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Bluetooth record players toe the line between nostalgic and modern-day entertainment in a way few pieces of technology can. Bluetooth technology continues to evolve, allowing for faster, stronger, more stable, and even multiple points of connection. Record players, by contrast, tether the user to an old way of listening but allow for a more hands-on way of enjoying music. There’s something satisfying about playing vinyl from start to finish, flipping it over and letting the warm sounds envelop a space. Naturally, it makes sense for companies to combine the two, allowing for a decidedly new school approach to technology your parents used.
Given their handiness, we wanted to test a few of the best options from the most well-known brands to find the best bluetooth record player of them all. SPY has spent several weeks going in-depth with four different record players to determine which is the best.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- The best Bluetooth record players at a glance
- Why you should consider a Bluetooth record player
- How each of these work
- How easy it is to set them up and play a record on them
The Best Bluetooth Record Players at a Glance
1. Best Overall: Fuse REC Vertical Vinyl Record Player with Bluetooth — $219.99 at Amazon
2. Runner-Up: Pro-Ject VT-E BT Bluetooth Record Player — $649 at Amazon
3. Contender: Pro-Ject JukeBox E Bluetooth Record Player — $699 at Amazon
4. Best Value: Crosley Voyager Bluetooth Record Player — $99 at Amazon
1. Fuse REC Vertical Vinyl Record Player with Bluetooth
Best For: With its unique design, quality and fair sound as well as its ease of use, this Bluetooth record player works just as well for beginners as it will for more experienced vinyl lovers.
Why We Chose it: Simply put, when it came to all our different criteria, the REC was the best bluetooth record player performance-wise
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, Aux In, Phone Out
- Price: $219.99
- Special Features: Vertical player with a spot to display the cover art
The Fuse REC stands out in a few different ways, most notably in how it stands. The solid base and vertical turntable are distinctively different from most traditional record players, almost combining a vintage-style radio in the bottom portion with a turntable on the upper. No matter how you decide to view it, the Fuse REC helps to make playing records in your space even more of a statement than a standard player.
Putting a record onto the vertical table is easy and the included clip, while perhaps seeming slight in your hand, provides more than enough grip to keep the chosen album in place without crushing it. The tonearm can be a little tricky to figure out where to place it when operating it at a vertical angle, but I quickly got a good handle on dropping the needle accordingly. The included built-in speakers are good enough that you can forgo getting a set of bookshelf speakers if you’d like to avoid the extra cost, providing a good rich tone that’s well-suited for the warmth of a vinyl record.
Testing the “Halo: Infinite” soundtrack with the Fuse REC allowed the choral elements of the iconic “Halo” chant to shine while the bass lines of Tame Impala’s “Currents” hummed appropriately. The hammering rock and roll of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” felt appropriately epic. The overall tone of the player’s sound can be described as well-balanced. While it won’t blow audiophiles away, it’s more than suitable for those who are getting into vinyl for the first time or those looking to upgrade to a higher-quality machine.
From a connectivity standpoint, you can pair a Bluetooth device to it (i.e., a smartphone) and play music out of its included speakers, but you can’t connect a set of Bluetooth earbuds or headphones to it. Playback with the included 3.5mm caused a slight buzzing in my headphones. Additionally, part of the player itself feels kind of cheap; the tonearm, for example, is of a plastic construction instead of metal. It doesn’t change the quality of the playback itself, but it’s worth mentioning.
Nevertheless, the Fuse REC has a lot to love, even if we wish it were slightly more high-end in some places. What matters is that it is quality in the areas that matter most.
- Striking design
- Good built-in speaker
- Sounds good
- Overall build quality feels a little cheap
2. Pro-Ject VT-E BT Bluetooth Record Player
Best For: Those who want quality, whether it’s in playback, design, or both.
Why We Chose It: Striking, versatile design that saves space and sounds great.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, RCA
- Price: $649.00
- Special Features: Vertical player that can be configured in any number of ways.
From a design standpoint, the Pro-Ject VT-E BT is very similar to the Fuse REC. As a vertical record player, the VT-E BT is an immediate showstopper from a design standpoint, perhaps even more so thanks to Pro-Ject’s overwhelming eye for design and construction. The turntable just looks and feels sturdy in your hand, and you can tell time, attention and care have been considered at every turn. In fact, Pro-Ject feels very Apple-like in its overall approach. It’s pretty easy to set this up but may take some getting used to if you’re more familiar with traditional record players, as you’ll have to adjust the belt yourself by moving it on or off a section of the belt drive depending upon the speed of the record. There was a bit of a learning curve there, as sometimes the belt got to be testy in terms of staying on the plate of the turntable. As a result, I felt like I needed to be extra gentile.
The VT-E BT offers many different configurations to ensure a truly personalized experience, offering two different versions for left or right-handed users. The player can be wall mounted (there’s included hardware to do so) if you want it to make even more of a statement in your home, or you can attach an included back kick-stand to position it on a surface.
Pro-Ject players are known for their superlative sound, and that certainly proved true in our testing. I noticed the drums across all three test records had an excellent live tone. The bongo-like percussion of “Halo: Infinite” really shined on this as well as the richness of the synths of Tame Impala’s “Currents.” Listening to the VT-E BT with a set of Bluetooth earbuds provided an equally as rich experience, and thanks to that belt drive, there were no frequency issues; listening to each record felt immersive.
All Pro-Ject players tend to be on the expensive side, and the VT-E BT certainly follows suit. If you have an extensive home audio setup and are looking for a player to capitalize on accordingly, this is one of the best bluetooth record players you. But we may have a feeling that this is slightly too much power (and too much money) for the majority of casual vinyl listeners. But the performance quality cannot be denied, as it really is something else.
- Beautiful design
- Can be mounted or placed
- Incredible audio
- A little tricky to get the hang of using if your a newbie
3. Pro-Ject JukeBox E Bluetooth Record Player
Best For: High-end audiophiles who want a lot of value in a great package.
Why We Chose It: A slightly more accessible high-end player for a price that’s good for what it is.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, RCA
- Price: $699.00
- Special Features: RCA ports allow for all kinds of customization, and the preamp allows for a warm, fantastic sound.
The first thing you’ll likely notice about the JukeBox E is the price. While it may come with a slight sticker shock for more casual vinyl lovers, dedicated consumers focused on a high-fidelity experience will know it’s a bit of a steal for the audio quality you receive, especially once you pair a set of bookshelf speakers with it. It’s not that the Bluetooth experience is bad — that’s far from the truth. But including and using Bluetooth on this player feels like using a Ferrari on a 35 mph street. It’s doable, but you’re more than likely to get real mileage out of pairing it with actual speakers. It’s a nice value-add but shouldn’t be your primary usage.
Playing Zeppelin on my Bluetooth headphones was okay but listening to “Physical Grafitti” over speakers was easily the best audio experience I had testing any of these players. Fun, bright, and inviting, listening to my three test records was a true experience, a blast from start to finish where I felt like I was hearing new depths and layers to beloved albums. The “Halo: Infinite” score, in particular, felt like I was right back playing the game as the piano and choral elements filled my living room accordingly. Outside of the slightly disappointing Bluetooth function, the JukeBox E feels like it doesn’t compromise on much, allowing for a genuinely superlative vinyl experience.
The one major issue I had with the JukeBox E was in the assembly of the belt drive. In the review unit provided by Pro-Ject, the belt appeared to be slightly overstretched, which made trying to put it on the turntable quite a challenge. I’m not sure if that’s the size when it’s provided to consumers out of the box, but it proved to be a real hassle to overcome in my experience. Your individual mileage may vary, however.
- If you’re an audiophile, the assembled package here is pretty compelling
- Many inputs make this the best bluetooth record player for customization
- Belt was difficult to place
4. Crosley Voyager Bluetooth Record Player
Best For: Those new to record players who want something to get into a rhythm for playing vinyl.
Why We Chose It: With a built-in speaker, ease of use, great personality and ease on your wallet, it’s great for those looking to get into the vinyl space.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, RCA, Headphone jack
- Price: $109.95
- Special Features: Super portable
Let’s get something out of the way right now — the Crosley Voyager is all about ease and accessibility. That means a cheaper-feeling construction and overall sound quality as a gateway to get people into vinyl without having to spend a lot. If you have an existing speaker (Bluetooth or otherwise), the audio is going to dramatically improve over the built-in speaker, which makes it instantly more attractive from a performance standpoint.
Listening to records on the player’s built-in speaker wasn’t an awful experience but it wasn’t as good as I experienced with other players on this list. The best way to describe that sound is tin-like or hollow. Playing “Halo: Infinite” felt like I was listening to the score being projected from inside a well. The second I plugged it into my bookshelf speakers, the sound was instantly improved and there was a much better overall experience; more in line with the performance of the built-in speaker on the Fuse. If you’re not used to a bookshelf speaker setup for your vinyl, the audio quality is probably good enough for those who are just now getting into the vinyl experience. On the Bluetooth side of things, pairing a speaker or a set of headphones is a breeze and also improves the listening experience. You can easily adjust the speed and volume of the Voyager through the included knobs, while a handy cueing lever makes it so you don’t need to manually drop the needle on a record.
The overall construction is pretty solid; while mostly plastic-based, there’s still a substantive feel to the player itself. I particularly like the textured, almost pebble-leather grain of the player’s outer casing. Plus, the Voyager comes in a handful of different colors, so you can get one that really fits aesthetically into your space. And, as an added bonus, it’s more portable-friendly than the other players on this list. While you’ll still need an outlet, you could easily run an extension cord and set the Voyager up outside for a party and let people take turns spinning their favorite tunes.
- Easy to use
- Can use with earbuds or headphones
- Cheap construction
- Built-in speaker not ideal
How We Tested the Best Bluetooth Record Players
To find the best Bluetooth record players, we looked for machines that specifically played records and had Bluetooth functionality. With the many other styles of players on the market, we felt it most important to test Bluetooth players, as there was a higher likelihood that consumers have some sort of Bluetooth device, whether it be wireless headphones, earbuds, or even a smart speakers. Additionally, we tested three different albums on each player in order to sample an array of musical genres. Those records were Tame Impala’s “Currents,” an original copy of Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Grafitti,” and the videogame score of “Halo: Infinite.” The idea was to have a modern rock album with plenty of different styles of rock, a classic album you may find at a vintage shop, and then something with a wildly different soundstage (the “Infinite” score features choral elements, bongo-style drums, and extensive piano melodies).
Here’s how we tested Bluetooth record players for this review:
- Connectivity: How does the record player connect? Is it just Bluetooth? Does it have a built-in speaker? Can you pair it to bookshelf speakers? Players with more connections scored higher.
- Audio Quality: More expensive players typically have better sound — but is that really true? We tested the audio sound through a few different kinds of audio playback devices to determine how records sounded.
- Set-Up: How long does it take to get everything ready to play records? Do you have to set up the plate and install a drive belt yourself? Do you have to balance a tonearm? How many connections are there? Factors like this went into the overall set-up category.
- Price: How much is going to cost you, the consumer, for this record player?
- Ease of Use: How easy is the record player for you to use? Can you figure out how to put a record on right away, or is it more complicated? Does it require extra knowledge of record players to accomplish?
- Looks: While they aren’t everything, how does the record player look, aesthetically speaking?
Why Trust SPY When Shopping for the Best Bluetooth Record Player?
SPY has a knack for testing and reviewing high quality audio gadgets and sharing our honest results as well as personal, experienced opinions. Recently, we’ve tested some of the best audio products, like Google Pixel Buds Pro, the world’s first solar power earbuds, and the best portable Bluetooth speakers.
Our writers know what to listen for when testing audio equipment and accessories to enhance and stimulate the listening experience. While record players may be nostalgic, we found adding the bluetooth factor meant adding relevancy back into, what some consider, the only way to listen to music: on vinyl.