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There’s no arguing with the convenience or wireless effectiveness of the Victrola Stream Carbon – but its overall sound quality falls fractionally short.


  • Chunky, detailed sound
  • Impeccable wireless stability
  • Quite good-looking


  • Undynamic, undemonstrative sound
  • Integrated phono stage is no great shakes
  • ‘Works with Sonos’ is a costly badge


  • UKRRP: £899
  • USARRP: $799
  • EuropeTBC
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaTBC

Key Features

  • Tonearm/cartridge225mm carbon-fibre tonearm with Ortofon Red 2M cartridge
  • SpeedSupports 33 and 45rpm
  • Phono stageFeatures integrated phono stage
  • Home networkPlugged into router via Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity


‘Works with Sonos’ is not, I imagine, an easy or inexpensive status to achieve. But it’s a badge the Victrola Stream Carbon is entitled to wear – and it means this record player is ready to wirelessly stream your vinyl collection to your Sonos wireless speaker system just as easily as you stream music from your smartphone. 

This kind of functionality doesn’t come especially cheap, though – so does it make financial, as well as sonic, sense?

The Victrola Stream Carbon is on sale in the United Kingdom priced at £899. In the United States it’s a slightly more palatable $799, while in Australia you’re looking at AU$1199 or something quite like it.

It goes without saying this is proper money for a turntable, and many proper brands – Pro-Ject, Rega and Technics, to name but three – have a similarly priced and very well-regarded alternative with which to tempt you. But none of them has a feature-set like this one…


  • Good standard of build and finish
  • Low-profile platter and dust cover
  • Looks, in the final analysis, just like a record player

No two ways about it, the Stream Carbon is a nicely designed and good-looking device. Obviously it looks exactly like a turntable – but within that there are some very agreeable touches. 

Victrola Stream Carbon tonearm
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The veneered MDF plinth with its aluminium front-plate, for example, is elegantly curved at its left and right edges. Despite the deck being just 109mm tall, Victrola has managed to position the platter in a recess – so when a recording is turning, it sits very close to the top of the plinth indeed. It’s supplied with a similarly low-profile dust-cover for use only when the Stream Carbon is not in use. It sits almost flush to the platter and has a bump at one end in order to clear the tonearm. 

Victrola Stream Carbon with cover on
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Build quality is more than adequate. There’s a little more play in the big, illuminated push/turn control dial at the end of the fascia, it’s true – but in every other respect the Victrola feels as sturdy as its price demands, and seems built to last for the long haul.


  • Belt-driven 33.3/45rpm design
  • Integrates with the Sonos app
  • ‘Always on’ phono stage

Some of the Stream Carbon’s features are exactly what you’d expect from a reasonably pricey turntable, and some are most definitely not. Probably best to start with the standard stuff…

The Victrola is a belt-drive design that can operate at both 33.3 and 45rpm – speed-change is simply a matter of turning a little knob at the edge of the turntable’s top surface. The 225mm tonearm is a straight, carbon-fibre design – the headshell attaches using a bayonet fitting and comes pre-fitted with an Ortofon Red 2M cartridge. 

Victrola Stream Carbon tonearm adjustment
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Victrola control app features a ten-step set-up guide, and in all honesty it couldn’t be any simpler: attach the headshell, slip on the counterweight and screw it down – and you’re pretty much there. There’s an anti-skate control by the tonearm lift, and that’s about the extent of the set-up that’s required. It’s a friendly and straightforward process.

From here, though, the Stream Carbon becomes a rather more individual proposition. 

There’s a little recess at the rear of the plinth where the Victrola keeps its physical connections. There’s an input for mains power, naturally, and a pair of stereo RCA sockets for connecting the turntable to an amplifier or powered speaker. Bear in mind, though, that the Stream Carbon outputs at line level – its integrated phono stage is always on, which means it will physically connect to pretty much any system. And there’s also an Ethernet socket, which it’s safe to say you tend not to see on record players all that much.

Victrola Stream Carbon connections rear
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Victrola has Wi-Fi built in, too. It’s a certified Works with Sonos product, of course – which means that once you’ve used its app to get it onto the same Wi-Fi network as your Sonos speaker(s), it integrates into the Sonos control app as a source.

And from there, it can stream wirelessly to your Sonos speaker or group of speakers, seamlessly and stably and with very little effort required by the user. Obviously, some analogue-to-digital conversion is going on before the information gets to your speaker – but the type and standard of digital file the Victrola sends is not information I’m party to.  

Victrola Stream Carbon app

The control dial on the front has an illuminated section that glows in different colours to indicate that power is on, that pairing to a Sonos system is available and that pairing has been achieved. After that, it functions as a volume control. And the platter has an automatic start/stop mechanism that’s activated once the tonearm is moved to above the platter or taken away again. 

Sound Quality

  • Big, detailed and quite spacious sound
  • Far from the most engaged or engaging listen
  • Sounds better when used wirelessly 

The Stream Carbon takes no time at all to set up, completes its handshake with your Sonos system without alarms, and is completely stable in its wireless connectivity from there on out. As far as the convenience aspect of the specification is concerned, Victrola has absolutely nailed it.

During the course of this test, the turntable streams to a Sonos Era 300 speaker, a Sonos Arc soundbar, and is hardwired to a Roksan stereo amplifier connected to Acoustic Energy loudspeakers. While there are discernible differences in the way it performs depending on the method of output, its broad characteristics remain pretty much the same. And no matter if it’s playing a decades-old copy of Kimono My House by Sparks or a brand-new reissue of De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, the Victrola goes about things in the same way.   

Victrola Stream Carbon platter close up
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s a chunky, full-bore listen that never sounds less than weighty. There’s considerable low-frequency presence in all circumstances, a fair amount of detail retained and revealed, and a fairly even-handed way with tonality that lets it sound consistent from the top of the frequency range to the bottom. Consistency is seldom a bad trait in audio equipment, and if the Stream Carbon is anything it’s consistent.

Despite the low-end substance, bass sounds are reasonably swift and controlled. Rhythmic expression is decent, momentum is available when required, and there’s fair variation at the bottom end too. The detail levels are just as high in the midrange, and there’s enough space on the soundstage for a singer to do their thing without seeming crowded. At the top of the frequency range there’s a little bite and shine, though in ultimate terms the treble sounds a little rolled off and cautious.

What the Stream Carbon can’t really muster, though, is any sense of intensity or engagement. It’s a very matter-of-fact sound the Victrola presents, with not much in the way of dynamic expression. Whatever happens in a recording happens at a very similar level of magnitude throughout, and there’s no sense of available headroom if the going gets particularly rowdy. 

Victrola Stream Carbon tonearm record groove
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

No matter that we all know the Sparks songs have moments of hushed calm and eye-popping attack – the Stream Carbon doesn’t really differentiate. Its presentation reaches a plateau immediately, and it’s reluctant in the extreme to move from there.

All of the above relates to the way the turntable sounds when it’s wirelessly streaming to a Sonos speaker. When it’s hard-wired to a stereo amplifier, shortcomings in the integrated phono amplification that’s on board the Stream Carbon mean it doesn’t create quite as convincing a soundstage when heard this way, and it sounds rather more two-dimensional than it does when using Bluetooth as a connection. If the Victrola’s phono stage were defeatable, it’s possible it would be a more engaging listen when heard through a traditional hi-fi system.  

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Should you buy it?

You’re not about to forgo convenience just because you enjoy the vinyl format: Want to listen to vinyl through your Sonos system and not have to worry? The Stream Carbon is a stable and consistent listen.

You’re expecting £899-worth of sound quality: There are some positives to the Victrola’s performance, but more focused alternatives at the same money sound quite a bit better.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to be said for convenience, almost all of it positive – and that is especially true if you can bring a little convenience to this most inconvenient of music storage formats. Putting convenience ahead of performance when selecting a record player is absolutely fair enough – just as long as you’re aware that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

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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


Can I turn the Victrola Stream Carbon’s phono stage off?

The Stream Carbon features an integrated phono stage that can’t be defeated, so you won’t be able to use the turntable with a phono stage of your own choice.

Full specs

Size (Dimensions)
Integrated Phono Stage
Release Date
Turntable Type
Speeds (rpm)


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As part of this mission, whenever we review a product we send the company a series of questions to help us gauge and make transparent the impact the device has on the environment.

We currently haven’t received answers to the questions on this product, but will update this page the moment we do. You can see a detailed breakdown of the questions we ask and why in our sustainability info page.

Jargon buster


This is the surface the record sits and spins around on.


The tonearm holds the stylus and cartridge together, the two elements that are responsible for creating the sound a turntable produces. They can come in straight or curved designs.

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