Vinyl records have returned in fame and glory to music fans’ radars, and it’s only obvious that the need for a high-quality stereo has been on the rise even during the era of digital streaming services. Aside from offering an exquisite sound quality that some people say cannot compare to its digital counterpart, vinyl record players are a stylish addition to your home for their beautiful design. If you’re looking to upgrade your music collection to another level, we share some useful tips for buying a record player in our following guide.

Know Your Budget

While you can find a great stereo at any price range if you research hard enough, investing a bit extra in your equipment will indeed reward you with better quality in the long run. You can expect prices up to $350 for a decent record player. However, when we look at the high-end spectrum, you can easily spend at least $600 for a high-quality deck because the materials used and the engineering involved in its features help enhance the sound to another level. Knowing that there are other factors at play when looking to achieve ultimate sound quality, if you’re not a diehard music enthusiast, you may not be as interested in spending so much for a superior quality turntable. On the other hand, for people in the music industry or whose lives revolve heavily around it as a hobby, investing in a record player seems like a no-brainer.

Look at the Features and Specifications

Another thing to consider when comparing different record players is to look at what features it includes. Most of the time, the price tag is justified for the number of things you’ll be able to do with the record player. Keeping in mind that some of the best record players are multi-functional and can work as MP3 players, CD players, radio stereo, and even cassette players in case your music collection includes more than one format. Most turntables will be able to reproduce all types of vinyl records, which are classified according to their RPMs, however, you must make sure that the model you choose suits your particular needs before settling down.

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Ask yourself if you’re interested in using the record player as standalone equipment or you want to connect it to external loudspeakers. Almost all models come with built-in speakers that may vary in quality depending on the brand, and they can deliver a clear sound even when we’re talking about affordable record players. However, since the idea behind using a record player is to get the best sound quality out of the vinyl, you may want to prioritize using an RCA line-out to plug it into another speaker with better specs. Opting for record players that include USB plugs to connect devices, a 3.5 mm AUX entry port, and even headphone jacks will open the doors for even more versatility in the long term. In fewer cases, Bluetooth connections to smart devices and headphones are available too.

Consider the Record Player’s Maintenance

Contrary to older times, modern turntables don’t need much maintenance to deliver good sound quality. Note that when we talk about the turntable itself, we refer to the area in which we place the vinyl disc, commonly made of plastic or metal and covered with a rubber mat to protect the record. It’s unlikely that this area suffers any wear or damage if you use the record player properly. However, you should keep an eye out in case you need to replace the needle or stylus before they wear out and potentially damage your vinyl. Some models may also require you to change the rubber belt if you see any stretching or wear.

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Today, most medium-range record players include built-in dust cover to protect the turntable and records, but if you want to extend your equipment’s life span, using a soft brush to dust the needle and check that everything is working properly will ensure thousands and thousands of play hours with no issues. If you plan to move your record player around, be careful by plugging off any cables before transporting it to another place.

The technological advancements today have allowed us to upgrade an old-fashioned way to enjoy music to another level. Owning a record player may seem like a weird choice for some people, but in reality, is a great way to enjoy the best music without compromising the original track’s sound quality. We cannot deny the appeal behind this timeless equipment, and nowadays we can enjoy it even further with additional features without losing its retro-style design.