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The 10 Best Portable Record Players  Sep 2018

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1
Best Portable Record Players - MUSITREND Turntable Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Review MUSITREND
9 . 8
2
Best Portable Record Players - Crosley Cruiser Briefcase Style Three Speed Portable Vinyl Review Crosley
9 . 5
3
Best Portable Record Players - ION Audio Vinyl Motion Air Portable Briefcase Style Review ION Audio
9 . 1
4
Best Portable Record Players - Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Briefcase Style Three Speed Portable Review Crosley
8 . 9
5
Best Portable Record Players - UKayed Portable Retro Turntable Vinyl Record Player Leather Review ukayed
8 . 7
6
Best Portable Record Players - Steepletone Digitalis ST918 3 Speed Record Player Turntable Review Steepletone
8 . 2
7
Best Portable Record Players - Record Player,3-Speed Vintage Portable Suitcase Turntable with Built-in Review K AUDIO
8 . 0
8
Best Portable Record Players - MUSITREND Record Player Classic Portable Suitcase 3 Speed Review MUSITREND
7 . 8
9
Best Portable Record Players - Retro Briefcase Vinyl Record Player, Portable Turntable USB Review Zennox
7 . 3
10
Best Portable Record Players - DIGITNOW! Bluetooth Viny Record Player Turntable, FM Radio Review DIGITNOW!
7 . 1

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Your Guide To Buying a Portable Record Player

By Nicole Blanckenberg

    Nothing beats the sound of vinyl! Whether you have inherited an awesome record collection or have started collecting your own as a hobby, records offer you authentic sound that can’t be beat. It is no coincidence that players are just as popular and the purchasing options can seem endless. From manual to automatic, portable record players offer a variety of driver and USB options. To make it much simpler for you, we have put together this portable record player shopping guide to get you listening to your favorite hit single in no time.

    There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing which type will be the best fit for you. Do you want a portable record player that includes USB ports to play and integrate with modern music options or something old school to give you that authentic feel. Here is a description of each type for you to compare, review and easily choose:

    Manual Portable Record Players: If you find something magical about putting the arm down on your favourite record, finding the right groove and guiding it to play, then these are for you. Manual portable record players are designed to replicate the ones of years gone by and give you full control. You, the listener, are in control of controlling the arm to play and lifting it off when your album has come to an end.

    Automatic Portable Record Players: Automatic portable record players give you a lot more flexibility as they automatically lift the arm when the album is finished, meaning if you are out of the room, or busy entertaining you won’t need to rush to your player. You are also able to play your record with a push of a button, as the arm will be able to lower and find the groove on its own. This is a great player if you want the authentic sound but also modern convenience.

    Belt Drive Portable Record Players: Almost all high-end portable record players have a belt drive which translate to better sound! The motor drives the platter (this is the part that holds the record and turns it) via a rubber belt with these players, which simply means the belt acts as a shock absorber which prevents noise and vibrations reaching the platter. Less outside noise means means much easier listening.

    Direct Drive Portable Record Players: Portable record players with direct drives don’t have have belts. The platter is connected to the motor directly. These offer much more consistent speed and very accurate sound making them great for DJ-ing. They are sturdy, and fast to start up and generally a good solid model you will be happy with.

    Based on all the consumer reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    1. Upgrade options: Portable record players with upgradable options have much more user satisfaction than those that don’t. Being able to update the cartridge, belt, stylus (needle), tonearm, and slip mat (which replaces traditional rubber mat so that you can ‘slip’ the disc around the table for DJ-ing) will make your record player play for many years to come and give you more playing options.
    2. Assembling: Owners who found their portable record players easy to set up and balance and level for good sound are happy with their units. Being able to balance and level with ease gives you more time to enjoy quality sound from your record player.
    3. Tonearm adjustment: Tonearms have weights to ensure gentle but adequate initial contact with the record, and to provide appropriate pressure from the stylus to the record. Portable record players that have the ability to adjust tonearm weights and contact levels are rated much higher than ones that don’t.
    4. Wow and flutter: Unnoticeable wow and flutter is a top concerns for consumers. Owners with portable record players that have little to now wow or flutter rate their players much higher than those who don’t.
    • Do you need a USBPortable record players with USB ports offer great functionality! If you need to digitize your vinyl collection efficiently, including those rare albums not available in mp3 or other digital formats, then this feature is a must. Portable record players without USB ports are cost effective and super value for money, so if digitizing is not a concern, these will be perfect for you.
    • If you are looking to invest in a portable record player and want it to stand the test of time, it is good to check if the parts on your new player will be upgradeable. These make it possible to upgrade cartridges, tonearms, belts or slip mats and will mean a much longer life for your player.
    • The phono cartridge is the part of the player that holds the needle. Better quality cartridges mean better sound quality from your player because it is responsible for how your player tracks (how the needle rides the groove of the record). Checking the quality of the record player's cartridge will save you having to upgrade sooner rather than later.
    • Choose a player that can play a variety of record speeds, this will make sure you get the most out of your player. Possible speeds to consider are 33, 45, 78 and watch out for those real classics that are 10” 78 RPM which are not standard record sizes and speeds.
    • Be aware that some portable record players are sold without the stylus (needle). Look for a brand that includes this will save you hassle and extra costs.
    • When it comes to platter quality, weight matters! As they help to keep the speed constant and lesson the vibration, the heavier they are the more effective they are.
    • To play your portable record player sound through your sound system speakers, look at purchasing a receiver. Not all record players have an internal amplifier which allows you to plug speakers directly into your player.
    • Wow and flutter is measured in decimals and the lower the better. This number tells you how accurately the record player spins on the platter (plate). Deviation in record speed will mean pitch changes and wavering effects that can disrupt the music. Anything lower than 0.25% is considered ideal for optimum sound.

    Audio-Technica: Founded in Tokyo in 1962, Audo-Technica designs and manufacturers professional audio equipment, and has produced the microphones for over twenty years of presidential debates.

    Pro-Ject: Pro-Ject, based in Vienna, Austria, manufactures good value for money equipment, including a line of entry-level record players.

    Crosley: In 1920, Powel Crosley introduced the first low price radio for mass consumption. Crosley Radio is now located in Louisville, KY and is a household record player brand.

    Jensen: Jensen Electronics began in 1915, when Peter Jensen invented the first loudspeaker and now manufactures quality sound equipment.