Teac TN-280BT Review

Teac is one of the most well-known brands within the audio industry. It all started in 1953 where they started producing record players, amplifiers and speakers. Even in the present times, they prove they can manufacture high-quality equipment that meets the modern standard. For example, in this review, we will look at the Teac TN-280BT that offers modern functionalities such as Bluetooth integration so you can wirelessly hook it up to any Bluetooth speaker. Let’s dive in and see what more this turntable has to offer.

Our Verdict

Teac TN-280BT

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45 RPM || System: Manual || Cartridge: Moving Magnet || Preamp: Yes


» Stylish Design. A matte MDF plinth in either black or walnut.
» Bluetooth. A rare feature that allows you to easily hook up your Bluetooth speaker or headphone.
» Built-In Preamp. Makes it easy for connecting it with your amplifier or speakers.
» Upgradability. You have the option to replace the cartridge or connecting to an external preamp.


» Not a branded Cartridge. While the MM cartridge is decent other turntables offer branded cartridges for a similar price.

Design And Build Quality

The Teac TN-280 offers a modern and hip design that can be a nice addition to any room. It has a similar look and build to the popular Teac TN-200 which has a good reputation. It features a solid MDF platter that is high density making it feel sturdy and not too light. The plinth comes in all black or a walnut finish with a matte coating. On top, you will find a nice all-black platter made from aluminum, pretty much the standard within the industry. Besides that, there is the tonearm and two switches placed on the plinth, one for starting and stopping and one to set the speed. All these components are black which gives the turntable a premium feel.

Not only do these materials make the turntable look good, it actually helps with the overall sound. We felt that the heavier plinth does a good job at reducing any resonance or vibration from the surroundings. At the same time the aluminum platter and solid tonearm help in reducing resonance coming from any internal components. Overall the playback is solid and the build quality has a big part in that.

The package also comes with a removable dust cover, AC adapter, RCA cables and a 45 RPM adapter that allows you to play 45 RPM records.


Belt-Drive and Manual

The Teac TN-280BT is belt-driven which is often considered the way to go in fighting resonance. This is because the motor isn’t directly connected to the platter underneath it but often placed more on the side with a belt connecting the two. The motor can play either 33 or 45 RPM records and the anti-skating mechanism helps with accurate tracking.  When we tested we found the playback to be pretty consistent without experiencing any skating.

The turntable is fully manual which is pretty standard in the higher segment, while an automatic system might be easier in use it does not give that true vinyl feel. After pressing the start button you simply use the lever to raise the tonearm slide the cartridge above the record and lower the tonearm again using the lever. The true vinyl experience.

The cartridge that comes with the turntable is an elliptical-shaped MM cartridge that offers a detailed and transparent sound, more on that later. We think it is great that while the cartridge comes premounted you still have the option to upgrade it later on. And because you can rebalance the tonearm upgrading to different types of cartridges should not be a problem.


The Teac TN-280BT features a built-in preamp which we often recommend getting if you are looking for turntables in this price range. It is perfect if you are just starting out with vinyl or are an average enthusiast as it saves you money and hassle of getting an external preamp. If you want to know more on what is needed in a complete turntable setup please look into our 7 steps to properly set up your turntable or if you want to learn more about the preamp and amplifier take a look at our article “does a record player need an amplifier?”

Audiophiles often prefer an external preamp since this allows them to fully optimize their audio setup and improve every bit of sound quality. However, for the average consumer, a built-in preamp will do just fine. You can simply use the RCA jacks on the back of the device and connect it to your active speakers or amplifier/receiver. A nice addition is that the Teac TN-280 has a button on the back to bypass the preamp if needed. This gives the option to hook up any external preamp, perfect if you want to upgrade your setup later on.


Then there is the feature that sets this turntable apart from the herd. Unlike all other Teac models, you have the option to connect any Bluetooth speaker or audio setup. It is as simple as putting pushing the Bluetooth button on the side of the device to put it in pairing mode and doing the same with the speaker you want to connect. The led light on top of the plinth will tell you as soon as they are connected and you are good to go.

Ofocurse experiencing your records over a wireless connection might not be the true vinyl experience but it sure can be very convenient. Imagine playing your records in a different room than where the turntable is located or connecting it to your already existing setup so you are able to use multiple speakers.

Set Up and Sound

Setting it up

Setting the turntable up is quite easy, even for beginners. If you are not sure how to do it please read the manual carefully. For starters, you pull off the plinth and remove the matt.  Now place the belt around the platter and place it back on top of the plinth while pulling the belt over the pulley. 

The cartridge is already mounted and calibrated right out of the box. This great as it is one of the most delicate parts of a turntable. Something that you do have to do is balancing the tonearm, you simply adjust its position until the cartridge and counterweight are in balance. The last step is to set the counter-weight and anti-skating feature the correct amount, you will find the correct setting specifically for the TN-280 in the manual. All in all this quite easy detail and not technical at all.

Sound Quality

The Teac TN-280BT offers decent sound for its price. The MM cartridge gives a nice warm and transparent sound that many people are looking for in vinyl. Is the Hifi sound quality that audiophiles are going for? Well no, but you will often need put down a multiple of the price to get something in this range. We do feel that if you want to upgrade something it should be the cartridge.

Overall the TN-280BT offers good sound quality regardless of the connectivity you choose. The Bluetooth connection is working well without breakups and you can even use it in different rooms although of course there is a maximum to each reach.


Overall the Teac TN-280BT offers a complete package that includes a nice cartridge, decent preamp and Bluetooth connectivity. The package comes in a solid and modern looking build. We feel that it is a perfect turntable for vinyl beginners or people that are looking to upgrade their budget suitcase turntable since it easy to set up and use, and at the same time still offers the true vinyl experience.

The Bluetooth connectivity that this turntable offers is really what stands out, whether you want to connect it to a preamp, amplifier or Bluetooth speaker, it is all possible. The Bluetooth connectivity is not a gimmick, it is bringing vinyl to the 21 century. For example, connecting it to a Bluetooth speaker or the newest Airpods Pro to listen to your records sitting anywhere in your house without disturbing others, the future is here.

Lastly, the fact that the turntable has the possibility to upgrade further down the line makes it perfect for people that might want to dive further into vinyl, they can simply upgrade the cartridge or add an external preamp.

Buying Options

Teac TN-280BT

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45 RPM || System: Manual || Cartridge: Moving Magnet || Preamp: Yes

Looking for something else?

If you are looking for a turntable with a specific feature or within a certain budget you can take look at one of guides below.

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