I have a confession to make. I have an addiction, and it’s not drugs or gambling. It’s vinyl records.
It all started when I was a kid and my dad would play his old Beatles albums on Saturday mornings. From then on I couldn’t get enough of the crackling sound that only vinyl can provide–the feeling of something tangible in your hands, instead of just listening to music through speakers or earbuds. Nowadays with CDs becoming obsolete, you can find them at flea markets for next-to-nothing prices (as long as they’re still in good shape), but if you want to buy new ones without breaking the bank there are plenty of options available like Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Record Player.
In this review , I’ll be examining the Deluxe model from Crosley and letting you know if it’ll really get you into listening to records.
Crosley Cruiser deluxe record player is part of a family of cheaper, portable versions of other record players with more features. It costs about $80 online at Amazon, though that price fluctuates depending on availability and whether or not there are sales promotions going on. Vinyl purists may scoff at the low-end retail prices for this product line but remember–these records have been compacted down to fit onto a CD! So while your original LP version may have come out in high fidelity sound (depending on the age) they do lose something in translation when pressed as a CD. Cruiser is perfect for people who want to listen to oldies but goodies in their own home without having the space or money to set up something like a sound system.
Crosley Cruiser Deluxe record player has all the standard features you would expect from a portable boombox, plus some extras. It can store and play 200-gram LPs, which are thicker than the normal ones that go on regular turntables . The speakers are 10 watts each with Dolby Digital decoding capabilities so you don’t have to worry about distortion when listening at full volume (not that I condone such things!). You can also plug in an external microphone (like a karaoke mic) or other audio device like your phone. The biggest selling point of this model is its automatic return function, so you don’t have to worry about manually rewinding the record back into place when you’re done listening.
The price is right, what with all the other features you get in addition to record playing.
It’s portable–you can bring it with you on picnics or just move it from room-to-room as needed. It’s also light so that won’t be a problem. Another pro is that this model has a built-in Bluetooth function so you can play any song from your phone through the Cruiser and its speakers! I’ve been using this feature for about two weeks now and haven’t had any problems with interference or poor sound quality . The sound itself is pretty good, though not spectacular. Definitely listen to some samples before buying to make sure they’re comparable to other equipment you have at home (or plan on getting).
Adjustable pitch control lets you speed up or slow down the playback of your record, which is handy if you want to sing along with an old-fashioned doo-wop song. There’s also a line out port so you can plug into any external device with the proper audio input like sound systems, speakers and more.
Dynamic full range stereo speakers are a plus–they give the speakers a pretty wide range of frequencies which translates to more lifelike sound. This is especially important when you’re listening to music, which has many layers of distinct noise all competing for your attention.
This record player plays 3 speeds: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records. If you’re not sure what that means, the standard speed for records is 33 1/3 RPM. This refers to how fast a record plays per minute–so if you have an album by the Beatles, it probably played at 33 1/3 RPM.
78-RPMs are older albums that were made before or during the time when CDs and digital recordings came into existence. Listening to one of these will give you a unique experience and should be interesting even if you don’t think you’re a vintage music buff. The 45-RPM speed is in between these two speeds–it’s used for 7-inch singles (usually pop songs) whose sound quality isn’t as good as full LPs but can still be heard.
You can record your own music to a cassette tape, which you can then plug into the Cruiser as an external device. Unfortunately there are no internal speakers so if you want to use this feature, you’ll have to haul around extra equipment like a boom box or another speaker system. The built-in USB port lets you connect to any other device with flash drive capabilities and play music from them directly on the Cruiser’s speakers! You also get 1/8″ (3.5 mm) auxiliary input jack, plus SD card slot for saving additional songs and a headphone jack with volume control so that when people do come over they can listen along without blaring out the music!
While this Crosley Cruiser Deluxe record player does have a lot to offer, it’s still not the best quality item on the market. You can find other products with better sound quality and more features for about the same price.
I’ve already noticed that when I listen to certain songs from my childhood (like ~Nsync) the vocals are distorted even at low volume. This wouldn’t be an issue except that Crosley Cruiser Deluxe doesn’t have any other EQ options so you can’t fix this problem.
How this product can benefit you (and why it’s worth buying)
What makes this product so valuable is its portability, price and ease of use. Most portable record players require batteries for operation and that’s a pain when you’re on a picnic and the battery dies (or if the weather’s bad). Crosley Cruiser Deluxe record player doesn’t need any batteries to work; all you have to do is plug it into an outlet.
As long as you’re not expecting an ultra-high quality sound experience with Cruiser, this product offers everything a beginner collector needs in one place . It has speakers and Bluetooth capability, three ways to store records (automatic return function, hand crank or arm lift) plus built-in speakers and a Bluetooth music function. It’s also priced well for what you get, so if you’re just starting out or don’t have loads of cash to spend on a higher quality product this model is ideal .
If we compare Crosley record player vs Victrola , we will see that both of them are fairly similar in terms of the standard features they offer. Let’s try to find out which one is better at what:
Both have USB ports, built-in speakers and automatic return functions. Oddly enough Vicrtora doesn’t have a wireless remote while Crosley does. Both machines can play vinyl records and CDs but Victrola can also play AM/FM radio (Crosley only plays through its speakers) . When it comes to sound quality there is no obvious winner, it depends on your preferences.
If you want retro look with modern convenience then Crosley might be a good choice for you, if you want better sound quality and radio reception then go for Victrola.
Everything would be easier if you compare Crosley Cruiser Deluxe record player with other record players like Ion Audio Max LP , Jensen JTA-230 3-in-1 turntable or Electrohome Signature Vinyl Record Player . Both of those models also offer the same basic features as Crosley (except ion audio which has no Bluetooth) but Electrohome is more expensive, sounds better and looks flashier.
If you want a nice, portable and affordable turntable that you can use to play vinyl records on picnics, at the beach or just for casual listening purposes then this Crosley Cruiser Deluxe record player is for you. It’s operated by hand-crank so you don’t have to worry about batteries (or wires) and it weighs less than half of most similar products so carrying it from place to place won’t be a headache.
If you want better sound quality, more options or an AM/FM radio then consider other products.
In overal, I would say that Crosley Cruiser Deluxe is a cool portable record player for the money.
I definitely recommend it as an entry level record player.
I hope this review was helpful to you and will save you some time and money (no one wants to throw away their hard earned cash on something they won’t use). If you have any questions that weren’t covered in the article, please don’t hesitate to ask me.