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These record players and turntables show the vinyl revival is now high-tech



Vinyl is well and truly back: Here are some of the slickest turntables to bust out the classics

After days of trudging through CES, it’s easy to spot the big trends on show. You’ve got concept and autonomous cars we’ll probably never drive, super high-resolution televisions that look better than real-life and a wearable to track everything from your steps to your, erm, well we won’t go there.

CES 2016 wasn’t that different, but there was something else that stood out: the ever growing revival of vinyl.

At this point it’s cliche to say ‘vinyl is coming back’, because, well, it’s already back. You can even pick up some up some of the latest records at Tesco, now you couldn’t have said that a few years ago.

And now brands are starting to release some high-tech and feature rich turntables, here are a few of our favourites.

Sony PS-HX500 – A blend of new and old tech

A highlight for many of the TrustedReviews team at CES 2016, Sony’s high-tech turntable looks sleek, simple and minimalistic from the outside but that’s far from the whole story.

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On the back there’s a USB port, plug the PS-HX500 into your PC or Mac and using Sony’s new software you’ll be able to beam those classic records straight to your computer. What’s more, it transfers them in a couple of High-Res Audio formats for tip-top sound quality.

It’s a lovely mix of old and new that we can’t wait to get our hands on. Thankfully the wait shouldn’t be too long, Sony says it should be available by spring for about £400.

Technics SL1200-G – The rebirth of cool

If Sony’s turntable is all about simplicity and taking vinyl into the modern age, the Technics SL1200-G is clearly focussed on sound.

The sound quality of traditional analogue turntables was impacted by tiny vibrations from the motor and speed fluctuations. This ‘cogging’ effect has been eliminated, according to Panasonic, by using a newly developed, cordless, direct-drive that eschews an iron core – something often blamed for speed inconsistencies.

Technics SL-1200G 11

Vibrations are further dampened thanks to high-precision rotary positioning sensors guided by a microprocessor – a feature unique to Technics.

Oh, and the multi-layered design looks absolutely gorgeous.

Trust us, place one of these in your house and you’ll wonder why you’ve suddenly got a lot more friends. One issue: this thing is going to be very pricey.

Audio Technica Wireless – Adding some Bluetooth smarts to the turntable

For those who don’t want to remortgage their homes to pick up the Technics beauty above, Audio Technica has a snazzy new option for you.

This automatic belt-drive turntable offers up Bluetooth connectivity, so you can either beam your classic Beatles records to a set of wireless speakers or headphones.


This solves an important problems: you won’t be restricted to the poor sounding speakers normally found on cheaper turntables. You can even connect up to eight sets of speakers, making this a sort of DIY vinyl multiroom system.

It might not quite pack the looks of the Sony or the Technics models, but the glossy white design is sleek and compact.

House of Marley Stir it Up Turntable – Suitably simple

House of Marley's line-up of audio products have expanded this year, with a simple turntable at an affordable price. It's built from bamboo – a change from the usual mixture of metals and plastics – and features a built-in pre amp for syncing up to your speakers. When it arrives it should retail for $199, so about £140.

Are you bringing back the vinyl? Or sticking with streaming? Let us know in the comments below


January 13, 2016, 3:40 pm

I'll probably bring back a vinyl record player to my hifi this year, but it won't have any rubbishy usb interface or such similar, it will be a classic hifi player, perhaps even needing a pre-amp of it's own.


January 14, 2016, 9:05 am

If is this the extent of the vinyl comeback stop it now. Seriously, none of that comes remotely close to what vinyl can offer. How about features on Linn, SME, Rega, Roksan? All British companies producing turntables that make a compelling case for vinyl.

I shudder to think how much damage will be done to any vinyl that gets ploughed on the Audio Technica. I see no reason to buy this, why do you want to pipe terrible quality sound around your house and ruin your vinyl to boot? The Sony, I commented elsewhere that the hi res audio is a gimmick on a turntable that will struggle to take on a Project Essentials, let alone a Rega RP3 on the sound quality stakes. I even wonder if you copied from a £30k turntable such as the SME model 30 whether you'd hear any difference between 16 and 24 bit recordings and I'm a committed vinyl junkie.

The SL1200 was always the standard bearer DJ turntable and the sound is perfecly fine but when it was in production serious audiophiles looked elsewhere as direct drive turntables simply don't match belt drives for sound quality. If the price of this is in the thousands it needs to be better than a Linn Magik LP12, Roksan Xerxes, SME model 10, Rega RP10 and a good number of others besides and my gut feeling is all these belt drive products will easily better the SL1200.


January 14, 2016, 1:50 pm

Bloody hipsters wanting to be different all the time. I thought the whole point in Vinyl is the supposed superior quality, along with having to make an effort to listen to the music, rather than just selecting a track on a digital device. So what's the point in "ripping" to USB?


January 14, 2016, 2:13 pm

OK, so for me the problem is that I have a chunk of vinyl from the late 80's that is minority interest and not readily available on line to download. Anything that is out there is generally from torrent sites and very poor quality, even the so-called "lossless" files, so I'm kind of compelled to have to copy those to HDD to ensure I get the best quality I can. Not started this process yet as I haven't purchased an A-D converter. Not ideal but the sound quality difference is enough to make it worth my while.

For new releases it is becoming more common for vinyl to include a download cards so agree this makes less sense, especially if they provide the ability to download the FLAC with the purchase.


January 14, 2016, 6:19 pm

Always had a turntable however don't listen to my vinyls as often as I used to. I am not an audiophile but I can defintely hear the difference even between 45's and 33 1/3.


January 15, 2016, 4:51 am



January 15, 2016, 5:08 am

why drop money on the new turntables ......they are "NEAT" looking
and real techie "HIP" and all ..........but STERILE as all get out..........

my 35 year old B&O is STILL superior to any current crap ........... as is my old Mc and JBLs


January 15, 2016, 10:14 am

If I was looking at older turntables from the early 80's I'd be going for Ariston RD80 and RD11, Dunlop Systemdek, Rega Planar 3, AR EB101, Linn Axis, Heybrook TT2, Thorens TD160...these represented great turntables to have if you couldn't afford to stretch to the Linn LP12 and if you find a good one secondhand they would be great purchases. B&O...no thanks, they never compared to any of the ones above.

While I would never go with gimmicky players like the Sony or Audio Technica, new turntables such as the Rega RP3 and Project Debut are great sounding decks. The one thing they do not sound is sterile.


January 15, 2016, 11:18 am

Archiving "valuable" tracks that cannot be found other than in your own collection? To upload ancient records/78's to digitally enhance them by using software to remove all the pops and clicks, then downloading the finished track to a hard drive or burn to a CD? (Except, I haven't seen a new style deck yet that plays 78's!)


January 15, 2016, 11:21 am

Yep. And there are external sound cards with DACs that can be used to record the vinyl onto a PC or laptop via a USB input.


January 15, 2016, 11:26 am

Not t ried on yet but I am told the external soundcard DACs, as from Cakewalk get around the usual nasty, internal sound cards that generally come inside computers. That may be an alternative way to go and, of course, they can be used in conjunction with the best decks from the 1970s and 1980s, or the really good 1960's record decks that will allow affectionados of 78rpm records. And all can be uploaded also using specialist external record pre-amps.

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