Are Crosley Record Players Good?

Setting up the mood for a great ambiance is possible with a unique vinyl record and an appropriate record player. Ever since they were invented in the mid-1800s, record players have provided audiophiles with the opportunity to enjoy their favorite musical compositions and tracks whenever they like.

There are lots of turntables or record players on the market, but they’re not created equal. The differences in the design, features, and overall build and sound quality set one model from another.

Crosley turntables are popular because they look retro, so they contribute to the overall vintage setup that many vinyl records lovers appreciate. But are Crosley record players good? Should you invest in one? Keep on reading to find the answers to these questions.

History of Crosley

Crosley Corporation was founded by Powel Crosley in 1921 and continued to produce audio-related products for three decades until the company was shut down in 1956 due to declining sales. However, the brand was resurrected under a new name, Crosley Radio, and started marketing turntables in 1992.

Today, Crosley is considered to be one of the top manufacturers of turntables in the US. It also offers radios and jukeboxes. In 2017, it introduced a vinyl jukebox that was designed to hold up to seventy 7-inch records, with the possibility of flipping sides.

Related Reading: Best Record Players with Speakers.

Are Crosley Record Players Good?

Crosley turntables are popular today because of their delightful retro style. People who are experimenting with vinyl records find them quite appealing.

Despite the increasing sales of CDs in the 90s, the brand managed to secure a spot in the new vinyl resurgence. Nevertheless, there is debate on whether their turntables are good or actually damage precious records. So, are Crosley turntables bad?

The answer to this question depends on who is buying the record player, how serious they are about listening to records, the quality of vinyl records, and how often they plan on using the turntable.

Crosley turntables are suitable for first-time users and beginners who want to buy a record player for the first time. The sound quality is suitable for less-frequent users, and the price range makes them more appealing.

However, if you’re a hardcore audiophile, this brand might not satisfy your needs. Neither the audio nor the build-quality will impress someone who is planning to listen to vinyl records on a daily basis. Here is what you need to know about the pros and cons of this brand before buying a Crosley vinyl record player.

The Good

This brand offers lots of models that come in several colors and designs to appeal to a wide audience. Here are some reasons why you should consider one of its record players to enjoy your favorite vinyl records.

Style

  • Crosley record players are convenient and cheap. They represent an excellent choice for someone who is experimenting with vinyl records. For the same reason, people usually buy these turntables around the holidays because they make great gifts.
  • Record players usually come in bright colors. They’re visually appealing and will boost the aesthetics of your room. These turntables work for someone who cares about the look of the device as well as the audio quality produced.
  • The retro design is appealing to most users. They come in various designs, including floral prints. They’re different from other types of music equipment because they look unique.
  • The brand currently collaborated with a high-street clothing brand, Urban Outfitters. Crosley manufactures special-edition record players with designs that change every season to match the current fashion trends and appeal to the younger generation.

Convenience

  • Record players come in briefcases, so they’re portable. They’re suitable for dorm rooms and studios. They can be easily moved around when needed.
  • They come with built-in speakers and preamp, all in one unit. Some models offer more features like an AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM radio, a cassette player, and a CD player.
  • Unlike other turntables, most of the models are quite compact. They will allow you to arrange a convenient setup to enjoy your vinyl records, even if you don’t have much space available.
  • Crosley record players are easy to operate. They’re plug-and-play models that don’t need any setup or tuning.
  • Record players are able to operate at two or three different speeds with no issues. This means that you will have a wide selection of vinyl records to explore and choose from, which grants you access to several genres and subgenres that you can listen to and enjoy.
  • There are several models of record players available, so you can choose your most favorite one based on the features that you look for. Most people agree that the brand is specifically appealing to women, thanks to its feminine designs.

The Not So Good

Despite all the previous advantages, buying a Crosley turntable isn’t always a good decision. Some experts and audiophiles advise against investing in one of the brand’s record players, despite the variety of models available and the budget-friendly price. Here are some reasons why you should reconsider buying a Crosley record player.

  • The build quality isn’t impressive. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty record player that can be used for a long time, this brand won’t work for you.

The turntables are mainly bought by people who listen to vinyl records occasionally and usually buy the record players for their aesthetics. Experts agree that compared to other brands, the turntables produced by Crosley usually have a shorter shelf life.

  • The sound quality is another issue. Avid audiophiles can feel that the same vinyl record has a low-quality sound quality when played on a Crosley turntable, compared to another turntable manufactured by a competing brand.
  • Crosley still uses old ceramic cartridges, which are heavier than magnetic cartridges used by other brands. The ceramic cartridges represent old technology and add more weight on top of your vinyl records, which causes subtle yet noticeable damage that eventually destroys your vinyl records.

Sound Quality

The difference in the sound quality might not be noticeable at the beginning and doesn’t represent a lot of concern if you’re not using the record player every day. However, in the long run, these subtle changes can alter the audio for good, which represents a financial and sentimental loss if you’re playing rare vintage records that are hard or impossible to replace.

  • The plastic arm is poorly calibrated, which adds to the drag on the surface of the vinyl record. When combined with the weight of the ceramic cartridges, these two factors affect the sound quality and eventually damage the record permanently.
  • The speaker quality is low compared to other turntables. It resembles the audio quality of a laptop speaker, which might be convenient for an occasional user but not for an avid audiophile.

Should I Buy a Crosley Turntable?

If you’re looking for a cute, vintage-style, and versatile turntable, Crosley might be the right brand for you. This brand offers various record players with excellent features for beginners and those who don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a functional turntable.

However, you should understand that this brand isn’t designed for hardcore vinyl record users. The sound quality is mediocre compared to other more reputable brands. Moreover, the design of the Crosley turntables puts a lot of weight on the surface of vinyl records, eventually destroying them beyond repair.

As the company pays close attention to reviews and feedback, it tries to overcome some of the limitations that users usually encounter with Crosley turntables. The introduction of the Crosley T150 Modern might represent some hope for the lovers of this brand. Despite losing the retro-style design, this model overcomes some of the limitations that vinyl record lovers usually encounter with Crosley turntables.

The Best Crosley Turntables

Ever since the introduction of their first turntable, Crosley has been working on adding more versatile models with some exceptional features to allow you to enjoy an excellent audio experience.

The vintage-style turntables represent a chic and unique addition to your living space, where you can enjoy your most favorite vinyl records in an aesthetically pleasing setting. Here are some of the most impressive models that you can check out.

1.    Crosley CR8017A-BK Voyager Vintage Portable Turntable

This is an elegant vintage design that you can set up to enjoy the melodies of your favorite vinyl records. It comes in several colors and prints to match your furniture and allow you to create the perfect setup.

The Crosley Voyager turntable is packed with convenient modern features in a stylish retro design. You can effortlessly switch between three speeds to enjoy more records, and it features Bluetooth connectivity to quickly stream music from your smart device or computer to the built-in speakers.

Thanks to the RCA output, you can easily plug it into an existing audio system. It also features a convenient pitch control and AUX-in that you use to enjoy private listening by plugging your headphones.

Thanks to its minimalist, clean lines and weight, this portable record player will fit into any space with no issues. It’s effortless to set up and can be paired with more powerful speakers if you want.

The tonearm doesn’t come with the automatic return feature, and the ceramic cartridges can cause damage to your most favorite records in the long run. However, if you’re looking for an affordable retro record player, this one will work for you.

Sale
Crosley CR8017A-BK Voyager Vintage Portable Turntable with Bluetooth Receiver and Built-in Speakers, Black
  • Vintage-inspired, belt-driven 3-speed turntable; plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records
  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver allows you to stream music wirelessly to the Voyager's stereo speakers
  • Easily plug the Voyager turntable into your existing stereo system with the RCA outputs
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • Auxiliary in; headphone jack for private listening

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly retro turntable.
  • Several colors and prints available.
  • Able to work at three different speeds.
  • Convenient pitch control.
  • Bluetooth connectivity, AUX, and RCA.

What We Don’t Like

  • The tonearm doesn’t come with the automatic return feature.
  • The ceramic cartridges put more weight on the vinyl records.

2.    Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Vintage 3-Speed

With its timeless retro design, the Crosley Cruiser is designed to bring back memories of a vintage setup and amazing melodies. The design looks simple yet is sophisticated enough to elevate the look of your space by adding an aesthetically appealing nostalgic component. It comes with an RCA output and AUX input. It’s able to operate records at three speeds.

This is an excellent choice for beginners and those on a tight budget. It also features a USB connection that allows you to listen to music from your smartphone. The turntable features built-in speakers and can be connected to any audio system of your choice.

In addition to its audio quality, the Cruiser comes in a vast collection of colors, including elegant prints. However, It doesn’t come with an adjustable counterweight that allows you to adjust the weight produced by the needle, which eventually applies force to the surface of the record. The ceramic cartridges are known to cause long-term damage to vinyl records, so you should use this turntable with discretion when you’re listening to rare records.

Sale
Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable, White Sand
  • Vinyl-wrapped turntable with color based on a 2018 Pantone favorite
  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver lets you stream your music wirelessly to the Cruiser's dynamic full-range speakers
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • Belt driven portable turntable plays 3 speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records
  • Dynamic full range stereo speakers; RCA and headphone jack outputs

What We Like

  • Elegant retro turntable.
  • Budget-friendly record player.
  • Compact design.
  • RCA, AUX, and USB connectivity.

What We Don’t Like

  • No adjustable counterweight.
  • Ceramic cartridges can damage your vinyl records.

3.    Crosley T150 Modern

The Crosley T150 Modern was designed to provide a convenient listening experience while eliminating other models’ drawbacks. With a modern minimalist design, Crosley offers this model in black and white for those who want to enjoy something a little different. The T150 has some exceptional modern features that make it more appealing to audiophiles, including an RCA output, auxiliary input, and a USB connection.

This two-speed turntable can be paired with any existing audio system. The pitch control knob gives you more control over your listening experience.

It features an automatic tonearm that restores the original position when it’s stopped. It’s quite portable and features two 30-watt speakers. You can use Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from the internet or any smart device.

What we really like about this model is that it features magnetic cartridges, which overcome the limitations of the previous models that operate using ceramic cartridges. However, it’s more expensive than the other retro-style models.

Crosley T150 Modern 2-Speed Bluetooth Turntable System with Variable Weighted Tone Arm and Stereo Speakers, White
  • Complete, easy-to-set up 2-speed turntable with included stereo speakers
  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver allows you to stream your favorite music to the 30-watt speakers
  • Built-in, switchable preamp allows you to easily pair with any stereo component of your choice
  • Take control of your analog listening experience thanks to a pitch control knob, an aluminum tone arm with adjustable counterweight, and RCA outputs
  • Moving magnet cartridge is pre-mounted and aligned at the factory; uses standard 1/2" mount so you can switch up cartridges

What We Like

  • Minimalist turntable with a modern design.
  • RCA, AUX, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Pitch control knob for easy adjustment.
  • Automatic tonearm restoration.
  • Magnetic cartridges for more convenience.

What We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than other models.

Are Crosley Record Players Good? The Wrap Up

Crosley designs radios, jukeboxes, and vintage-style turntables that audiophiles appreciate for their retro and eye-catching designs. Crosley turntables are usually compact and affordable, so they work for those who want to experiment with vinyl records using a hassle-free and budget-friendly record player.

However, in the long run, the sound quality can be pretty disappointing. These record players are also known to cause some irreparable damage to your vinyl records. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a retro, cute, and chic record player for aesthetic purposes, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for by browsing this brand’s collection of productions.

Related Reading

Where to Buy Cheap Vinyl Records

Best Record Player with Speakers Built in

Last update on 2021-04-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API