Vinyl is well and truly alive again and actually a growing industry. Audio enthusiasts have loved vinyl forever, but there's a whole new group of people discovering the format for the first time. The only real drawback to vinyl is that it's not very convenient; records are huge, and you can't carry them around with you when you go out. What you can do is digitize your records with your PC, with a turntable like the Audio Technica AT-LP60 USB. Here are some great options to consider.
Great for beginners
The AT-LP60 is a solid starter turntable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its price point and fully-automatic operation. There's no adjustable counterweight, but in our experience, it doesn't track too heavily. It supports both 7- and 12-inch vinyl and 33 RPM or 45 RPM speeds. Playing is as simple as popping on a record and hitting the start button, though there is also a manual override. The USB cable allows you to hook up directly to your PC, and Audio Technica even includes a copy of Audacity so you can get going right out of the box.
The AT-LP5 is one of Audio Technica's flagship turntables, and it has just about everything you could want to see. This is a direct-drive turntable, with a fully-manual, curved tonearm with plenty of adjustabilities, and the cartridge is easily upgraded. The AT-LP5 also supports 33 RPM and 45 RPM records and has a built-in phono pre-amp for using directly with powered speakers. The included USB cable allows seamless connection to your PC to transfer your music using Audacity, which is also included for easy out-of-the-box setup.
Sony's beginner-friendly turntable is in the $100 region and is fully automatic, so it's perfect for beginners, customers on a budget, or more casual listeners. You'll get a solid turntable that looks pretty sharp and has excellent build quality. This belt-drive turntable also supports 33 RPM and 45 RPM records and has a built-in phono preamp for using directly with powered speakers. The tonearm is static-balanced, so you can't adjust it, and the only real downer is that you can't upgrade the stylus. Sound quality is good, and Sony includes some software for your PC to help you make the best copies possible.
If you're looking for something a little different, this amazing-looking turntable will probably scratch that itch. You pay a premium for the USB version, but there's no denying it looks like nothing else out there. Despite the minimal appearance, this belt-drive turntable is packed with features. It has a lightweight, adjustable tonearm and gold-plated terminals for good sound quality. It can support both 33 RPM and 45 RPM records, though changing this is a little awkward. It's a fully-manual turntable and to listen to music over the analog outputs you'll need a separate phono preamp or a powered amplifier to run it through.
Converting vinyl record to digital music has never been easier. and whether you're a beginner getting the Sony PS-LX300USB or a more advanced enthusiast with the AT-LP5, you'll be able to listen to high-quality music on any of your digital devices.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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