Audio Technica vs. Sony Turntable: Which one is better?

I recently received an email from one of my blog readers who asked me which brand is better Audio Technica vs Sony turntable. As the budget was not a problem for him, I recommended him to go for AT-LP120XBT-USB from Audio Technica. This inspired me to write this blog. If you’re in a similar dilemma, today I’ll guide you through making the right decision.

Both Audio Technica and Sony are industry leaders when it comes to turntables and occupy almost similar sectors of the market. While the differences between the turntables from the two brands are not massive, as they both offer belt drive and direct drive turntables, they still are enough for someone to make a decision.

So, without wasting any more minutes, let’s get to know the difference between the two and which one is better. 

Just in case you’re in a hurry, you can jump directly to the section that explains which one is better.

A little about Audio-Technica (AT)

A little about Audio-Technica (AT)

Audio-Technica is a 50 years old audio brand that offers turntables, headphones and microphones. The products from AT, such as turntables, are popular among audiophiles because of their top-notch quality, durability and immersive sound experience.

Their current line of turntables has both belt-drive and direct-drive turntables and offers features like built-in preamp, Bluetooth connectivity and speed control that make them the first choice of both vinyl enthusiasts and DJs.

Pros of audio technica turntables

Audio experience

Audio Technica turntables provide a better audio experience compared to Sony because of their high-quality components and speed control. This makes them the ultimate choice of audiophiles.

Features

AT turntables come loaded with tones of features such as built-in preamp, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, etc. Because of these features the turntables can directly connect with external speakers both with and without wires.

Value

Though Sony turntables are more budget-friendly, audio technica is more bang for the buck if you can shell out a little more money.

Cons of Audio Technica turntables

Price

Though Audio Technica offers turntables at different price points, some of the turntable models are slightly higher when compared to entry-level turntables from other brands.

Upgradability

While there are some components to upgrade on audio technica turntables, such as interchangeable cartridges, they may not be as customizable or upgradable compared to the other brands available.

A little about Sony

A little about Sony

Most of the people reading this article already have heard about Sony, as it is a brand that speaks for itself and needs no introduction.

Over the years, Sony has offered a variety of audio products, and turntables are one of them. The turntables offered by Sony are quite popular due to their modern look and ease of use.

In the 1970s and 80s, Sony was one of the leading producers of turntables and their models, such as the PS-X75 and PS-X700, are still loved by audiophiles.

Pros of Sony turntables

Ease of use

The Sony turntables are easy to set up and use because most of the features are automatic, for example, the autoplay and stop functions. The automatic features are helpful for people who are not very versed with turntables. 

More budget friendly

If we talk about the cost, Sony turntables are more budget-friendly compared to other high-end turntables due to less expensive components and fewer features. However, this also has a downside as you may also have to compromise on the quality as the components used are of average quality. But they are good enough to do the work.

Cons of Sony turntables

Build quality

The Sony turntables are less robust and durable compared to other brands, thus leading to potential issues with longevity and reliability.

Limited Features

Sony turntables lack features that audiophiles and vinyl enthusiasts look for, such as adjustable tonearm and anti-skate controls. 

Limited range

Sony doesn’t have an extensive range of turntables when compared to other brands like Audio Technica. Thus, leaving customers with very limited options to buy from.

Difference between Audio Technica and Sony turntable

Audio Quality

Audio Technica provides a better sound experience as compared to Sony turntables. The reason behind it is better components used by audio technica while building turntables, such as precise tonearm and quality platter. Sony, on the other hand, has also improved their sound quality over the years.

Features 

Audio-Technica turntables are loaded with features when compared to Sony. The audio technica turntables come with more features, such as built-in preamp, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. In contrast, the Sony turntables are basic, so they are easy to use, even for someone who is just starting up.

Design and build quality

AT turntables have a more traditional aesthetic, with models like AT-LP120XUSB having more like DJ-like design. Sony, on the other hand, has turntables that are modern and minimalistic in look.

When it comes to build quality audio technica has an edge over the Sony turntables.

Cost

If we compare both the turntables in terms of price, Audio Technica has some models that are priced higher as compared to Sony. The reason behind this is the quality of components and the additional features provided in the AT turntables.

Though there are still budget-friendly options available by Audio Technica, Sony has a whole line of budget-friendly turntables.

Sony vs Audio Technica turntable? Which one should you choose?

While both turntables have their pros and cons, it all comes down to what features you are seeking and how much you are willing to spend on a turntable.

Audio-Technica turntables, such as the AT-LP120, are great for audiophiles who are seeking more advanced features, such as an adjustable tonearm and anti-skate control, and who want an excellent sound experience. On the other hand, the Sony PS-LX310 is best for casual listeners who are on a budget and want something that is easy to set up and performs well.

Recommendation:

After personally testing both turntables, I concluded that the Audio-Technica LP-120 is better than the Sony PS-LX310. The LP-120 is a direct drive turntable, provides a better sound experience, and can play records at three different speeds: 33, 45, and 78 RPM. So, if you are thinking about getting one, go for the AT LP-120.

Final word

Both Audio Technica and Sony provide good quality turntables, and when it comes to choosing between one of them, it totally depends on what features you are looking for.

If you want something that has more features and options to choose from with the best audio experience, then audio technica is the best choice. If you want ease of setup with a modern design, Sony turntables are the one for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need speakers for Audio Technica turntable?

Audio Technica turntables don’t come with built-in speakers. Hence, you need a pair of external speakers. Some AT models like AT-LP120 also have Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect wireless speakers.

Do you need speakers for Sony turntable?

Yes, you need speakers with Sony turntables, as they don’t have built-in speakers. You can either connect speakers through wires or through the Bluetooth connectivity function.

Russel Hawkins - About the author

About the author

Russ Hawkins is a passionate audiophile who loves to collect vinyl records. In his leisure time, you will find him either listening to his favorite music albums or playing with his dog Max. He loves writing about vinyl, turntables, record players, and everything music!

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