10 Best Phono Cartridges Under 200 Dollars [January 2021]
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10 Best Phono Cartridges Under 200 Dollars [January 2021]

Many people love to listen to audio vinyl records in their free time, and they know how Phono cartridge is crucial for them. Sometimes it isn’t easy to choose the best phono cartridge, which fulfils your requirements, so our expert team has listed some best phono cartridge under 200 dollars, and they have excellent quality. These high-quality Phono cartridges will satisfy your audio quality needs, and you can easily buy these Phono cartridges in your 200 dollars budget.

Best Phono Cartridge Under $200

By using these Phono cartridges, you can enjoy your record collection sound through your Hi-Fi. These listed budget Phono cartridges and DJ cartridges can reproduce accurately sound for you and are friendly with most turntables, and can efficiently work in many types of turntables.

It is crucial to choose a good-sounding Phono cartridge for your audio vinyl records and smooth bass response. Check the list of best Phono cartridges under $200.

PHONO CARTRIDGES IMAGE PRODUCT TITLE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION CHECK PRICE
Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge Best Phono Cartridge under $100 CHECK PRICE
Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge Best Phono Cartridge 2020 CHECK PRICE
Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge Best turntable cartridge CHECK PRICE
Ortofon 2M Black Moving Magnet Cartridge Ortofon 2M Black Moving Magnet Cartridge High output phono cartridge CHECK PRICE
Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge Best Moving Magnet Cartridge CHECK PRICE
NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110 NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110 Phono cartridge under 200 dollars CHECK PRICE
Shure M97xE High-Performance Shure M97xE High-Performance Best Magnetic Phono Cartridge CHECK PRICE
Ortofon Concorde MK2 Mix Twin Cartridge Ortofon Concorde MK2 Mix Twin Cartridge Best Carridges For Modern Turntables CHECK PRICE
Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge Best dj cartridge 2020 CHECK PRICE

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge

First is Ortofon 2M Red review, and the thing which is full of surprises is that it comes within the budget range of maximum hundred dollars. Inside the box, you get Stylus Brush and a little screwdriver tool in a small plastic packet, an instruction manual, and a 2M Red Phono cartridge. It is a moving magnet cartridge and all-purpose cartridge which can easily fit with most turntables.

By using this Phono cartridge, you will get a fantastic dynamic sound. The cartridge comes in Elliptical diamond style, and the output voltage of this Phono cartridge is 5.5 mV. It has colour-coded pin terminals, and the phono cartridge maximum frequency is 20 Hz to 20000Hz.

It cares about your stylus and gives you the best performance without any lag up-to 1,000 hours, and sounds pretty good. The 2M red has a 1.8 g load resistance and can easily replace with 2M Blue Ortofon Stylus.

The 2m red cartridge sounded warmer, and this phono cartridge is very durable and seems a hi-fi cartridge which performance is perfect. Without screws, this modern-sounding cartridge weight is 7.2 g, and load capacitance is 150-300pF.

It is a very budget-friendly cartridge, and many of them can easily buy this budget cartridge. The cartridge can easily use on atlp 1240 tracking at recommended 1.8 grams. Overall this Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge provides outstanding sound and is best phono cartridge under $200.

Specifications

Output voltage 5.5 mV (Millivolt)
Type Moving Magnet Cartridge
Frequency 20 Hz to 20000Hz
Stylus Type Elliptical
Tracking Force 1.8 g (18 mN)
Load resistance 47kΩ
Load capacitance 150-300pF
Cartridge weight 7.2 gram without screws
Stylus/Diamond Elliptical
Interchangeable 2M BLUE

Pros

  • Pretty easy to setup.
  • Fits in most turntables.
  • No screws and little nuts to deal with it.
  • Sounds pretty good.
  • Budget Phono cartridge.
  • Sounds crisp and clean.
  • Color coded pin terminals.

Cons

  • super-sensitive to any dust.
  • It is heavy
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Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge

The next cartridge is Ortofon 2M Blue, which comes in Nude Elliptical style and has a stylus replaceable feature. The cartridge is easy to use, and its weight is the same as a 2M red cartridge, which is 7.2g. You will get the brush in a small packet in the box, which will use for proper Cleaning of the stylus.

The stylus features split pole pins, and Hopelex manufactures the Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge’s body. The 2m blue cartridge tracking force is the same as the 2m red cartridge, 18 mN, and can replaceable with a 2m red phono cartridge. The 2m red and 2m blue cartridge share the same cartridge body, and it takes only a few seconds to swap 2m red cartridge to 2m blue.

The 2m red and 2m blue cartridge has the same structure, and just the difference between them is the stylus, which is highly polished in Ortofon 2M Blue and gives you excellent tracking and significantly quieter reproduction. The Ortofon 2M Blue is the best phono cartridge under 200.

Specifications

Output voltage 5cm/sec,5.5 mV, 1kHz
Interchangeable 2M RED
Frequency Range 20-25,000 Hz +2/-1 dB
Stylus Type Nude Elliptical
Tracking Force 1.8g (18 mN)
Replacement stylus Ortofon Stylus 2M Blue
Cartridge weight 7.2g without screws
Stylus/Diamond Nude Elliptical
Ortofon 2M Blue

Ortofon 2M Blue

EASY TO USE USER REPLACEABLE WELL BUILT

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Pros

  • Ease to use
  • Fit with most turntables
  • User-replaceable
  • Adds more dynamics & resolution
  • It sounds more open
  • It's well-built
  • pre-threaded mounts
  • Hi-Fi Choice

Cons

  • Slight record wear
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Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge

Next is 2M Brozen, which is also a moving magnet cartridge and featuring Nude Fine Line diamond and can be easily replaced with a 2M Black stylus. Let’s compare 2M Brozen cartridges with 2M RED and blue cartridges. 2M Brozen cartridges will give you more details and resolutions compared to both Ortofon previous reviewed cartridges.

The 2m red provides you more warm sound, and on the other hand, the 2m blue cartridges will offer you neutral sound but, if you upgrade the phono cartridge to 2m Brozen, which is so much different in structure, performance, and sound from both 2m blue and 2m red cartridges.

The proper installation of this 2m Brozen cartridge is a little tricky, and unlike 2m red and 2m blue cartridges, you have to install the entire cartridge, and for this purpose, you need a needle nose plier. It is the best phono cartridge under 200.

Specifications

Output voltage 1kHz, 5cm/sec - 5.5 mV
Frequency Range 20-20,000 Hz +3/-1 dB
Stylus Type Nude Fine Line
Tracking Force 1.8 g (18 mN)
Others Stylus Brush, Screwdriver
Interchangeable Ortofon Stylus 2M Black
Cartridge weight 7.2 g
Stylus/Diamond Nude Fine Line diamond

How to install Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge

  • Things you need are nose pliers and remember that your hand will remain very steady while installation.
  • Carefully Remove four-colour leads form the back of your currently installed cartridge with a nose plier.
  • Remove both two screws which are keeping your cartridge connected to the tonearm.
  • In the 2m Brozen packages, you will find no screws, so you have to attach your screws while connecting the 2m Brozen cartridge to you tonearm
  • Tight the screws, and that’s all.

Pros

  • replaced with 2M Black stylus
  • more details and resolutions
  • Adds clarity and depth
  • better than the 2M Red
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Proper installation required
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Ortofon 2M Black Moving Magnet Cartridge

Ortofon 2M Black Moving Magnet Cartridge

Next is 2M black cartridge which is so much expensive cartridge in our list and we have just listed for providing you information only. The cartridge is very slim and comes in the nude Shibata diamond style, which gives you breathtaking sound quality and great bass.

The 2m black phono cartridge frequency is up to 20-31,000 Hz, and the output voltage is 5mV. The entire frequency spectrum of this cartridge is much precise in relation and is a high output moving coil cartridge.

If you have a Technics SL-1200G and use this 2m black phono cartridge with Technics SL-1200G turntable, you will get fantastic quality sound. The 2M black cartridge provides excellent quality but expensive in the budget, so if you have a high-budget, you can buy it from amazon.

Specifications

Output voltage 5 mV
Interchangeable Ortofon Stylus 2M Bronze
Frequency Range 20-31,000 Hz
Stylus Type Shibata diamond
Tracking Force 1.5g (15 mN)
Others Stylus brush, fibre
Replacement stylus Ortofon Stylus 2M Black
Cartridge weight 7.2 g
Stylus/Diamond Nude Shibata
Ortofon 2M Black

Ortofon 2M Black

most expensive phono cartridge

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Pros

  • Easily compatible with most turntables
  • True to the groove.
  • Highly polished profile.
  • Best of the range.
  • Threaded Wholes.
  • Color coded pin terminals.
  • Installment is very easy with lead wires.
  • Flagship from Ortofon.
  • Moving magnet cartridge.

Cons

  • Expensive.
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Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge

Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge

Next is the Sumiko Pearl MM Cartridge review, and this Elliptical phono cartridge comes with a separation channel of 30 DB and 12Hz – 30KHz frequency response. The cartridge can easily fit and works well on any standard tonearm and digital stylus.

Throughout the entire spectrum, you will get a very balanced and detailed sound. The cartridge is beautifully designed by audiophiles and gives you a high level of performance.

The cartridge can perfectly fit with most of the turntables, and installation is relatively easy overall. The Pearl MM Cartridge has a 12Hz – 30KHz responsive frequency range, and you will get outstanding performance at rendering and good details from the distorted electric guitar.

The Sumiko Pearl MM style is an easily replaceable stylus and has a robust Elliptical shape. The Sumiko Pearl MM is the best phono cartridge under 200.

Specifications

Cartridge Type MM
Frequency 12Hz – 30KHz
Channel Separation 30db
Size of Stylus 0.2µx0.8µ
Shape of stylus Elliptical
Name Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge
Installation Easy
Compatibility fits any standard tone arm
Sumiko - Pearl

Sumiko - Pearl

Elliptical phono cartridge Balanced and detailed sound

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Pros

  • Exquisite tracking.
  • strong Elliptical shape.
  • good performance at rendering.
  • Very good sound.
  • pretty crystalline sharp.
  • Characteristic and real sound.
  • Fits with most turntables.
  • For MM phono input.

Cons

  • The cartridge is only good when it is use on high end system.
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NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110

NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110

Next is NAGAOKA MM cartridge, and this cartridge is only used with MM phono inputs of your amplifier. Nagaoka makes the head shall of this cartridge, and the cartridge output voltage is five megavolts.

The cartridge comes with the pre-installed headshell, which is made of excellent material and has an ergonomic finger-lift, which seems elegant for this head shall. For superior quality audio music, the NAGAOKA MM cartridge is a beast for you.

If we compare this NAGAOKA MM cartridge with Ortofon 2M Red, this one provides excellent quality audio and is better than that cartridge. The NAGAOKA MM cartridge is the best phono cartridge under 200 dollars.

Specifications

Output voltage 5mV (5cm / sec)
Frequency characteristics 20Hz ~ 20kHz
Channel separation 23dB (1KHz)
channel balance 1.5dB below
Load resistance 47KΩ
Load capacity 100pF
Cantilever Aluminum alloy
Needle tip 0.4x0.7mil ellipse
weight 6.5g
NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110

NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110

Excellent quality audio Budget Cartridge

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Pros

  • High cost performance.
  • Calm of the sound.
  • Ellipse chip adoption.
  • Blockbuster MP-11 successor model.
  • MP type stereo cartridge.
  • Offers well rounded sound.
  • Dual magnet cartridge.
  • It has excellent stylus.
  • Diamond tip needle.
  • standard size cartridge
  • Warm details with breathtaking Bass

Cons

  • For the price
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Shure M97xE High-Performance Magnetic Phono Cartridge

Shure M97xE

Next is the Shure M97xE cartridge review, and it is an elliptical diamond designed cartridge with a finely polished tip. The cartridge will give you accurate musical passages in the high-frequency range.

The Shure M97xE phono cartridge will give attachment on the tonearm, which is full of free with any vibration and will provide you superb smooth sounding.

The cantilever of this M97xE cartridge is made of aluminum alloy, and the cartridge tip style is in Elliptical shape.

It gives low record wear and sounds very high accuracy and comes is a very low weighted cartridge overall. It is an expensive cartridge, and you cannot buy an M97xE cartridge with-in the range of $200.

Specificatons

Stylus Mass Very Low
Diamond Stylus Tip Elliptical
Sound Accuracy Very High
Record Wear Very Low
Key Features Dynamic Stabilizer Brush
cantilever II low-mass,aluminum alloy
Included Accessories Headshell screwdriver, Stylus cleaning brush, Stylus guard etc
Installation Easy
Shure M97xE cartridge

Shure M97xE cartridge

diamond designed cartridge finely polished tip

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Pros

  • For mixing and spinning
  • It has versatile needles
  • low record wear
  • high skip resistance
  • reliable record cueing
  • Has standard headshell
  • Very high sound accuracy
  • Dynamic Stabilizer

Cons

  • Not many
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Ortofon Concorde MK2 Mix Twin Cartridge

Ortofon Concorde MK2 Mix Twin Cartridge

The next is Ortofon CC MK2 Mix review, and the cartridge demands modern turntable like DJs and can easily fit in top DJ turntables. The cartridge is an all-rounder groove and gives you excellent performance in price.

For a better needle view and incredible angle view, the wide stylus is cut out. The Ortofon CC MK2 has the best quality spherical stylus and has a substantial and stable cantilever.

The Ortofon is also providing some other Elliptical and Spherical DJ cartridges like OrtofonCC MK2 DJ, CC MK2 Digital, CC MK2 Club Elliptical, CC MK2 Scratch, which comes in different prices and performance.

Specifcations

Stylus Type Spherical
Frequency Range 20 - 20,000 Hz
Tracking Force 3.0g
Output 6 mV
Installation Easy
Shure M97xE cartridge

Shure M97xE cartridge

diamond designed cartridge finely polished tip

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Pros

  • New generation of Ortofon.
  • Tailored cartridges.
  • Easliy fit all DJ turntables.
  • Come with removeable head shell.
  • groovy all-rounder.
  • great performance and durability.
  • high sound quality.
  • good tracking ability.
  • Wide stylus cut-off.

Cons

  • Breaks easily.
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Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge

Shure M44-7 Standard DJ Turntable Cartridge

Next is Shure M44-7 phono cartridge, which comes with type s cantilever and has low record wear, which is excellent and gives you resonant sound. The installation process of the Shure M44-7 cartridge is straightforward, and its needle can work with most of the turntables and is fully designed for DJ scratching.

The tracking force of M44-7 is 1.5 to 3 grams, and the resource frequency range is 20 to 20,000 Hz, which is less than 2m black styli. It is much expensive, and we have just listed this M44-7 phono cartridge for providing you best information; and if your budget is good, then the cartridge is best for you, and you can easily buy this Shure M44-7 phono cartridge for the best DJ Music nights and good quality audio. The M44-7 is the best phono cartridge under 500 dollars.

Specifications

Skip Resistance ultra high
Output ultra high
Record Wear ultra low
Sound Emphasis big bass
Tracking Force 1.5 to 3 grams
Frequency 20 to 20,000 Hz
Weight 6.7 grams
Installation Easy
Shure M44-7 Standard DJ

Shure M44-7 Standard DJ

Easy installation process Good Frequency Range

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Pros

  • The cartridge is fully designed for scratch DJ's and turntablists
  • Unique wide-diameter
  • Ultra high skip resistance
  • produces powerful resonant sound
  • Made for DJ scratching
  • Best for vinyl records
  • Solid groove tracking
  • loud booming output
  • Perfect for scratching

Cons

  • Bit too bass heavy
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What is Phono cartridge?

It is the electro-mechanical small component set up on the tonearm of a turntable. The performance of the record is wholly dependent upon the capabilities of the Phono cartridge.

Cartridge Mount

The use of a cartridge mount is for correctly mounting cartridges on the turntable’s tonearm.

Types of Stylus

In the market, you will find two stylus types.

  • Spherical
  • Elliptical

We have listed some Pros and Cons of spherical and Ellipticl style phono cartridges.

Spherical

Pros

  • Less expensive.
  • Popular choice of needle.
  • Have less drag.
  • Better for scratching.

Cons

  • Some Higher record wear.
  • Less responsive high frequency.

Elliptical

Pros

  • High frequency response.
  • Less record wear.

Cons

  • More expensive.
  • less popular.
  • Harder to find replacements.
  • Not good for scratching.

Buyers Guide – Best Phono Cartridge Under $200

In these listed cartridges you will find some budget phono cartridges and also expensive phono cartridges like 2m black cartridge etc. All phono cartridges are providing great performance on their price tag and if you have 200 dollars budget then you can easily buy listed Best Phono Cartridge Under $200.