Audio Technica AT-LP60X Review

The Audio Technica AT-LP60X is an affordable entry-level turntable that aims to bring vinyl listening to the masses. As vinyl records continue their resurgence in popularity, the AT-LP60X provides an easy plug-and-play option for those looking to get into the world of vinyl without breaking the bank.

Released in 2019 as an update to the popular AT-LP60, the AT-LP60X brings some small but meaningful updates while keeping the core design and functionality intact. Key upgrades include improved speed consistency via a new DC servo motor, along with better damping and reinforcement to reduce unwanted resonance. The familiar belt drive design and fully automatic operation remain for simplicity and ease of use.

With a retail price of $149 in the United States, the AT-LP60X hits a sweet spot of balancing sound quality and affordability. Its straightforward setup and operation help eliminate some of the barriers that can intimidate vinyl newcomers. This turntable aims to appeal to everyone from nostalgic listeners rediscovering records to a new generation interested in analog sound.

Key Takeaways

  • The AT-LP60X is an entry-level turntable that combines ease of use with a sleek design.
  • It offers essential features like automatic operation and, in the AT-LP60XBT model, Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Considering its price point, the AT-LP60X represents notable value for those starting their vinyl journey.

Design and Build Quality

In assessing the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X, I’ll focus specifically on its design and build quality, key for understanding its placement in the turntable market.

Materials and Color Options

The chassis of the AT-LP60X is primarily made of plastic, which impacts the turntable’s weight and cost. In terms of aesthetics, Audio-Technica offers the AT-LP60X in a variety of color options. Traditionally available colors such as black and silver are complemented with more vibrant choices, including red and white, providing a good range to match different user preferences.

Turntable Mechanics and Durability

The turntable’s mechanics are designed for longevity. The belt-driven system is favored in many entry-level models for its reduced motor noise. While the construction is lightweight, the moving parts such as the tonearm, platter, and buttons have a reassuringly solid feel, indicating the turntable can withstand regular use without immediate wear. Durability in this model is suitable for its price point, ensuring users that the essential functions will remain reliable over time.

Features and Functionality

In my assessment of the Audio Technica AT-LP60X, I’ve pinpointed several prime features that make this turntable a notable choice for vinyl enthusiasts. Now, let me guide you through the details regarding its wireless connectivity, automated operations, and the versatility offered by its speed settings and compatibility with different vinyl records.

Wireless Connectivity

The AT-LP60XBT version comes with an optional Bluetooth feature, which allows you to pair the turntable with wireless speakers or headphones. This eliminates the clutter of cables and offers me the freedom to place the turntable away from my audio setup if I prefer a more minimalist space.

Automatic System

The beauty of the AT-LP60X lies in its fully automatic system. With the push of a button, the tonearm effortlessly moves to the record’s beginning and returns once playing is completed. This convenient design makes it an ideal choice for those who are either new to vinyl or seeking simplicity in operation.

Speed Settings and Vinyl Compatibility

This turntable supports the two most common record speeds:

  • 33 1/3 RPM: For 33RPM records, typically albums
  • 45 RPM: For 45RPM records, typically singles

A simple switch allows me to toggle between these speeds to match the record I am playing. Additionally, it accommodates both 7-inch and 12-inch records, so I can enjoy a diverse collection without worry.

Audio Performance

The Audio-Technica AT-LP60X turntable delivers a level of sound quality that is good in its price bracket. It’s worth noting that many turntables in this budget price bracket share the same Audio Technica components, so you shouldn’t expect vast differences with its main competitors.

Sound Quality

The AT-LP60X impresses with its balanced audio reproduction. It handles a wide range of genres effectively, showcasing particularly consistent midrange frequencies. When it comes to treble, the turntable exhibits clarity without being overly sharp, and as for the bass, it is present and well-defined but not overwhelming. This balance ensures that vocals and instruments are clear and distinct. However, for those seeking the thumping bass or the sparkling highs found in higher-end models, this turntable may not suffice. The soundstage is pleasantly spacious, providing a sense of dimension that adds to the vinyl listening experience.

  • Midrange: Consistent and clear
  • Treble: Clear without sharpness
  • Bass: Defined but not dominant
  • Soundstage: Fairly pacious

Cartridge and Stylus Design

One of the key factors in the AT-LP60X’s performance is its Integral Dual Magnet™ phono cartridge with a replaceable ATN3600L diamond stylus. The design of the stylus ensures that it tracks the grooves of the vinyl records accurately, which is essential for precise sound reproduction. The tonearm is automatically operated and is engineered to complement the cartridge, maximizing the audio fidelity from your records. Although it’s not in the league of professional-grade cartridges, the quality offered is remarkable for an entry-level turntable.

  • Cartridge: Integral Dual Magnet™
  • Stylus: ATN3600L (replaceable)
  • Tonearm: Automatic operation for optimal alignment

In my analysis, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X serves as evidence that high-quality sound doesn’t necessarily require a high-end price tag. Its cartridge and stylus design contribute to a pleasing audio performance that reflects the enduring appeal of vinyl records.

Usability and Setup

In my experience with the Audio Technica AT-LP60X, I’ve found the setup process to be user-friendly and the turntable to be intuitive for beginners and enthusiasts alike. It’s designed to be straightforward, saving time and hassle from unboxing to the first play.

Ease of Use

The AT-LP60X impresses with its plug-and-play capability, making it accessible for users of all skill levels. When unboxing, the clearly marked components guide me through a simple assembly. The automatic start, stop, and tonearm return features mean that once a record is placed on the platter, the rest is nearly automated. The clearly labeled controls further enhance the user experience, requiring minimal effort to operate the device.

Connectivity Options

For audio output, the AT-LP60X offers multiple connectivity options that cater to both modern and vintage setups:

Output TypeDescription
USB PortEnables direct connection to a computer for digitizing vinyl records.
RCA CableComes with an integrated, switchable pre-amp for connection to speakers or stereo systems.
Phono OutputAllows easy connection to equipment with a dedicated phono input.
Bluetooth (AT-LP60X only)Offers wireless streaming to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

I appreciate the inclusion of both USB and RCA outputs, giving me the flexibility to choose my setup. The phono output complements traditional Hi-Fi systems, and for those who favor convenience and fewer cables, models with Bluetooth connectivity provide a seamless wireless option.

Value for Money

When assessing value for money, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60X stands out for being an affordable entry-level turntable with features that are more commonly found in higher-priced models.

Price Comparison

Priced at $149 in the United States, the AT-LP60X competes squarely in the affordable entry-level market for new turntables. Compared to other options targeted at first-time vinyl users, its pricing hits a compelling value sweet spot.

Against its predecessor, the Audio Technica AT-LP60 fully automatic turntable, the AT-LP60X justifies its modest $20 price premium with key upgrades like the new DC servo motor and improved damping. Considering these tangible audio improvements, the small bump feels worthwhile for new purchasers.

Looking to competitors like the Victrola VPRO-2000 at $159 and the Fluance RT80 at $199, the AT-LP60X holds its own. It matches or exceeds the simplicity of use offered by the Victrola model while undercutting it on price. And while the manual, adjustable RT80 provides more customization, its higher cost presents a bigger stretch for the entry-level buyer.

For the vinyl newcomer or gift-giver shopping on a budget, the AT-LP60X nails the basics for playing records at home. And without veering too far over the $150 mark, Audio Technica makes the table easy to justify as an affordable first step into vinyl. Considering its blend of price, features, and operation, the AT-LP60X succeeds as a value leader among plug-and-play turntable options.

Upgrade Options

The AT-LP60X isn’t really designed as a turntable to be upgraded, rather it should be enjoyed as-is. While the stylus can be upgraded, the fairly basic plinth and other components mean money is better spent on a new turntable altogether than trying to upgrade this turntable. The minimal investment cost means you shouldn’t really need to worry about upgrade potential.

Final Verdict

With the AT-LP60X, Audio Technica has retained the best qualities of its popular predecessor while subtly refining elements that matter. The simplified user experience and fully automatic operation stay intact to deliver nearly plug-and-play vinyl listening. Small tweaks to performance in the form of an improved motor and damping elevate sound quality over the already solid AT-LP60 – and at a minimal price increase.

For vinyl newcomers, first-time record spinners, or simply the analog-curious, the AT-LP60X keeps barriers to entry low. It brings quality turntable performance down to an easy sub-$150 investment. Convenience does come at the cost of adjustability and upgrade potential – no surprise given the price point. But for playing records out-of-box, whether dusting off old favorites or discovering albums for the first time, the fuss-free operation here bests most turntables under $200.

In the end, Audio Technica gets the formula right for the plug-it-in-and-go vinyl crowd. For those seeking an affordable, quality sounding, and reliably automatic turntable, the AT-LP60X warrants recommendation. It maintains the Audio Technica reputation for value and performance from its predecessors – and deserves shortlist consideration for anyone shopping beginner record players.