As the popularity of vinyl continues, there are bound to be a few records on people’s Christmas lists as well as devices to play them on. Our latest test results help you choose the record players and turntables that won’t disappoint.
GPO is hoping to capitalise on the popularity by releasing two new record players – the GPO Stylo II and the GPO Flight. The GPO Stylo II is cheap enough to be an extra surprise on Christmas morning, while the GPO Flight is more of a main gift. But are either of them worth your money?
We’ve also tested the RT100 from Roberts. The minimalist record player looks the part, but does it sound good enough to justify £250?
At other end of the design spectrum is the extremely busy Ion Mustang LP, which is made to look like – you guessed it – a Ford Mustang. We put this glossy, retro turntable to the test.
Best Buy record players – let your favourite LPs shine with a top-rated turntable.
You can rely on our expert knowledge of turntables, but how’s your music knowledge? Find out if you are a true vinyl fan by seeing if you recognise the 10 album covers in our quiz. Can’t see it? Click here.
GPO Flight – £140
The Flight is the pricier of the two GPO turntables we’ve tested, and you get good value for money if you like a player with plenty of buttons and dials.
There’s no shortage of features on this turntable, including music equalisation, Bluetooth for connecting speakers, and a USB port that lets you archive vinyl and cassettes onto your computer.
It’s portable, too. With the lid closed, the whole thing resembles something a roadie pulls from the back of a tour van. GPO reckons you’ll get four hours of playback before it needs charging again.
A list of features as long as a tonearm doesn’t make a Best Buy – sound quality does. Head to our GPO Flight review to find out if it will make your favourite songs soar, or fall flat.
Roberts RT100 – £250
The clean beech finish of the RT100 is a far cry from the busy fascia on the GPO Flight. Only one button adorns the wooden base and it adjusts the speed from 33 to 45rpm and back again.
It may look basic, but the RT100 actually has some modern features. You can transfer music from vinyl onto a computer through the USB port and, while it doesn’t have Bluetooth, there’s an aux port to connect speakers.
Still, these are features we see on turntables less than half the price of this one – so what does the RT100 have to justify the price tag? It has a moving magnet cartridge rather than a ceramic one, and the sturdy construction means it shouldn’t suffer from external vibrations in the way a turntable with lighter components would.
Ultimately, it’s sound quality that defines a Best Buy record player. See if this one has what it takes in our Roberts RT100 review.
GPO Stylo II – £55
Next to the GPO Flight, the Stylo II looks a little bare-boned. But it is only a third of the price of its high-flying cousin.
While there’s no USB connection for transferring vinyl to a computer, it is an all-in-one system with built-in speakers. As such, you won’t need to buy any extras. Also, it can play 78rpm records – something some of the pricier turntables can’t.
Do the internal speakers do the business, or is this a turntable to steer clear of? Read out GPO Stylo II review to find out.
Ion Mustang LP – £170
With its speedometer control dials and 1960s radio slider, the Mustang LP certainly looks authentic. It even has the horse logo under the lid.
The radio slider isn’t just for show either. There’s an AM/FM radio built in, which is unusual for a record player. You can listen to the radio – or records, of course – through the built-in speakers. Or you can always connect some external ones.
Other features include the ability to rip vinyl onto a computer through the USB. And it can play 78rpm records as well as the usual 33 and 45rpm ones.
The features and striking design don’t come cheap. At £170, it’s definitely at the pricier end of the spectrum. We would expect Ion to have given the same level of care capturing that retro vinyl sound as it has the retro 60s look.
Read our Ion Mustang LP review to see if it’s a matter of style over substance.