Victrola Record Player Review

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Victrola Record Player Review

I just love Victrola record players - they’re so kitsch, and so iconic and classic at the same time. Anyone who sees your Victrola record player is going to immediately recognize the brand.

If you’ve already been doing your homework on Victrolas, you may have heard that they have a bad reputation and can damage your records after a lot of use. But this only applies to the cheaper models under $100.

Victrola Record Player Review

In this article I'm reviewing some of my favorite Victrola record players that look and work just great and won’t damage your records.

After that I’ve also got a quick buying guide for you, followed by yet another handy section where I answer all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject of Victrolas.

And without further ado…

Victrola Reviews


Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Classic Bluetooth Record Player with USB Encoding and 3-speed Turntable

I love this Victrola turntable - it looks like it’s just come straight from the 1940s, encased in a smart wooden box with old-fashioned knobs and dials decorating the front.

But despite its aged appearance, it has all the modern conveniences you look for in a modern day entertainment system. Not only does it play your vinyls, but it will also play the radio, and CDs and cassettes too, which is great if you still have your favorite cassettes in storage.

But that’s not all, it also has Bluetooth functionality, which means that you can use the device to stream your favorite music from your smartphone. Or you can play via a USB stick.

You can either listen via the integrated stereo speakers or plug in some headphones. Unless you wanted to hook it up to external speakers or an amplifier.

The turntable features 3 different speed settings, and it provides excellent sound quality with minimum vibrations.

In addition to the usual play, pause, forward, rewind, and eject, you also get the option to play your favorite songs on repeat, or to have a random shuffle of songs. But you don’t have to get up to program it like you would have in the 1940s. Instead, it comes with a handy little remote.

Plus it has a recording function too, great for moving a song into different media.

It’s available at a very reasonable and affordable price, and is also available in a nice selection of colors, namely white, black, espresso, mahogany, and oak. 

You can also buy it together with a perfectly sized color matched wooden stand which features a shelf for storing your vinyl records. 

And it comes highly recommended by those who’ve used it, with nearly 80% of Amazon customers rating it a full 5 stars out of 5.  It’s particularly praised for its value for money and for being giftable.

Pros

  • Classic and iconic 1940s look
  • Plays records, CDs, cassettes, and radio 
  • Hooks up to your smartphone via Bluetooth
  • Several very nice color options to choose from
  • Has integrated speakers or you can use headphones

Cons

  • Some customers recommend replacing the stylus for playing 78 rpm records


Victrola 50's Retro Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Speakers - 3-Speed Turntable, CD Player, AM/FM Radio | Vinyl to MP3 Recording | Wireless Music Streaming | Red

Gotta love this awesome little record player - it looks like it’s come straight out of an American diner in the 1950s, with its’ shiny red exterior and dials and such.

It’s also available in some other funky colors too, namely black, blue, and teal.

The centre piece is the 3-speed turntable that makes up the top half of the system, which allows you to play at 33 1/3, 45, or 78 rpm with premium sound quality.

But it’s not just a turntable for vinyl, it’s an entire entertainment system, that will also play your CDs for you, and AM/FM radio…

But that’s not all - it’s technology is actually bang up to date. You can also use it to play MP3s or stream music from your smartphone, thanks to the USB port and Bluetooth capability.

As for how you listen, you can use the integrated stereo speakers or you can plug in headphones or an amplifier.

I also love how you can use it to record your favorite vinyls and save them in MP3 format, so you can listen to them wherever you go.

And it comes highly recommended by those who’ve used it, with nearly 80% of Amazon customers rating it a full 5 stars out of 5.  It’s particularly praised for its value for money, how easy it is to use, and for being giftable.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular record player, simply click “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But even if you don’t manage to catch a deal, it’s still great value for money.

Pros

  • Classic and iconic 1950s look
  • Plays records, CDs, and AM/FM radio 
  • Hooks up to your smartphone via Bluetooth
  • Several very nice color options to choose from
  • Record music from your vinyls into MP3 format

Cons

  • Some customers were left unimpressed with the tech support from the after-sales customer service team


Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers | Upgraded Turntable Audio Sound| Includes Extra Stylus | Black, Model Number: VSC-550BT-BK

What I love about this Victrola is how it’s designed to look exactly like a briefcase from the 1980s.

In fact it looks exactly like the one my Dad always took to work with him. That was before everything went online and paperwork was a big deal in office jobs.

And if you’re not entirely sold by the look of this iconic record player alone, you probably will be swung by the bargain affordable price. You could buy two or possibly three of these ones for the price you’d pay for a more expensive Victrola.

And if you wanted to go for something that looks a little different to a regular black briefcase, there’s a wide range of other style options that might take your fancy.

You can have one emblazoned with the American flag, or a UK flag, or camouflage look, or a tie-dye look, or a check pattern, or a nice rose gold.

To see the full range of color options, simply click on “Check price” which will take you to the product page on Amazon.com.

What we like about this record player is that it is just that. It doesn’t overcomplicate matters with any additional unnecessary add-ons such as being able to play cassette tapes or the radio. It’s just a straightforward entry-level record player and you don’t need any extra equipment to enjoy it.

The belt driven turntable offers three speed settings to choose from, namely 33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm. And this model features upgraded premium sound quality too.

Much has been said about cheaper Victrolas damaging records, but when you look at the actual customer reviews for this particular model there’s no mention of it anywhere.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular record player, simply click “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But even if you don’t manage to catch a deal, it’s still great value for money.

Pros

  • Classic iconic briefcase look
  • Upgraded sound quality
  • Bargain affordable price
  • Some excellent colors

Cons

  • Doesn’t house a CD or cassette player

Verdict

Before we move on to our FAQ section, I just want to say a few words wrapping up what we’ve said so far. I levelled with you in our introduction, saying how Victrola has something of a bad reputation for damaging your vinyls over time.

The key to resolving this issue is not to dismiss Victrolas altogether, but to pick out the best ones that won’t damage your records. None of the Victrolas I’ve reviewed will damage your records if you're careful…

By which I mean that all record players are only designed to last for just 1000 hours of play. After this point the needle shows clear signs of wear and tear. The solution to this issue is simply to replace the needle every once in a while. 

If you’re not sure when to replace it, listen out for skipping or bouncing and then replace at your earliest convenience.

Buying Guide

What does it do?

The main thing to look out for in your Victrola, or for any other record player for that matter, is whether or not it can perform all the functions you want it to.

Some people are just looking for a straightforward record player, in which case the Victrola Vintage would be a great choice.

But if you also want it to play CDs, you might want to consider the Victrola 50's Retro Record Player. Or if you want it to also play cassettes, you should take a look at the Victrola Navigator Turntable.

Of course if you want it to stream music from your smartphone too, you’ll have to ensure it’s up to the job. Both the Victrola and the Victrola 50s retro can do it.

Is it in your budget?

The other thing to think about is whether you have the budget for an all-singing all-dancing machine.

The really budget conscious amongst you might like the sound of the Victrola Vintage which is available at a fraction of the price of the other two Victrolas we’ve shown you.

That said the Victrola Navigator Turntable isn’t usually that much more expensive than the  Victrola 50's Retro Record Player, even though it does so much more. And checking out prices as you go along is always a good idea.

Customer Ratings and Reviews

One thing I do recommend is that when you’re torn between two or more products, you start looking into customer ratings and reviews and checking about what other people have said about it.

All of the Victrolas I’ve reviewed here all have a well above average customer rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Victrola a good record player?

Some Victrola record players are better than others, so you must ensure you get yourself a good one. The older classic ones are great and the higher priced end of the newer ones are of excellent quality.

But I do advise you to steer clear of the cheap ones under $100 because they have been known to damage records over time and with usage.

Why are Victrola record players bad?

While many people love their Victrola record player, you do get reports where people swear that their Victrola record player has ruined their records. But this only seems to occur with certain Victrolas, and is not the same across the board.

The older classic ones are great and the higher priced end of the newer ones are of excellent quality. But again I do advise you to steer clear of the cheap ones under $100 because they have been known to damage records over time and with usage.

Is Crosley better than Victrola?

You know what? It’s a tough call. While Victorla has been around longer than Crosley, Crosley does have an amazing range of products. In terms of quality they are pretty much the same…

But if we had to say one was better than the other, Crosley would win by a hair, just because they offer a better warranty.

How much is a Victrola worth?

How much your Victrola is worth pretty much depends on where you decide to sell it. On Ebay for example, the average selling price ranges between $50 and $200. 

However, some of the nicer 100 year old Victrolas can go for anywhere between $500 up to well over $5000, depending on how good condition it’s in.

How long does a Victrola needle last?

How long your record player will last depends not just on what brand you go for, but you do get different quality within the same brand.

But there is a general rule of thumb that says your needle should be replaced after every 1000 hours of use.

But I get that that can be hard to gauge. The best indicator that your needle needs to be replaced is when the needle starts to skip forward or bounce. Or if there is any black residue stuck to the point of the needle.

Are Victrola record players bad?

Some Victrola record players are better than others, so you must ensure you get yourself a good one. The older classic ones are great and the higher priced end of the newer ones are of excellent quality.

But we do advise you to steer clear of the cheap ones under $100 because they have been known to damage records over time and with usage.

What is a good starter record player?

The perfect starter record player for a beginner would be this one:

Audio-Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable.

But it’s quite generic in appearance and just doesn’t have the same visual appeal as a Victrola. Our favorite Victrola record player for a beginner is the Victrola Vintage Record Player we  showed you earlier.

Do cheap record players ruin records?

Unfortunately, it’s true. Cheap record players can ruin your precious records. This is because they have a low quality stylus (needle) and are not designed for a lot of use.

Some are only meant to last 40 playing hours before they will start to damage your records.

Are Victrola and Crosley the same?

Victrola and Crosley may make very similar products, but they’re two entirely different brands, with their own distinct brand identities.

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