Vinyl is well and truly back: Here are some of the slickest turntables to bust out the classics
After days of trudging through CES, it’s easy to spot the big trends on show. You’ve got concept and autonomous cars we’ll probably never drive, super high-resolution televisions that look better than real-life and a wearable to track everything from your steps to your, erm, well we won’t go there.
CES 2016 wasn’t that different, but there was something else that stood out: the ever growing revival of vinyl.
At this point it’s cliche to say ‘vinyl is coming back’, because, well, it’s already back. You can even pick up some up some of the latest records at Tesco, now you couldn’t have said that a few years ago.
And now brands are starting to release some high-tech and feature rich turntables, here are a few of our favourites.
Sony PS-HX500 – A blend of new and old tech
A highlight for many of the TrustedReviews team at CES 2016, Sony’s high-tech turntable looks sleek, simple and minimalistic from the outside but that’s far from the whole story.
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On the back there’s a USB port, plug the PS-HX500 into your PC or Mac and using Sony’s new software you’ll be able to beam those classic records straight to your computer. What’s more, it transfers them in a couple of High-Res Audio formats for tip-top sound quality.
It’s a lovely mix of old and new that we can’t wait to get our hands on. Thankfully the wait shouldn’t be too long, Sony says it should be available by spring for about £400.
Technics SL1200-G – The rebirth of cool
If Sony’s turntable is all about simplicity and taking vinyl into the modern age, the Technics SL1200-G is clearly focussed on sound.
The sound quality of traditional analogue turntables was impacted by tiny vibrations from the motor and speed fluctuations. This ‘cogging’ effect has been eliminated, according to Panasonic, by using a newly developed, cordless, direct-drive that eschews an iron core – something often blamed for speed inconsistencies.
Vibrations are further dampened thanks to high-precision rotary positioning sensors guided by a microprocessor – a feature unique to Technics.
Oh, and the multi-layered design looks absolutely gorgeous.
Trust us, place one of these in your house and you’ll wonder why you’ve suddenly got a lot more friends. One issue: this thing is going to be very pricey.
Audio Technica Wireless – Adding some Bluetooth smarts to the turntable
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For those who don’t want to remortgage their homes to pick up the Technics beauty above, Audio Technica has a snazzy new option for you.
This automatic belt-drive turntable offers up Bluetooth connectivity, so you can either beam your classic Beatles records to a set of wireless speakers or headphones.
This solves an important problems: you won’t be restricted to the poor sounding speakers normally found on cheaper turntables. You can even connect up to eight sets of speakers, making this a sort of DIY vinyl multiroom system.
It might not quite pack the looks of the Sony or the Technics models, but the glossy white design is sleek and compact.
House of Marley Stir it Up Turntable – Suitably simple
House of Marley’s line-up of audio products have expanded this year, with a simple turntable at an affordable price. It’s built from bamboo – a change from the usual mixture of metals and plastics – and features a built-in pre amp for syncing up to your speakers. When it arrives it should retail for $199, so about £140.
Are you bringing back the vinyl? Or sticking with streaming? Let us know in the comments below