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10 of the best turntable accessories for vinyl supremacy

Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge 0.01g/5.00g Blue LCD Backlight for Tonearm Phono Cartridge
Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge
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Record Weight Stabilizer by FEMELI,Turntable Weight Clamps-Low Profile to Fits Under Dust Cover of Turntable Vinyl Disc LP Record Player (Black)
Femeli 304-gram Turntable Weight
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Boundless Audio Record Cleaner Brush - Vinyl Cleaning Carbon Fiber Anti-Static Record Brush
Boundless anti-static record brush
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PRO JECT Cork It Turntable Mat
Pro-Ject Audio Cork it turntable mat
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IsoAcoustics zaZen Series Isolation Platform 17" W x 15" D: zaZen I (25 lbs Max)
IsoAcoustics zaZen sound isolation platform
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Invest In Vinyl 100 Clear Plastic Protective LP Outer Sleeves 3 Mil. Vinyl Record Sleeves Album Covers 12.75" x 12.5" Provide Your LP Collection with The Proper Protection
Record outer sleeves
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MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB INNER SLEEVES - MOFI MFSL (50 RECORD SLEEVES)
Mobile Fidelity anti-static inner record sleeves
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Schiit Mani 2 Phono Preamp for MM, MC, and MI Cartridges (Silver)
Schiit Mani 2 phono preamp
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Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge
Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
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Monolith 18in Speaker Stand Hold Speakers Weighing Up to 75 Pounds, Scratch‑Resistant, Perfect for Center or Bookshelf Speakers
Monolith by Monoprice 18- to 32-inch speaker stands
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OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers - Alphabetical Record dividers a-z with Now Playing Divider - Double Sided - Horizontal & Vertical - Set of 8
OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers
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With vinyl record sales showing no signs of letting up, there's a pretty good chance that you've already grabbed yourself a great turntable and started discovering the awesomeness of building a record collection.

But like any new passion or hobby, once you've gotten your feet wet, you inevitably discover just how deep the well goes as a seemingly endless range of turntable accessories, upgrades, and more starts to appear. From better cartridges and phono preamps for coaxing the best sound from your turntable, to precision setup tools to make sure everything's properly balanced, to cleaning, storage, and organization gear, we've put it all together in this roundup of the best record player accessories to level up your spinning life.

Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge on a platter.
Derek Malcolm/Digital Trends

Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge

Pros
  • Measures accurate stylus tracking force weight
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Delicate

No, this isn't a little digital scale for your weed (and please, don't use it for that). A stylus tracking force gauge's sole purpose is to make sure the weight that your turntable's needle is pressing down on your records is accurate so you get the best sound and don't ruin your records or stylus. So, in a way, this might aid in the enjoyment of the aforementioned weed. Every cartridge manufacturer precisely sets the ideal tracking force for their styluses (a quick Google search and you can find the weight for most cartridges out there), and while many modern turntables come with this already calibrated at the factory, there are a few reasons you might want to grab a force gauge. First, there's no guarantee that it's kept its correct weight out of the box, and it's always good to be sure. Second, a gauge is the easiest and most accurate way to set and check force weight on a new turntable that you have to set up yourself. Lastly, if you ever upgrade your stylus or cartridge down the road, this tool is invaluable.

Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge 0.01g/5.00g Blue LCD Backlight for Tonearm Phono Cartridge
Neoteck Digital Turntable Stylus Force Scale Gauge
Femelti turntable weight on a record.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Femeli 304-gram Turntable Weight

Pros
  • reduces resonance and vibrations
  • Fits under closed dust cover
  • Helps stabilize warped records
Cons
  • Nothing we can find

Adding a record weight to your vinyl kit can do several things to help improve the sound of your records, and this stabilizer weight from Femeli is an inexpensive, middle-of-the-road option that's suitable for most. At a medium 304 grams (weights can range up to three pounds), this weight will help dampen vibrations that can transfer from the record to the stylus while increasing the record's contact with the platter to prevent slippage. Additionally, if you have records in your collection that are a bit warped, a record weight will help flatten them to improve how the stylus tracks in the grooves. Record weights come in all shapes and sizes, but we chose this one because of its low profile and ability to fit under a closed dust cover. One note, though: there may be specific weight recommendations for your turntable. Too heavy can stress the motor, so check with your player's manufacturer.

Record Weight Stabilizer by FEMELI,Turntable Weight Clamps-Low Profile to Fits Under Dust Cover of Turntable Vinyl Disc LP Record Player (Black)
Femeli 304-gram Turntable Weight
the Boundless anti-static brush on a record.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Boundless anti-static record brush

Pros
  • Best defence against dust and dirt
  • Inexpensive
  • Carbon fiber bristles
Cons
  • Nothing we could find

An anti-static brush is probably the tool you will use the most when it comes to keeping your records dust-free. You’ll run this carbon-fiber-bristled godsend over all your vinyl before and after you play them. Electrically conductive, an anti-static brush will pick up everything from dust to pet hair to other debris and lift it from your records to better maintain them and your stylus. It’s a must-have.

Boundless Audio Record Cleaner Brush - Vinyl Cleaning Carbon Fiber Anti-Static Record Brush
Boundless anti-static record brush
Pro-Ject Audio Cork it turntable mat on a record player.
Pro-Ject

Pro-Ject Audio Cork it turntable mat

Pros
  • Prevents records form slipping
  • Provides some anti-resonance
  • Reduces static on records
Cons
  • A little pricey

Your turntable may or may not come with a platter mat in either the more common rubber or felt varieties, and while the debate over which is the best rages on, many maintain that the best material for anti-slippage, resonance isolation, and static reduction is cork. Pro-Ject Audio is one of the best makers of turntables and audio gear in the business and this mat is well made, reasonably priced (you can find them cheaper on Amazon), and also comes in a more expensive rubber-cork composite mat that offers additional anti-resonance properties.

PRO JECT Cork It Turntable Mat
Pro-Ject Audio Cork it turntable mat
The IsoAcoustics zaZen sound isolation platform with a turntable on it.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

IsoAcoustics zaZen sound isolation platform

Pros
  • Sleek looking, blends with turntable
  • Prevents resonance and skipping
  • Quality materials
Cons
  • Expensive

Maybe you've sensed a running theme in some of these accessory suggestions: anti-resonance. With record players, unwanted vibrations are the enemy as turntable styluses and cartridges are super-sensitive mechanisms that are not only adept at picking up all that warm sound inside a record's grooves, but can be affected by vibrations in their surroundings, such as footsteps, rumbling from a nearby loudspeaker, and more. This zaZen isolation platform from IsoAcoustics is like a floating platform that shields your turntable (you can also put speakers on them, too) from those vibrations, and even skips from, say, your kids dancing in front of it, creating a more stable surface for your turntable to do its thing. They come in two versions, one for a max weight of 25 pounds, and a slightly more expensive version that can handle up to 40 pounds.

IsoAcoustics zaZen Series Isolation Platform 17" W x 15" D: zaZen I (25 lbs Max)
IsoAcoustics zaZen sound isolation platform
Invest in Vinyl outer plastic record sleeves.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Record outer sleeves

Pros
  • Keeps your records protected from dust
  • Clear, durable plastic
Cons
  • Over time, the tops can curl back

This one's a bit of a no-brainer. Plastic outer record sleeves are a great way to protect your vinyl from dust and other crud while they're waiting to be played or stored, and they're cheap enough to keep on hand as your record collection grows. They're big enough to comfortably fit 12-inch LPs, either single or double-disc varieties, and the plastic has the durability to last years (it's also clear enough to see the album artwork beneath).

Invest In Vinyl 100 Clear Plastic Protective LP Outer Sleeves 3 Mil. Vinyl Record Sleeves Album Covers 12.75" x 12.5" Provide Your LP Collection with The Proper Protection
Record outer sleeves
Mobile Fidelity inner plastic record sleeve on a turntable.
Derek Malcolm/Digital Trends

Mobile Fidelity anti-static inner record sleeves

Pros
  • Protects records inside their sleeves
  • Anti-static to fend off dust and pet hair
  • Good replacement for paper sleeves
Cons
  • Nothing we could find

The paper sleeves that come with most records suck. They're abrasive and, over time, the sharp plastic edge of your records can puncture through, leaving them vulnerable to accidents. These light, three-ply plastic inner sleeves are trusted in the industry for keeping records protected and static-free inside their outer cardboard sleeves. Combined with the above-mentioned outer sleeves, and you're well on your way to preserving your collection.

MOBILE FIDELITY SOUND LAB INNER SLEEVES - MOFI MFSL (50 RECORD SLEEVES)
Mobile Fidelity anti-static inner record sleeves
The Schiit Mani 2 phono preamp on a table with a turntable.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Schiit Mani 2 phono preamp

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Stable, clean, and balanced sound
  • Compact and well built
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Not as bold or punchy as higher-end preamps
  • No volume dial

Another way to greatly improve the sound of your turntable (in addition to upgrading your cartridge) is by adding an external phono stage, aka a phono preamp, the mechanism that takes the weak electrical signal from the turntable and makes it so it can be amplified.

Back in the day, most receivers had phono preamps built in; hence the "phono" input selector on them, and you could plug a turntable directly in. With vinyl's resurgence, we're seeing more modern receivers and amps (and powered speakers) include phono inputs again, but many still require a turntable to be connected through an AUX input. For this connection, a phono stage must be used first. While many modern turntables come with them built-in for easy connection, most of them aren't, especially on budget turntables. It's pretty safe to say that unless it's a higher-end deck, you're going to get a better, cleaner, and less noisy signal if you pass your turntable through an upgraded phono preamp first.

For that, one of the best and reasonably priced phono preamps we've used is the Schitt Mani (pronounced "sheet", you dirty bugger), a sub-$200 compact component that can be used for both MM and MC cartridges, the Mani 2 is well built, easy to connect with RCA cables, and offers four switchable gain modes (30, 42, 47, and 59dB). There's not much else to say about it other than it will maintain the warmth of your records, not alter the sound or color, and will improve clarity. And it's cheap. That said, if you can swing it, we'd also recommend the $350 Cambridge audio Alva Duo, which offers a headphone amp and volume dial as well.

Schiit Mani 2 Phono Preamp for MM, MC, and MI Cartridges (Silver)
Schiit Mani 2 phono preamp
The Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet cartridge of the Victrola Stream Carbon Sonos turntable.
Derek Malcolm/Digital Trends

Ortofon 2M Red cartridge

Pros
  • Excellent bang-for-buck sound upgrade
  • Easy to install
  • Detailed sound, wide soundstage
  • Great for all kinds of music
Cons
  • None whatsoever

One of the things we harp on a lot in our turntable reviews, especially for those purchasing their first turntables, is making sure that the deck you're buying has the ability to upgrade one of the most important parts: the cartridge.

A better cartridge can be one of the best and most cost-effective ways of improving the sound and performance of any turntable, from entry-level to audiophile. Combined with the stylus, the cartridge is responsible for reading and translating the modulations in the record's groove and turning it into an electrical signal that can then be amplified by your sound system or speakers. But they are not all created equal, and it's likely that if your first turntable was bought on a budget, one of the reasons it was cheaper than the rest is it cartridge. So let's remedy that right now.

Ortofon is one of the world's biggest and best makers of high-end phono cartridges and components, and their 2M moving magnet (MM)range can be found on the best turntables in the world. The 2M Red sits in the middle of that range, and its $100 price makes it one of the best bang-for-buck cartridge upgrades you're likely to find. With the 2M Red you'll notice much more balance and detail in your music, a wider and higher soundstage, and better dynamics that make it more forgiving of a wide range of music.

Its plug-and-play connectivity makes it easy to mount on most headshells, and if and when you play the thing to the end of its life (roughly 1,000 hours), you can replace the stylus for roughly $90. However, if you want to go even further with the upgrade, the cartridge is compatible with the next-level 2M Blue for and 2M Silver styluses, if you've got the extra cash. Either way, it's an excellent upgrade that will improve the hell out of your turntable. Do it.

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge
Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
A 28-inch Monoprice Monolith speaker stand.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Monolith by Monoprice 18- to 32-inch speaker stands

Pros
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Can hold up to 75 pounds
  • Black color to suit any decor
  • Available in 18- to 32-inch heights
Cons
  • Not the most stylish looking

OK, so speaker stands aren’t directly associated to turntables, but they do contribute to the overall enjoyment and aesthetic of your turntable and stereo setup, so we'll allow it. Able to hold a bookshelf speaker up to 75 pounds, a set of speaker stands is great for getting your speakers off the ground, which positions them closer to ear level for ideal listening and helps reduce resonance and vibrations speakers can channel through the floor. These Monolith stands feature adjustable floor spikes to further add to their anti-resonance properties to help with better sound (see the isolation platform above). These stands are made of sturdy steel columns (that can be filled with sand for additional anti-resonance) and have a wide floor base and rubber pads on the speaker platforms to keep your speakers secure and safe from sliding around or falling off. Available in 18- to 32-inch heights.

Monolith 18in Speaker Stand Hold Speakers Weighing Up to 75 Pounds, Scratch‑Resistant, Perfect for Center or Bookshelf Speakers
Monolith by Monoprice 18- to 32-inch speaker stands
OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers

Pros
  • Made of cool-looking plywood
  • Work vertically or horizontally
Cons
  • May not be the sturdiest

One of the biggest problems record collectors face is deciding what to spin. Flipping through your shelves or crates looking for inspiration is one way to do it, but when that perfect album strikes you, finding it quickly can also be a pain if you have a sizeable collection. Cut right to the chase with these plywood, alphabetically-marked dividers that slide in between your vinyl vertically or horizontally. Now, all you have to do is decide whether to put Bowie under D or B.

OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers - Alphabetical Record dividers a-z with Now Playing Divider - Double Sided - Horizontal & Vertical - Set of 8
OrigoDeco Vinyl Record Dividers

Editors' Recommendations

Derek Malcolm

Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in publications such as Toronto Life, Canadian Business, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Today's Parent, and The Huffington Post. Derek has been covering the worlds of technology and entertainment for more than 20 years and is currently a Contributing Editor for the AV and Home Theater section at Digital Trends. When he's not obsessing over turntables, projectors, speakers, vintage audio gear, or what movies and shows to binge, Derek can be found at home spinning vinyl with his daughter.

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