I gave myself a gift two Christmases ago: a record player. There’s something beautiful about the sound of vinyl, something vintage and decidedly analog. And I love it.

I don’t listen to modern albums on my record player. I listen to jazz and Motown most of the time, some 70s rock mixed in. And, around the holidays, I’ll break out some Bing Crosby.

It’s maybe the best gift I’ve ever given myself.

Are you in the market for a record player? Wondering where to buy a record player? I’ve got some options and recommendations to share with you below. Check them out … And don’t be shy about giving yourself a gift this holiday season.

When I say “record player,” I’m talking about a device on which you can play vinyl records. If you’re interested in becoming a DJ, I can’t help you there. These recommendations are more for casual lovers of music who are looking for a non-digital way to listen to their tunes.

 

4 Places Where You Can Buy Record Players

I’m sure there are more than 4 places to buy a record player, but these are the 4 I considered when I bought mine. In no particular order:

Online

If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you can have your new record player in 2 days with free shipping. The great thing about buying online is that you enjoy a wealth of options that you may not find in a store. The downside is that you have to wait for it to arrive, which can be hard when you’re really excited about your record player.

Department Stores

Kohl’s and other department stores sell record players, believe it or not. I’ll be honest: I got mine at JCPenney. It was a Saturday, and I didn’t have the patience to wait for 2-day shipping — so I went to the store and found a model that I liked. The great thing about going the department store route is that you can often search inventory online before you go, and you never have to wait for shipping. The downside, of course, is that you don’t enjoy the wide selection.

Record Stores

Ah, the record store. Now this is a throwback experience that you’re going to love. No matter where you buy your record player, you’ll relish flipping through the vinyl albums old and new, discovering classic artists and falling in love with modern ones.

Record stores also sell record players, most of the time. Now, I’ll warn you: Most of the record stores deal in higher-quality, higher-end record players. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option to get started, shopping online or at a department store might be the place to start.

Resale Shops / Garage Sales

If you really want to get into the vinyl spirit, buy a vintage record player. Where can you find them? Resale shops and garage sales often have record players from yesteryear. Craig’s List falls into this category, too, though that’s technically online.

There are serious drawbacks to getting something used. There’s no guarantee that it’s going to work when you get home, for starters. But it’s hard to beat listening to throwback albums on a throwback record player.

 

The Best Record Players on the Market

There are so many options for record players today given how vinyl is making a resurgence. But what record players are the best record players? I’ll give you two options: one that delivers a low price tag and high value, and one that is a little bit more expensive but high on quality. Check them out below:

 

Best Value: The Crosley CR8005D-BK Cruiser Deluxe

It’s hard to beat the price on this record player. The Crosley CR8005D-BK is way less than $100, and it provides all the function you could possible need. It plays standard vinyl records, and it also includes Bluetooth capability if you want to play music from your phone.

The Crosley CR8005D-BK is available in a number of different colors, so you can pick the color that jives best with where you’re going to keep it. I really love the look and feel of this record player, as it’s both stylish and small. The briefcase design is kind of cheeky, too.

So, in the name of full disclosure: This is the model that I got. I wanted one in Houndstooth, but Penney’s only had a black one the day that I went — so that’s what I settled for. But check out the options, and know that this is the perfect value option if you’re just now dipping your toe into the vinyl waters.

Is the Crosley CR8005D-BK right for you?

Buy this record player if …

… you want an entry-level record player that looks great in your living room and that allows you to listen to the beautiful vinyl albums of yesteryear.

Pass on this record player if …

… you prefer a record player that comes with more features, greater durability and an internal speaker system that lets you jam out to your heart’s desire.

 

Best Quality: Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Professional Turntable

So, I was shopping at the record store after I got my Crosley, and the cashier asked me what kind of record player I had. He grimaced when I answered. “Come and see us when you want a real record player,” he said.

I asked him what he would recommend for someone interested in casual listening on a quality record player, and he pointed to the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB without hesitation. “You pay a little more,” he said, “but you get so much more for your money.”

The Audio-Technica can sync up with a Mac or PC for converting old records to digital files. It’s more durable than the Crosley, and it also includes a direct-drive, high-torque motor.

This option is going to run a tad more than $200, but it’s a far more serious record player, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Is the Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB Professional Turntable right for you?

Buy this record player if …

… you must have the highest quality, compatibility, features and sound in a starter record player.

Pass on this record player if …

… you’re just looking for something cute and functional to help you get started in exploring vinyl.

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Buy a Record Player

My final recommendation to you: Just do it. You’re going to love listening to music on vinyl. It’s such a departure from our constantly connected world. It’s like stepping back into a time machine and enjoying life as it used to be.

Did you know that Led Zeppelin never released singles when they were in their heyday? It’s because they thought that each song should be enjoyed within the context of the album on which it was offered. That’s cool. And vinyl is the best way to enjoy music in the original context in which it was offered.

But first you need to know where to buy a record player. So browse the list above, make your selection, and start jamming.

Do you have a different recommendation for best record player? If so, let us know in the comments section below, or send us a message through our contact page.

 

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