Vinyl’s biggest selling point isn’t the sound. It’s the physical experience: shiny, delicate records; liner notes writ large; covers you want to frame and hang on your wall; and, of course, the way the stylus spins across the jagged surface, reproducing your favorite artists’ music as if by magic.
Maybe you’ve always been interested in building a setup for listening to LPs and 45s, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re like WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu, who owned a record but no turntable to play it on. Maybe you’ve already got a complete stereo vinyl setup but you’re looking for an upgrade. No problem. There are tons of affordable and great record players to choose from, and most of them will easily connect to whatever audio system you already own. I’ve tested quite a few turntables, and these are my current favorites—from utilitarian, budget-friendly classics to more luxe options for those seeking audiophile-grade sound.
Be sure to check out our other audio guides, including the Best Gear for Learning Music and the Best Podcasting Gear.
Updated March 2021: We’ve added the McIntosh MTI100, our ultra-high-end pick.
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