As the festive season approaches...

If you’re a music fiend, the only other things except for pasta and toilet roll that you spend your “hard-earned” cash on is probably records.

Whether you’re spending a couple of hours wages on the newest electro release, or scouring the back of the sofa to scrape enough together for an old 7 inch, it’s a hobby that we can proudly nod towards. Without getting into the debate of the best way to listen to music, there’s something about the physicality of vinyl that just makes it special.

And if you’re dying to hear that crackle when you fall down the cracks of the plastic, then you’re going to need something to listen to it on. They can be pricey and so aesthetically pleasing that they turn into the centrepiece of your living room, or they can be cheap and have the exact same results. So, in time for Christmas, here’s our top five vinyl player picks. Well, you’re going to need something to play that inevitable shit record your uncle will wrap up for Christmas from his old collection.

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Sony PS-HX500 Two-Speed USB Turntable With High-Res Audio Recording

The living room centrepiece. Despite being the priciest option on the list, Sony’s player takes vinyl collecting to a new level. This one is definitely for the active listener, and even better if you take old-school DJing to the max and mix your own records. With USB ports and the ability to record your own creations, this one will really show up your mum’s “vintage” record player, and truly brings vinyl into the 21st century. And with it costing only £15 to get two years additional insurance, you won’t have to worry about Red Stripe being spilt over your purchase at your next house party.

Price - £299.99
Retailer - John Lewis
Available HERE.

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ION Audio Vinyl Transport Portable Briefcase Style Turntable with Built-In Stereo Speakers – Blue

Warning: if you have previously bought a Crosley player, don’t look at the half-price tag on this one. With just a mintier-tint on the case, and a name change on the lid, the ION vinyl player is pretty much a Crosley. As with the original, this briefcase player is both stylish and practical (if you’re an on-the-go vinyl addict anyway) with big-enough speakers to sound a party for one. However if you’ve got bigger plans, the briefcase can be connected to additional speakers. Just make sure you always carry a spare pair of AA batteries - you don’t want the player dying on you.

Price - £39.99
Retailer - Amazon
Available HERE.

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Jam Turntable & Speaker Bundle 3

If you haven’t seen this plaguing your TV daily then, well you probably have a life. HMV have released the perfect starter kit for the soon-to-be record collector. Or the soon-to-be serious record collector (I mean I don’t even have speakers and I’ve had my player for five years). With both built in pre-amps and two external “booming” speakers, stick to this one if you’ve got noise cancelling walls- or some sort of insulation at least.

Price - £129.99
Retailer- HMV
Available HERE.

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Light Brown Wood Antique Record CD Radio AM/FM & Cassette Player 4 in 1 Music System

If you need an overall refresh of your musical equipment, what’s better than getting one that looks like one your grandparents gathered around as children? Despite the old-fashioned exterior (well, what did you expect, it has a bloody tape player inside) this handy little box has everything you’ll need for your musical endeavours. With access to play the radio, records, CDs and cassettes, and for just (by a penny) under £100, you’re sorted.

Price - £99.99
Retailer - Amazon
Available HERE.

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Lenco L-85 Turntable with USB Direct Recording – Yellow

Firstly, this one just looks cool. But secondly the functions take it further than the price tag. The notable feature of this player is its ability to download tracks from vinyl to USB. Not only does this mean you can save money if you undoubtedly lose the download code that falls out of the sleeve, but it means you can carry the crackle around with you.

Price - £119.99
Retailer - Amazon
Available HERE.

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Words: Mollie Mansfield

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