Looking to delve into the exciting world of vinyl but don't have much experience or cash to burn? Scooping another prize at the What Hi-Fi? Awards this year, the Pro-Ject Primary E is our pick for the best entry-level turntable you can get your hands on. We originally tested the Pro-Ject Primary E at £150 a few years back, but its price has slightly increased over time – it's currently risen up to £199. In record player terms, though, that's not a huge price to begin with for a purist design from an established turntable brand.
This entry-level spinner is great value for the level of performance it delivers, and that's before any money has been knocked off it. We've seen prices dip a few times – even a tenner or £20 off is worthwhile – so it's always best to check out the latest deals so that you can nab the lowest price possible before you buy.
You can check all the current prices at various retailers in our handy widget below.
If a friend came to us asking for the best way to get started within the wonderful world of vinyl, the Pro-Ject Primary E would be our go-to hot tip. As a deck that nails the basics without fuss or fiddles, the Primary E is just about perfect as a "get the job done" sort of a record player. Solidly built, reasonably priced and with an enjoyable sonic temperament, this is the best purist turntable you're going to get for around £150-200, although take into account that you'll need a separate amp with a phono stage or a pair of active speakers with a phono stage built in to complete the setup, so factor that into your budget accordingly.
Anyone looking at this end of the market, though, is clearly being smart with their money, whether you're buying it as a single item or looking to create a budget vinyl system from scratch. If either of those sounds right, you're going to want to squeeze as much value as possible out of your purchase as you prioritise value and sound-per-pound over most other considerations. A deal on arguably the best-value turntable on the market will certainly be right up your street.
Note that best-value doesn't mean cheap or flimsy, and while we find the corners of the Pro-Ject Primary E a little sharp, that's pretty much our only gripe with what is otherwise a superbly made player for the price. The Primary E is a purist design (there's no built-in phono stage or Bluetooth capabilities), but its simplicity makes it a doddle to set up, something you'd really hope for in a model designed to be your entry point into the vinyl world. Best of all, you get a choice of three colours: red, white or black, to truly express your individuality...
Best of all, it sounds great. Nothing bought at this price will change your life forever, but the Primary E serves up a really decent, substantial sound that, as we stated in our review, "confidentially nails the basics, from an event tonal balance to a delivery that's clear and clean and spacious enough to keep things coherent". That, for around £150-200, is exactly what you should be hoping for, and with the Primary E, it's exactly what you'll be getting.
If you've been considering starting up a vinyl collection or you're in need of a low-cost way to get your records spinning again, our 2023 Award winner is a great place to start.
Read our full Pro-Ject Primary E review
Want an alternative? Check out the current best turntable deals
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