No matter how good high resolution digital recordings get, there is still nothing that sounds like a vinyl record, with that warm, rich and musical analog sound that just makes music sound more musical and more alive. It’s no wonder record sales are growing every year, and so many of today’s top artists insist on their new recordings being released on vinyl as well as digital formats.
And while you can, of course, spend thousands of dollars on a top vinyl record playback system, you can also find an inexpensive portable vinyl player that is made well and sounds great. So today I would like to look at the best portable turntables you can get, with a brief review and description of each one of my top picks.
If you’re in a hurry, and just want to see the recommendations, here are my top two choices for the best portable turntable with speakers:
- Best Portable Record Player Overall – Victrola Revolution GO Bluetooth Portable Record Player with Rechargeable Battery
- Best Portable Record Player – Budget – Victrola Vintage Portable Suitcase Record Player with Speakers Bluetooth
Who Makes the Best Portable Turntable with Speakers?
There are a lot of companies making portable record players, and honestly quite a few are, well, not so great – poor quality in materials and construction, pretty awful sound, and a tonearm and needle that seem to be designed more to destroy records than to play them.
But a few companies – notably Victrola, Crosley, Numark, Digitnow, and others – are making remarkably good products, and especially for the money.
Their portable record players are well made, sound surprisingly good, and are engineered to take care of your precious vinyl so that your records will keep sounding good for a long, long time – after all, some of these treasures are irreplaceable!
And that’s what struck me again and again, as I was listening to different units and writing this article – there’s a lot of junk out there, cheap record players in the worst sense of the word which don’t sound very good, are way too harsh on your records and don’t last – although, given the first two problems, the third might be a blessing!
So rather than presenting you with the 37 “best” mini turntables, or the 22 best portable turntables with speakers, or anything like that, instead I would like to offer a short and personally curated list of the 10 portable turntable players I know to truly be the very best, with great designs, real reliability, and that sweet analog sound everybody these days wants to hear.
So let’s get to it, with portable turntable reviews for the best choices on the market today!
The 10 Best Portable Turntables for 2023
Best Super-Cheap Portable Record Player for Recording
Retrolife Vinyl Record Player 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Stereo Speakers
- 【Retrolife INDIVIDUAL SUITCASE RECORD...
- 【FOUR AVAILABLE CONNECTION CHOICES】Music...
- 【THREE-SPEED & THREE-SIZES...
- 【NO EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED】Set up...
- 【USEFUL KNOBS INCLUDED】An Auto-stop...
The RetroLife suitcase record player is a great portable player for a very low price.
It does a lot of things you might not expect at this level, including digitally recording your records – with a built-in analog to digital converter and digital recorder, you can actually record all of your vinyl for archiving or to play back on a computer, phone or other device.
The RetroLife also has a Bluetooth receiver, so you can play music from those same devices, or anything with Bluetooth, through this record player’s nice stereo speakers. In addition it has the whole range of normal wired analog plugs, including RCA outputs, auxiliary inputs and a headphone jack, for all of the connectivity options.
There are other cheap record players that do and have all or most of this, of course, but I have included the RetroLife because to me it looks and sounds better than most – with a premium fit and finish and really effective retro look, and with a rich, dynamic stereo sound that is remarkably clear and clean, and really conveys that wonderful analog quality.
A surprisingly nice portable record player on all levels, and at a very low price, the RetroLife is an easy choice for yourself and would make an especially nice inexpensive present for somebody you love.
- Digital Recording
- Great Connectivity
- Bluetooth Receiver
- Well-Made and Reliable
- Good Sound
- You Can Get a Little Better Sound For a Little More Money
Best Sounding Portable Record Player – Budget
Wockoder Suitcase Portable Vinyl Record Player with Speakers
- 【Wirelessly BT Input】Record player is a...
- 【3 Speed Player】Classic turntable with...
- 【RCA&Headphone Jack】Support Headphone...
- 【Built-in Stereo Speakers】Built-in stereo...
- 【Enjoy Anywhere】Suitcase Bluetooth...
The Wockoder portable record player is a bit more expensive than the Retrolife above, but it does offer a couple of nice advantages.
For one thing, while this Wockoder won’t record your records digitally, it does offer superior vinyl playback – so if you want the most beautiful sound possible playing your records, this is the best choice at the lowest price level.
The Wockoder also has some great tech, including all of the normal wired analog inputs and outputs, a headphone jack, a Bluetooth receiver for playing music from your phone or other gadgets through its impressive speakers, and a full MP3 player – something most other portable record players, even more, expensive ones, don’t have.
This MP3 playback system allows you to plug in a USB flash drive with digital music files on it, and play them through the Wockoder’s stereo just as you do your records, and with the same sound quality – well, maybe not exactly the same, since MP3s will never have that rich analog warmth and presence, but they do sound really great.
If you want to record your vinyl digitally and do so as easily and cheaply as possible, the Retrolife suitcase above is the best budget choice I know, but if you are on a similarly tight budget, and your main priority is getting the best sound possible out of your records, this Wockoder portable is the answer.
- Great Sound for the Money
- MP3 Player
- Excellent Value
- Nice Fit and Finish
- Well-Made and Reliable
- No Digital Recording
Best Portable Record Player Overall – Budget
Victrola Vintage Portable Suitcase Record Player with Speakers Bluetooth
- THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE - This...
- TAKE YOUR TUNES ANYWHERE - Housed in a...
- EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS - Stream...
- NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED....
- ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED - Features an Input...
For only a small increase in price from the already quite nice RetroLife and Wockoder players, we arrive at a great product from the champion of the inexpensive but very high-quality record player – Victrola.
If ever a company was proud of their name, and of what they do, it is Victrola, who clearly loves vinyl record playing and that warm, rich analog sound as much as we do. And this all is very clearly demonstrated in their Journey Plus portable suitcase.
With a lightweight precision tonearm and high-quality cartridge and needle, a solid, non-resonant cabinet, and very high-quality speakers – especially for the money – the Vintage sounds markedly better than even the RetroLife and easily trumps any other suitcase players at or around this price.
The Vintage also has all of the features and functionality you’d want – with 3-speed playback of your records (33, 45, and 78), all of the analog wired inputs and outputs, including a headphone jack, and a Bluetooth receiver so you can play music from your phone or PC through the Vintage’s nice amp and speakers.
It also has an advanced, and surprisingly useful, feature – two-way Bluetooth. In addition to being able to use the Vintage portable player as a Bluetooth speaker for other devices, you can also send the digital music stream from the Vintage to another Bluetooth device – allowing for not just the ability to play your records on a bigger Bluetooth speaker, or even a hi-fi stereo system, but also record and edit those records on a PC.
But really, if you just consider the quality of the Vintage itself – its premium fit and finish, the warm, rich, and energetic sound, and the solidness and overall quality and reliability of it as a portable record player, this is a great value for the money and highly recommended.
Upgraded Sound Quality
- Two-Way Bluetooth Streaming
- Superior Material and Build Quality
- Very Gently with Records
- Premium Fit and Finish
- None at This Price
Great Tech and Great Sound
Digitnow Suitcase Record Player with Bluetooth, Radio, Vinyl to MP3 Converter
- Unique Multi-function leather Suitcase...
- Both USB Recording: You can Convert Your...
- 3-Speeds(33,45 and 78 RPM)Portable suitcase...
- Headphone Jack for private listening and RCA...
- LCD Screen with backlight .This is a good...
If there was any portable record player for under a hundred dollars that I might recommend over the Victrola, just above, it is this cool Digitnow suitcase player.
The Digitnow has not only a very high-quality basic turntable, which will play your records at 33, 45, and 78 RPM but also a full-function MP3 digital player and recorder.
This digital system has full MP3 playback from both a USB flash drive and an SD card, and also lets you make high quality digital transfers of your records, so you can archive them and play them back on your phone, tablet, PC or any other gadget.
There are other portable turntables that have a digital recording, but the quality of the recordings you can make with the Digitnow, along with the simple, intuitive controls and ease of use of its surprisingly sophisticated digital system, put it in another league.
And for vinyl playback alone, this is also a great unit, with very good side-mounted stereo speakers that have excellent clarity, low distortion and a warm, musical sound, and a very rigid, high-quality cabinet that not only enhances the beauty of the sound but gives you confidence that this is a record player you really can schlep around without worry.
A beautifully made and beautiful sounding portable record player that is also a remarkably advanced and very useful digital recording and playback system, and with a delightfully rich and musical sound, the Digitnow is a wonderful record player and a very good value.
- Highly Advanced Technology
- Sturdy and Durable
- Easy to Use
- Gentle on Records
- Both MP3 Recording and Playback
- Not Quite as Stylish
Best Style in a Portable Record Player
Crosley Cruiser Plus Vintage 3 Speed Bluetooth Portable Record Player
- Crosley Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player:...
- Three Speed Belt-Driven Turntable:...
- Upgraded Sound & Connection: Dynamic full...
- Portability & Design: Take your tunes...
- Convenience: Ready in minutes, setting up...
I could have included this Crosley Cruiser Plus portable suitcase record player just based on the huge number of really nice colors and finishes it comes in, all very well done and attractive, and some – for me, the Havana and the Indigo among others – super-cool looking.
I also could have included it because it is the easiest to use – really, of all the suitcase players I’ve encountered, the Cruiser Plus is just as advanced in functionality as any of them, and in fact more advanced than most, but the basic operating interface is almost ridiculously simple and especially great for people who don’t want to fuss, or those who may be used to older, simpler record players.
But there’s a lot more to love here – that functionality, for one thing. In addition to 3-speed record playback, the Crosley also has adjustable pitch control, wired analog inputs and outputs (including a headphone jack), and Bluetooth that allows you to both receive and send music streams.
That last bit means that you can play music from your phone or another gadget through the Crosley’s Bluetooth stereo speakers, and you can also play records on the Crosley and send the digital music stream via Bluetooth to your PC or another device for digital recording, editing and archiving.
Finally, though, for me, it comes down to the overall quality of the Crosley Cruiser Plus suitcase record player, which seems more solid than most, has a really premium fit and finish, works well all the time, and sounds rich, full, and beautiful.
- Beautiful Style
- Super Easy to Use
- Rich, Musical Sound
- Two-Way Bluetooth Streaming
- Very Well Made
- Other Players on the List (Digitnow, Victrola) Have Slightly Better Sound
Best Portable Record Player for DJs
Numark PT01USB Portable Vinyl-Archiving Turntable for 33 1/3, 45, & 78 RPM Records
- Ultra-Portable, Feature Packed – Portable...
- Record Your Vinyl to PC - Take your precious...
- Rich, Dynamic Sound – Enjoy and preserve...
- The Ins and Outs – Onboard headphone...
- Everything you need - Cartridge, 45 RPM...
Once we break the hundred-dollar range we begin to see record players that resemble high-end audiophile turntables much more closely – and not just in looks.
A small, ultra-tough portable record player from an industry leader in DJ and professional turntables, mixers, and sound equipment, the Numark USB turntable is meant for both basic record playback and easy connection to stereos, sound boards, and digital devices like your phone, PC or a digital processor.
As such, the Numark PT01USB has both RCA outputs, for wired analog signal, and a USB plug for digital output. This especially makes it a brilliant choice for somebody who wants to make excellent digital copies of vinyl – in fact, in my experience, the Numark portable will make the highest quality copies possible at a still very low price level.
It also has a built-in rechargeable battery, for up to 4 hours of playing time, as well as normal AC power, and is housed in a very strong and tough overbuilt portable case.
Imagine being able to go to any friend’s house, a library, or elsewhere where you might have access to a lot of records, and making superior digital files from any of them – or, if you prefer, just listening to them with the nice built-in loudspeaker or headphones (in true DJ fashion, the Numark has both a full-sized and a mini headphone jack!).
Considering all this affordable portable does, and how well made it is, something’s gotta give – and in this case that something is the speaker. While the less expensive units above all have nice stereo speaker systems, this Numark only has a single speaker – it is brilliant, however, and it’s amazing how great it sounds with any kind of music, and how loud it plays!
I’m sure the single speaker sounds so good because of the overall quality of the Numark’s components – the needle and cartridge, the light and rigid tonearm, the amp and associated electronics – and the stereo playback through a hi-fi system, soundboard, digital feed or a pair of headphones are shockingly good for this price.
Whether you use it as a playback deck in a wide range of environments and systems, as a simple record player on its own, through the loudspeaker or headphones, or as an analog to digital recording and archiving turntable, the Numark PT01USB is by far the best built and best sounding affordable serious record player I’ve ever used, and a perfect solution for lots of different people and applications.
Numark also makes the PT01 Scratch DJ Turntable, which is a bit more expensive but also includes a high-quality scratch switch. You might also want to consider the Reloop Spin Portable Turntable System, another classic affordable (though about twice the price) portable DJ turntable that may be even a bit more tough and durable, and includes a true crossfader that can be physically switched between left-hand and right-hand positions.
- Very Tough and Durable
- Ultra Portable
- Excellent Layout and Controls
- Rechargeable Battery
- Superior Sound Quality
- No True Crossfader
Best Portable Record Player Overall
Victrola Revolution GO Bluetooth Portable Record Player with Rechargeable Battery
- 12 hour rechargeable battery allows you to...
- Built-in Bluetooth stereo speaker to stream...
- Vinyl Stream technology allows you to stream...
- Detachable guitar strap and retractable...
- Removable lid doubles as a vinyl stand for up...
From the decidedly modern, almost spartan look of the Numark, we return to a more retro-cool vintage aesthetic with our next choice for the best portable turntable (more Bauhaus than Sockhop, maybe, but super-cool), and we return to those champions of affordable high-quality vinyl playback – Victrola.
With the Victrola Revolution GO, we finally come to a very important feature for some people who are looking for the best portable record players – and one we haven’t found in any of our other picks so far (with the exception of portable DJ decks) – a rechargeable battery.
I’m aware of at least one other affordable suitcase-type record player that has a rechargeable battery – the excellent Jorlai White Suitcase Record Player, which is actually significantly cheaper – but the Revolution Go from Victrola is a more advanced, better made, and better sounding player.
With a remarkable 12 hours of playback on a charge, the GO does better than some premium Bluetooth speakers, and in this case, the battery’s ultra-long playing time is not just for the amp and speakers, but for the turntable as well!
Like my other Victrola recommendation – the Victrola Vintage Portable Suitcase Record Player above – this Revolution GO has Victrola’s proprietary Vinyl Stream technology, which allows you to stream the music from this cool player to a Bluetooth speaker or even a PC, for digital recording and editing at a whole new level.
And like the best portable suitcase record players out there, the GO has a Bluetooth receiver as well, so you can use it as a super-nice Bluetooth speaker for your phone or other gadgets. It also has wired analog input and output connections, a headphone jack, and – let’s not forget! – an excellent 3-speed turntable for all sizes of records.
The Victrola Revolution GO is a really well-designed portable record player, with its tough but attractive case and adjustable carry strap, and it is a beautifully made product that sounds wonderful for the money, and is – like any Victrola product, really – highly recommended.
- 12-Hour Rechargeable Battery
- Two-Way Bluetooth Streaming
- Beautiful Sound
- Very High-Quality Overall
- None at This Price
Best Sounding Portable Record Player
1 BY ONE High Fidelity Belt Drive Turntable with Built-in Speakers
- Exquisite Appearance: Built from wood and...
- All in 1: This turntable spins at both 33 and...
- Magnet-type Cartridge and Adjustable...
- Bluetooth Streaming: Pair and play music from...
- Audio-Technica Stylus, The diamond-tipped...
I was tempted to throw in one or two “real” turntables – units that perform way out of their range, like the super-nice and almost ridiculously inexpensive Crosley C6B-WA Belt-Drive Bluetooth Turntable – but while they do offer a sort of “next level” sound and overall quality, they aren’t actually portable.
So I compromised, by including this 1-by-ONE belt drive turntable, although I should not use the word “compromised” in this case, given its amazing quality on so many levels. For one thing, the 1 by One really approaches that true audiophile standard – in both sound and overall material and build quality – of their famously affordable belt drive hi-fi turntable and turntable sets.
But yeah, it is a bit of a compromise. I mean, you are probably going to have to look long and hard to find an all-in-one record player at this price with anywhere near this sound quality and reliability, and so this record player definitely deserves inclusion in this or any other buyer’s guide, but it too isn’t really that super-portable – at least not like the suitcase-type systems above.
The 1 by ONE record player does, though, have built-in speakers, and everything you need for surprisingly beautiful sounding record playback in one single unit. And, to be fair, it is pretty easy to move around, so it can be used as a very high-quality portable.
The Bluetooth streaming adds to this player’s attractiveness as a portable, since you can also use it to play music from your phone, PC, or MP3 player – a great solution for setting up a party anywhere and at any time.
Anyway, I’m willing to let any concerns about the 1 by ONE record player’s viability as a portable unit go – it really does move around nicely and easily, and it’s built so well and solidly that you won’t ever worry about taking it with you, and it is super-easy to set up and use, so we’re good to go.
Ultimately, what really sets this player apart from any of the recommendations above is the sound quality. Yeah, all of the less expensive choices in this list of best portable turntables sound really good for the money, but the 1 by ONE player is on a new level – with a high-quality Audio Technica cartridge with a diamond needle, a precision low-mass tonearm with adjustable tracking force, a low-resonance wood cabinet that houses incredible two-way stereo speakers and also keeps turntable vibration and the associated distortions to a minimum.
So the 1 by ONE all-in-one record player is maybe not the most portable you can get, but if we agree to call it a portable it is the best sounding one – on our list or at its price level – and a very high-quality product on all levels. Still quite affordable, this unit, more than any other I’ve included, will take your records and your listening to a whole new level.
- The Best Sound Quality
- Very Gentle with Records
- Superior Build Quality and Reliability
- Intelligent Design and User Interface
- Beautiful Fit and Finish
- Not the Most Portable
Conclusion: What Is the Best Portable Record Player for You?
Like with most things, the real answer to that question lies in what you want and need, your priorities, your budget, and even your sense of style.
For example, if “portable” is a pretty loose term for you, and you’re really just looking for a nice tabletop all-in-one stereo record player that you can occasionally take with you, or even just move around the house, the 1 BY ONE just above is a wonderful sounding unit that is wonderful in pretty much every other way. It’s a bit more expensive, but easily one of the best values on my list of best portable players.
If you want really, truly portable, though, the Victrola Revolution GO, with its long-lasting rechargeable battery, is as good as it gets – in terms of tech, sound quality, build quality, and reliability. Pretty? No, but it does definitely have its own sense of style.
And if you’re a DJ there’s no question – the Numark PT01USB is widely hailed as the best budget deck on the market, and one that sounds great is highly usable and very tough.
But, in case you can’t tell, I pretty much love all of the portable record players on my list, and I am sure you would too. So don’t worry at all – if you have a more limited budget, or for whatever reason prefer one of the other choices, I’m sure you will be thrilled with it – and probably end up taking it with you everywhere you go!