Belt Drives Vs. Direct Drive Turntables – Is Either Better?

Turntable designs are a hot topic when becoming a record player or DJ, and sometimes they get confused about what to choose belt drive or direct drive. The two have significant differences, and you must know them so that you can guarantee playback quality. Investing in the right turntable can significantly affect your passion for music. So today, we will talk about what are the differences between belt drive and direct drive turntable designs. Be sure to check out our page on the best turntables for DJs right here on

Take note that this topic is essential for some users of record players because they look for a specific type that will work best for them. 

One significant difference is in what way the motor drives the record platter. The belt-driven turntable utilizes a belt so that the platter will move, and located off to the side. On the other hand, the direct-driven style’s platter is positioned directly on its motor.

At this point, you can now choose what design is best, but there are still a few factors that can affect why one is better than the other. We also listed here some of their pros and cons to help you out further. 

Belt Drive Turntable

Most turntables nowadays use belt drives for spinning the platter. The belt is elastic and is attached to the side of the turntable’s motor so that it can give accurate, fast movements. Moreover, the platter sits on top of a bearing and separated from the motor. 

The bearing allows both rotational and linear movements, and players can benefit from this. The incredible precision of the belt drive makes it most chosen by record players. Also, it is reliable, can adapt quickly, and low-cost for maintenance. 

What are the Pros of Belt-driven Turntable?

A record player with a mounted elastic belt can withstand vibrations. The belt drive comes from elastic, and it can absorb shock quickly. Also, it can lessen the harsh vibration that came from the motor of the record player. If you opt for a device that will last for years, this is a go-to design. Reportedly, this turntable produces sound quality better. 

Sound is cleaner in belt drive turntables because it reduces vibration noises. Record players look for a device that does not only produces better sound quality. They also prioritize the ability to reduce motor noise. 

What are the Cons of Belt-driven Turntable?

Even of its popularity, belt drive turntables have lower torque. While torque is not a very important quality, it can be for some. Its playback speed is also less precise than direct drive. The elastic belt wears down in time and will break. You need to replace it over time so that it can work better again. 

Direct Drive Turntable 

The platter of this turntable is directly attached to its motor. Also, it features quick start-up and more accurate speed and more substantial torque than belt drive. Due to its reliable quality and durability, often used by many record players. 

What are the Pros of Direct-driven Turntable?

As stated above, direct-drive id very reliable. You will not need to do some belt degradation as the sound is already precise. A quick start-up time feature is for players that often use this device. It is an excellent investment because it also lasts for a long time with its durable design. 

What are the Cons of Direct-driven Turntable?

Direct drive often offers less quality playback even they are more reliable. There are times that high torque and accuracy suffer worse because of the noise from vibrations. Yet, they are not exposed to outside forces because you have the stylus record or your hand. For this reason, a player is choosing belt drive over due to unwanted vibrations. Players additionally purchase shock absorbers to reduce the harsh noise. However, one must not underestimate direct driven turntable. So far, the durability is best and overall quality.  

What Is the Best Choice for your Money?

After all, what matters is your choice. If you are looking for a sound with the highest quality, accurate playback, and classy design, you can always pick a belt-drive turntable. But, if you are someone who values durability, easy to use, and will play long-term, choose direct-drive record player. 

Both can give countless benefits. Audiophiles often debate about the two on which is better. You have to remember that each of them has its unique quality that distinguished from the other. Belt driven are chosen because of their high levels of quality. While direct-drive is good due to its long-term potential and is easy to utilize. 

A quality drive of a record player is subjective. Maybe one might sound better while the other is not impressed. You should test out the two before you choose what suits you. List your priorities, and you will know. 

Quality music matters, and so does your money.