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Latest turntable tests reveal one of the worst models ever

Two new Don't Buys uncovered in our latest record player and turntable tests, including models from Argos, Crosley, Akai and House of Marley

Latest turntable tests reveal one of the worst models ever

There have been mixed fortunes in recent months at our turntables lab, with one model just missing out on being a Best Buy and another at the other end of the scale, winning the unenviable accolade of being one of the worst turntables we’ve ever seen.

We’ve got a whole range of price points covered, from as low as £65 to as much as £200. The cheapest is the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe, a stylish retro-design record player full of nostalgia.

It’s literally a turntable in a briefcase shell – so you can close the lid and take it to your destination using the carry handle. The Deluxe is an upgrade to Crosley’s most-popular turntable, the Crosley Cruiser, and now has a premium-look velvet interior to elevate the experience further.

Best Buy turntables – head straight to our top picks.

If you’ve got bit more money to spend, you can get an impressively priced offering from Argos own-brand Bush, with a turntable that comes with a full separate-speaker set-up in the box for only £100. It also has Bluetooth so you can wirelessly stream music from your smartphone and other devices, and you can even digitise your vinyl with the turntable’s USB support.

For those who are after a performance turntable, we have reviewed the £150 Akai BT100 and £200 House of Marley Stir It Up. The latter comes with a beautiful bamboo plinth, stainless steel tonearm and fabric trim.

But which topped the charts and which are in the audio gutter? Our panel of music industry professionals give their verdict in our extensive reviews, which you can read by clicking on the individual links below.

Crosley Cruiser Deluxe, £65

 

The low-priced Crosley Cruiser Deluxe semi-automatic turntable couldn’t be easier to transport, with its carry handle and briefcase design.

The built-in speakers mean you don’t have to worry about plugging it into separate speakers, and it plays 33rpm, 45rpm and even the rarer 78rpm records.

It’s the technically and aesthetically revamped upgrade to the Crosley Cruiser. It has pitch controls so you can adjust the sound to your taste, as well as Bluetooth support so you can stream digital music from devices such as your smartphone through the turntable’s speakers as well.

You can also listen through headphones and even add more powerful speakers to the set-up via its RCA output port.

This seems to be an impressive offering, but is Crosley a reliable turntable brand? We have all the answers in our Crosley Cruiser Deluxe review.

Bush TT1608, £100

Argos own-brand Bush aims to give you the ultimate bang for your buck with the highly stylish semi-automatic TT1608, which comes with its own separate speakers in the box.

It also supports Bluetooth for streaming music from your smartphone and goes a step further by adding the ability to digitise your vinyl to MP3 files, so they’ll last forever.

It can play 33rpm and 45rpm records, and has a 3.5mm output socket and RCA output, which you can use to replace the speakers down the years if they wear out, without having to replace the whole unit.

Bush appears to be offering a bargain. Turntables often cost far more and don’t usually come with speakers. But how does it sound? Find out in our Bush TT1608 review.

Akai BT100, £150

 

Akai BT100 is a fully automatic turntable, so you don’t need to pick up the tonearm and move it onto the record. It combines old school with the latest tech convenience, including the ability to stream its sound wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker, meaning you can listen in any corner of your house without moving the turntable.

It has a built-in preamp so you can connect to traditional hi-fis and speakers, and you can also turn this off and connect to an external one. There’s also a USB connection for making digital copies of your vinyl.

See our in-depth verdict in our definitive Akai BT100 review.

House of Marley Stir It Up, £200

 

This higher-end turntable has a beautiful minimalist look with a bamboo plinth, and is audio specialist House of Marley’s first foray into the turntable market. It’s built completely from sustainable materials as the brand is famous for.

It has a built-in preamp that plugs it into virtually any speaker, and a USB connection so you can make digital copies of your records as they play. It uses a replaceable Audio Technica cartridge as well, so you can upgrade or change this as needed without having to buy a whole new turntable.

It seems this is built to last, and with sustainable credentials and attractive design you’ll feel good buying it too. See how the sound stacks up in our House of Marley Stir It Up review.

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