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What is a turntable mat?
A turntable mat is one of the turntable accessories that go along with your record player. These mats not only reduce the skip rate but also improve the overall quality of the sound. The mats make the contact between the stylus and the grooves on the record by decreasing vibrations.
Despite the similarity in functionality, not all turntable mats are similar. There are rubber turntable mats, cork turntable mats, felt turntable mats, with each category having many other types differing in qualities making it difficult to choose the perfect fit for your system. But, you need not worry as we have listed below the 5 best turntable mats with their specifications making the selection process easier for you.
Here is the list of the top 5 best turntable mats on our list:
#1. Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable Platter Mat
This mat manufactured by Hudson, headquartered in New York, is a 3mm thick acrylic mat that greatly reduces unwanted noise. It is the best turntable mat on our list.
It is composed of silicon rubber and does not have static which helps in keeping dust away from collecting in the unit. All this adds up to produce better sound by dampening vibrations.
Additionally, the sleek and soft nature of the mat minimizes the chances of mechanical damages to the playing record hence ensuring the safety of the record.
The mat is a good fit for any standard turntable 12 in platter size.
Excellent for reducing mechanical noise so you can use it to play noisy record players
The record stays flat on the mat
Great for protecting record from slip
It will wear out over time as the rubber flakes
The rubber will smell if it gets heated too much during operation.
#2. Acrylic Turntable Mat:
This 3mm thick acrylic mat does a good job at bringing out a crisp and punchy sound even in the oldest records. Additionally, its speed is consistent, reduces vibrations, and produces less splashy sound. The background mechanical noises are also dampened. The mat does not attract dust as it has low static.
Lastly, its green transparent disc is a unique design that will surely make it one of the most noticeable things around in the room.
Moves smoothly on the platter because of its lighter weight
It can be used to set arm bias
It is somewhat expensive as compared to other mats of its type.
#3. Hudson Hi-Fi CoRkErY Turntable Platter Mat
Here’s another great option from Hudson Hi-Fi. This mat is made up of a mixture of cork granule and rubber. While Cork is an airy, light, non-conductive material, the rubber gives it extra durability. The non-resonant cork on the other hand reduces friction and dampens vibrations. Due to these characteristics, it goes especially well with lightweight steel platters.
While felt mats have similar functionalities but this mat does not over-dampen or under-deliver on sound like felt mats tend to do.
It does not attract dust and cleaning is easy as well.
It helps to greatly reduce mechanical noise.
Especially good for dampening resonances from metal turntable mats.
It may sprinkle bits of cork on the record.
It is smaller than a standard LP (11.375 In.)
#4. Premium Leather Deer Hide Turntable Mat
This is a high-end quality turntable mat manufactured by Jake’s Turntable Mats from deer hide. Since the deerskin is twice as expensive as other leather, it makes this product a pricey option. But it brings along with it the better qualities of higher flexibility and softness apart from having less static as compared to other leather mats. Additionally, it can be customized to fit your platter though it comes in a standard size of 12-inch.
The mat is highly helpful to eliminate crack and pop sounds apart from improving the overall quality of the sound by softening it and enhancing the bass tones. Since it has a low static it doesn’t attract dust and largely increases the protection of the record due to the soft nature of deerskin.
This mat is double-sided i.e. it can be used from both sides.
Cleaning is very easy.
Since it is made of deerskin, it is very durable.
It may not be good for some models as it is quite thin.
#5. Electrohome Turntable Platter Mat
This mat is composed of black silicon rubber. The rubber helps in reducing slippage apart from making it easy for you to handle the mat as it is non-fragile. Additionally, it is good at protecting records from scratches and the turntable as well.
It has a decent dampening capability and helps isolate the unit from unwanted vibrations which diminish the quality of the sound thus producing a clearer sound.
The mat is so thin that it can be used along with a stock mat to dampen the sound to a great extent.
The recessed center makes a record lay flat on the surface.
Not compatible with electrohome record players.
Turntable mats are part of turntable accessories that are used to increase the quality of the sound. Despite similarities in the main function, they differ in their composition and their qualities. Hence choosing the best turntable mat is not an easy task but we have ranked the top five turntable mats available in 2022 to make the selection easier for you.
Are rubber turntable mats better than felt?
The rubber mats are slightly firmer than the felt mats and are better at reducing vibrations. On the other hand, the felt mats are lighter than the rubber mats.
Is a cork turntable mat better than felt?
Cork turntable mats provide the best sound quality of all mats by dampening the vibrations between the record player and the vinyl better apart from absorbing mechanical noise.
Are leather turntable mats good?
Leather turntable mats are better than felt mats as they upgrade the sound quality by reducing resonance and keeping the dust away while avoiding static.