USB Turntables & Vinyl Record Players: Guide & Reviews

turntables

USB TurntablesBest USB turntables, Vinyl record players, & accessories reviewed here. With a USB turntable, you can not only listen to your favorite vinyl records but its also the easiest and the most popular way to digitize your old music record collection.

Overview

Vinyl records and turntables have come back in a big way with people showing huge interest in these products in the past couple of years; its sort of a true ‘resurrection’. Sales of record players have risen tremendously and vinyl albums are following the same trend. There are now special categories for vinyl and that’s what we are covering here, everything that you musicophiles want!

Digitize Your Old Music Albums

Do you still have music stored on LPs and would like to preserve them forever?

A better option is to convert them into digital so that you can listen to them using your portable media player; just convert those old-fashioned LPs to MP3s which can also be shared easily.

USB turntables include USB ports and are designed to convert those vinyl albums into MP3 songs.

Recommended USB Turntables

Lets take a look at the best USB turntables, the top models give you the best of both the world, including several modern / digital features. Using these, you can even digitize music from various audio sources.

best turntables brands

Electrohome 4-in-1 Retro Vinyl Turntable

4-in-1 retro vinyl turntable, built-in speakers, wood mahogany finished cabinet. Plays vinyl records, CDs, AM/FM radio, and MP3s through USB or 3.5mm auxiliary input for devices like iPhone, iPad or any other tablet or smartphone. You can even connect headphones for private listening. Easily converts any vinyl album to MP3; just plug in your USB drive and press record.
Buy on Amazon

Pyle Belt Drive USB Turntable With Recording

Another great product, and a great way to play your old records. Its not meant for professionals although its great for the casual listener. The turntable is easy to hook up and play.
Buy on Amazon

Pyle Home Classical Trumpet Horn Turntable with Direct to USB Recording

The Pyle Home Classical Trumpet Horn Turntable looks like the classic, vintage phonograph but uses the most recent technology. It features a phonograph horn speaker (good quality), AM/FM radio, CD player, cassette deck, and an aux in jack for your iPod or MP3 player, USB port to plug it into your computer.
Buy on Amazon

Stanton T55USB USB DJ Turntable

The Stanton T55USB USB DJ Turntable features USB and S/PDIF outputs. Its not just for vinyl transfer (Easy to use for copying your vinyl music into a more modern format), but also a perfect fit for the novice or intermediate level DJ.
Buy on Amazon

Crosley CR2413A Memory Master II USB Recorder

The Crosley CR2413A-PA is a CD Player as well as a Recorder – just put on your LP or pop in a cassette, load a blank CD and press “record.” Allows you to spin records, play cassettes and CDs, or play radio on the analog AM/FM tuner. Looks beautiful, has three speeds (33-1/3, 45 and 78 rpm), has USB for connection to PC and Mac, includes a software suite for ripping and editing audio content.
Crosley CR2413A Memory Master II USB Recorder

Why Use USB Turntables?

Here are some reasons why you should consider these:

USB turntables can be used to easily digitize music from various audio sources, including tape decks. They include digitization/editing software.

There are several models that also come with analog outputs so that you can plug them to stereo speakers and use them like any turntable.

These are inexpensive, and can also be used to create an MP3 collection for your iPod or computer.


Here’s a video that explains the basics of a USB turntable, in case you’ve never used a USB turntable before.


USB Turntables

How to Set It Up?

Setting up a USB turntable is an easy task, however it is recommended that you go through the instruction manual to address any specific concerns pertaining to your product.

However, here are the generic steps that apply to most products:

  1. Install the software (available in the CD-ROM) that came along with the equipment.
  2. Plug in your USB turntable, connect it to the USB port of your computer with a USB cable (and switch ON the power if it comes with one).
  3. Go to Control Panel=>Hardware and Sound section=>Sound options=>Recording tab and choose Microphone – USB Audio Codec; your computer will identify the turntable as such.
  4. Under the Advanced options, make sure the settings matches with what is advised in your product manual.
  5. Launch the software and start using your USB turntable

It is recommended that you go through the product manual, especially all the diagrams, to familiarize yourself with the equipment and the set up. It is also your troubleshooting guide so do keep it handy.

How to Connect

If you have a collection of vinyl records, a good option to listen to them is using a USB turntable. However, if you’re concerned about how to set it up, its not really difficult and you dont have to get daunted by it. Read more here on how to set it up.

However, there could be a few teething problems initially, when you try to set it up for the first time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If it doesn’t work with one port, try another one on the computer. Try all the ports on your computer, and you’ll likely find one that works.
  • If you use a USB hub to plug multiple devices into a single port on your computer, you may have trouble with your USB turntable. Try plugging the device directly into your computer, and it should work better.
  • USB cables / USB extension cables: Over time, cables deteriorate and you may have to replace it to make it work again. If you’re using an extension USB cable, make sure its of good quality.
  • At times, if the turntable is acting weird, you may have to re-install the software that came along with your USB turntable.


  • Taking Care

    If you still own an old-fashioned record player, I’m sure you would have experienced several audio problems, broken needles, and other repair problems.

    Taking care of it and maintaining it can be quite a challenge. That is where a USB turntable is a much better option in case you want to continue listening to your old vinyl records.

    USB turntables are much easier to maintain as well.

  • It’s best to clean your turntable on a fairly regular basis, to prevent dust build-up
  • Read the cleaning instructions mentioned under the care section of your product manual
  • In general, it’s a good idea to keep it covered with the dust cover, when not in use
  • Other Alternatives

    Here are some other alternatives to these devices.

  • Well-built DJ turntables are available that come with better specs compared to consumer USB turntables.
  • It is also easy to convert your existing analog turntable into a USB ones using a simple box, so that you can convert analog music to digital.
  • S/PDIF output, found on some DJ turntables, also offer a digital output alternative to USB.
  • Want It on CD?

    If you want the music to be stored on CDs then you should avoid exporting the songs as MP3, as the compression technique used doesn’t offer the best audio quality.

    A better method is to export the music as uncompressed AIFF and then burn it to an audio CD. This will give a better sound quality when you play the CD.




    Check out these top DJ Turntables on zZounds


    To Conclude

    In spite of the availability of alternatives, USB turntables are easy to use and offers an affordable way of digitizing the music stored on analog storage medium such as Vinyl.

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