A lot of record player documentation would also have what’s known as signal-to-noise ratio. This is an important figure to watch out for. It basically means the amount of music signal you’d get compared to the background noise. A higher figure here would mean the music quality you get from that particular record player is higher and better. This is measured in decibels. Preferably, you should get a turntable that is capable of producing at least 60dB.
Next, we have playback speeds. Not all record players are capable of playing all the records that you may have. For example, some turntables can only run 33 1/3 and 45 RPM albums, while some are capable of running even 78 RPM ones. Of course, 78 RPM records are much rarer. You’d also likely have to install a more expensive and specialized stylus for 78 RPM records because the grooves in them are simply wider.
We’ve tried the Music Hall USB-1 turntable before, and while the music quality isn’t significantly different compared to the more expensive Audio-Technica AT-LP120, the latter is still better. As a beginner to turntables, you may not be able to appreciate the difference. You wouldn’t even need to look at more expensive variants like the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. That can cost at least $300. You might be able to score a second hand version for around $200, but who knows what the previous owner may have done to it.