Vinyl fans on TikTok are crazy about this three-star turntable – but that's no bad thing

Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT on a table with a bluetooth speaker and two small potted plants in the sun
(Image credit: Audio Technica)

As someone who hasn't been fully immersed in hi-fi for their entire life, navigating the community has quickly become one of my favourite things. I love many of the core aspects, including sharing music suggestions, comparing kits and trading tips on how to get the best sound out of your system; and while AV is predominantly where my interests lie, hi-fi is something I become more invested in by the day.

That being said, there is a case to be made about elitism within the community and that ultimately creates a divide in what is, by all accounts, a fascinating industry. There are very few industries that I can think of that encompass such a varied demographic, and it can very easily be divided. 

Vinyl has had a resurgence among younger people, with artists like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Olivia Rodrigo spurring on younger music enthusiasts by releasing their latest albums on vinyl. Likewise, the fans of vinyl who grew up with the format have cherished the ritual of collecting, playing and maintaining their systems over the years. 

So, seeing this community divided when it comes to preference on audio kit is frustrating, as ultimately everyone just wants to enjoy their music. As a reluctant member of Generation Z, I found myself scrolling through TikTok, and my algorithm clearly clocked that I'd been searching for hi-fi set-ups (or that I'd just been spending too much time in the What Hi-Fi? office), at which point it began showing me video after video of people unboxing their new turntable and setting it up. This was usually accompanied by some floaty low-fi tunes and sometimes a comparison in which users compare their new deck to an old (usually briefcase-style) turntable. 

Interestingly, I noticed a pattern with these videos and it was all to do with the turntable. Nearly every video featured the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT, an affordable turntable with Bluetooth streaming that sports a saved-up pocket money-friendly or Christmas gift-appropriate RRP of just £200 (or $219 in the states). Furthermore, it's available in a host of mainstream, trendy retailers that are popular with said demographic, such as Urban Outfitters, which is likely how it's caught the attention of younger fans.

Truth be told, we awarded said turntable three stars back when reviewed it in 2019, which means we probably wouldn't recommend it to most people. We did however have this to say in the verdict:

"Three stars may appear harsh for a budget product offering so much in the way of functionality. If you were buying it based on price and features alone, it would be good value for money, but the AT-LP60XBT just falls short of our being able to recommend it to those semi-serious about their vinyl."

That is aligned with the majority of what I've seen on TikTok, which is why I refuse to get snobby about people opting for a basic turntable such as this, as people are enjoying their music, and it is most certainly a gateway to collecting and playing vinyl. Streaming has Gen Z in a vice grip, but an entry-level turntable such as this gives those who want to dip their toes into hi-fi an easy and accessible way to do so. 

Interestingly, I have seen a few people opt for more expensive players, such as the Rega Planar 2, and while this player is still considered mid-range by hi-fi standards, it seems to be getting a much more controversial reaction to those new to hi-fi. At £499, it's admittedly more expensive, but comments on videos of people setting up their Rega decks mostly consisted of, "Why would you pay that much for a record player?"

It's understandable that if you're a newbie to vinyl then you might find a deck costing over double the price of your budget deck alarming, but the sentiment around vinyl elitism works the same. People who value sound quality will undoubtedly be willing to spend more money to get better performance – this is the nature of hi-fi and it's why we review so many different models – and while younger audiophiles might dismiss this notion, I'd bet that they will soon find themselves looking at pricier decks as their interest grows.

As for now, it's encouraging to see vinyl reach new fans through cheaper, entry-level decks. While the Audio-Technica might not be the best on the market, it's certainly better than record players that actively damage your records and it is almost certainly a gateway to hi-fi as a whole for those yet to immerse themselves in it. 


We asked three big record stores what young people are buying – surprisingly it’s not just Taylor Swift

Read our full Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT review

And check out our picks for the best record players

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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.