The best record players offer the ability to store and organize your collection, keeping your music library at its peak.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Record Player Shelf

When choosing a new record player, there are many things to consider. From brand to type, here are some of the most important features to look for when shopping.

Brands

There are several well-known brands that make high-quality portable and desktop record players. To help you find the best portable or desktop record player for your needs, we have listed some of the top brands below along with information about how they stack up against each other.

  • Fender: Fender makes popular electric guitars and basses, but they also make a range of other instruments including amplifiers, keyboards, and effects units.
  • Amplifier: The Amplifier brand is popular for its portable and desktop amplifier/recorders. They feature a variety of models from small, lightweight portable units to large desktop machines with lots of power.
  • Behringer: Behringer makes affordable digital and analog recording equipment as well as mixing desks and other live sound tools.
  • BOSS: BOSS makes audio interfaces that connect to computers, mobile devices, and other gear.
  • Cakewalk: Cakewalk is a leading provider of computer software for recording and editing audio and video.
  • Conrad: Conrad produces turntables that play both LP records and MP3s.
  • Denon: Denon produces high-quality home electronics including DVD/Blu-ray players, receivers, and recorders.
  • Focusrite: Focusrite produces professional audio interfaces for recording and editing as well as converters for connecting various formats.
  • Gibson: Gibson produces electric guitars and basses as well as amplifiers, effects units, and music technology.
  • Grado: Grado produces headphone amps and DACs (digital to analog converters) as well as headphones.
  • Harmonic: Harmonic produces multiroom audio systems for playing and recording music.
  • Korg: Korg produces electronic musical instruments and accessories such as keyboard covers, drum pads, and synthesizer cases.
  • Lacquer: Lacquer produces vinyl cutting machines that can cut 45s, LPs, and custom records.
  • Mackie: Mackie produces multitrack mixers, which are similar to a home recording studio.
  • Marantz: Marantz produces high-quality audio products including DVD/Blu-ray players, receivers, and recorders.
  • Milwaukee: Milwaukee produces a range of tools for the home including drills, circular saws, and hammer drills.
  • Music Man: Music Man produces portable stereo systems that include speakers and headphones.
  • NAD: NAD produces high-quality digital audio workstations for recording and editing audio.
  • Neumann: Neumann produces microphone cables as well as microphones and audio interfaces for recording and editing.
  • Pioneer: Pioneer produces portable CD/MP3 players as well as portable DVD/Blu-ray players.
  • Presonus: Presonus produces multitrack mixers and USB audio interfaces for recording and editing audio.
  • Rode: Rode produces microphone cables as well as microphones and audio interfaces for recording and editing audio.
  • Sanken: Sanken produces portable cassette decks and tape recorders.
  • Sound Devices: Sound Devices produces digital audio workstations for recording and editing audio.
  • Sony: Sony produces DVD/Blu-ray players, receivers, and audio interfaces for recording and editing audio.
  • TASCAM: TASCAM produces portable cassette decks and tape recorders.
  • Vox: Vox produces portable CD/MP3 players and laptop speakers.
  • Yamaha: Yamaha produces portable stereo systems that include speakers and headphones.

Type

Based on size, weight, and configuration, portable record players fall into two main categories: handheld units and portable tabletop units.

  • Handheld recorders are smaller than portable tabletop units but larger than a typical car stereo. They typically weigh less than 4 pounds and fit in the hand comfortably. Some handheld recorders can be used like a portable music device, while others are meant to be carried around.
  • Tabletop recorders are designed to be placed on a table or stand rather than held in the hand. These units are larger than handheld recorders but smaller than full-size desktops. Most tabletop recorders weigh more than 10 pounds, so they require an appropriate surface to place them.

Power

The amount of power a portable record player requires depends on a number of factors. For instance, the type of material from which the unit is constructed will have a lot to do with it. A wooden tabletop unit may require more power than a plastic handheld unit.

Also, the size and shape of the unit will affect how much space is required. For example, a handheld unit thats meant to be carried in a trouser pocket may not need as much battery power as one that must be stored in a backpack.

The last thing to consider is the actual use for which the portable record player will see the most frequent demand for power. If its only needed to record a few songs at a time, then a lightweight unit that can run on batteries for a long time may be enough. However, if the user needs to record multiple tracks and wants something that can quickly charge, a more powerful unit might be the way to go.

Battery Life

The batterys life will determine how long a portable record player can operate before it needs a recharge. This is an important consideration because if the batterys life is too short, then valuable recording time could be lost due to having to stop to recharge the unit.

However, even if recharging is possible, the batterys life will still have an impact because without a charged battery, the user will either have to plan to return to the studio to finish the project or take the entire recording session to a location where charging stations are available.

Some manufacturers provide their own proprietary chargers, while others use standard USB chargers. Its a good idea to check what kind of charger the company provides, as some will work faster than others.

Recording Quality

The quality of the audio recordings made with a portable record player