Best Portable Record Player
That record player in the living room is more than a relic; it is an incredible medium for quality sound. The analogue form of recording, allows you to hear all those subtle nuances and tones, the nostalgic ambiance, and that one small degree of separation from the studio feel. All this, makes the record player a vital addition to the home-stereo system. But, this is 2016, and we’ve got places to go!
We live in dormitories, vans, and campers; we travel, we road trip, and we move apartments; we head to the beaches, the parks, and the friend’s rooftop, but we don’t always have a constant supply of alternating current. Well, my audiophile friends, there are solutions.
Luckily we live in a consumer-based economy, and where there is demand, there is supply. There are a number of portable record payers available today. Record players with built-in amps and speakers, without the need of cords, and all pack up nicely into classy convenient durable and portable cases. So strap the milk crate full of vinyls to your fixed-gear bike, and let’s take a look at the best portable record players out there.
Quick Buyers Guide For The Portable Record Player
If portability is what you are looking for, there are factors to consider when choosing your new record player. Do note though, that any portable record player is going to lose some sound quality, as a result of compaction of the parts, and for value and superior sound, we do suggest going for a home-stereo alternatives. Durability, packabilty, built in amp and speakers, battery, and acoustic designs, will all help with your portable record player. So if your music needs to keep up with your life, then keep these points in mind.
The casing, and how the parts pack-up, is important in choosing your portable record player. Record players are fine-tuned machines, so a durable and portable table is very important. Our picks offer tough outer frames, and even acoustically designed cases, so your needle stays still on your bumpy musical journey.
Make sure to check your reviews. Look what people have already said about the built-in speakers, and overall usability of the machine. Suffixes like “-BK” or “-TU” simply refer to the color of the model. Often time’s models offer a few different colors but the product is still the same.
Always, keep your record player clean. Clean moving parts are essentially to a seamless sound, any dust or dirt will cause skips, lags, or impair your sound quality. Because we are talking portable record players, this is ever the more crucial. Luckily the models we have chosen, pack-up nicely, and are reinforced to secure their parts and components.
A little TLC for your system will go a long way!
When it comes to the portable record player, there is definitely one name that stands out. When searching ‘portable’, Crosley is almost the only brand that come up, and with due reason. Crosley has made many advancements to the portable record player and continue to come out with a multitude of newer, better, sleeker models. Certainly a brand worth your consideration, and the reason our top picks seem littered with Crosleys. We don’t practice nepotism here!
Our Best Portable Record Player:
In our reviews of portable record players, the Crosley CR6019A out preformed the competition. Great value for the quality. Higher-end components and good built-in speakers, all nicely packed in a durable handsome briefcase. Comes in black and white; brown and black; and white and red. The logical step-up from the “Cruiser.”
- Belt drive; 3 speed USB turntable
- Product dimensions: 14 X 12 X 5 inches; 7 pounds
- Stereo speakers
- Auxiliary input and output jack
- AC power adapter
Amazon’s top selling portable record player, the Crosley CR8005A is a simple choice. Affordable and high quality, the CR8005A is also the lightest of our picks. Comes in, check-it, 9 different colors and styles. A great purchase to send-off the college kid.
- Belt drive; 3 speed with NP6 needle
- Product dimensions: 10.5 X 14 X 4.6 inches; 5.5 pounds
- Stereo speakers
- RCA and headphone jack outputs
1960’s inspired, the Electrohome Archer comes in an all wood black briefcase. Quality speakers and fully compatible with your other music devices, the Electrohome Archer definitely competes with Crosley’s models. A bit heavier and larger, but sits solid. It has great acoustics, and strong parts, all with a sexy retro motif.
- Belt drive; 3 speed with diamond tipped ceramic needle
- Product dimensions: 22 X 7.7 X 15.8 inches; 18 pounds
- Auxilliary input
The Crosley CR623A Nomad is probably the closest to the full home-stereo system, but portable and on the go. A bit larger than the other Crosley models, the Nomad offers great sound quality, high-end parts, and is highly adjustable. Auxiliary and RCA outputs allow you to hook up your digital music devices. USB enabled, so you can convert your record to the computer. The Nomad’s speakers are the better choice out of portable record players. That vintage outer casing will look great in your VW van!
- Belt drive; 3 speed
- Product dimensions: 13 X 17 X 4 inches; 10.5 pounds
- USB enabled; Mac and PC
- Conversion software for digitizing LPs
- Auxiliary input, RCA output, and headphone jack
- Vynyl wrapped, wood style cabinet with chrome snap closure
Portable record players offer amazing convenience and style to this musical medium, and are great choices for a first record player, dormitory system, or something to bring with you anywhere. However, for the home-stereo we do suggest going for their ‘stable’ alternatives. Also, check out our best record players.