U-Turn Orbit Turntables Review [2023]

In the world of audiophiles, U-Turn’s Orbit series is a game-changer. Offering a balance of affordability, quality, and design, these turntables are a remarkable choice for vinyl enthusiasts. This U-Turn Orbit review will delve into the features, specs, performance, and overall value of four models from the Orbit series – the Orbit Basic, Orbit Plus, Orbit Special, and Orbit Theory.

Each model is designed with its own unique characteristics and intended for different types of users. Whether you are a novice stepping into the world of vinyl, an enthusiast looking for an upgrade, or an expert seeking high-fidelity audio, U-Turn’s Orbit series surely has a model that caters to your needs. This comprehensive U-Turn Orbit review will help you find the turntable that best suits your preferences and listening habits.

U-Turn Orbit review

Comparison Table

FeaturesOrbit BasicOrbit PlusOrbit SpecialOrbit Theory
Speed ControlManual Belt DriveManual Belt DriveElectronic Belt DriveElectronic Belt Drive
TonearmOA3OA3OA3OA3 Pro
CartridgeAudio-Technica AT91BOrtofon OM 5EOrtofon 2M RedOrtofon 2M Blue or Bronze
Cue leverNot includedNot includedIncludedIncluded
Built-in preampOptionalOptionalOptionalOptional
MotorLow Noise AC SynchronousLow Noise AC SynchronousLow Noise AC SynchronousUltra-Quiet AC Synchronous

Orbit Basic

Orbit Basic Turntable
Orbit Basic Turntable

Venturing further into the specifics, let’s take a closer look at the U-Turn Orbit Basic’s unique features. As you immerse yourself in the world of vinyl records, you will soon appreciate the uncomplicated design of this turntable. The in-house designed OA3 precision gimbal tonearm, constructed from one-piece magnesium, ensures stable and distortion-free tracking of your favorite records.

The included Audio-Technica AT91B cartridge, fitted with a conical diamond stylus, guarantees a precise and accurate read of the grooves in your vinyl, translating them into crystal-clear sound. The turntable’s platter is grooved and crafted from low-resonance MDF, which aids in reducing potential vibration disturbance.

Another noteworthy aspect is the external belt drive. This feature is instrumental in eliminating motor noise and maintaining speed stability, offering a seamless listening experience. You can manually change the speed between 33 and 45 RPM as per your requirement, with the assistance of a newly designed silicone belt.

Since 2019, Wirecutter has consistently chosen the U-Turn Orbit Basic as the best budget turntable, a testament to its quality and performance. With its straightforward design and stellar sound delivery, this turntable embodies the pure, analog experience that vinyl enthusiasts cherish.

Orbit Plus

Orbit Plus Turntable
Orbit Plus Turntable

This model is a blend of meticulous engineering and precision craftsmanship. It is not just a vinyl player, but a scene-setter, an experience enhancer, and a transportive device for the senses.

The U-Turn Orbit Plus features an OA3 precision gimbal tonearm with a singular, magnesium armtube. This design promotes accurate tracking and minimizes distortion, while the internal anti-skate and adjustable counterweight balance the tonearm for optimal performance. The device is fitted with an Ortofon OM5E cartridge with an elliptical diamond stylus, ensuring well-balanced sound and a truly immersive auditory experience.

The turntable employs a grooved acrylic platter, which enhances speed consistency and allows for more detailed playback. Meanwhile, the external belt drive, powered by an all-new seamless silicone belt, eliminates motor noise and promotes speed stability. Manual speed changes between 33 and 45 RPM are smooth and effortless.

As U-Turn’s best-selling turntable, this variant offers a noticeable upgrade from its predecessor. It is not merely about playing music; it’s about experiencing each note, each beat as if the orchestra were right in your living room. The U-Turn Orbit Plus is a testament to the quality of sound produced with precision and care.

Orbit Special

Orbit Special Turntable
Orbit Special Turntable

This model takes the outstanding performance of its predecessor and adds a layer of finesse and sophistication that truly sets it apart.

With electronic speed control, the U-Turn Orbit Special allows users to effortlessly switch between 33/45 RPM with just a simple turn of a knob. Its advanced motor controller enhances motor performance while maintaining accurate speed, making it a class apart in its segment.

The U-Turn Orbit Special features an OA3 precision gimbal tonearm, crafted from a single piece of magnesium. This ensures accurate tracking and minimizes distortion, while the internal anti-skate and adjustable counterweight add to its precision.

The model also showcases an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, equipped with an elliptical diamond stylus. This feature ensures an open and dynamic sound that audiophiles will truly appreciate. Additionally, the included cue lever eases tonearm operation.

The U-Turn Orbit Special utilizes a grooved acrylic platter for enhanced speed consistency and detailed playback. The external belt drive, accompanied by a new seamless silicone belt, efficiently mitigates motor noise and guarantees speed stability. This model certainly embodies the perfect combination of design and performance.

Orbit Theory

Orbit Theory Turntable
Orbit Theory Turntable

Transitioning from the uniqueness of the Orbit Special, we now delve into the unparalleled sophistication of the U-Turn Orbit Theory, our most advanced turntable to date. This piece of audio equipment is the epitome of high-fidelity sound reproduction, featuring innovative and meticulous engineering that is nothing short of extraordinary.

The U-Turn Orbit Theory is equipped with an exclusive OA3 Pro Tonearm, a one-piece magnesium arm tube that carries either the Ortofon 2M Blue or Bronze cartridge. This contributes to producing sound quality that is remarkably crisp and clear. Further complementing this advanced setup, it houses an ultra-quiet motor with an electronic speed control supporting 33/45 RPM.

The turntable also features a grooved acrylic platter with a precision aluminum spindle, ensuring your vinyl records are handled with optimal care. The adjustable-height aluminum feet, coupled with Sorbothane, offer superior vibration isolation.

The U-Turn Orbit Theory sits on a natural hardwood plinth available in walnut, ebonized oak, or white oak, enhancing its elegance and durability. The all-new seamless silicone belt is a testimony to the product’s fine craftsmanship.

Recognized as Best Turntable Under $1000 and a Digital Trends Editors’ Choice for 2023, the U-Turn Orbit Theory stands as a testament to uncompromised quality and performance.


In conclusion, the different turntables from U-Turn, which include the entry-level model, the enhanced version, and the high-end model provide a range of options to suit varying user needs. Each model offers its unique features but maintains the brand’s commitment to quality and precision.

Delving into the conceptual framework behind these models, it’s clear that U-Turn’s philosophy is to provide affordable, quality turntables that deliver excellent sound. Each model is a testament to this, clearly demonstrating a balance of style, performance, and affordability.

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