There’s nothing quite like listening to music on a turntable. The nuance of sound from vinyl records is something special. 

However, you want to make sure you have the proper equipment to get the best sound possible from your turntable.

With the right phono preamplifier (preamp), you can listen to albums old and new. These devices offer a way for the turntable to deliver sound as they work with modern amplifiers.

Even if you have a built-in preamp, you can still benefit from a better sound profile by using one of the best phono preamps.

Top Phono Preamps

Phono preamps offer upgraded sound for your turntable and raise its compatibility with modern audio tech. Here are the top options currently on the market.

1. ART DJ PRE II Phono Preamp

ART DJ PRE II Phono Preamp
1,789 Reviews
ART DJ PRE II Phono Preamp
  • Dual RCA-type inputs
  • Dual RCA-type outputs
  • Ground terminal

The ART DJ PRE II is a great little phono preamp for the money. Even with its affordable price point, it offers high-end features like a switchable capacitor and level adjustment.

This device has a sturdy build yet manages to be lightweight. It weighs just over a pound and features black, anodized aluminum housing that is designed to last.

The solid-state phono preamp has a frequency response of 10 Hz–50 kHz with ± 0.5 dB. This means it can deliver a true, clear sound experience that is dynamic and full.

It’s a solid addition to your phono setup, whether you are enjoying playback or recording vinyl to a variety of sources, such as a digital sound card or monitor system. 

This is the best phono preamp if you are looking for a lower-priced option that is compatible with old or new technology. It offers high sound accuracy with low noise.

Key Features

  • Compatible with a moving magnet cartridge
  • Switchable low-cut rumble filter
  • Dual RCA-type inputs and outputs
  • Ground terminal
  • Signal/clip indicator
  • 100pF and 200pF capacitance
  • Adjustable preamp gain
  • Built-in RIAA equalization

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy setup
  • Small footprint

Cons

  • Super bright LED on the front
  • No power switch

2. Fluance PA10 Phono Preamp

Fluance PA10 Phono Preamp
351 Reviews
Fluance PA10 Phono Preamp
  • UNCOMPROMISED PHONO AMPLIFICATION AND EQUALIZATION - Precisely converts the turntable phono signal to...
  • SOPHISTICATED CIRCUIT DESIGN ENGINEERED WITH PREMIUM COMPONENTS - High accuracy components, low noise...
  • VIVID STEREO SOUNDSTAGE - Utilizing individual left and right channel OP amps provide optimal channel...

While many phono preamps use a single integrated circuit (IC) chip design, the Fluance PA10 splits stages and channels with a four-chip setup.

This design offers true separation of right and left preamp channels. You’ll experience a realistic stereo-quality soundstage with low crosstalk and high accuracy.

It’s perfect for moving magnet (MM) cartridges on turntables without an existing preamp, but you can also bypass a lower-performing built-in preamp. 

The Fluance PA10 has a frequency response of 20 Hz–20 kHz with ± 0.5 dB. The 20 Hz filter allows you to drop unwanted noise and cut low-end frequencies. 

If you want extra clarity of sound at high volume playback, this is one of the best phono preamps you can buy. It’s not overly expensive and has a modern, minimalist design.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM cartridge
  • Wood housing with metal shield
  • Four-chip circuit design
  • Electromagnetic interference protection
  • Low 0.5dB RIAA deviation
  • Subsonic rumble filter
  • Ground terminal

Pros

  • Supports true stereo playback
  • Attractive wood-grain housing
  • No noise or hum

Cons

  • No power switch
  • No adjustment controls

3. Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 Phono Preamp

Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 Phono Preamp
265 Reviews
Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 Phono Preamp
  • Suitable for MM and MC cartridges
  • Precise RIAA equalization in two parts, passive/active
  • Fully discreet circuit design without OpAmps

The Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 is a premium-priced phono preamp. It has a distinctive look, with two glass tubes that are central to the design.

Tube output makes this phono preamp different from chip-powered models. There are chips housed inside the circuitry, but they aren’t directly responsible for the amplification of sound.

This is a versatile phono preamp. It works with MM and moving coil (MC) cartridges. 

There are plenty of options to adjust load and gain. You can even switch out the tubes to play around with sound output.

The Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 has a frequency response of 20 Hz–20 kHz with 0.4 dB. It offers a rich, warm sound profile that is very natural and defined.

This phono preamp is well-suited for the frequent listener. Audiophiles who don’t want to miss a thing and don’t mind paying top dollar for the privilege will appreciate this product.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM and MC cartridges
  • Two ECC83 tubes 
  • Adjustable load and gain
  • Subsonic filter (at 20 Hz)
  • RIAA equalization
  • Gold-plated RCA input/output
  • Grounding terminal

Pros

  • Flexible gain and load
  • Impressive bass response
  • Tubes are replaceable
  • Sturdy metal build

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can get hot with extended use

4. iFi Audio Zen Phono Preamp

iFi Audio Zen Phono Preamp
359 Reviews
iFi Audio Zen Phono Preamp
  • INPUTS - Selectable MM and MC cartridge input
  • OUTPUTS - RCA and Balanced 4.4mm Pentacon Outputs
  • CUSTOMIZE TO YOUR TURNTABLE SETUP - Ultrawide 36dB to 72dB gain

We think the iFi Audio Zen is named perfectly. It has a peaceful aesthetic with gentle curves and a clean interface. Better yet, it offers an advanced design to filter out noise.

The symmetrical dual-mono design does a great job of reducing crosstalk. This phono preamp delivers good channel separation, excellent sonic clarity and warm tones.

You won’t struggle to hear the highs or lows. In fact, engaging the subsonic filter will only remove rumbling and preserve the low end.

The iFi Audio Zen offers balanced output with a selector switch to toggle between MM and MC cartridge settings easily.

This is one of the best phono preamps that delivers clear stereo separation and imaging. Its detail is hard to match at this price point.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM and MC cartridges
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) subsonic filter
  • TDK C0G capacitors
  • RCA outputs
  • RIAA equalization
  • Balanced 4.4 mm Pentacon outputs
  • Grounding terminal

Pros

  • Moderately priced for the value
  • Exquisitely clean sound with clear highs and lows
  • Can handle cartridges from 36 dB to 72 dB

Cons

  • Brushed stainless cover makes it hard to see settings in daylight
  • Short power supply cord

5. Fosi Audio Box X2 Phono Preamp

Sale
Fosi Audio Box X2 Phono Preamp
1,757 Reviews
Fosi Audio Box X2 Phono Preamp
  • ❤Tube MM Phono Preamplifier: Converts phono signals to Line Level Signals with low-noise integrated...
  • ❤Three switchable gain modes: 39, 42, and 45 dB. Adjustable gain levels to give you customizable...
  • ❤Tube Preamplifier: It's also a tube preamp with 3.5mm AUX Input. Designed and assembled by Fosi Audio...

The Fosi Audio Box X2 is an affordably priced solution for listening to your vinyl records and enjoying upgraded audio from your smartphone, PC and other devices.

It’s a tube-based phono preamplifier. You can switch out the vacuum tubes to adjust the stereo sound to your liking.

This model is simply designed. It offers a 3.5 mm audio input and gain adjustments in 39 dB, 42 dB and 45 dB. This gives you more control over your sonic experience.

Since the tubes are used for amplification, you can expect a warm sound when playing your records.

For the price, versatility and simplicity, this is a best buy among tube phono preamps.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM cartridges
  • Adjustable tubes
  • Adjustable gain
  • Grounding terminal
  • RCA input/output
  • RIAA equalization

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good entry-level phono preamp
  • Has a power switch

Cons

  • Does not work with MM turntables that have a built-in preamp circuit

6. Nobsound T3 Phono Preamp

Sale
Nobsound T3 Phono Preamp
156 Reviews
Nobsound T3 Phono Preamp
  • T3 phono preamp is designed for home MM(moving magnet) turntable record players to convert phono signals...
  • With volume control, higher amplification times can make best use of your record player performance.
  • Adopting pure copper GND and gold-plated RCA terminals, low-noise integrated circuits and high quality...

The Nobsound T3 phono preamp is priced to offer improved sound no matter what your budget is. It’s extremely compact and easy to use.

This isn’t the option you want if you prefer to adjust gain or load. It’s more of a plug-and-play solution for listening to turntable record players without a built-in preamp.

An aluminum case prevents electromagnetic interference but also offers a sturdy build. You can adjust the volume control with the turn of a knob.

Overall, this is a great option for a simple turntable setup. It delivers good sound for the money, and the addition of a power button so you can turn it off easily when not in use is an excellent perk.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM cartridges
  • Volume control
  • Gold-plated RCA inputs/outputs
  • Copper grounding terminal
  • Meets standard RIAA frequency response

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Has a power button

Cons

  • Complaints of low static in silence

7. Cambridge Audio Alva Solo Phono Preamp

Sale
Cambridge Audio Alva Solo Phono Preamp
156 Reviews
Cambridge Audio Alva Solo Phono Preamp
  • ✓ DESIGNED FOR VINYL – Cambridge Audio’s Alva Solo is a dedicated moving magnet phono preamp...
  • ✓ ATTENTION TO DETAIL – The Alva Duo's switch mode power supply and surface mount technology delivers...
  • ✓ SUBSONIC FILTER & BALANCE CONTROL – The Alva Solo will even work if your vinyls are a little worse...

The Alva Solo Phono Preamp from Cambridge Audio has thoughtful design features like upside-down labeling of ports, a power button and balance control.

Additionally, it uses a surface-mounted circuit board to eliminate humming when you are enjoying music that is filled with low ranges.

With this phono preamp, you can upgrade your current amp performance on your turntable. Or, you can provide a soundstage for a record player without a built-in preamp.

No matter how you use it, it delivers warm, expansive sound with RIAA curve accuracy. 

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM cartridges
  • Subsonic filter control
  • Balance control
  • RCA inputs/outputs
  • Grounding terminal
  • AC power

Pros

  • Sleek, modern aesthetic
  • Excellent, neutral sound
  • Powers down after 20 minutes if idle
  • Clean stereo separation

Cons

  • Sound can get muddled on complex musical arrangements
  • Can’t disable the automatic power-down setting

8. Pyle PP555 Mini Phono Preamp

Sale
Pyle PP555 Mini Phono Preamp
1,627 Reviews
Pyle PP555 Mini Phono Preamp
  • CONVERTS PHONO SIGNALS: A turntable preamp that converts phono signals to Line Level Signals. This...
  • LOW NOISE OPERATION: Offers outstanding performance with it’s Low-Noise Audio Operational Amplifiers....
  • CONNECTS TO TURNTABLES: Connect any turntable to modern sound equipment without specialized phono input...

The Pyle PP555 mini phono preamp is super inexpensive, compact and works well for a variety of sound scenarios.

You can connect it to an older turntable to play records, but you can also use it with speakers, laptops and other setups where you need audio signal conversion.

What stands out about this phono preamp is its portability and price.

It’s a plug-and-play design with a 9V battery option. This device also comes with a power adapter, so you have options depending on your sound setup.

If you are frequently on the go or work as a DJ, this might be the best-priced, no-frills option you can find.

Key Features

  • Compatible with most magnetic cartridges
  • Ultra-low audio noise circuitry
  • PCA inputs/outputs
  • Grounding terminal

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Compact
  • Easy to set up
  • Saves energy on battery power

Cons

  • Sounds lack depth
  • No gain adjustment

9. GoGroove Mini Phono Preamp

GoGroove Mini Phono Preamp
1,409 Reviews
GoGroove Mini Phono Preamp
  • COMPACT DESIGN fits on your bookshelf, desk, table so you can connect your turntable to your stereo...
  • CONVERTS TURNTABLES PHONO SOUND QUALITY to line level for better sounding audio and volume | 1/4...
  • NECESSARY FOR CONNECTING TURNTABLE to newer speakers and receivers that do not have a phono input

The GoGroove Mini is another portable, inexpensive option to get you playing your records again. Plus, if you’re new to all things vinyl, it’s a good entry-level device.

This phono preamp is compatible with a variety of turntables. It functions as a go-between to play audio from record players that lack built-in amplification.

You can also connect the best wired audiophile headphones if you’d like to listen to your records without disturbing others.

This is an ideal phono preamp for simple audio setups. For the price, there’s not much to complain about.

Key Features

  • Compatible with most turntables
  • RIAA equalization
  • Headphone port (1/4 TRS)
  • Grounding terminal

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Compact
  • Three-year warranty

Cons

  • No controls (volume, gain, etc.)
  • No power switch

10. Moon 110LP V2 Phono Preamp

The Moon 110LP V2 has a futuristic look, but it delivers sound with old-school clarity and detail.

Its design draws on award-winning technologies from higher-priced Moon phono preamps. This model works with magnetic cartridge turntables to unleash a spacious soundstage.

With this device, you’ll benefit from clear instrument separation in music, an articulate midrange and deep bass. 

You can adjust the gain from 40 to 66 dB. This is a more than adequate range for a variety of MM and MC cartridges.

While it is one the most expensive options on our list, in the world of phono preamps, it’s still considered affordable for the technology included.

Key Features

  • Compatible with MM and MC cartridges
  • Adjustable gain
  • Adjustable impedance
  • Inductive DC filtering
  • Frequency response 20 Hz–20 kHz
  • RCA inputs/outputs
  • Grounding terminal

Pros

  • Smooth, refined sound
  • Sleek, sturdy build
  • Impressive stereo imaging

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Does not perform as well with MC cartridges
  • Dipswitch settings might be overwhelming for newbies

Summary

There are many options on the market for phono preamps. The technology recreates the richness of sound that was intended when each groove was etched into your favorite vinyl record. 

If you have a built-in preamp on your turntable, you might find that bypassing it with an external phono preamp provides better sound.

Regardless, take time to read up on compatible equipment, as some high-end turntables with built-in preamps don’t work well with standalone phono preamps.

Additionally, be sure to properly ground your phono preamp before use. A well-planned setup will ensure you are sitting back listening to your favorite records in no time.