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Lifewire / Jeff Dojillo
Plug and play
Record music via USB
Limited stylus options
The Sony PS-LX310BT is a great, well-designed, entry-level turntable with welcome Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a cinch to unpack and start playing records on within just a few moments of cracking open the box.
When considering purchasing your first turntable you’ll want to make sure it meets a few requirements—that it sounds excellent, is easy to use, and simple to set up. A vinyl records have exploded in popularity again across the last few years, new turntables have begun adding contemporary technology and focusing on modern, sleek design. We tested the Sony PS-LX310BT and ran through its features to see if it is a good fit for budding vinyl enthusiasts and audiophiles alike.
The Sony PS-LX310BT has an all-plastic, all-black design that looks very sleek, with buttons that sit flush on the device. It’s equipped with a straight aluminum tonearm that helps deliver stable, rich playback. The Sony PS-LX310BT’s tonearm comes fully balanced with a stylus already installed, ready out of the box to play your favorite vinyl records.
It’s also equipped with a sturdy aluminum platter that works perfectly with the belt-driven motor that drives it. The platter is very stable, reducing vibration and the attendant hum and static.
To protect your records and the turntable, Sony provides a thick, tinted dust cover. The dust cover is removable if you prefer playing records without it, and a 45 RPM adapter for 7” records is available as well.
The Sony PS-LX310BT is one of the easiest to assemble turntables we tested. It was harder to remove the turntable from its packaging than to get it powered up and connected to our Bluetooth speakers. Once the turntable contents were removed from their packaging, the only thing left to install were the platter and slip mat.
The Sony PS-LX310BT is one of the easiest to assemble turntables we tested.
Placing the aluminum platter on the Sony PS-LX310BT was as easy as setting it in the center of the turntable. Using the red tape, we were able to install the rubber belt on the turntable motor by just lightly stretching it. We placed the slip mat on top of the aluminum plate and installed the AC adapter on the back of the device, plugged it in, and removed the protective plastic and tie that secured the tonearm. Voilà—minutes after we pulled it out of the box, the player was ready to do its thing.
After powering the Sony PS-LX310BT on, we connected to our stereo in seconds by simply pressing the Bluetooth button on the turntable. We placed one of our favorite records on the turntable and pressed start. The Sony PS-LX310BT’s tonearm automatically moved to the first track of the record and began to play. If the idea of burning time balancing and adjusting weights before you can start using your shiny new turntable is a turnoff, this is the model for you.
The tonearm moves smoothly and the belt-driven motor quickly gets records up to speed. The tonearm and stylus work well together to produce crisp tones and accurate low frequencies.
The Sony PS-LX310BT has the ability to connect to your computer via USB cable (not included). We connected the turntable to our laptop and recorded tracks off of our vinyl records through Audacity. Audacity has a pretty robust suite of filters and effects and is simple to use; we just needed to select the PS-LX310BT as the input device and could start ripping tracks off of our records.
The Sony PS-LX310BT turntable produces excellent audio, true to the deep, lossless quality vinyl’s capable of recording. For an entry-level turntable, the sound is rich, with nice tones in the highs and mid levels and acceptable bass response.
Although the Sony PS-LX310BT turntable can connect through Bluetooth, we noticed that plugging the turntable into an amplifier really boosted the warmth of the playback. The direct connection to an analog amp reduces crackle from interference across a Bluetooth connection.
For an entry-level turntable, the sound is rich, with nice tones in the highs and mid levels and acceptable bass response.
The stylus is fine for an intro turntable but doesn’t leave much ceiling for upgrades. If you’re serious about later tweaking the precision and quality of your player, this may not be the turntable for you.
We found the Bluetooth connectivity really responsive; the Sony paired in seconds with our Bluetooth receiver. The sound was crisp, with great tonality across all frequencies. The PS-LX310BT would be a great fit for someone that doesn’t have a stereo component system but has Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
Coming in at around $178, the Sony PS-LX310BT is a great entry-level turntable that has great sound and modern features. This easy-to-use player is well designed, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better value at this price point. Those seeking a higher level of customization, however, may prefer the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK.
Coming at around $250, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK is a far superior turntable with customizable features. This turntable has a direct-drive motor, compared to the belt-driven Sony; Belt-driven models take a few seconds to get up to speed and will degrade over time. Replacement belts are not expensive but will eventually add up in cost.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK also features pitch control and a self-adjusting tonearm with counterweight, as well as an upgradeable stylus to further enhance your listening experience. It’s great for DJs that have to tempo match and adjust tone on the fly, or anyone that craves more customizable features.
A hit for anyone looking to save some cash.
The Sony PS-LX310BT is a great entry-level turntable for the vinyl enthusiast on a budget. The turntable may be feature light, but it packs amazing sound right out of the box and is a breeze to set up and start using.