As music lovers, there are few things we enjoy more than sharing the music we enjoy with others. When I was growing up, this meant handing off the headphones I bought at Target, attached to my Walkman CD player, on the bus to the friend sitting next to me. Soon after, that evolved into the iPod earbuds so you could listen with a friend, and eventually I had a disposable income to purchase some decent home speakers in college and a friend could simply come into my room and listen off my laptop.
When my parents were growing up, apart from happening to catch a specific single being played on the radio, they bought vinyl and invited friends over to listen to the newest single from the Rolling Stones or Elvis or The Beatles. (Yes, my parents are old.) In recent years, vinyl sales have seen a significant uptick — just last year, vinyl sales were up 94% in the first six months of 2021. And if you’re purchasing vinyl, you need a way to play it.
The Victor Talking Machine Company was among the first to mass manufacture record players at the behest of Emile Berliner—inventor of the gramophone and disc record. Over the years, it was acquired by the Radio Corporation of America and subsequently operated as a subsidiary called RCA Victor. More than 110 years later, the legendary Victrola trademark has been revived in the US and is now owned by Innovative Technology, and it still sports the same attention to sound quality and design as it did over a century ago.
New products like the Victrola Stream Carbon feature impeccable design and sound quality, while also keeping up with current technological innovations, sporting the ability to wirelessly connect with your home Sonos system for seamless audio playback. And while the price tag might cause some to take a step back (I own one, it’s worth it; it’s also $100 off right now), Victrola offers plenty of other options geared toward the casual listener and home consumer.
The Victrola Revolution GO is the world’s first portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth record player providing listeners the ability to create music memories anywhere they call “home.”
“What our team has accomplished with Revolution GO is to literally bring a vinyl listening experience to life in a way that has never existed before with an all-new design that reflects the evolution of the Victrola brand,” says Scott Hagen, CEO of Victrola. “We’ve always said our mission was to bring music memories to every home, and now Victrola offers the only truly portable turntable that will help create those memories at home, and at the beach, on a rooftop, in a campsite, or anywhere else. We are excited to see where listeners take their Revolution GO and who they share those experiences with.”
In our experience using the Revolution GO, playback was virtually seamless after connecting with an external Bluetooth speaker. At the same time, sound quality will vary wildly depending on the quality of the speaker you choose. Thankfully, it also comes with the option for direct connection to headphones if you want to hear exactly what the artist intended. On-board speakers are available as a listening option, as well, though we found that the sound quality wasn’t always the greatest.
The portability of the player is an incredibly unique and first-of-its-kind offering, though after taking it to a park just once, we realized we weren’t often going to make use of that capability. When everyone has a phone with Spotify or Apple Music, and basic Bluetooth speakers aren’t that expensive, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to carry around records and a full record player. As a novelty, it’s definitely a talking point, however, but don’t expect any passerby audiophiles to have their jaws dropped.
The Revolution GO is currently available for $199.99.
The Victrola Re-Spin was just released a few months ago and features the classic “suitcase” record player design, re-imagined and developed with eco-conscious vinyl fans in mind. Composed of more than 25% recycled materials through a highly efficient manufacturing process, the innovative Re-Spin combines sustainability and build quality in one compact record player. At times, the case can feel a little cheap or flimsy, but it was really only through stress-testing that this came across. If you have very young children or large animals, you’re already likely shopping with durability in mind, so you might lean toward the Revolution GO. If you’re looking for a set-piece at home, the Re-Spin offers a terrific bit of eye candy.
At a lower price-point than the Revolution GO, sound quality is a bit less spectacular but the iconic design is much more suited to act as a statement piece in any home, especially as it comes in a variety of colors. The built-in Bluetooth speaker still lets any music fan experience the beauty of vinyl at a moment’s notice, as well.
“Victrola is all about creating lifelong music memories, and that starts by seeking to improve everything we do everyday. When we decided to build our next version of a suitcase turntable, our team strived to make the best sounding suitcase turntable that has ever existed, and we also felt it was imperative to be even more environmentally conscious,” said Hagen. “With the Re-Spin Sustainable Suitcase Record Player, we significantly increased our use of recyclable, earth friendly components, while improving the sound quality even more in the way vinyl fans should expect from Victrola as they’re listening to their favorite music.”
The Re-Spin is currently available in four colors for just $99.99.