm back to its original position. 


We like how the housing is made entirely of wood. This helps with the overall warm tone of the record player. However, there have been some complaints of a lack of durability. Luckily, it comes with a one year warranty. 

Similar to the ​CR6019A-BK, you are able to convert your vinyls to digital. This is a great feature for anyone looking to save their old, worn out vinyls while they still can. 

PROS

  • All wood suitcase
  • One of the only portable record players with a 12'' platter
  • One of the most reliable record players of the bunch

CONS

  • Lacks pitch adjustment 
  • Needs external speakers if you want higher volume

Bottom Line: Another option for someone on a budget looking to get into vinyl. The sound quality is better than the above Crosleys, but the build quality is lacking. 

1byone Suit-case Style

89 %
Rating
1byone Suit-case Style

FEATURES:

  • Belt driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • USB, AUX,RCA and bluetooth capable 
  • No headphone jack 
  • Autostop 
1byone Suit-case Style

We recommend this record player! The best portable record for this price range. The 1byone Suit-case Style record player has the best combination of sound quality and build quality out of all the record players on our list. This is the only record player that has a consistent amount of positive reviews. Feature wise, it meets all of the requirements of a portable record player, except it does not contain a headphone jack. 

While the speaker quality isn't bad, if you are very picky about your sound quality, you are going to want to upgrade the speakers. Like other records on our list, you are able to transfer your records to digital via the USB port. Additionally, there have been a number of comments praising the visual appeal of the record player. 

This is the only record player on our list that passes our standards for build quality. Nothing can be more frustrating then returning a record player multiple times due to worn out parts. Especially if these worn out parts are damaging your records. The 1byone record player was the only record player that didn't have multiple customers complaining about defective parts. 

You are also able to use any bluetooth device, or AUX in to play through the built in stereo speakers. As long as you have a power outlet, you are good to go. 

In summary, it will provide you with all the features you need in a portable record player (except a headphone jack) while still giving you a good build quality at a reasonable price. 

PROS

  • The only one on the list that has any reliability in terms of build quality
  • Bluetooth, USB, AUX in
  • All the features you'd need in a record player
  • Autostop

CONS

  • Could use a headphone jack
  • Speakers aren't fantastic

Bottom Line: If this is within your budget, pick this one! It has the best combination of sound quality and build quality for a reasonable price. The only downside: it doesn't come with a headphone jack. 

CMC Portable Bluetooth

80 %
Rating
1byone Suit-case Style

FEATURES:

  • Belt driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • USB, AUX,RCA and bluetooth capable 
  • Headphone jack
1byone Suit-case Style

Another decent option that is worth recommending. Similar to the 1byOne above, The CMC actually has a shred of dignity in the reliability department. However, there have been a small handful of complaints worth noting. 


It should be noted that the speakers on this unit are probably the most well received of the group. This is partially reflected in the price.

 It's difficult to produce anything short of decoration speakers when you consider the sub $50 price range. You'll still need external speakers if you want to hear anything about a loud speaking level.


I'd prefer it if the case was made of solid wood. However, MDF can be a decent substitute and still maintain the wood feel and look.

 It cuts down on the weight, which adds some points to it's ease of transport. It also has the added benefit of being much less susceptible to cracking. 


Similar to the 1byOne, you have the ability to  use any bluetooth device, or AUX in to play through the built in stereo speakers. You are also getting the feature of an SD port - this allows you to play any songs you have saved onto an SD (does anyone even do that anymore? 😉 

It comes with the auto stop feature, but lacks any pitch control. I like seeing pitch control on cheaper record players because the motors tend to slip with time and a little fine tuning can help set them back on track.

In summary, a great second option if you can handle the the retro blue color. 

PROS

  • Good reliability
  • Bluetooth, USB, AUX, SD in
  • Lightweight MDF casing

CONS

  • Lacks pitch control 
  • Speakers aren't fantastic

Bottom Line: A great second option to the 1byone. 

Crosley CR6232A-BR

70 %
Rating
1byone Suit-case Style

FEATURES:

  • Belt driven 
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • USB, AUX,RCA 
  • NP5 Needle
  • Headphone jack
1byone Suit-case Style

The Crosley CR6232A-BR is another option for someone looking for the retro style. The overall quality of this record player isn't amazing, but it still beats a few of the others on the list.

Note that there is no pitch control or variable weighted tone arm. It will, however, play any record you may have. The three speeds will have you covered. 

There stereo speakers aren't mind blowing, but they will get the job done in a small room.  Plug it in to your external speakers if you want to take full advantage of the vinyl quality. 

Similar to the other players you can rip your vinyl to digital if you want to store an additional copy of your record collection. 

The build quality isn't perfect, but there has been less reports of defective parts compared to the other record players above. Make sure you return it if you see any issue with the build quality.

In summary - I wouldn't say it is worth the price, but if you like the overall look of the player then it is worth pulling the trigger. 

PROS

  • NP5 diamond stylus needle
  • Stereo speakers
  • retro style

CONS

  • Quality control could be better
  • Largest record player on the list

Musitrend Portable Suitcase Record Player

82 %
Rating
1byone Suit-case Style

FEATURES:

  • Wooden cabinet with PU leather wrapping
  • Plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM
  • Headphone, AUX, RCA 
  • Pitch and speed control 
  • 12-month warranty 
1byone Suit-case Style

The Musitrend Portable Suitcase Record Player has enough faith in its quality control to offer a 12-month warranty. A rarity in the portable record player market. It also offers a replacement stylus that comes with every unit. 


You'll quickly notice the difference in aesthetic appeal with the natural wood casing a PU leather wrapping.

While not exactly retro, the style is a little more modern when compared to the other players on the list.


You'll be happy to know that it has a pitch and speed control. It also comes with all of the common audio outputs (RCA, AUX and headphone). 

Similar to the other players you can rip your vinyl to digital if you want to store an additional copy of your record collection. 

There are very few reports of a lack of quality control. If you aren't into taking risks with your order this will be one of the safe bets. 

PROS

  • Pitch and speed control
  • Wood casing
  • 12-month warranty

CONS

  • More expensive compared to others on the list

About the author

Glen Parry

My name is Glen Parry. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. This includes guitar, keyboard, ukulele, speakers, headphones and everything else that comes with it. I spend all my free time on music production and jamming with friends. I hope to use this site to share my experience and help anyone looking for solutions to audio related problems.

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