Hook yourself up with one of these turntables and join the vinyl revolution!
Marley Stir It Up Wireless Bluetooth Turntable
House of Marley is a brand drawing on the legacy of the past – quite literally. Its products are all named after Bob Marley songs, crafted from what the company calls “mindfully sourced” materials including bamboo and wood, and aiming to project an environmentally aware image while also delivering sound that lives up to its organic, slightly retro image.
Marley’s new turntable, appropriately named “Stir It Up,” is a combination of the future and the past. A belt-drive turntable sits atop a bamboo upper deck that looks great, but which also sports a proper balanced tonearm with an Audio-Technica magnetic cartridge. No need for a special amp input – this one’s got a built-in preamp and will connect to anything via cables, or Bluetooth. There’s also a handy USB port so you can get those previous records captured on your PC.
What we love: While it’s built to look great in your living room, it takes sound quality seriously too.
If you’d rather go for a direct-drive turntable, Audio-Technica’s just-released, improved version of its acclaimed LP120 – now with Bluetooth 5.0 support added to its arsenal of outputs – is highly recommended.
Anyone who’s spent any time watching DJs do their thing will recognise the design – this is Audio-Technica’s take on the classic Technics SL-1200, but at a fraction of the price and with 21st century tech added to the mix.
This one’s the absolute business when it comes to playing vinyl. It sports a quartz-locked motor that lets you vary the pitch in either direction or lock it to normal speed, a big start/stop button, strobe and target lights (one showing you when the right speed has been locked in, the other lighting up the area of the vinyl where you’re dropping the stylus), and a high-quality dual magnet cartridge. It goes head-to-head with its classic ancestor for DJ features – and then goes beyond with the sort of tech you want in a modern player. Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless wireless is the big upgrade – now you can connect your headphones to your turntable like an incredibly stylish retro iPod. There’s also an inbuilt preamp, USB for easy PC and Mac connectivity, and of course dual RCA outputs if you want to keep things analogue. The platter is made of die-cast aluminium and connected directly to the motor for fast, pitch-perfect operation. It’s a brilliant turntable that embraces the past and connects it to the digital present.
What we love: The LP120 is hugely popular for a good reason – its sound quality is incredible for the price.
Along with the surge in attention surrounding vinyl, there’s been a lot more quality turntables showing up in a market that’s still very much about looks, but is now also aiming for the level of quality of classic turntables from decades past. Audio-Technica – the company whose name is on the business end of hundreds of pickup arms – has come up with this belt-driven beauty finished in piano-black wood material. Its thick base is designed to block low frequency vibrations before they get to the stylus, and that makes this one perfect as a turntable for the lounge room, where it’s likely to be the centre of attention in many Facebook album cover shots.
Like most modern turntables, it has a phono preamp built in. This is a crucial feature in any turntable these days, since there’s no need for a special phono input on whatever you’re plugging it into – and it also helps reduce the chance of unwanted noise. Despite being belt-driven, Audio-Technica’s clever engineers have kept speed precise with a sensor-monitored motor.
You get the full range of adjustments here – including tracking force and anti-skate – so that if you ever decide to upgrade from Audio-Technica’s already-excellent VM95E magnetic cartridge, you can do so effortlessly. One of the best-value cartridges out there today, the VM95E can use a replacement stylus from any of the VM95 range, so you’re not going to be caught short when it’s time to replace the turntable’s most important part.
What we love: From the shiny piano-black body to the carbon-fibre tonearm, this one oozes futuristic style.