Looking for a record player that’s also good looking? Give one of these a spin.
Analog is in — but really, it never went out. The vinyl record’s reign has outlasted that of even Queen Elizabeth II, dodging incursions by the cassette tape, the CD, the mp3, and the almighty streaming subscription. If the scene on any given day inside the Academy Records Annex in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is any reliable indicator, you can rest assured that the LP’s demise isn’t happening anytime soon.
Whether you’re just jumping on the vinyl bandwagon or were already on it for the long haul, here are five fitting devices to play your musical vices in style.
Stir It Up Turntable
House of Marley
Eco-friendly construction. An Audio-Technica cartridge. A tonearm engraved with a line from the reggae king himself. Let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to jam it with this thing? Built from bamboo and recycled plastic, silicone, and other sustainable materials, House of Marley’s sleek flagship record player works as good as it looks. No wires? No cry. This one’s got Bluetooth capes, too. Pair it with a matching Marley speaker and a glass of red, red wine.
Orbit Basic Turntable
If the gramophone was Times New Roman, consider the Orbit Basic the Helvetica of turntables. More minimal than even the ones Dieter Rams designed, its elegant simplicity can’t help but turn heads, and its output will certainly get them banging. A standout (albeit utilitarian) feature is its external belt drive, which hushes motor noise while putting on a show. This unit, too, comes with an Audio-Technica cartridge. No wonder Wirecutter called it the best budget turntable of 2022.
Purists might scoff at any setup that doesn’t involve phono cables, but sometimes the wired route just isn’t the move for your space. This Bluetooth-enabled model from Audio-Technica is a perfect compromise between modern convenience and a respected, no-gimmick brand that won’t scratch that prized Tom Waits album you got at Bleecker Bob’s back in the day and had to steal back from your ex. Just power it up and you’ll be bumping tunes on your wireless speaker across the room.
Sometimes it’s all on a platter. The T1’s is crafted from zero-resonance glass, which aside from looking good has a functional benefit that sets it apart from its plastic and metal-plattered peers: the material absorbs unwanted mechanical vibrations and helps maintain speed consistency, all for a better sound. To round out its holistic beauty, the T1 comes in several wood and color-splashed finishes to match your decor. No wonder “glass” rhymes with “class.”
While we haven’t spotted any riding shoulders on the L train, portable players are back in vogue like their hi-fi counterparts, though many of the ones made today have cheaply-made needles that’ll wear your wax down faster than the stylus. No audiophile wants that, especially with Joni Mitchell off Spotify. You won’t have to worry with Victrola’s very #aesthetic Revolution Go, which boasts the coveted Audio-Technica AT-3600LA cartridge and anti-vibration tech that guards against skips and scratches. It’s Bluetooth-ready, has a rechargeable battery, and comes with Victrola’s cachet as the first name in vinyl — the historic company rebooted out of Denver.