Pioneer PLX-500 Review – Expert Guide on Pioneer Turntable

pioneer plx 500 review

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a popular turntable that is known for its sturdy build quality, modern features, and great sound quality. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the design, features, performance, pricing, and overall verdict of this record player.

Pioneer PLX-500

Pioneer DDJ-1000 Overview
  • Professional Turntable

  • Dimensions (W/H/D): 6.3 x 17.7 x 14.5 In / 15.24 x 43.18 x 35.56 cm

  • Weight: 23.59 lbs (10.7 kg)

  • Direct-Drive

  • Connectivity Technology: Wired

From ‎$299

Pros & Cons

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a popular turntable that offers a great balance of quality, features, and affordability. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. 


  • Solid build quality and sturdy construction
  • High-torque direct drive system 
  • Built-in phono preamp and USB output 
  • Pitch control slider and tempo reset button 
  • Rekordbox DJ software included
  • Great value for the price


  • No automatic operation or auto-return feature
  • Tonearm height adjustment is limited
  • The USB output may not produce the highest-quality digital files

Design and Tactile Experience

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a turntable that not only delivers great sound but also boasts an aesthetically pleasing design that would fit seamlessly in any home or professional setup. It comes in two colors, black and white, allowing you to choose the one that best matches your personal style and preferences.

Pioneer DJ PLX-500 white

What sets the PLX-500 apart from other turntables is its high-quality construction. The aluminum die-cast platter is durable and provides excellent rotation, while the vibration-resistant cabinet minimizes resonance and feedback during playback, ensuring a smooth and clear audio output. Additionally, the straight tonearm is built to provide precise tracking, which contributes to the turntable’s superb audio fidelity.

The tactile experience of using the Pioneer PLX-500 is also a standout feature. Its high-torque direct drive system ensures that the turntable operates smoothly and precisely, providing accurate playback with excellent speed stability. The detachable power and audio cable make it easy to connect the turntable to your sound system, and the sturdy build ensures that it will provide years of reliable use.

Drive MethodDirect Drive
Motor3-phase brushless DC motor
Speeds33-1/3, 45 RPM
Starting Torque>1.6 kgf·cm
Wow and Flutter< 0.15% (WRMS)
S/N Ratio50 dB
TonearmStatic balance S-shaped tonearm with hydraulic lift and lock
Pitch Control±8%, ±16%
PlatterAluminum die-cast, diameter: 332 mm
Weight10.7 kg

Features and Specifications

The Pioneer PLX-500 turntable is a versatile piece of audio equipment that offers an impressive range of features and specifications that cater to both amateur and professional users alike. One of its standout features is its built-in phono preamp, which eliminates the need for an external preamp and simplifies the setup process. This feature allows for seamless connection of the turntable to any sound system, enabling you to start enjoying your favorite vinyl records immediately.

Another notable feature of the PLX-500 is its USB output, which makes it easy to digitize your vinyl collection. You can easily connect the turntable to your computer via USB and transfer your vinyl tracks to a digital format for easy playback on any device. Additionally, the turntable comes with the Rekordbox DJ software, which is an intuitive and powerful tool for managing and organizing your music collection.

The Pioneer PLX-500 also offers a range of performance-enhancing features which make it an excellent choice for DJs and vinyl enthusiasts. The pitch control slider and tempo reset button make it easy to cue and match tracks, while the start/stop button provides easy playback control. The high-torque direct drive system ensures accurate playback with excellent speed stability, and the tonearm is designed for precise tracking, delivering outstanding audio fidelity.

Pioneer DJ PLX-500 turnarm

Performance and Functionality

The Pioneer PLX-500 offers outstanding audio quality and dependable functionality when it comes to its performance.The turntable is built with a high-torque direct drive system that ensures accurate playback and excellent speed stability, even during heavy scratching and back-cueing. It also features a powerful motor and a high-quality tonearm that provides precise tracking and excellent audio fidelity. These features help to ensure that the PLX-500 delivers excellent sound quality, making it a popular choice for DJs and vinyl enthusiasts.

In terms of functionality, the PLX-500 is equipped with a built-in phono preamp that simplifies the setup process, eliminating the need for an external preamp. This feature makes it easy to connect the turntable to any sound system and start listening to your favorite vinyl records right away. Additionally, the turntable features a USB output that makes it easy to transfer your vinyl collection to digital formats for easy playback on any device. The Rekordbox DJ software that comes with the turntable is also an excellent tool for managing and organizing your music collection.


The Pioneer PLX-500 is priced at around $350, which is a great value considering its modern features, solid build quality, and excellent performance. Despite not being the most inexpensive turntable available, the Pioneer PLX-500 strikes a fantastic balance between quality and affordability, making it a sought-after option for both novice and seasoned users.

Pioneer PLX-500 Alternatives

The Pioneer PLX-500 is a popular turntable that has gained a reputation for its high-quality performance and modern features. However, there are several other turntables on the market that offer similar or even better features than the PLX-500. These alternatives are worth exploring for anyone who is in the market for a new turntable and wants to find the best option for their needs and budget. 

Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a popular and affordable direct-drive turntable that delivers exceptional performance and modern features. With a built-in phono preamp and USB output, the AT-LP120XUSB makes it easy to connect to your sound system and digitize your vinyl collection. The turntable also features a high-torque motor that delivers reliable and accurate playback, even during heavy scratching and back-cueing. Additionally, the AT-LP120XUSB comes with a professional-grade tonearm that provides exceptional tracking and audio fidelity, ensuring your vinyl records sound their best. Overall, the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB is a great option for those looking for a reliable and feature-rich turntable at an affordable price point.

Main Features:

  • Direct-drive motor
  • Built-in phono preamp and USB output
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • Stroboscopic platter speed indicator
  • Anti-resonance base

Rega Planar 1

The Rega Planar 1 turntable is a top-notch option that combines simplicity with high-performance. It boasts of an elegant design and excellent audio quality. The turntable is engineered with a low-noise motor that delivers accurate playback, and its tonearm provides precise tracking and low distortion. The Rega Carbon cartridge, which comes pre-installed, delivers outstanding sound reproduction and an impressive overall listening experience. This turntable is perfect for vinyl enthusiasts who prefer a straightforward setup and appreciate minimalist design.

Main Features:

  • Low-noise motor
  • Precision-engineered tonearm
  • Rega Carbon cartridge pre-installed
  • Minimalist design
  • High-quality sound

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo turntable is a premium option that provides superior sound quality with its carbon fiber tonearm and precision-machined platter. The turntable also offers advanced features such as a built-in phono preamp and a USB output, making it easier to connect to modern sound systems and transfer vinyl records to digital formats. Additionally, the turntable includes a DC power supply and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge that further enhance the sound quality. Overall, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo is a high-end turntable that offers a superior listening experience for audiophiles who demand the best in sound quality and advanced features.

Main Features:

  • Carbon fiber tonearm
  • Precision-machined platter
  • Built-in phono preamp and USB output
  • Anti-resonance design
  • Exceptional sound quality


Overall, the Pioneer PLX-500 is an excellent turntable that offers both style and substance. It is a reliable and high-performance gear that is designed to meet the needs of both casual and professional users. The PLX-500 is a versatile turntable that appeals to both DJs and vinyl enthusiasts, thanks to its impressive performance and advanced features that help you fully enjoy your vinyl collection.


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