If you’ve ever seen a vertical record player you’ll understand why people want them. Other than the obvious space-saving benefits, they look really cool.
They manage to be the perfect blend between delightfully retro and intriguingly futuristic. A vertical record player is an attractive addition to any home and a conversation starter.
Outside the aesthetic interest, record players have long been known as the choice for sound quality. None of us have the opportunity to see a live show every time we want to listen to music, but record players are the closest alternative.
The smooth and rich playback allows you to immerse yourself fully in the listening experience. Vertical record players have that same feature, with an intriguing design.
But a record player is a hefty piece of equipment, and it comes with a price tag to match. Before making a purchase you need to be sure the system not only looks good, but sounds fantastic.
Vertical vs Horizontal
A vertical record player is very similar to a horizontal record player. They work in the same way, essentially, with the same method of converting vibrations into sound that can be amplified and enjoyed.
That doesn’t mean a horizontal player can be used as a vertical record player. A horizontal record player used on its side will simply drop the record. A vertical record player instead uses magnets or clamps to keep the record in place.
The major advantage of a vertical record player is the size. As it doesn’t have to accommodate the full circumference of a vinyl record, there’s a smaller base. This makes them more portable, and easier to fit in a variety of living spaces.
They also show off the record. Especially for vinyls printed with interesting designs, this is a surprisingly beneficial feature.
There are fewer options available for vertical turntables. While they aren’t a new technology, they’ve never reached the same heights of popularity as a standard record player.
This means it’s harder to buy quality on a budget. There are still some amazing options available, however, and we cover them below.
Top 6 Best Vertical Record Players
MY TOP PICK
As long as you plan on standing this turntable up on its noise dampening feet, then the Pro-Ject VT-E BT R Wireless Turntable is ready to go almost straight from the box.
The silicone belt slips on easy, then you only need to plug it in and connect to your favorite Bluetooth speaker. For versatility, it can also be wall mounted.
The easy set up allows you to move this speaker around for an adaptable listening experience. Perfect for when you want to impress guests, or if you like music throughout the day. The design is sleek and attractive, ready to fit in anywhere and catch the eye of anyone passing by.
That doesn’t mean this is a turntable that prioritizes style over sound. The look is just another great feature in a turntable that’s stuffed full of features.
Every part of the Pro-Ject Turntable is designed to eliminate excess noise. The silicone belt drive and low-vibration motor work together to reduce the noise of unwanted vibration.
The aluminum tonearm is lightweight to prevent wear and tear, while removing outside resonance. The elliptical shape of the Ortofon OM5E MM stylus prevents the distortion that can ruin a listening experience.
These features work together to create a playback that’s smooth and dynamic, prevents skipping, and immerses you in the music.
There are few vertical turntables that can live up to the quality of the Pro-Ject. It’s listening experience is second to one, and it’s simple enough that even a novice can get it up and running quickly.
Record changes are easy, noise elimination is fantastic, and yes, it looks really cool.
- Easy set up - Even a beginner can use it almost straight from the box.
- Can be both wall mounted and freestanding.
- Built-in preamp - For a higher sound quality.
- Bluetooth transmitter - Connects well to Bluetooth speakers for even better sound.
- Lightweight tonearm - The lower weight is great for reducing resonance, but can lead to the tonearm slipping, potentially causing damage.
- Issues with Bluetooth connectivity - The Bluetooth connection can be shaky, causing it to drop.
The almost triangular design of EasyGoProducts Vertical Turntable is unique and eye-catching. Both vintage and strangely futuristic, it’s bound to be a conversation starter.
With magnets holding the record in place, it almost looks to be floating as it turns. The magnets aren’t just good for a floating effect, they also make record changes easy and free from damage.
Built-in auto stop also helps prevent wear, by stopping the record when it comes to its end.
Featuring both 3.5 mm aux-plugs, and built in Bluetooth for wireless listening, the EasyGoProducts turntable is adaptable for use. It can be both wall-mounted or standing, and is easy to set up.
Compared to the Pro-Ject, this is a more basic option. The stylus and cartridge included are standard, which can dampen higher and lower frequencies.
However, this can be improved with upgrades, if you don’t mind paying out. The sound quality has proven to be hit-or-miss, with some distortion due to the lower quality speakers.
The turntable has weight, but the plastic casing still feels flimsy. This means records have potential to skip and distort as you move around.
However, it does come with a 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. So depending on how you intend to use it, and the speakers you connect it to, you may find this option works for you. And if it doesn’t, you can get a refund.
- Auto-stop - Stops playing when the record is over, to avoid causing damage.
- Can be both wall mounted and freestanding
- Bluetooth connectivity - Can stream music via Bluetooth
- 30-day guarantee - An extra reassurance of quality.
- Doesn’t connect to Bluetooth speakers.
- Plastic casing - Feels flimsy, and this lack of weight can cause skips.
The Fuse Vert record player is aiming to be the perfect combination of both form and function. The ash tree wood base is a classic piece of design, balanced by the staggering number of features included in the Fuse turntable.
For avid vinyl players, the Fuse Vert lacks some of the sound quality available in other designs. However, it features the capability to connect to a Bluetooth stream, play FM radio, and play music via a 3.5 mm aux line in or a USB flash drive.
With powerful built-in speakers, it’s a record player for those who want versatility. It even has an alarm clock, making it ideal for bedroom use. There isn’t much this record player doesn’t have.
Unfortunately, the sound quality can be lacking. Users have reported a tendency to warp, which is frustrating from such an expensive purchase.
Fuse does, however, offer two options for their vertical record player, one of which with vastly superior playback. The Fuse Vert with Audio Technica Cartridge replaces the stock needle with an AT3600L upgraded needle.
This is one of the best needles on the market, featuring a Stereo Dual MM (moving magnet) for optimal frequency and channel balance.
This means your records can be played with a much warmer base, and a balanced sound across the board. The Audio Technica cartridge even reduces that infuriating warping problem that so many have found.
For those who want a record player and just a record player, the Fuse Vert is not the answer. However, if you want a vertical record player that does a little more, then this is the perfect option.
- Ash-tree wood - A sleek and attractive base, for a desirable item.
- Multiple functions - Can play via Bluetooth, aux line, USB, or FM radio.
- Audio Technica Cartridge - Can be purchased with an advanced needle, for a greater sound quality.
- Lower sound quality - The multiple functions do come with a drawback of lower sound quality.
Pyle have looked into the past for the design of their vertical turntable, and the wooden base wouldn’t look out of place in any vintage home.
That doesn’t mean they’ve skipped the modern features, as the record player comes equipped for Bluetooth audio streaming.
So you can link it easily to your laptop, smartphone, and tablet. You can even connect to a USB, to play mp3s from the built-in speakers.
Easy to set up and easy to use, the Pyle speaker is a good choice for someone looking for a compact machine. The record sound quality isn’t the highest, but the range of uses and intuitive settings are versatile.
If you have a pile of records you never get a chance to play, the Pyle turntable can give them a new lease of life - it plays 33, 45, and 78 RPM records. All while still having enough features to fit seamlessly into the modern world.
Unfortunately, it’s unable to connect wirelessly to Bluetooth speakers. While the built-in speakers offer good sound, they lack the quality of an internal speaker system. However, you can connect through the RCA port.
- Multiple functions - Bluetooth audio streaming and a USB connection.
- 3-speed turntable - Can play 33, 45, and 78 RPM records.
- Attractive design - Smooth and sleek, the design is fresh while remaining classic.
- Lower sound quality - Needs to be connected to external speakers for better sound.
A classic that looks like a classic, the Victrola Wood Wall Mounted Turntable is an unusual take on the vertical speaker. While many designs boast portability, this heavy piece of machinery is a real feature of a house, rather than an addition.
Despite the old-fashioned design, the Victrola turntable is incredibly versatile. As well as records, it allows you to stream via a Bluetooth connection from up to 33 feet, listen to AM and FM radio, and play music via an aux in connection for non-Bluetooth devices. It even plays CDs.
The internal speakers have a decent sound, although it’s a disappointment that you can’t connect to an external speaker. For those who want a high quality listening experience this can’t compete with other models.
Admittedly, the main feature of the Victrola is the design. Sturdy and well-made, this is vintage for those who love vintage. While the sound quality is fine, it’s nothing hugely special.
The range of playing options is a bonus, but apart from the CD option better sounding players can do the same.
However, it looks like nothing else out there. If the design appeals, and you want a record player that can handle the basics, then the Victrola is a strong choice.
- Vintage design - Unusual aesthetics that really stand out.
- Multiple functions - Can stream via Bluetooth, play AM and FM radio, aux line, and CD player.
- 3-speed turntable - Can play 33, 45, and 78 records.
- Belt slips - The belt can slip, causing inconsistent sound and disturbing playback.
Funded via Kickstarter, the Gramovox floating record was a well-reviewed option for those interested in vertical turntables. Stylish and appealing, they were a popular choice among audiophiles.
Unfortunately, the company appears to no longer be in business. However, if you see a second-hand Gramovox up for sale, this is a solid choice for a turntable.
Best Vertical Record Players Buying Guide
Before spending money on a turntable, you want to know you’re making a choice that’s right for you. This means understanding what to look out for, and what to avoid.
This buyer's guide is an opportunity to assess what’s important to you in a turntable. That way, you can be sure you’ll be happy with your choice.
A record player doesn’t have to be an expensive purchase, but it still often is. The good news is that a high quality turntable can last for almost a lifetime, especially if you can customize the needle and belt.
Paying more for a turntable often is a guarantee of better sound quality. Importantly, a high quality record player will be safer for your records. Low quality machines can cause damage.
Before purchase be sure that the higher price is because of quality, rather than design. Don’t pay extra for a flashy look that isn’t backed up by the sound.
When setting a budget consider what features you consider important now, and what might be important in the future.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find record players that do more than just play records. Bluetooth, FM radio, and an aux in are all becoming standard.
However, they may not all be things you want. Choosing a record player can be making a decision between what features are required, and what you consider to be optional.
For avid record fans, the most important feature should always be sound quality. You don’t want to add a CD player only to end up with a high-priced machine that skips and vibrates.
The material of a turntable can directly affect the quality, as can the build. A record player should be a long term investment, so you want it to be made of materials that last.
Wood is a classic, and beware flimsy plastic options. A record player with weight is often less prone to skipping with movement.
While a vertical turntable may be small enough to tuck away, you want it to still have enough heft to not fall and skip with every footstep.
The design may not be as important as the sound quality, but it’s still pretty important. A vertical record player has the option to look really, really good.
Turntables make a great focal point for any room, and a vertical option is also an immediate talking point. The designs range from sleek to vintage, and they can show off a record while it spins.
Although it may not be your primary consideration, it’s important to pick a design that you’ll like looking at. Vertical record players come in a variety of styles, so you’re sure to be able to find something to fit your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are vertical turntables any good?
Vertical turntables can be comparable in quality to standard turntables, but the design is more prone to certain problems. Skipping can be a problem, especially with lightweight turntables.
Limits to the design means most vertical turntables can’t achieve the same quality of a premium horizontal record player. This is bound to happen as how the record and needle respond to gravity is changed.
However, a high quality option has great sound quality, and the interesting design makes them a fascinating addition to home decor.
How do vertical record players work?
A vertical record player works the same as a horizontal record player, only upright.
The record spins creating soundwaves as a mechanical energy, which is then converted into electrical energy, sent to the speakers, and amplified - to put it very simply. A vertical record player has the exact same process, only on the side.
Vertical record players hold the record up in a variety of different ways. Some use magnets for balance, and others use a belt-driven system. Either way, the needle, sound conversion, and amplifier, all work the same way.
Is there a difference between a turntable and a record player?
A record player is a system that includes a turntable. A turntable is the platter that the record sits and spins on. The turntable includes the motor, platter, stylus, cartridge, and tonearm.
It doesn’t include the speakers or amplifier, but these are included in a record player. For audiophiles, a turntable can be the better option because they’re easier to customize and improve.
A turntable is smaller and easier to store, but extras do need to be bought in order to listen to vinyl. Record players are larger and therefore more expensive, but they are a full system, and no additional purchases are needed.
What happened to Gramovox?
Gramovox created a well-reviewed high quality ‘floating record’ vertical turntable. This was funded via Kickstarter, and the product was popular with audiophiles. Unfortunately, they seem to have gone out of business.
None of their social media has been updated since 2016, and the record player doesn’t appear to be for sale any longer. Speculation is that as a Kickstarter funded project, there wasn’t a long-term business plan in place.
Hopefully, the Gramovox ‘Floating Record’ Vertical Player will be available again, as its sound quality was fantastic.
Can you play a 45 on a record player?
Not every record player is able to play every size record, and some of them are unable to play 45s.
However, many players are equipped to play 45s, and some are equipped to play all 3 standard sizes of record - 45, 33, and 78 RPM. You can buy adaptors that are used to adapt any record player to be suitable for 45s.
Are linear tracking turntables any good?
Linear tracking turntables were, like any other turntable, available in a mixture of high quality and low quality options.
Linear tracking turntables didn’t require alignment, which many saw as an easier option.
However, the sound quality could deteriorate, especially with a lack of care. With the advent of CDs, linear tracking turntables fell off the market.
Now, they’re mostly only available for very high prices, or a lower price with a great sacrifice in sound quality. There are still those who prefer the ease of a linear tracking turntable.