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Crosley record players rated

By Daniel Nissenbaum

Great-value brand or bargain-bin disappointment? Read on to find out whether Crosley record players are worth your money.

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Crosley is one of the most popular record player brands around at the moment. Taking full advantage of the recent surge in interest in vinyl, its reasonably priced players have found their way into many people’s homes. But can they really be offering high levels of sound quality, while costing a fraction of the price of models from the traditional audio brands?

We test record players using an expert panel of listeners, with decades of experience in the audio industry, to make sure you know which players will give you glorious sound and which will hurt your ears. Scores range from more than 80% to a pitiful 24%. 

We’ve tested Crosley record players with a variety of genres of music, and also made technical assessments on pitch stability, and the balance of treble and bass. We also rate the turntables on how easy they are to use, so that you know whether putting on your favourite vinyl will be a pleasure or a chore.

The table below shows our verdict on all the Crosley record players we’ve tested. Only logged-in members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 Which? trial to get instant access.

Crosley record players on test

Crosley Executive

Crosley Executive
Today's best price £59.99
Which? score %
Reviewed Feb 2016
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
USB output:
Yes

This stylish portable player includes a USB connection so you can convert your records into digital formats by connecting it to a computer, and you won't have to pay over the odds to do it. But what's it like to listen to and how easy is it to take on the road?

Crosley Cruiser

Crosley Cruiser
Today's best price £53.99
Which? score %
Reviewed Feb 2016
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
USB output:
No

This player folds down into its own retro-styled carry case. It will play 33, 45 and 78rpm records and it also includes built-in speakers so you don’t even have to plug it in to a hi-fi. These features make the Crosley Cruiser seem like a convenient option for someone who just wants to play their old records easily, but what is the all-important sound quality like?

Crosley Collegiate (CR6010A)

Crosley Collegiate (CR6010A)
Today's best price £79.98
Which? score %
Reviewed Aug 2016
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
USB output:
Yes

This record player features retro styling and a USB connection so you can connect it to your computer and digitise your vinyl collection. With built-in speakers too this could be a convenient and portable player, but only if it actually does a decent job of playing your records. Log in to find out what we thought of it.

Crosley Keepsake (CR6249A-TN)

Crosley Keepsake (CR6249A-TN)
Today's best price £109.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Feb 2016
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
USB output:
Yes

This player certainly looks the part, and with the ability to digitise your records via USB it could be a winner. It also features automatic operation, so it will drop the needle into the groove and start the record playing all at the touch of a button. But what about the sound it produces? And how much background noise do the digitised versions pick up?

Crosley Messenger (CR8016A)

Crosley Messenger (CR8016A)
Today's best price £69.98
Which? score %
Reviewed Aug 2016
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
USB output:
No

This is a stylish, lightweight portable record player with built-in speakers so you can listen to your records anywhere. Listening to The Beatles in the bathroom or Lady Gaga in the garden might sound like your idea of a good time, but is this record player great value, or a waste of money?

Pricing, scores and recommendations correct at July 2017. 

How much do Crosley record players cost?

Not much at all. Crosley offers a very appealing combination of fashionable styling and incredibly low prices. We’ve seen deals on the cheapest models for as little as £40. Paying more will get you some slightly fancier styling and features, such as a USB connection for transferring your vinyl onto a computer. Crosley doesn’t make many models priced at more than £150, so it’s firmly focused on the budget end of the market. 

Crosley record player features

Crosley record players tend to have similar features and styles, such as:

Retro styling

Crosley record players feature styling that harks back to the golden age of vinyl, when the charts were dominated by rock and roll. Crosley is especially focused on portable players with built-in speakers, and their 50s and 60s looks are reminiscent of the famous Dansette record players.

Ceramic cartridges

The cartridge is the part of the record player that the needle sits in and turns the movement of the needle in the groove into an electrical signal. Crosley players tend to feature cheaper ceramic cartridges, as opposed to the more expensive moving magnet cartridges. They also tend to feature thicker needles, which are capable of playing the old 78rpm format records. These needles will still work with your 33rpm and 45rpm records, but sound quality will be reduced compared with a more delicate needle.

Built-in speakers

Crosley players often have built-in speakers, so you don’t have to plug them in to a hi-fi system to play your records. These speakers are small, though, so quality is never going to be great and the maximum volume will be relatively quiet. The good news is that Crosley players all have built-in preamps, which means you can plug them straight into any hi-fi or powered set of speakers.

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