For a basic turntable for listening to music, this just about cuts it – but don’t expect decent sound quality. It certainly isn’t good enough for ripping vinyl, for instance. Bluetooth both in and out make it flexible, and maybe its best use would be to “liberate” old vinyl stuck in a cupboard, to give your kids a first introduction to playing records, or to take with you to record fairs etc.
First Impressions / Setting up
It is a very plasticky box with a handle, and the lid clips off to reveal the dinky turntable within. The turntable is “sprung” slightly to isolate it from knocks and vibrations from its small built-in speaker. The review sample they supplied to us was red, but there are other colours available too. When you put a 12″ record on it, the record “sticks out”, which will give you an idea of its size.
No setting up is needed other than plugging it in using the supplied power brick, and then you turn the volume knob which is also the on/off switch to turn the built-in speaker on. You can plug in headphones if you like, also RCAs to better speakers, and you can also pair it with a Bluetooth speaker. You can even play music into it over Bluetooth, making it uniquely versatile.
The lid doubles up as a record stand, with grooves moulded into it to let you “stand” six records of varying widths, eg double albums, 12″s etc. An auto stop function is a nice addition too, as is 78 alongside 45 and 33 for the speeds. Finally, you get an adaptor too for those wide-holed USA-style 7″ singles.
It’s child’s play to get it going – put a record on, set the speed, drop the needle onto it, and adjust the volume.
The built-in speaker is adequate but nothing special. However, you can Bluetooth to an external speaker, which although it improves things, does expose the fact that this is no audiophile product – the audio remains tinny even through decent speakers.
Strangely, when you plug the RCA cables in to wire it to “grown up” speakers, the RCAs don’t work unless you turn the volume up – which also turns the internal speaker up, rather defeating the point of choosing to use better speakers. This must be seen as a design flaw. At least the headphones 1/8″ minijack socket turns off the main speaker. We ended up plugging in a dummy 1/8″ minijack to “turn off” the speakers, then the RCAs to route to our studio speakers for testing.
Luckily when it comes to Bluetooth – probably the more useful option for this demographic – things work more as expected. Pairing Bluetooth both in and out is easy, and it’s fun to have these options – you can easily “stream” Spotify from your phone through this, for instance.
Of course it isn’t aimed at or meant for DJs, but it’s fine for casual listening. Also don’t try to use it for serious purposes like ripping vinyl – it’s not meant for that and the quality isn’t good enough. That said, I’ve seen worse portable turntables, and the actual design is quite nice, if clearly built to a budget.
If you want something to take with you to preview music at record fairs, charity shops etc, this will do the job – but then again a battery would have been nice for those purposes. (The company has a more expensive turntable, the Revolution Go, which adds this, as well as a better speaker.)
As I said at the start, its real purpose could be a “first turntable” for a child, or for you to simply liberate a pile of old records you’ve looked at for years and wanted to play once again – at $99 it’s a bit of a no-brainer for either purpose, and the Bluetooth addition is a good one, both in and out.
So – only buy if you’re aware of its limitations and flaws. As long as you are, it’s a fun little portable turntable, and then some.
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