Modern vertical record players: reviews of the best models

Polk Audio T15 ($99)

For speakers, size may have mattered in the days of Hugh Hefner-inspired bachelor pads, but not anymore. Small, relatively inexpensive speakers today pack as much power as the huge behemoths of yesteryear. Sanchez says he listens to a pair of Polk Audio “bookshelf” speakers at home, and they sound great. Take note: In a traditional stereo setup with an amplifier or receiver, speakers don't need to be plugged into a power outlet for electricity. For powered bookshelf speakers that will work without an amp/receiver, Turntable Lab's Hahn highlights the versatile, Bluetooth-enabled Kanto YU4 ($330).

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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.