Fluance's new affordable turntable could be what you've been waiting for – I'll take one in walnut

The Fluance RT81+ turntable pictured next to two speakers
(Image credit: Fluance)

Canadian turntable maker Fluance has launched a new RT81+ High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable, a starter turntable that’s an upgraded version of the brand’s flagship RT81 model. 

In our Fluance RT81 turntable review, we said that it’s “easily the best starter turntable you can buy” and, with a series of updates, we believe the RT81+ could be a no-brainer for those looking to get started with vinyl – or anyone who needs an affordable and reliable record player that doesn't cost the earth.

The new RT81+ is part of Fluance’s Elite range and has several key upgrades over the RT81. For starters, it has a design that looks sleeker and more contemporary. It also boasts a new Audio Technica VM95E cartridge with a diamond elliptical stylus, an upgraded and dampened aluminium platter, adjustable isolation feet, as well as a built-in preamp.

It also comes in three different colorways – piano white, piano black and natural walnut – so you can match it to your existing audio setup. And for us, we'll be taking the model in a walnut finish please.  

Are Fluance turntables any good? 

We have high hopes that the Fluance RT81+ will be a solid choice for most people. But even though we rated the previous model as the best turntable at a mid-range price – awarding it a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review – for its easy setup, good sound quality and excellent value, we haven’t been as impressed with all of the turntables from the brand. 

We only had a lukewarm response to the Fluance RT85N, which did have good specs and an easy set-up but didn’t deliver the audio quality we were expecting for a turntable at that price.

The appeal of turntables from Fluance is that they're designed for longevity. Many of the brand's turntable models are as modular as possible, which means you can add on additional more high-end audio gear should you want better quality over time. This is good news for those who aren't sure whether to push the button and make an investment. 

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.