Holiday and Christmas gift ideas: the turntable buys I recommend this year

Audio-Technica AT-LP5x on a red background with TR's Don't Miss badge
(Image credit: Audio-Technica AT-LP5x)

When it comes to choosing one of the best turntables as a gift for the budding vinyl lover in your life, there's a lot to choose from. You can spend a little, or you can spend a lot – a big lot. And you can never be sure you're buying the absolute best plate-spinner for the money… unless you come here first, that is. 

You're probably already checking out our guides to the best Christmas sales in the US and Boxing Day sales in the UK (for even more great holiday and Christmas gift ideas) but if you're looking for a turntable, you came to the right place. These are the four decks I recommend this year – some are seeing a couple of decent discounts too.

My pick of the best turntables for gifting this year

The best turntable for most people

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo: Pro-Ject's most refined and upgraded Debut so far

A quick glance at our five-star Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo review may be all you need to know here, but if not, just understand that it's one of the best turntables on the planet right now. The carbon fiber tonearm is supplied with a very capable Ortofon (or Sumika) cartridge. A new motor design, some damped and adjustable feet, and automatic speed change contribute no end to improved performance and improved ergonomics over the previous model from Pro-Ject. A gorgeous and still relatively affordable thing and a top pick for someone's main present this year.

A chic and simple deck for newbies

Sony PS-LX310BT turntable

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony PS-LX310BT: a chic, simple deck for newbies

Within five minutes, you can set this little beauty up and even have it streaming your vinyl to your Bluetooth headphones. Released at CES 2019, this was the first deck I ever reviewed that let me send vinyl to my wireless headphones (and you can read that five-star Sony LS-PX310BT review I helped to write, for our sister site, What Hi-Fi? Then, please come back here). Setup is a breeze, truly, and it's a rock-solid entry-level deck. In vinyl years it's still a baby, but it has seen a couple of discounts recently too.

A great turntable for longevity

Denon DP-300F in a home

(Image credit: Future)

Denon DP-300F: a great turntable for longevity

As we said in our very respectable four-star review of this friendly Denon deck, "If you’re just starting a record collection and don’t want to deal with a complicated turntable setup, the Denon DP-300F is an excellent choice." OK, you’ll sacrifice a modicum of sound quality for its convenient features and setup, but you can always upgrade the pre-mounted cartridge as you gain confidence, for a sound more suited to your musical tastes.

A solid step-up deck

Audio-Technica AT-LP5x in a home, with a hand on the tonearm

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Audio-Technica AT-LP5x: a winning step-up deck from a trusted name

Audio-Technica's splendid direct drive deck is, as we said in our Audio-Technica AT-LP5x hands-on review, a great step up toward premium audio for those just leveling up in the world of vinyl fandom. A note on it: it's often low in stock at Amazon, owing to its popularity. Hopefully, there's still one with your name on it though – or the name of the vinyl lover in your life.

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Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.