Crosley C62 Review
Yes, there’s plenty of equipment and functionality here for your money. Whether or not you’ll be able to actually enjoy listening to any of it is the real question…
- Analogue and digital functionality
- A self-contained system at an eye-catching price
- Can’t argue with the quality of build or finish
- Sound is short of detail and definition
- Turntable doesn’t turn at a consistent speed
- Bluetooth clips the start of digital files
- Speeds33.3 and 45rpm
- Wireless supportBluetooth 5.0 with SBC and AAC compatibility
- Phono stageIntegrated, switchable phono stage
Crosley has made quite a name for itself where deeply affordable turntables, radios and cassette players are concerned. Few are the companies with anything like Crosley’s brand recognition that can compete where the product/price ratio is concerned.
So I’m more than a little curious to check out this Bluetooth turntable system, complete with speakers, that costs less than one of Trusted Reviews’ favourite affordable stand-alone record-players. Is it an authentic bargain? Or is it too good to be true?
- UKRRP: £249
- USARRP: $279.95
The Crosley C62 Bluetooth turntable system is on sale, and in the UK you should expect to pay no more than £249 to acquire the big cardboard box in which it arrives. In Crosley’s native America it sells for $279 or so, while in Australia it’ll set you back around AU$349.
There are a few brands that will sell you a system as extensive as this for an outlay similarly modest, but Crosley is by far the highest-profile of the lot. So it seems the ideal place to start our ‘is spending a relatively modest amount on an entire multi-function system a false economy or not?
- Belt-driven turntable
- Spring-clip speaker cable terminals
- Choice of three finishes
This is not a lot of money to be spending on a turntable and a pair of speakers – so it follows that not much by way of designing has gone on here.
The speakers and the deck of the review sample are wrapped in walnut laminate, but you can choose black or grey if you prefer. The speakers are a compact (250 x 159 x 159mm, HxWxD) two-way design, with a soft-dome tweeter above a treated-paper mid/bass driver behind their detachable cloth grilles.
At the rear there’s a small bass reflex port above a pair of spring-clip speaker cable terminals, and on the bottom of the cabinet some small silicone feet to make positioning on a shelf as simple as can be.
The turntable, meanwhile, is a belt-driven design, and features a steel platter with a felt slip-mat. The straight aluminium tonearm is supplied with a pre-fitted Audio Technica moving-magnet cartridge, and has integrated anti-skate control – set-up, such as it is, consists of slipping the belt over the motor’s pulley and fitting the counterweight to the tonearm.
On top of the plinth you’ll find two rotary control dials – one switches between 33.3 and 45rpm and initiates Bluetooth pairing, while the other is a volume control. On the bottom are some rubber vibration-suppressing feet, while the rear is all connectivity. That means spring clips for speaker cable, a switch for the integrated phono stage (in case you want to make use of the C62’s RCA outputs to connect the deck to an external amp or powered speakers) and a power on/off switch.
Build quality is nothing special, but then again there’s really nothing wrong with it. Yes, all the corners of all the speakers and the turntable are pointy, but everything is screwed, glued or otherwise fitted together well, and the walnut laminate wrap is confidently applied. Just because you’re shopping at the entry level, that doesn’t mean you should expect sub-par build quality – and Crosley doesn’t attempt to make you.
- Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC and AAC codec compatibility
- Perspex dust cover
- RCA outputs at line or phono level
Not every all-in-one system is all contained in one unit – but the Crosley C62 certainly has more going on than might seem apparent at first glance.
Those little loudspeakers are a passive, two-way design – so they are, admittedly, just as they appear to be. But the turntable element incorporates amplification – Crosley isn’t saying of what type or of what power, but I’ll put the house on it being a) Class D, and b) modest. It also features an integrated phono stage, for making connection to an external source of amplification as easy as possible.
The record player is also where the C62 keeps its wireless streaming hardware. It’s equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, and compatibility with SBC and AAC codecs – hardly the cutting edge, but more than adequate for the majority of users the majority of the time. The C62 automatically enters pairing mode when the Bluetooth input is selected – it’s a stop on the same dial that controls the rotational speed of the platter.
All of this is kept spick and span thanks to a nicely finished clear perspex dust-cover. It sits securely on its hinges to the point that it’s tricky in the extreme to take off again.
- Sound lacks detail, dynamics and musicality
- Rotational stability not perfect
- Bluetooth can clip beginning of files
Crosley supplies everything you need in terms of cables, and set-up is straightforward in the extreme. Simply put the belt over the platter and the pulley, adjust the counterweight and anti-skate control, and take the cover off the cartridge – and that’s job done.
The results, though, aren’t all a) they might be, and b) you might be hoping. With a 180g reissue of Sly & The Family Stone’s deathless There’s a Riot Goin’ On on the turntable, the Crosley is a peculiarly boneless, distant listen. There’s no animation to the sound it delivers, no drive or presence… and so consequently, there’s no particular engagement, let alone enjoyment, to be extracted from its sound. Bass is ill-defined and not particularly, well, bass-y – and the midrange, which is where the (ordinarily) character-packed vocal sits, lacks any projection. The way the C62 presents voices is so matter-of-fact as to be almost soporific.
At the top of the frequency range, meanwhile, the Crosley manages the by-no-means easy feat of sounding blunt and shrill at the same time. One or the other, you’d think, wouldn’t you? And yet the C62’s treble response is dull and rolled off while simultaneously managing to seem edgy and thin. In a weird way it’s almost admirable.
This vinyl performance isn’t helped by the inexact, rather diaphanous nature of the soundstage it creates. And it’s rendered even less enjoyable by the fact the platter itself is rotating with less speed-related stability than is absolutely ideal.
Switch to the Bluetooth input, of course, and the fact the turntable can’t maintain a steady 33.3rpm isn’t an issue. The sonic characteristics already described are all still evident, however – and they’re joined by the C62’s tendency to clip the first fraction of a second from the digital file it’s playing. Missing the first few milliseconds of your favourite song makes the listening experience more unsettling than it really should be.
Should you buy it?
You want extensive plug-and-play analogue and digital functionality at a knock-down price: There’s no arguing with the sheer amount of stuff Crosley provides in exchange for your money.
You’re at all interested in the way your audio system actually sounds: There are fairly fundamental issues with the way the C62 reproduces music.
If you’ve read Trusted Reviews before, you’ll know we’re not in the business of finding fault for the sake of it. Equally, though, you’ll know we won’t recommend a product we don’t feel represents value for money. And while it’s hard to argue with the simple amount of stuff Crosley sells you in the shape of the C62, it’s similarly hard to make a case for spending this money to get these results.
How we test
We test every turntable we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Tested for more than a week
Tested with real world use
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The C62 does feature anti-skate control to counteract the tonearm’s tendency to move towards the centre when playing records.
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