Combining a pre-calibrated and painless turntable design with the ability to output via Bluetooth, Sony may have produced the ultimate piece of vinyl newcomer’s gear at the beginner-friendly price of $299. At the same time, the PS-LX310BT is one of the nicest and most affordable fully-automatic turntables with a built-in phono stage you’ll find, which will make it attractive even to more seasoned listeners.
This is a slick-looking unit with the minimal aesthetic of a serious audio component, but as you might expect at this price it’s mostly made of plastic. To Sony’s great credit the tone-arm and platter are actually aluminium, which is unusual on the cheaper end and instils some confidence in the machine’s stability. It looks great on its own, but unless you live in a dust-free zone you’re probably going to want to attach the included cover as well.
There’s no fiddling or calibrating to be done with the stylus or tone-arm, no installing or weighing or aligning outside of attaching the platter and drive belt to the main unit, but on the downside there’s little scope for modifying the system by adding your own stylus down the line. This turntable is designed purely for plugging and playing, meaning anyone can put it together, but at the same time the number of options on offer is impressive.
There’s a set of hard-wired stereo RCA cables that can go into the line-in on any modern receiver, but at the flick of a switch you get phono output for connecting to an integrated or dedicated amp. There’s even a USB port for ripping your vinyl collection to a computer. The tone-arm is fully automatic, lowering gently onto the record and returning to its rest once the side’s done.